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10 Sweet Facts About Cinnamon Toast Crunch

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Cinnamon Toast Crunch has been serving up crunchy little squares of deliciousness since 1984. Besides cinnamon and sugar, the cereal is made with wheat and rice to mimic the taste of cinnamon toast. Read on for 10 sweet things you might not know about Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

1. EVERYONE LOVED CHEF WENDELL.

Every good cereal needs a mascot, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch is no different. Chef Wendell is the rotund little baker who first appeared on the cereal’s boxes and TV commercials in 1987. Wearing glasses, a white baker’s hat, and an apron, Chef Wendell is a jolly old man who sang while he baked, and was sometimes seen with two other (younger, and more slender) bakers.

2. RUMOR HAS IT THAT WENDELL WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE OTHER TWO BAKERS.

In 1991, Wendell’s two coworkers in the bakery (named Bob and Quello) disappeared from all Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercials and cereal boxes. Fans jokingly speculated that Wendell was jealous of his coworkers’ youth and buffer bodies, so he drowned them in a cinnamon swirl river. In reality, General Mills stated that consumer feedback led them to remove the other two bakers and feature Chef Wendell more prominently.

3. IN 2009, GENERAL MILLS FIRED WENDELL AND INTRODUCED THE CRAZY SQUARES.

Since 2009, Cinnamon Toast Crunch boxes haven’t shown Chef Wendell’s image. Instead, General Mills has moved on to a different mascot, the Crazy Squares, who made their television debut in 2010. The Crazy Squares are anthropomorphic pieces of cereal with cinnamon swirls on them.

4. THE CEREAL HAS SPAWNED SO MANY OTHER VARIETIES.

To capitalize on the popularity of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, General Mills introduced French Toast Crunch in 1995, offering little squares flavored like French toast rather than cinnamon toast. Peanut Butter Toast Crunch cereal, introduced in 2004, was a nutty variant of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, while Frosted Toast Crunch and Chocolate Toast Crunch had a sugary vanilla and chocolate coating, respectively. General Mills also created Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch to replicate the taste of Christmas cookies … for breakfast.

5. FRENCH TOAST CRUNCH WAS THE MOST POPULAR SPINOFF.

In 2006, General Mills removed French Toast Crunch from supermarket shelves due to low sales, but after years of tweets and fan mail, General Mills revealed that French Toast Crunch would be coming back to the American market in 2015. (The Canadian version had been available north of the border the whole time.) Thanks to the passion and perseverance of fans, French Toast Crunch is proof that sometimes Facebook petitions actually work.

6. MONOPOLY ONCE GOT IN ON THE CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH ACTION.

Or, at least, they probably did. In 2003, General Mills partnered with the board game Monopoly to release a limited edition Monopoly cereal. The cereal consisted of cereal squares that looked suspiciously like Cinnamon Toast Crunch mixed with colored, Lucky Charms-esque marshmallows modeled after Monopoly cards and hotels. Nice idea, but playing with your food when it's soaked in milk is difficult.

7. NOT ONLY CAN YOU EAT CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH, YOU CAN VAPE IT.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is such a popular flavor that you can even smoke it. E-cigarette users can inexplicably purchase a few different Cinnamon Toast Crunch flavors, so now you can have your cereal and vape it too.

8. NEVER FEAR, YOU CAN PROBABLY FIND CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH ABROAD.

In Montreal and other parts of Quebec, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is called Croque-Cannelle, while in the UK and Ireland it now goes by Curiously Cinnamon (which also has a strawberry-flavored variant called Curiously Strawberry). In Poland, Cinnamon Toast Crunch is called Cini Minis, and it features the same images of the Crazy Squares in advertising.

9. SELFIE-SPOONS EXIST THANKS TO CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH.

In 2015, General Mills announced that it was giving away free Cinnamon Toast Crunch selfie spoons, a.k.a. two-and-a-half-foot selfie sticks with spoons attached to them. This marketing campaign gave 1000 selfie spoons to Cinnamon Toast Crunch/selfie lovers, who only had to pay for shipping and handling. As the tagline for the selfie spoon said, “If you don’t post it on social media, did it really happen?” Truly the question of our time.

10. SLOGANS HAVE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS, BUT THEY'VE NEVER QUITE FOUND A GREAT ONE.

The tagline for Cinnamon Toast Crunch has changed a few times since 1984. From the straightforward “I'm feeling like Cinnamon Toast Crunch” to the more synesthetic “The taste you can see,” the cereal’s slogan has never been nearly as memorable as other cereal’s taglines (think Frosted Flakes's "They're grrreat!" or "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!"). Since 2009, Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercials have centered around the phrase “Crave those crazy squares," which could probably still use some work.

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Why a Readily Available Used Paperback Is Selling for Thousands of Dollars on Amazon
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At first glance, getting ahold of a copy of One Snowy Knight, a historical romance novel by Deborah MacGillivray, isn't hard at all. You can get the book, which originally came out in 2009, for a few bucks on Amazon. And yet according to one seller, a used copy of the book is worth more than $2600. Why? As The New York Times reports, this price disparity has more to do with the marketing techniques of Amazon's third-party sellers than it does the market value of the book.

As of June 5, a copy of One Snowy Knight was listed by a third-party seller on Amazon for $2630.52. By the time the Times wrote about it on July 15, the price had jumped to $2800. That listing has since disappeared, but a seller called Supersonic Truck still has a used copy available for $1558.33 (plus shipping!). And it's not even a rare book—it was reprinted in July.

The Times found similar listings for secondhand books that cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars more than their market price. Those retailers might not even have the book on hand—but if someone is crazy enough to pay $1500 for a mass-market paperback that sells for only a few dollars elsewhere, that retailer can make a killing by simply snapping it up from somewhere else and passing it on to the chump who placed an order with them.

Not all the prices for used books on Amazon are so exorbitant, but many still defy conventional economic wisdom, offering used copies of books that are cheaper to buy new. You can get a new copy of the latest edition of One Snowy Knight for $16.99 from Amazon with Prime shipping, but there are third-party sellers asking $24 to $28 for used copies. If you're not careful, how much you pay can just depend on which listing you click first, thinking that there's not much difference in the price of used books. In the case of One Snowy Knight, there are different listings for different editions of the book, so you might not realize that there's a cheaper version available elsewhere on the site.

An Amazon product listing offers a mass-market paperback book for $1558.33.
Screenshot, Amazon

Even looking at reviews might not help you find the best listing for your money. People tend to buy products with the most reviews, rather than the best reviews, according to recent research, but the site is notorious for retailers gaming the system with fraudulent reviews to attract more buyers and make their way up the Amazon rankings. (There are now several services that will help you suss out whether the reviews on a product you're looking at are legitimate.)

For more on how Amazon's marketplace works—and why its listings can sometimes be misleading—we recommend listening to this episode of the podcast Reply All, which has a fascinating dive into the site's third-party seller system.

[h/t The New York Times]

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Elsie Hui, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Sam's Club Brings $.99 Polish Hot Dogs to All Stores After They're Cut From Costco's Food Courts
Elsie Hui, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Elsie Hui, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

In early July, Costco angered many customers with the announcement that its beloved Polish hot dog was being removed from the food court menu. If you're someone who believes cheap meat tastes best when eaten in a bulk retail warehouse, Sam's Club has good news: The competing big box chain has responded to Costco's news by promising to roll out Polish hot dogs in all its stores later this month, Business Insider reports.

The Polish hot dog has long been a staple at Costco. Like Costco's classic hot dog, the Polish dog was part of the food court's famously affordable $1.50 hot dog and a soda package. The company says the item is being cut in favor of healthier offerings, like açai bowls, organic burgers, and plant-based protein salads.

The standard hot dog and the special deal will continue to be available in stores, but customers who prefer the meatier Polish dog aren't satisfied. Fans immediately took their gripes to the internet—there's even a petition on Change.org to "Bring Back the Polish Dog!" with more than 6500 signatures.

Now Sam's Clubs are looking to draw in some of those spurned customers. Its version of the Polish dog will be sold for just $.99 at all stores starting Monday, July 23. Until now, the chain's Polish hot dogs had only been available in about 200 Sam's Club cafés.

It's hard to imagine the Costco food court will lose too many of its loyal followers from the menu change. Polish hot dogs may be getting axed, but the popular rotisserie chicken and robot-prepared pizza will remain.

[h/t Business Insider]

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