Kroger Multi-Grain Honey Crisp Medley Cereal (Kroger)

Stock image of Kroger Multi-Grain Honey Crisp Medley Cereal box
Oh no...I'm back to stealing stock images from grocery store websites.

Just for the record: I feel like walking through Kroger is the equivalent of walking through the brain of a depressed person. It's just angry people walking through thousands upon thousands of square feet of unnecessary space, watched by hordes of zombie-like employees who would rather be anywhere but where they are now. And you can tell that because of the permanent look etched on their face while they are on the clock. I never feel better when I leave than when I walked in; on the contrary, I honestly feel a lot worse.

Anyway, I somehow agreed to go with my wife to this craphole to pick up a couple things for the house. For some reason, she enjoys this shopping experience more than anywhere else, a completely baffling notion given the fact she gets as annoyed as I do in large crowds. To make this go quicker, I decided to break off from her, to navigate the cereal aisle on my own. After all, we were almost out and I was sure I could find something that would hit the spot. It didn't take long before my eyes settled on Honey Crisp Medley, a cereal that looked absolutely fantastic, and different from the normal ones I try.

Now, obviously I didn't think that the large cereal pieces depicted on the front cover were to normal size, otherwise there would only be room for about five whole flakes and 3 whole granola pieces. But the pictures are zoomed in to such a ridiculous degree that they look nothing at all like what you actually get in the box, which is just a private label knockoff of the cereal whose title alludes to having a “bunch of oats” in it.

Marketing tricks and disappointment aside, this is a good private label brand that recalls Aldi's own highly-rated (on this blog) attempts at recreating it (though looking back it does not at all deserve the perfect score that it got). Kroger's version supposedly has the extra benefit of brown sugar-covered flakes - at least judging from their comically-enlarged picture on the front - but they look just like the normal plain flakes you get in both the national brand, and other store versions. Ditto for the clusters, which are good, but seem to hint at an extra dusting of cinnamon sugar that is not there. One problem that I have with both brands after having recently had the national brand for the first time since I was a kid, is that the honey flavor is very subdued in the private label versions. There's nothing off-putting about the light sweetness, I just think it would be a better rounded cereal with a little extra helping of it.

Now, it all comes down to price. This cereal is a little more than Millville's version at Aldi's, but even at $2.29 (per 14.5 oz. box) it's a great deal cheaper than buying the aforementioned national brand. And while I prefer the flavor of the "bunches of oats", I don't like it enough to justify paying $1 or more extra per box. Kroger's version checks enough of the boxes to make this a solid knockoff for the price.

Overall: 7.5/10. It's not quite as good as the national brand, nor is it as cheap as Aldi's version (which is also very good), but Kroger's Honey Crisp Medley cereal is a solid knockoff that packs in a good amount of flavor for a reasonable price. The honey is more subdued than the original cereal on which it was based (which seems to be an overall trend in all private label versions that I've tried), but there's enough to give it an appealing lightly sweetened taste that's heightened slightly more by the delicious oat clusters. A recommended private label alternative that shouldn't disappoint fans of the name brand.