REVIEW: Kellogg’s Scooby-Doo! Cereal (2013)

Kellogg's Scooby-Doo Cereal

I’m in college and during the week, I eat copious amounts of fried foods at the dining hall. On the weekends, I consume my body weight in ramen and pizza. Sure, I’ll admit that I’m a little ashamed of falling victim to such a stereotypical college diet, but I decided this past weekend that I could change.

I started by reforming breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Leaving my spot in the all-you-can-eat bacon line, I dared to visit my local supermarket in search of one of these “healthy” cereals which I see advertised so frequently on television. The commercials assured me that by switching to a more hearty cereal, I could lower my cholesterol and receive my recommended daily value of vitamins and minerals.

And so, I found myself walking down the cereal aisle, scanning the shelves for my dream cereal. Cheerios? Too dry. Raisin Bran? Tasteless. Total? Well, that might actu–


Yes, I visited the grocery store with the intention of purchasing one of the healthier cereals, but I left with a box of Kellogg’s new Scooby-Doo! cereal. Don’t judge me.

I shouldn’t feel too guilty, though. The box assures me that by eating Scooby-Doo cereal, I’ll receive fifty percent of the daily recommended amount of whole grain. Furthermore, the cereal’s a “good source of vitamin D” and an “excellent source of iron.” I’ll admit that the nutritional content was not what attracted me to this cereal. No sir. It was Scooby’s ridiculous grin. I mean, look at that dog. He obviously loves this cereal so much that his tongue swelled up and can no longer fit inside his mouth. Poor Scooby has macroglossia.

I quickly raced home and cracked open the box, craving some “crispy lightly sweetened vanilla flavored cereal.” The first thing I noticed was the smell. Have you ever opened up a box of graham crackers and taken a whiff? It’s the same kind of experience. There were subtle hints of vanilla in the scent as well.

Kellogg's Scooby-Doo Cereal Bowl

Pouring the cereal into a bowl, I quickly realized that what I was about to eat looked remarkably similar to dog kibble. The crunchy dog bone shapes definitely resemble what Overlord Bark-Bark III eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (And yes, that’s the name of my dog.)

But what’s this? No marshmallows? How disappointing! Whenever I purchase a cereal with a cartoon character on the box, I fully expect it to include marshmallows. This is clearly a drawback. That being said, some people might consider the lack of marshmallows to be a good thing. These people need their heads examined.

It was time for the taste test. I’m a firm believer in experiencing a cereal both with and without milk in order to become better acquainted with its full range of flavors.

Kellogg's Scooby-Doo Cereal Closeup

When consumed dry, Scooby-Doo cereal provides a very satisfying crunch similar in texture to Cap’n Crunch cereal. The flavor is best described as a slight graham cracker taste with hints of that imitation vanilla flavor that’s so commonly found in cereals. Overall, the taste is quite pleasant. Not too sweet, not too overpowering.

Sadly, when milk was added to my bowl, the cereal lost much of its flavor. It didn’t seem as pronounced; the milk masked much of the strong graham cracker taste. However, the crunchiness was in full effect. Rest assured, the milk did not diminish the crunchification one bit.

So what’s the verdict? Honestly, this is not one cereal I would purchase again. Although its dry flavor is satisfying, it clearly loses something when eaten with milk. There are other cereals out there that rock my taste buds with or without milk. Furthermore, it lacks marshmallows and resembles dog kibble. Do you really want to eat something that looks like dog food?

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup (cereal only) – 120 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total 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, 110 milligrams of sodium, 95 milligrams of potassium, 27 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 6 grams of sugars, and 3 grams of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s Scooby-Doo! Cereal
Purchased Price: $3.59
Size: 12 oz.
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Macroglossia. No marshmallows. Stays crunchy in milk. Decent dry flavor. Not too sweet.
Cons: Resembles dog kibble. No marshmallows. Loses flavor in milk.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts

Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts

Here’s your off-the-wall thought for today: if someone was making you a romantic mix CD (for our younger readers, ask your parents what those are), what song would absolutely have to be on it?

It’s not a trick question, and I don’t mean a cheerful, airy ballad.  What tune gives you that weak-in-the-knees, smoldering feeling?  

For me, I have to go with “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles.  It’s an unconventional choice — she’s not a particularly famous artist, and hell, the song isn’t even really about romance… it’s about missing Elvis.  But damn, there’s just something about the twang of that guitar, the slow beat, and the way Myles kicks about fifty extra levels of sultry into her voice as she croons “what could you dooooo?”  You can keep your Wicked Games and your Closers, thanks; I’ll take the homage to a dead Southern rocker.

And this is the point where you quite reasonably ask, “What on earth does any of this have to do with food?”

My only response is that we’re reviewing Red Velvet Pop-Tarts today, and I can no longer hear the word “velvet” without thinking of that song.  (Makes coat shopping uncomfortable, let me tell you.)  Also, nearly every single flavor of Pop-Tart has already been reviewed on this site and we’re kind of running out of intros; the next one will consist entirely of the phrase “All blog and no play makes our editor-in-chief something something” just typed over and over again.

Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts Closeup

But putting that aside, Red Velvet is the latest in Kellogg’s Pokemon-esque quest to capture every flavor known to man in tart form, then make them battle for supremacy.  The front of the box has the standard picture of the Pop-Tart itself, but also one of a red velvet cupcake, the kind you might find in an upscale bakery or a pretentious grocery store.  It’s pretty effective at making your mouth water, since both images look downright tasty and will probably sell more than a few units on visual impulse purchases alone.  (Don’t laugh, that’s Maxim’s entire marketing strategy.)  The package also emphasizes that these are limited edition, so depending on how they taste, it might be time to clear out your pantry and start stockpiling.

Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts Innards

The Pop-Tarts come inside the standard foil wrappers with random sayings/”jokes” on them.  Nothing particularly interesting there, although in keeping with the romance theme, I noticed one of the word balloons telling me I’m so easy to open up to, and another one just says “Oooooh.  Ahhhhh.  Yummm!”  Keep it in your pants, Kellogg’s.  Pressing ahead, opening a packet reveals fairly aesthetically appealing Pop-Tarts.  Nothing spectacular, but the red sprinkles make it pop and it’s slightly neat seeing a rust-colored tart.  Breaking one open reveals the white creme filling you’ve encountered before in so many of its pastry predecessors.

Which is all well and good, but at the end of the day, are you taking a first class flight to Flavortown?  Well… somewhat.  The creme filling and the frosting on top are the exact same as what you’ve had on plenty of other Pop-Tarts before; you already know whether you like it or not.  In addition to visual appeal, the sprinkles actually do provide a little bit of added crunch, which is nice from a texture standpoint — nothing major, just the sort of minor element that can sometimes tip the scales in one direction or the other.  Assuming you toast yours, the filling melts nicely and forms a nice soft contrast with the flaky shell.

But that leads me to my biggest disappointment: while these tarts are appropriately sweet and gooey, they just don’t deliver enough red velvet taste.  I’m not a glutton for red velvet or anything (again: go black or go home), but if you’re going to make that the name of the pastry, you’ve gotta deliver the goods.  The flavor isn’t completely absent; there are faint undertones that pop up here and there, like living right on the edge of a radio station’s broadcast radius.  When it’s there, it’s nice, but a lot of the time you’re just eating a sugar and creme filling Pop-Tart.  Still good, but not nearly as distinctive as it should be.

And that about sums it up.  You may want to buy these if you’re a Pop-Tart completist, or if they simply look like the best of all the available options.  I don’t think anyone who has a taste for toaster pastries is going to be disappointed in these; they taste good, as long as you’re willing to live with all the sugar and sodium.  It’s just that there are far more distinct flavors available, and red velvet fans in particular are liable to judge these and find them wanting.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 190 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugars, 2 grams of protein.)

Other Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts reviews:
Foodette Reviews

Item: Limited Edition Frosted Red Velvet Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $2.79 (with BonusCard discount)
Size: 8 toaster pastries
Purchased at: Giant
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Mississippi in the middle of a dry spell.  Among the more visually-interesting Pop-Tarts.  Sprinkles + melty creme make for good texture.  Hard to complain too hard about a taste that is, really, pretty good.  Price is right.
Cons: n a flash he was gone, it happened so soon.  Very faint red velvet taste.  Foil wrappers coming on to me.  You’ll forget these existed a month after eating them.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts

If I were to list my top 20 favorite products of all time, there would be only one toaster pastry and it would be Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts.

Oh, you haven’t heard of them?

Well, they were around when Pop-Tarts options were much simpler, occupied very little shelf space, and almost all of them were actually tart. But, apparently, Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts didn’t sell well and were discontinued.

When they disappeared from shelves, I had to settle for the pigs slop known as Frosted Strawberry and Frosted Blueberry Pop-Tarts. And the more I stuffed down as part of my complete breakfast, the more upset and depressed I got about not having Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts in my life.

So I did what any middle school child with a penchant for writing would do. I wrote a letter to Kellogg’s, which went something like this:

Dear Kellogg’s,

Why did you kill the frosted apple pop tarts? After I wake up my mommy puts one in the toaster for me. I ask her if I can have two but she says no cause I’ll get fat. I told her I’m already fat, but she didn’t give me two. See I like them so much that I want to eat two. I like the jelly part of the pop tart, it doesn’t taste like the red apples my mommy feeds me to make me skinny, but it taste good. Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please make frosted apple pop tarts again. I said please a lot, so that means you have to give me what I want, because when I say please a lot to my mommy she gives me what I want except when I ask for two pop tarts.

Thank you.

Despite the excessive pleases in my letter, Kellogg’s didn’t bring back Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts. Although, now that I think about it, Kellogg’s probably didn’t get my letter because, if I remember correctly, I put an Easter Seal on the envelope, thinking it was a postage stamp and I didn’t put a return address. However, these new Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts come close to replacing my beloved toaster pastries from the 1980s.

Since the Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts’ demise, there have been several apple-flavored Pop-Tarts, like Apple Strudel Pop-Tarts, Apple Pie Pop-Tarts, Apple Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, but none of them have hit me with a wave of nostalgia that these Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts have.

Kellogg's Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts Closeup

Well, to be more precise, it’s the delicious apple pie-ish filling that takes me back to a time when I would look through the Sears Wish Book catalog, circle the toys I knew my parents couldn’t afford, and then laugh at the horrible Christmas sweaters being sold. Sure, the filling’s brown color reminds me of browning apples that have been exposed to oxygen for too long, but it’s so wonderfully sweet and tasty.

While these new Pop-Tarts may taste like Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts, there are a few major visual differences. The Pop-Tarts from my childhood were frosted almost completely from bow to stern (yes, I believe that is the proper way to address the front and rear of a Pop-Tart), but these Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts are only drizzled with frosting. Lame. But like the Oatmeal Delights Pop-Tarts we reviewed, they have wonderful sweet and crunchy crumbles on top which kind of make up for the lack of frosting.

If you do find yourself purchasing a box of these Pop-Tarts, don’t be lazy and eat them straight out of the shiny foil wrapper. Take the time to toast them and you’ll be rewarded with a much tastier experience.

And if you’re a child of the 80s who loved Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts as much as I did, the tasty apple, cinnamon, and sugar gloop in the Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts will be the flux capacitor that takes your taste buds back in time.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 50 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and a few vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Limited Edition Frosted Apple Cinnamon Muffin Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 8 toaster pastries
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Sooo good. Reminds me of Frosted Dutch Apple Pop-Tarts. Delicious apple pie-ish filling. Sugary crumbles on top were wonderful. Awesome when toasted. Good when not toasted. Sears Wish Book.
Cons: Only drizzles of frosting. Limited edition. Using Easter Seals as postage stamps. Not getting what I want with a lot of pleases.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Cinnamon Jacks

Kellogg's Cinnamon Jacks

Of all the eternal questions I often ruminate on, none perplexes me more than that of Apple Jacks’ place in the universe.

Does it, as we insisted in our youthful ignorance of baggy pants and skateboards, taste nothing like an actual apple? Or does the formula of dried apples and apple juice concentrate really harbor in the crisp and sweet taste of fall’s bountiful crop?

I suppose the answer will never truly be arrived at, but thankfully, Kellogg’s latest spinoff of the ever-popular Apple Jacks cereal doesn’t pose such weighty concerns.

Yes, Cinnamon Jacks really does taste like cinnamon, and manages even keeps alive a fine tradition of creepy cereal spokesmen and challenging back-of-the-box games to boot.

Promising a “brown sugar and cinnamon taste,” Cinnamon Jacks consists of “X” or jack shaped red and orange pieces served up by Cinnamon, the Rastafarian bug-eyed mascot first introduced in 2007 as a foil to the creepy Apple-looking guy who adorns boxes of Apple Jacks. Unlike cereals which advertise themselves as good for you and responsible in their stewardship of the environment and all that crap, the back of the box of Cinnamon Jacks doesn’t send me back to sleep in boredom.

That’s not to say it’s filled up by the usual mazes or cartoons. It’s even marginally educational, complete with words games that make me wish I would have picked up the phone and ordered Hooked on Phonics during those days of playing hooky in elementary school.

The cinnamon flavor is the first thing that registers on my taste buds. It quickly migrates its way into the roof of my mouth to somehow permeate into the schnoz cavity, conferring a distinctive if not sophisticated element which manages to traverse its way somewhere between Wrigley’s Cinnamon gum and classic mulling spices.

Kellogg's Cinnamon Jacks Dry Closeup

The jacks are sweet but not cloying, although I don’t really pick up any distinctive brown sugar elements (brown sugar is not listed in the ingredients, either.) Matched up in terms of pure cinnamon sugar addictiveness against everyone’s favorite cinnamon cereal, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cinnamon Jacks would get clobbered worse than ‘88 Broncos in the Super Bowl. Put up against the likes of cinnamon cereal middleweights like Cinnamon Chex, however, it more than holds its own.

There’s something off with the little jack-shaped pieces though, with their crispy bite yielding to a somewhat disassociated flavor that just doesn’t taste intrinsically yummy to my well-trained cereal taste buds. A quick check of the ingredients lists reveals the culprit: The dreaded whole grain yellow corn flour.

Seriously, what makes companies think that corn and cinnamon work? I may not be up with the latest foodie trends, but I still haven’t seen anyone pour cinnamon and brown sugar on their corn on the cob, while the likes of other corn-based cinnamon cereals, like Cinnamon Honey Comb, have fizzled.

Thankfully there’s enough sweetness and cinnamon flavor to carry me through a dry handful without thinking too much of Kix, but I can’t help but think the little chromosome shapes would taste better and have a heartier crunch if the first ingredient was oat or wheat flour.

Kellogg's Cinnamon Jacks Wet Closeup

For whatever reason, that strange corn flour taste disappears once milk is applied, with the jack pieces transferring their cinnamon sugar sweetness to the end milk while still retaining good flavor in their own mushy right. The end-milk is most excellent; not only drinkable on its own, but added to a morning cup of joe as well.

Cinnamon Jacks isn’t as good as Cinnamon Toast Crunch but that’s okay. It tastes much more like cinnamon than Apple Jacks taste like apples, which is good, because it means that I don’t have to add it to my universal questions to ponder list and can instead go back to wondering about things like how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop or if Luke Skywalker has a middle name.

(Nutrition Facts – 28 grams – 110 calories, 20 calories from fat, 2 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 45 milligrams of potassium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and a buttload/cornucopia/smorgasbord of vitamins and minerals, although no calcium.)

Item: Kellogg’s Cinnamon Jacks
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 10.7 ounces
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Finger licking cinnamon-sugar coating. Cinnamon flavor is more sophisticated than what you’d expect from a cereal represented by Rastafarian skateboarding cinnamon stick mascot. Drinkable end-milk. Whole grainy goodness. Not having to contemplate whether or not it really tastes like cinnamon.
Cons: Corn flour taste is too assertive and clashes with the sweetness. No actual brown sugar involved. Not very crunchy. No richness. Learning that Luke Skywalker doesn’t have a middle name after all.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Oatmeal Delights Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts

Kellogg's Oatmeal Delights Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts

I’m going to guess that not everyone reading this 1) spent their adolescent years in the early to mid ’90s, and 2) read superhero comics.

But that’s okay.

(Statistically, you’re almost certainly better off for it.)

All you need to know is this: in the early ’90s, comic book publishers went absolutely, 100 percent bugfuck insane. Comics were selling like crazy, movies and cartoons had people interested in the characters, and everyone believed their mint copy of X-Force #1 was going to make them fabulously wealthy someday, whereas its primary use today is to prop up uneven table legs at comic stores everywhere.

To keep the cash train running, publishers came up with a ridiculous variety of gimmicks to entice you to buy their wares. They did variant covers. Holographic covers. Glow-in-the-dark covers. Photo covers. Silent issues. Sideways issues. Issues with nothing but splash pages. Superman died. Batman crippled. Green Lantern genocidal. Spider-Man wearing armor. One comic writer, upon dying, had his ashes mixed into the ink for the printing of a trade paperback he had written. It was madness.

(Except the last one, that was tight. Miss ya, Grue!)

Why do I bring this up? Because I increasingly get that same “’90s comics” vibe when I think about Pop-Tarts. They started out as a nice, simple breakfast pastry for kids. Eventually came new flavors, nothing wrong with that. But then they just started throwing shit at the wall to see what stuck.

We got Pop-Tarts clearly designed for dessert, not breakfast. We got seasonal Pop-Tarts with winter images printed on them. We got Wild! Pop-Tarts. And even Pop-Tarts that let you show your school spirit. And now? Well, now we’ve got a sub-brand of Pop-Tarts called Oatmeal Delights with two varieties, Frosted Strawberry and Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar; we’ll be looking at the latter. I suspect we’re supposed to think “mapley” is just a cute stylistic tic, but I’m interpreting it in more of the “vaguely reminiscent of maple” way. Your mileage may vary.

Kellogg's Oatmeal Delights Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts Top

I’m not going to lie — the box itself is almost worth the purchase. There’s just so much going on there. On the front, nearly every image and word is set at an angle like you’re eating M.C. Escher’s own toaster pastries. I thought Pop-Tarts had long ago accepted they were never going to be the healthy option, yet this package can’t stop trying to convince me it’s nutritious, touting its 8 vitamins and minerals, made from whole grain, no high fructose corn syrup, no trans fat, plenty of calcium and B vitamins, and a good source of fiber.

(Spoiler: the calories and total fat are not ridiculous, but still not what anyone would mistake for “healthy.”)

The back of the box avows that each pastry contains the perfect amount of icing, which I’m calling bullshit on because “perfect” is a strong word and pride goeth before the icing fall, or whatever. There’s also one of those barcodes you can scan with your smartphone to learn more info, although I didn’t because I was crushing it on Angry Birds and you’ve really gotta ride that streak out.

Kellogg's Oatmeal Delights Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts Innards

TL;DR. Just… how do they taste? Not quite how I was expecting, but still pretty good. The outer layer is crispy, with cinnamon oat crumbles liberally coating it and curvy drizzles of icing. The inside filling is definitely gooey and tastes of brown sugar and maple (“mapley,” if you will), although I can’t say it particularly screams oatmeal. That’s not a criticism per se, it’s just that these could easily be called Maple Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts with no mention of oatmeal and you wouldn’t question it.

Still, the flavor did bring me back to college, stealing instant oatmeal packets from the dining hall so I’d have something to eat at 11:00 PM when it was time to start that term paper. Good times, good times. Also, there’s a reasonable amount of filling, slightly less so on each of the ends, as per usual.

All told, the brown sugar crumbles, icing, and maple filling add up to an appealing whole. Not overflowing with sheer unadulterated flavor perhaps, but a solid effort that you can maybe trick your brain into thinking is healthy if you work at it. Much like holographic covers and sideways issues, these probably won’t be around for long, so try some while you can!

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pastry – 200 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 15(!) grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s Oatmeal Delights Frosted Mapley Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts
Purchased Price: $1.98
Size: 8 toaster pastries
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Cinnamon oat crumbles both look and taste appealing. Box isn’t attractive, but crammed with so much that you’ll buy it just to have something to read on the train. The maple(y) taste was good, though could have been more pronounced. Perhaps slightly better for you than regular Pop-Tarts. Pretty cheap. The ’80s comic industry.
Cons: The ’90s comic industry. Might’ve benefited from a little more oatmeal crammed in there. At this rate, TIB will soon become an all-Pop-Tarts review blog, instead of just a mostly-Pop-Tarts review blog. Kinda dull to look at — white icing would’ve offset that a little.