REVIEW: Kellogg’s Little Debbie Swiss Rolls Cereal

Little Debbie and Kellogg’s have once again joined forces to miniaturize and breakfast-ify a popular snack cake so you can eat them for breakfast without feeling too much guilt. The new Little Debbie Swiss Roll Cereal follows Oatmeal Creme Pie, Cosmic Brownies, and Nutty Buddy Cereals. Will they be able to beat shoving a whole Swiss Roll in your mouth and washing it down with a glass of milk in the morning (a.k.a. the breakfast of champions)?

When I pour the chocolate spirals into my bowl, I see a light dusting of a white sugary coating. The chocolate cereal tastes like chocolate cereals I’ve tasted before. The frosted coating adds some vanilla flavor and tastes like the frosted coating I’ve tasted before. It’s good but could be inspired by any number of chocolate and vanilla treats instead of Swiss Rolls.

These remind me of the childhood favorite, Cookie Crisp. Everyone is a bit disappointed when they learn that they’re actually not eating tiny baked chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. But it’s still exciting to think of the possibility.

It’s always difficult to know what to say about these cross-branded products. Is this cereal actually like miniaturized Swiss Rolls? Of course not. It’s a standard frosted cocoa cereal in an admittedly neat spiral design. It’s fine but has nothing to do with its namesake snack cake. Do you really want to think of what eating a crunchy Swiss Roll would be like? It does make me wonder what other vaguely disconcerting cross-brand opportunities are out there. Krispy Kreme Go-Gurt? Anything that those freaks at Lay’s try to turn into a chip flavor?

I’m up for all of it, but sometimes I wish products like these were more than simply branding and did something exciting. Maybe I would enjoy these more if they were filled, like Krave cereal. Or perhaps I’m just experiencing breakfast ennui and asking too much from my cereal bowl.

And despite it not being a standout breakfast option, I’ve been munching it by the handful while writing this review. So perhaps that’s how it’s best enjoyed. So, while Kellogg’s Little Debbie Swiss Roll Cereal is more of a branding exercise than an innovative breakfast option, it’s still a tasty one.

Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 8.4 oz box
Rating: 7 out of 10
?Nutrition Facts (56 grams): 160 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar (including 15 grams added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Sprite Lymonade Legacy

The Coca-Cola Company has released Sprite Lymonade Legacy, a strawberry-lemonade-flavored take on the classic lemon-lime soda. Released with the tagline “Celebrating 50 Years of Hip-Hop”, will this soda do justice to the legacy of one the most influential musical movements of recent memory?

Here’s the bad news: the only music I listen to are Broadway show tunes and movie/videogame soundtracks. So, unless Hamilton counts, I’m completely unqualified to judge whether a strawberry-lemonade soda adequately represents hip-hop from a musical perspective. But I do know my way around a soda fountain, so I feel up to the task of reviewing this soda.

I open the lovely pink can, pour the soda into a glass, and am surprised at the lack of red or pink coloring in the liquid. It instead appears as ordinary, vaguely cloudy yellow lemonade. No doubt the cloudiness is from the modified food starch in the ingredient list and not the clarified lemon juice listed, but I appreciate how much like real lemonade it appears.

The scent is very strawberry-forward, and the flavor really brings the berry. It’s certainly artificial; you won’t mistake this for a freshly squeezed lemonade with crushed strawberries from the county fair. Think more of those old-fashioned strawberry candies. Underneath all that berry is a distinct lemon flavor, separate from the lemon-lime of classic Sprite, but there’s no mistaking this for regular Sprite Lymonade.

A strawberry flavor is a natural addition to the existing Sprite Lymonade. If you’re one to get excited about new sodas (And I am! And I suspect readers of this site are too), this may seem like an underwhelming brand extension. I, however, have come to appreciate this simple soda. At a time when Coca-Cola is releasing Coke varieties like “Pixel,” “Dreamworld,” and the upcoming “Sound Of A Lover’s Step As They Approach,” I can appreciate how much a touch of strawberry can add to a soft drink. The others all end up tasting like fruity bubblegum to me anyway.

Sprite Lymonade Legacy is a soda that does exactly what it promises. Some red coloring would have added to the strawberry experience, but the flavor is on point.

Purchased Price: $ 7.29
Size: 12 fl oz cans/12 pack
Purchased at: Woodman’s Market
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 130 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 35 grams of sugar (including 35 grams of added sugars), and 0 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Bakery Series Canned Iced Coffee

Dunkin’ has released three new canned iced coffees inspired by its bakery offerings to excite pastry and coffee aficionados alike. The Bakery Series includes the Brownie Batter Donut, Cake Batter Donut, and Coffee Cake Muffin iced coffees. Will they be able to capture the essence of their namesake baked good and turn it into a caffeinated treat?

As a coffee snob who is also an absolute garbage person who will drink any swill if it has enough sugar and cream, I appreciate that Dunkin’ can straddle that line. While my Technivorm Moccamaster demands to be fed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and gives me the side-eye if I drink it any way but black, I think Dunkin’ offers a good quality brew that can be doctored up without ruining it.

The three pale brown beverages are very sweet with a cream flavor, and the coffee flavor is mild. The dominant taste can be guessed from the names: Chocolate Brownie and Cake Batter Donut taste like chocolate and vanilla, respectively, and Coffee Cake Muffin tastes like cinnamon.

The issue with these three has nothing to do with the flavor, which is good if uninspired, and everything to do with the over-ambitious naming. Dunkin’ has released a Brownie Batter Donut that featured a thick, batter-like filling that was distinct from their run-of-the-mill chocolate crème. But how do food scientists translate chocolate filling, much less chocolate brownie batter filling into an iced coffee that’s not simply chocolate flavored? They mostly don’t.

To the extent that these beverages have a flavor other than plain chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon, it’s of additives used to replicate the ineffable “batter” and “muffin” essence. The result tastes good when gulped down, but slightly off-putting if you stop to study it, especially with the plainer cake batter flavor. Vanilla lets more weird science-y flavor through.

Vanilla, chocolate, and cinnamon coffee are classics for a reason, and that’s mostly what these are. Dunkin’s reach exceeded its grasp in attempting to capture a pastry in a can, but the result is still an enjoyable coffee experience.

Purchased Price: $2.49 each
Size: 11 oz cans (325 ml)
Purchased at: Woodman’s Market
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 200 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 grams of fiber, 30 grams of sugar (including 22 grams added sugar), and 6 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starry Lemon Lime Soda

PepsiCo is aiming higher by replacing Sierra Mist with the new lemon-lime soda Starry. Mist Twist, the previous rebranding effort, failed to unseat the current king of the lemon-lime mountain, Sprite. Will aiming for the stars be enough to achieve the stratospheric sales growth Pepsi desires?

Let’s get to brass tacks: Starry tastes like every other lemon-lime soda I’ve ever had. The difficulty in describing this soda is how similar it is not only to its precursor but all lemon-lime sodas. If you taste a Coke next to a Pepsi, you can tell they’re the same flavor but also have notable differences. A Mug Root Beer tastes different than Barq’s. Sprite and 7Up or Sierra Mist and Starry? Not so much.

I tasted both the regular and zero sugar versions, and there was more of a difference between these two than between Starry and the competition. I prefer the zero sugar version because I’m used to diet sodas, and it tastes crisper. Full sugar Starry was comparatively syrupy, but I imagine someone with different preferences would think otherwise.

If I had to guess a change between Starry and Sierra Mist, it would be that Starry has a slightly more natural citrus aroma. To test this, I ran to my local Kwik Trip again to pick up a remaining bottle of Sierra Mist before they either were sold out or agents of PepsiCo confiscated them. A head-to-head comparison between old and new sodas revealed that I wasn’t mistaken in thinking the aroma was different, but it’s so negligible that you have to be looking for it.

Because the lemon-lime sodas are so similar, the best way to differentiate Sierra Mist from Starry is through their labeling. And on that count, Starry comes out on top. Sierra Mist’s combination of lemon, lime, mountains, and color palette creates something light and crisp but also a bit busy, making it easy to overlook. Starry removes the mountain, uses a more vivid yellow and green, and most importantly, has bold black outlining. The black banding on the Zero Sugar version is especially striking.

Starry is another solid entry in the lemon-lime soda market. It may not do anything new, but taken on its terms as a rebranding effort, it succeeds.

Purchased Price: $ 1.39
Size: 20 fl oz bottles
Purchased at: Kwik Trip
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Regular), 7 out of 10 (Zero Sugar)
?Nutrition Facts: Regular – 240 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 65 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 65 grams of sugar (including 65 grams added sugars), and 0 gram of protein. Zero Sugar 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 60 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Little Debbie Snickerdoodle Creme Pies

Little Debbie Snickerdoodle Creme Pies Box

What is it?

Little Debbie’s Snickerdoodle Crème Pie is the newest addition to the product line that includes the classic Oatmeal Crème Pie, beloved by kids and former kids alike. Will these Crème Pies earn a place next to the adored oatmeal variety?

How is it?

Little Debbie Snickerdoodle Creme Pies Split

The Snickerdoodle Crème Pie is made of two cookies with vanilla crème sandwiched in between. It’s a simple snack, but sometimes the simplest things can be the best.

Little Debbie Snickerdoodle Creme Pies Top

In this case, it’s just kind of boring. The cookies are soft, cakey, and moderately sweet with cinnamon flavor but lack anything to make them stand out. They’re not rolled in cinnamon sugar like a normal snickerdoodle but have cinnamon bits that add textural interest. They’re unevenly distributed, though, being completely absent from some cookies. The vanilla crème is inoffensive when eaten with the cookies but also doesn’t bring much excitement. When eaten alone, it leaves a waxy residue, like bad cake frosting.

Anything else you need to know?

Little Debbie Snickerdoodle Creme Pies Whole

I was shocked at how tiny these are. The Oatmeal Crème Pies I eat are much larger, and it sent me down Google hole to find out what was going on. It turns out there are actually two Oatmeal Crème Pie sizes commonly available. The large is often marked for individual sale and seen in convenience stores, and the smaller can be seen in multipacks at grocery stores. The Snickerdoodle Crème Pies seem even smaller than those. What I’m saying is that if your preferred size is the Triple Decker Oatmeal Crème Pie, you should plan on eating several of these.


These are serviceable yet unremarkable cookies. Those who love snickerdoodle cookies might love them, but others will probably find them unexciting.

Purchased Price: $2.29
Size: 9.57 oz/8 pack
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cookie) 150 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 mg milligrams of cholesterol, 95 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar (including 14 grams of added sugars), and 1 gram of protein.