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REVIEW: Kellogg’s S’mores Krave Cereal

Written by | December 17, 2013

Topics: 8 Rating, Cereal, Krave

Kellogg's S'mores Krave Cereal

This time of the year, as the thermometer plummets and stuffing your hands in your crotch becomes an essential component of keeping warm, it’s customary to crave traditional warm foods like chili, roasted root vegetables, and a whole host of things capable of giving your tongue a third-degree burn.

Also capable of giving your tongue a third-degree burn: s’mores. Granted, the combination of chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow isn’t exactly associated with comfort food for the winter, but cereal companies need something to sell us after the post Thanksgiving and Christmas blitz of all things pumpkin and gingerbread. Might as well be hot sounding, right?

I have absolutely no problem with this concept. In fact, I happen to practice a strict doctrine of non-discrimination when it comes to empty carbohydrates and the seasons, and applaud Kellogg’s attempts to do the same. I speak, of course, of S’more Krave Cereal. The new cereal has jumped the gun in invading grocery stores in front of the new cereal blitz we see each January, replacing the classic also-ran Smorz cereal that’s been slowly disappearing from shelves. It’s a sad day in my household when one cereal dies, but in the case of Smorz, I won’t be mourning too long.

Kellogg's S'mores Krave Cereal Box Closeup

With box art featuring what one imagines to be a completely unrealistic marketing image of chocolate and marshmallow bursting forth from an oversized graham cereal biscuit, I naturally assumed Krave’s rendition of the classic campfire dessert would be far superior to Smorz. And in case it wasn’t, well, at least there’s always the trusty S’mores Pop-Tart.

Frequent readers may know I have something of an infatuation with that initial moment when you open up a cereal box and are greeted by that wonderfully processed yet always nostalgic smell of unadulterated empty carbs and “natural and artificial” flavor. I wouldn’t go so far to label it a fetish, but I won’t hold it against you if you call it weird. I also won’t hold it against you if you find Krave S’mores to smell something like dog food dessert, if such a thing exists. That’s because it does smell off, and this is coming from the guy who would make Lucky Charms into a cologne if he could.

Notwithstanding this highly questionable aroma, each biscuit is engrained (ha, food group pun!) with a sturdy shell of graham flour which yields a crunchier bite than the standard Krave pieces. I like the initial dry crunch of each biscuit, but the graham flavor leaves a lot to be desired. If, like me, you enjoy a bit of honey crunch in your graham (think Golden Grahams) you’ll be disappointed. It’s more whole-grainy graham than anything else, and not really sweet.

Kellogg's S'mores Krave Cereal Innards

The filling, on the other hand, tastes just like the insides of a S’mores Pop-Tart, with the welcomed addition of a slightly toasted flavor and viscosity you almost never see in cereals. The filling tastes and feels like a slightly melted marshmallow and milk chocolate square; in other words, a s’more.

If eating dozens of little S’mores Pop-Tarts for breakfast sound too good to be true, it is. See, the sheer logistical realities of Krave’s filling-to-shell ratio make delivering flavor in a single biscuit almost as impossible as lighting a fire in Siberia with nothing but two twigs and a prayer. I’m not saying it’s inconceivable, but the inconsistent filling ratio makes getting said s’more flavor really only possible by stuffing numerous biscuits in your mouth at one time.

Kellogg's S'mores Krave Cereal In Milk

However, there’s an enjoyable sweet fudgy quality to the biscuits in milk, but the biscuits do lose their toasted marshmallow and graham flavor. They also don’t leave very good end-milk, as the sturdy graham coating refuses to allow any of the scant chocolate and marshmallow filling to populate the lake of greying 2%.

Nevertheless, one could do much worse in attempting to recreate a s’more, especially this time of the year. Far be it for me to freeze my ass off trying to light a fire outside with nothing but two sticks and a prayer, it’s sometimes more practical to get one’s summertime dessert fix from the convenience of a cereal box than the genuine article.

While giving up my proverbial smoldering marshmallow on a cicada poop-laced twig is unfortunate, I must say that as a dry snack, I find S’mores Krave to be one of the more complete recreations of s’mores in prepackaged breakfast form to date. While I’d like the graham flavor to be more honey laced, crunchy, and basically like Golden Grahams, the truth is that it stills tastes better than the edgy crusts of a Pop-Tart. Not only that, but the filling more than makes up for the graham element.

Just be prepared to throw suggested serving sizes out the window, because to get the real flavor of s’mores, you’ll want to eat a lot of it, straight from the box.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup or 31 grams – 120 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 105 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 3 gram of dietary fiber, 10 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s S’mores Krave Cereal
Purchased Price: $2.98
Size: 11 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Authentic milk chocolate and toasted marshmallow flavor is breaking new ground for cereals. Crunchier than regular Krave. Better “crust” than S’mores Pop-Tarts. Doesn’t involve starting a fire in the snow. Actually kind of healthy when you think about it.
Cons: Graham flavor lags behind Golden Grahams. No honey glaze. Filling is really, really, really scarce in a single biscuit. Smells like dog food. Questionable winter warming strategies.

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REVIEW: Kellogg’s Krave Double Chocolate Cereal

Written by | January 31, 2012

Topics: 6 Rating, Cereal, Kellogg's, Krave

Kellogg's Krave Double Chocolate Cereal

Faithful TIB readers will recall Jasper reviewing Kellogg’s Krave Chocolate Cereal, stating that while it wasn’t exactly an “adult” cereal, it was tasty without making him feel like the 11-year-old that he actually is (probably) (just kidding, Jasper!).   I read that with great interest, then scooped up a box of Krave Double Chocolate at the first opportunity, determined to see whether upping the chocolate quotient would make me less wizened and grinch-like.   While I’m still cursing at people who don’t use their turn signals, I have noticed a 54 percent decrease in shuffling, complaining about the chill, and watching Jay Leno, so I’m going to call this one a success!

On opening the box and taking a whiff, I was greeted with a vague chocolate smell, similar but not entirely like other chocolate cereals like Cocoa Pebbles or Cocoa Puffs.   Even holding a piece right up to my nose, it’s not as powerful a scent as I would have expected out of double chocolate anything; but the smell may just be locked in by a non-nutritive cereal varnish, semi-permeable but not osmotic, which coats and seals the piece.   Regardless, I started by trying a few pieces dry, and I was happy with what I experienced.   The cereal bits are suitably crunchy without being too hard or jagged edged, and the small burst of chocolate inside hits you like a little surprise a second or two after your taste buds have registered the outer layer.   It’s a well timed one-two punch, with the outer part being a bit of a subtler, less intense chocolate, but the inner component being richer.   High marks all around.

Given that, I was really eager to get the milk on and see how I liked them.   Regrettably, I have to report that while milk is almost always an improvement to cereal, it had the opposite effect on Double Chocolate Krave.   Don’t get me wrong, they’re still flavorful, but almost too much so — my teeth seemed to be on the verge of hurting with every bite.   My suspicion is that when the milk penetrates to the inside layer of chocolate, it turns it more liquidy; and while you’d think that would be a good thing, it actually makes it overly chocolate-y, if such a thing is possible.   I mean, I have a sweet tooth and all, but a 17-year-old girl who got dumped a week before prom would say this was a little too much chocolate.   I feel like I visited a guy on the street corner looking for an ounce of weed and he injected me with black tar heroin.

Kellogg's Krave Double Chocolate Cereal Closeup

Aside from the flavor, I found that they didn’t stay crunchy in milk very well at all — a mere five minutes of soaking reduced them to the firmness of a mushy banana, so either they don’t maintain consistency or someone at the grocery store is slipping acid into my milk.   Probably both.   (I have a lot of enemies.)   Since Jasper reported that the uni-chocolate variety held its crunchiness pretty well in milk, I’m wondering if it’s something to do with the different outer layers — maybe nutella and whatever else is in the casing of the regular variety is better at saying no than chocolate, the village bicycle.

While I can only give Kellogg’s Krave Double Chocolate a moderate score due to its overpowering taste and loose consistency in milk, I’d definitely recommend picking some up to eat dry as a party snack or something.   All told, it appears to simply be that rare cereal that’s better without the milk.   The back of the box makes reference to “chocovores,” so I guess I’m just one of those chocovores who likes his meals raw and unseasoned.   Grrrrr.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup (cereal only) – 120 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 80 milligrams of potassium, 23 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 10 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)

Other Kellogg’s Krave Double Chocolate Cereal reviews:
Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp

Item: Kellogg’s Krave Double Chocolate Cereal
Price: $3.99
Size: 11 ounces
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tastes great dry.   Good crunch.   Not overpowering scent.   Nice one-two chocolate flavor combo.   Satisfying your chocolate craving for the next five years.   Would probably make for a good party snack food.
Cons: Milk somehow makes it too sweet and chocolate-y.   People who don’t use their turn signals.   Gets soggy quickly.   They misspelled “crave.”   Being the only product in the world where more chocolate is a bad thing.   Comparing chocolate to hardcore drugs.

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REVIEW: Kellogg’s Krave Chocolate Cereal

Written by | January 10, 2012

Topics: 7 Rating, Cereal, Krave

Kellogg's Chocolate Krave

Like so many 20-somethings, I often feel like I’m not a girl, not yet a woman. I have my own job, apartment, and 401k, but I also still play video games, don’t know how to sew buttons back on my shirts, and am totally fine with appropriating Britney Spears lyrics to describe my existential circumstances.

I think my relationship with breakfast cereal is emblematic of this condition of emerging adulthood. I’ve finally realized that two cups of coffee don’t pass as breakfast for proper, health-minded adults, so I dutifully eat some Shredded Wheat or Kashi most mornings. But anytime I have ready access to children’s cereals, I’ll spend all day plotting my next foray into the break room for another bowl of sugary goodness.

(Last year, I lived across the street from my office, and if I ever saw Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the break room late in the week, I’d go into work on the weekends for breakfast. I once got into the elevator with a coworker on a Saturday morning, and I felt compelled to stick around for an hour pretending to have non-Cinnamon Toast Crunch-related business to handle so he wouldn’t think I was a huge weirdo like all of you do right now.)

All of this is a very roundabout way of asking: does Kellogg’s new Krave Chocolate Cereal pass muster as an adult cereal? Before actually eating any, I ran through the evidence:

Uh, it’s CHOCOLATE for breakfast. Not adult.

That being said, it’s actually not bad, health-wise – whole grains, no high fructose corn syrup, and less sugar than a lot of other cereals. Adult.

Kooky fonts on the box and krazy spelling in the name. Not adult.

Absence of an anthropomorphic animal mascot. Adult.

There’s a visual on the official website of an anthropomorphic piece of Krave cereal that, judging by the chocolate around its mouth and its “CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE YUM YUM” sign, may have recently committed an unspeakable act of cannibalism while serving on a picket line of some sort. Unclear, but kind of disturbing.

Based on my completely arbitrary set of criteria, there’s no definitive proof that Krave is an adult cereal. That also means there’s no definitive proof that it’s not an adult cereal, so I will proceed to the review with no qualms about setting back my slow march towards adulthood once again.

A very pleasant smell of chocolate wafted out as soon as I opened the bag. Each piece of cereal was a bit larger than a Chex, and many pieces either had flecks of chocolate on the outside or were somehow transparent enough for me to see the chocolate on the inside.

Kellogg's Chocolate Krave Innards

I started by eating a couple pieces dry. Krave is crunchy without being exceedingly so (think Chex or Lays potato chips rather than Cap’n Crunch or kettle chips), and the outer shell’s lightly crunchy texture and its lightly sweetened taste work well together. I was disappointed at first with the amount of the signature ingredient — when I bit pieces in half, I could see that there was relatively little chocolate within the shells, and the taste of chocolate in each individual piece was underwhelming, too.

Kellogg's Chocolate Krave Closeup

However, when I added milk to a full bowl of Krave and ate whole spoonfuls, the chocolate flavor began to shine. Each bite tasted more chocolaty than the last, yet at no point did it ever get to be too chocolaty. (Sidenote: did you know Microsoft spellcheck will suggest “chocolatier” instead of “more chocolaty”? And then tell you that “chocolatier” is not actually a word?) I also detected a slight hint of hazelnut, though the list of ingredients actually makes no mention of that. The cereal retained its crunchiness fairly well in the milk, but I was irritated that none of the chocolate leaked out to provide me with a bowl of chocolate milk at the end.

Is Kellogg’s Krave an “adult” cereal? No. Would I pretend to have work to do on a Saturday morning just to eat a bowl? No. Still, I definitely enjoyed it and would recommend you grab a box. Krave doesn’t fit into my adult cereal rotation, nor is it really sweet enough to qualify as a childish indulgence, but Amazon would only sell me Krave in a pack of four. I guess I’ll have to take the adult path of not being wasteful and eat many, many more bowls of Krave in the near future.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup (cereal only) – 120 calories, 30 calories from fat, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 70 milligrams of potassium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamin and minerals.)

Other Kellogg’s Krave Chocolate Cereal reviews:
Rodzilla Reviews
Option Pitch Waffle Crisp (Double Chocolate)

Item: Kellogg’s Krave Chocolate Cereal
Price: $5.00 per box (4-pack for $20)
Size: 11.4 ounce box
Purchased at: Amazon
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Nice chocolate smell. Appropriately crunchy. Lightly sweetened. Chocolate flavor builds as you eat more. Retains its crunchiness fairly well in milk. Has whole grains and no high fructose corn syrup. Eating chocolate for breakfast. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Britney Spears’ first album.
Cons: Amount of chocolate may be disappointing if you’re only eating a small serving. Doesn’t leave behind chocolate milk. Kind of pricey, now that I think about it. Amazon not allowing me to buy a single box. Cereal cannibalism. Not living across the street from the office.

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