Pac-Man Cereal is a breakfast cereal that was based on the 1980 hit arcade game Pac-Man. Produced by General Mills the cereal was promoted as “Chomp Chomp Delicious” and “Now Pac-Man isn’t just a game you play”. The cereal shipped to stores in 1983, one year after the release of the Donkey Kong Cereal that was produced by Ralston.
Observing the success that Ralston was having with their video game themed cereal led General Mills to investigate the possibility of securing a video game license to produce their own themed cereal. Arcades were extremely popular at the time and General Mills did not want to miss out on an opportunity to capitalize on the success of using a popular video game character that would resonate with a young demographic.
General Mills was able to secure a licensing agreement with Bally Midway who held the North American merchandise rights to the Namco arcade hit franchise Pac-Man at the time. Once they signed an agreement with Bally Midway to be able to use the characters in the Pac-Man franchise they began to design the cereal in the shape of the various characters found in the game. The base cereal consisted of round crispy corn puffs that represented the dots that Pac-Man eats in the arcade game while avoiding ghost. To accompany the crispy corn puff dots, they added marshmallows in the shape of ghost and Pac-Man. The ghost shaped marshmallows were colored red, pink, blue and orange to represent the four ghost (Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde) that are found in the arcade game while the Pac-Man shaped marshmallows were yellow.
In order to compete against the Ralston Donkey Kong Cereal General Mills launched an extensive marketing campaign that consisted of many different television commercials for the product. The flavor of the cereal was similar in nature to Kix cereal with the addition of Lucky Charms marshmallows. The cereal stayed in production until 1988 and over the course of the cereal’s lifespan General Mills introduced new characters in the franchise with the first being Super Pac-Man then towards the end of the production run Ms. Pac-Man was added.
|Slogan||“Chomp Chomp Delicious”
“Now Pac-Man Isn’t Just a Game You Play”
“It’s a Pac-Man Day”
“You Can Do It, you Can Do The Pac-Man”
Ghost Chompin’ Hat
Rain-Blo Bubble Gum
Pac-Man Initial Ring
Super Pac-Man was simply a large Pac-Man shaped marshmallow while the Ms. Pac-Man marshmallow consisted of two different colors with the character being white and her bow pink. This was the first time that a cereal introduced a marshmallow that consisted of multiple colors and General Mills marketed the feature in their commercial as the character having a “shocking pink” bow.
The cereal ran many promotional offers during its 5-year production run. The promotions ranged from send-away offers for a “Ghost Chomper” hat, Pac-Man game watch, neon camera, themed cereal bowl, building set and a Pac-Man ring, to entry details to enter a sweepstakes to win a full-sized Pac-Man arcade game or a Coleco Tabletop version of the game. After a lengthy five years on the market and the Pac-Man franchise no longer as popular in the video game community as it was in the early 1980s, the cereal was discontinued in 1988.