The Mystery of Red Berries

Every time I reach for a box of Special K with Red Berries or any of its knockoffs, I find myself wondering, Why “red berries”? The only berries I’ve seen are strawberries. Today I was even curious enough to do a little bit of research.

As it turns out, my box of Special K with Red Berries, like anyone else’s in the United States, does contain only strawberries. In Canada and possibly the UK (my sources were confusing and some of them undated), the cereal also contains raspberries and cherries. Hence, red berries rather than strawberries.

I still can’t fathom why the US’s cereal is still called “red berries” if it only has strawberries and also why we don’t get the other red berries that Canada gets.

I guess it will remain a perpetual mystery, similar to:

Why does our jar of minced garlic at work delight in advertising itself as “Fat Free”? It’s garlic. It comes that way. And McCormick’s “Perfect Pinch” Italian seasoning proudly declares itself to be “MSG free” and to contain “No sodium.” It’s a bunch of dried leaves. Nobody’s Italian seasoning has either sodium or MSG.

And yet, the conundrum of the red berries continues to confuse me most of all.


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