When I bring up OJ cereal to a modern audience they usually grimace or roll their eyes at the idea of an orange-flavored cereal, but those same people will happily eat an entire box of Froot Loops.
Released in 1985, OJs were an amazing orange-flavored cereal with the “wholesome goodness of real orange juice.” In the eighties, like in many decades, Vitamin C was considered a staple of health, and OJs leaned into that characteristic of oranges. Claiming that each serving of OJs has the Vitamin C equivalent of a four-ounce glass of orange juice.
To sell the cereal, they enlisted an orange riding cowboy named, OJ Joe. Which in retrospect seems rather random. Still, it is pretty great seeing a an animated cowboy riding a non-animated orange.
OJs are also fondly remembered because they were released when Kellogg was running a great transforming toy premium, the Starbot.
As well as an offer for a free Wendy’s Frosty.
OJ’s got their start as a reaction to the failure of the Star Wars-branded C3P0’s the year before and Kellogg was hopeful that OJ’s would give them traction in the youth market.
Prices for a box of OJ’s could vary. I have found them as low as 69 cents a box in 1986 when they were on their way out. The general price I found during the year they were released was $1.39. This was cheaper than a lot of the other popular sweetened cereals that were available.
For those who never ate OJs, they were amazing and wonderful and the mainstream audience just couldn’t wrap their narrow minds around just how lucky they were to be alive.
Because of this, OJs didn’t last very long and fans were left sorting out their Froot Loops into different flavors trying to chase the taste ever since (sadly all the Loops taste the same — so it doesn’t work).
I have been trying to confirm this, but I have read that announcer in the OJs commercial, not the voice of OJ Joe, is actually Russell Horton. Horton is best known for providing the voice of the Trix Rabbit.