As some of us are gearing up for Halloween, stuffing our bellies with the candy you bought for trick-or-treaters, others are already thinking ahead, like way ahead.
For General Mills, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Festivus … the holidays are already here.
Plastic skeletons and pseudo-spider webs don't go up until All Hallow's Eve. Yet, Lucky Charms' leprechaun looks confident on the new Cinnamon Vanilla cereal box, relieved that the toilet paper and smashed pumpkin festivities are long over ("Merry October" I guess!). It may be time to trade in Halloween candy for some sweet, Lucky Charm marbits.
Junk food reporter, The Junk Food Aisle, posted on Instagram about Lucky Charms' new Holiday cereal: "Coming Soon! Limited Edition Cinnamon Vanilla Lucky Charms!" A picture of the box shows a snowy backdrop and a carrot-nosed snowman. The leprechaun's familiar "hearts, stars and horseshoes, clovers and blue-moons, pots of gold and rainbows, and tasty red balloons" are replaced with equally magically delicious marshmallows in snowflake and snowman shapes.
Instagram users commented on The Junk Food Aisle's post, excited to get their hands on the limited-edition cereal. One user wrote "like Cinnamon Toast Crunch and lucky charms married and had a baby!!" When I read "cinnamon vanilla" and "marbits," I think of snickerdoodles and gingerbread cookies, two quintessential winter flavors.
This will be General Mills' fifth time around the block with "Winter" Lucky Charms, each one featuring a colorful variety of marshmallow shapes (pictured below).
This year's limited-edition Cinnamon Vanilla Lucky Charms is less colorful, with just whites, blues and a bit of black, contrary to the leprechaun's usual rainbow charms. This is not accidental. According to AdWeek, General Mills faces a difficult task of reformulating the coloring of its marshmallows, after the cereal company announced its efforts to remove artificial flavors and colors back in June 2015.
They still haven't cracked the code, but Scott Davis, chief growth officer of brand and marketing consultancy Prophet, told AdWeek that this may not be such a bad thing. He said, as a brand, "you have to do things to inspire, surprise, delight and disrupt."
And they certainly are, rolling out winter-themed cereals just over two months before the beginning of the winter season.
The limited-edition cereal is only available at Target ($3 a box), but give it some time. While everyone adjusts to the Halloween season -- soon enough, the rest of the grocery stores will catch on. Definitely stock up on a few boxes, to bring in early holiday merriment, and because it's never too early to eat marshmallows for breakfast.