Doctors generally agree that while kids get the vitamins and minerals they need from a healthy, balanced diet, they may benefit from dietary supplements like multivitamins, particularly if they fall in certain categories; however, kids can notoriously turn their noses up at anything that’s supposed to be good for them. That has led to the rise of flavored and character-shaped multivitamins. According to Nutritional Outlook, U.S. kids aged 5 to 12 account for 34 percent of the world’s supplement market. One of the longest running products of this nature is Flintstones Chewable Vitamins, which underwent a significant character addition 25 years ago. Here are Five Flintstone facts.
1. They’re the Children of “Chocks”
Flintstones Chewables were originally made by Miles Laboratories. Miles was big in the vitamin business, having created the One-A-Day brand. They innovated the kids’ chewable market with Chocks, a kids’ multivitamin that they took to market in 1960. Miles saw the wisdom in combining their products with a popular character to help drive the marketing. Though The Flintstones had ended its prime-time run in 1966, the show would soon become a syndication staple. Miles Laboratories struck the licensing deal with Hanna-Barbera in 1968, and Flintstones Chewable Vitamins hit the shelves.
2. They Were Pioneers
Today, there are dozens of character-styled vitamins for kids on the market. Miles followed up on the success of Flintstones with their own Bugs Bunny vitamins in the 1970s. Since that time, an outsized number of characters have gotten the supplement treatment. Today’s favorites include Spider-Man, the Avengers, Disney Princesses, Spongebob Squarepants, and Paw Patrol.
3. The Case of the Missing Betty
The vitamins came in the shape of characters including Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Dino. Even the Flintstones family car had one. However, for many years, there was one egregious absence: Betty. Over time, Pebbles, Bam-Bam, and even the Great Gazoo got the vitamin treatment, but Betty was notably missing. One reason was that Betty’s insanely small waist led to lots of broken vitamins in testing. Among the people who noticed Betty’s absence was musician Chris Tocco; Tocco and his bandmates ended up naming their group Betty’s Not A Vitamin, which landed them on Paste magazine’s list of the best band names of all-time.
Betty finally got into the bottle in 1995. When Rosie O’Donnell played Betty in the live-action The Flintstones movie in 1994, she began addressing the fact that Betty wasn’t included in the vitamin line-up. Bayer (who had purchased Miles in 1979) saw the PR opportunity and set up a voting opportunity to poll customers; over 20,000 vote came in, with 91 percent of respondents asking for Betty to get her due. In December of 1995, Betty replaced the Flintstones family car.
4. Variety is the Spice of Vitamins
Today, the vitamins are available in a variety of forms, including chewables and gummies of various flavors. There are also several specialty versions, including Complete, with Iron, Plus Bone Building Support, Plus Immunity Support, and Plus Omega-3 DHA. Bayer markets a toddler style for two- and three-year-olds as well.
5. They Have Their Own Iconic Theme Song
While The Flintstones theme is one of the most recognizable title tunes in animation, the vitamins have their own familiar jingle. The lyrics “We are Flintstones Kids, ten million strong and growing” were written by Jim Morris. The music is by Martin O’Donnell. Morris, known by the nickname Tagline Jim, has developed titles and branding slogans for dozens of products. O’Donnell is best known for creating the music for major video game franchises like Destiny and Halo, which generated best-selling soundtrack albums.
Featured image: Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock
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