Post Consumer Brands (previously Post Cereals and Postum Cereals) is an American consumer cereal manufacturer that makes Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles, Great Grains, Post Shredded Wheat, Post Raisin Bran, Grape-Nuts, Honeycomb, Frosted Mini Spooners, Golden Puffs, Oh's, Cinnamon Toasters, Fruity Dyno-Bites, Cocoa Dyno-Bites, Berry Colossal Crunch and Malt-O-Meal hot wheat cereal.
Postum Cereal Company Factory
Post was founded by C. W. Post in 1895 in Battle Creek, Michigan. Post was a patient at the Battle Creek Sanitarium (run by John Harvey Kellogg) and was inspired by the diet there to start his food company (and become a rival to the Kellogg brothers, who sold their own breakfast cereals). Post invested $78 in his initial equipment and supplies and set up manufacturing in a barn on what was known as the 'Old Beardsley Farm'. His first product was Postum, a "cereal beverage" alternative to coffee made from wheat and molasses. The first cereal, Grape-Nuts, was developed in 1897 followed by Elijah's Manna in 1904 which was renamed Post Toasties in 1908.
In 1907 Collier's Weekly published an article questioning the claim made in advertisements for Grape Nuts that it could cure appendicitis. C. W. Post responded with advertisements questioning the mental capacity of the article's author, and Collier's Weekly sued for libel. The case was heard in 1910, and Post was fined $50,000. The decision was overturned on appeal, but advertisements for Postum products stopped making such claims.
The Postum Cereals company, after acquiring Jell-O gelatin in 1925, Baker's Chocolate in 1927, Maxwell House coffee in 1928, and other food brands, changed its name to General Foods Corporation in 1929. By far the most important acquisition of 1929 was of the frozen-food company owned by Clarence Birdseye, Birdseye Refrigeration. Marjorie Merriweather Post (C.W Post's daughter) convinced the company to buy out Birdseye, changed the name to General Foods Corporation, and eventually moved the corporate headquarters to Park Avenue in New York City. General Foods was acquired by Philip Morris Companies in 1985.
In 1989, Philip Morris merged General Foods with Kraft Foods, which it had acquired in 1987, to form the Kraft General Foods division. The cereal brands of Nabisco were acquired in 1993. In 1995, Kraft General Foods was reorganized and renamed Kraft Foods.
On November 15, 2007, Kraft announced it would spin off Post Cereals and merge that business with Ralcorp Holdings. That merger was completed August 4, 2008. The official name of the company became Post Foods, LLC.
In July 2011, Ralcorp announced plans to spin off Post Foods into a separate company. About a quarter of Ralcorp's sales in 2010 were generated by its Post Foods unit. The spinoff was completed with an IPO for Post Holdings, Inc. on February 7, 2012.
In 2015, Post Foods purchased MOM Brands (formerly Malt-O-Meal Co.) creating the third largest breakfast cereal company in the US. The combined company is now called Post Consumer Brands and is headquartered in Lakeville, Minnesota.