American Breakfast Fruiti Rings Cereal (Dollar Tree)

A box of American Breakfast Fruiti Rings Cereal Sitting on a Dollar Tree shelf
Want something with better flavor? Throw some sand in a bowl and mix it with milk.

I am not a picky eater, but I am pretty picky about my cereals, and the brands at Dollar Tree have never really piqued my interest.  Most of the boxes just look rather simple and depressing, following the typical color schemes present in the national brands, but not having enough money to really dress it up any further than that.  But I really wanted to give Dollar Tree’s own cereal brands a fair shake; who knows, maybe it would turn out to be a diamond in the rough.  So even though there were plenty of small bags of Malt-O-Meal for sale (which just may be the best cereal company out there), I decided to go for a box of American Breakfast’s Fruiti Rings cereal.

Based on looks, American Breakfast really has this thing down.  The rings are full of color, and just like the national brand, vary slightly in size.  Surprisingly, it’s a very welcome sight.  Even the colors pop like they should, making it look very delicious.  Now, they maybe don’t look as well-sugared as most brands, but hey, I’m willing to forgive them a little bit at this point.  After a pretty solid first impression, I have to give them some pretty solid marks for appearance.

Now on to the smell:  Nothing but cardboard.  Can’t really even smell the cereal as it’s sitting in the box, which is a little depressing, as I was hoping at least the gentle scent of incredibly artificial fruit.  I poured the cereal into the bowl, took another whiff…and again, not much.  Granted, my sense of smell is not very good, but I had to virtually put my nose into the bowl just to get any kind of smell, and even then it was weak, and nowhere near inviting.

After dousing it in lots of milk, I took a bite…and discovered that it pretty much lives up to the smell.  There’s an ever so faint taste of sweetness somewhere in there, but for the most part it tastes like they either forgot to add sugar, or ran out of it the day they made this box.  I don’t know if I would go so far as to say the taste is “offensive”, as I did finish the bowl with very little problems (though it wasn‘t enjoyable), but no kid would possibly ever confuse this for a box of the “real” stuff, nor would I ever get it again.  It’s just way too bland, especially for a cereal that’s supposed to be very sweet, and you‘ll find yourself crunching on tasteless corn chunks for most of your eating time. 

Unfortunately, even for those on a budget, I cannot recommend American Breakfast’s Fruiti Rings.  If you really do need to pinch every single penny, I would suggest picking up a box (or bag) of Malt-O-Meal cereals, which are frequently available at Dollar Tree stores.  Even though the box may be a bit smaller, Malt-O-Meal does provide a good ratio of flavor to value that is very tough to beat.  Aldi also carries some very good cereal options (including a much better knockoff of this cereal), though it will cost you about three extra quarters.  Do yourself a favor and stay away from this one.

Overall: 3/10.  Though it gets high marks for appearance, American Breakfast’s Fruiti Rings cereal fails where it counts most:  taste.  Barely sweet, it will not be confused by anyone for even being a solid knockoff of the national brand, and it also leaves a rather gross aftertaste in the mouth long after its been eaten.  I did finish a bowl with relative ease (at least this cereal is simply bland, rather than flat-out bitter or disgusting), but I seriously question as to why I’d even want to finish the rest of the box.  Even within the walls of a Dollar Tree, there are much better cereals out there (see: Malt-O-Meal).  Or for a little less than a dollar more, you can end up with a decent store or private label brand elsewhere (like Aldi).