Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What Happened to "Boo-Berry" ?

America as we know it is in shambles. The economy is at a standstill and our leaders can't seem to put on their Velcro shoes on in the morning. So there I am in the middle of an important conversation about how I can help solve America's woes and something even greater overcomes me. A question that I'm sure thousands of Clevelander's and people who grew up in the 90s all over the nation are asking. What ever happened to "Boo Berry" cereal?

One of the things that brightened my day growing up was going to the market with my mother and cereal shopping. Walking down that long isle with the warm shimmer of cereal boxes gracing my cheek bones. Light sprung from the various titles that colored the boxes of wholesome goodness. "Golden Crisp" (a classic ) "Coco Puffs" (slightly overrated because of obvious aftertaste) "Fruit Loops" (a colorful choice) "Lucky Charms" (purchased solely for marshmallow goodness) "Trix" (this was bought because I had empathy for that rabbit). Now, there were the three cereals that all mothers saw as the bane of breakfast and health. You would shoot one look towards the direction of this cereal and your mother said "No way". "Do you want your teeth to rot?". Yes we did. For the pleasure of ingesting General Mill's "Count Chocula", "Frankenberry", and the elusive "Booberry".

Now this is interesting because "Count Chocula" is the most popular of the three because he is obviously favored in the marketing scheme. Also, Chocolate flavor seems to be more popular in America over "Berry-Like" themes or flavors. So, obviously "Frankenberry" and Boo have a disadvantage. I admit that Chocula tastes the best but feel that "BooBerry" has a charisma that is unlike any other. He is by nature sad. Look at him on the cover of the cereal box. He lacks confidence even next to a mediocre "Frakenberry". The cereal doesn't taste great either. What is supposed to be a subtle blueberry taste comes across as a brash wash of muddled flavors. Yet even with this disadvantage, the mere sight of the cereal-box always made me think twice. And the fact that "Booberry" cereal would appear and re-appear on store shelves made it an enigmatic cereal choice. A choice of someone who really kept a watchful eye on the breakfast shelves. Since I have been a kid I've shopped the long cereal isle. There are moments I see a faint blue glow beckoning me. At times I go to it.

(Interesing facts)
Researching the history of these cereals I found out that "Booberry" isn't discontinued as I once thought. Nor is the over-eager "Frankenberry" (which is an exaggerated mosh-pit of fruity flavors) . They are now scarcely marketed and used during holidays like Halloween and Christmas. I also found that "Frakenberry" was originally made in the 70s with a dye that the human body couldn't break down(no joke). So the feces of the children who ate this cereal would be bright pink. This condition was sometimes named "Franken-stool".
There are also two rogue cereals from the same General Mill's family of Chocula, Fraken, and Boo. They are called "Fruit Brute" produced from (1975-1983) and what supposed to be Brute's replacement "Yummy Mummy" produced from (1987-1993).


Chris Collier said...

I am no fan of Boo-Berry. Boo-Berry was always kind of, well, creepy-wierd. Just the name, Boo like blue, right? Blueberry, Boo-berry? Kind of a stretch, don't you think? Is the character's name Boo-Berry? Is it only the name of the cereal? Its not clear. Boo! Supposed to scare you, right? But there is nothing scarry about the ghost on the box. He sort of looks like a sloppy, tired, door to door salesman-ghost from the 1950's. What's with the hat and red bow tie? If you are a ghost, to what do you attach the tie? I want to talk to the General Mills marketing guy who came up with this concept. The whole thing seems drug induced to me.

alex collier said...

Hilarious article, this brings back great memories. I was unaware of the Franken-stool but I'm not surprised that there is such a thing!

Boo Berry reminds of the elusive "Ultimate Warrior" His disappearances and comebacks were legendary. Everyone would wait patiently for a chance that maybe, just maybe he would make an appearance. just like Boo