Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Kroger Frosted Flakes Cereal (Kroger)

Stop that bunny! He's using his magic wand to remove the anti-milk coating from each piece of cereal!
Frosted flakes are one of my favorite cereals, so let’s see how Kroger’s version stacks up to those I’m used to, shall we?

Well, before we get to that, what is going on with the box design? Most cereals have one cartoon character who functions as a "mascot" to entice children into buying it. Fair enough...that's just modern marketing. This one not only features four cartoon characters, but also some type of attempted storyline, in which a Harry Potter-esque...bunny?...uses magic to blast a piece of cereal for no discernible reason. Now, really, only the bunny is needed for this scene, and yet there's a knight character holding the "magick-ed" (presumably so the inanimate cereal piece doesn't get away?) piece of cereal, while two random ding-dongs just watch from the background. Looks like someone's trying a little too hard to sell this cereal, which is a red flag right from the start...

From the bag to the bowl, I was pretty impressed: The flakes appear to have the same consistency as just about every other frosted flakes knockoff I’ve seen, and each one seemed to have just the right amount of sugary sweetness covering them. I was also pretty excited with the price: I still think Kroger's a piece of shit overall, but they've (mostly) been doing a good job of hanging near Aldi in terms of cereal prices. Aldi usually beats them by a dime or two, but certainly not enough to where it's worth making an extra trip if you're already shopping here. Case in point: Kroger's version of Frosted Flakes, which retails for $1.49 (per 15 oz. box); that's some solid value right there. With a look of excitement and anticipation, I decided to dive right in!

The first couple of bites were okay, although it quickly became pretty evident that the flakes were not as generously coated as I originally thought. Just like their own honey nut O's knockoff, I found the flakes to be, at first, barely sweet, with more of a corny taste than anything else. Still, as pale an imitation of the national brand as it was, it was something I could probably get used to. However, by the fourth or fifth bite, it was as if the milk washed off most of what little sweetness there was, and all I was basically left with was a bowl of corn flakes, with some slightly-sweet milk. And by “fourth or fifth bite”, I don't mean I got sidetracked by something and had a ten-minute lull in between...I'm talking fourth bite within two minutes. This “sogged-up” way quicker than other brands, and quickly lead to an unappetizing, tasteless pile of mush.

In all honesty, if you’re thinking of grabbing a bag of this cereal, you might as well just grab a box of corn flakes and add sugar like you used to do when you were a kid, because that’s pretty much what it tastes like. Now, obviously, any cereal placed in milk for extended periods of time is going to get soggy. That’s just the nature of the beast. But I can’t recall another store version of this cereal that succumbs to the liquid so fast…usually the white, sugary coating at least provides some resistance to the milk, keeping it crunchy for a few minutes--but not here. It became a mass of soggy mush within seconds.

And now, thanks to the packaging art, I'm lead to believe it's because of some evil bunny who uses his magic wand to remove the milk-resistant coating from each piece of cereal. Why won't Knight Fox stop him instead of grinning like an idiot...is he an accomplice? And why is Suspiciously Well-Dressed Dog Boy and Old-Fashioned Cat Girl even there at all? The public needs answers!

Overall: 5/10. The value is great, with a 15 oz. box retailing for just $1.49, but even factoring that in, I‘m not recommending this stuff. It gets soggy way too quickly, thanks to the milk washing away its sugary coating, and loses most of its flavor by the fourth or fifth bite, instead becoming little more than a bowl of mushy corn flakes in slightly-sweetened milk. Although the flavor is already a little too weak for me to begin with, even just a slight upgrade in “milk resistance” could add two or three points to the total score; as it stands, though, value aside, there's not much here to recommend, especially since there are similar deals for better cereals within the same aisle. Even at Kroger.

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