Carnation Breakfast Bars

Carnation Breakfast Bars (History, Marketing & Pictures)

Breakfast is often the hardest meal of the day. Whether you struggle to get out of bed or you simply don’t have time to make a good breakfast, you still need essential nutrients to start your day off right. 

This is what Carnation breakfast bars were all about. These bars came from the Breakfast Essentials line and they were a great creation to bring you nutrition, protein, and a tasty start to your day without having to worry about excessive sugar and things like that. 

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments at the bottom of this page. Thank you!

Unfortunately, the breakfast bars are no longer part of the lineup but they still deserve to be remembered. Check out more below! 

Carnation Breakfast Bars


Carnation Breakfast Essentials has long been a solution for providing high-quality protein as well as a host of vitamins and minerals that adults and kids alike can benefit from. Their creations give families the means to grab something quick and easy and start the day off on the right foot. 

These Carnation breakfast bars have been on the market and then off the market on more than one occasion. When they are here, they do relatively well and have a good fan base but it’s apparently not enough to mitigate keeping them on the market. Carnation brand falls under the Nestle umbrella and they’ve made a host of different products through the years. 

An avid fan base still remains for these delicious breakfast bars and you can even find social media groups that are focused on demanding the Carnation breakfast bars be returned. Because of their popularity, many people have tried to re-create them using their own recipes to make something similar and nutritious. 

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Carnation’s breakfast solution started out as just a powdered milk. The powder hosted nutrients, vitamins, and protein that your child needs to start the day. When you mixed it with milk or water, you gave them a great start to the day. The breakfast bars were a spin-off of their popular drinks. 

Carnation Breakfast Bars were introduced around 1975. They were sweet and chocolatey but also provided quality nutrition. They were popular for a quick breakfast fix that you could have on the go. They remained popular clear through the 1980s and into the early 1990s as well. 

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We’re not sure if the bars were discontinued in that time frame but we know the brand hosted a relaunch around 1994 to remind the public about the bars. It still didn’t seem to do the trick and in 1997, the bars were officially discontinued. They had lost their original stamina. 

However, there were a multitude of people who begged for the bars to return. Because of that, Nestle decided to give it a go again. The return product wasn’t exactly the same but it was similar. They updated the labeling and named the bars Carnation Breakfast Essentials Nutrition Bar. The recipe was changed and these coordinated with the other products in the Breakfast Essentials line. 

This debut of a new but similar product happened in 2014. However, despite the efforts many people didn’t feel the bars truly measured up. Some reviews said the flavors just weren’t the same and others simply didn’t like them. Disappointment and lack of sales led to the bar being discontinued yet again by 2020. 

Who knows if Nestle Carnation will try again or if they will just stick to their powdered drinks and pre-made drinks that seem to continue to be popular. 

The bars were originally described as the “instant breakfast you can get your teeth into”. They were made with crunchy centers and granola and had a sweet, smooth chocolate layer on the outside. They were packed with protein and other nutrients as well. 

When Were Carnation Breakfast Bars Invented?

The breakfast bars were initially introduced to the markets in 1975. The bars were said to have just as much nutrition and nourishment as making eggs and bacon for breakfast, when you pair it with a glass of milk. 

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At the time they were introduced, they were very popular with the kids and teens of the time but their popularity seemed to dwindle over the years. This could be due to kids simply eating the breakfast provided by schools or other side factors as well. 

Who Owns Carnation Breakfast bars? 

The ownership of these bars calls under the brand Carnation. Carnation is owned by Nestle and has been since the beginning. While the breakfast bars are no longer in production, the titles and the branding still remain under the ownership of Nestle Carnation. 

The bars were discontinued for the first time in 1997. While they did make a brief comeback, even the newer versions were discontinued by 2020

How Did Carnation Breakfast Bars Get Their Name? 

The creation of these bars was all about being able to provide a person with a quick breakfast solution. The name of the bars is rather self-explanatory when you think about it. 

The marketing was always based on an edible breakfast and the fact that this simple, sweet bar had as much nutrition as eggs and bacon, which take precious time to make each morning. 

The bars provided essential breakfast nutrition and they were always marketed as offering that value to cover energy and nourishment needs for the right start to a morning. The name was very suitable considering the intention of these bars and what they were created to provide. 

In fact, the early advertisements said the nourishment was equivalent to exactly a poached egg on toast, two strips of bacon, and a glass of orange juice. That’s pretty incredible in that little bar. 


Carnation Breakfast Bars Logo


Chocolate was the first and most popular flavor that came out for these breakfast bars but Carnation didn’t stop there. They had a few flavors to choose from. Here are the flavors that were part of the original line. 

  • Chocolate Chip
  • Chocolate Crunch
  • Granola with Raisins
  • Granola Cinnamon
  • Granola with Peanut Butter
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Of course, even though the bars were discontinued, you can still enjoy a variety of flavors from the breakfast essential powder or the ready to drink line as well. You can find the original chocolate as well as cereal flavors. Those include Golden Grahams, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies Treats, and Cinnabon

Sounds delicious! 

Homemade Hacks

Some people have turned to simply trying to re-create the original Carnation Breakfast Bars from home. You can always try this solution if it’s a bar you really want. 

In fact, Carnation even shares a breakfast bar recipe on their website that you can use! 

These are the ingredients. 

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 T ground flax seeds
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds
  • 2 packets Carnation drink mix (recommended classic French Vanilla)
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 3 T peanut butter or alternative
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries

To make them, you’re just going to combine your oats, flax seeds, almonds, drink mix powder, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Once those are mixed, whisk in vanilla, eggs, banana, milk, and coconut oil. Then fold in strawberries and blueberries. 

Transfer this to a baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Of course, this doesn’t have the same chocolate coating but it’s still pretty good. You could coat the bars in chocolate if you want to as well. 



Carnation breakfast bars were an essential for so many kiddos growing up from the mid-70s to the mid-90s. There are many memories that revolve around these treats and it wasn’t always just breakfast either. It’s a shame they are no longer produced but perhaps Nestle Carnation will bring them back again someday. 

Please leave a review or any memories of this snack in the comments below. Thank you!

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  1. I loved loved Carnation Breakfast Bars when I first discovered them in my 30s.
    Greatest on the go boost.
    Forget the kiddos. Try marketing to us that are older now and remind us of our earlier years and enjoying CBB.
    I will occasionally check the breakfast isle hoping I might see CBB are back. Disappointed again.
    You could throw the kiddos in at the end of commercial or ad. Kids already have a HUGE selection of bars and cereals.
    The marketing sweet spot is to adults. I want to see Carnation Breakfast Bars back on the shelf. I love them. Don’t change original recipes. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!!!

  2. Carnation was way ahead of its time with the mixing of the slightly salty, crumbly interior and the not-too-sweet thin layer of chocolate on the outside. Isn’t that the rage now? I say, bring’ em back! There is a whole portion of the population out there who are parents and grandparents now, who remember growing up on these, and who would love to re-live their childhood a little and share that with their children and grandchildren. We just went through the retro-1970s fashion scene and should be coming up on the retro-1980s in this decade. If they go back to the original recipe, Nestle could make a killing with these, and start out a lot of Americans’ day with some good old-fashion joy and nutrition. Time to start up the line again!

  3. You need to bring back the breakfast bars even If it’s just for a season do a limited run an see if thay would sale good again an give them another try. So many of us loved them. Thay just might sell great again.

  4. Bring them back, please! Market to the adults and use the originals recipe. They will be a hit, guaranteed!

  5. The original Carnation Breakfast Bars were the best nutrition bar ever made. I’ve looked for these on and off through the years only to find some other new “chewy” granola bar on the shelves. With as many people missing them and wanting them back on would think Nestlé would use the original recipe(which I’m sure they have) and start selling them again. Us adults who had them in the 70s, 80s and 90s would truly appreciate it!!

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