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


High Glamour Infuses A Forbidden Love Affair In 'Carol'

Todd Haynes' new film chronicles a lesbian affair between a middle-aged married woman and a young store clerk. Critic David Edelstein says Carol captures the thrill of a once-forbidden subculture.

Some Ancient Farmers Grew Fava Beans Before They Grew Grains

The fava bean is a key staple in much of the world. Researchers say they've found fava beans in the Galilee region of Israel dating over 10,000 years ago — before grains had been domesticated there.

Caught Between A Turkey Leg And A Political Diatribe? We're Here To Help

Nobody wants a side of politics on his or her Thanksgiving table, but it's probably going to happen. Here's some advice to get you through — you may need to buy a duck quacker, though.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

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