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Coupon cache more than she bargained for

Published Oct. 10, 2005

Notice to the 339 shoppers whose Cheerios boxes came without a cents-off coupon inside: They've been found.

The box of Cheerios that Audrey Henning bought was short on O's but stuffed with 340 coupons each worth 50 cents off.

The bonanza, which General Mills blames on an assembly line glitch, was discovered recently when Henning's great-granddaughter was trying to fix a bowl from a brand-new box and couldn't get much of anything to pour out.

"There was some cereal in the bottom and a little bit on top but I told them I got gypped," said Henning, 81, of Calamus, a town in east central Iowa. The company smoothed things over by sending Henning a Betty Crocker cookbook and plastic baubles for her great-grandchildren.

General Mills officials said they think a glitch in the automated filling line caused the problem.

Henning plans to bestow Cheerios coupons on her granddaughters and friends.

"When I have ladies here on Tuesday I'm going to let them all have some," she said. "I'll never use that many."