REVIEW: Limited Edition Toasted Coconut Cheerios Cereal

Limited Edition Toasted Coconut Cheerios Cereal

What is Limited Edition Toasted Coconut Cheerios Cereal?

Fall might have begun on September 23rd, but it seems like neither the weather, nor General Mills got the message that summer is said and done. Promising to pack a tropical, toasted coconut punch, and sporting an island-inspired motif, Toasted Coconut Cheerios are here for a limited time only to bring the beach to your breakfast bowl.

How is it?

Unassumingly similar to Honey Nut Cheerios in size and appearance, the main aesthetic setting these toasted oat o’s apart from their famous predecessor is the slight coconut-y aroma. Even so, it’s quite light, and I can easily imagine sleep-deprived individuals overlooking it while they devour a mound of whatever cereal falls out of their cabinet, eagerly awaiting their initial fix of freshly-brewed caffeine.

Limited Edition Toasted Coconut Cheerios Cereal 2

Falling in line with their subtle coconut scent, these Cheerios are similarly light on any kind of tropical taste. There’s a slight hint of it if I chew slowly – intentionally – and really hunt for it, but it doesn’t really jump out at me and make me recognize that I’m eating anything more unique than, say, Frosted Cheerios.

Even so, I don’t really fault General Mills for that. I imagine tackling coconut is tricky business in food science. Too little flavor and nobody will even taste it; too much and the resulting creation could become more reminiscent of a bottle of sunscreen than of the famous hard-to-crack drupe. For once, I actually applaud General Mills for exercising restraint, as I thoroughly enjoyed being able to finish a box of coconut-flavored anything without getting sick of how they taste.

Is there anything else you should know?

Eating these in a bowl of regular milk erases any and all coconut flavor to be had, but recent innovations in the non-dairy milk industry have got coconut-lovers covered. Just substitute your normal moo-juice with any one of the countless coconut milk beverages in your grocer’s dairy cooler to boost this cereal’s flavor.

Conclusion:

Even though I liked Toasted Coconut Cheerios well enough, I just can’t seem to get behind them enough to give a solid recommendation. Maybe they’re not eclectic enough to stand out against Cheerios’s other offerings, or maybe they were released after my interest in summertime seasonal flavors waned, but I think I’ll probably stick to Honey Nut Cheerios from here on out.

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: 10.8 oz. box
Purchased at: Food Lion
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 110 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 65 milligrams of potassium, 23 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of total sugars, 12 grams of other carbohydrates, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Golden Grahams S’mores Bites

Golden Grahams S mores Bites

What are Golden Grahams S’ mores Bites?

It’s a bit of food history irony that graham crackers, the base of so many sugary desserts and after school snacks, were originally created as a health food. Sylvester Graham advocated a vegetarian diet consisting mostly of bread made from coarsely home-ground flour.

He theorized a bland diet was essential to not only physical, but moral health as well, and that flavorful food was too, ahem, “stimulating.” Products made from graham flour proliferated in the late 19th century, and would slowly morph into the myriad of crackers, crusts, and cereals we enjoy today.

General Mills has released its latest assault on poor Sylvester’s theories in the form of Golden Grahams S’ mores Bites. Will the combination of marshmallow and chocolate surrounded by a “Graham” cracker pastry be the last straw, the thing that causes Sylvester Graham, who I assume has lived to 225 years due to his healthful diet, take his vengeance on us all?

How are they?

Golden Grahams S mores Bites Cooked

I was surprised to see there were no conventional oven directions for these bites. 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave are the only cooking instructions listed on the packaging. Even this short time results in the filling bursting through the graham cracker shell.

So as to not burn my mouth, I wait a minute before taking a bite and find the filling to be hot, but not scalding. The primary flavor is chocolate, with the marshmallow not making much of an impact at all. The graham cracker shell doesn’t taste much like Golden Grahams or graham crackers, but is a generically sweet pastry shell. They must be baked at the factory because they have the baked-then-frozen flavor shared by other mass-produced baked goods.

Golden Grahams S mores Bites Inside

The soft and doughy texture isn’t a surprise given the microwave-only directions, but is still disappointing since a crunchy texture is essential to the enjoyment of both Golden Grahams and s’ mores.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Another surprise is that these don’t need any cooking at all. According to the packaging, allowing them to defrost to room temperature is all that’s required.

Here’s a question: would Sylvester approve of this?

On the one hand, it’s the more slothful method. On the other, it eliminates the corrupting influence of microwaves, which are no doubt of infernal origins. After about ten minutes at room temperature, I pop a bite into my mouth and have much the same experience as the heated version. There’s the barest hint of honey graham cracker, but the overall experience is still of chocolate and pre-baked pastry.

Though not explicitly recommended anywhere, I also munch into a completely frozen bite. This “solves” the texture issue by adding some resistance, but doesn’t add the crunch I’m looking for.

Conclusion:

Golden Grahams S’ mores Bites are sweet and inoffensive (assuming you’re not a 19th century minister with very particular dietary opinions), but miss out on the combination of crunchy, melty, ooey-gooey goodness that makes real s’ mores great.

We’re safe from Sylvester Graham for now, not because we’re not a fallen, decadent society, but because these bites aren’t worth getting all worked up over.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 14.7 oz. (30 count)
Purchased at: Woodman’s Market
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (4 bites) 190 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 350 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Baby Shark Cereal

Kellogg s Limited Edition Baby Shark Cereal

If you’re not familiar with the “Baby Shark” song and music video, here’s a YouTube link to a video that loops it for one hour. You’re welcome. Your pop-culture has been updated to Version 2016.06.

Now that’s you’re acquainted with the viral hit from Pinkfong, we should move on to the cereal it has spawned. Oh wait, you’re not ready to move on because the song is still stuck in your head?

I’ll wait.

All right! Ready? Not yet?

How about now?

Nope. Well then, I’m going on without you you you you you you.

Kellogg s Limited Edition Baby Shark Cereal Back of Box

Kellogg’s Limited Edition Baby Shark Cereal is Berry Fin-tastic flavored and comes with marshmallows. I’m going to assume the colors for the cereal correspond with the colors that Baby Shark doo doo doo doo doo doo, Mommy Shark doo doo doo doo doo doo, and Daddy Shark doo doo doo doo doo doo are.

Kellogg s Limited Edition Baby Shark Cereal Closeup

Every piece also has colorful sprinkles on them, but I’m not sure what they signify. DNA, maybe? As for the white marshmallows, I can only guess they represent the color of shark’s teeth or the type of noise you wish to hear instead of the Baby Shark song that won’t leave your head.

Being that this is from Kellogg’s and the cereal pieces are colorful, fruity rings, it’s easy to assume this could be Froot Loops with marshmallows. But this doesn’t taste like Toucan Sam’s classic pride and joy.

Kellogg s Baby Shark Cereal and Birthday Cake Froot Loops
Kellogg’s Baby Shark Cereal (left) Birthday Cake Froot Loops (right)

Instead, it tastes like Toucan Sam’s newest pride and joy — Birthday Cake Froot Loops, but with marshmallows. Even the colors of the two cereals are almost identical. The one hue difference is the blue piece, which is purple in the celebratory Froot Loops.

For those of you who didn’t bother with Birthday Cake Froot Loops, you might be wondering how birthday cake can taste like this berry-flavored cereal? Well, let me spoil the not-so-secret of the cake-flavored cereal — it was strawberry birthday cake. Just like with that older fruity loops cereal, the berry flavor in Baby Shark Cereal is too subtle for my taste buds and is even more subdued when in milk. The shark teeth-colored marshmallows don’t add much to the cereal beyond their texture.

Overall, Kellogg’s Limited Edition Berry Fin-tastic Baby Shark Cereal is suf-fin-cient, but is easily less memorable than the song that gave rise to it.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Doing so did not influence my review in any way.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 13.2 oz. box
Purchased at: Received from Kellogg’s (available at Sam’s Club and Walmart)
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 1/3 cup) 150 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Vanilla Almond Raisin Bran Crunch Cereal

Kellogg s Vanilla Almond Raisin Bran Crunch Cereal

What is Kellogg’s Vanilla Almond Raisin Bran Crunch Cereal?

The ol’ vet Raisin Bran has introduced a new flavor to its far superior “Crunch” line – Vanilla Almond Raisin Bran Crunch.

How is it?

Literally any addition to Raisin Bran – a workman-like cereal base – is a good thing, so vanilla and almond certainly fit the bill.

Here’s the deal though, they’re not enough to truly separate this from regular Raisin Bran.

Kellogg s Vanilla Almond Raisin Bran Crunch Cereal Milk

I couldn’t even tell where the soft vanilla was being piped in, but I think the bran flakes had a sweet coating, which would be a good call. We’re talking about a bran flake here. It’s basically medicine to help old people [redacted].

This is a food review!

Giving the flakes a little more flavor was the right move. The clusters however were severely lacking. I guess I expected hearty Honey Bunches of Oats-type chunks but only got sporadic bits. They should’ve just attached the little wooden almond shavings to the clusters and make them seem bigger, because this was a real cluster[redacted].

This is a family site!

Kellogg s Vanilla Almond Raisin Bran Crunch Cereal Spoon

I wish the raisins had a coating, but Raisins are raisins. They’ve always been a nice textural counterbalance to the flakes, so expect no different.

Is there anything else you need to know?

They skimp on everything except flakes. Granted, the scoops of raisins probably sunk to the bottom of my box, but for this bowl I reviewed, I didn’t get a good ratio. I bet the last bowl will be 75% raisins.

I coulda used some artificial almond flavor if I’m being honest. A nice little “amaretto” punch would have improved this cereal a lot.

Conclusion:

Kellogg s Vanilla Almond Raisin Bran Crunch Cereal Bowl

Look, Raisin Bran is a decent start to the day. It’s fulfilling. It’s “healthy,” but it’s still just a step above oatmeal on the Boring Breakfast Scale™.

This is just ok, but probably a good alternative to the barrage of new cereals that seem like they were created by Pixie Stick-addled 6th graders.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 15.8 oz.
Purchased at: Shop Rite
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup w/o milk) 190 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Froot Loops Birthday Cake Cereal

Kellogg s Limited Edition Froot Loops Birthday Cake Cereal

What is Kellogg’s Froot Loops Birthday Cake Cereal?

Proudly serving as a fruity-smelling part of balanced breakfasts since 1963, Froot Loops has recently expanded beyond its usual selection of nonspecifically fruity breakfast cereals by releasing its new Strawberry Birthday Cake flavor, which, per the back of the box, promises to give the best that Kellogg’s has to offer in every bite.

How is it?

Kellogg s Limited Edition Froot Loops Birthday Cake Cereal 2

This certainly isn’t the best looking cereal Kellogg’s has to offer. Surprisingly pallid in comparison to the original, this cereal appears better suited for a funeral than any other celebration. Like many birthday cake-inspired cereals, each piece sports cute little sprinkles, but not nearly enough to stand out unless you examine them under a magnifying glass.

Kellogg s Limited Edition Froot Loops Birthday Cake Cereal 3

Similar to their depressing appearance, these Loops flop on the flavor front. In contrast to the nondescript yellow cake flavor often implemented by other cereals, this early morning sugar bomb attempted to remain true to its fruit-forward roots by utilizing strawberry cake as its inspiration. Since strawberry is a more definable flavor than “fruity” is, it’s too bad a negligible amount of strawberry flavor comes though here. It’s detectable, but not very strong, and certainly not distinct enough for someone to immediately think of strawberries while eating this.

Is there anything else you should know?

I take issue with these being specified to taste like Strawberry Birthday Cake. I may not be able to speak for everyone, but who considers strawberry as the flavor of choice for such celebratory cakes? Yellow cake is served at birthday parties. Save the strawberry cakes for summer barbeques.

Conclusion:

Kellogg s Limited Edition Froot Loops Birthday Cake Cereal 4

As an uglier, less flavorful take on a timeless classic, there’s no reason for Birthday Cake Froot Loops to exist. It’s only too bad this dud of a cereal didn’t sport a dodo as its mascot, because it’ll probably go the same way as them in a few months.

Purchased Price: $2.50
Purchased at: Food Lion
Size: 10.1 oz.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts:: (1 1/3 cup) 150 calories, 1.5 grams of total fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of total carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of total sugars, 12 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Krave Cereal Cinnamon Crunch and Strawberry Crunch

Kellogg s Cinnamon Crunch Krave Cereal

I give Kellogg’s a lot of credit with Krave. In an era when new cereal concepts barely last a year, the British import has stuck around with surprising popularity, much like The Office except without the musical exploits of Creed Bratton.

I credit this to a few things, one of which is the decision to add “more chocolate” to Krave. I’m old enough to remember when you’d bite into a cereal biscuit only to get—more biscuit. Today’s original and Double Chocolate Krave avoid the dreaded hollow biscuit, a trend that continues in the two newest additions to the Krave family -— Cinnamon Crunch and Strawberry Crunch.

Why the “Crunch” in their titles? I couldn’t tell you. The Krave Biscuits share the sub-optimal snacking qualities of their forbearers, each with a delicate, crumbly texture that sogs and saturates in milk.

Kellogg s Cinnamon Crunch Krave Cereal 3

When I was younger and less at risk for a whole host of health problems associated with excessive empty carbohydrate intake, I thought it was taboo to combine assertive flavors like cinnamon and chocolate in cereal. Turns out, the two are hardly fish and cheese, and Cinnamon Crunch Krave turns out the very best in the seemingly symbiotic relationship of cocoa and cassia.

Kellogg s Cinnamon Crunch Krave Cereal 4

A strong churros flavor coats each square, with a lickable, stick-to-your-beard sugary coating blooming into an admirable chocolate taste. In milk, this only gets better. What ensues is a flavor similar to Chocolate Toast Crunch but the chocolate is more concentrated. It is, unexpectedly, one of the better chocolate cereals I’ve had in recent memory.

Kellogg s Strawberry Crunch Krave Cereal

Strawberry Crunch Krave didn’t score as high. The strawberry powder tastes… interesting, which is about as cliché and proverbial as it gets but is nevertheless the most apt description. Overall, it has a kind of toasted sugar taste that doesn’t quite match the succulent and slightly tart sweetness of actual strawberries. It’s also noticeably artificial, much like the sticky granules that covered the short-lived Strawberry Tiny Toast cereal of a few years ago.

Kellogg s Strawberry Crunch Krave Cereal 4

Those hoping for some Neapolitan synergy sans vanilla will be disappointed; even in chilled Vitamin D fortified whole milk, the richness that makes strawberry and chocolate an actual thing is MIA. The chocolate competes with the strawberry powder, combining for two disjointed tastes that never come together in the classic Valentine’s Day combination. The cereal isn’t bad, but it’s a relative letdown.

As seems to be the case with many cereals released in pairs, Kellogg’s has at least one winner among its new Krave varieties. And, while Strawberry Crunch will probably win a few niche fans who were deprived actual fresh fruit as children, my gut feeling is that Cinnamon Crunch will take its rightful place on the shelves next to the other varieties. And, like an offbeat British sitcom, it might just stick around for more than a few years.

Purchased Price: $3.64 (each)
Size: 17.3 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Cinnamon Crunch)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Strawberry Crunch)
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup w/o milk) 180 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.