REVIEW: Clif Cereal

Clif Cereal Boxes

Have you ever thought about the relative aisle spaces allotted to the different categories within a grocery store? Who dictates that there only be, say, ten feet devoted to granola bars competing for the attention of shoppers’ gaze and wallets while cereal gets its own exhaustive full-length aisle of sometimes 20 feet or more?

Well, someone must think of these things, and I imagine at least one of those people works for Clif Bar. Because the red-shirted carabining brand has climbed its way out singular bar form and is expanding into cereals with four new Clif Cereal Flavors: Honey & Peanut Butter, Apple Cinnamon & Almond Butter, Chocolate & Peanut Butter, and Blueberry & Almond Butter.

I could only find three of the four, so this review will exclude the Apple Cinnamon & Almond Butter flavor, much to my chagrin.

Clif Cereal Inside Boxes(From L to R) Blueberry & Almond Butter, Chocolate & Peanut Butter, and Honey & Peanut Butter

Upon initial opening, these looked ehhhh healthy, brown, and not unlike granola with the surprisingly high number of whole nuts and clusters visible. But, to be honest, I was somewhat relieved to see some big pieces of inclusions because each box was just shy of $7, which seems like a lot for cereal unless it contains whole almonds.

Honey & Peanut Butter

Clif Cereal Honey Peanut Butter

I started with the Honey & Peanut Butter one, figuring it would be the most subtle. It appears all of the flavors have the same base multigrain flake, but this one also had plain dry roasted peanuts, granola-type clusters, and crunchy rice puffs covered in a peanut butter flavored coating.

The coating reminded me of that yogurt-type stuff on the bottom of some granola bars. When eaten dry, this cereal is rrroouuugh. The front of the box touts “40% less sugar than leading cereal brands,” and boy do I believe them. As someone who tends to enjoy cereal dry or with milk, I was concerned. But THANKFULLY, a little milk goes a long way here.

What happens is the milk sort of dissolves the peanut butter coating on the clusters and at the same time softens the “oh yeah, these contain fiber” multigrain flakes. The result is a more evenly distributed sweetness and almost creaminess in each bite. Really delightful and peanut-butter-like without being TOO sweet.

Purchased Price: $6.97
Size: 15 oz box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10 (dry), 7 out of 10 (with milk)
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 240 Calories, 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 3.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 5 grams of added sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter

Clif Cereal Chocolate Peanut Butter

The chocolate peanut butter variety, though, never really made the same comeback. This box had the same flakes, the same peanut-coated clusters (although for some reason, they were HUGE in this box), and granola clusters with unsweetened cocoa.

When eaten dry, I couldn’t really discern any cocoa flavor at all. It was mostly just bitter and dry. When consumed with milk, the same peanut-butter-meldy thing took place, but I struggled to taste any chocolate because there was only unsweetened cocoa. I was underwhelmed, especially in a cereal world with a clearly dominant chocolate PB combo player.

Purchased Price: $6.97
Size: 15 oz box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10 (dry), 5 out of 10 (with milk)
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 240 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 6 grams of added sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

Blueberry & Almond Butter

Clif Cereal Blueberry Almond Butter

The most visually impressive BY FAR was the Blueberry & Almond Butter. There were whole dried blueberries, whole almonds, pumpkin seeds, granola clusters, our favorite little almond butter cluster dudes — this had it all!

I skipped straight to trying this with milk, and it was fantastic. There seemed to be tiny little blueberry bits throughout the cereal and clusters, making the whole bowl have a sweet, cohesive, fruity flavor immediately. I noticed that the sugar claim is only “30% less” on this box, which means I found the variety with the most sugar to be the most delicious. Surprise! Surprise!

But I think there’s something to be said about the perfect balance of whole grain goodness and fruit-derived sweetness when enjoying a breakfast cereal (or a granola bar, for that matter). I did try this one dry as well for posterity, and it was quite a bit more like a trail mix than the others. The blueberries really carried their weight here.

Purchased Price: $6.97 each
Size: 15 oz box
Purchased at: WalMart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (dry), 8 out of 10 (with milk)
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 240 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 3.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 5 grams of added sugar, 8 grams of protein.

Overall, Clif has launched cereals that stay true to the established brand expectations of Clif Bar. They are reasonably high in protein, as far as cereals go, and offer a decent amount of fiber and whole grains without nearly as much sugar as other options. They certainly fill you up without feeling like you’re actively creating cavities.

However, I think the Blueberry option, which had slightly more sugar and a blanket of fruity blueberry to meld everything together, reigns supreme. I imagine the Apple Cinnamon SKU would be decent for similar reasons. I would steer clear of the Chocolate Peanut Butter option.

One thought to “REVIEW: Clif Cereal”

  1. These all sound good to me…but, jeebus: $7 for a box of cereal? That’s nuts! (No pun intended. heh heh)

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