Sunday, June 2, 2013

REVIEW: General Mill's Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Cereal

Today I present to you, ladies and gentleman, a review on a SUPER-NEW product. So new, in fact, that as of the time I'm typing out this article, no other reviews have been given on it thus far. Not only that, but General Mills hasn't even put up a WEBPAGE for their newest cereal yet. Since I didn't even hear that General Mills was releasing a cereal based on Hershey's outstanding Cookies 'n' Cream Bar (or anyone else on the interwebs, for  that matter) I was flat-out FLABBERGASTED when I found it as I was casually strolling through the cereal aisle. I was originally at the supermarket just to grab a couple of bag of carrots for Mama and some Torani coffee syrup for me, but I discovered something much better. Mama wouldn't mind if I picked up an extra item or two, right? I mean, how could I pass this cereal up!? Cookies 'n' Cream, as I've said before, is one of THE BEST FLAVORS ever created by man. And now in cereal form? It's time to rock 'n' roll! One box of this cereal costed me $3.69. Wellll, TECHNICALLY, I wasn't the one paying for it... Mama's credit card was. But details, details...

I was gonna wait until nighttime to try this cereal as my dessert, but I couldn't contain my overflowing eagerness. So as soon as I got home, I flew to the kitchen cupboard and grabbed myself a nice-sized cereal bowl, plunked the box of cereal down onto the countertop, and went to town!
But first, I took a quick peek at the nutritional stats...
One serving of this cereal is 3/4 cup, or 27g- the average size for sugary cereals like this. One serving contains 110 calories, with 25 of these being from fat. It also contains 125 mg of sodium, 21g of carbohydrates, 1g of fiber, 9g of sugar, 1g of protein, and fair amounts of various added vitamins and minerals. I was kind of shocked by the fiber count here- I mean, General Mills advertises this cereal as being made with "100% Whole Grain"- Wouldn't that call for at least a slightly higher fiber content? How can something be made with whole grain and still have next-to-no fiber? And the protein count is terrible too... Oh well. This IS a sugary cereal. I shouldn't even be surprised.
Taking the plastic bag out of the box, we can see all the tiny corn puffs of brown and cream packaged together. The cream-colored spheres also have tiny dark flecks, similar to the appearance of a real Hershey's Cookies N' Creme Bar. There are also a few occasional tan-colored, fleck-adorned spheres, as if General Mills combined a few chocolate cereal pieces and a few cookie cereal pieces together.
Opening the bag, I was greeted with a pleasant aroma that was like 3 parts Cocoa Puffs to 1 part Oreo cookies. The smell invited me to dig right in!
I measured out a single serving of into my bowl, just to give you all a better idea of how much one serving of cereal really contains. Sadly, this serving size is looking pretty darn tiny... But I guess we'll make do.
Popping a few pieces into my mouth, I found the cereal to have a puffy, crunchy, airy texture, similar to Kix. I also found them to be a bit oily as I rolled them around in the palm of my hand. The small cocoa-colored cereal pieces had a mellow, chocolatey taste, akin to Cocoa Puffs. The lighter, flecked spheres claimed a taste with a slight vanilla flavoring to it, which mildly reminded me of the cream found in Oreo cookies. Altogether, this cereal had a sweet, slightly artifical taste when eaten by itself. The chocolate flavor didn't overpower the whole Cookies 'n' Cream vibe, although this cereal didn't taste like a Cookies 'n' Cream chocolate bar either.
Next, I tried a serving of my cereal coupled with a bowl of milk. And ice cubes, as you can see. Yeah, I like ice cubes in my milk. It keeps it cool. There's nothing worse than lukewarm milk. So don't hate! I won't scold you on your cereal-eating habits if you don't scold me on mine. Anywho, with THAT out of the way...
A consistent problem with sugary cereals is that they don't shine their brightest in milk- In fact, most of them stink if they aren't eaten dry. As for the Cookies 'n' Creme Cereal, it didn't do so bad! Maybe this is because it's based off of an actual chocolate bar, which is made with milk to begin with... Who knows! Anyway, the cereal remained sweet in the milk, and hadn't become gross and mushy by the time I was slurping up the final  remains of my bowl. When paired with milk, this cereal had a chocolatety-chip taste. And then it hit me: it tasted as if someone had mixed Cocoa Puffs and Cookie Crisp together! That being said, the overall flavor wasn't original, but it was good and sweet, and made for an enjoyable bowl of cereal. The after-cereal milk tasted awesome too: It contained little, cookie-bit-like flecks, and tasted sweet. It didn't turn chocolatey like I thought, but rather became a flavor surprisingly close to sweet cream.
To conclude, I wasn't overly impressed by General Mill's Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Cereal, but it was pretty good. It just didn't produce a taste that was something new- The concept was innovative enough- the only other cereal I can think of that's based off candy is Reese's Puffs- but the flavor wasn't anything I haven't tasted before. It was like a mashup of Cocoa Puffs and Cookie Crisp: two good cereals, but also two cereal flavors that have been around for a real long time. I think I would've liked the Cookies 'n' Creme cereal a whole bunch more if it had a unique flavor. It doesn't even have to taste like the actual chocolate bar it was based off of- That would've been cool, but any close flavor would've been just as nice, as long as it was something original. It kind of felt like, to me, that the Cookies 'n' Creme cereal was just borrowing off of the flavors of two more popular cereal flavors, both of which are concidentally manufactured by the same company.
But would I buy this cereal again? Oh yeah, I'm sure. General Mill's newest cereal may carry a taste that's oddly similar to some of their other cereal brands, but that doesn't mean the taste is bad. I mean, Cocoa Puffs are great, and Cookie Crisp is one of my favorite kiddie cereals, believe it or not. This cereal just gets rid of the need to buy both of them. It's like a two-in-one deal. Plus, this is one of the few sweet cereals I've had that does expectionally well in milk. It's not revolutionary in taste, and it didn't instantly reach my Top 5 Favorite Cereals, but it's pretty good! And the idea of a cereal inspired by a chocolate bar? Cool! Why wasn't this though of sooner? General Mill's Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme may be just good enough to qualify for my Top 10...

Nutrition: 4.5/10
Taste: 8/10 (dry) 6.5/10 (milk)
Price: 7/10
Originality: (Concept-wise) 8.5/10 (Taste-wise) 5/10
Overall Deliciouness Rating: 7.5/10

General Mill's Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Cereal
  • Pros: Chocolatey-cookie scent, sweet, neat idea for a cereal, solid taste, good milk cereal, crunchy even in milk, cool cookie-like flecks in cream-colored spheres, nice tones of chocolate and vanilla, good taste, nostalgic oily texture, sweet cream-flavored after-milk, tastes like cookies & cream when eaten dry
  • Cons: Tastes too much like Cookie Crisp and Cocoa Puffs in milk, small serving size, poor nutrition, doesn't taste like a Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Bar in milk
Does General Mill's latest cereal sound good to you? Are you willing to give it a try? Or do you avoid those sugary, processed cereal COMPLETELY? Post a comment down below telling me what you think!

Till' next time, this has been RiRi Ri-porting!

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