Filed Under:

Unleashed On Halloween, Monster Cereals Haunt Hoarders

Play associated audio

This Halloween season, the cereal monsters are on the loose. Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry have consumers in their grasp — for a limited time only.

General Mills' line of "Monster Cereals" originally hit the market in the early '70s, but the company decided in 2010 they would only be available during the Halloween season.

"That was bad news for some people," says Dan Pashman, host of The Sporkful food podcast.

Cereal fans found ways to get by. One of Pashmn's podcast listeners turned her sister in Tuscan, Ariz., into a "Boo Berry mule" by making her cross the border into Mexico to get the cereal.

"This artificial scarcity has kind of galvanized a cult following around this time of year for these cereals," Pashman tells Weekend Edition host Rachel Martin.

This year, Frute Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy are also making a comeback. Frute Brute (formerly "Fruit Brute") went off the market in 1982; Yummy Mummy was pulled in '92.

The boxes aren't collectors' items — consumers do actually eat them. "But not all at once," Pashman says. In fact, he says, cereal hoarders are always checking the expiration dates to see how long the cereal will last.

Pashman himself recently purchased a Boo Berry that's doesn't expire until September 2014. "I'm gonna hang on to that 'til supplies are low," he says, "and then that's my nest egg right there."

Sweetness aside, the Monster Cereals seem to have made a powerful imprint on parents.

"There really is something about these particular artificial flavors that tap into a very specific sense memory," Pashman says.

Sporkful podcast listener Rachel Gonzales told Pashman: "It still reminds me of that Saturday morning special treat that you could only eat every once in a while, and it's something now that I get to share with my own daughter ... It's really kind nostalgic and exciting to me."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Is D.C. The Butt Of The Joke Or A Comedy Powerhouse?

Humor isn't often the subject of scientific inquiry, but the results of a new "humor algorithm" devised by the University of Colorado ranks D.C. among the funniest cities in the country.

NPR

Bake Bread Like A Pioneer In Appalachia ... With No Yeast

Bacteria can make a bread rise and give it a cheesy flavor. That's the secret ingredient in salt rising bread, which dates to the late 1700s in Appalachia, when bakers didn't have yeast on hand.
NPR

Obama Assures Japan Of U.S. Security Commitment

The president is on the first stop in an eight-day trip to Asia that also will see him visit Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea.
NPR

Weekly Innovation: An Inflatable Car Seat That Comes In A Backpack

Parents, you are going to want to read about this prototype from Volvo. It's fully inflatable and designed to make what's normally a clunky and heavy seat both lighter and more portable.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.