3 Iconic Breakfast Cereals Return to Stores Early for 2021

It's still the dog days of summer, but Halloween is already in the cereal aisle. Food fans on social media have reported seeing General Mills' fan-favorite Monster Cereals in stores already. This year's box designs celebrate the 50th anniversary of Boo-Berry, Count Chocula, and Franken Berry hitting stores. General Mills also plans to launch the Monster Mash cereal later this year, featuring all five monster characters.

This weekend, a cereal fan reported seeing the three classic cereals at a Sam's Club location. The 2021 boxes for each are retro designs, celebrating their big anniversary. Franken Berry and Count Chocula debuted in 1971, and are both similar to General Mills' Lucky Charms. Count Chocula is a chocolate-flavored cereal with marshmallows, while Franken Berry is strawberry-flavored. Boo-Berry was introduced the following year. Fruit Brute joined the roster in 1974 and Fruity Yummy Mummy was introduced in 1988. The three best-known Monster Cereals are usually available around Halloween each year. Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy were discontinued, but they both came back for a short time in 2013.

General Mills' 50th-anniversary campaign does not include just a new box for the big three monsters. The company teamed up with Jada Toys to release action figures of Count Chocula and Franken Berry this year, with each figure coming with its own small cereal box. Funko made Pop figures of Boo Berry, Fruit Brute, and Yummy Mummy in the past, so there clearly is a market for toys based on cereal mascots.

Back in May, a photo of the upcoming crossover cereal Monster Mash leaked. The box art features all five Monster Cereals characters playing instruments, presumably playing "Monster Mash." They could also be performing "Monster Adventures in Outer Space," a record on the back of Monster Cereals in 1979.

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The monsters have all gone through design changes over the years. In 2014, General Mills enlisted DC Comics artists Jim Lee, Dave Johnson, and Terry and Rachel Dodson to redesign the main three characters for the boxes that year. "The artists share our love for Monsters Cereals, and Monsters Cereals fans also love DC Comics," Catherine Cox Draper, business unit director for General Mills Big G Cereals, told USA Today at the time. "The reimagining of the Monsters for the packaging was a highly collaborative process, and we had a lot of fun seeing the artists' vision for our beloved Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry come to life."