REVIEW: Vanilla Spice Cheerios Cereal

Vanilla Spice Cheerios is the only Cheerios variety that has ever made me go down a 1990s music rabbit hole because I wanted to know if there was a Vanilla Spice in the Spice Girls. There wasn’t, and in the end, after finding out what Bell Biv DeVoe, Gerardo, and Boyz II Men were up to, I realized I was probably thinking of Vanilla Ice. Vanilla Spice Cheerios is also the least memorable flavor I’ve had.

You’d think combining vanilla and cinnamon cereals together would create something worthwhile, but I’m surprised by how bland this cereal is. Okay, “bland” is a harsh word that was used to describe me in high school…and me in college…and me at various workplaces after college…and this paragraph so far. There is some cinnamon flavor, so it’s definitely not as bland as I’ve been for almost my entire life.

But, um, the vanilla.

Is it there? With every spoonful, I keep asking myself that, and because it’s not noticeable I’m sure I could convince anyone in a blind taste test that this cereal is an equal mixture of Cinnamon Cheerios and original Cheerios. Even when I taste the pieces independently, they don’t scream, speak, or whisper vanilla, but they’re also not exactly plain Cheerios either.

I’m trying to remember if this was also the case with Vanilla Honey Cheerios that came out a year ago, but I don’t remember what it tastes like. Okay, my apologies, Vanilla Spice Cheerios. You and Vanilla Honey Cheerios are tied for the least memorable Cheerios varieties I’ve had.

Vanilla Spice Cheerios is a perfectly fine cinnamon-flavored Cheerios. But if you want that and with more flavor, you might as well get a box that has only Cinnamon Cheerios or purchase the excellent Cinnamon Cheerios Oat Crunch.

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

Size: 12 oz box
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 1/3 cup w/o milk) 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar (including 8 grams of added sugar), and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Frosted Lemon Cheerios

As the Northern hemisphere thaws from an icy winter and we drag our allergy-ridden behinds to the grocery store, a fresh ray of hope meets us — Spring Flavored Stuff.

Ah, seasonal flavors, you tasty little tropes. Pumpkin spice might have a choke hold on the fall, but which flavor will prevail to rule the spring? Carrots have tried, but they taste like nothing. For a moment, I thought this would be the Age of Raspberry, but it seemed that was a Valentine’s red flash in the pan. Therefore, I would like to present my case for lemon. The Year of Lemon is upon us. Will this drastically underrated flavor finally prevail? Cheerios is willing to find out with its new Frosted Lemon variety.

The delicate aromas of lemon and sugar are the first to meet my senses. Yep, smells like lemon. I was also pleased to see no signs of yellow color, natural or otherwise. Cheerios kept it au naturel in the appearance department. If you put these next to standard Frosted Cheerios, I don’t think I’d be able to pinpoint which one was which just by looking at them. The lemon scent is delightful and suggests they won’t be too strong.

Digging into a bowl prepared with 2% milk, I’m immediately reminded of Fruit Loops. Only these are a better, more sophisticated version. Think Fruit Loops’ older cousin who sometimes buys them alcohol. The lemon is not at all overwhelming. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if it was a bit stronger. The flavor is citrusy and sweet, reminiscent of a lemon cookie or lemon cake, but not too sweet. I should note that there is no actual lemon in the ingredient line here. It’s just a perfectly chosen and mindfully balanced natural lemon flavor. Hats off to you, Big G. These are great.

I also gave these a whirl as the topping for my fruit and yogurt breakfast. The lemon flavor gets lost easily in this application, so I’d stick to your standard milk and cereal preparation to get the full effect.

Overall, this seasonal variety is well done. The lemon is fresh, bright, and not overpowering. It’s a great way to start or end your day and a fine introduction to The Year of Lemon (please let this catch and become an actual thing).

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 14.7 oz box
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup without milk) 140 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar (including 11 grams of added sugar), and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cheerios Oat Crunch Berry Cereal

The informational PDF I got from General Mills promoting its new Cheerios Oat Crunch Berry Cereal says that the whole grains provide “long-lasting energy,” but I have no way to prove that. However, having had a few Cheerios Oat Crunch varieties over the years, including this new Berry flavor, I can definitely say the cereal maintains a long-lasting crunchiness while sitting in milk.

Like regular Cheerios varieties, the whole grain cereal part eventually gets soggy. But the oats in the center of those pieces provide an auxiliary crunch that’ll be around even for the slowest cereal eaters.

This new Berry version joins Cinnamon, Oats ‘N Honey, and Almond in the Cheerios Oat Crunch lineup, and it features a blend of raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry purees with natural flavors. When I sit, focus, and become one of the slowest cereal eaters, my taste buds can pick out the different berries. But when I’m mindlessly shoveling the cereal with milk into my mouth while I mindlessly scroll through suggested Instagram Reels that, for some reason, are about home organization and natural disasters, I mostly notice the raspberry and blueberry. Whether I eat it slow or fast, this cereal’s flavor is delightful.

However, while the berry taste starts strong with the first few spoonfuls with milk, that flavor noticeably fades before I’m halfway through the bowl. Does it wash into the milk and get diluted? Did Cheerios make a deal with The Devil by offering some of the cereal’s flavor in return for helping maintain the cereal’s crunch? Also, hold up. There’s a Cheerios Oat Crunch Almond variety? When did that happen?

I’m a fan of Cheerios Oat Crunch Cinnamon Cereal, and I’m a fan of this new berry variety. I can’t tell if it gives me long-lasting energy, but its tasty berry taste makes me long for it. Also, as I mentioned in my review of the Cinnamon one, I want a chocolate version from General Mills.

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

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 18 oz box (Large Size)
Purchased at: Received from General Mills
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 220 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar (including 10 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Banana Caramel Cheerios Cereal

Limited Edition Banana Caramel Cheerios Cereal Box

What is it?

Banana Caramel Cheerios combines banana-flavored sweetened whole grain oat cereal and caramel-flavored sweetened whole grain oat cereal. From what I can taste, it’s not a mashup of Banana Nut Cheerios and Dulce de Leche Cheerios, if you were wondering.

How is it?

On paper, this limited edition variety looks as if it might challenge Honey Nut Cheerios for supremacy on my personal Cheerios Chart. But it doesn’t because I’m having difficulty tasting the banana and caramel. What I do taste is a nondescript sweetness that turns out to be a decent flavor.

Limited Edition Banana Caramel Cheerios Cereal Bowl

Look, I tried really hard to taste the individual flavors. That involved me separating the lighter colored banana pieces from the slightly darker caramel pieces, creating a spoonful of only one flavor, shoving that spoonful into my mouth, putting my head into my hands, closing my eyes, chewing slowly, and letting the Cheerios-saliva slurry sit on my tongue before swallowing. But even taking all those extreme steps to eat this cereal mindfully didn’t help. With both, there wasn’t anything that made me think banana or caramel.

Cheerios have never had bold flavors, but I can taste what I’m supposed to taste with previous varieties. But with these, not so much.

Anything else you need to know?

Why doesn’t General Mills mix Honey Nut Cheerios with other varieties? Recently, it seems like the company is throwing various Cheerios flavors, except regular and Honey Nut, at the wall to see which ones stick to make new varieties. Wait. That doesn’t make sense. Cheerios don’t stick to the wall like Taco Bell ingredients. However, wet Cheerios do. Okay. Recently, it seems like the company is throwing various soggy Cheerios flavors at the wall to see which ones stick to make new varieties.


Limited Edition Banana Caramel Cheerios Cereal Milk

Banana Caramel Cheerios is a bit disappointing but not offensive. If a family-size box magically appeared at my doorstep, I’d eat it and give thanks to the breakfast gods. I’m not going to give up a perfectly edible box of sweetened cereal that can help lower my cholesterol.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 10.9 oz box
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup w/o milk) 140 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar (11 grams of added sugar), and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Honey Vanilla Cheerios Cereal

Honey Vanilla Cheerios Cereal Box

I don’t know about you, but the name “honey vanilla” instantly calls to my mind some kind of skincare product; something sweet but not syrupy, understated and tasteful but with a hint of sumptuousness. The back of this Cheerios box, with its posh descriptors “rich,” “delightfully tempting,” and “O so joyful,” only made me more confident in this association.

Gingerly plucking a single glossy “O” before preparing my bowl (I may or may not have even felt elegant enough to do this with my pinky finger raised), the first thing I noticed was its sticky texture. Crisp and firm on the outside, this cereal glistened with a vanilla-glazed gleam. Upon my taste test, the solid interior gave way to its airy inside with a satisfying crunch. Eaten dry, the cereal tasted pleasant but not overly flavorful. It struck me as more or less just a milder version of the ubiquitous Honey Nut Cheerios, and I’m not sure I could have pinpointed which ingredients made it unique without the box’s helpful visual cues of a vanilla flower and generous honey swirl adorning the iconic heart-shaped bowl. It had a faint sweetness, but the foremost flavor was oat-y; it didn’t surprise me when I noticed the box also bore a proud (but perhaps unnecessarily capitalized) proclamation of “first ingredient WHOLE GRAIN OATS.”

Honey Vanilla Cheerios Cereal Bowl

Pouring milk over the cereal coaxed out more notes of both honey and vanilla, but it remained alluringly demure. Another word that kept springing to my mind was “mature.” I was introduced to a measured, subtle wave of sweetness, not the punch to the face of sugariness that I frankly often look for in my cereal choices. These Cheerios were also pretty quick to become mushy in the milk, and while I know that can be a controversial quality, I was personally a fan.

Honey Vanilla Cheerios Cereal Back

I’m a strong believer that the back of a cereal box should be given just as much consideration as the taste, and this one certainly fits the product’s “refined but slightly saccharine” aesthetic with its honey-and-vanilla-themed sudoku-esque visual puzzle. A high school classmate of mine infamous for his elaborate and uncomfortable outfits used to live by the motto “aesthetics over practicality,” and while our gym teachers disagreed, I think Honey Vanilla Cheerios would. This charming puzzle seemed kind of impossible to actually fill out since the six icons you’re tasked with drawing in the correct order are mostly differentiated by color, and I’m guessing most people don’t eat their cereal with neutral-toned crayons at the ready. But hey, still cute and classy!

Overall, Honey Vanilla Cheerios are plain but pleasing, an ideal breakfast for a day filled with agreeable-but-not-too-spirited activities like gracefully smelling a moderately-scented flower or playing a prim game of checkers where, win or lose, you’d never dare get in your opponent’s face about it. If the prospect of purchasing a cereal with a name that sounds straight out of Bath & Body Works excites you, these should suit you just fine.

Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 14.3 oz box (“Large Size”)
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 6 out 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup – cereal only) 140 calories (180 with 1/2 cup skim milk), 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 170 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.