People have very strong feelings about breakfast cereal. Breakfast cereals — especially the sugary ones — are commonly associated with childhood, so a favorite brand inspires feelings of intense loyalty and nostalgia. And finding out someone loves the same breakfast cereal can inspire instant camaraderie. Just last weekend, a new friend mentioned that her favorite cereal was also Cap'n Crunch, and we spent the next 20 minutes swapping war stories about shredding the roofs of our mouths on our favorite breakfast cereal.
This year for National Cereal Day, Food & Wine's Nina Friend went to Google Trends to find out which cereal brands were the most popular, and the results are pretty surprising. I would have expected Corn Flakes or Cheerios to take the lead spot. Or maybe Rice Krispies, because it's a classic breakfast cereal and also the key ingredient in Rice Krispies treats, which are one of the best and fastest desserts a person can make. (Try upping your Rice Krispies Treats game with this recipe for salted brown butter Rice Krispies treats.) But those classic, relatively un-sugared cereals barely registered.
Every state has its most-searched-for cereal, and according to Google Trends data, the most popular cereal overall appears to be Oreo O's. They're crunchy, chocolatey O-shaped cereal pieces covered in "a rich creme coating," and Post boasts that after the cereal is gone you'll have a bowl full of "cookie milk."
Oreo O's are apparently the most searched-for cereal in 14 states, including Illinois and Indiana. Those are my home state and my current one, and now I'm feeling a little unmoored from my community, because I've never eaten an Oreo O. Is everyone hanging out and eating Oreo O's without me?
The second most popular cereal on the list is Life cereal, which topped the results in 11 states.
One of the most interesting things about this list is looking at which states like cereals that don't appear anywhere else on the list. Wyoming is into All-Bran, apparently, while Montana likes the retro-chic Count Chocula.
North Dakota's most popular cereal is Kashi. That one surprised me, because I'd have expected to see Kashi over in California, which has a reputation for liking healthful, crunchy foods, but California is one of the 11 states where Life is the most popular cereal. And somehow, among all 50 states, only Idaho recognizes the inherent superiority of my beloved Cap'n Crunch.
You can check out the complete list of the most popular cereals by state over at Food and Wine.
What's your favorite breakfast cereal?