Mormons mourning Postum: a consumer culture post

12.17.07 | | 143 comments

My youngest sister recently shared the distressing news that the toasted wheat drink Postum has been discontinued. Created by Seventh-day Adventist health foods icon C.W. Post, the drink would appear to be a victim of the continued caffeinization of America. From what I can tell from Internet searches and anecdotal evidence, it would seem that the only people that drank it are Mormons, health food nuts (although Postum was hurt in this market by alternative toasted grain drinks that aren’t quite so American and mass-produced), and coffee lovers that were forced to go with a non-caffeine and/or gentler-on-the-stomach hot drink because of health issues.

I would imagine that some folks who know of the product might be surprised to hear that Postum was still around (up until last month). The beverages category has exploded in the past decade or so — energy drinks, tea, bottled water, juice blends and coffee. It would seem that there’d be little room for something as seemingly strange as Postum. Oddly enough, according to the New York Times, Kraft Foods actually tried to jump onto the beverages wave. It launched a Postum ad campaign in 1996, in an attempt to gain baby boomer customers. The article suggests that the campaign boosted sales, but I would guess that the gains were short lived and that Postum has had a steady sales decline since then. Still, up until recently you could find it on many supermarket shelves.

So what’s a Mormon arts and culture blogger writing about Postum for? In part, there’s the need to indulge in some personal nostalgia. Postum was a part of my childhood. My mom is a fan, and us kids developed a taste for it. Sometimes you wanted something hot that wasn’t hot chocolate. I don’t drink it much anymore, but it is still my go-to beverage when I have flu- or cold-related congestion. It’s hot and soothing, has more taste than tea, doesn’t have dairy (unlike hot chocolate), and can be consumed in greater quantities than hot cider (which is too acidic). I take mine piping hot with two teaspoons of sugar stirred in.

Funnily enough, I never thought of it as a coffee substitute — not until I started buying it as an adult and saw that it was marketed that way. As a kid I saw it as something Mormon. Not as Mormon as brigham tea, but much, much tastier.

But discovering that’s how it was marketed didn’t change it’s Mormon-ness for me. I figure the Mormons who flirt with the appearance of evil drink decaffeinated coffee. In addition to the fact that I like it as a drink, I also valued Postum because ties me to the converts who gave up coffee but needed a substitute, the Word of Wisdom nuts who bake with carob and unrefined sugar, the WWII-era old-timers. And, of course, to countless tellers of corny jokes.

And even more than that, I think that part of the appeal of the brand itself is that by nodding back to Post (and Kellogg) and the other health-food nuts of the late 19th century, I’m also in some strange, indirect way, nodding back to a time when Mormonism was more tied into consumer culture as a producer.

There was also the fun of being part of a consumer subculture, of supporting a product that was a little weird, fusty and yet not at all underground.

Of course, all is not lost for those who enjoy the hot toasted grain drink. There is still Pero (too European), Cafix (too coffee-sounding), Dandy Blend (oh, please), and countless other roasted barley/wheat/chicory/burdock/dandelion blends. But none have the mainstream, Americana appeal of Postum. So this is one Mormon who mourns the death of Postum. I’m quite sure that I’m not alone.

So what other non-specifically Mormon yet Mormon-supported (for reasons of lifestyle, belief and/or geography) consumer culture items are there?

Postcript: Ralcorp Holdings has acquired Post from Kraft Foods. I would imagine, though, that Ralcorp isn’t going to have any interest in bringing Postum back.

Update: This blog post by Mormon convert Jeff Werner seems to be the epicenter for those upset by the Postum discontinuance.

Update 1.5.09: Check out this awesome 1959 Mormon-oriented Postum ad that Ardis posted at Keepapitchinin.

143 comments: “Mormons mourning Postum: a consumer culture post

  1. William Morris Post author

    So does anybody know when Postum became a staple (or at least a stock supply even if it wasn’t used all that much) in Mormon households? I’m guessing WWII era. But I suppose it could have taken hold earlier.

  2. Clark

    Too bad. I always used Postum as a substitute for Coffee in recipes. Although there are other Postum-like drinks still out there. (More, if you brave the dark recesses of your local health food store)

  3. S. P. Bailey

    Postum reminds me of Taylor’s Heaven Knows Why and the coffee substitute subplot. Funny stuff!

  4. Ardis Parshall

    And I just finished my last jar! Why didn’t they warn us so we could hoard it?

  5. Ann

    As a convert who dearly, dearly loved my coffee, I tried Postum just once, swallowed it, and dumped out the rest of the cup. Contrast this with Pero, which I drank for the first time at the urging of an RM co-worker (in Columbus, Ohio!) while standing in the kitchenette and (real) coffee was brewing. The smell of the real thing probably colored the taste of the Pero for me, and I never tried Postum again.

    Now I don’t drink Pero, either. I live in the deep South, and on the rare occasions when I want a hot drink, I’ll just have an herb tea. Pero was never anything but a coffee-substitute for me. I’ve been a member for 20 years, and I don’t need coffee so much.

  6. Ann

    S.P., that was SUCH a fun book. The whole Coffee Near subplot was one of my favorite parts of the book. I especially liked the part where the bishop was having trouble sleeping at night.

  7. Joel

    Having served a mission in Guatemala, I discovered that there is a unique beverage subculture among Mormons down there. Because coffee is such a hard swith for converts, people buy a grain drink called Morcafe, or SUD Cereales. Both of which are rumored to be invented by members of the church; Morcafe, Mormon-cafe, and SUD Cereales standing for Santos de los Ultimos Dias Cereales. Who knows? But the members love it down there and would doubtless mourn the loss of Postum too.

  8. Jayleen

    There is another great product called INKA that has a nice flavor. It is also a grain drink.

    I’m sorry you miss your Postum though! :(

  9. john f.

    I also find Pero to be much better than Postum but I grew up with Postum and didn’t discover Pero until meeting my wife. Although, I experienced Karo Kaffee before that, which is Germany’s version of Pero.

  10. William Morris

    We also drank Pero growing up. But as an adult, for the cultural reasons I mentions above, I found myself buying Postum.

  11. Thom Duncan

    I joined the Church in 1964 but I remember some Mormon neighbors down the street (this was in Southern California so Mormons were few and far between) who used Postum as a substitue for coffee . . . but as an adjective, as in “Postum table.” I didn’t realize how funny that was until years later when I converted.

  12. Chris Bigelow

    I think one reason our culture embraced Postum is because of the Book of Mormon-sounding ending of “um.”

    Personally, I’m a real decaf man, Taster’s Choice instant. I have a cup most nights during cold season. Research for Mormonism For Dummies confirmed that temple recommends can’t be withheld for decaf, and that’s good enough for me. (In summer, I switch to an evening O’Douls; my wife lets me stock it in cans but not beer-shaped bottles.)

    Growing up, I remember Sanka, Postum, and Pero all being in the house at different times, but none ever took long term.

  13. William Morris

    A little more artful Googling brings up James Lileks’ commentary on an older Postum marketing effort:

    The Mr. Coffee Nerves comic (language warning for the [quite funny] Lileks commentary).

    Now there’s a character ripe for co-opting and re-imagining by Mormon hipsters.

  14. kathlee hanson

    Wow I thought my family was the only which called the coffee table the Postum table. That really brings back memories! I too just finished my last bottle of Postum and wish I had horded some. I would like to have had a chance to say good bye. I had six children and could not convert any of them to drinking Postum so I guess the tradition would have died with me anyway. Sad.

  15. no-man

    In the 1950s, the Improvement Era carried advertisements for Postum that featured photos of then-police chief (of Salt Lake City) Cleon Skousen enthusiastically downing a cup of hot Postum. Mormon culture should indeed mourn the loss of this venerable product.

  16. Mary

    I just had a cup of Postum last night and asked my husband if he has seen it in the stores lately because I needed more. Dang it! I love me some Postum. My mom drank it a lot growing up in Idaho and we drank it as kids.

  17. Anneke Majors

    My dear convert mother has been drinking Postum consistently for years. Lately she’s taken to a concoction that’s half Postum and half Ovaltine.

    In Japan, LDS folks have a very hard time coping socially with beverage options. But they do have Mugi cha, a brilliant and transcendent mild drink made of barley (just like good old section 89 recommends) that is fantastic served hot and resplendent served iced. It’s remarkably refreshing in the summer – better than water in hot, humid conditions. Some American RMs will tell you that it tastes like a “spoonful of dirt,” but these are the same cretins that came to Japan refusing to eat fish.

    I also discovered Rooibos tea while I was in Japan, where members recommended it to me because it “tastes just like ocha.” I was pleased to find it in vogue when I got back to the states. I prefer the straight rooibos herb, though; none of this spiced-up nonsense. The former, however, is tricky to find.

  18. TERRY

    HI,

    I TOO AM VERY DISAPPOINTED THAT POSTUM WILL NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE.MY HUSBAND AND I HAVE
    BEEN DRINKING IT FOR SOME 30 YEARS. WE CANNOT DRINK COFFEE FOR MEDICAL REASONS SO
    POSTUM WAS IDEAL.
    I ACTUALLY FOUND OUT ABOUT IT MYSELF.
    I HAVE NEVER SEEN IT ADVERTISED. ALL MY
    FRIENDS ALWAYS TEASE US ABOUT BEING
    POSTUM USERS.
    I CALLED KRAFT AND THEY TOLD ME WHERE I
    MIGHT BE ABLE TO FIND SOME. MY HUSBAND
    WENT TO STOP AND SHOP AND BOUGHT 5 BOTTLES.
    HE WOULD HAVE BOUGHT 10 BUT THE EXPIRATION
    DATE WAS FEB.08. I DON’T KNOW HOW LONG IT
    CAN KEEP AFTER IT IS OPENED.
    PERHAPS “WHOLE fOODS” CAN PURCHASE THE
    RECIPE AND PRODUCE IT UNDER THEIR NAME.
    IT REALLY SEEMS UNFAIR THAT THEY JUST
    STOPPED MAKING IT.
    IF THEY ADVERTISED IT,I AM SURE IT WOULD
    REACH MANY PEOPLE WHO NEVER HEARD OF IT.

  19. Andrea Powers

    I’ve been drinking Postum for about 30 years and I can tell you from personal experience that NO OTHER GRAIN BEVERAGE has the rich taste that Postum has. I’m very disappointed it’s been continued. I even wrote to HEB headquarters here in Texas to ask if they could buy the recipe and start distributing it. So many people seem to be upset about this that it’s probably just a matter of time before it’s available again. Meanwhile, I have 11 jars of Kaffree Roma that I have to use up. It tastes as bad as Pero!

  20. Robert Campbell

    Talked with Kraft Foods,Inc. (aka Post) today. You can call them to at 1-800-431-7678. They confirmed, apologetically, that Postum was being discontinued due to lack of customer demand. Some say it has been only recently off store shelves. The Kraft customer rep indicated that the company would be open to more consumer
    feedback. If you can them they will take your comments.

  21. Paul

    I emailed Kraft about Postum and received the following response.

    ====== quote ======
    Thank you for visiting http://www.kraftfoods.com/ and for your interest in POSTUM, Instant Hot Beverage.

    It’s great to hear from consumers who are looking for our products because it lets us know how much you enjoy them. The tough part comes when we have to share the news that the product you’re trying to find has been discontinued.

    If products don’t seem to be popular with our consumers, and demand starts to drop, a decision is made to discontinue the item. Once this decision is made, we stop making the product and the remaining supply is shipped from our warehouse to the grocery stores. Unfortunately we do not have any information about which stores may still have our discontinued products in stock.

    At this time there are no plans to bring back our discontinued products, but we are always cooking up something new to help you live and eat better so you may discover a new favorite!

    Again, thanks for contacting us, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy our products.

    Kim McMiller
    Associate Director, Consumer Relations
    OnlineTeam2@Casupport.com

    ====== end quote ======

  22. Annie

    No POSTUM? What kind of twisted world will this be? Why wasn’t I consulted? ;)

    I grew up {in a Mormon family} drinking Postum, and my husband was just baptized last month and has been drinking it as a coffee substitute. Good thing he likes Pero, too.

  23. Elaine Poulos

    I am a Seventh-day Adventist, and I love Postum. My mother and grandmother before her always served it. I was puzzled to find Postum missing on all my local grocery store shelves, and even the local health food store, with no explanation. I am not familiar with all the Mormon terms like Mr. Coffee nerves, but I can assure you there are a lot of SDAs who are missing Postum, too. And we don’t like the jangled nerves coffee produces, either. Perhaps we can work together on this one and get Postum distributed again. I did go on the internet and I found KraftCanada.com that showed Postum with a newly designed label. Maybe we can all order from Canada for a while.

  24. Howard

    My mother always drank Postum, but I never developed a taste for it.

    Returning to the church I switched from coffee to green tea and from Beer and Wine to non-alcoholic Beer.

  25. William Morris

    Elaine:

    Thanks for posting. Postum was, of course, invented by a Seventh-day Adventist — CW Post. And so I would imagine that you aren’t the only SDA that drank it. This is one area where Mormons and Adventists have a lot in common. Although, in my experience, Adventists are better about not eating too much meat and sugar than Mormons.

    Just to clarify, Mr. Coffee Nerves was an advertising campaign that Postum itself used back in the 1950s. It included a comic book and radio ads. There is no Mormon connection to Mr. Coffee Nerves.

  26. Gayle

    I could not find Postum in any local grocery store, so did a little research. Kraft Foods no longer makes Postum, so I e-mailed Kraft Canada, since their site showed Postum as a current product.

    In an e-mail from a customer service representative of Kraft Canada in late November, I was told that Postum is being produced, but that Kraft Canada could not control distribution or availability.

    Perhaps special orders with your local grocer directed to Kraft Canada rather than Kraft Foods would be in order.

  27. William Morris

    Thanks, Gayle. It’s certainly worth a try.

    I wonder why the product is still alive in Canada. Any Canadian readers have an idea? Is the beverage particularly popular there among certain groups or in certain areas?

  28. Lorraine Minor

    I am not Mormon but i am a lover of postum. I called them today 1-800-431-7678 to voice my complaint/disappointment. She indicated they are getting a lot of calls. I highly recommend everyone reading this call and register your complaint. maybe it will do some good.

  29. Sara Israelsen-Hartley

    Hello, my name is Sara and I am a reporter with the Deseret Morning News. I am writing a story about the disappearance of Postum from the shelves and would love to talk to people, especially Mormons, about this corporate decision and its ripple effect. My deadline is Monday, Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. Please call at 801-437-7627. Thank you!

    William, I am particularly interested in talking with you. Thanks!

  30. Justin

    I found a few Postum recipes in the pages of the Improvement Era (use at your own risk):

    1. Iced Postum

    12 teaspoons postum.

    1 pint boiling water

    1/4 cup sugar

    1 quart of rich milk

    Thoroughly dissolve the postum in the boiling water and add the milk scalding hot. Chill and serve in tall glasses with tablespoon of ice cream on top—or whipped cream may be used if preferred.

    2. Baked Postum Custard

    3 cups milk

    1/4 cup sugar

    2 tablespoons instant postum

    3 eggs slightly beaten

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    Scald milk with postum. Combine eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla: add hot liquid gradually. Pour into greased baking dish or custard cups. Place in pan of hot water and bake at 325° F., 45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Chill, serve plain or with cream. Shredded coconut may be sprinkled over the top. If custard is to be carried in lunch box, bake in unwaxed paper cups.

  31. William Morris

    Thanks, Justin. That’s awesome that Postum shows up in a church magazine. Do you have the dates for the issues the recipes ran in?

  32. Justin

    August 1931 for the Iced Postum and September 1947 for the custard.

  33. K L Hunt

    Just finished my jar and didn’t find it at the store. Unfreekin believable.

  34. Sam B.

    So, is Postum (at least for Mormons) an intermountain west thing? Because, although a lifelong member, I’ve never tasted–probably never seen a container of–Postum.

    And what is Brigham tea?

    As for me (if not my house), when I need a hot drink, it has to be a good hot chocolate or apple (or pear) cider, like the stuff I got at the Greenmarket in Union Square around Thanksgiving.

  35. Lydia

    Too bad Postum is off the shelves. People with an acid reflux condition drink it instead of coffee. Since diet is crucial to avoiding acid reflux, Postum was a life saver. Useing can tomatoes also creates acid, but fresh tomatoes are O.K.
    NOW what will we drink?! I’ll try Teeeccino coffee and see about that.

  36. RoseMary

    I feel violated! A staple of life just snatched away without warning….. I loved the hot drink in the morning but always made 2. The other one I put in the refrigerator for an afternoon pick me up. Postum, water, sweetener, and Coffee Mate is So delicious! Or was……Sigh..What a world! What a world! What a world…..

  37. Pat

    Yes, I saw the eBay prices. I think I have found a source from Canada at CanadaOnly.ca. They ship to the U.S., but shipping ran around $20 for 2 jars. I guess I’ll find out in about 10 – 12 days if this indeed is a good source. They accept PayPal.

    Good luck in your search.

  38. Patty

    I’m almost out of postum, having just 1/2 jar left and have been searching high and low for more. I finally got to Albertsons, knowing that they would have it… and they didn’t. I finally decided to enquire about the reason and they said it was discontinued. NOT!! I couldn’t believe my ears. As you said RoseMary, no warning, nothing. I have GERD and can’t drink any coffee or caffeinne at all. I’m not a Mormon although my husband was and after my coming off of coffee, he lead me to Postum. I will definately call the 1-800 number that you gave Lorraine and voice my opinion also. Hot water in the morning?? Oh my.

  39. Roy

    My mother drinks Postum for medical reasons. We found the “Red Label” coffee-flavored Postum, but not the original plain blue label. (I guess the red label will soon be extinct, too.) I spent most of yesterday shopping for Postum and some stores didn’t carry either Postum product, and others had empty shelves. But no one told me the the product was discontinued. I only learned about it by going on line. Reading these e-mails was fascinating.

    I can’t believe that there isn’t a large enough customer base for Kraft to continuing producing this product. What a sad situation! And no notice to anyone. Shame.

  40. Jean Eselgroth

    I went to two markets today to find my next 2 or 3 jars of Postum. When the first one didn’t have it I just thought they were sold out for this week. When I didn’t find it at the second market I asked and they said they didn’t have it. I had no idea it wasn’t going to be anywhere at all ever again. I, too, can’t believe it. My mom drank Postum and my husband and I have been drinking it for years. We don’t drink coffee – including decaffeinated. Is there no possibility that it will ever come back? Let me know if it ever does.

  41. Janet

    I’m not a Mormon,and I just discovered Postum a year ago. I drink it every night. I’m totally bummed out that it’s been discontinued. Not everybody drinks coffee.

  42. Eunice

    Hi! I just found this blog/site by googling for “Postum”. My grandparents drank it most all their lives and my parents have always drank it. Mom, who is 80, is quite upset that she can’t get her Postum. It’s such a nostalgic thing for me, as I always drink it whenever I visit my parents a few hours away. I’m not a Mormon but do have a close friend who is. I tried calling the 800 number today but just got a recording; will try again on Monday, for sure! Yes, those prices on Ebay are exorbitant!!!

  43. Regina

    I can’t believe Postum is being discontinued. I am not Mormon, but have GERD. I gave up coffee and than decaf many years ago. I discovered Postum and have been drinking it with International Delight non-dairy creamer, it was delicious. Now what am I going to do? I wonder how they would like to face the morning or a cold afternoon without their hot coffee? I, too, am down to a half a jar. I’ve checked 5 grocery stores and Walmart, who used to carry it, came home and googled Postum. I found this website and am now as bummed out as the rest of you. I will certainly voice my opinion to Kraft Foods.

  44. Stacie

    My last jar is almost gone. I too have contacted Kraft. It seems there are many who feel betrayed by this giant of the food industry. I still have hope they will listen to the outcry of disappointed consumers if it is loud and long enough. Take courage Postum Lovers! Don’t give up the cause!

  45. Phyllis

    My daughter introduced me to Inka Grain Beverage (45% roasted barley, 27% roasted rye, 25% roasted chicory root and 3% sugar beet root) and I have found it a very satisfying substitute for Postum, although I am extremely disappointed that Kraft has pulled Postum off the market. Inka Grain Beverage is available on line at: http://store.foodfightgrocery.com/iningrbe.html

    I purchased mine at The Market Place, Inc. in Aberdeen, Washington, 360-538-1521. Their price was considerably less than the on-line price and I haven’t called them to see if they ship their products, but it’s worth a try.

  46. Mrs.Louise Hartley

    I am very upset by Kraft Foods now Ralcorp discontinuing Postum. I plan to call 1-800-431-7678 tomorrow and suggest that if they can discontinue Postum I plan to read labels and discontinue buying their other products. I have GERD and can’t drink coffee. Have to be careful of chocolate and tea because too much gives me a migraine. Postum is of great aid and comfort on cold mornings or any morning! Do you think if their sales went down on other products they would consider producing it again. Any one else like to join in the boycott?

  47. Alice Gold

    I’ve recently gave up my last 1/2 bottle to a new convert stuggling with giving up the coffee. I felt like I was giving up gold (no pun intended) I cannot believe it is gone! My husband is probably rejoicing, he hates the stuff and can’t believe it whenever I drink it. It was an aquired taste, but I guess no one will be aquiring it anymore.

  48. Randall Warnke

    Can’t believe I can’t find a jar of Postum in the stores. I have been drinking this hot beverage for breakfast since 1960 at least.

    I shall protest using the phone number suggested above. I need a hot drink, but can’t drink coffee because I have GERD.
    Hope there are enough protests that the company reconsiders.

  49. Anna

    WE MUST RESCUE OUR BELOVED POSTUM!! I’m still holding on to my little half a jar of it, my mom’s all out though. My mother and sister and I are really mourning this loss. Let’s all march on Kraft.

  50. Rich Mills

    1/25/08
    Perhaps some enterprising person(s) or company could approach KRAFT FOODS and buy the secret recipe and begin production again. What about it?
    Worthington Foods, a part of Kellogg’s, used to make ROMA, a coffee substitute. Would they be interested in POSTUM making?

  51. Cheryl

    I’m not willing to pay E-Bay $25 a jar for Postum. However, I would be willing to pay a little extra for Postum, if a bigger profit margin for KRAFT would make them decide to bring it back. Now that we baby boomers are starting to age, you’d think that big business would be aware of the “up-coming marketability” of Postum. With GERD, acid reflux, and heart problems looming large in our future, I can hear the physician’s mantra to “cut out the caffeine”, loud and clear. I have the same frustration with restaurants…try to buy a caffeine free diet soda…almost impossible! Come on Kraft…it’s time to start thinking “outside of the coffee can”.

  52. Cheryl

    I’m not willing to pay E-Bay $25 a jar for Postum. However, I would be willing to pay a little extra for Postum, if a bigger profit margin for KEAFT would make them decide to bring it back. Now that we baby boomers are starting to age, you’d think that big business would be aware of the “up-coming marketability” of Postum. With GERD, acid reflux, and heart problems looming large in our future, I can hear the physician’s mantra to “cut out the caffeine”, loud and clear. I have the same frustration with restaurants…try to buy a caffeine free diet soda…almost impossible! Come on Kraft…it’s time to start thinking “outside of the coffee can”.

  53. Margaret

    There is literally not a time I can remember when I didn’t drink Postum and I’m 52. My mother and my grandmother were both Postum lovers, as well as their offspring. All 3 of my teenage and early twenties daughters make a cup many times a week. It is heartbreaking to our entire family to no longer have Postum available. And no, we are not Mormons, we’re Presbyterians. Postum knows no religious boundaries.

    I have never, ever seen advertising for Postum, and it seems like little effort has ever been made to market this beverage – and yet – it still has an extremely loyal, geographically diverse, demographically diverse, in fact almost fanatical following that is devastated by your decision to remove the product – and all this following with little (no?) money spent on a marketing campaign! Even if you only sold it online and increased the price, I know you’d still have a large buying public – my family included. My strong preference would be to be able to buy it again in the grocery – like we have for 100+ years. Or even shop it around and see if you can sell Postum to someone else to distribute. Anything but making it never again available! Even if you posted the recipe online and let us make it ourselves. We’re all that desperate! You truly don’t understand how distraught those of us who love Postum are, or how frustratingly helpless we are in the face of corporations, so all we can do is write and call and beg.

    Have you googled Postum and read the blogs??
    http://jeffwerner.ca/2004/12/postum_coffee_s.html The first half is all testimonials from when it was readily available –before any decisions to discontinue to it were made so it’s all just people who love Postum – no axe to grind. Scan to late 2007 and start reading and see how distraught, and how quickly the blog entries increased, once people started figuring out it was gone.
    http://www.motleyvision.org/?p=404

    I drank 4 to 5 cups EVERY day – it is the most comforting drink imaginable and I am heartsick at your decision. Please, please, please – reconsider and bring Postum back. It’s a beloved American icon, as well as a cherished, multi-generational daily ritual. Please – I beg you.

    Here’s information that took a wee bit of time to gather, but it’s all we can do; perhaps it will be sufficient:

    Here are the email addresses for the CEO (Irene Rosenfeld) and Kim McMiller
    Associate Director, Consumer Relations:

    Irene.Rosenfeld@kraft.com; OnlineTeam2@Casupport.com;

    Here’s their official email contact form:
    http://www.kraft.com/contacts/other-contacts-form.htm?ft=other&subj=Product+Information

    and here’s their message board: http://kraft.liveworld.com//post!reply.jspa?threadID=1700001478&messageID=1700014357

    Here are their phone numbers

    1-800-431-7678 customer support
    1-847-646-2000 head office

    I wish us all luck.

  54. Margaret

    Here’s information that took a wee bit of time to gather, but it’s all we can do; perhaps it will be sufficient:

    Here are the email addresses for the CEO (Irene Rosenfeld) and Kim McMiller
    Associate Director, Consumer Relations:

    Irene.Rosenfeld@kraft.com; OnlineTeam2@Casupport.com;

    Here’s their official email contact form:
    http://www.kraft.com/contacts/other-contacts-form.htm?ft=other&subj=Product+Information

    and here’s their message board: http://kraft.liveworld.com//post!reply.jspa?threadID=1700001478&messageID=1700014357

    Here are their phone numbers

    1-800-431-7678 customer support
    1-847-646-2000 head office

    I wish us all luck.

  55. Deanna

    I found a website where you can order Postum. It is: http://www.canadaonly.ca/ under the beverage section.

    KraftCanada makes it and Canada Only orders it from them.

    I ordered some and it took a little over two weeks to get here in the USA, but I did get it.

    Good Luck.

  56. Anna

    That’s great that they’re selling it, and it’s not an outrageous price for just the cost of the item, but the shipping is $23… so you’re going to end up paying $20 per bottle anyway. Unless you buy a ton.

  57. Charles

    I find the Pero and Cafix coffee substitutes an excellent replacement for Postum. Check out the internaturalfoods website. Amazon carries the product. check it out.

  58. J Fisher

    Hi all,

    I’m a reporter working on a story about the demise of Postum, and its effect on fans. If anyone is interested in sharing any memories associated with the drink I’d love to hear from you, please call me at 617.450.2330 or email fisherj@csmonitor.com
    thank you!
    J Fisher

  59. Ragnar Gohjerta

    Is this the most ridiculous time wasting among mormons, that I have ever encountered? Is this a substitute for communicating essential life saving principals? Yes, just drink more water and concentrate on doing more good.
    rags

  60. Dan

    Pero tastes better than Postum. Try it. I got mine at outletnutrition.com, it was pretty cheap.

  61. susanna

    I just recently tried to buy some Postum for my 95 year old mother. She tells the story of a little girl in Wisconsin, sitting on a high stooland drinking Postum to keep warm.
    It is a pity that a product that has kept generations of people comforted has gone by the wayside because it isn’t making a profit. Isn’t Kraft making big money on other products? I don’t know how to break this to my 95 year old mother. So much for nutrition.

  62. Jason

    I know that everyone is upset about Postumn being pulled from the shelves, but I have to wonder if there was a reason for it. I believe that there is a reason why certain things happen. Postum did provide a good alternative to coffee. Unfortunately Postum provided little to no benefit, healthwise to the body. Fortunately, I have found a drink that no only replaces Postum, but certainly surpasses the health benefits that were provided by Postum. This drink provides 2 grams of protien and only 3 carbs with 20 calories in an 8 ounce serving. It also contains an enormous amount for antioxidants. The coolest part is that it tastes great. Almost all of the people that have tried it have said that it tastes better than Postum. If anyone would like to know more about this product, let me know.

  63. Karen

    My husband loves Postum and his bottle just ran out so for the past two days I have gone to nine (yes nine!) stores searching. Then I got online and discovered that it has been discontinued! He will be so disappointed. I will definitely call to let Kraft know we are not happy. (at least he won’t be) I don’t like it!

  64. Janet

    After I got over the shock and dismay over the demise of Postum, I tried both Roastaroma “tea” by Celestial Seasonings and Teeccino “Java” flavor. Both taste pretty darn good; Roastaroma is easy due to being in teabag form, and I enjoy the ritual of filtering the Teeccino grounds, like coffee. Not going to pick a favorite – will keep both in the house and continue research. :-) Have heart, Postum lovers. Life goes on!

  65. Tricia V.

    Has anyone ever tried toasting their own cracked wheat and barley? Just wondering. I mean, I have parts of three jars left (if I count one a Jewish friend has offered me, to clear her pantry for Passover.)

  66. ecosho

    I grew up drinking postum with my grandmother and Grandfather. My children loved it too. I am not a morman, I’m a nice jewish girl who likes postum. Everyoe can like postum ;)

  67. Sweeneys

    My husband and I both grew up on Postum. The best tasting coffee substitute out there. By the way, my husband grew up Catholic and I grew up SDA. It has nothing to do with religion. Postum just taste good. Our children love it, too, and they were adopted from another country. They also dislike the smell and taste coffee.

  68. Heidi

    I checked the canada site and it’s off the list now. Their stocks must be out. Sigh. TIme to go figure out something else… they just changed the Nesquik recipe to 25% less sugar (which means 25% less taste) and now this. So I guess I will have some food storage orange beverage and try to keep my chin up. It’s just sad that we get loyal to them but they aren’t loyal to us, and I think that’s what makes people sad enough to blog.

  69. James Worth

    It’s a pity Postum has been discontinued because it was the one coffee substitute I know of that tasted somewhat like the real thing and had absolutely no caffeine. I think Kraft acted too soon in discontinuing it. Research has shown that as people age they become less and less able to assimilate caffeine. With the babyboomers aging there may be a lot of people, not necessarily Adventists, who would be potential consumers of Postum were it available. I wish I knew the right person at Kraft to contact about this.

  70. Liz Martin

    My mother has drank postum for years. She has had me and my sisters out scarching the stores for it. Walmart manager didn’t know it was discontinued and offered to order it for her. I found out on the internet. My mother has reverted to coffee and she is 84 years old. She is shaking something terrible from it. If someone thinks of an alterative,please let me know. Liz

  71. Brien FitzGerald

    I’m neither a seventh-day adventish nor and eighth day one, but I like Postum. Kraft Foods tell me that their substitute is a drink called Vanilla Creme. I’m not an avant-garde wannabe. I simply want a good drink in the morning. My heavens, they spell cream creme. Why not an accent circumflex? Then we can all hold hands in the check-out line singing the Postum Dirge.

  72. William Morris

    That’s hilarious, Brien. Thanks for the update. (it’s also frustrating for us Postum drinkers, but still very funny).

  73. Mike Shaw

    I grew up loving Postum, If I could I’d buy the recipe and the rights to market it I would. My friend has perfected a new beverage made primarily from roasted Cacao beans and although brewed like coffee has more similarities to Postum , in fact one batch was very close after adding molasses. If you’d like to learm more or get some of this “Choffy” please contact me at “choffy AT mikeshaw.com” I really like this new product and it has no caffeine. I still like my Postum but with only 5 precious jars left it’s not something I can drink regularly.

  74. alejandra reyes

    I’v enjoyed Postum for years, I’m so sorry to know postum has been discontinued, I live in Mexico, and many friends share a cup of postum, so, all of us miss those evenings, so, postum has traveled to different countries, I hope postum comes back again.

  75. Jeremy Hunter

    Postum Fans,

    I have solved our Post-Postum problem! (Actually, my Japanese girlfriend has solved it and I’m merely reporting it to you.)

    We found a Polish product called INKA Instant Grain Beverage that is about as close to the taste of beloved Postum as one can imagine.

    It is truly delightful and very coffee-yummy.

    A little research yielded the fact that it is imported into the US by a firm in Brooklyn, called Adamba Imports.

    Details below:

    New York Office
    585 Meserole St.
    Brooklyn, NY 11237
    phone:718.628.9700
    fax: 718.628.0920

    http://www.adamba.com

  76. Chris DeSantsi

    Oh, tragedy. I moved to Pero years ago because it tasted better to me, but I can’t count the number of Posta I enjoyed in various seedy Greyhound bus stops across the nation. Just reading this article I can remember the flavor.

    *Removes hat in respect*

  77. Gail Robertson

    I am so sorry that Postum is no longer distributed. It seems to me a lot of people bought it!!! How many people need to buy it to make it profitable??? I think this would be a great market to get into and start a business. Gail

  78. sandy

    I feel very sad and dissappointed in Kraft for discontinuing Postum. I too feel cheated that there was no advance notice as to it’s demise. For me the end of Postum is the end of my morning coffee, and the end of the comfort it gave me when I remember all the Postums I shared with both my grandmother and mother in years past. Not being able to tolerate the effects of caffeine, I was a regular consumer of Postum as the rest of you were.I phoned Kraft also and stated my feelings on the matter, hoping also they might reverse their decision to discontinue.How sad to see such a great product gone forever.

  79. Joyce McClure

    I can’t even tell you how much I miss Postum!!
    I grew up knowing about Postum and appreciated it more each year. I loved having a non caffeine hot drink that was not sweet. (Pero and Tea do not even compare)! I thought at first when I found that I could not get Postum that I could deal with it but I have missed it more with every passing day. Please give it back!

  80. Joel

    I just returned to a job I’d left a couple years ago, and was pleased to discover that I had left a partial jar of postum in the cupboard. I had a cup this a.m., which prompted my search today. E-bay’s a bit steep, so I’ll probably try one of the other products mentioned above. I had just introduced my kids to it when the discontinuation announcement was made <:(

  81. Cal Barnum

    1.16.09
    so sad. i didn;t realize that postum had been done away with untill i tried to find it in the local stores..there was two kinds, a red label and a blue lable. the red lable was coffee flavored.. i’m 69 and hve been drinking it off and on most of my life.

  82. Howard Hart

    Great article – on-target and witty. I’m researching recipes and if I find something that works, I’ll return and post it…

  83. Ceriben

    I loved this beverage as a child (along with my mother) I cannot find it any where nowadays. I live in Augusta, GA., can anyone tell me where to find it, PLEASE!

  84. Janis Jackson

    I am a Seventh-Day Adventist, who was introduced to Postum by my Grandmother and Grandaunt who owned a farm in Michigan. At the time they went to a small country church in Bloomingdale, MI, and were no longer Adventists. I have been drinking Postum off and on for years. They just have to bring it back! “I cannot endure it!” I never heard Postum mentioned among Adventists, but Gary Null suggested drinking it. He’s a health “guru” of sorts. (Has a PhD, has done lots of research. Is somewhat revolutionary, I feel. Good stuff!) Unbelievable! I never order food online, but was looking to order Postum online.

  85. Justmeherenow

    According to http://www.chow.com/grinder/4524#comment_16787 if you’ve got six hours of spare time, an oven, a coffee grinder (eg this $90 baby), wheat bran, cracked wheat and “black strap” mollasses — well, then you’ve got postum (and if made in bulk, you could make yourself a supplier of the stuff online)

  86. Bill

    Surprise, Surprise! Looks like I’m way behind the event of finding out about Postum. I have been going to all the WalMart and Kroger locations. It’s simply Disgusting. Someone with 666 must have made the decision.

  87. sebastian

    According to former Postum Lovers, I have a delicious substitite made out of Wheat Bran, cracked Wheat and molasses.
    Currently I make small Batches for Family and Friends but reach out now to see if there’s a big enough market out there for me to go in to production.
    Info. sebastiansbest@yahoo.com

  88. Doreen

    does it taste like the real postum? if so, I would really be interested.

  89. Kelly

    I just learned from Kraft today about Postum. I was interested in finding it to pass along a tradition with my daughter. My parents allowed me to drink it as a coffee substitute when I was a teenager. My daughter is now a teenager and I wanted to share the experience with her. The clerk at WalMart looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language when I asked where was the aisle for the Postum. Now I understand his confusion. According to Kraft they are not going to make it available anymore. I think they’re decision is a bad one. I read a few of the other comments and saw the information about Canada. I’ll think about it. For now, I am really disappointed. It feels like a part of my childhood is gone. I am not Mormon nor am I Seventh Day Adventist. I am a Maryland girl who looked forward to an “adult-like” activity that I used to share with my parents. Now that my mom is gone, it really makes me nostalgic for yesterday.

  90. June

    If a comany was to reproduce the Postum product under a different name, would you buy it?

  91. Michelle

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! That about sums it up. And June, Postum by any other name would taste just as sweet.

  92. Periodic Postumite

    Seriously bummed! This Mormon has the fondest memories of drinking Postum with his grandparents. This week somehow I got a hankering for Postum, only to find that the party ended two years ago! So long, Grandpa. I know you and your buddies are drinking the cozy stuff on the other side!

  93. Ress

    Beyond bummed! I love Postum and miss it horribly! Winter is totally darker without it! It has been a part of my life for over 50 years. I used to sit with my grandfather in the wee hours of the morning. He would be drinking his coffee black and I would be drinking my Postum black right along side him. This is just an awful thing to do! I don’t like the flavor of coffee AND the “coffee substitutes on the market! So I am now drinking a hot dark chocolate that is full of calories! Health conscious folks we should all voice our concerns over this decision by kraft!

  94. Jessica

    i am a member and i loved postum.it is especially good w coffee mate.plus my friend and i were trying to get her mom to be mormon so she can go to church w me.postum was our key, but ill try some of the ideas. (cries for postum)

  95. DeeAnn Hoffmann

    I just learned today about the demise of Postum. I can’t express how sad it makes me. What will I drink on cold mornings or when I need that warm comfort of a hot decafeinated drink? I feel indignant, and I want to boycot all things Kraft. I might just do that.

  96. Martha M.Gerhardt

    I also miss Postum not to drink, but I make a very delicious cake, using two tbsp.of it for each cake. Found a great subsstitute, called INKA, purchased in Canada. Smells just like Postum, bakes like it also.

  97. Bob

    My wife and I are trying all the others but they just don’t do it. While talking to other Mormons about it I was reminded about one that my mother used to drink that was even better. It was called “Breakfast cup” and I beleive it was made in Utah till the factory burned down and never reopened. I would love to get the rights to its recipe and start up a business. If anyone knows where I ciuld get more info on Breakfast cup please let me know. Or perhaps Kraft would let go of the Postum rights.

  98. Johanna Clark

    I can’t believe it, I love Postum. I ran out and have been looking for it. I kept thinking my store was just out. When I really starting looking at other store I couldn’t find any. I finially came here. I hope Kraft brings it back.

  99. Sandra

    Yes. Start a company and get the postum perking again, we would support that. We have gone to Caf-Lib grain beverage since there is no postum. Does anyone else use Caf-Lib? It is not bad. Different than Postum, but not bad.

  100. Lynn

    Postum was a staple at our house! My parents were both converts and they convinced us it was just like the real thing. Then I tasted coffee. I doubted the truth of the church from that day on.
    It tasted like what I imagine wood chips made into a liquid with way to much sugar would be like as a drink. Now I see it causes cancer. I guess going apostate was good for me both for my body and soul.
    For all the older people who refuse to accept that it is time to move on, I think you ought to have the last few jars given to you for free. That was when you turn on Glenn Beck you have something to wash down his c**p with! Now if only they stop making green jello and CTR rings we can move on as a people and admit we were all duped!

  101. Wm Morris Post author

    Wow. I’m amazed that a discussion of the minor cultural impact of Postum on western U.S. Mormonism could elicit such a response. Actually, not really. So I will be leaving the comments for this post open because I think it’s important for people who come to it late but mourn the loss of Postum to be able to make themselves heard, but anymore discussion of duping or Glenn Beck will be deleted.

  102. Tatiana

    I feel so bad for all you shock-withdrawal-method Postum drinkers! I haven’t tasted it but I’m a Mormon convert who drank both coffee and tea before converting. I found something that helped me whenever we were sitting around drinking the aforementioned hot drinks together. Maybe other people will think this funny, but I do love it. I drink just the hot water without the tea or coffee or Postum or any other adulteration. At my house we call it Mormon Tea. It’s just tea without the tea — i.e. hot water in a cup. Still nice and warming, cheerful, and filling, without the health effects or Word of Wisdom violation effects. Restaurants are glad to serve it, too. It’s not any extra trouble for anyone to make. Doesn’t require any extra ingredients to have on hand, and we aren’t beholden to Kraft Foods or any other corporation. Just good old fashioned plain boiled water. Delicious!

  103. Wm Morris

    My grandparents lived in Japan for over a year on two separate occasions. They would drink the same thing — but also often with a little lemon in it.

  104. Forest Gump

    Does anyone have the recipe for Postum?

    The few that I found all required brewing. Postum was an instant beverage.

    It’s been nearly four years since Postum was discontinued and I’ve posted this simple request countless times since then. Why is it so freaking hard to find the recipe?

  105. Wm Morris

    I don’t know what to tell you, Forest. It’s possible that no one involved in the actual production of it was willing to leak it, and it also might be difficult to reverse engineer. I’ve seen people who claim to have invented decent alternatives, but I have yet to see anyone who says they have *the recipe*.

  106. Mojo

    The few that I found all required brewing. Postum was an instant beverage.

    “Instant” just means the water was taken out of it after its production. Brewing may be the only way to make it.

  107. Glenn Fuller

    Your history needs tweaking. I’m 71 years old. My father raised on a Michigan farm near Ann Arbor had a “cereal beverage” as a matter of family tradition. He was born in 1901 my grandfaterh 1854. My mother likewise raised in NC, they had their own brand of “cereal beverage” mostly because coffee imported for the longest time did not catch on. WWII serviced to bring two vises to America: Coffee and Tobacco in the form of cigarettes. Chewing stuff, pipes and cigars were then manly habits.

    The people in America were marketed the coffee. It wasn’t popular until really after WWII.

    A Mormon convert 1965. A history buff of sorts. Interview the older generation from the midwest and deep south. The women used “snuff” to “clean their teeth” gnawing sticks to make brushes. The men chewed or smoked a pipe or cigar. Cegareets was a later marketing enterprise.

  108. Melanie

    I thought this forum would be interested in knowing that one Original Flavor jar of Postum is being offered on Ebay for $150.00 US. Highest price I’ve seen thus far.

    As with others who submitted their fond memories, I have an attachment to this product out of sentimentality. I recall the little green plastic cup and saucer that my grandmother used to serve me the Coffee-flavored Postum when visiting her in Louisiana. My mother grew up on it; my father has no taste for it. For dietary reasons, I also usually avoid caffeinated drinks and don’t always care for something sweet. I support a company’s decision to manufacture based upon profitability, but it is a shame that “suitable” alternatives are so difficult to find in this land of plenty.

  109. Karl

    One thing about a so-called “coffee substitute”, without the addictive compounds keeping the product moving, some consumers, like myself, only go through one jar in about four years or more. Growing up LDS, I thought it a little odd to have something around as a ‘coffee substitute’ because I only ever had hot chocolate. Parents enjoyed Postum and I never enjoyed it until I matured beyond the need for sweet chocolate drinks.
    I just had a cup last week and noticed my jar has only a couple servings left (should last a month at my rate). So I checked my grocer’s shelf and was surprised not to find Postum. That prompted a search online tonight, which brought me the awful truth that eluded me for the last near-four years. BRING POSTUM BACK!

  110. Donna

    I get to be the first blog in 2012, and probably the most embarrassed, since it took till now to find out that I can’t buy Postum any more. I use it rarely, so the bottle in my pantry is still half full and at least 25 years old. (It still smells and tastes great!)I obviously haven’t helped the cause. With consumers like me, they can’t keep making it. I will miss it though. I like to flavor protein shakes with it once in a while. I found a recipe on line to make postum, so I’m going to try it. I don’t think you can use as an ‘instant’, though.

  111. Brady McElligott

    My family has been drinking Postum for as long as my mom has been around (she is eighty-six). None of us are LDS, none of us are Seventh-Day Adventists; we just liked Postum as an alternative to coffee–and often used it as a basis for coffee, when we were running short of actual coffee. As you can imagine, we are pretty angry about Kraft’s discontinuing the product. We view it as one more example of big corporations having no regard for the wishes of their customers.

  112. Marie Groff

    I have been drinking Postum since I was about five years old and I was born in 1937!! Just started drinking it again a few weeks ago due to the lack of caffeine and found it as good as when I was a child Now I find out it is discontinued!! How terribly disappointing. I will try one of the recipes to make my own. I have tried numerous coffee substitutes and found them all disappointing.

  113. Cheveldi

    I was actually looking for the death of Pero, because I don’t see it on any shelfs. I was sad to find out that Postum is no longer made. That was my next search parameter. I didn’t know it was a Mormon thing, although I’m Mormon. I thought it was a California, my mom was a convert and loved coffee and now I have to settle for Postum and Pero, but they were pretty good, well Postum was, Pero is more nostalgic.

  114. Wm Post author

    Thanks for stopping by, Cheveldi.

    I think Pero is still in production because it’s a European thing, but it may no longer have enough demand in parts of the U.S. for it to be stocked in grocery stores. I have had some luck finding it in natural/health foods stores.

  115. Lee Allred

    Pero’s on Safeway shelves here in small town Oregon (got a cannister on my kitchen shelf I bought locally, in fact), but you can also order it from Amazon.

    Amazon also has Inka and Caffix substitute drinks.

    Inka’s partially made from sugar beets (a sorta Mormon connection there!) and supposedly (I haven’t tried it yet) tastes the closest of the three to our dearly departed Postum.

    Caffix supposedly tastes the closest to actual coffee (and the coffee-flavor Postum variant).

  116. Wm

    Thanks for the update Dennis. I will be watching that site with keen interest.

  117. Deanna

    I checked out http://www.postum.com. From the website choose “Contact Us” and fill out the Submission Form and Matt will keep you posted on their production progress through email.

  118. Jim Trahan

    I haven’t read all the comments here, and do not know if this was brought up, but Postum is making a comeback! A Mom and Pop operation has developed a new grain/molasses beverage that they say tastes identical to the original Postum. They located the trademark owner and have purchased the trademark, so can legally name their new product Postum. The new product is available now in stores in several states, and can also be ordered online. You can find information on the new product here: http://rationalfaiths.com/postum-why-yes-more-please/
    and also here: http://postum.com/

    Enjoy!!

  119. Kristen

    http://postum.com/how-to-order/
    It is back. Not only is it back but is carried again in many stores. Maybe you already knew this. But seeing your post made me research. They carry at Village market in Chattanooga tn among other locals.

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