REVIEW: Kellogg’s The Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookie Cereal with Marshmallows

Kellogg s The Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookie Cereal

What is Kellogg’s The Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookie Cereal with Marshmallows?

Everyone’s favorite hide-and-seek-obsessed holiday imp is plotting to hide in the pantries of festive families this holiday season. Kellogg’s has devised a breakfast cereal fit for denizens of the North Pole: red and green cereal stars infused with sugar cookie flavoring and accompanied by dried marshmallow bits.

Kellogg s The Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookie Cereal Hand

How is it?

High on the list of things that nurture my inner child (next to jelly shoes and Rugrats reruns) are the holidays and sugary cereal, so I was excited to taste this dessert-inspired breakfast.

Kellogg s The Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookie Cereal Bowl

The first bite did not deliver the toothache-inducing sweetness I expected, but it did mimic the flavor profile of a cookie. Subtly sweet, the dominant artificial flavor of the crisp, light-as-air cereal was mildly buttery with hints of vanilla in the background. I noted minimal or no aftertaste from the flavorings.

In milk, the vanilla essence awakened, emphasizing the flavor and infusing it into the milk left in the bowl. Unfortunately, the cereal pieces absorbed the liquid so quickly that there was not much milk left to enjoy, and the cereal became as soggy as the bottom of Santa’s boots. Because of the milk’s effect on the texture, I preferred the cereal dry despite its comparatively one-note flavor.

Kellogg s The Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookie Cereal Closeup

No fun cereal is complete without marshmallows, but dry or with milk, the Elf on the Shelf’s marshmallow bits were so tiny and so few in number that they added no discernible flavor or texture to the cereal.

I’m not afraid of a scavenger hunt and have been known to rake through my box of Lucky Charms in search of the marshmallows so I can eat them first. (Favorite Lucky Charms marshmallow, anyone? There are wrong answers.) But in my one-cup sample, I found approximately two marshmallow bits, a ratio that greatly disappointed both me and my inner child.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The box features a QR code leading to craft ideas, printable activities, and ads for other elf-branded products, including Assorted Fruit Flavored Snacks and Pop-Tarts Crisps. These other products don’t promise new or holiday flavors, though — just a smiling elf figure’s endorsement.

Conclusion:

Kellogg’s product is an aesthetically-pleasing, cookie-mimicking cereal that won’t send you or your kids bouncing off the walls in a sugar high. But its one-note flavor and lack of marshmallows won’t send you running back to the store for a second box, either.

Purchased Price: $3.64
Size: 12.2 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 1/3 cup) 150 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated 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 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: Off The Grid Vanilla Buttermilk Waffles

Off The Grid Vanilla Buttermilk Waffles

What are Off The Grid Vanilla Buttermilk Waffles?

From the folks who brought us the Eggo comes Off The Grid which are frozen waffles with 12 grams of complete protein per serving and made with 100% whole grains and cage-free eggs.

I bought the Vanilla Buttermilk ones because it’s the only one my local Target carries. But there are also cinnamon brown sugar and wild blueberry varieties.

How are they?

Although they come from Kellogg’s and look like a tanned version of America’s most popular frozen waffle, they definitely do not taste like an Eggo.

When eaten sans syrup, the vanilla and buttermilk flavor are noticeable, but they’re not potent enough that I can imagine me eating these without some kind of sweet condiment. Toasting them makes the exterior a little crispy and the interior soft. Of course, that’s prior to me giving them a syrup shower.

Off The Grid Vanilla Buttermilk Waffles Tanned

While the whole grains do give these a slightly grainy texture and different flavor compared to an Eggo, I thought they tasted decent. But Eggo Homestyle Waffles do taste a little better to me. Store brand pancake syrup that has been carefully added to the brim of every pocket in the waffle adds a much-needed flavor. (Yup, that’s how I do syrup on waffles.) Thankfully, it doesn’t completely mask the vanilla and buttermilk.

Is there anything else you need to know?

A serving of two waffles has 13 grams of protein (12 grams of complete protein), which is 24 percent of your daily recommended intake. Unfortunately, unlike regular Eggo waffles, they’re not fortified with 20-25% of your RDA of a bunch of vitamins and minerals, like calcium, folic acid, vitamin A, etc, All you’re getting with these is protein, some fiber, and a minuscule amount of vitamin D, iron, calcium, and potassium.

According to the box, complete proteins contain all nine of the special essential amino acids in the right amounts. Our bodies don’t make or store these amino acids so we have to get them through food.

If you’re wondering how these differ from Kodiak Cakes Power Waffles, I have to admit I haven’t had them. But what I do know is that a box of Kodiak Cakes has 10 waffles per box, while Off The Grid has eight. And I also know protein waffles are expensive.

Conclusion:

Off The Grid Vanilla Buttermilk Waffles are fine for what they are — frozen waffles. If you’re looking for a product that provides protein, these are a decent tasting option. But they don’t convince me to completely leggo the Eggo.

Purchased Price: $6.49*
Size: 8 waffles/box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 waffles) 230 calories, 11 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 310 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

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.