I basically picked up the two new varieties of Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut cereal (Roasted Nut & Honey O’s and Golden Honey Nut Flakes) because the boxes just made Kellogg’s seem so desperate. I figured that, based on the rebate offer covering half the front of the Golden Honey Nut Flakes box and the large coupon plastered on the side of both varieties, these things had to be either the best kept secret in the whole flippin’ breakfast aisle or some sort of unmentionable abomination created by the CEO’s nephew. As usual, my curiosity outweighed my gnawing suspicions. I still have my qualms about Kellogg’s calling the peanut-bedazzled cereals “nutty” and not “legumey”, but I’m willing to let that rest. There are bigger fish to fry here. Honey-peanut-molasses fish.
I had heard next to nothing about these cereals until they practically jumped out at me from the shelves. Hell, the product website even failed to locate either variety within a thirty mile radius of my zip code for some odd reason. I have my theories on this simultaneous lack of marketing and desperate push for acceptance. Perhaps they’re a failed vehicle for some early-90’s kids TV show. I imagine them as rebranded Slappy the Squirrel cereals from a never realized Animaniacs spin-off concept, found in a repossessed storage locker somewhere, still sealed and intact thanks to scads of preservatives.
I think part of the problem is that both varieties taste so gimmicky-sweet, so inherently child-friendly. But where are the goofy characters — the tigers, toucans, and Quisps – with their insatiable draw and plush dolls for bar codes offer? Why isn’t there a maze on the back?
This isn’t your average adult cereal, either. There are no berries, no gourmet Georgia pecans, no multi-grain wholesomely fortified goji oat nuggets. Nowhere is heart health even mentioned. They don’t even tout the fact that the O’s are HFCS-free, though this is perhaps a ploy to keep us from noticing that the flakes conspicuously aren’t. In any case, real sugar, molasses, and honey take top billing. Aside from the vitamin additives, the ingredient list is fairly short and brimming with various states of run-of-the-mill ground corn (It’s okay to hate me for that one).
I expected to taste Corn Flakes and Cheerios, respectively, with peanuts stuck all over them. What I got was a Cracker Jack laden nostalgia trip back to lil’ lassie softball and family game nights past. Sadly, both cereals lacked a cheap prize to fight over and retrieve from mom’s hiding spot on top of the refrigerator in the middle of the night. On the bright side, I wasn’t picking little popcorn husks off my back teeth days later.
The O’s tasted both puffy and crispy, like coated rice cakes. They in no way actually resembled Cheerios. My brief disappointment gave way to delight when I introduced them to milk, however. The O’s stayed crunchy for a good while, unlike the flakes, which reached Soggyville far too soon.
I am easily distracted, especially in the mornings. I have a habit of pouring a bowl of cereal and then running off to put in forgotten contacts or hunt for sunglasses. I therefore require industrial levels of steadfast crunchiness. I’m always impressed when any cereal manages to hold up to my unreasonable standards. Eaten dry, the O’s taste a little bland, while the flakes become quite addictive, exactly like Cracker Jack.
At first, I wondered to myself why Cracker Jack doesn’t have a cereal line, and then, with horror, I thought maybe this was supposed to be that cereal line, once upon a time, possibly in the dot com era, back when anything was possible. If these cereals are, in fact, resurrected failures, they must’ve just been ignored by marketing people too entranced by their Tigers, because, beyond the identity crisis, both varieties are pretty gr-r-reat.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a one-way ticket to the mysterious Soggyville and the train is boarding.
(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup â€“ Golden Honey Nut Flakes – 120 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 40 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein and a bunch of vitamins and minerals. Roasted Nut & Honey O’s – 100 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 25 milligrams of potassium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)
Item: Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Cereal (Roasted Nut & Honey O’s and Golden Honey Nut Flakes)
Price: $2.50 each (on sale)
Size: 10.8 ounces (Roasted Nut & Honey O’s)
Size: 14.1 ounces (Golden Honey Nut Flakes)
Purchased at: Albertson’s
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Roasted Nut & Honey O’s)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Golden Honey Nut Flakes)
Pros: Ever-crunchy rings. Slappy the Squirrel hawking cereal. Cracker Jack for breakfast. The early dot com era, when everything was possible. Very snack-worthy throughout the day. Fairly health-conscious choice for sweet cereal lovers. No popcorn husks.
Cons: No prize. Flakes seemed to have pre-booked their tickets to Soggyville. No mazes. Rings dependent on milk for maximum deliciousness. Rampant family game night cheating. No healthy nuggets. Decade-old Cracker Jacks for breakfast. No adorable mascot. Weird softball league groupings.