Open Letter to General Mills

Today, as it is every year, is a banner day for our family. Why, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. Today is October, today we were at Target, today, well October and Target will suffice. It's also what I refer to as the 6th Annual Chuck Allison Meltdown/Cereal Remembrance Day (on an aside, that 6 is also the total number of meltdowns Chuck's ever had with me; I'm at 56, 341 YTD).

Today, they released Count Chocula (or at least, a cereal that resembles Count Chocula) for purchase.

The release, as it does every year, sends Chuck into a complete cereal meltdown and a (minimum) 1 day long rant about everything wrong with General Mills and their switch to Whole Grain cereal some years back (which he believes – and I agree – completely changed the taste of their cereal and destroy life as we know it).

Much of following was dictated to me by Chuck because there is no way in heck that I could be this passionate about cereal. The man lives for his cereal.
Chuck’s love list:
1. Cereal
2. Susie

The following is the culmination of 6 years of hurt, betrayal, and lost love spelled out to you Allison Family style (dramatic, over the top, chalked full of hyperbole). I basically followed Chuck around today with pen and paper and just took notes, which I turned into this letter. He’s not the loudest guy. You just have to wait and listen…

An Open Letter to General Mills.

Dear General Mills,

First of all, your behavior over that past 6 years leaves me urging for your immediate demotion. Colonel Mills or, better yet, Private Mills seems more fitting since your fall from grace (at your own sword, I might add).

Mr. Mills, your cereal is now an abomination. You once lived a'top the greatest cereal dynasty known to mankind and you got greedy.

You had your cake. You were eating too. Then one day you decided that cake should be Whole Grain and your cereals should be too. You jumped on that bandwagon, bowing down to the all mighty grain in hopes of making an even greater profit. Instead, you ruined the fine art of Cereal Eatery, forgetting that traditions and taste matter.

If you want to improve the health and value of Cheerios, go right ahead.
If you want to add more oomph to Fiber One, be my guest.

But when I sit down to enjoy a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I have waved goodbye to healthy eating and am ready to contribute to my dentist's boat payment and my clogged arteries. I don't want nutrients from Cookie Crisp. I want sugary love. No one wants a serving of veggies in a Big Mac. And no one wants 8 Whole Grains in something called Count Chocula.

But now, because of you, everyone loses. The pure cereal eaters, who knew the sugary, delicious mess they were getting into have lost the loves of their lives and are faced with awful cereal in the morning (and at lunch, and at bed). You affected the perfect tastes and you ruined wonderful food. May you rest in peace, Cocoa Puffs.

To the less discerning cereal eater, you may have gotten away with your recipe change. But to people like me, and my family, those 8 whole grains changed your cereal the way Miracle Whip ruins a Tuna Salad. It's different. It's wrong. It's just plain awful. You really did change this cereal. You really did ruin it. How you ruin something as simple as Golden Grahams, I don't know. But brah-vo. You even messed that one up.

And what's even worse, you have people actually believing Lucky Charms is healthy.
You have people eating Boo Berries and thinking they're on a nutritious track.
Not that they would want to eat Boo Berries anymore, now that it is a shell of its former self.

The second ingredient in Cookie Crisp is sugar. I know, because I just ate a bowl. "Oh, but it's healthy."

My life is one of simple joys, Mr. Mills. The simplest of which was enjoying a bowl of Count Chocula, the ultimate cereal. First, you ruined it. You changed the taste. You made it faux healthy. Then you returned it to its original packaging to mock and deceive us. And worse, you pull it from the shelves 11 months of the year and triumphantly return it each October hoping we've forgotten just how awful you've made it.

And we do forget.
Each year.

Then, the sting of reminder in that first awful bite is punctuated 8 times over for each grain you shoved into chocolate cereal and marshmallow. The cardboard taste. The difference between Wonder Bread and Whole Wheat. (insert Mr. Yuck face here).

You ruined perfection.
You ruined taste.
Add your whole grain, do as you wish, but did you really need to kill the taste of cereal in order to do it? Cocoa Puffs. Count Chocula. Cinnamon Taste Crunch. Dead.

I needn’t point out that this makes you a cereal killer.

Sincerely yours,
Charles and Susan Allison

(don’t our full names make us sound 87 years old? Charles and Susan.)
(oh, and don't we seriously have issues?)

Recap for emphasis:
1. The taste changed when they added whole grain.
2. The change is awful and ruined cereal tastes forever.
3. If I'm eating Count Chocula, I'm making a life choice.
4. We would kill for a chocolate GM cereal circa 2002. What I wouldn't give for a real bowl of Cocoa Puffs. Chuck says if you came up with a way to preserve cereal and you had a box of pure, untainted '02 Cocoa Puffs he'd pay at least $500 for it, eat it up in 2 days, never leaving the house. "I'd just want to be with it."

(again, I need to really stress that whole issues thing)


  1. Chuck's actual love list... Not to be confused with the lie you claim.

    1. Paul
    2. Cereal

  2. Wow I didn't realize how much Shiann and Chuck had in common besides marrying Paul.

  3. I'm going to investigate Mexican cereals. Since things are approximately 10-20 years behind and the whole don't fill your body with sugar and fat hasn't really caught on here yet (I can buy 3.5 liters of real sugar Cocacola, jealous?), it's quite possible that our cereal is not yet tainted with whole grains. If Chuck doesn't mind translating his cereal name, we could probably do business.

  4. Don't forget my beloved Alpha-Bits. I haven't enjoyed a box of cereal since. MIL


Tell me about it. Oh and thanks for validating my life.

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