Monsters Cereals announced last week that a new box of cereal will be joining its lineup of spooky sweet breakfasts this Halloween season, and for the first time in the product’s 50-plus-year run, the monster on the box will be a girl.
General Mills confirmed via press release that Carmella Creeper will soon hit the shelves as the spokescharacter for her own scary cereal, which will feature caramel-apple-flavored pieces with colorful monster marshmallows. By so doing, Carmella joins a field devoid of female mascots. And that’s not just true of her fellow monsters, which include Count Chocula, Boo Berry, Franken Berry, Frute Brute, and Yummy Mummy—rather, the entire cereal realm is crowded with male characters.
Think about it. Cap’n Crunch, Tony the Tiger, Snap, Crackle, Pop, the Trix Rabbit, Toucan Sam, Lucky the Leprechaun, the Honey Smacks frog, Buzz the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee, Fred Flintstone, Barney Rubble… of all of the cereal mascots out there, none are coded female. And given the fluidity of cartoon figures, they easily could’ve been. Sunny, the sun on the Raisin Bran box? I think we could have let the sun be a girl. The same goes for other anthropomorphized creatures that sell us breakfast. The Honeycomb Craver might be the closest we’ve come to a character that wasn’t expressly “male” in presentation. And don’t get me started about Fred and Barney adorning the Fruity Pebbles box. The cereal literally bears the name of Fred’s daughter, and the box has a picture of her dad and his buddy? Come on.
Although OffLimits Cereal, which launched in 2020, features female characters, cereals from major corporations like General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Post have not expanded the mascot universe to include them.
Within the cereal monster canon specifically, Carmella Creeper is the first girl to join the gang, and she’s also the first character General Mills has added to the monster lineup in 35 years, period. She joins her aforementioned colleagues Frute Brute, Count Chocula, Boo Berry, Franken Berry, and Yummy Mummy. In addition to trying Carmella Creeper’s apple-flavored cereal, you can try Monster Mash Remix Cereal, which is all six monster cereals together in one box (sold since 2021 with the existing five monsters). This product is either brilliant or disgusting—perhaps both.
Carmella Creeper’s introduction to the world of cereal mascots isn’t the first time the monster line has blazed trails. According to the history section of General Mills’ website, when Count Chocula and Franken Berry were introduced, they were the only chocolate- and strawberry-flavored cereals on the market, respectively.
Thanks to Count Chocula and Franken Berry’s early, sugary pioneering, I grew up in a world where chocolate- and berry-flavored cereals were the norm. I can only hope the introduction of Carmella to the cereal mascot universe starts a trend of its own, so my daughters can grow up in a world where any animated figure can steal cereal from unsuspecting children in a TV commercial.