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Happy birthday, Lucky Charms! General Mills celebrates cereal's half-century

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They've been magically delicious for 50 years.

According to the General Mills website ATasteofGeneralMills, St. Patrick’s Day is the official anniversary of the introduction of Lucky Charms cereal, making it the 50th birthday of Lucky, the ageless spokes-leprechaun as well. A fun fact for cereal nerds: the product developer created the original prototype based on Cheerios cereal pieces and chopped up pieces of his favorite candy – Circus Peanuts.

USA Today notes the cereal hasn't changed much since its debut. “While new marshmallows have been introduced periodically—purple horseshoes in 1983, rainbows in 1992, a 'sparkling magic mirror' in 2006—the little leprechaun and 'magically delicious' catchphrase have remained pretty constant," the story said.

Golden Valley-based General Mills has launched a birthday campaign that includes a new commercial, commemorative cereal boxes, an online instant game and products including phone cases that feature Lucky Charms images.

The BrandChannel website says that nearly half of Lucky Charms consumers are adults, citing a National Eating Trends study. Those leprechaun-lovin' grown ups might be interested in a story in the Daily Caller, which features seven recipes that use Lucky Charms as an ingredient. It includes a Lucky charms martini (hang/hook the teeny marshmallows on the rim of a classic martini glass) and a Lucky Charms alcoholic milkshake (made with whipped cream-flavored vodka) as well as directions for producing whoopie pies, pancakes and cupcakes that include the cereal in its ingredients.

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