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Corn Pops is a breakfast cereal made by Kellogg's, described by the company as "crunchy sweetened popped-up corn cereal." Originally called Sugar Pops, it was introduced in 1951 as the sponsor for "The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" radio show. The name was changed to Sugar Corn Pops in 1978, and finally to Corn Pops in 1984, a time when many cereals dropped the word "Sugar" from their titles. In January 2006, the name of the cereal was changed to Pops, but after a few months of poor reception, was changed back to Corn Pops. Sometimes, this cereal is just referred to as Pops.
In mid-2007, Corn Pops launched its first line extension in many years called "Chocolate Peanut Butter Pops." In 2012, "Cinnamon Corn Pops" were introduced.
Corn Pops are made from milled corn and the American version has a flattened, smooth, bumpy shape. Canadian Corn Pops look very different; they are spherical and have a porous surface, similar to Kix cereal. The taste and texture of the Canadian and American versions of the cereal differ considerably despite sharing the same name and manufacturer. Kellogg's says this is due to raw ingredients and the regulatory agencies that exist in a particular country, and that its cereal differs by country also by virtue of marketing and culture. Research is done in different countries to determine preferences, and the formula for the cereal is changed accordingly, affecting the texture, color, and nutrition. The fat, cholesterol, and protein content is the same.
Unlike the vast majority of breakfast cereals, Corn Pops are packaged in a foil-lined bag. This helps to prevent the Pops from going stale and from secreting a sticky substance that causes the corn pops to stick together (a problem caused by the method by which the cereal is processed). Honey Smacks, also made by Kellogg's, uses the same bag Corn Pops uses. The Canadian version of Corn Pops is packaged in a standard plastic cereal bag.
Although the cereal contains partially hydrogenated fats, it is marketed as trans-fat free since the amount of trans fat per serving is less than the threshold 0.5 grams/serving. However, this amount can still contain nickel from processing, and should be avoided by those with nickel allergies. The cereal also contains monoglycerides and diglycerides used to bind saturated fat. This is in addition to butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
From day one, Woody Woodpecker was the mascot of Sugar Pops, from 1959 until 1967, the next mascot for the cereal was "Sugar Pops Pete," a prairie dog dressed as a cowboy with two "six-shooters" with red and white spiral-striped barrels. Pete and the other actors in the commercial sang the following jingle: "Oh, the Pops are sweeter and the taste is new. They're shot with sugar, through and through. . . . Sugar Pops are tops!" From 1968 to 1977, the mascot was the "Whippersnapper," a live-action, whip-cracking cowboy. From 1980 to 1983, a female porcupine named "Poppy" represented the cereal. Poppy carried around a yellow suitcase which contained a complete breakfast setting, meeting the by-then industry-standard "part of a complete breakfast" tagline. In early 2009, a live actor dressed up as a Corn Pops puff became the new mascot of Corn Pops. Then, in mid-2009, Kellogg's introduced an alternative mascot named the "Sweet Toothasaur," consisting of the upside down bottom half of an actor's face, with a green felt cap with googly eyes and red paper horns on the actor's chin.
Unlike American Corn Pops, in Canada and in Europe (in France it is called Miel Pops - meaning Honey Pops) the cereal consists of small, spherical, uniform balls. Both versions are crunchier and have a different taste.
In the early '90s, Corn Pops were introduced in the United Kingdom, but by the late '90s were no longer available. The tag line used in the UK was different: "You can't stop a corn popper popping more corn." Corn Pops sponsored UK boy band Take That's 1994 tour, known as "The Pops Tour". Recently, they have been revived as Honey Pops to suit the British market, and have Pops from Miel Pops be its mascot, as well as for Honey Loops, replacing Loopy.
Corn pops in Russia are issued in the form of sticks since 1967. The original technology was developed by W. Krikunov. Now corn pops with powdered sugar are widely made in all regions of Russia and are on sale as the widespread children's delicacy under various trademarks.