REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes Cereal

Kellogg s Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes

I am a grump during the summer, so I generally welcome any hint that fall is around the corner. I was excited to try the Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes, especially since it was 90 degrees out and I. Am. So. Done. With. Summer.

I opened the box eagerly, hoping for the essence of autumn to wrap me in its crisp coziness. Whoa. The scent was artificial and strong — pumpkin spice wool sweater, pumpkin spice window cleaner, pumpkin spice plastic wrap, but definitely not anything edible.

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Before pouring in the milk, I tasted a few of the dry cereal pieces. Less sugary than regular Frosted Flakes, it was more like corn flakes with a dusting of nutmeg. Unfortunately, I couldn’t imagine eating these dry no matter how desperately I wanted to move on to autumn.

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I was nearing the point of resigning myself to more days of summer by the time I poured the milk. Lo and behold, visions of campfires, football games, and open windows slowly emerged. Faint notes of pumpkin pie were in each spoonful, though the “spice” was a hit or miss in each bite. Some bites were more nutmeg forward, while others were more cinnamon-y. It was hard to detect any pumpkin, leading me to wonder if there was any in there at all, because it was definitely more spice than pumpkin.

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Not wanting to give up on this fall flavor quite yet, I prepared myself another bowl. It was better than the first, tasting more and more like pumpkin pie with each bite. I was pouring even more cereal into the bowl before I knew it, perhaps distracted by the artwork on the back of the box touting “Tony’s Pumpkin Up the Jams Festival.” I used to have a pair of Jams (as did any other hip kid in the 80s) and the idea of having gourds up in them did not sound comfortable. Soon I was daydreaming of fall music festivals, the state fair, hot chocolate, and PSLs.

Aha! Now I know why I was enjoying each bowl of this cereal more than the previous one! The left-behind milk increasingly tasted more and more like the creamy Thanksgiving pie as more spice infused it as I ate. The spice in the milk was balanced and a faint pumpkin flavor peeked through. I almost enjoyed drinking the milk as much as I enjoy a pumpkin spice latte.

Almost.

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Unfortunately, this was a lot of mediocre cereal to endure for a small amount of goodness. Next time, I’ll get my pumpkin spice fix elsewhere. If I want it on my cereal, I’ll sprinkle some on regular Frosted Flakes instead.

(Why haven’t I thought of that before???)

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugars, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.69
Size: 10 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Not overly sweet. Mild flavors were not cloying and tasted natural.
Cons: Strong plastic smell. Minimal pumpkin flavor. Needs to soak up milk before best flavors come out.

REVIEW: Carl’s Jr. Froot Loops Mini Donuts

Carl s Jr Froot Loops Mini Donuts

I love hip-hop.

And I love junk food.

Those may seem like unrelated interests, but truth be told, they have a lot more in common than you think. They both have very high highs – Travis Scott’s Astroworld and Krispy Kreme’s Reese’s Outrageous Doughnut, and very low lows – Hostess’ Cotton Candy Twinkies and the general existence of Lil Pump. They both simultaneously flourish and hurt themselves with excessive output.

Like Nabisco’s continual push to release more Oreo flavors than the year before with only a few true gems, or when E-40 released “The Block Brochure,” with nearly 60 songs and only a handful worthy of repeat listens. But the shining light of commonality between these two separate things is their ability to thrive in collaboration. Hip-hop tracks that bring together three or four of the hottest MC’s in the game are almost always bangers, and when junk food titans join forces to create a cohesive product, it isn’t always great, but at the very least it’s fun.

Welcome to the world, Carl’s Jr’s Froot Loops Mini Donuts!

First things first, the packaging is fantastic. So much of the allure of limited time junk and fast food lies in the bag or box that it comes in, and this Froot Loops-branded carton that looks like it could house mozzarella sticks or jalapeno poppers sets the stage for a wonderful fulfilling experience before the eating even begins.

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Opening the box is a sight and smell to behold, with five different colored donuts that mimic Froot Loops’ signature rings perfectly and carries the bold, strong scent of the cereal with absolute precision. It’s a sensory symphony of artificial fruit flavor and sugar. Some of the donuts have a thicker coating like a layer of frosting, and some have a thinner, more dissolved look like a traditional glaze.

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My hypothetical rule of collaborative truth continues to thrive as these donuts taste as good as they look and smell. Super soft and slightly crispy, the donuts burst with a perfect fruity citrus-forward flavor that tastes EXACTLY like the love child of Little Debbie and Toucan Sam. This revelation leaves me with some pretty haunting visuals, but it’s the absolute realest description possible.

The rings with a thicker, more visible layer of icing unsurprisingly pack a heftier taste bud punch, but the lighter glazed ones still get the point across, just a bit less convincingly. Like the actual cereal pieces, despite the glaringly different colors schemes, they all taste the same, like “froot.”

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In the vast land of junk and fast food collabs I can safely declare Froot Loops’ appearance at Carl’s Jr. a super hot feature. It’s such a natural and well-done pairing that I can’t believe one of the bigger companies like Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme didn’t get to it first, but as a company known for welcoming bigger brands into their home with open arms, Carl’s Jr. just earned themselves another gold star.

(Nutrition Facts – 5 donuts – 320 calories, 15 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 360 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 24 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 5 donuts
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Perfect Froot Loops flavor packed into a soft mini donut. Great box art. Awesome vivid colors
Cons: Slight inconsistency in the glaze/coating that leaves some donuts a little less spectacular than others. $2.99 is a bit high for 5 donuts, but I saw in other markets it’s $1.99, which seems perfect

QUICK REVIEW: 7-Eleven Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries Slurpee

7 Eleven Cap n Crunch s Crunch Berries Slurpee

What is it?

A strange marriage between 7-Eleven and the Cap’n to say the least – Crunch Berries Slurpee.

How is it?

I was skeptical, but this really hit the mark. They managed to “slurpitize” Cap’n Crunch Berries.

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It was especially good for the first few sips while the ice was still crystallized. You get the classic Crunch Berries taste up front, but also a starchy cereal flavor. This is basically “Oops! All Berries” in Slurpee form, but I contend there is a hint of the corn cereal pieces in there as well that brought a nice dry finish to early sips.

While I’m pretty positive there’s no lactose element, they somehow managed to mimic a milky vanilla creaminess. It’s somehow both creamy and icy, but in no way like ice cream – if that makes sense. Just nod your head.

Those flavors paired with the fluffy slush reminded me a bit of cotton candy.

Is there anything else I need to know?

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You probably need to be a fan of Crunch Berries to enjoy this. While I figured this was a berry-flavored frozen drink that they just slapped a familiar name on, it honestly tastes like full-blown Cap’n Crunch cereal.

It may be shocking to taste these flavors at this temperature, but I really dug it.

I would recommend getting a small because it’s best fresh from the machine. Once the ice melted, it became a slurry of pure syrup.

Conclusion:

This is an ambitious partnership. I imagine it may be polarizing as it is definitely strange to taste cereal in frozen form, but I’d say give it a go. It won’t be around forever, and Slurpees cost a buck and change.

Some 7-Eleven stores are also selling exclusive Cap’n Crunch Slurpee T-shirts, and I won’t lie, I’m pretty mad I didn’t get one.

Oh, and be forewarned, you’re gonna have a blue tongue.

Purchased Price: $1.59
Size: Large
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available on 7-Eleven website.

QUICK REVIEW: Cheerios Oat Crunch Cinnamon Cereal

Cheerios Oat Crunch Cinnamon Cereal

What is it?

A new variety of Cheerios that combines Multi Grain Cheerios, whole oats, and real cinnamon. If you’re not familiar with the multi grain cereal, it’s made with five types of whole grains — oats, corn, rice, millet, and sorghum. It’s not the first cinnamon-flavored version of the cereal. Cinnamon Burst Cheerios came out back in 2011, which was very good, and, of course, there’s Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, one of the brand’s elder statesmen.

How is it?

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It’s really good.

Although, I’m not surprised by that.

Cheerios has a good track record when it comes to cinnamon cereals, and I guess that comes down to the fact that the real stuff is used, not anything artificial. The level of flavor is just right, and it hides the fact that you’re eating some sorghum.

It’s not going to make you leave Cinnamon Toast Crunch for it, but it has enough of the sweet stuff that you might cheat on CTC once in a while. Shhhh! I won’t tell. I’ll keep in on the DL. The cinnamon doesn’t seem to wash off when in milk because the dairy at the bottom of my bowl was mostly devoid of the warm spice.

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The oats provide a nice crunch that’s more noticeable the longer the cereal pieces sit in milk. Don’t think of the oats as the limp things in oatmeal. Instead, they’re more like the oats in a Nature Valley granola bar that resist the urge to head on over to Soggyville. Hence, the cereal’s name.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Sorghum is also used to make alcoholic beverages. Um, that’s it.

Conclusion:

Cheerios Oat Crunch Cinnamon Cereal is an excellent addition to the line. Before trying it, I thought the oats wouldn’t do much, but they do provide a noticeable crunch boost. Its sweet spice flavor is great, but now I’d like to taste it on Chocolate Cheerios Cereal.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 15.2 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) – 200 calories, 45 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, 22 grams of other carbohydrates, and 3 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Kellogg’s Wild Berry Froot Loops Cereal

Kellogg s Wild Berry Froot Loops Cereal

What is it?

Froot-flavored loops and froot-flavored staars that mostly don’t look like regular Froot Loops. There are red pieces, which I assume represent strawberries, purple pieces, which may stand for blackberries, teal pieces for blue raspberries, and green pieces that don’t symbolize any berry and are there just to throw us for a Froot Loop.

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How is it?

As expected, it doesn’t have a generic amalgamation of a wide spectrum of fruity flavors like original Froot Loops. Instead, it’s like a generic amalgamation of a wide spectrum of berry flavors.

It’s not bad. Sometimes it reminds me of berry smoothies I’ve made for myself and other times it tastes like snack bars with dried berries. Can I pinpoint particular berries by eating individual pieces? No, but who, besides birds and infants, eat cereal pieces one by one. Okay, maybe a few of you, but not spoon-wielding me.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Froot Loops’ mascot, Toucan Sam, has said to follow your nose to the fruity taste of the cereal he represents. But if I did that with his new Wild Berry Froot Loops, I’m sure my nose would lead me away from it because it smells weird. Inside the bag or right after pouring it into a bowl, my beak noticed a plasticky and berry smell. It reminds me of those scented play dolls my sister had in the 80s whose eyes would follow me around the room. The aroma subsides once I pour the milk, but it’s odd and a little unappetizing.

Conclusion:

Kellogg’s Wild Berry Froot Loops Cereal is a decent cereal, but I have to say it doesn’t compete with the original. It’s different and a nice change of pace, but I’m not wild about it.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample from Kellogg’s, but this didn’t influence my review in any way.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 10 oz. box
Purchased at: Received from Kellogg’s
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 110 calories, 5 calories from fat, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.