The box art rasies questions about the safety of the Cap'n
For real cereal-heads, it’s truly the most wonderful time of the year. That’s because there seems to be a proliferation of holiday-themed options adorning supermarket shelves, like so many boxy ornaments hung up on a Christmas tree. It makes sense if you think about, given that sugary breakfast cereals and the feeling of waking up on Christmas morning pack a pretty heavy load of childhood nostalgia for many.
For the latest entry into the genre, we turn to massive food conglomerate PepsiCo. Alongside a bevy of vaguely-holiday themed pretzels and Mountains Dew (which I maintain is the proper plural form), they’ve brought back two Quaker cereals with a Christmas bent: Cap’n Crunch’s Christmas Crunch and Gingerbread Spice Life.
Christmas Crunch takes the familiar format of Cap’n Crunch, repackaging it with a subtle seasonal twist. Whereas Crunchberries are simple spheroids of sugar, they’ve instead been transformed into red and green “fun holiday shapes” that nonetheless take part in a cereal experience defined by “the classic Cap'n Crunch taste you know and love.”
The most intriguing element of this holiday cereal is the box art. Stranded on land in a blizzard, or perhaps stuck on an ice floe that one would encounter during a failed Antarctic expedition, our favorite seafaring cereal mascot struggles mightily with a string of Christmas lights that threaten to choke and constrict him. Does he, like many of us, find the stress of the holiday season suffocating? Are we to understand his offering of holiday cereal as some sort of SOS, or is its allure the very cause of his discombobulation? As he cannot speak, we may never know.
Gingerbread Spice Life, on the other hand, conveys a more benign image of holiday cheer. That seems to be exactly what PepsiCo is going for. They envision this Quaker cereal as “made for family breakfasts at the holidays,” while also “offering the timeless touch of Gingerbread and the goodness of Quaker Oats in every bite.” If the thought of biting into an anthropomorphized and unnecessarily-gendered cookie induces some sort of moral panic for you (or you just want the spicy sweetness of gingerbread for breakfast without judgment from your relatives), then this is the cereal to brighten your spirits this season.
These cereals aren’t exclusive to any specific outlet, though you might have decent luck finding them at big box retail chains like Target or Walmart. You will want to hurry, though, because these are limited edition offerings that probably won’t be around for too long after the ball drops.