In the history of the cereal industry, no major cereal brand in the U.S. has had a female cereal mascot (barring licensed products). The only evidence of female cereal mascots that I could find prior to 2023 was for a smaller cereal brand that launched in 2020 called OffLimits, which features mascots Dash and Zombie. Is that not insane? It boggles the mind a bit to think that in the many, many years that cereal has been a part of our lives, the only mascots we’ve gotten are a captain (but not really), some cartoon animals, and a bunch of weird guys with insatiable cereal cravings that surely have alienated them from their loved ones.
That all changes now! Or, at least it does this Halloween in a small but significant way.
Yahoo reported that General Mills will launch a caramel apple cereal that features the brand new, green-skinned zombie DJ “Carmella Creeper” as the newest monster mascot. Carmella’s design fits right in with Count Chocula, Franken Berry (her long-lost cousin, evidently), Yummy Mummy, Boo Berry (no relation, it turns out), and Fruit Brute, though she seems to be the only mascot with an actual job (DJ). In addition to her own box, she’ll be featured in an updated version of the Monster Mash cereal which, as the name implies, combines all the spooky cereals in one bag. The monster cereal brand began in 1971 with Franken Berry and Count Chocula; this will be the first time a new creature has debuted since 1987, when Yummy Mummy hit store shelves.
Will we see more representation in cereal in the coming years? If we must only get incremental steps for gender-inclusivity via seasonal holiday cereal I have a pitch: Jeri Jack, a non-binary jack-o’-lantern who is also a barista. The cereal tastes like pumpkin-spiced coffee and is shaped like jack-o’-lanterns and regular pumpkins. As a non-binary person, this is the representation I’d appreciate, at least when it comes to cereal mascots. Also, pumpkin is criminally underused in cereal.
Carmella is certainly breaking a lot of ground, which is fitting since—as a zombie—she was once buried six feet under. Her cereal will be available at retailers across the country later this year.