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Quaker Life Multigrain Cereal, with milk
Product typeBreakfast cereal
OwnerQuaker Oats
Introduced1961; 63 years ago (1961)

Life is a breakfast cereal produced by the Quaker Oats Company. Introduced in 1961,[1] the cereal has a brown, checked square pattern and mainly consists of oat flour, corn flour, added sugar, and whole-wheat flour.[2] As of 2018, because of the numerous varieties the cereal has, the original cereal is now marketed as "Life Original Multigrain Cereal".


The cereal itself contains whole grain oat flour, corn flour, sugar, whole wheat flour, calcium carbonate, salt, baking soda, tocopherols (to preserve freshness), and B vitamins. [3] It formerly contained the artificial preservative BHT; this was removed in late 2021.


When the cereal was first introduced in the 1960s, the original slogan was "The most useful protein ever in a ready-to-eat cereal". The original mascots (in commercials narrated by Paul Frees) were munchkin-like characters.[citation needed]

Life was popularized during the 1970s by an advertising campaign featuring "Little Mikey", a hard-to-please four-year-old boy portrayed by John Gilchrist.[4] The commercials featured the slogan "He likes it! Hey, Mikey!" said in surprise after his brothers see Mikey enjoying the cereal.

The ad campaign was created by ad firm Doyle Dane and Bernbach.[5] The campaign ran from 1972 to 1986,[6] becoming one of the longest-running television advertisements in history. A subsequent commercial repeated the scenario with the same dialog but used lumberjacks instead of children.


Life cereal with banana slices

In 1978, Cinnamon Life, developed by Ed Heaton, was introduced by the Quaker Oats Company and was followed shortly thereafter by Raisin Life. Today, Cinnamon Life accounts for one-third of total Life sales.[citation needed] The Raisin Life variant sold poorly and was discontinued in the mid-1980s.[citation needed]

In 2002,[7] a version of the cereal called Baked Apple Life was released. Honey Graham Life was introduced in early 2004, Life Vanilla Yogurt Crunch in late 2005, and Life Chocolate Oat Crunch, in 2006. All three were discontinued by 2008.

In 2008, Quaker introduced Maple & Brown Sugar Life. In the fall of 2016, Vanilla Life cereal was released. As of March 2023, there are four varieties of Life cereal: Cinnamon, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Original.[8]

Original Life has had its recipe changed several times since its introduction.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "About Quaker - Quaker History". 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
  2. ^ "Nutrition Label". Retrieved 2022-03-27.
  3. ^ Pepsi. "Life Cereal: Original | Quaker Oats". Archived from the original on 2023-07-23. Retrieved 2023-04-13.
  4. ^ Preston, Cheryl. "John Gilchrist embraces being a child actor". Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  5. ^ Cross, Mary (2002). A Century of American Icons: 100 Products and Slogans from the 20th-Century Consumer Culture. Greenwood Press. pp. 167–168. ISBN 978-0313314810. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  6. ^ [1] Archived June 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ " - CBSi". Archived from the original on 13 November 2004. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  8. ^ Pepsi. "Life Cereal | Quaker Oats". Retrieved 2023-03-10.