Shredded wheat

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Full-sized shredded wheat Two shredded wheat.jpg
Full-sized shredded wheat
A bowl of bite-sized shredded wheat Bite-sized shredded wheat.JPG
A bowl of bite-sized shredded wheat

Shredded wheat is a breakfast cereal made from whole wheat formed into pillow-shaped biscuits. It is commonly available in three sizes: bite-sized (¾×1 in), miniature (nearly half the size of the bite-sized pieces), and original. Both smaller sizes are available in a frosted variety, which has one side coated with sugar and usually gelatin. Some manufacturers have produced "filled" versions of the bite-size cereal containing a raisin at the center, or apricot, blueberry, raspberry, cherry, cranberry or golden syrup filling.

Contents

In the United States, shredded wheat is most heavily advertised and marketed by Post Foods, which acquired the product in 1993 through its parent company, Kraft Foods, buying it from its long-time producer Nabisco. Kellogg's sells eight varieties of miniature, or bite-sized, shredded wheat cereal. Natural and organic manufacturer Barbara's Bakery makes an all-natural version of shredded wheat. In the United Kingdom, the Shredded Wheat brand is owned by Cereal Partners, a Nestlé/General Mills company, although there are many generic versions and variants by different names. It was first made in the United States in 1893, while UK production began in 1926.

History

United States and Canada

Shredded Wheat newspaper ad from 1909. Produced in Niagara Falls, New York Shredded Wheat baseball ad 1909.pdf
Shredded Wheat newspaper ad from 1909. Produced in Niagara Falls, New York
Shredded Wheat factory in Niagara Falls, New York circa 1905. Shredded wheat factory newspaper ad.png
Shredded Wheat factory in Niagara Falls, New York circa 1905.

Henry Perky invented shredded wheat cereal in Denver, Colorado, in 1890, as well as founding the Cereal Machine Company. In 1895, Perky received United States Patent Number 548,086, dated 15 October 1895. The biscuits proved more popular than the machines, so Perky moved East and opened his first bakery in Boston, Massachusetts and then in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1895, retaining the name of The Cereal Machine Company, and adding the name of the Shredded Wheat Company. Inspired by his observation of a dyspeptic diner blending wheat with cream, he developed a method of processing wheat into strips that were formed into pillow-like biscuits. [1] The wheat is first cooked in water until its moisture content reaches about 50%. It is then tempered, allowing moisture to diffuse evenly into the grain. The grain then passes through a set of rollers with grooves in one side, yielding a web of shredded wheat strands. Many webs are stacked together, and this moist stack of strands is crimped at regular intervals to produce individual pieces of cereal with the strands attached at each end. These then go into an oven, where they are baked until their moisture content is reduced to 5%.

Perky first sold his shredded wheat cereal to vegetarian restaurants in 1892, distributing it from a factory in Niagara Falls, New York. A health-oriented publication, The Chicago Vegetarian, recommended the use of shredded wheat biscuits as soup croutons. At the same time, Perky leased cereal-manufacturing machines to bakers in Denver and Colorado Springs through his Cereal Machine Company and sold wheat processors.

One of his wheat-processor buyers, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, admired Perky's manufacturing process for his shredded wheat cereal. [2] Kellogg declined to purchase Perky's patent on it, however, considering it too weak in taste, "like eating a whisk broom." However, after co-founding the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company — later the Kellogg Company cereal manufacturer — with his brother Will Keith Kellogg in 1906, John Kellogg observed the success of Perky's product and offered to buy its patent from him, but at too low a price to pique Perky's interest. [3]

Premiering to the public at Chicago's World Columbian Exposition in 1893, [4] shredded wheat cereal was then manufactured by The Natural Food Company in Niagara Falls, New York in 1901. It became the Shredded Wheat Company in 1904. It was bought by Nabisco (National Biscuit Company) in December 1928. [5]

United States production of Shredded Wheat moved to Naperville, Illinois in 1954, where it is still made. In 1993, Nabisco sold the brand to Kraft General Foods, but it was still under the Nabisco name until 1999, whereupon it was sold under the slogan "Nabisco brought to you by Post."

Canadian production has been at Niagara Falls, Ontario, since 1904 due to nearby hydro-electric power. United States production is also at Niagara Falls, Ontario. Until recently, United States production took place in Niagara Falls, New York, but that factory was closed when production was consolidated on the Canadian side of the border.

In 1920, Henry Perky's son, Scott Henry Perky, developed a round shredded wheat cereal, which he named Muffets. The Muffets Corporation was sold to the Quaker Oats Company in 1927. The cereal is still marketed in Canada as Muffets, but in the U.S. is now sold as Quaker Shredded Wheat.

United Kingdom

Former Shredded Wheat factory (left) in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, UK, in May 2017 Cmglee Welwyn Garden City factory bridge.jpg
Former Shredded Wheat factory (left) in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, UK, in May 2017

History

The original company opened a factory in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire in 1926 at which time Welgar was its registered trade mark, which became part of Nabisco in 1928. [6] The tall concrete cereal silos that form part of the factory are a local landmark and are listed structures. The first 18 storage units were completed in 1926 with a further 27 constructed in 1938, in both instances they were built by Peter Lind & Company of London who continue in business today. In 1988, Nabisco sold the UK site to Rank Hovis McDougall (who made own-label cereals for supermarkets), whose breakfast cereals division briefly became the Shredded Wheat Company. In 1990, RHM sold the site to Cereal Partners. Now, all Shredded Wheat is made at Staverton, Wiltshire near Bath, Somerset, as the Welwyn Garden City site was shut down in 2008. Also, "Bitesize", "Fruitful" and "Honey Nut" Shredded Wheat are made in the UK.

Advertising

Shredded Wheat has a particular place in UK popular culture due to a long-running television advertising campaign. The campaign in the 1970s featured Linda Hoyle, singing the lyrics:

"There are two men in my life,
To one I am a mother,
To the other I'm a wife,
And I give them both the best
With natural Shredded Wheat"

The Three Shredded Wheat campaign, which came later, suggested that the cereal was so nourishing that it was impossible to eat three. Even a black hole was shown as exploding when the third biscuit was sucked into it. Phrases such as I bet you can't eat three and He must have eaten three were in common use as humorous remarks in the 1970s and 1980s, with celebrities such as Brian Clough, Peter Shilton, Richard Kiel and Ian Botham all 'unable' to eat three. [7] [8] A later UK poster advertisement for Carling Black Label showed a bowl with four Shredded Wheat and the caption "I bet he drinks Carling Black Label."

Trademark of the term "Shredded Wheat"

After Henry Perky died in 1908 and the patent on his Shredded Wheat biscuit expired in 1912, John Harvey Kellogg saw that as an opportunity for Kellogg's to sell its own version of the product. Kellogg obtained a patent on the biscuit in 1915, and Kellogg's Shredded Wheat was born. This provoked National Biscuit Company to sue Kellogg for trademark infringement, attempting to enjoin him from using Shredded Wheat as a trade name and from manufacturing the cereal in its pillow-shaped form. This series of litigations led to the United States Supreme Court case Kellogg Co. v. National Biscuit Co. in 1938. [9] The Supreme Court ruled that shredded wheat was generic and not trademarkable; and that in any case, when the first patent for shredded wheat machinery expired in 1912, the right to apply the name "shredded wheat" to the product passed into the public domain along with that patent. [10]

Serving and nutrition

Shredded wheat consists entirely of whole wheat. Two biscuits (47 g.) contain 160 calories, 1 g. of fat and 6 g. of dietary fiber (12.8% by weight). [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

Breakfast cereal Food made from grain

Breakfast cereal is a traditional breakfast made from processed cereal grains. It is traditionally eaten as breakfast primarily in Western societies. Warm cereals like porridge and grits have the longest history. Ready-to-eat cold cereals, appearing around the late 19th century, are most often mixed with milk, but can also be paired with yogurt instead or eaten plain. Fruit or nuts are sometimes added. Many breakfast cereals are produced via extrusion. Some companies promote their products for the health benefits that come from eating oat-based and high-fiber cereals. In the United States, cereals are often fortified with vitamins but can still lack many of the vitamins needed for a healthy breakfast. A significant proportion of cereals are made with high sugar content. Many are marketed towards children, feature a cartoon mascot, and may contain a toy or prize.

Corn flakes Type of breakfast cereal

Corn flakes, or cornflakes, is a breakfast cereal made by toasting flakes of corn (maize). The cereal was created by William Kellogg in 1894 for his brother John Kellogg. John Kellogg wanted a food that would be healthy for the patients of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan where he was superintendent. The breakfast cereal proved popular among the patients, but Will Kellogg wanted to add sugar to increase the popularity. John Kellogg did not approve of this, so Will Kellogg started his own company Kellogg Company to produce corn flakes for the wider public. A patent for the process was granted in 1896, after a legal battle between the two brothers. Cornflakes are an amazing breakfast snack.

Nabisco American snack company

Nabisco is an American manufacturer of cookies and snacks headquartered in East Hanover, New Jersey. The company is a subsidiary of Illinois-based Mondelēz International.

Welwyn Garden City Human settlement in England

Welwyn Garden City is a city in Hertfordshire, England. It is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) from Kings Cross, London. Welwyn Garden City was the second garden city in England and one of the first new towns.

Kelloggs American food company

The Kellogg Company, doing business as Kellogg's, is an American multinational food manufacturing company headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States. Kellogg's produces cereal and convenience foods, including crackers and toaster pastries and markets their products by several well known brands including Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Pringles, Eggo, and Cheez-It. Kellogg's mission statement is "Nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive."

Rice Krispies Brand of American cereal

Rice Krispies is a breakfast cereal marketed by Kellogg's in 1927 and released to the public in 1928. Rice Krispies are made of crisped rice, and expand forming very thin and hollowed out walls that are crunchy and crisp. When milk is added to the cereal the walls tend to collapse, creating the "Snap, crackle, and pop" sounds.

Triscuit Snack crackers

Triscuit is a brand name of snack crackers produced by Nabisco, which take the form of square baked whole wheat wafers. They were invented in 1900, a patent was granted in 1902, and the Shredded Wheat Company in Niagara Falls, New York, began production the next year.

Post Consumer Brands is an American consumer cereal manufacturer that makes Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles, Great Grains, Post Shredded Wheat, Post Raisin Bran, Grape-Nuts, Honeycomb, Frosted Mini Spooners, Golden Crisp, Oh's, Cinnamon Toasters, Fruity Dyno-Bites, Cocoa Dyno-Bites, Berry Colossal Crunch and Malt-O-Meal hot wheat cereal.

Cereal Partners Worldwide

Cereal Partners Worldwide S.A. is a joint venture between General Mills and Nestlé, established in 1991 to produce breakfast cereals. The company is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, and markets cereals in more than 130 countries.

Shreddies Whole Grain Breakfast Cereal

Shreddies are a breakfast cereal made from lattices of wholegrain wheat.

Sunshine Biscuits

Sunshine Biscuits was an independent American baker of cookies, crackers, and cereals. The company, whose brand still appears today on a few products, was purchased by Keebler Company in 1996, which was subsequently purchased by Kellogg Company in 2000. Around that time, Sunshine Biscuits was headquartered in Elmhurst, Illinois, the same town in which Keebler was located until 2001.

Henry Perky American inventor

Henry Drushel Perky was a lawyer, businessman, promoter and inventor. Perky is the inventor of shredded wheat.

Frosted Mini-Wheats breakfast cereal manufactured by Kelloggs

Frosted Mini-Wheats is a breakfast cereal manufactured by Kellogg's consisting of shredded wheat cereal pieces and frosting.

Weetabix trademark of breakfast cereal

Weetabix is a whole-grain wheat breakfast cereal produced by Weetabix Limited in the United Kingdom. It comes in the form of palm-sized rounded rectangle-shaped biscuits. Variants include organic and Weetabix Crispy Minis (bite-sized) versions. The UK cereal is manufactured in Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, and exported to over 80 countries. Weetabix for Canada and the United States is manufactured in Cobourg, Ontario, in both organic and conventional versions.

Raisin Wheats

Raisin Wheats is a Kellogg's breakfast cereal available in the United Kingdom, made from shredded wholegrain wheat and filled with raisin. The cereal is made in bite-sized pieces measuring 3/4in x 1in and is packaged in boxes weighing 0.5 kg.

Milk-Bone

Milk-Bone is a brand of dog biscuit. It was created in 1908 by the F. H. Bennett Biscuit Company, which operated a bakery on the Lower East Side of New York City. Originally named Maltoid, the biscuit was a bone-shaped treat made from minerals, meat products, and milk. Sometime between 1915 and 1926, the biscuit was simply named "Milk-Bone", owing to the high composition of cow's milk. In 1931, the bakery was acquired by the National Biscuit Company. The biscuit was the only Bennett product carried over after the acquisition.

Kellogg Co. v. National Biscuit Co., 305 U.S. 111 (1938), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled that the Kellogg Company was not violating any trademark or unfair competition laws when it manufactured its own Shredded Wheat breakfast cereal, which had originally been invented by the National Biscuit Company. Kellogg's version of the product was of an essentially identical shape, and was also marketed as "Shredded Wheat"; but Nabisco's patents had expired, and its trademark application for the term "Shredded Wheat" had been turned down as a descriptive, non-trademarkable term.

Welwyn Studios was a British film studio located at Broadwater Road, Welwyn Garden City, in Hertfordshire. The facility operated between 1928 and 1950.

Shirriff is the brand name of several food products first produced by the defunct Shirriff family food products company in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

References

  1. Snodgrass, Mary Ellen, Encyclopedia of Kitchen History, London: Routledge, 2004, p. 180.
  2. Snodgrass, op. cit.
  3. Ludacer, Randy, "Shredded Wheat Documents: Cereal as Intellectual Property," Beach Packaging Design, April 19, 2011.
  4. Di Cola, Joseph M., and David Stone, Images of America: Chicago's 1893 World's Fair, Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2012, p. 8.
  5. Smith, Andrew F. (2013-10-28). Food and Drink in American History: A "Full Course" Encyclopedia [3 Volumes]: A "Full Course" Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN   978-1-61069-233-5.
  6. Butterfield, Richard J: The Industrial Archaeology of the Twentieth Century: The Shredded Wheat Factory at Welwyn Garden City in Industrial Archaeology Review: Volume 16 (1994), page 196 ff.
  7. "CDP Classic ads - Shredded Wheat (1980-1981)" . Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  8. "AOL On".
  9. Ludacer, op. cit.
  10. "KELLOGG CO. v. NATIONAL BISCUIT CO". Findlaw.
  11. "Post Shredded Wheat Original Nuturition" . Retrieved 10 March 2013.