The Boxtop - Cereal Netletter
Volume 7, Number 2 Late Summer 2005

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Late Summer 2005 Index

Character Profile: The Monster Cereals
Top Selling Cereals In The United States
Where Have All The Good Prizes Gone?
Cereal Review - General Mill's Whole Grain Total
Cereal Review - General Mill's Reese's Puffs
Cereal Review - General Mill's Cookie Crisp
Favorite Cereals of the Stars
What's New in Cereal?
  • Kellogg's 50 Wobblers Promotion
  • General Mills Free Cereal Promotion
  • Post "Back to School" $5 Rebate
  • United Press Syndicate Cereal-Related Comics Archive
  • Internet Coupons: $1.00 Off Two Boxes of General Mills Cereals
  • Do You Have A Good Cereal Story?
  • A Short Tribute To Our Beloved Vocal Talent Lost This Summer
Send Us Your News

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Character Profile: The Monster Cereals
by Topher
The Monster Cereals are considered Grain Gods. Although General Mills will only credit Count Chocula, Frankenberry, Boo Berry, and Fruit Brute as being part of the "Monster Cereal" collection, while Yummy Mummy is included by fans of these cereals. We frankly do not know why General Mills does not consider all five as members of their "Monster Collection" but it could be because Yummy Mummy appeared in the decade following the introduction of the first four.

In the late 1980's Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry were transformed into "less scary" creatures while Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy were discontinued altogether.

Tony Jaffe was Creative Director for early commercials featuring Count Chocula and Frankenberry. Laura Levine wrote the spots. Both worked at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample (now Saatchi and Saatchi).
booberry
Boo Berry (born in 1973) is a blue ghost. You can find out more about Boo Berry at The Official Boo Berry Page.
chocula
It was rumored that Count Chocula (1971) once wore a six-pointed medallion (the Maltese Cross, from the Order of the Thelemic Knights or the Order of St. John). This is not true. In 1987, a box of Count Chocula was produced which included an image of Bela Lagosi as Dracula on the box. As you can see, it was Dracula that was wearing the six-pointed medallion on his chest.
frankenberry
Frankenberry (1971) is a non-threatening Frankenstein monster. You can find out more about Frankenberry at The Frankenberry Homepage.
I also encourage you to check out this great 34-second computer animated redux of a classic Frankenberry cereal commercial.
fruit brute
Fruit Brute (1974) is a werewolf. He was discontinued in 1982. A Fruit Brute box shows up occasionally in Quentin Tarantino movies. It appeared in Pulp Fiction (a scene in which Vincent calls Lance on his cell phone, Lance is eating a bowl of Fruit Brute), and Reservoir Dogs (in Mr. Orange's apartment).
yummy mummy Yummy Mummy was also available as "Fruity Yummy Mummy" from 1988 to 1990. Fruity Yummy Mummy was self-described as an "artificial fruit flavor frosted cereal with vanilla flavor marshmallows". Technically, Yummy Mummy was not classified as a "Monster Cereal" by General Mills.

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Top Selling Cereals In The United States
by Topher
Almost 1 out of 10 boxes of ready-to-eat cereal sold in the U.S. is a box of Cheerios. According to A.C. Nielsen Financial Services, the top selling cereal brand in the U.S. for the 52 weeks ended July 16, 2005, is General Mills Cheerios (all varieties lumped together) with 9.8% of the total market. Runner up, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes has a 5.1% market share, and Post Honey Bunches of Oats has a 4.2% market share.

Here are the top 5 brands of cereal by manufacturer based upon total unit sales (all varieties) for the 52 weeks ended July 16, 2005, listed in order of popularity with the most popular listed first in each row. Market share for each top brand is shown in parenthesis.

Kellogg's (32.4%)
Frosted Flakes (5.1%), Frosted Mini-Wheats, Raisin Bran, Special K, Froot Loops
General Mills (26.1%)
Cheerios (9.8%), Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Kix
Post (15.3%)
Honey Bunches of Oats (4.2%), Grape Nuts, Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Pebbles, Honey-Comb
Quaker Oats (6.4%)
Cap'n Crunch (2.6%), Life, Squares, Honey Graham, King Vitaman
Malt-O-Meal (5.0%)
Golden Puffs (0.7%), Tootie Fruities, Marshmallow Mateys, Toasty O's, Frosted Mini Spooners
Private Label Brands (13.8%)
Ralcorp Holdings (formerly Ralston) is the #1 manufacturer of private label/store brands.
All Other Ready-to-eat Brands (1%)
This would include the emerging lines of organic cereals.

Of interest, it appears General Mills made more money per box of cereal sold in the past year (likely due to less promotional pricing), and Kellogg's most profitable cereal appears to be its line of Special K cereals. See our page on Breakfast Food Statistics if you would like to see even more data.

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Where Have All The Good Prizes Gone?
by Topher
Suddenly, all the good cereal prizes have dried up. There are currently no cool prizes available inside cereal boxes. And you know why? Cereal is undergoing a price war in the form of coupons and rebates. We can only hope that when the war ends, they will come back with great prizes inside their cereals which will have kids (and adults) buying the cereal just to get at the prize. There is NO BETTER WAY to sell cereal than to offer a great character-related prize. Come on guys! Where are the classic prizes that feature the cereal spokescharacters: like spoonsitters, a plastic cereal bowl, plastic or rubber figurines, Hot Wheels cars painted with cereal-related decals, deeds to Canadian land, secret decoder rings, and character spoons?

The best prize-inside currently on the market is Kellogg's Wobblers (see related story below); a collection of 50 different Disney-related beans was a great idea. It could have been better. They should have included a set of beans with Kellogg's cereal characters on them.

What are the worst prizes? Crap which has nothing to do with the cereal character. These are prizes usually related to the latest movie promotion. It works "okay" for cereals without a character, but for cereals with characters --- it is a very sad commentary on the folks in charge of in-box promotions. Create some excitement. Bring out a complete line of combination character spoonsitters/bowl hangers in 5 different colors. Get 'er done!

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Cereal Reviews
by Topher, Editor

General Mills "Whole Grain Total"

Whole Grain TotalTotal has been around since 1961. It's sort of like Wheaties, but with 100% of your daily allowance of 12 vitamins and minerals. This is primarily a whole grain wheat flake. Some areas of the country may also include brown rice as an ingredient. Mine did. Rice tends to make for a crisper, lighter, flake. Total is a good, crisp flake with a pleasant flavor which is not sweet. The flakes soften fairly rapidly in milk, but do not sog easily. The textured baked flakes are not uniform in size or shape. The only real downside is that the cereal does tend to build up and stick to your molar enamel. Total is also a good source of fiber (10% daily allowance) so be sure to drink the milk in the bottom of the bowl. I rate Whole Grain Total at 7 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

General Mills "Reese's Puffs"
Reese's PuffsReese's Puffs contain two different whole grain (corn, oats, and rice) puffs: a brown "Real Hershey's cocoa" puff and a gold "Reese's Peanut Butter" puff. All the puffs are coated with an opaque frosting which tastes sweet but isn't too strong. You are left with a nice peanut butter flavor. Unfortunately, the chocolate flavor is rather weak. (This cereal would rate a "10" if they could figure out how to intensify the chocolate taste). The crispy, crunchy, puffs float on your milk and don't tear up your mouth like some peanut butter nugget-shaped cereals. This is a hit as concept cereals go. I rate Reese's Puffs at 7½ Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

General Mills "Cookie Crisp"
Cookie CrispCookie Crisp was one of the cereals General Mills picked up when they bought out Ralston's branded cereal line in 1997. Cookie Crisp has been around since 1977. Cookie Jarvis was the first spokescharacter. The box at left features Chip the Cookie Hound. More recent boxes feature a wolf named Howler (recently renamed Chip the Wolf) who originally appeared on boxes in England and made his way to the States. The cereal itself looks like dull miniature chocolate chip cookies. These cute, crispy, floating disks absorb milk but do not get soggy very rapidly. Once again, the cereal scientists have yet to develop a rich chocolate flavor. The "chocolate chips" impart an off-chocolate aftertaste which is rather regrettable. Why this cereal has lasted so long in the cereal aisle is beyond the comprehension of my taste buds. I rate Cookie Crisp at 3 Boxtops ("We Have A Spill On Aisle 4". You Can Do Better.)

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Favorite Cereals of the Stars
by Topher

Reggie Miller of the Indiana Pacers professional basketball team told radio listeners of the "Bob & Tom Show" that his favorite cereal is "Froot Loops with sugar on top".

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What's New In Cereal?
by Topher

WobblersKellogg's 50 Wobblers Promotion
Kellogg's has released a series of 50 different Wobblers which are shaped a lot like the clever, but fading, Mighty Beanz. You'll find 1 of 50 "free inside" specially marked boxes of Kellogg's cereals, or by mail order with these forms and $1.99: Classic Disney set (shown), Finding Nemo set, Lion King set, and the Winnie-the-Pooh set. You can also order the entire set for $29.95 by completing the official form found on cereal boxes.
Other wobblers feature characters from Monsters Inc, Peter Pan, Toy Story, Lady and the Tramp, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Aladdin, Dumbo, 101 Dalmatians, Bambi, Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, and a few other classic Disney characters not included in the above 3-piece sets. [Editor's Note: All offers were discontinued by year-end 2006].

General Mills Free Cereal Promotion
They don't make it easy, but you can get a rebate for a box of General Mills cereal. Step 1 is to buy a specially marked box of General Mills cereal to recover a 14-character code inside the box. Step 2 is to complete this online form [No longer available]. Step 3 is to printout a rebate form. Step 4 is to go buy a box a cereal (28 ounces or less) for which you can actually mail in the rebate form on.

Post "Back to School" $5 Rebate
The Smart Source Sunday paper circular included a rebate form good for $5 back with the purchase of 5 Post cereals. The same circular also included a $1.00 off coupon on the purchase of 2 Post cereals for a total savings of $6.

United Press Syndicate Cereal-Related Comics Archive
There is a great collection of United Press Syndicate comics online at AMU Reprints. Simply type cereal into the search bar and hit the "Start Searching" button. You'll be presented with over 125 comic strips which deal humorously with "cereal".

Internet Coupons: $1.00 Off Two Boxes of General Mills Cereals
At the "Box Tops for Education" website, you'll find a couple of coupons which can be printed on your computer's printer and redeemed at your favorite grocery store. And while we're on the subject, for a limited time, over 40 select General Mills products, including Cheerios, featuring "Box Tops for Education" will carry not just one, but Two Box Tops coupons. Clip both of the Box Tops and your school earns 20¢ from each of these special packages. Check out our Winter 2004 article for more information on Box Tops or a school you can send your Box Tops to.

Do You Have A Good Cereal Story?
We're looking for your interesting or humorous experiences with cereal. Do you have any great stories of the old days when you were a kid, or having to do with your own kids? Send us your short stories. We'll print our favorites in The Boxtop. (No, you don't get paid, but you do get bragging rights).

A Short Tribute To Our Beloved Vocal Talent Lost This Summer
  1. Thurl Ravenscroft, who passed away on May 22, 2005, is best known as the voice of Tony the Tiger.
  2. Robie Lester passed away on June 14, 2005. She voiced a number of cereal and Disney characters.
  3. Paul Winchell, the voice of Tigger and a number of 1960's cartoon characters, passed away on June 24, 2005.
  4. John Fiedler, who passed away on June 25, 2005, is best known as the voice of Piglet.
We send our sincere condolences to their family and friends.

Send Us Your News
If you notice anything new in your supermarket cereal isle, or wish to report a new cereal development, please email us. We'll give you credit for your information, or keep it confidential, at your request. Thank you.

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Disclaimers and Other Legal Stuff
The Boxtop is a non-commercial publication. It is not affiliated with or endorsed by any cereal or company. All of the names, characters, brands, and icons included here are trademarks of their respective parent companies and cannot be used for commercial purposes. Enjoy breakfast and support your favorite characters!
Opinions expressed are those of the writer, which like most things having to do with cereal may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editor, anyone else on the staff, or the world at large. A good sense of humor is appreciated.
Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the Editor.
All information contained herein was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness.
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