Saturday, June 27, 2020

Kroger Honey Nut Toasted Oats

This is a solid, value-packed knockoff of a classic original.
Who doesn't like Honey Nut O's cereal? I usually stick to Aldi's Millville brand for these, since they're ultra-cheap and pretty tasty, but as I've rambled on at great length in previous reviews, my wife has done a bulk of the grocery shopping lately; thus, I have to “settle” for private label versions from other stores. And today, we will be taking a look at Kroger's version, which actually costs a respectable $1.49 per 12.25 oz. box.

Based on appearance, these look a lot like the national brand, with lightly-colored “O's” that are almost all uniform in size and shape. Also like the original, they seem to have a light “glaze” on the outside, which is most likely the “honey nut” flavor (and if it's not, I don't want to know what it really is). Another plus to the glaze-like coating is that it provides an extra layer of milk resistance, preventing it from becoming a soggy mess the moment it comes into contact with the white liquid.

Yep...I like the flavor here a lot. It delivers a nice crunch with a lighter honey taste that doesn't even approach the cloying sweetness of many cereals aimed at children. It's also a little bit different to Millville's version, which gives me a similar flavor profile to caramel corn (don't ask...it's just what I picture when I take certain bites); it's been a long while since I've had it, but I would peg this as more true to the national brand in terms of taste.

I tend to douse my cereal in way too much milk (personal preference), which has the unfortunate consequence of sogging it up even quicker (not a personal preference). Kroger's version manages to stand on its own: of course, it gets soggy like any other cereal does in milk, but it doesn't “break down” as quickly as some, and only falls apart in the most extreme of circumstances. The flavor is also maintained even as it gets very soggy, which is a good thing (the worst part of soggy cereal is when it becomes tasteless soggy cereal). Before the milk does its thing, the texture is on point, delivering a satisfying crunch to match with its great taste.

And at the aforementioned $1.49 per 12 oz. box, there's some good value to be had here. Especially since Aldi seems to have gone the route of offering only a “family size” box for their version (which, to be honest, I can still singlehandedly down in a few servings, but some families just don't want that much cereal, and sometimes I don't want that box taking up a few precious centimetres of much-needed space).

Overall: 8.5/10. This is a great cereal, with an excellent value to match. The honey flavor is light enough that it should appeal to most adults, yet sweet enough that kids will take to it, as well.  The texture is appropriately crunchy, while each piece seems to have a light glaze (probably the flavor coating) that also doubles as a milk-resistant layer, meaning it won't go soggy the moment milk hits it. And at $1.49 (per 12.25 oz. box), there's quite a bit of value here, as well. In other words, if you're a fan of the national brand, you should dig this one just as much; maybe even more.

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