Honey Bunches of Oats are the sweatpants of the cereal world. The comfy ones that you wore just about every day in college/high school that are now kinda faded and torn and orange from that time you put too much bleach in the washer, and your mom keeps telling you to throw them out, but you never will (“We’ve been through too much together!”).
They’re simple, no-fuss, and as basic as they are beloved, and it was with that in mind that I yoinked this shining blue beacon of Bunches from a Target shelf for review.
For the uninitiated, Honey Bunches of Oats is a blend of flakes and oaty clusters that came to the public consciousness in the prime of the late 80s at a time of big hair, cheap lip balm, and Apple computers.
Since then, variations on the classic have surfaced, some for a limited time, and others, sticking around for permanent residence on store shelves. And it seems Post really wants to put a good run for this Greek Honey blend, which holds tight to the classic flakes while replacing the traditional cluster with a not one, but two yogurt-inspired clusters: one uncoated and one coated in palm oil and powdered Greek yogurt cultures, which sounds like a sea monster from a B-level horror flick…
But all fears of being eaten by powdered cultures are pushed aside as, upon breaking open that nitrogen-infused baggie, it smells of sugar, BHT, and confidence.
If this were a car show for Honey Bunches of Oats, this would be the pimped up purple sports car with no muffler, chrome rims, and Superman wheels called the Boom Shacka-Lacka.
Whatever those powdered cultures are, they sure do taste good. Although there’s not much of the trademark sour-cream-like tang I find in real Greek yogurt, the clusters, both coated and uncoated, nail a special fake-vanilla-and-honey sweetness. The coating tastes a bit like a less-sweet Oreo frosting, which is certainly nothing to complain about, but it can get overpowering after a while. The clusters themselves are dense and lovable, even if they’re far too sparse and a little small. They somewhat remind me of amoebas.
I was tickled to find that some of the coated clusters were smooshed. Smooshed clusters are the cereal embodiment of rebellion: the cluster escapee that somehow snuck through factory inspection and made it in. The more smooshed clusters, the better…which makes me think it’d be cool if Post [or any other cereal company, for that matter] composed a cereal called “Mistakes” in which they put all their conjoined/too big/funky looking/otherwise rejected chunks of cereal in one bucket.
I mean, just look at the towering fella on the left: he’s got personality.
But strongly opinionated product development suggestions aside, the flakes remain true to the classic, tasting more of straight sugar than floral honey, and hold a trademark crisp. For cereal analysts, they’re less dense than the flake you’ll find in Smart Start or even Special K, and are quite similar to the flakes in their main competitor, General Mills Honey Nut Clusters. At times, I would argue these flakes are wimpy (and they really show it when put in milk for more than 1 minute and 48 seconds), but, when dry, they taste of crisp honey-wheat shavings and offer a contrast to the denser granola. It makes it easy to eat a whole bag and provides a roller coaster for your teeth, which fills a niche as there’s really a lack of dental-themed roller coasters. Such a shame.
Some days you need to sit on your rump and watch a movie marathon. Other days, you need to whip out the power drill and repair your roof. It is on the latter of these days that you’ll need a breakfast with a lot of energy, and these Honey Bunches have you covered. With 230 calories, 47 grams of carbohydrates, and 13 grams of sugary goodness, you’ll have enough whole-wheat-and-sugar spunk to hammer your roof and probably your neighbor’s as well, so bring out the tool kit and your M.C. Hammer mix tape. It’s hammer time.
On the whole, this cereal’s sweet enough to make an angry raccoon tap dance on the ceiling. For a sweet tooth like mine, that’s a good thing. At the same time, this blend has far too few clusters and lacks the woodsiness provided by the cinnamon/pecans/toasted oats of other bunches that usually sets off that sharp fructose sweetness. I miss that.
But, overall, I have no regrets. Sweetness makes angry raccoons [and me] wanna dance and, at the end of the day, don’t we all need a good dance?
Yes, yes we do. So thank you, Post, for encouraging us to get out and dance.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup/58 g – 230 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugars, and 5 grams of protein.)
Other Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch reviews:
Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp
Item: Post Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 15.5 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Two types of clusters. Some clusters are smooshed. Yogurt coating tastes close to Oreo frosting. Great for eating dry. Makes angry raccoons dance. Boom Shacka-Lacka. Hammer time.
Cons: Lots of wimpy, crushed flakes. Not enough clusters. Can get too sweet. Holds up poorly in milk. Powdered yogurt cultures eating my brain. A lack of dental-themed roller coasters. Emotional connections to sweatpants.