Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Remembering Crispy Creature Crunch

I'm old enough to remember Fruit Brute cereal, there I said it. The almost forgotten monster cereal that featured the mufti fruit cereal and the cartoon werewolf with the colorful suspenders. Hey I still had my Fruit Brute secret compartment ring up until a few years ago. I'm sure there are quite a few others out there that remember him, he shows up in google searches and in the recent bobble heads but how many remember the regionally tested Crispy Creature Crunch?

A rare advertising image of the Crispy Creature
Crispy Creature Crunch was a test by General Mills in the north eastern United States in the mid to late 70's and could, to my knowledge, only be found at Stop and Shop supermarkets. The cereal was a vanilla flavored cereal with lily pad shaped marshmallows that were coated with a green sugar that when milk was added would dissolve and turn the milk green. The marketing department at General Mills created a cartoon sea creature to be the face of the cereal. Called "The Creature from the Bowl n' Spoon" in the comic on the back of the box where he interacted with Franken Berry, Count Chocula and Boo Berry. The Creature in the comic was depicted as the lazy eyed denizen of a green swamp outside the castle inhabited by the main three cereal monster characters.

Since the cereal was a regional test there was unfortunately no animated commercial to showcase the character however inside information and notes on the character design sheet list him as to have spoken with a voice similar to Rat Packer Dean Martin, making him truly a lounge lizard...sorry bad pun.

The cereal sadly was not a spectacular seller, it may be that the advertising campaign was lacking, virtually no advertising materials can be found, it can be that the cereal was tested in the dead of winter whereas a test in the fall when kids would be sitting down to the new season of Saturday morning cartoons or summer, when kids were off from school and cereal could be munched any time of the lazy day would have given a better market test. It could be that the cereal was sold only in one chain, and not a very popular one at the time, but I think the main reason was no one wanted to eat a cereal that turned their milk a sickly green color. The sugar was supposed to create a dark green color but only succeeded in making the milk a spoiled looking green that was visually unpleasant.

As a result of the poor sales the cereal was shelved along with the few other failed monster spokesmen like the Fruit Phantom and the Bride of Franken Berry. Although he did see another online test run in recent years as a nostalgia gimmick it is doubtful the Crispy Creature will ever rise from the Bowl n' Spoon lagoon again.

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