If one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, then the new Froot Loops Treasures are something I would expect to find at a Bald Eagle’s garage sale.
Mind you, a Bald Eagle, if he were having a garage sale, would have some really good ‘junk.’ What with being the symbol of America, freedom, and numerous sports teams, but when you get right down to it, it’s still selling stuff considered junk.
Kind of like the new Froot Loops Treasures, which with a veritable rainbow of artificial food dyes and 12 grams of sugar per completely unrealistic one cup serving, could be either junk or treasure in the eye of the beholder.
If the concept behind Froot Loops Treasures looks familiar, then award yourself a +1 in the nostalgia department and consider the case of Hidden Treasures.
It was a General Mills cult favorite that had an otherwise unimpressive two year run during the early days of the Clinton administration. The gimmick behind the corn cereal with a fruity center was that not all of the squares contained actual fruit (and I use the term ‘fruit’ incredibly loosely; as in anything with color). Thus, eating Hidden Treasures was like going on a treasure hunt in cereal bowl. Man, the early 1990s were some wild times indeed.
Froot Loops Treasures avoids such trickeration completely and just packs each red square with strawberry-flavored filling. While I didn’t verify the exact ratio of standard Froot Loops rings to strawberry squares with an exhaustive hand count, I’d put the ratio at about 8:1 or so.
In other words, you’re still getting plenty of that standard Froot Loops goodness. The loops aren’t as crunchy as they were back before the days when Kellogg’s made them slightly healthier with multigrain elements, but they’ve still got the cloying-in-a-good way taste that’s vaguely coconutty and fruity with a slightly glazed mouthfeel. If you love them, you love them; and oh how I love them.
The red squares lack that faux-donut glaze that the loops have, and when nibbled plain, they don’t have any taste. The good news is the filling actually has a bit of discernible strawberry flavor and even a backend note of tartness.
It’s a strawberry goo/puree deal that has become standard for fruit-filled cereals like the Frosted Mini-Wheats Touch of Fruit in the Middle varieties. It’s not quite as candylicious as the filling of a gusher and has a little more viscosity than fruit leather. I’m sure it would make a fine spread for tea and crumpets and somesuch.
The problem – and it’s a major one – is the same problem most filled-cereal pieces have: there’s just nowhere near enough filling to make a major impact. Given the over-the-top and one note sweetness you either love or hate with Froot Loops, the addition of a berry-flavored kick on the backend just doesn’t do much enough to make you feel like you’re eating a different kind of cereal.
I will say the filled-pieces are more enjoyable in milk than eaten plain. There must be something about the addition of moisture that draws out the texture of the filling, and breaks up the monotony of the standard Froot Loops flavor. To that end, I’ve become increasingly less enthusiastic about Froot Loops eaten in milk since a reformation of the formula to a multigrain texture a few years ago. They just don’t seem to stay crunchy enough, unlike, say, Malt-O-Meal’s Tootie Fruities.
If you’re a fan of Froot Loops, then you’re going to find a trove with the new Froot Loops Treasures. They’ve got everything regular Froot Loops have plus a welcomed change-of-pace that actually gives the cereal a bit more flavor and texture than the classic.
But if you’re like me, and you’re the kind of person who feels like each expedition down the cereal aisle is a search for a new and sugary treasure, then the lack of strawberry filling and textural contrast in the latest Froot Loops don’t mark the spot.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 110 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 35 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Kellogg’s Froot Loops Treasures Cereal
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 10.5 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: No change to the super sweet taste of standard Froot Loops. Red squares all come with at least some strawberry filling. Noticing an actual tartness and genuine strawberry taste in a cereal with more food colorings than a paining supply store. Now with fiber!
Cons: Not enough strawberry filling to make me feel like I’ve found a cereal treasure. A standard bowl mostly tastes just like regular Froot Loops. Froot Loops rings lack crunch of the good old days. Not remembering what Hidden Treasures tastes like. Animal garage sales.