Hoarding of "monster cereals" -- Boo Berry, Franken Berry, Count Chocula, Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy -- has garnered some attention this year, but the items' cult following is less of a new thing than one might think.
NPR's piece "Unleashed On Halloween, Monster Cereals Haunt Hoarders" was clearly written by a person who a) has not experienced a Boo Berry craving with insufficient supply and b) isn't aware of some subtle complexities of the market for monster cereals.
Full disclosure: I myself happen to be a "Boo Berry hoarder." In fact, NPR's piece cracked me up in one regard because we just threw out a box of reserved Boo Berry which had well surpassed its 2012 best-by date. But it was the only one in the house.
The network notes that Boo Berry, Frankenberry, and their ilk have been only sold seasonally since 2010, much like Mallomars or even Shamrock Shakes and McRibs. And a resultant cult of scarcity has ensued... but we don't think that's the only matter in play here.
For starters, monster cereals have only been seasonally available in the New York metro area for many years, as long as we can remember since the 80s, in fact. And as far back as four years ago, we witnessed at least one incident of Boo Berry hoarding as we were stocking up on the cereals which had been actually marked down at Target so you have to but as many as you can afford or can fit in your cart.
Our brother in Frankenberry appreciation himself was convincing a skeptical wife that the purchase of 12 boxes of the cereals was necessary, because due to the seasonal availability of Boo Berry and its fellows, allows for occasional bowls of the treat when absolutely needed.
(So please, if you live with a monster cereal hoarder, understand that the chance is truly fleeting to ensure your stocks of emergency Boo Berry are sufficient to last until the 2014 Halloween season. Once the Boo Berry goes off the shelf, this decision cannot be undone.)
NPR quotes The Sporkful's Dan Pashman -- who totally gets the Boo Berry hoarding phenomenon. If you're one of us, this is totally a "yeah, bro" moment:
Pashman himself recently purchased a Boo Berry that's doesn't expire until September 2014. 'I'm gonna hang on to that 'til supplies are low,' he says, 'and then that's my nest egg right there.' "
So while NPR calls it Boo Berry hoarding, we prefer to think of it as responsible adult planning of cereal supplies for the projected year's breakfast and late-night needs. Are you a monster cereal fan, and do you stock up accordingly?