I have been a devoted consumer of General Mills' Honey Nut Clusters for many years - almost from the moment they first hit the market. For the uninitiated Honey Nut Clusters is what are actually fairly bland multi-grain flakes, infused with small "clusters" of sweetened nut fragments. Sounds great, huh? It matters not. I've come to love the damn things, or at least to depend on them.
Well, above is an image of what is likely my last box of Honey Nut Clusters. Fittingly, the small pewter statue before it is of Thomas Jefferson. Honey Nut Clusters have always represented for me "truth, justice and the American way." ( I know, that's a Superman thing, but I don't have a statue of Superman - pewter or otherwise. So Jefferson will have to do. Anyhow, I think old Tom would pretty much buy into the "truth, justice and the American way thingy, don't you?)
This all started about a year ago when I noticed to my horror that our neighborhood Kroger store no longer carried "Clusters." They were instead, opting for more of the varieties of GMs "Total" line up. (To me, the Total cereals taste more like so many variations of cardboard, but that's another story.)
Anyhow, I made a bee line to a nearby Marsh store, a large, local chain here in Indy, and to my delight, there on the shelf were several boxes of my beloved Honey Nut Clusters. So Marsh became my adopted source to satisfy my "Clusters" jones. But then, a couple of months ago they disappeared from the Marsh shelves as well. In desparation I scampered to a Meijer store. Finding them there, I stocked up with 4 or 5 boxes, but, soon after Meijer also stopped carrying them. My last local source, Wal-Mart just recently discontinued them as well. I did find a few boxes of "Clusters" at a Publix store in Gainesville, Florida a couple of weeks ago, but that's not particularly handy for me here in Indy.
At any rate, I have had conflicting responses from General Mills. An earlier email communication stated that Honey Nut Clusters were being discontinued. A more recent message stated that GM was still producing them, but that each store had to make choices regarding what products they do or do not carry, usually owing to strength of sales and/or how much display room they can dedicate to various products. But, hell, I've single handedly devoured enough of that stuff to keep the entire corporation and their retail outlets afloat!
I remain hopeful that I may yet stroll down a cereal aisle, look up and at least once more, find boxes of Honey Nut Clusters proudly gleaming in the ghastly flourescent light. Perhaps others, equally disturbed by the apparent demise of this great cereal will wage a campaign to "Save our Clusters!!!" Even so, it would likely be to no avail. For General Mill's part, I imagine they will say that it all amounts to just a business decision. As usual, "business" trumps love.
I have been desparately experimenting with other cereals - a new one hits the shelves about every week - but so far nothing has tickled my obligatto. Some are okay, some are god-awful. Sadly, none are Honey Nut Clusters.
Life is hell!