REVIEW: Quaker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal

Quaker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal

Let me be honest with you all – I think I’m basic.

Each year I eagerly anticipate the arrival of the cool autumn air and the changing of the leaves. Fall brings with it an excuse to wear my large collection of flannel shirts, strap on my boots (they’re not Uggs….yet), and head out to the countryside to pay extra money to pick my own apples that end up being smaller than anything I could buy at the grocery store.

And while some folks may believe that apple cinnamon is the quintessential fall flavor of choice, I am here to proclaim my love for anything and everything that is pumpkin spice. Sure, the latte has run through my veins from September through November in the past, but the grocery aisles have been my go-to for orangey and spicey products in recent years. 2015 brought us pumpkin spice kale chips (for basic vegans), pumpkin spice eggnog (for basic holiday combiners), and even pumpkin spice vodka (for basic drunks), and if you’ve read TIB in the past few weeks, you know that 2016 is shaping up to offer even more nutmeggy goodness.

As such, I jumped at the opportunity to review Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal. To be honest, I found it hard to believe that such a classic cereal would get on the pumpkin spice train, but the more the merrier. Next stop, my mouth. CHOO CHOO!

Life was never my first choice of cereal as a kid. I mean, when you’re competing with Cap’n Crunch and Count Chocula, a picture of wheat squares on the box wasn’t really appealing. As I grew older and wiser, my palette learned to appreciate Life and its cooler younger brother, Cinnamon Life. I eagerly dove into Pumpkin Spice Life, hoping that I’d be able to welcome it to the family with open arms.

Quaker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal 2

Upon opening the box, I was concerned that I’d mistakenly grabbed a box of traditional Life in error. Pumpkin Spice Life is relatively dull in the package, even though the box screams OMG THERE’S FALL IN HERE. The cereal offers nothing that will remind you of a pumpkin pie baking in the oven or the colors of the changing leaves. In fact, I was only able to discern any sort of cinnamon or nutmeg scent when I brought a spoonful of cereal right under my nose, and it was a very weak smell at that.

My bites of the cereal were similarly bland. The flavor of Pumpkin Spice Life, like regular Life, is very grain heavy, with notes of oats and wheat at the forefront. The tastes of cinnamon and nutmeg are only faintly evident, but become amped up with the inclusion of milk. A word to the wise though – once you add milk, you’ll need to finish your bowl quickly, lest you enjoy cereal that is the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Quaker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Life Cereal 3

The best part about pumpkin spice flavored products is that they typically bring a strong punch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice right from the beginning. You want to feel like you’ve been slapped in the face with your Thanksgiving dessert spread, and Pumpkin Spice Life isn’t going to give you any of that. Unless you’re a fan of muted fall flavors, I don’t suggest you play the game of Pumpkin Spice Life.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 120 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 13 oz box
Purchased at: Star Market
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Witty board game references. Good for fans of regular Life. Flannel shirts worn unironically.
Cons: Hey Mikey, he hates it! Barely discernible pumpkin spice flavor. Mushy in milk.

REVIEW: Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Multigrain Cereal

Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal

I’ve been having nightmares ever since I started eating the Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Multigrain Cereal. Just look at the closeup picture below, but don’t stare at it too long or else you’ll be having scary dreams as well.

Maybe I’ve read too many issues of Fangoria Magazine, but I think they look like the deformed faces of evil demonic spirits who want to devour my soul. Yeah, they’re smiling, but that’s because feasting on some of my life force will make them happy.

Oh geez, I gotta turn the box around because they’re freaking me out again!

I really wish Life Crunchtime Cereal came in normal, boring square pieces, much like regular Life Cereal. Or what my imagination thinks Kellogg’s Honey Smacks look like. Or, at least, a shape that doesn’t remind me of Scream‘s Ghostface.

You’d think with the Highlights for Children-like puzzle on the back of its box, Life Crunchtime Cereal is supposed to appeal to children, but it’s really more of a cereal being marketed to moms who are worried about their children eating too much sugar and not enough fiber. I don’t know of any children who would get excited about the “30% less sugar than the leading kids’ cereals” printed on the front of the box, but I know of moms who would.

What are these leading kids’ cereals? If you happen to be the in cereal aisle with one of those sugar-fearing moms, the leading kids cereals are probably the ones her child brings to her and instantly rejects with a loud “No! Put that back!” These cereal might include Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, which has 11 grams of sugar per 3/4 cup serving; General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios, which has 9 grams, and Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries, which has 11 grams of sugar.

Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal Closeup

Speaking of Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries, that’s what Life Strawberry Crunchtime smelled like. However, I shouldn’t be surprised by this since Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries is also made by Quaker. Its flavor, however, was significantly less Crunch Berry-like. It initially tasted like nothing, but then several moments later the berry flavor, which didn’t taste like strawberry, lightly stroked my tongue. The strawberry flavor came, but in the form of an artificial strawberry aftertaste that lingered in my mouth for a little while.

For a cereal that has just six grams of sugar per serving, Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal is decent. If you’re expecting a Froot Loops- or Trix-level of fruitiness, your expectations will not be met. Just like Froot Loops, Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal doesn’t contain any fruit and is made using natural flavor, but unlike Froot Loops, it’s also made with artificial flavor.

Overall, I can’t say I’ll be picking up another box of Life Strawberry Crunchtime Cereal because its flavor doesn’t impress the sugar-addicted kid in me and their shape totally freaks out the easily scared adult in me, but, with its six grams of fiber (23% RDA), six grams of sugar, and vitamin content, I would recommend it to parents looking for a healthier breakfast cereal for their children.

Wait a minute…six grams of fiber, six grams of sugar, and is an excellent source of vitamin B6?

6-6-6!

It is evil!

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup (cereal only) – 110 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 75 milligrams of potassium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 15 grams of other carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime Multigrain Cereal
Price: $2.99
Size: 7.7 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Good for a cereal that has just six grams of sugar per serving. Provides 100% RDA of folic acid. Six grams of fiber.
Cons: Doesn’t contain real fruit. Puzzle on back of box is kind of difficult if you have morning brain. Cereal shape looks like deformed faces of evil demonic spirits. What my imagination thinks Honey Smacks look like.