Cuckoo for cocoa-dust glazed pre-popped popcorn? In Big Cereal’s quest to infiltrate nearly every other snack product on the market, this time, it’s mating with popcorn.
How is it?
1) Better than I expected, but 2) I’ll admit, I went into it with fairly low expectations. The cocoa glaze coating was pretty thorough, blanketing probably 85% of the pieces (and at least lightly touching the rest), and it uncannily mimicked the breakfast favorite that drives birds wild.
The popcorn had a deep chocolate taste, but if I have a complaint, it was that it was lacking a bit in the salt department. Feels like if you’re gonna go sweet/salty, you really should, you know, GO for it. Some of the pieces were a bit hard, too, which was a bit off-putting.
Anything else you need to know?
Sonny, the cartoon bird, turns 50 next year. When originally introduced, he was wearing a pink and white striped shirt, he started wearing “extreme” clothes in the mid-90s, and now he’s just straight up nude. (Though when he’s in his deepest throes of madness, he’s depicted in a straight-jacket.)
I made it four decades without consuming chocolate popcorn. This is weird because I love popcorn and I love chocolate. I will definitely finish this bag, and the next time I’m at one of those wondrous gourmet popcorn shops with like, 50 flavors, I’ll be more inclined to try a chocolate variety.
Purchased Price: $3.28 Size: 7 oz bag Purchased at: Walmart Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 130 calories, 3 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.
I can picture it now: General Mills executives sitting around a long mahogany conference table saying, “Well, we already have a solid breakfast product with Cocoa Puffs cereal… let’s make ANOTHER breakfast product and turn it into oatmeal!” So that’s what we have here — Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal. It’s an instant oatmeal with a chocolatey flavored crunchy topping.
How is it?
I’m a big oatmeal fan – it’s my breakfast food of choice. So I was really excited to try this one, especially since I also love chocolate. The directions say you can use either water or milk (like any traditional instant oatmeal). I typically use water, so that’s what I went with. After the recommended time in the microwave, I had a warm bowl of chocolate oatmeal.
But wait! Before you dig in, don’t forget to add the chocolatey flavored crunch topping. This comes in a separate pouch (the pouches in the box are two different colors and labeled appropriately, either oatmeal or topping). At first glance, you could almost mistake the packets for Swiss Miss hot chocolate packets! The topping looks like small espresso beans and didn’t melt when added.
Let’s talk flavor. This does, indeed, taste like Cocoa Puffs. A mellow, chocolate taste that’s not overly sweet. The only thing I wish is that it had an even stronger chocolate flavor. If I’m having chocolate for breakfast, I want it to be very prevalent. The topping helped with that, adding a nice crunch. I was also pleased with the amount of topping – I had enough to have some with each bite. The benefit to the mellow chocolate was that it did feel like I was having breakfast versus dessert, which is the goal.
Anything else you need to know?
It’s been a while since I had instant oatmeal in packets (I usually go for old-fashioned oats), so I forgot how small of a serving one of these packets can be. If you’re someone who needs a large breakfast to fuel your day, you might want to consider supplementing with something else.
Looking forward to having this again. Next time, I’m going to add some peanut butter to make it even more fun!
DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample. Doing so did not influence my review.
Purchased Price: FREE Size: 8.4 oz box (6 servings) Purchased at: Received from General Mills Rating: 8 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (per 1 pouch oatmeal + 1 pouch topping) 150 calories, 2.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, and 3 grams of protein.
I thought the new Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch was going to be this generation’s Post Oreo O’s.
Not familiar with the discontinued Post Oreo O’s because you’re too young to remember or you avoid all things awesome? Well let’s just say Post created an Oreo-branded cereal that really didn’t taste like Oreo cookies but was still so damn good that I wish I owned a DeLorean with a flux capacitor so that I could go back in time, fill said DeLorean with boxes of Post Oreo O’s, and then spend the next couple of weeks in a sugar-induced comatose.
If you’re too lazy to do a Google Image search to see what this cereal among cereals looks like, I’ll describe it to you.
Imagine an O-shaped cereal, like Apple Jacks. Now remove the red cinnamon spots on the cereal and replace it with a whole lot of white sugary spots that’ll make it look like it was in the spittle range of someone who sneezed on a pile cocaine. Next, replace the green or orange color of the Apple Jacks cereal with black. Yes, the color of death (and Oreo cookies). However, in this case it’s the color of chocolatey deliciousness.
Yes, I just spent the first 200 words of this Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch review describing another cereal. But I brought up Post Oreo O’s because the high expectations I had for that heavenly cereal are the same I had for this cereal. Seriously. Think about it. Doesn’t Oreo cereal sound like one of the greatest ideas for a cereal? If you’re saying no, you’re lying to yourself and your sweet tooth. Now, doesn’t Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch also sound like one of the greatest ideas for a cereal? Cocoa Puffs PLUS brownies!?! The name alone makes me go a little cuckoo.
Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch may sound like one of the greatest ideas for a cereal, but, sadly, it’s far from a great cereal.
What disappoints me the most is that, despite being a cereal that appears to be different than regular Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch tastes like regular Cocoa Puffs. Actually, it starts off kind of tasting like Cookie Crisp and then ends up tasting like Cocoa Puffs, but that’s still disappointing. It makes me want to stuff Sonny the Cuckoo Bird into an oven and have him as part of my complete breakfast.
Also, speaking of Cookie Crisp, the pieces of Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch with their tiny bits of chocolate attached to them look like the burnt square rejects from the Cookie Crisp factory.
There were only two things about this cereal that impressed me. It did take awhile for it to get soggy in milk and if you leave the cereal wading in milk long enough, it does turn the milk chocolatey. Although, it’s kind of scary it stays crunchy in milk for as long as it does because it makes me wonder what’s keeping it from getting soggy.
Now if you go read the reviews of this cereal on mommy blogs, every single one of them will say that they and their kids enjoyed it. But if the children of those mommy bloggers could taste what my taste buds experienced with Post Oreo O’s, they would push away their Dora the Explorer or Ben 10 bowls filled with Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch cereal and demand for something better.
Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch isn’t a horrible tasting cereal. It tastes like Cocoa Puffs, which I enjoy, but it shouldn’t taste like Cocoa Puffs. If General Mills can get their hands on a DeLorean with a flux capacitor they should go back to the year 2000 to pick up a box of Post Oreo O’s, then go forward in time to 2010 when they were developing Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch and use the cereal from the past as the flavor template for their future Cocoa Puffs spinoff cereal.
(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup (cereal only) – 110 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 130 milligrams of sodium, 80 milligrams of potassium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 11 grams of other carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)
Item: Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch Price: $3.49 Size: 12.2 ounces Purchased at: Walmart Rating: 5 out of 10 Pros: Stays crunchy in milk. Turns milk chocolatey. Fortified with vitamins and minerals. Post Oreo O’s. The Back to the Future trilogy. Cons: Tastes like Cocoa Puffs, which it shouldn’t. Doesn’t come close to tasting like brownies. Looks like burnt square rejects from a Cookie Crisp factory. No longer having Post Oreo O’s.
I thought the idea of going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs was preposterous, like the belief that eating Trix will turn you into a prostitute. For years, I ate the brown balls of naturally and artificially flavored sweetened corn cereal and nothing ever happened to me. There was no bouncing off walls, no instantaneous urges to hump mailboxes, no desire to walk around in nothing but a coconut bra and grass skirt, no yearning for yogurt baths, and no longing to stalk an F-list celebrity and become them by wearing their skin like a coat, all the while screaming at the top of my lungs, “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!”
However, that changed one morning while partaking in a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and skim milk. I don’t know whether it was the whole grains in it or the fact I was eating it out of a bowl I made in the seventh grade that was coated in a lead-based glaze, but I suddenly went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. One moment I was eating cereal and then the next moment I was dancing around my apartment in what I believe was a homemade cosplay outfit made out of wax paper, food coloring, cardboard boxes and a strategically placed wash cloth. Ever since that episode, I’ve stayed away from Cocoa Puffs, which disappointed me since I <3 Cocoa Puffs and the chocolatey milk it makes.
However, the folks at General Mills recently introduced a cereal called Cocoa Puffs Combos, which has not only naturally and artificially flavored chocolate cereal, but also naturally and artificially flavored vanilla cereal. I thought this was my opportunity to enjoy Cocoa Puffs again, albeit with a vanilla chaser that I hoped would lessen the cuckoo side effects. Take a look at the video below to see how that went.
Obviously, with the addition of the vanilla cereal, the Cocoa Puffs Combos was significantly less chocolatey than regular Cocoa Puffs. However, it wasn’t just the vanilla cereal causing this, which by the way, hardly had any vanilla flavor. The Cocoa Puffs Combos chocolate cereal wasn’t even being close to being as chocolatey as the cereal in regular Cocoa Puffs. It’s like the white vanilla cereal was keeping the brown chocolate cereal down.
Overall, the Cocoa Puffs Combos was disappointing because I expected it to be a little more chocolatey than it was and it didn’t lessen the effects of Cocoa Puffs to a non-embarrassing level. Not even the milk was worth drinking and every time I don’t drink my cereal milk, a dairy cow cries milk from its udder. Chocolate and vanilla may go great together as soft serve ice cream flavors or as a metaphor for interracial dating, but doesn’t do very well in this cereal.
(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 40 milligrams of potassium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 11 grams of other carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)
(Editor’s Note: Thanks to the TIB reader who suggested we review Cocoa Puffs Combos. The reader didn’t leave their name, so no two seconds of internet fame for them.)
Item: Cocoa Puffs Combos Price: $5.99 Size: 11.7 ounces Purchased at: Safeway Rating: 5 out of 10 Pros: Good for those who don’t like sweet cereal. Vitamins and minerals. Soft serve swirl. Regular Cocoa Puffs and the chocolatey milk it makes. Doesn’t make me cuckoo enough to do something REALLY embarrassing, just slightly embarrassing. Cons: Not as chocolatey as I hoped. Less chocolate didn’t lessen the effects of Cocoa Puffs to a non-embarrassing level. Chocolate cereal was mediocre compared with regular Cocoa Puffs. Vanilla cereal wasn’t very vanilla. Going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Me dancing in a dress and posting it on YouTube for the world to see.
Where the hell is Sonny? I want to barbeque his orange-feathered ass.
Whatâ€™s up with this 3/4 less sugar in his Cocoa Puffs?
Doesnâ€™t Sonny realize heâ€™s ruining the lives of grade school children everywhere? Sending them to school without adequate sugar levels is a recipe for failure in the classroom.
I hate to imagine where would I have been without sugary breakfast cereals? I probably wouldnâ€™t have survived grade school. I wouldnâ€™t have paid attention to my teacher, gotten good grades, completed my math worksheets before anyone else, gotten gold stars on my progress chart, become the tetherball king of the playground, or be able to handle the beating I received for being the biggest nerd, geek, dweeb, and dork.
For me, sugar was like steroids. It made me a better student. Sure I was a little â€œhusky,â€ but I excelled in school and thatâ€™s all that really mattered. Itâ€™s better to be a smart â€œhuskyâ€ kid than a stupid â€œhuskyâ€ kid.
For a while the cereal companies had it right by adding more. They were adding more chocolate, more marshmallows, and more rainbow fruity colors.
But now the trend is to have less. So eventually is there also going to be less chocolate, less marshmallows, and less rainbow fruity colors?
Whereâ€™s the neural stimulant that kids are going to need to make it through lunch? They canâ€™t drink coffee, because no grade school child can afford Starbucks everyday and I donâ€™t think any of them are willing to risk stunting their growth.
So what else does all this loss of sugar get us?
It gets us Cocoa Puffs that doesnâ€™t turn the milk chocolatey. You heard me. No chocolatey milk.
Whatâ€™s to blame for this? Splenda, thatâ€™s what.
Damn you, Splenda! Damn you!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Itâ€™s where we all get the energy to make it through work and school. For many adults that energy comes in the form of caffeine. For kids that energy comes in the form of sugar.
With 3/4 less sugar, I donâ€™t think kids are going to go cuckoo over these Reduced Sugar Cocoa Puffs.
Editorâ€™s Note: If youâ€™re an astute Impulsive Buy reader, you may have noticed that todayâ€™s review is almost identical to a review we did in September for Froot Loops with 1/3 Less Sugar.
Item: Reduced Sugar Cocoa Puffs Purchase Price: $2.50 (on sale) Rating: 2 out of 5 Pros: Chocolate. On sale. Cons: Reduced taste. Splenda. Doesnâ€™t make chocolate milk anymore. Iâ€™m not cuckoo for these Cocoa Puffs. We sort of recycled a review.