How Monster Cereals Became A Modern Halloween Tradition

The Halloween season really is incomplete without festive food options. Brands like General Mills have been keen to come up with several products over the years — one of their best-selling being Monster Cereals. According to the General Mills blog, these Halloween cereals have been around for 50 years and were inspired by "classic horror film characters."

In 1971, General Mills first introduced the concept to its customers with the Franken Berry and Count Chocula varieties — said to be the only strawberry and chocolate cereals on shelves at that time. Boo Berry was the third flavor that was added to the line-up the next year and other character versions followed later. Interestingly, the brand originally kept their cereals around all year, but by 2009, they decided to limit them to just Halloween season to make them extra special. 

The company promoted the products aggressively and have often come up with entertaining commercials for audiences that first gave them notice in the market and have kept fans hooked all these years later. As one person commented on a '70s-era YouTube commercial for Count Chocula, "I used to like to mix Franken Berry, Boo Berry, Count Chocula, and Fruit Brute together for a balanced diet. Note all the four food groups are represented."

The Monster Cereals are nostalgic for many fans

According to the General Mills blog, fans got a special treat in 2013 when all five notorious Monster Cereals made it to stores for the first time ever in a limited-time edition run. At that time, customers could pick from Boo Berry, Franken Berry, Count Chocula, Frute Brute, and Yummy Mummy, with the last two only existing for short periods in 1974-1982 and 1988-1992, respectively. When all five were released at the same time in 2013, Target exclusively carried boxes that were available in classic "retro packaging," per the blog, making scores of fans nostalgic for 1970s breakfast time all over again.

The original animator behind the character drawings was none other than George Karn, also behind the popular Trix Rabbit, though Monster Cereal boxes have looked different throughout the years thanks to various guest artists including DC Comics. Early boxes also had a lot of extra treats inside for kids too including masks, coloring kits, and stickers. There were even flexi-disc records at one point with songs from the various characters. And this year, in honor of the 50th anniversary, all five on the OG Monster Cereal squad are coming together for a special limited-edition Monster Mash box — the first time you can enjoy all in one bowl, per the blog.

The Monster Cereals still have many takers who vouch for them. As one Redditor wrote, "My dad loves them so much he'll buy enough to last him the whole year."