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Origin Of Popular Products: Corn Flakes And The Failed Health Treat

We have a section of our site is called Origins Of Top Businesses”.

It features interesting facts about the early years of well-known businesses.

We’ve added a small variation to that section.

It’s called “Origins Of Popular Products.”

Today, I’ll share with you how Corn Flakes came to be.

the origin of kellogg's corn flakes

Photo from Wikipedia

  • You might be surprised, to hear this. But it all started when a team of Seventh-day Adventists started developing new food so they could adhere to the vegetarian diet that was recommended by the church.
  • In 1894, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was the superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan.
  • He and his brother Will Keith Kellogg were Seventh Day Adventists and so
    they began searching for wholesome foods to feed patients that also complied with the Adventists’ strict vegetarian diet.
  • This idea for corn flakes really happened by accident.
  • You see, one day Kellogg and his younger brother, Will Keith Kellogg, accidentally left some boiled wheat out to sit while they went to take care of some of the many other needs around the sanitarium.
  • The wheat ended up going stale, but they were tight on money, so he decided to try to use it anyway. 
  • He rolled it out to make long sheets of dough, but the stale dough just broke apart into flakes of dough.
  • They decided to toast the flakes and to their delight the patients loved them. Will believed they were on to something, so he patented them under the name Granose.
  • He experimented with other grains and corn happened to be one of those grains.
  • In 1906, Will Keith Kellogg, who was the business manager of the sanitarium, decided he’d try to mass-market the new food.
  • To make them more appealing to more people, he decided to add sugar to them.
  • This decision would increase their appeal to the public, but it caused his brother John to want nothing to do with in the company. (He felt the sugar made it less healthy for people.)
  • And that is how Kellogg’s Corn Flakes came to be! 

Source: Wikpedia &

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About Scott Aughtmon (1872 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.