Lucky Charms

A box of Lucky Charms from 2011

Lucky Charms is a brand of cereal produced by the General Mills food company of Golden Valley, Minnesota, United States. It first appeared in stores in 1964.[1] The cereal consists of two main components: toasted oat-based pieces and multi-colored marshmallow bits (marbits) in various shapes, the latter making up over 25 percent of the cereal's volume.[2] The label features a leprechaun mascot, Lucky, animated in commercials.



Lucky Charms was created in 1962 by John Holahan. General Mills had challenged a team of new product developers to use the available manufacturing capacity from either of General Mills' two principal cereal products—Wheaties or Cheerios—and do something unique to them. Holahan came up with the idea after a visit to the grocery store in which he decided to mix Cheerios with bits of Brach's Circus Peanuts.[3]

An advertising company employed by General Mills and Company suggested revolving the marketing of the new cereal around the idea of charm bracelets.[2] Thus, the charms of Lucky Charms were born. The mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun (also known as Sir Charms, and originally called L.C. Leprechaun), was created in 1963, a cartoon character whose voice was supplied by Arthur Anderson until 1992.[4] The oat cereal originally was not sugar coated. After initial sales failed to meet expectations, the oats became sugar coated, and the cereal's success grew. Following the product launch, the General Mills marketing department found that sales performed dramatically better if the composition of the marbits changed periodically.[2] Various other features of the marbits were also modified to maximize their appeal to the cereal's target market, young consumers. In focus groups and market research, more brightly colored charms resulted in better sales than did dull or pastel colors.[2] Holahan called Lucky Charms a "lesson in creative marketing."[5] Currently, General Mills conducts frequent "concept-ideation" studies on Lucky Charms.[2]

Lucky Charms was sold in the United Kingdom during the mid 1990s. Today, people from Britain can still get the cereal, either from TK Maxx, eBay, Amazon, Selfridges, or through specialist importers.


The first boxes of Lucky Charms cereal contained marshmallows in the shapes of pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers. The lineup has changed occasionally over the years, beginning with the introduction of blue diamonds in 1975. Purple horseshoes joined the roster in 1984, followed by red balloons in 1989, rainbows in 1992, pots of gold in 1994, leprechaun hats in 1996 (temporarily replaced the green clovers), orange shooting stars in 1998 (added blue, green, yellow, purple, and red in 2011.), and an hourglass in 2008.[2]

Older marshmallows were phased out periodically. The first shapes to be phased out were the yellow moons and blue diamonds, as General Mills introduced their "Pot of Gold" marshmallow, and the moon marshmallows became blue. In 2006, the assortment had changed to purple horseshoes; red balloons; blue half-moons; orange and white shooting stars; yellow and orange pots of gold; pink, yellow, and blue rainbows; two-tone green leprechaun hats; pink hearts (the only shape to survive since the beginning); with the most recent addition being the return of the clovers in 2004. The marshmallows also grew in size in 2004.[6]

Recent changes to the marshmallows include: the star shape took more of a "shooting star" design, the orange five-pointed star being added together with a white "trail". More recently, in late 2005 another different kind of marshmallow was added, the "Hidden Key". It is a solid yellow marshmallow that resembles the shape of an arched door (similar to the shape of a tombstone; flat at the bottom, flat sides with a round top). When liquid is added to the cereal, the sugar inside the marshmallow dissolves and the shape of a skeleton key "appears" as if "by magic". The new tagline for this is "Unlock the door with milk!" This "new" marshmallow type has been used in other kinds of hot and cold cereals, but with mixed success (from characters "hidden" inside a bigger marshmallow to letters appearing). In early June 2006, General Mills introduced a new Lucky Charms marshmallow, Magic Mirror marshmallows. In 2008, yellow and orange hourglass marshmallows were introduced (along with a new contemporary for Lucky named the Emerald Elder) with the marketing tagline of "The Hourglass Charm has the power to Stop Time * Speed Up Time * Reverse Time". As of 2010, there are swirled marshmallows.[citation needed]

Limited Edition Marshmallows

In 1986, a whale-shaped marshmallow was temporarily added to the lineup.

In 1990, green pine tree-shaped marshmallows were temporarily added to the lineup.

In 1991, the star and balloon shape marshmallows were combined for a short time. The red balloon featured a gold six-pointed star; The star was removed at a later date to make the Red Balloon and Star marshmallows separate.

In 1994, sprinkles were temporarily added to the marshmallows.

In 1998, the moon shape marshmallows were modified with the addition of the yellow curve line for a limited time.

In 2000, a "New Sparkling Rainbow" was added to the mix for a limited time. It was described by General Mills as "a sprinkling of multicolored sugar on a white rainbow marbit." This marshmallow replaced the original rainbow at this time.[7]

Theme song

In the earliest commercials, Lucky Charms cereal had no theme song; the action was accompanied by a light instrumental "Irish" tune. Before long, however, a simple two-line tag was added:

Frosted Lucky Charms,
They're magically delicious!

This simple closer, with the kids usually singing the first line and Lucky singing the second, remained into the '80s. Then, with the addition of the purple horseshoe marbit, it was extended into a jingle that describes the contents of the box.[8]


  • They're Magically ... Delicious!
  • They're Always After Me Lucky Charms!
  • Pink Hearts, Yellow Moons, Orange Stars, Green Clovers, and new Blue Diamonds!
  • Pink Hearts, Orange Stars, Yellow Moons, Green Clovers, Blue Diamonds, and Purple Horseshoes! And now with new Red Balloons.
  • Hearts, Stars, and Horseshoes, Clovers, and Blue Moons, Pots of Gold, and Rainbows, and me Red Balloons!


Further reading

An Actor's Odyssey: Orson Welles to Lucky the Leprechaun, by Arthur Anderson. Albany, 2010. BearManor Media. ISBN 1-59393-522-6.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lucky Charms — noun A breakfast cereal containing a combination of wheat based pieces and marshmallows shaped like various objects which symbolize good luck in different cultures. He holds a bowl of Lucky Charms in his left hand and extends his right. I dont… …   Wiktionary

  • Lucky Charms (disambiguation) — Lucky Charms in Western Culture *Four leaf clover *Rabbit s foot *Horseshoe *Charm bracelet *Wishbone *Male Tortoiseshell CatLucky Charms in Other CulturesOther Uses *Lucky Charm, a song by The Apples in Stereo *Lucky Charm, a song by The Isley… …   Wikipedia

  • Lucky — is an adjective that means favored by, or producing, luck or good fortune. Lucky may also refer to: Animals*Lucky (dog), a Bouvier des Flandres owned by US President Ronald Reagan *Lucky the Rabbit, an American rabbit that survived torture with… …   Wikipedia

  • charms, material —    The etymology of the word charm (from Latin carmen, a chant ) shows that in medieval times it meant verbal formulas (see next entry), but in modern languages it is far more widely applied. All the varied objects which are worn, carried, or… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • lucky beans —    A number of types of beans and large seeds are regularly washed up on the western shores of Britain, having been carried by the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean or South America, and there is a long tradition of these being found and treasured… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • Music Hath Charms — is a 1935 British musical film directed by Thomas Bentley. Walter Summers, Arthur B. Woods and Alexander Esway, and starring Henry Hall, Carol Goodner and Arthur Margetson.[1] Cast Henry Hall Himself W.H. Berry Basil Turner Carol Goodner Mrs.… …   Wikipedia

  • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit — Oswald le lapin chanceux Oswald le lapin chanceux Logo promotionnel d Oswald par le studio Disney vers 1927 Titre original Oswald the Lucky Rabbit Genre courts métrages animés Noir Blanc puis couleur Créateur(s …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mr. Lucky (film) — Mr. Lucky Film Poster Directed by H.C. Potter Produced by David Hempstead …   Wikipedia

  • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit filmography — The following is a complete list of cartoons starring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Walt Disney produced 26 cartoons during 1927–1928, 26 cartoons were produced after Walt Disney s departure during in the Winkler years (1928–1929), and 142 cartoons… …   Wikipedia

  • Chucky\ Larms — Lucky Charms mixed up, may get a laugh out of someone who hasn t quite awakened. Pass the Chucky Larms, please …   Dictionary of american slang

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.