Ready Brek is an oat-based breakfast cereal produced by Weetabix Limited. It is intended to be served hot, and comes in four varieties — ‘original’, ‘chocolate’ ‘honey’ and ‘Seriously Oaty’. A butterscotch flavour was marketed during the 1970s.
Ready Brek was originally produced by J. Lyons and Co., created from experimentation by Walter Pitts, a factory manager from the Tea Division of Lyons. It was launched in 1957 as an instant porridge, then in 1969 as an instant hot cereal. The brand was purchased by Weetabix in June 1990. Since its beginning, it has been consumed mostly by children, or students, and understandably more popular in autumn and winter. Ready Brek had the slogan Central heating for kids and Get up and Glow, and TV adverts during the 1970s and 1980s showed children walking to school with a dramatic radiant glow. In a survey entitled ‘Cereal offenders’ by Which?, Ready Brek was found to have the lowest added salt and sugar of all breakfast cereals tested. In 2006, Which? released a supplementary report ‘Cereal re-offenders’
There is a more-oaty variety called Seriously Oaty, which is more of a flavoured oats mixture, where porridge oats in small sachets have had sugar and powdered flavouring added. There is less packaging in the normal box of Ready Brek. Most supermarket chains have their own range of instant oatmeal cereal.