Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms is a brand of cereal produced by the General Mills
General Mills
General Mills, Inc. is an American Fortune 500 corporation, primarily concerned with food products, which is headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The company markets many well-known brands, such as Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Colombo, Totinos, Jeno's, Pillsbury, Green...

 food company of Golden Valley
Golden Valley, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 20,281 people, 8,449 households, and 5,508 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,982.3 people per square mile . There were 8,589 housing units at an average density of 839.5 per square mile...

, Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It first appeared in stores in 1964. The cereal consists of two main components: toasted oat-based pieces and multi-colored marshmallow
The marshmallow is a confection that, in its modern form, typically consists of sugar, corn syrup, water, gelatin that has been softened in hot water, dextrose, vanilla flavourings, and sometimes colouring, whipped to a spongy consistency. Some marshmallow recipes call for egg whites...

 bits (marbits) in various shapes, the latter making up over 25 percent of the cereal's volume. The label features a leprechaun
A leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore, usually taking the form of an old man, clad in a red or green coat, who enjoys partaking in mischief. Like other fairy creatures, leprechauns have been linked to the Tuatha Dé Danann of Irish mythology...

The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

, Lucky, animated in commercials.


Lucky Charms was created in 1962 by John Holahan. General Mills had challenged a team of new product developers to use the available manufacturing capacity from either of General Mills' two principal cereal products—Wheaties
Wheaties is a brand of General Mills breakfast cereal. It is well known for featuring prominent athletes on the exterior of the package, and has become a major cultural icon...

 or Cheerios
Cheerios is a brand of breakfast cereal by General Mills introduced on May 1, 1941 as the first oat-based, ready-to-eat cold cereal. Originally named CheeriOats, the name was changed to Cheerios in 1945 because of a trade name dispute with Quaker Oats. The name fit the "O" shape of the cereal pieces...

—and do something unique to them. Holahan came up with the idea after a visit to the grocery store in which he decided to mix Cheerios with bits of Brach's Circus Peanuts
Circus Peanuts
Circus Peanuts is a peanut-shaped marshmallow candy. Although the most popular variety of mass-produced Circus Peanuts today is orange-colored with an artificial banana flavor, confectioners originally distributed an orange-flavored variety that was only available seasonally due to a lack of...


An advertising company employed by General Mills and Company suggested revolving the marketing of the new cereal around the idea of charm bracelet
Charm bracelet
A charm bracelet is an item of jewelry worn around the wrist. It carries personal "charms": decorative pendants or trinkets which signify important things in the wearer's life.-History:...

s. Thus, the charms of Lucky Charms were born. The mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun (also known as Sir Charms, and originally called L.C. Leprechaun), was created in 1963, a cartoon character whose voice was supplied by Arthur Anderson
Arthur Anderson (voice actor)
Arthur Anderson is an actor of films, television and the stage. His career began on radio during the early 1930s.-Let's Pretend:...

 until 1992.
The oat cereal originally was not sugar coated. After initial sales failed to meet expectations, the oats became sugar coated, and the cereal's success grew.
Following the product launch, the General Mills marketing department found that sales performed dramatically better if the composition of the marbits changed periodically. Various other features of the marbits were also modified to maximize their appeal to the cereal's target market, young consumers. In focus groups and market research, more brightly colored charms resulted in better sales than did dull or pastel colors. Holahan called Lucky Charms a "lesson in creative marketing." Currently, General Mills conducts frequent "concept-ideation" studies on Lucky Charms.

Lucky Charms was sold in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 during the mid 1990s. Today, people from Britain can still get the cereal, either from TK Maxx, eBay, Amazon, Selfridges, or through specialist importers.


The first boxes of Lucky Charms cereal contained marshmallows in the shapes of pink hearts, yellow moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

s, orange star
A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth...

s, and green clover
Clover , or trefoil, is a genus of about 300 species of plants in the leguminous pea family Fabaceae. The genus has a cosmopolitan distribution; the highest diversity is found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, but many species also occur in South America and Africa, including at high altitudes...

s. The lineup has changed occasionally over the years, beginning with the introduction of blue diamond
In mineralogy, diamond is an allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at ambient conditions...

s in 1975. Purple horseshoes
Horseshoes is an outdoor game played between two people using four horseshoes and two throwing targets set in a sandbox area. The game is played by the players alternating turns tossing horseshoes at stakes in the ground, which are traditionally placed 40 feet apart...

 joined the roster in 1984, followed by red balloon
A balloon is an inflatable flexible bag filled with a gas, such as helium, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, oxygen, or air. Modern balloons can be made from materials such as rubber, latex, polychloroprene, or a nylon fabric, while some early balloons were made of dried animal bladders, such as the pig...

s in 1989, rainbows in 1992, pots of gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 in 1994, leprechaun
A leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore, usually taking the form of an old man, clad in a red or green coat, who enjoys partaking in mischief. Like other fairy creatures, leprechauns have been linked to the Tuatha Dé Danann of Irish mythology...

 hats in 1996 (temporarily replaced the green clovers), orange shooting star
A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth...

s in 1998 (added blue, green, yellow, purple, and red in 2011.), and an hourglass
An hourglass measures the passage of a few minutes or an hour of time. It has two connected vertical glass bulbs allowing a regulated trickle of material from the top to the bottom. Once the top bulb is empty, it can be inverted to begin timing again. The name hourglass comes from historically...

 in 2008.

Older marshmallows were phased out periodically. The first shapes to be phased out were the yellow moons and blue diamonds, replaced by yellow/orange pots of gold and blue moons respectively in 1994. In 2006, the assortment had changed to purple horseshoes; red balloons; blue half-moons; orange and white shooting stars; yellow and orange pots of gold; pink, yellow, and blue rainbows; two-tone green leprechaun hats; pink hearts (the only shape to survive since the beginning); with the most recent addition being the return of the clovers in 2004. The marshmallows also grew in size in 2004.

Limited Edition Marshmallows

In 1986, a whale-shaped marshmallow was temporarily added to the lineup.

In 1990, green pine tree-shaped marshmallows were temporarily added to the lineup.

In 1991, the star and balloon shape marshmallows were combined for a short time. The red balloon featured a gold six-pointed star; The star was removed at a later date to make the Red Balloon and Star marshmallows separate.

In 1994, sprinkles were temporarily added to the marshmallows.

In 1998, the moon shape marshmallows were modified with the addition of the yellow curve line for a limited time.

In 2000, a "New Sparkling Rainbow" was added to the mix for a limited time. It was described by General Mills as "a sprinkling of multicolored sugar on a white rainbow marbit." This marshmallow replaced the original rainbow at this time.

Theme song

In the earliest commercials, Lucky Charms cereal had no theme song; the action was accompanied by a light instrumental "Irish" tune. Before long, however, a simple two-line tag was added:
Frosted Lucky Charms,
They're magically delicious!

This simple closer, with the kids usually singing the first line and Lucky singing the second, remained into the '80s. Then, with the addition of the purple horseshoe marbit, it was extended into a jingle
A jingle is a short tune used in advertising and for other commercial uses. The jingle contains one or more hooks and lyrics that explicitly promote the product being advertised, usually through the use of one or more advertising slogans. Ad buyers use jingles in radio and television...

 that describes the contents of the box.


  • They're Magically ... Delicious!
  • They're Always After Me
    Possessive me
    Possessive me is the apparent use of "me" in places where English has "my". For example:"That's me house" : [ðæts mi haʊs]This is probably not a result of confusion between the possessive pronoun "my" and the object pronoun "me", as is often believed...

     Lucky Charms!
  • Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, Orange Stars, Green Clovers, and new Blue Diamonds!
  • Pink Hearts, Orange Stars, Yellow Moons, Green Clovers, Blue Diamonds, and Purple Horseshoes! And now with new Red Balloons.
  • Hearts, Stars, and Horseshoes, Clovers, and Blue Moons, Pots of Gold, and Rainbows, and me Red Balloons!

Further reading

An Actor's Odyssey: Orson Welles to Lucky the Leprechaun, by Arthur Anderson. Albany, 2010. BearManor Media. ISBN 1-59393-522-6.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.