13 Freakish Facts About Your Favorite Frankenberry Cereal

Inspired by the Frankenstein monster from classic horror films, Frankenberry is a seasonal artificial strawberry flavor frosted cereal with spooky-fun marshmallows. As part of the trio of monster cereals from General Mills, Frankenberry has been around for close to 50 years. You can still buy Frankenberry cereal in most grocery stores around halloween.

Learn about Frankenberry cereal below including the cereal’s history, nutrition information, where to buy, and more.

Frankenberry cereal

1. Frankenberry Cereal Was First Released in 1971

Both Franken Berry and Count Chocula cereal were introduced in March 1971 by General Mills. At the time, these were the only strawberry and chocolate flavored cereals on grocery store shelves.

Old Frankenberry cereal box

2. Kids Pooped Pink in 1972 — Franken Berry Stool

Just after the cereal was initially released, many Frankenberry eaters pooped pink. While pinkish and reddish stool was the only side effect of eating the cereal, consumers weren’t too excited about the near-blood color of their poop.

After numerous reports and complaints, General Mills switch to Red Dye No. 40. At the time, General Mills used Red Dye No. 2, a synthetic dye that the human body can’t consume, to color Frankenberry. The FDA eventually banned Red Dye No. 2 in addition to a number of other artificial colorings.

If interested, there’s even a 1972 study about the pink stool which you can read called Benign Red Pigmentation of Stool Resulting from Food Coloring in a New Breakfast Cereal (The Franken Berry Stool).

3. Frankenberry Gets a Makeover by a Marvel and DC Comic Book Artist

Dave Johnson, who has worked on DC’s Detective Batman series and Marvel’s Captain America, redesigned Frankenberry in 2014 for a limited edition cereal box. The first thing most people notice are the strawberry fingernails of Franken Berry that are painted to look like actual strawberries.

4. Frankenberry Goes to Hollywood

Frankenberry briefly appeared on a provocative Los Angeles billboard in an advertisement pointing to WorkWithTheMonsters.com around November 2018.

The website prominently asks Hollywood for their help by stating:

We’re the Monsters and we want to work with you.

In addition, Work With The Monsters directly addresses skilled Hollywood creators:

We’re calling all filmmakers, actors, agents, writers, producers, animators, tastemakers, dealmakers, movers and shakers.

Most people would think that General Mills, probably best know for their breakfast cereals, has no place in Hollywood. Perhaps most people are right, but time will surely tell.

Frankenberry Hello Hollywood - Work with the Monsters

5. Franken Berry Also Goes by Frank and Frankey

The mascot for Frankenberry cereal also goes by the name of Frank and Frankey.

During the Monsters Vote 2016 election, the fronts of Frankenberry cereal boxes had “Vote for Frank”. In addition, petitioning signs on the back of the cereal box included:

  • Let’s Be Frank
  • Rank Frank #1
  • Frankly He’s the One

Also, in a 1986 television commercial, a little girl offers him a tissue as he is crying and asks, “Want a hankey Frankey?”

6. Frankenberry Is a Whimsical Way to Start the Day

Below is the full text of a General Mills promotion for Frankenberry cereal from 2010.

A spoonful of spooky fun in every bowl, Franken Berry is a whimsical way to start the day. Made with whole grain corn, Franken Berry combines strawberry-flavored cereal with colorful marshmallow shapes to create a delicious cereal that kids and adults can enjoy. Each serving of this playful, monster-themed cereal is low in fat with no cholesterol or saturated fat. It’s also a good source of calcium, whole grain, and 9 other essential vitamins and minerals.

7. Frankenberry Cereal TV Commercial from 1986

This television commercial from 1986 depicts the Franken Berry cartoon mascot singing, “Franken Berry cereal is coming your way. How about a monster for breakfast today?” In doing so, two young children’s shadows turn ghost white and run away.

This reveals his true gentle nature and upsets Franken Berry to the point of crying. Therefore the little girl asks him, “Want a hankey Frankey?”

In return, Franken Berry offers the children his cereal staying that it contains “oodles and oodles of strawberry flavored marshmallows”.

Near the end of the commercial, Count Chocula makes a short appearance before Franken Berry releases the spool of rope that the Count climbed up.

The commercial ends with Franken Berry promoting all three monster cereals by singing “How about a monster for breakfast today?”

8. RIP Franken Berry Fruit Roll-Ups

In addition to Boo Berry Razzle Boo Blitz, Betty Crocker released Franken Berry Strawberry Scream Fruit Roll-Ups in 2010. Although not available anymore, these naturally flavored snacks were 50% sugar by volume with ingredients such as corn syrup, dried corn syrup, sugar, pear puree concentrate, monoglycerides, and sodium citrate.

Franken Berry Strawberry Scream Fruit Roll-Ups by Betty Crocker

9. Fans Could Vote for Frank in the Monsters Vote 2016 Election

During the 2016 presidential election in the United States which happens around the same time as halloween, General Mills created the Monsters Vote 2016 election where fans could vote for their favorite monster cereal. The Franken Berry cereal box encouraged fans to “Vote for Frank”.

As incentive to participate, General Mills offered a grand prize of $5,000 in addition to “hundreds of other frightfully fantastic prizes”.

Monster cereal election 2016 vote

On the back of the monster cereal boxes, Franken Berry stands behind a podium alongside Count Chocula and Boo Berry with a text bubble that reads:

Frankly, I was made to win! For years I have stood tall against Count’s countless accusations that his cereal is better than mine. Now I’m ready to take charge and show Count once and for all who’s the berry best. Make the electrifying choice and bank on Frank!

10. No Wheat, but Not Gluten Free

Frankenberry’s main ingredients are Whole Grain Corn, Corn Meal, Sugar, Marshmallows, Corn Syrup, Canola Oil, and Salt. Although Franken Berry doesn’t explicitly contain any wheat ingredients, gluten may still exist in the cereal from other ingredients. Additionally, if the facility also produces gluten-containing products, trace amounts of gluten may be present in the cereal.

Because General Mills doesn’t market it as gluten free, those with a sensitive gluten intolerance should probably stay away from this cereal.

11. Frankenberry Is 27% Sugar By Weight

While a serving of Frankenberry cereal is 1 cup or 33 grams, each serving contains 9 grams of sugar. That means every single spoonful of Frankenberry is 27% sugar by weight.

Although whole grain corn is the first ingredient, sugar is a close third. Frankenberry also contains corn syrup and dextrose.

12. Monster Cereal Pieces Weren’t Always Character-Shaped

Cereal pieces for the three monster cereals were initially cylinder-shaped with a cross in the middle. Now, each monster cereal brand has its own character shapes. Franken Berry marshmallows look like the outline of Frank’s head.

13. The Very First Frankenberry TV Commercial

Behold the first ever Frankenberry television commercial.

In this TV commercial, the monster duo argue over who has the best cereal. Count Chocula boast that his cereal has monstrous chocolate flavor while Franken Berry claims his cereal has monstrous strawberry flavor.

While both monsters are bickering back and forth, a young boy walks by and says hi. The monsters, who are actually timid and easily scared, are noticeably frightened by the little boy.

 

The commercial ends with a shot of a box of Count Chocula and Franken Berry on a breakfast table behind respective glass bowls of each cereal.


Are you a Frankenberry fan? Let me know in the comments below. Of the three monster cereals, I’d probably pick Count Chocula as my favorite as I am a lover of chocolate.

Also, if you enjoy reading about cereal, check out some of my other cereal blog posts here.

Leave a Comment