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The Quaker Oats Company is an Americanmarker food conglomerate based in Chicagomarker.

Early history

1905 magazine advertisement
Quaker Oats was founded in 1901 by the merger of four oat mills:

  • The Quaker Mill Company of Ravennamarker, Ohiomarker, which held the trademark on the Quaker name, and was founded by Henry Parsons Crowell, bought the bankrupt Quaker Oat Mill Company also in Ravenna, OH. He was holding the key positions between the general manager, president and chairman of the company from 1888 until late 1943. He was called the cereal tycoon. He donated more than 70% of his wealth to Crowell Trust.
  • A cereal mill in Cedar Rapidsmarker, Iowamarker owned by John Stuart, his son Robert Stuart, and their partner George Douglas;
  • The German Mills American Oatmeal Company, owned by "The Oatmeal King", Ferdinand Schumacher of Akronmarker, Ohiomarker;
  • The Rob Lewis & Co. American Oats and Barley Oatmeal Corporation. Formally known as "Good For Breakfast" instant oatmeal mix.

The company expanded into numerous areas, including other breakfast cereals and other food and drink products, and even into non-related fields such as toys. In August 2001, Quaker merged with PepsiCo.

Modern history

In 1969, Quaker acquired Fisher-Price, a toy company and spun it off in 1991.

In the 1970s, the company financed the making of the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, obtaining in return a license to use a number of the product names mentioned in the movie for candy bars.

Quaker bought Snapple for $1.7 billion in 1994 and sold it to Triarc in 1997 for $300 million. Triarc sold it to Cadbury Schweppes for $1.45 billion in September 2000. It was spun off in May 2008 to its current owners, Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

In August 2001, Quaker was bought out by Pepsico because Pepsi wanted to add Gatorade to its arsenal of beverages and thus break into the isotonic sports beverage market. The merger created the fourth-largest consumer goods company in the world. Though the main prize for PepsiCo was Gatorade noncarbonated sports drink, Quaker's cereal and snack food division serves as seemingly healthier complement to the existing Frito-Lay salty-snacks division.

Since the late 1980s, actor Wilford Brimley has appeared in television commercials extolling the virtues of oat consumption, typically to a young child, as to introduce the concept of oatmeal consumption as a long tradition.

History in Canada

The major Canadian production facility for Quaker Oats is located in Peterboroughmarker, Ontariomarker. The factory was first established as the American Cereal Company in 1902 on the shores of the Otonabee River during that city's period of industrialization. In 1916, the factory all but completely burned to the ground. When the smoke had settled, 23 people had died and Quaker was left with $2,000,000 in damages. Quaker went on to rebuild the facility incorporating the few areas of the structure that were not destroyed by fire, creating what is today still the most visibly recognizable industrial facility in Peterboroughmarker. When PepsiCo purchased Quaker Oats in 2001, many brands were consolidated from facilities around Canada to the Peterborough location - which assumed the new QTG moniker (Quaker Tropicana Gatorade). Local production includes Quaker Oatmeal, Quaker Chewy bars, Cap'n Crunch cereal, Aunt Jemima instant pancake mixes and pancake syrups, Quaker Oat Bran and Corn Bran cereals, Gatorade sportdrinks and the Propel fitness water sub-brand, Tropicana juices, and various Frito-Lay snack products. Products are easily identified by the manufactured by address on the packaging. The Peterborough facility exports to the majority of Canadamarker and limited portions of the United Statesmarker. The Quaker plant sells cereal production byproducts to companies that use them to create fire logs, pellets and janks.

Informed Consent Controversy, Research on Children

In the 1950s, researchers from Quaker Oats Company, MITmarker and Harvard Universitymarker carried out experiments at the Walter E.marker Fernald State Schoolmarker to determine how the minerals from cereals were metabolized. Parents of mentally challenged children were asked for permission to let their children be members of a Science Club and participate in research. Being a member of the Science Club gave the children special privileges. The parents were told that the children would be fed with a diet high in nutrients. They were not, however, told (and the consent form contained no information indicating) that the food their children were fed contained radioactive calcium and iron.The information obtained from the experiments was to be used as part of an advertising campaign. The company was later sued because of the experiments. The lawsuit was settled on December 31, 1997.

Logo and Quakers

The monochromatic 1971 Quaker Oats Company Logo was created by Saul Bass, a graphic designer known for his motion picture title sequences and corporate logos. The current logo (on which the Saul Bass logo was apparently modeled) was painted by Haddon Sundblom in 1957. Although it is popularly believed that the man on the box is Province of Pennsylvania founder, namesake and Quaker William Penn, the company states that "The 'Quaker man' is not an actual person", but is instead a generic representation of a "man dressed in Quaker garb"

The company has no formal ties with the Religious Society of Friends . When the company was being built up, Quaker businesspeople were known for theirhonesty (Truth is often considered a Quaker testimony). The Straight Dope writes "According to the good folks at Quaker Oats, the Quaker Man was America's first registered trademark for a breakfast cereal, his registration taking place on September 4th, 1877. "The name was chosen when Quaker Mill partner Henry Seymour found an encyclopedia article on Quakers and decided that the qualities described — integrity, honesty, purity — provided an appropriate identity for his company's oat product." H2g2 tells that part of the company began trading with the name Quaker Mill because of a link with Pennsylvania - 'the Quaker State', however the Mill was based in Ohio and no such link has been revealed. In the 1800s, when the company was formed, Quakers did wear clothes similar to those shown in the picture. This was because of the Quakers' Testimony of Simplicity - they did not want to show off their wealth with expensive clothing. Quakers currently do not tend to dress in that manner - they might instead avoid clothing with brand names advertised.

US brands

, these are the product brands marketed under the Quaker Oats name in the U.S.marker:

Breakfast cereals

Other breakfast foods

  • Quaker Oatmeal
  • Quaker Oatmeal To Go (re-branded from Breakfast Squares in 2006)
  • Quaker Grits
  • Aunt Jemima Syrups and Mixes (Aunt Jemima frozen breakfast foods is owned by Pinnacle Foods, who use the Aunt Jemima trademark under license from Quaker Oats Company)
  • Quaker Breakfast Cookies
  • Quaker Instant Oatmeal


  • Quaker Rice Cakes (known as Snack-a-Jacks in the UKmarker)
  • Quakes Rice Snacks
  • Quaker Soy Crisps
  • Quaker Snack Bars
  • Chewy Granola Bars
  • Quaker Mini Delights



  • Milk Chillers
  • Gatorade

UK brands

, these are the product brands marketed under the Quaker Oats name in the UKmarker:

Hot cereals

(the Scott's brand, previously a rival, is now also owned by Quaker)
  • Pawridge

Ready to eat cereal

  • Harvest Crunch

Honey Monster Foods

  • Sugar Puffs
  • Honey Waffles
  • Honey Melts
  • Banana Puffs (Limited Edition 2009)
  • Monster Rocks

Cereal bars

  • Oat Bars (Original with golden syrup or Mixed berry flavours)

Chewy bars

  • Toffee
  • Milk Choc Chip
  • White Choc Chip
  • Chocolate Chunk
  • Chocolate Chip
  • S'mores


  1. Cereal Tycoon: The Biography of Henry Parsons Crowell: Joe Musser: Books
  2. Generous Giving: Store
  3. The Crowell Trust
  4. Quaker Oatmeal -Our History
  5. The Legacy of Henry Parsons Crowell, Founder of Quaker Oats - Christian Business Daily
  • D'Antonio, Michael. The State Boys Rebellion. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.

External links

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