This is One of Michigan’s Most Famous Products – But Who Uses It?
One of Michigan's most famous food products is Postum.....but I don't know anyone who has ever tried it. I used to see it all the time at the grocery store but haven't seen it for awhile. It always confused me...”what is that stuff, anyhow?”
Postum still confuses a number of people...just what is it?
Is it a drink?
Is it cereal?
Both - It's a drink made from cereal.
“It looks yucky” as one person in the store said.
I never drank it, bought it, or even had a quick taste. I can't comment on it because in all my years, I never even gave it a thought...until now.
Postum was created in Battle Creek by C.W. Post in 1895 as a healthy alternative to tea and coffee...a breakfast drink made from wheat and molasses. It originally had to be boiled until the instant version debuted in 1912. Post went out of his way in advertising, exaggerating the point that haggard people probably drink coffee...Postum drinkers are happy, healthy, and have good eyesight. In a page taken from a Postum instruction booklet, it reads:
1) “The first cup of Postum is not always good, for cook fails to boil it long enough. Try again!”
2) “The second cup followed directions (easy) and secured a fascinating delicious coffee with the mild flavor and color of java. Such fun!”
3) “The third cup of Postum; no more shaky nerves, dyspepsia, etc. from coffee; can eat and sleep!”
By the way, you'll see that page in the photo gallery below.
Sounds like ol' Post was having problems getting Postum rolling. But with this aggressive advertising, Postum soon became extremely popular. The main slogan, “there's a reason”, was aimed at the dangers of drinking tea and coffee, and there was “a reason” to drink Postum.
According to Postum's advertising campaign, coffee was responsible for lost eyesight, irritability, lack of sports ability, and heart problems.
When coffee was rationed during World War II, the alternative was Postum, and sales skyrocketed.
In the Sunday comics section, there were little Postum ads disguised to look like a comic strip that featured Postum's arch-villain, “Mister Coffee Nerves”. He was responsible for coffee drinkers to feel like garbage until Postum comes along and saves the day, taking them away from their coffee habit (see gallery below).
After being bought out by Kraft, Postum was discontinued in 2007. After being purchased by Eliza’s Quest Food, it was back on shelves by 2013.
Have you seen it anywhere?
Maybe if there's some still out there, I may give it a shot....we'll see.