In 2004, Kellogg’s Korea decided to hold a cute little promotional contest online: an “election” to decide “the President of Chex.” The two candidates were the delicious chocolate “Chekkie,” and the hideously green “Chaka.” Chekkie promised that if they won, they would find a way to add even more chocolate to Chocolate Chex, while Chaka promised to imbue the cereal with stinky green onions. One thing the adults at Kellogg’s were sure of was that kids hate, hate, hate green onions, so Chaka would be an easy fall guy, Chekkie would emerge victorious, and Korean customers would be so excited about Chocolate Chex that they’d purchase millions of boxes. What Kellogg’s forgot is that the internet is full of folks hellbent on ruining everything.
Kellogg’s Korea watched in horror as Chaka, the green onion Chex, began to cruise to what looked like an inevitable landslide victory. In response, they deleted over 42,000 online votes for “security reasons,” but still, Chaka held a tight to lead with thousands of votes. Kellogg’s began adding perfectly legitimate mail-in and phone-in ballots, and magically, chocolate Chekkie became the winner. Many people claimed voter fraud, and the internet has wondered about the whereabouts of Chaka ever since. His likeness was adopted by many on the internet as a symbol for freedom and independence, and #PrayForChex has trended on Twitter every year on the anniversary of the fraudulent elections.
Now, 16 years later, justice is finally being served across South Korea’s cereal aisles. The Korea Herald reports that on June 17, Kellogg’s Korea posted a mysterious six-second video to its YouTube channel of a bowl of chocolate Chex being smothered with green onions to the sounds of legendary Korean trot singer Tae Jin-ah belting out 미안 미안 미안 (translation, “sorry, sorry, sorry”). Kellogg’s Korea sought 50 volunteer taste testers for the new flavor; 14,221 hungry, green-onion-cereal-deprived people signed up. Chex Green Onion is at last available to the public, with boxes finally appearing on supermarket shelves for a limited time starting July 1. A huge win for democracy.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that the United States will have access to Green Onion Chex, even if it might be a pleasant addition to our Chex Mix recipes. There’s eBay, of course, but truthfully, I don’t think I’d have the heart to buy a box that should be in the hands of one of the many South Koreans who have been walking around with a broken heart for 16 years. I’m still holding a torch for Taco Bell’s Baja Gorditas, so I know that pain all too well.