Wondering what to buy the friend who has everything? How about 20 boxes of French Toast Crunch?
“But that’s impossible!’’ you say. “The Crunch hasn’t been sold for years!’’
Wrong! General Mills announced last week that the tremendously popular breakfast cereal is being put back into production and hitting shelves starting immediately, with a nationwide distribution planned for January.
I say this is GREAT news because the general reaction around our newsroom has been: “OMFG. OMFG. OMFG.’’
Or as one rather enthusiastic Twitter user put it:
French Toast Crunch was yanked from shelves in 2006 after a decade-long run, leading some enthusiasts to resort to buying the Canadian version, Croque Pain Doré, on eBay for a cool $39 per box.
But breakfast cereals have had a rough 2014, falling out of favor in the era of green smoothies and Greek yogurt. Post, Kellogg, and General Mills all reported notable drops in their stocks this year, while a market research firm told CNN.com that cold cereal sales fell 6 percent in the past two years (the firm also noted a 5 percent increase in restaurants offering breakfast foods who may be working to reap the benefits of those who have gone soggy on cereal).
The problem may be a lack of nostalgia in the breakfast foods industry. There’s been a marked increase in health-focused cereals designed to compete with trendier, nutrition-conscious options, but some just want cereal to be the corn syrup-packed comfort food we remember as kids. In one cereal trend piece, a man who now opts for “juice he makes himself,’’ told The New York Times, “Growing up, I would combine Frosted Flakes and Cap’n Crunch. I have such vivid memories of it that if I walk down the cereal aisle today, I still gravitate toward those cereals.’’
If there was ever an argument to be made for how fanatical old school cereal lovers can get (and their potential purchasing power), look no further than the comments below General Mills’ blog post announcing the relaunch:
“I DON’T KNOW WHAT COMBINATION OF WORDS CAN PROPERLY DESCRIBE THE AMOUNT OF EXCITEMENT I AM TRYING TO CONTAIN, SO I’M TYPING THIS RESPONSE IN CAPS LOCK TO EXPRESS MY ENTHUSIASM!!!!’’
“YESS. Last time I went to Canada I smuggled 15 of these boxes back over the border. FINALLY THE BEST CEREAL IS BACK’’
“No more spending $20 for a box from canada!’’
“This is the best news EVER!!!!!!!!!!! I will be clearing the shelves when it hit stores!!! =) I literally cried when this was discontinued and went from town to town picking up every box they had (which only accumulated to about 5 boxes because it was so loved!)’’
“OH MY DEAR LORD! SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW Thank you simply isn’t enough!!’’
“EXCITED !!! Thanks to all of you who signed petition after petition!’’
Hold up—there was a petition?
Congrats to those who fought to bring back this “sweetened corn cereal’’ that delivers “delicious French toast taste in every crunchy piece.’’ Your efforts (maybe), along with the downfall of the cold cereal industry, have made the prospect of 2015 a delicious one.