Review: Franken Berry Cereal (2017)

Franken Berry Monster Cereal Marshmallows Strawberry 2017 Review – Box

For those about to rock read my third annual review of the exact same cereal, we salute you!

Listen, Frank. Can I call you Frankie? Francis? Franco-Prussian War?

You know I love you, man. It’s true, it’s true: I tell people I love the taste of Count Chocula the best—not counting my estranged (emphasis on the strange) love, Fruity Yummy Mummy, who’s currently jamming to “Walk Like an Egyptian” in some funky undead pyramid disco in the sky.

But from an aesthetic standpoint, I like you best. I promise. No I don’t mean you, you. Let’s be real here: Boo Berry is both suaver and cuter in his debonair porkpie hat. I’d let him take me to the Poltergeist Prom any day. No way my father would let me get picked up by a pink dude with steampunk apparatuses on his neck. We live in the clean energy age, Francesco.

But your cereal? Those neon pink ghosts and pastel marshmallows? The pastel marshmallows that make the whole thing feel like a Taiwanese night market?
Hoo, doggy! Or should I say, A-WOO, werewolfy!

François, your artificially strawberry-flavored cereal is the prettiest I’ve ever seen. I’d hang it on my refrigerator if it contained enough magnesium per serving (I don’t understand how magnets work). But for now, I have to eat it. So let’s forget about the Count, forget that I just swooned so hard over Boo Berry that I crashed through your coffee table, and let’s have Franken Berry for breakfast.

Franken Berry Monster Cereal Marshmallows Strawberry 2017 Review

Either my taste buds are growing senile or Franken Berry tastes less like strawberries every year. While Count Chocula’s cocoa stock has held its market value since the Great Oat Flour Crash of the 21st Century, and while Boo Berry has always tasted ambiguous enough to make Froot Loops look like Whole Foods, Franken Berry’s tickled-pink ghosts have progressively become more corny and less berry-flavored.

Though considering how I almost just used the pun “berry-ly berry-flavored,” excessive corniness may just be a growing epidemic.

Is this a bad thing, though? Maybe. As Franken Berry’s ghost pieces—which are just as chewy and airy as they are crispy or crunchy—include only mild notes of candied strawberry glaze over a robust, toasted maize base (picture a pink Laffy Taffy blended with pink Powerade Zero and a hunk of cornbread), they don’t even feel much like a breakfast cereal anymore. Especially in the face of other new cereals that sucker punch your taste buds with sugar-glazed bits or chocolate chunks, something as plain as aerated strawberry husks doesn’t hold much persuasive sway, aside from its nostalgia value.

And the marshmallows don’t help much, either. The comparatively tame monster cereal gimmick this year was the inclusion of “Monster Marshmallows” in each respective frightening foodie’s cereal. But while Count Chocula got big, honkin’ lightning bolts that jacked up the marshmallow fluffiness of his entire fudge-flavored fare, the lumpy Franken Berry heads here are no bigger than the other assorted lavender ghosts and blue bats.

Plus they look more less like Frank’s head and more like a Ditto that got worked over with a rolling pin.

Franken Berry’s strawberry base needs adequate marbit creaminess to thrive, as the sugar nuggets bring a subtle “berries and cream smoothie” blend that offsets all that corn. So I advise stockpiling all your marshmallows—just like all of us did back in the day as part of Universal Kid Law—and saving them for a select few Loaded FlufferCruncher Bites (patent pending on this technique).

Of course, this will leave you with a bowl full of bland and boring pink bits, so I recommend taking up pen-palling as a hobby. You’ll have plenty of packing peanuts to ship gifts with.

Franken Berry Monster Cereal Marshmallows Strawberry 2017 Review – With Milk

Milk is far from imperative, as this iteration of Franken Berry tastes better as a sweet popcorn substitute during movies or a controversial trail mix mix-in for parties you want to be kicked out of. Milk makes the marshmallows sweeter, creamier, and tastier, but it mostly just makes the strawberry ghosts chewier and styrofoamier.

Franken Berry Monster Cereal Marshmallows Strawberry 2017 Review – Pop-Tart Sandwich

Since I already made a Pop-Tartstrosity using melted Count Chocula marshmallows and Halloween toaster pastries, I figured I owed Franken Berry the same “luxury” and my arteries the same punishment. I froze my Pop-Tarts before adding the toasted marshmallows, so it ended up tasting like strawberry shortcake ice cream inside a sugar cone…wrapped in a corn tortilla. My conclusion? Needs some strawberry Go-Gurt to complete the hedonistically creamy-crunchy trilogy.

Overall, Franken Berry just isn’t doing it for me this year. The marshmallows feel smaller, the ghosts feel starchier, and every other new cereal just seems more flavorful. My sincere hope for next year’s flavor gimmick is “Flavor-Blasted Monster Cereals.” Take the powder-coated goodness of Thin Mints Cereal, Strawberry and Blueberry Toast Crunch, and baste Count, Frank, and Boo like they’re Cornish game hens.

Until then, I’ll have to pour Smucker’s jelly on my Flavor-Blasted Goldfish.

See what you made me do, Franken Berry?


 

The Bowl: Franken Berry Monster Cereal (2017)

The Breakdown: All corn flavor and no jumbo marshmallows makes Frank a dull boy, and Dan hungry for something innovative.

The Bottom Line: 5 Powerade purées out of 10

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8 responses »

  1. Getting more and more disappointed with the taste, or rather lack of taste of the Monster cereals these days. Even Count Chocula didn’t taste chocolatey. Not sure why they have to change the formula so much. I’d love to try a bowl of all 3 Monster cereals from the recipes circa 1989 to see how different they tasted back then versus now. I’m sure the taste difference would be night and day different.

    • They should! And i guess the sales could reach new highs 🙂

      Though the reason for changing the formular was most probably money (corn beeing cheaper than oats?) and the weird “quest” of trying to please a target audience that will never transfrom into costumers. (best example the recent “lets make cereal healthy, to please the parents obsessed by the health trend and are too afraid to let their kids come in contact with ANY bacteria or sugar! – though even with less sugar, a “healthier” grain base and no artifical colors they won’t buy cereal and keep buying the better and always as health food branded products… and if they do… the kids most probably won’t like it since they like the sugar in the cereal ;))

      Sorry i went a bit overboard with my rant about trying to make some of cereals become something they aren’t and never will be. 😳

      • You’re not going overboard with your rant. I think a lot of us feel the same way. Enough already with the use of Cornmeal and Corn based cereals.
        And I agree about them trying to make the cereal healthier and in turn, sacrificing taste for health. People who buy the Monster cereals, and many other sugary cereals aren’t looking to buy them for the health factor in most cases. They’re looking to buy them for the sweet taste. I think Cereal companies lost sight of that fact. Maybe that’s why so many of them are not doing well nowadays.

        • Exactly!
          I’m glad i’m not the only one thinking the big brands got lost in the past and their hopes cereals (especially the sweet ones) could actually become a breakfast staple again, like in the good old days – even with the new competition and competitors on the market.

          It’s not bad to create “healthier” cereals for an actual breakfast, that keeps full and has less sugar in it, but the sugary classic need to stay the way they are. They are treats, they are sweets and we buy them exactly because of that. I mean it has a reason ice cream cereal bars, cereal shakes (aka sugar bombs) and all the other sweeeeeeet stuff made with or out of cereal is so popular… (even already sweet chocolately cocoa puffs get hyped by adding more sugar in form of marbits… and not to mention the only charms lucky charms).
          This is how they should start thinking about their sweet cereal (aside of special k and co.) and how they should start marketing it… the bowl of cereal as substitute/alternative/variety to a cup of yoghurt… (Actually the one of the reasons i started my blog deCereal… and yes, the “de” stands for “dessert” and not for Germany ;))

          Thanks for you kind comment steve and for “overlooking” my little rant 😀

  2. Franken Berry is my least favorite of the Monster cereals. GM really needs to work on the strawberry flavor and less corn.

  3. Either my taste buds are growing senile or Franken Berry tastes less like strawberries every year. …oooor over the years Frankenberry got competition with all the good strawberry flavored cereal that came out raised the bar for good strawberry cereal higher. The falvor was OK until similar and better cereals hit the shelves.
    I’m sure it could be the same for Yummy Mummy and the orange-cream flavor they were given for the relaunche, since Cap’n Crunch nailed the Creamsicle Flavor with their Creampop Crunch, that even nostalgia can’t save our beloved Mummy from beeing crunched… ehm crushed…

    And after you mentioned the similarity of the new Cocoa Puffs with Marshmallows and Count Chocula i really hope for the count, that GM thought about this move very carefully, as it could become a huge hit for the Monster Cereals (though Chocolate Lucky Charms didn’t bring the Count to fall) 🙂

    Cheers!

    • eek so much typos… -.-
      – Franken Berry! Not Frankenberry!
      – raised the bar = raising the bar (or put an and before raised)
      – flavor and not falvor (what does falvor even mean… salvage the flavor? -.-)
      – relaunch! without the e!

      😳

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