Originally created 08/13/97

Chex puts fun into health, diet



If you have been thinking about purchasing a computer game for a child or grandchild, be sure to make a stop in the cereal aisle on your next shopping trip. Look for the specially marked packages of Rice Chex, Wheat Chex and Corn Chex that offer the free Chex Quest interactive CD-ROM.

There are no proofs-of-purchase to collect, and nothing to send for. A CD-ROM game is inside every one of the packages.

General Mills, which recently purchased the Chex cereal line, says the game will take players on an adventure of epic proportions. Chex Quest is described as a nonviolent,3-D computer adventure in which players are dispatched by the Intergalactic Federation of Cereal to save the universe from an invasion by evil, slime-toting "Flemoids."

"There are some basic nutritional messages in the game strategy," says Chex cereals manager Pat Simmons. But she adds that the real focus is to provide something fun for kids.

Chex Quest is recommended for children 9 years old and older. It has an "All Audience" rating, so even adults will find it challenging and amusing. Also, children who enjoy the Chex Quest game will not run out of challenges. The commitment of the cereal company to keep players interested extends to setting up a Chex Quest Internet Web site from which players can download additional playing levels without charge.

When I opened the speciallymarked box of Chex cereal, I was also surprised to find that the CDROM came with a bonus. It includes software for installing America Online, the popular online service. You will receive 50 free hours to start your membership.

I asked Chex spokeswoman Elizabeth Arnstein about the retail value of a game like Chex Quest, and she said that similar multilevel interactive games sell for an average of $30. That is a great free premium inside a box of cereal that typically costs $3.30 for a 12-ounce box and $4.40 for the 17.5-ounce size.

There are only 5 million specially marked Chex Quest CD-ROM packages of Rice Chex, Wheat Chex and Corn Chex, and I expect they will move off the supermarket shelves very quickly. So if you are interested in this premium start looking for the packages on your next shopping trip.

THE RECENT OFFER in the Sunday coupon sections for a "Special Butterball Cookbook" seems like another good move for those who like to plan well ahead for the holidays. The name of the book is Butterball Makes It Easy- and who can complain about that? It is a cookbook containing 70 recipes. Butterball says the normal retail price of the cookbook is $4.99, but Butterball is asking just $2.50 to cover postage and handling, and there are no requirements for proofs-of-purchase. To make the offer even more interesting, the cookbook contains coupons worth more than $4 for various Butterball products. But what are the coupons for? When do they expire?

The advertisement did not say, but I have the answers. There are six coupons which add up to $4.25. You will be able to save $1 on Butterball boneless turkey, boneless breast of turkey, breast of turkey (with bones), fully-cooked whole turkey or breast of turkey (baked, smoked, or honey-roasted and smoked). There is a $1 coupon on any Butterball fresh premium turkey cuts (the coupon is good for ground turkey and Italian sausage, but cannot be used for whole turkeys). The third coupon will save you 55 cents on any Butterball fresh chicken product. An 80cent coupon is good for Butterball Chicken Requests (frozen chicken products). The fourth coupon is for 40 cents off any half-pound of Butterball turkey breast from the supermarket's service deli department, and the last coupon is for 50 cents off any one package of Butterball lunch meats, franks, smoked sausage, turkey bacon or Slice N' Serve.

Smart shoppers will also be pleased to learn that these coupons do not have expiration dates, so you can watch for the sales and make big double-play savings.

Write to Martin Sloane in care of United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016