Back in April 2020 when we were all adrift in the hazy boredom of pandemic quarantine, a TikTok user started a new trend: pancake cereal. This fad began with a video from user @sydneymelhoff, who made diminutive pancakes which she loaded into a bowl, drizzled with syrup, and served with a spoon like cereal, milk and all.
Everyone loves tiny food, and the concept blew up. The video inspired food blogs to post recipes for these tiny-pancake bowls, and YouTubers documented their own attempts with glee. Eventually, like all fads, it sort of wound down into the discarded pile of TikTok trends, and we haven’t spoken much about them since. Fast forward to 2022, and IHOP and General Mills are now collaborating on a cereal inspired by the pancakes: IHOP Mini Pancake Cereal.
According to a press release sent to The Takeout, these boxes are “filled with lots of itty, bitty pancake-shaped pieces with natural and artificial blueberry and syrup flavor that is sure to bring a smile to your face.” I appreciate that the marketing around this product is transparent about the use of artificial flavor. The discs of “pancake” closely resemble those of Cookie Crisp, studded with blue sugary bits on top.
It takes a long time for a large corporation to bring new products like this to market, but nearly three years after the flash-in-the-pan phenomenon, I’m wondering if we’ll all be as giddy about these as we would have been before.
“After the viral moment in 2020, we knew guests had an appetite for an IHOP cereal,” said Kieran Donahue, Chief Marketing Officer at IHOP. “We helped create this iconic cereal in hopes that our guests would look forward to it any time of day.”
Mise en place is everything.
Each bowl is a different size and suited for a different task or step in your prep. Their rolled rims are designed to minimize dripping, and their flat base stabilizes your mixing.
The cereal will be available at select locations in December before rolling out nationwide in January. The product is a limited-edition release, though the end of its run wasn’t specified.
Part of the infectiousness of a TikTok trend is the finite rush of it all. You can watch a single video rise up and cause a big splash—one that can even lead to grocery shortages—but by the end of the week, a new trend (or a bunch) will have already taken its place. It’s a predictable cycle, and one we’ve come to expect. Since this new collab from IHOP and General Mills has already missed the trend wave by about 1,000 days, consumers will have to reawaken their taste buds to these dormant little pancakes to decide whether they should have stayed asleep.