why cornflakes were invented


Discover the fascinating history behind the invention of cornflakes, a beloved breakfast cereal enjoyed by millions around the world. This article explores the origins of cornflakes, the visionaries behind the creation, and the reasons why this crunchy delight became a household staple.

The Birth of Cornflakes

Cornflakes were invented in the late 19th century by two brothers, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and Will Keith Kellogg, who were dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle. They were part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s community in Battle Creek, Michigan. The Kellogg brothers believed that a vegetarian diet promoted better physical and mental health.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg’s Experiment

why cornflakes were invented

Dr. Kellogg, a physician and the superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, accidentally stumbled upon the concept of cornflakes. One day, he left some boiled wheat sitting out, and it went stale. Rather than discarding it, he decided to roll it out, resulting in thin flakes. Dr. Kellogg baked these flakes in the oven, creating a crispy, nutritious food that he called “Granose.”

The Role of Will Keith Kellogg

Will Keith Kellogg, younger brother of Dr. Kellogg, played an instrumental role in popularizing cornflakes. Working as the manager of the Battle Creek Sanitarium’s dietary department, he discovered a way to improve upon his brother’s creation. In 1906, Will Keith Kellogg made a breakthrough by accidentally leaving freshly cooked cornmeal sitting out overnight. The cornmeal was flaky when he rolled it out, resulting in the birth of cornflakes as we know them today.

The Impact of the Kellogg Brothers’ Invention

The Kellogg brothers’ invention of cornflakes revolutionized the way people consumed breakfast. Here are some key reasons behind the popularity and success of cornflakes:

Health Benefits

At the time, breakfast options were often heavy, fatty, and difficult to digest. Cornflakes, on the other hand, provided a lighter, grain-based alternative. They were easy to digest and contained essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, fiber, and proteins, making them a healthier choice for breakfast.

Convenience and Meal Accessibility

Cornflakes were easily prepared by simply pouring milk over them, requiring no extensive cooking or preparation time. This convenience meant that even busy individuals could enjoy a nutritious breakfast without sacrificing time or health.

Marketing and Promotion

Will Keith Kellogg had a flair for marketing and recognized the potential of cornflakes to become a commercial success. He invested heavily in advertising and promotional campaigns, targeting not only the health benefits but also the convenience and great taste of cornflakes.

Cornflakes Today

In the modern era, cornflakes have become a staple in households worldwide. With numerous variations like honey, chocolate, and fruit-flavored options, cornflakes have evolved to suit various taste preferences. They continue to be a popular choice for breakfast due to their convenience, health benefits, and versatility in usage.


The invention of cornflakes by the Kellogg brothers transformed the breakfast landscape and paved the way for healthier morning meals. Their commitment to promoting a vegetarian diet and a healthy lifestyle led to the creation of an iconic cereal loved by many to this day. Whether enjoyed with milk, topped with fresh fruits, or used in creative recipes, cornflakes have proven to be a timeless favorite.

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