Halloween is nearly here, meaning costumes, candy . . . and, apparently for some, a craze over cult cereal.
NPR reports on the phenomenon -- particularly present among nostalgic Gen-Xers -- concerning the annual late-October return of so-called “monster cereals,” like Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry.
The news agency writes the cereals, which first hit supermarket shelves in the 1970s, were discontinued by manufacturer General Mills in 2010, and now make only a once-a-year re-appearance around Halloween.
"This artificial scarcity has kind of galvanized a cult following around this time of year for these cereals," Dan Pashman, host of The Sporkful food podcast, told the station.
It's really kind of nostalgic and exciting to me."
"There really is something about these particular artificial flavors that tap into a very specific sense memory."
Indeed, news accounts abound of autumnal supermarket runs on the once-popular sugary cereals coinciding with their annual, October return.
Referencing the craze, Pashman told NPR one of his Tucson, Ariz.-based listeners enlisted her sister as a so-called “Boo Berry mule,” making runs across the Mexico border to buy as much as she could.
ABC 23 reports the scary cereals returned Sept. 30, and will be on sale until Halloween.
The channel also says General Mills has augmented its annual offerings this year, bringing out of retirement for the first time Yummy Mummy and Frute Brute, the latter of which stopped selling 25 years ago.
But the food manufacturer will reportedly only hawk the cereals in their retro boxes at Target stores, while selling them in updated packaging at other supermarket outlets.
"It still reminds me of that Saturday morning special treat that you could only eat every once in a while, and it's something now that I get to share with my own daughter ... It's really kind of nostalgic and exciting to me," Sporkful podcast listener Rachel Gonzalez reportedly told Pashman.