Honey Smacks is a sweetened puffed wheat breakfast cereal made by Kellogg’s. Introduced in 1953, the cereal has undergone several name changes. It started out as Sugar Smacks. In the 1980s, it was renamed Honey Smacks. In the early 1990s, perhaps because the product mascot, Dig’em Frog, had customarily been portrayed as calling the cereal “Smacks”, the word “Honey” was dropped from the name and the product was then simply called Smacks. That name is still used in Germany , Spain , Benelux and France . However, in the US and UK the cereal’s name reverted to Honey Smacks in 2004.
In Norway and Finland , it is known as “Honni Korn Smacks”.
In Australia, the cereal had been known as Honey Smacks since the 1970s. However Kelloggs Australia no longer markets the brand . In 2007 a minor consumer petition was launched calling for the re-instatement of the product. Honey Smacks are no longer sold in Italy or Mexico either.
In a 2008 comparison of the nutritional value of 27 cereals, U.S. magazine Consumer Reports found that both Honey Smacks and Post Cereals’ Golden Crisp were the two brands with the highest sugar content – more than 50 percent (by weight) -, commenting “There is at least as much sugar in a serving of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks [...] as there is in a glazed doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts”. (The cereals are both sweetened puffed wheat.) Consumer Reports recommended parents to choose cereal brands with better nutrition ratings for their children.
Several slogans have been used in the advertising of Honey Smacks, including “They’re Honey Smackin’ good!” from 1984 to 1987, “I Dig’em” from 1991 to 1994, and “Satis-Smack-tion!” from 1995 to 1997.
Various clowns served as the advertising mascot from 1953 to 1956 , including Cliffy the Clown. In 1957, a sailor-suit-wearing seal named Smaxey became the mascot. The Hanna-Barbera cartoon horse sheriff Quick Draw McGraw took over in 1961, followed in 1965 by The Smackin’ Bandit, a half-mule, half-kangaroo who kissed everyone in sight. He was replaced in 1966 by the Smackin’ Brothers, two boys dressed in boxing shorts and boxing gloves. Also during 1966, promotional box designs were briefly introduced featuring characters from Star Trek.
In the early 1970s, an Indian Chief appeared briefly, replaced by Dig ‘Em Frog in 1972 . He continued as spokesfrog when the cereal was rechristened Honey Smacks. Dig ‘Em was replaced by an animal more associated with honey, Wally the Bear, in 1986 (1984 in France ), but was brought back by popular demand in 1987. During the 1990s, advertising campaigns for the cereal featured Dig ‘Em attempting to have a bowl of Smacks while trying to outsmart his nemesis, Kitty. By 1997, these commercials were discontinued. Dig’em’s voice was provided by Len Dresslar and for present the character is voiced in commercials by Frank Welker.
In the United Kingdom, the cereal was promoted with the character Barney Bee and rivaled Quaker’s Sugar Puffs brand. However, due to Sugar Puffs’ long established popularity, “Puffa Wheats”, as they are now called, are only available in Poundland or other Pound stores in the United Kingdom.
In France the cereal was called “Smacks” with a box featuring prominently in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 film Alphaville.
* Quaker’s Sugar Puffs
* Aldi stores sell a similar product called Honey Wheats manufactured under the GoldenVale brand.
* Honey Wheat (no ‘s’) is essentially the same product produced with the Fit & Activ monicker by De-Vau-Ge Gesundkostwerk GmbH.