Tuesday, April 15, 2014

From the Cereal Aisle: Undercover Bears Oatmeal

Product: Undercover Bears Oatmeal
Company: General Mills
Years: 1990 - ???

I was never a big oatmeal eater growing up, which is probably why I missed this interesting product from the early 90's: Undercover Bears Oatmeal.

General Mills took the wholesome goodness of oatmeal and the teeth sticking stickiness of gummi bears, combined them, came up with a loveable animal character to be the pitchman, put them in stores, failed to connect on a large scale with kids, lowered prices not once, but 3 times, remained unsuccessful, fired the marketing execs that came up with the idea in the first place, then pulled Undercover Bears from the store shelves, and wept.

I never heard of them until someone posted about them over at Cerealbits.com (check out the site for your fill of retro cereal box goodness!). So I did a little digging, and still didn't come up with much. I was hoping to find a scan of the box, but only found commercial stills and pictures from newpaper ads instead.

Basically, they were gummy bears that were coated in some sort of maple/brown sugar coating and hidden in the oatmeal, so when you the hot water, they bears would magically appear in your bowl!

*actually only amazing to people who are easily amazed, such as kids, and some dumb adults.

These quite possibly were only around for a year, maybe two,  from the little info I could find. So if you remember them, hats off to you my oatmeal loving friends.

Researching these lead me to a lot of gimicky oatmeals from the 80's and 90's I had forgotten about, so I jotted them all down and will be sure to cover more of them here in the future.

Pinky swear.


  1. I remember this well. The commercial totally sold me, and I had to have them. I'm not even sure why, I didn't like oatmeal all that much. Still, I did have them once, and I was completely underwhelmed by both the taste and the "illusion" of appearing bears.

    I hope one of the wacky oatmeals you'll be covering is Oatmeal Swirlers. Yet another "make oatmeal fun" gimmick I fell for.

    1. Oatmeal Swirlers is on my list - Man, the oatmeal lobbyists sure did have a way of hoodwinking kids into buying their stuff.....

  2. I'm fairly certain this was around for more than 2 years, this was one of the staples of my childhood (back when parents were just trying to get their kids to eat something that sounded remotely healthy, even if it was laden with sugar), but it wasn't widely sold, I can only think of a couple places that had it.