Wheaties is a brand of breakfast cereal most well known for featuring famous athlete on the cereal box. The cereal was invented in 1922 after a mixture of wheat bran was accidentally spilled onto a hot stove. 2 years later the wheat flakes went on sale as Washburn’s Gold Medal Whole Wheat Flakes. The name was changed to Wheaties after a naming contest was won by the wife of a worker at the company. The cereal was first associated with sports in 1927 when they advertised at a minor league ball park in Minneapolis and sponsored the radio broadcasts of the Minneapolis Millers. This was the first time that the “Breakfast of Champions” slogan was used. In the 1930′s the company began to display athletes on their cereal boxes.
Who was the first athlete on the Wheaties box?
The first athlete to appear on a Wheaties box was the baseball superstar Lou Gehrig who played for the New York Yankees. The first woman athlete to appear on the box was Babe Zaharias, then known by her maiden name Didrikson, in 1935. Today, Zaharias is best known as a golfer, but she didn’t begin play golf until 1935. At the time she was featured on the Wheaties box she was known for her track and field feats after winning 3 Olympic track and field medals in 1932 (2 gold medals)! A year later (1936) the famous athlete Jessie Owens became the first black athlete to be featured on the packaging.
The first athlete to be featured on the front portion of the Wheaties box was pole vaulter Bob Richards in 1958. The first team to make to be featured on the box was the Minnesota Twins in 1987.
Did you know?
Michael Jordan has made the most appearances on a Wheaties box with a total of 18 appearances.