REVIEW: General Mills Jolly Rancher Cereal

General Mills Jolly Rancher Cereal

What is Jolly Rancher Cereal?

Regular readers of The Impulsive Buy will have noticed in recent years the bounty of breakfast cereals based on other sweet confections. Whether it be Twinkies, Pop-Tarts, or Dippin’ Dots, there seems to be no limit to manufactures’ desire to rebrand known properties into something that will fit in a bowl.

The latest is General Mills’ Jolly Rancher Cereal. A hard candy doesn’t seem like a natural candidate to convert to breakfast time (we get these before Ding Dong or Ho Hos cereal?), but let’s see if The Big G can move these from the office candy bowl to the kitchen cereal bowl.

How is it?

General Mills Jolly Rancher Cereal Dry

Upon opening, I can tell these are going to be more than a rebranded Trix. There’s a tangy scent that I’ve never encountered in a cereal before. I pour a measured 36 gram portion into my bowl and am once again disappointed at how small a suggested serving of cereal is.

General Mills Jolly Rancher Cereal Wet

As I pour in the milk, I notice that the cereal pieces are more pillow-shaped than the spherical pieces on the front of the box. The flavor has some of the tang I detected, and that really works to remind me of the cereal’s candy namesake. Each different fruit piece has a distinct flavor, though you can’t really tell in a mixed spoon. The green apple has an especially nice green apple flavor.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I have to admit I’ve never really cared for the original Jolly Rancher candy. It’s amazing how they manage to take an ordinary flavory like “cherry” and make it taste just a little bit weird, like the manufacture gave free rein to the guy who designed the artificial watermelon flavor.

Still, I have to admit this cereal somewhat won me over. Most fruit cereals only manage to be overly sweet and generically “fruity.” These manage to offer a more distinct fruit flavor, at least if you manage to get a spoonful of a single flavor. Which I did. Multiple times. Because I live a full and interesting life.

Conclusion:

I’m not going to wake up excited to have my bowl of Jolly Ranchers, but it’s a good option if you’re looking to change things up. I have a feeling that we’re at peak novelty cereal, so I don’t know how long these will last on store shelves. Give them a try.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 18.7 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (36 grams) 140 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Nestle Coffee-mate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamer

Nestle Coffee mate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamer

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is, hands down, my favorite cereal. Enjoying a bowl of it can immediately transport me back to more carefree days. When I saw Nestle’s Coffee-mate had launched a new Cinnamon Toast Crunch coffee creamer, I could barely contain my excitement.

In the past, I’ve taken leftover milk from a bowl of CTC and poured it into my coffee. While it’s decent, it leaves a lot to be desired. I prefer cream in my coffee, so that little amalgam is a bit too thin for my taste.

I fantasized about how great it would taste in my cup of joe. I was hoping for a creamer that perfectly captured the essence of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. At the very least, I thought it would maybe taste like horchata (try it if you haven’t), which would be fantastic.

Nestle Coffee mate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamer Itself

I poured some of the creamer into a glass to try it straight-up first. There were no visible specs of cinnamon in it. “This is troubling,” I thought to myself. It smelled faintly of French toast. French toast typically has cinnamon, so I figured this was a good sign.

Alone, it tastes like a standard sweetened coffee creamer, but with a minuscule hint of cinnamon. There was no verifiable CTC flavor. It definitely didn’t have a horchata flavor either.

Nestle Coffee mate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamer Coffee

In coffee, it had the same effect. It made it creamier and sweeter, as is to be expected. But I could barely taste the cinnamon. If I had not known what I was drinking, there’s no way I could have guessed this was supposed to taste like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I don’t think I could have even surmised that it was cinnamon flavored. I have had generic, store-brand cinnamon coffee creamers that taste more like my beloved cereal than this.

I feel like this would have been such an easy flavor to nail. I can’t figure out how they missed the mark so dramatically.

I’ll have to stick with pouring leftover cereal milk in my coffee for now. If I’m feeling particularly desperate, I suppose I could eat the cereal with half and half, so that the remnants make a real Cinnamon Toast Crunch creamer. I know that’s excessive, but it’s a better option than this liquid disappointment.

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 32 fl. oz. bottle
Purchased at: Fry’s
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 tbsp) 35 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 5 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Yoplait Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix Smoothies

Yoplait Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix Smoothies

What are Yoplait Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix Smoothies?

More cereal-themed crossovers! This time, yogurt drinks! Actually, no, technically this time “cultured dairy beverage”! YUM!

With all these branded crossovers, 2020 has me wondering, are cereal brands and candy brands the consumer goods version of The Avengers? Is this the year we get so fully inundated by crossovers that the only remaining option is an Endgame-style product that contains them all? Did I just make such a weakly constructed comic reference that caused half of you to angry? POSSIBLY!??

How are they?

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Yoplait Trix Smoothies

The Trix smoothie is remarkably close in flavor to its cereal counterpart. I suppose we have the magic of modern flavor technology to thank for that. Although it LOOKS like a glass full of Pepto Bismol (maybe there’s a fun April Fools trick buried in there somewhere), the smoothie has a pleasant strawberry lemon fruity flavor and an enjoyable Trixmilk after taste.

The tangy cultured yogurt works really well with the fruit flavors, in my opinion. The texture is smooth, creamy, and very drinkable. My only qualm is that its so sweet you’d think you were gulping down Trix-flavored frosting.

Yoplait Cinnamon Toast Crunch Smoothie

The Cinnamon Toast Crunch beverage smells exactly like opening a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal and has delightful little visible specs of cinnamon. I’m also a sucker for the psycho/adorable cinnamon toast square cartoon characters the brand has adopted recently.

The flavor isn’t as strong in cinnamon as I would have expected, and because of that, I don’t think it matches the cereal flavor as well as the Trix version does. This one is sort of like a yogurt horchata. There’s a stronger, blander, vanilla yogurt taste.

Is there anything else you need to know?

SHOOGAARR!!!

Both smoothies are surprisingly tasty. However, each drink has nearly double the sugar as a serving of their cereal counterpart. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to sugar guilt anybody. I just think I’d rather have a double serving of either cereal than drink one of these smoothies again. Maybe if you like, can’t chew things and still want to taste your favorite cereals? Yeah, that works.

Conclusion:

These drinks were, for the most part, accurate in flavor, but incredibly sweet. They’re certain to give you a sugar rush, which might be what you’re looking for to propel you into 2020 and the inevitable cereal flavor mashups we have left ahead of us to taste.

Purchased Price: $4.99 each
Size: 4 – 7 fl oz bottles
Purchased at: Mariano’s (owned by Kroger)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Trix), 4 out of 10 (Cinnamon Toast Crunch)
Nutrition Facts: (1 smoothie) Trix – 160 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Cinnamon Toast Crunch – 160 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: General Mills Cocoa Puffs with Lucky Charms Marshmallows Cereal

Cocoa Puffs with Lucky Charms Marshmallows Cereal

What is Cocoa Puffs with Lucky Charms Marshmallows Cereal?

If you are the kind of person who reads this blog, you know exactly what this cereal is. It’s standard Cocoa Puffs — chocolatey corn spheres — with colored marshmallow bits shaped like hearts, shooting stars, horseshoes, clover hats, moons, unicorns, and balloons.

How is it?

Cocoa Puffs with Lucky Charms Marshmallows Cereal Bowl

Not once when I ate Cocoa Puffs (or more commonly Coco Roos, the Malt-O-Meal knockoff) did I ever think to myself, “This would be better with marshmallows.” The oat cereal of regular Lucky Charms is a little bland and needs the extra sweetness and textural contrast, but Cocoa Puffs are sweet and enjoyable on their own. Also, we already have Chocolate Lucky Charms.

Luckily (ha!), the marshmallows don’t have any negative effect on Cocoa Puffs (except nutrition-wise).

Lucky Charms are the gold standard of cereal marbits: they aren’t too crunchy, and they get softer in milk. So they aren’t too distracting here. But they also don’t greatly enhance the experience.

I did a side-by-side comparison with Chocolate Lucky Charms, and I thought CLC was better. That might have been the texture more than anything, because the ingredients and nutrition facts are very similar.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Cocoa Puffs with Lucky Charms Marshmallows Cereal Milk

I must say, I can’t think of any cereal that leaves behind a better-tasting milk than Cocoa Puffs. It almost seems like drinking regular chocolate milk, and the leftover milk might be my favorite part of the whole bowl. It’s even better than what Chocolate Lucky Charms leave behind.

Conclusion:

Lucky the Leprechaun’s marshmallow charms are an acceptable, but unnecessary, addition to classic Cocoa Puffs. 

Purchased Price: $5.98
Size: 2 lb. 3 oz. bag
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 140 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugar (including 12 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: General Mills Hershey’s Kisses Cereal

Hershey s Kisses Cereal

What is Hershey’s Kisses Cereal?

General Mills and Hershey’s have joined forces to bring the Hershey’s Kiss to your breakfast table with Hershey’s Kisses Cereal: chocolate-flavored corn puff pieces shaped like the classic candy.

How is it?

Half of the fun of candy- or dessert-inspired cereals is discovering how closely the it physically resembles the original product. While Hershey’s Kisses Cereal does not precisely replicate its namesake, its appearance is clearly inspired by Hershey’s Kisses: its dime-sized pieces are shaped like triangles with flat sides and smoothed edges.

Hershey s Kisses Cereal Comparison

Most of the pieces boast a droopy, rounded stem in place of the candy’s signature pointed tip, so whether you perceive the cereal as tiny Hershey’s Kisses or something else is a matter for Rorschach. (To me, they resemble the poop emoji. I’m sorry, but it had to be said, and I promise not to bring it up again.)

Hershey s Kisses Cereal Pieces

Anyway, a chocolate cereal by any other shape would be just as sweet, which Hershey’s Kisses Cereal definitely is. It tastes very similar to Cocoa Puffs, with its cocoa powder sweetness and crunchy texture. It took a few bites to discern a difference, but I tasted just a hint more richness with this.

Hershey s Kisses Cereal Milk

Adding milk enhances the dry cocoa flavor to something closer to milk chocolate. With only one or two stirs, the milk begins to turn brown, and with more time (or if you are like me, impatient agitation), a rich, thick chocolate milk appears.

Although I haven’t broken out my crazy straw in a couple of decades, the cereal milk did remind me of using Hershey’s syrup to make chocolate milk, as visible chocolate swirls move throughout the milk and streak the sides and bottom of the bowl. As this transformation occurs, the cereal retains its taste and texture. Although this is a solid chocolate cereal when eaten dry, I highly recommend adding milk for the full chocolate-y effect.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Hershey s Kisses Cereal Bowl

In a blind taste test, I could not have pinpointed the Hershey’s association, but the list of ingredients does include Hershey’s Cocoa Processed with Alkali as the brand’s contribution.

Conclusion:

Although comparable to many chocolate cereals on the shelves, Hershey’s Kisses Cereal is enjoyable and, with milk, will give you two chocolate treats for the price of one.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 19.8 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 140 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Froot Loops Pop-Tarts

Limited Edition Froot Loops Pop Tarts

Do you hear that?? The music playing that’s growing in volume?

There’s some chanting. Hmmm, interesting, there are also some background noises (maybe a bird of some sort), and what’s this, a sun rising?! Except, it’s rising above a grocery store aisle? Ahhh, I get it now, it’s the Circle of Life breakfast-style!

Around one year ago, Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts made a slight leap down the aisle to the cereal section for a new rendition of Pop-Tarts Cereal. And now it’s coming full circle as a cereal appears in toaster pastry form, namely Froot Loops, in a limited edition flavor. Toucan Sam is of course along for the ride as well to make sure you know it’s official.

Limited Edition Froot Loops Pop Tarts Back of Box

The Pop-Tarts come frosted so that they can be emblazoned with fun designs, six in total, including many representations of the cereal itself. The artwork itself is colorful but the actual images of the cereal pieces are little grainy/pixelated. It seems like they wanted to showcase the true cereal, but the photo-real images are not that amazing, unfortunately. I was excited about the Toucan Sam one, but sadly I went through my entire box and he didn’t make an appearance. Points for the “I’M WITH SAM” one though, like seriously who wouldn’t want to be his friend?

Limited Edition Froot Loops Pop Tarts Printed Frosting

Once I opened the silver inner package of one of these, I got hit with that distinct frooty flavor almost so much I was half-expecting Sam to pop out and slap me in the face with his beak. It’s undeniable and also uncanny how much they smell like their namesake. Follow your nose, indeed! I remember experiencing this same mesmerizing sensation with the donuts from Carl’s Jr./Hardees.

Limited Edition Froot Loops Pop Tarts Split

Breaking open the pastry exposes a delightful pink interior. It’s a light pink that I can best as describe as a color for something that I would expect to be guava-flavored. Impulsive Buy readers, I’m happy to report that, like the donuts, these taste exactly like Froot Loops! That tangy, fruity flavor, which the internet tells me is a mixture of orange, cherry, and lemon is spot-on and intense. Whenever you think the flavor is too much, though, the sugar frosting and pastry crust flies in and offsets it nicely for a well-rounded bite. Good job, Toucan Sam and Kellogg’s, color me impressed.

My one misgiving is that as a Pop-Tart these should be delectable in a variety of prepared temperatures, most notably straight out of the box and once nice and toasty. As mentioned, they are a home run at room temperature but fall woefully short after some heat is applied. Even though the box tells me about all the natural fruit flavors present once toasted, the flavor profile seems to change to something more chemically induced and not as delightful as before. No Bueno.

Nevertheless, if you love Froot Loops, colorful toucans or even the cyclical nature of the world we live in, pick these up, you won’t be disappointed. Just keep them away from your toaster, and let’s hope Kellogg’s continues mining its brands across its portfolio. Eggo-branded limited edition maple flavor Pop-Tarts (with a special edition waffle-y crust), anyone??

Purchased Price: $3.68
Size: 27 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 pastries) 370 calories, 9 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 320 milligrams of sodium, 70 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 30 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.