Sunday, July 16, 2017

Fit & Active Vitality Cereal with "Red Berries" (Strawberries) (Aldi)

Um...why are the strawberries referred to as "red berries" on the packaging?
One thing you should probably know about me by now: I love cereal. All kinds of them. Whether they're mainly marketed toward children, adults, or even women, I couldn't care less: I will give them a try. In fact, I'd tried the name brand version of this already, and really liked the combination of sweet flakes and strawberries, so when I saw that Aldi carried a knockoff, I was excited to give it a shot.

My interest was piqued when my wife, who is not at all a cereal lover, tried and it shot instantly up her list of favorite cereals. I had to have a bowl after that, and was impressed with what I tasted, even though trying the name brand beforehand pretty much prepared me directly for the experience, which is as follows:

The flakes are what I would consider “lightly sweetened” and are nice and crunchy right out of the box. There's kind of an odd taste to them—it's really hard to explain, but it's like the flavor of the flake slightly clashes with the taste of the sugar, so they don't exactly work in unison—but I still like them. The spotlight, however, is on the strawberries: Of course, they're dried, but this cereal is loaded with them. And we're not just talking little teeny-tiny bits of chopped up strawberries, I'm talking some impressively-large pieces that barely leave any space left for anything else. Granted, each piece is cut fairly thin, so you won't get a whole or half strawberry in there, but they're still generous in size.

And while saying they taste “fresh” would be an incredible overstatement—after all, how can you capture the juicy deliciousness of the actual fruit in what amounts, texturally, to a shriveled piece of styrofoam—it's not at all overstated to say that they taste “accurate”. All of the tartness of a ripe berry is in there, and when combined with the sweetness of the flakes, it becomes a formidable combination.

Curiously (I feel like I've been using this word a lot lately, but I suddenly love it), it's one of the more “expensive” cereals that Aldi offers, although in this case, “expensive” means $2.19 (recently taking a dime price cut). Of course, it's still way cheaper than buying the national brand, at least when it's not on sale; I'm assuming the price has something to do with the actual strawberries inside, which make up all of the strawberry flavor (there are no “natural flavors” listed in the ingredients). We don't purchase it very often, as there are other cereals that are both cheaper, and tastier, but this is a great “healthy” cereal for a good price.

Overall: 7.5/10. This is a great knock-off of the national brand cereal, so if you like that, you're going to like this. The price is on the high side for a Millville cereal ($2.19, recently down from $2.29), but with wheat instead of corn, and actual strawberries inside, that no doubt helps to explain the extra cost. There's something about the bran flakes that prevents this from being a great cereal (I like their taste, but it kind of tastes like the sweetness is trying to offset the bran flavor, which leads to a slight clash), but the flakes go well with the tart strawberries. The strawberry chunks are large, and very generously spread throughout...if you don't want to, you don't have to have a bite without some of the fruit. A solid cereal for the price, though there are ones that I think hit the mark of “taste meets value” a little closer.

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