Remember When We Could Tour Kellogg’s and Post Cereal Factories in Battle Creek?
I remember being a kid going on a class field trip to tour the cereal factories in Battle Creek: Kellogg’s and Post. Unfortunately, for today’s youth – as well as the old-timers – the tours are no more. The smell of the entire factory reeked of corn flakes and I can still remember that smell…and the free stuff! They’d hand out boxes of cereal, snack-packs and other cereal-related items ‘n stuff. Does anyone still have any of the cereal tour memorabilia and souvenirs?
CHECK OUT THE ABOVE PHOTO GALLERY FOR PICTURES INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE FACTORIES.
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was the man chiefly responsible for Battle Creek’s cereal boom; he was chief medical officer of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in the late 1800’s and worked on diets to help his patients. His first cereal creation were flakes made of wheat, used to replace bread. His brother went ahead and began marketing these health flakes as breakfast food and the empire began. It didn’t take long for Battle Creek to become the “Cereal Capital of the World.”
But how about Post cereal, just a block or so away from Kellogg’s?
The Post Cereal company was founded by Charles William Post in 1895.
Just who WAS this Post guy?
Post had been a sanitarium patient of Dr. Kellogg’s! He was inspired to kick off his own cereal brand by the newfangled cereals that Kellogg was making for his patients. In 1895 he created his first product: a breakfast grain beverage to substitute for coffee called “Postum.” This was followed by his first attempt at cereal, “Grape-Nuts” in 1897. These were followed up by “Elijah’s Manna” which would later be re-named and become world-famous as “Post Toasties.”
After years of mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs Way too many to mention here), Post is now called Post Consumer Brands and is located in Lakeville, Minnesota.
Sadly, the Kellogg tours ceased in 1987, but was replaced with a wacky, partially-fictionalized version of cereal manufacture in Cereal City USA. That closed up in 2007.
The Battle Creek History Museum is currently working on preserving tons of Battle Creek history, including Kellogg’s & Post cereal history. The museum is located at 307 W. Jackson Street, and is a work in progress. Hopefully, someday, there will be an extraordinary exhibit of these two cereal giants, with many items from those old tours we took as schoolkids. Keep an eye on the museum’s progress by checking out their website.
And for my parting words, these were Dr. Kellogg’s words of wisdom:
“Eat what the monkey eats…..simple food and not too much of it.”