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.

SPOTTED: Hidden Valley Ranch Pepperoni Pizza Dip

Hidden Valley Ranch Pepperoni Pizza Dip

Huh. Who would’ve thought I’d be posting a second new pepperoni pizza flavored dip shortly after the first. I didn’t have that on my processed foods bingo card.

I got a press release regarding this, so I just regurgitate some of what it says. It includes a creamy blend of cheese, zesty pepperoni, and signature Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning that that tastes great warmed up in the microwave or oven and dipped with chips, crackers, or even spread on a bagel.

Hidden Valley Ranch Pepperoni Pizza Dip is a Sam’s Club exclusive and comes in a 15 lb container. Oops. I forgot a decimal point. It comes in a 1.5 lb tub with an $8.48 price tag. (Spotted by Robbie at Sam’s Club.)

SPOTTED – 7/22/2021

Here are some interesting new products found on store shelves by your fellow readers. If you’ve tried any of the products, share your thoughts about them in the comments.

Blue Diamond Almond Flour Yellow Cake and Brownie Mixes
Blue Diamond Almond Flour Yellow Cake and Brownie Mixes
Blue Diamond Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie and Chocolate Cake Mixes
Blue Diamond Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie and Chocolate Cake Mixes

(Spotted by Amanda Y at Tom Thumb.)

Hostess Limited Edition Chocolate CupCakes and Star Gazer Ding Dongs Variety Pack
Hostess Limited Edition Chocolate CupCakes and Star Gazer Ding Dongs Variety Pack

(Spotted by Robbie at Sam’s Club.)

The Worthy Crumb Pastry Co Oreo Two Bite Muffins Box
The Worthy Crumb Pastry Co. Oreo Two-Bite Muffins Box

(Spotted by Robbie at Sam’s Club.)

Hershey s Halloween Shapes Assortment 120 Pieces
Hershey’s Halloween Shapes Assortment 120 Pieces

(Spotted by Robbie at Sam’s Club.)

Turkey Hill Seasonal Favorite Strawberry Marshmallow Swirl
Turkey Hill Seasonal Favorite Strawberry Marshmallow Swirl

(Spotted by Robbie at Randall’s.)

Sprinkles Chocolate Assorted Bars
Sprinkles Assorted Gift Box of Chocolate Bars Cover
Sprinkles Chocolate Assorted Bars 2
Sprinkles Assorted Gift Box of Chocolate Bars

(Spotted by Sarah R at Sprinkles.)

Truth  Dairy Fresh Mint with Chocolate Pieces Gelato
Truth & Dairy Fresh Mint with Chocolate Pieces Gelato
Truth  Dairy Cracked Coconut Gelato
Truth & Dairy Cracked Coconut Gelato
Truth  Dairy Indonesian Vanilla Gelato
Truth & Dairy Indonesian Vanilla Gelato
Truth  Dairy Creamy Orange Gelato
Truth & Dairy Creamy Orange Gelato
Truth  Dairy Pure Pistachio Gelato
Truth & Dairy Pure Pistachio Gelato
Truth  Dairy Deep Chocolate with Chocolate Pieces Gelato
Truth & Dairy Deep Chocolate with Chocolate Pieces Gelato
Truth  Dairy Caramel Cookies  Cream Gelato
Truth & Dairy Caramel Cookies & Cream Gelato

(Spotted by Sarah R at Sprouts.)

REVIEW: All Lime Skittles

Limited Edition All Lime Skittles Share

What are Limited Edition All Lime Skittles?

It’s all lime all the time in this Lim(e)ited Edition Skittles release.

How are they?

I was never a big fan of the great Skittle switch of 2013. That’s when lime was unceremoniously replaced by apple. They just kept green, swapped the flavors, and acted like it was no big deal.

Limited Edition All Lime Skittles Pour

I’ll assume the higher-ups figured “citrus” was already well represented by lemon and orange, so no one would miss lime. After eating this bag, I realized how much I missed lime. I’m clearly not the only one, otherwise this All Lime release wouldn’t exist, right?

Limited Edition All Lime Skittles Original

In fairness to apple, and just to make sure my memories were correct, I also bought a regular bag of Skittles so I could compare the flavor combinations.

Apple is just too sweet.

I mean, these are Skittles, they’re supposed to be sweet, but I definitely prefer the overabundance of that slightly sour and sharp citrus bite to the sweetness of the strawberry and grape. With apple, the sweeter flavors outcandy the citrus, and it’s a weaker end product. Lime is just the superior green Skittle.

Anything else you need to know?

Limited Edition All Lime Skittles Guns Out

I’m technically rating the All Lime bag alone, so I can’t pretend I’m a huge fan of eating the same flavor over and over no matter which flavor it is. I’ll always prefer a mix. Even the best flavors get old after a few handfuls… of which there are many because these – like wayyyyyy too many candies these days – only seem to be available in Share Size.

[rant] Can we chill with the King/Share Sizes? It could just be my crippling loneliness speaking, but when I buy a Share Size, I usually eat it myself. I don’t wanna share, and half the candies on the racks these days only come in these giant portions. Stop making me eat so much. [/rant]

Conclusion:

Maybe it’s the fact Sour Skittles are my all-time favorite mix, but I want the citrus flavors to reign supreme in my red Skittles bag. Apple doesn’t even shine. It’s easily the worst flavor in the current lineup.

I think we should go back to the good old days and just put lime back in its rightful home… then maybe in 8 years I can come back and review “All Apple” Skittles and probably change my tune.

Purchased Price: $2.19
Size: 4 oz. Share Size
Purchased at: Wawa
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 oz) 110 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 5 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of total carbohydrates, 21 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of protein.

SPOTTED: New and Improved Coca-Cola Zero Sugar (2021)

New and Improved Coca Cola Zero Sugar Can

New and Improved Coca Cola Zero Sugar Case

I’m not sure what needed to be improved with Coca-Cola Zero Sugar because I think the previous formulation was super tasty. Although, I did prefer the name Coca-Cola Zero over Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. However, I do like the look of the red can. I want to stick a Ferrari logo on it. Wait a minute. Is this going to be a New Coke all over again? (Spotted by Robbie at Sam’s Club.)