REVIEW: Kellogg’s Frosted Bran Cereal

Kellogg’s new Frosted Bran is made up of crunchy bran flakes with a perfect amount of sweetness. A part of me wishes it was called Frosted Flakes Bran with Tony the Tiger and the Sun giving each other a high five on the front of the box, with the tagline, “They’re gr-r-reat…for your digestive system.” What could’ve been!

Don’t let the sun smiling on the box fool you into thinking these are the exact same bran flakes found in Kellogg’s Raisin Bran because they aren’t. While they are not as frosted as those found in Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, there’s enough of a coating to make them sweeter and crunchier than what’s in a bowl of plain ol’ Raisin Bran.

But here’s the thing, it tastes like Kellogg’s took the sugary coating from the raisins and then put them on the bran flakes because the cereal is not sweeter than regular Raisin Bran and has the same fibrous flavors as the classic cereal minus the raisins. That sweet coating also prevents the flakes from getting soggy the instant they’re introduced to milk, which happens with regular bran flakes.

To be honest, there needs to be a Frosted Bran with Raisins because it would make eating Raisin Bran less annoying and more tasty. I’ve let out so many sighs when I end up with raisin-less spoonfuls of bran mush that I probably let out enough air to blow up balloons for a child’s birthday party.

As for nutritional differences between this and Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, a one-cup serving of this new cereal has 150 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 10 grams of sugar. While a serving of the original has 190 calories, 7 grams of fiber, and 17 grams of sugar.

I’m surprised by how much I like Kellogg’s Frosted Bran, but I don’t know if I should be surprised. After all, I like Raisin Bran when I can secure at least one raisin on my spoon. It has the right amount of sweetness, and its sugary coating helps maintain a decent crunch. I wish it came in a bigger box, but overall, I think this cereal is gr-r-rand…for your digestive system.

Purchased Price: $4.49
Size: 12.7 oz box
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup w/o milk) 150 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar (including 9 grams of added sugar), and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Extra Crispy Clusters Cereal

Am I losing my mind? Kellogg’s Extra Crispy Clusters are just granola in a box, right? “Crispy Clusters” are just granola clusters, right? Nothing about them makes them special than Nature Valley or KIND granola, right? With these definitely being granola, I can’t help but want to call them Extranola. But what makes them “extra” over other granola, I could not tell you despite eating several servings of both varieties available — Almond and Cinnamon.

While both flavors are crispy, which I’ll write more about in a moment, only the Cinnamon one slid out of the bag in cluster form. But the Almond one was mostly a bunch of loose granola in the bag as if it got beaten up by boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds as retaliation for stepping on their oat cluster cereal turf.

But back to their crispiness…

The neglect I gave these while sitting in milk would make any Tamagotchi die, but they maintained their crispiness despite that. I left them to soak while I scrolled through cleaning Instagram Reels. Still crispy. I let them sit in 2% while I collected and counted all the micro USB cables I’ve accumulated over the past decade. Still crispy. But I’m pretty sure giving any granola that same lack of attention while in dairy would have the same result, so it really isn’t that impressive.

If I had to choose between the two Kellogg’s Extra flavors, I’d give the nod to the Cinnamon one. While it tastes like any cinnamon-flavored granola, it’s definitely more flavorful than the other one. Oddly, I also found that the warm spice has more flavor in milk than when eaten dry. As for the Almond variety, the caramelized sugar coating provides a noticeable and pleasant sweetness, and the almonds obviously add a nuttiness. However, as I ate it, it reminded me of whatever the standard Nature Valley granola flavor is. It’s fine and something I would not say no to, but it won’t make my taste buds do a happy dance.

The only “extra” thing I can think of about Kellogg’s Extra is its price, which is extra high compared to other cereals on the shelf. I paid $6.99 for each box, which was the sale price. The regular price was $13.99. But even at the sale price, I can’t see myself picking up another box of what is basically granola with nothing other than the price being extra about it.

Purchased Price: $6.99 (sale)
Size: 20.6 oz box (Cinnamon), 20.2 oz box (Almond)
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Cinnamon), 5 out of 10 (Almond)
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) Cinnamon 280 calories, 11 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 13 grams of sugar (including 13 grams of added sugar), and 5 grams of protein. Almond – 300 calories, 13 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar (including 11 grams of added sugar), and 6 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Special K Limited Edition Iced Vanilla Latte Cereal

Special K was one of the first cereals I remember being huge in the diet/resolution sphere in the early 00s. The commercials would start after Christmas and last until the beginning of February, telling us how the “Special K Diet” could help us lose weight. Even though the diet isn’t pushed anymore, Special K introduces a new flavor every January to entice resolutioners. This year, Special K’s Limited Edition Iced Vanilla Latte is on the shelves.

The cereal is “crunchy wheat and rice latte-flavored flakes made with vanilla-flavored clusters.” I’m generally a big fan of coffee/espresso flavors in various forms, but after opening the bag, I was immediately worried by the overwhelming instant coffee aroma that greeted me. I won’t bore you with my journey to being a coffee drinker, but I will say I’m not a coffee snob unless it comes to instant coffee.

To me, there is a bitterness in instant coffee that I just can’t get past. Smelling it after opening the cereal made me worried about how the flavor was going to be. Before adding it to a bowl, I tried a handful. The combination of the dry cereal and pungent flavor (though not as strong as the smell) was truly unpleasant. It was not a great texture or flavor experience.

I went on the hunt for the “vanilla-flavored clusters” to try and see if they would balance things a little better. They had almost all settled towards the bottom of the bag, but I managed to fish one out. The vanilla flavor was almost non-existent with the cluster. It just had that vague, sweet flavor that those familiar with diet-centric cereals would recognize.

After trying it dry, I hoped that milk could somehow improve the experience. It did help to mellow out the harsh coffee flavor some, and when I got a bite with all three components (flakes, clusters, and milk), it offered a more pleasant flavor profile. However, about halfway through my bowl, I had to throw in the towel. While it wasn’t so bad that I had to spit it out, it just wasn’t good enough to keep eating.

This was a rare L for Special K cereals. I have loved the different varieties I have tried over the years and hoped this one would be no different. Kellogg’s Special K Limited Edition Iced Vanilla Latte just didn’t work for me. The overwhelmingly bitter coffee flavor that isn’t balanced with a sweet, vanilla flavor makes it overall unpleasant. Since I have a family-size box amount left, I might try to use it in a recipe or even eat it with chocolate milk to see if it can be redeemed.

Purchased Price: $4.98
Size: 18.2 oz box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup without milk) 150 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Berry Swirl Lucky Charms Cereal

Skittles encourages you to “Taste the Rainbow.” But when I look at Berry Swirl Lucky Charms Cereal, I can’t help but think I’m about to taste the rainbow that leads to a pool of 64 melted Crayola crayons on top of a Bob Ross paint palette. I could give you a rundown of all the colors I see, but staring at it hurts my eyes. Also, I’m pretty sure if I look at it long enough, a 3D image will pop out.

Those of you who have ridden the rainbow of Lucky Charms varieties probably have Fruity Lucky Charms at the front of your mind, which was the usual marshmallows with red-colored, fruity-flavored cereal pieces. Berry Swirl Lucky Charms takes the color and fruity taste up a notch with different colored fruity cereal and berry-flavored marshmallows. Of course, the obligatory green clovers, pink hearts, yellow stars, blue moons, purple horseshoes, red balloons, rainbows, and unicorns are also in the mix.

Much like other fruity cereals, all the corn pieces taste the same regardless of color and have a nondescript fruitiness. While there’s a decent number of blueberry and raspberry-flavored marshmallows, the amount is dwarfed by the bright cereal pieces and standard marbits, making the new berry marshmallows indistinguishable from the rest of the cereal. Eating them on their own is the only way to taste their respective flavors. It’s disappointing that all the marbits weren’t the berry ones because I think that might’ve made this a marbit more interesting than it is. But Lucky Charms gotta Lucky Charms and have the usual sugary stalwarts.

Berry Swirl Lucky Charms will satisfy fruity cereal fans, and it’s a good part of a complete breakfast. However, because the berry marshmallows don’t add anything, it’s not better or more intriguing than any other fruity cereal with marbits. But it’s definitely the most colorful.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample from General Mills. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 10.9 oz box
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup – cereal only) 140 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar (including 12 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, and Trix Loaded Cereals

In my last review on this very site, a review for a healthy cereal, I made fun of “the new Trix that is stuffed with frosting.” And while I am still enjoying my box of Cheerios Loaded with Nuts, when I saw the new General Mills Loaded Cereals on the shelf, I laughed and figured “in for a penny, in for a pound.” Wait, no, that’s not it. When in Rome? Whatever doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger? Maybe that one. Because the jaw-rattling sweetness on these new Krave knock-offs is enough to kill me. (Or at least leave me in mild discomfort.)

All three varieties — Trix, Cocoa Puffs, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch — are squared puffs filled with “vanilla creme.” The image on the box promises a creme that will decadently ooze from each piece. In what is probably a quite obvious development, this doesn’t happen. Despite this structural design flaw, is this cereal worth buying? Let’s dig in.

Trix Loaded

The world’s foremost cereal mascotted by a deranged woodland creature tastes the most like its forebearer. When you first pop one into your mouth, you get the unmistakable artificial fruit taste of Trix. As you bite in, however, you get the vanilla creme, which tastes like sweet. That’s right, it tastes like sweet. There is no discernible vanilla flavor; it tastes, in fact, like someone managed to stuff a piece of the outer shell from a Little Debbies Zebra Cake into the inside of a Trix. That doesn’t sound appealing, necessarily, but it’s better than you might think. This was the best of the three.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 180 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 110 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 2 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Cocoa Puffs Loaded

Like the Trix version, this one tasted quite a bit like the cereal from which it was born. And while the concept of a vanilla filling seems like it would be an excellent compliment to a chocolate cereal, something about it just didn’t seem to click as well. I noticed the aggressive sweetness of the filling more with this one, I think, which was a detraction. After a few spoonfuls, I realized I probably didn’t need to try this one again.

Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 180 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 2 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Loaded

This was the biggest disappointment of the group. First of all, CTC is the best cereal in General Mills’ catalogue, and maybe even the best cereal ever. Second, the idea of adding FROSTING to a cereal flavored like cinnamon toast sort of makes you think this would strongly evoke a cinnamon roll itself, right? Well, it doesn’t. Part of what makes CTC so good is the almost extreme amount of Cinnadusting on each heavenly square. These Loaded pillows have but a FRACTION of the namesake’s powder. On every fifth piece you go, oh, right, cinnamon; but by and large, these things are tasteless. Well, except for the overbearing “sweet” from the filling. Like a grandmother meeting Tom Selleck at a Blue Bloods fan convention, it is loud and proud.

Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 180 calories, 6 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 2 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

All three were purchased at Walmart for $4.93.