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It never seems fair when couponers are singled out for special treatment – or special mistreatment, you might say. In response to shelf-clearing deal-seekers, many stores and manufacturers have limited the number of like coupons any one person can use. Want to buy ten boxes of cereal with coupons? Sorry, you can only get four. Want to place a special order in advance? Sorry, not if you have coupons.

But do you want to deplete two stores’ entire stock by buying dozens of boxes of cereal, without using any coupons at all?

Why, of course, no problem at all!

That was the double standard at play in suburban Denver this week, as cereal fans headed to their local Albertsons supermarkets in search of Halloween-themed Count Chocula. There was not a box to be found on the shelves of the two Albertsons locations in Fort Collins. And there won’t be, until at least next year.

Did some sugar-crazed couponer clear the shelves? Did someone decide to hoard the seasonal treat to resell on eBay?

Observers would surely shake their heads if that were the case. Instead, they enjoyed a good laugh when they found out who was behind this particular shelf-clearing episode, and why.

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It turns out it was the owner of a local brewery who decided to buy every box of Count Chocula he could find. “I (bought) like six cases or something,” Sean Nook of the Black Bottle Brewery told KUSA-TV. “It’s like 12 boxes a case.”

And why would a brewer want 72 boxes of Count Chocula? To resell it. In the form of beer, of course.

Count Chocula-infused beer will join the ranks of Golden Grahams, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Reese’s Puffs-flavored beer in the brewery’s “Cerealiously” line of brews. It will be ready for sale next week.

But at the two local Albertsons locations, Count Chocula itself is not for sale. Not anymore, at least. Both stores say they placed their annual orders for Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry over the summer and won’t be receiving any more cases this year. “We do have the other two seasonal Halloween cereals that General Mills puts out every fall,” the manager of one location told Coupons in the News.

That’s small comfort to anyone with a hankering for Count Chocula, though. “Every year I greatly look forward to the month of October when I can purchase a few boxes of this delicious chocolatey goodness,” one disappointed shopper complained to the Coloradoan.

The quirky story has earned national attention and plenty of chuckles. But you can bet the reaction would be a lot different if it was a couponer and not a brewery who bought out two stores’ entire inventory of a sought-after, limited-edition item, in order to repackage and resell it. Not that any couponer would be allowed to, since most stores have cracked down on shelf-clearing, reselling and special ordering for couponers.

Nook, however, did not use any coupons. So that apparently makes it okay. Shelf-clearing is fine, it seems, as long as you pay full price. That said – who pays full price for cereal anyway, much less 72 boxes?

The joke, it turns out, may be on the shelf-clearing brewer himself.

One Comment

  1. Back in the day count Chocula and his friends were sold year round I understand why people hoard the monster cereals so we can have these cereals when we want them not just at Halloween

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