CCC: Monster Cereals – Review

Chris Shields, Head Editor

It’s hard to believe, but Halloween is tomorrow! Every product on store shelves is spooky themed as far as the eye can see, and cereal is no exception. Walking down the cereal aisle this time of year, you’ll find a few varieties of pumpkin themed cereals like pumpkin spice Cheerios, Frosted Mini Wheats, and Special K, and you may also find Halloween inspired twists on classic cereals like Cap’n Crunch Berries, Reese’s Puffs, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, and Apple Jacks, but the fall cereals we all look forward to are a little more than that. A seasonal release that only sees the light of day every Halloween season that consumers love above the rest: General Mills’s Monster Cereals. 

The trio of Halloween Monster Cereals, Franken Berry, Count Chocula, and Boo Berry, only come out during the fall. General Mills released the first two monster cereals, Franken Berry and Count Chocula, back in 1971 after realizing the popularity of their Lucky Charms cereal, which is essentially the same cereal in a different flavor, and they went on to release Boo Berry the following year in ‘72. 

There was a point in time when two more monsters were added to the lineup in the forms of Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy, but they were discontinued after a short run.  

Cereal fans of all ages look forward to the day when we can once again see the ghoulish faces of the Monster Cereals smiling at us from the shelves. Instead of giving each of the three an individual review, I’m going to review all three at once, and then compare and rank them against each other based on my personal preference. 

 All three are puffed corn cereals with added marshmallows. Count Chocula, the most iconic of the three, is chocolate flavored and brown in color, Franken Berry is strawberry flavored and a vibrant pink color, and Boo Berry is blueberry flavored, and you guessed it, blue colored. All three come in a box of the same color as their respective flavors (brown, blue, and pink), and feature the iconic monster mascots on the front of the box. 

Nutritionally speaking, Boo Berry and Franken Berry are identical in their ingredients, both containing 160 calories, 11 grams of sugar, and 35 grams of carbohydrates per one and one third cup serving size. They list whole grain corn as their first ingredient, corn meal as their second, and sugar as their third. The odd man out, Count Chocula, is 140 calories, 12 grams of sugar, and 31 grams of carbohydrates per one cup serving, and lists sugar before corn meal in its ingredients. The takeaway? Count Chocula is slightly less healthy for you than his monster friends.  

Upon opening the boxes, you notice that all three have identical shaped cereal pieces and marshmallows that all look similar aside from their color. However, the boxes show that the marshmallows have different shapes. Boo Berry and Count Chocula share the same ghost shaped marshmallow, Franken Berry and Count Chocula share the same bat shaped marshmallow, and then each has a different third shape that’s supposed to replicate the shape of the mascot’s head.  

The scents vary between them based on their flavor, but for whatever reason, Franken Berry has little to no scent. Tasting them dry, they all taste decent, though not super strong in flavor. The marshmallows, however, really bring out the different flavors as they are coated in whatever flavor the cereal is. With milk added the flavors really pop, with Boo Berry having the least strong flavor of the three.  

All three are the exact same pleasant texture both dry and wet, and all three go soggy quickly in milk but provide a nice crunch in the pieces and a soft crunch in the marshmallows before that happens. Boo Berry turns the milk a cool, pale blue color at the end, Count Chocula turns it a light brown color, and Franken Berry only tints the milk every so lightly pink. None of the milks are super flavorful at the end, but the least flavorful is Franken Berry. 

These three cereals are all enjoyable and provide the fun marshmallows we know and love from Lucky Charms, but the weakest of the three is Boo Berry. That’s not to say it’s bad by any means, it’s just the least flavorful and least exciting of them. It’s still a solid cereal and sits at an 81%, B- rating for me. 

Franken Berry ranks only a little higher than Boo Berry, mostly because it’s more flavorful. The taste is similar to Froot Loops but not as sweet or strong. The only let downs with this one is the lack of tasty milk and scent. Its bright, fun color makes for an enjoyable breakfast. Franken Berry gets an 82%, B-. 

That leaves the best of the three: Count Chocula. Uncoincidentally, the unhealthiest of the three is the tastiest and the one I enjoy the most. Its great smell and better taste put it above the others and makes for one of the better chocolate cereals on the market right now. It doesn’t turn the milk as chocolatey as Cocoa Puffs, but it does enhance it a bit and provides deliciousness with every spoonful to the very end. I love Count Chocula and I’ll be sad to see it go after Halloween, although Chocolate Lucky Charms seem to be a similar alternative available year-round. Count Chocula takes the cake with a solid 87%, B+ score. 

Monster Cereals are still available for a very limited time, so I recommend you go out and stock up on these before they’re gone. They’re a fun, spooky-themed treat that only comes around this wonderful time of year. 

 

 

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