Product Review: New! Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch
According to the American Heart Association, every 1 in 3 American children are either overweight or obese. Given this information, I am henceforth holding every third kid I see personally responsible for Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch falling ridiculously short of my expectations, and making a complete mockery of a fine tradition of chocolate cereals from General Mills.
Back in my day, we kids started each morning with a tremendous sugar rush of artificial goodness. Whether given to us by the original Cocoa Puffs or some other, even more decadent chocolate cereal, that sugar rush provided before the morning bus arrived was essential for all children of the 1990s. As we’ve aged, we’ve kept our love of pouring ourselves copious amounts of sugar and refined white flour, falling back on those 12 essential vitamins and minerals in the likes of Cocoa Puffs and Cookie Crisp to supplement are otherwise lackluster diets. It goes without saying, then, that active 20-something year olds like me form the core constituency of cereal eaters of both past and present.
We like our cereal sweet, chocolatey, and decorated by cartoon characters with stupid names (a toy in the box and maze on the back of the box is encouraged, but not required). General Mills, unfortunately, wants to sabotage the post-workout meals of its core constituency, and has seen it fit to falsely advertise extremely awesome sounding cereals under a policy of also making said cereals healthier, and in this case, devoid of any taste.
Well, I guess shouldn’t say ”any taste,” although the taste is a far cry from a brownie taste. Heck, it’s a far cry from the taste of a diet brownie made with black beans that some health food hippie woman once offered to me at a random coffee run back in October. To be perfectly objective, Cookie Crisp Brownie Crunch tastes a heckuva lot like one of those diet hot cocoa packets. It has mediocre sweetness and a really muted cocoa flavor, with absolutely no hint of cocoa butter or other chocolate richness. In smell and texture it reminds me a lot of Cookie Crisp, but the whole grains listed as the first ingredient do little to add to an otherwise dull taste. Marvo said it tastes a lot like Cocoa Puffs, but to be honest, it’s not even that good.
End milk? Forget it. Even a full two servings of this cereal in my bowl could not make sucking down the end-milk anymore than a necessary evil for me, as the presumed joy of a rich chocolate taste was nowhere to be found.
Look, I’m not trying to rip General Mills for trying to make a healthy kids cereal, but let’s be honest here - not everyone needs or wants a healthy kids cereal. What about those 2 other kids who are not considered overweight or obese? What about people like me, who are active and nostalgic and want nothing more than a nice simple sugar rush after a morning at the gym? I can totally appreciate a healthy cereal for what it’s worth, and even routinely enjoy Kashi cereals loaded with fiber and minimal the sugar rush. But one thing I really dislike is companies that totally turn their backs on a core part of their constituency, and once more, act like the only people who buy cereal are health conscious moms. Don’t believe me? Well, it’s not like the majority of the reviews online are coming from veteran sugary kids cereal eaters like me and Marvo (yes, me and Marvo), who’ve honed our taste buds to pick up imposters and poseurs. Want something reasonably healthy, chocolatey, and actually good? Stick with Kelloggs’ Frosted Mini Wheats Little Bites.
Pros: Might possibly stop the spread of childhood obesity.
Cons: Tastes like diet hot chocolate, which is to say it sucks. Nine grams of sugar, which is also to say it sucks. Actual serving size fills about a third of a standard bowl. You guessed it: sucks.
Price: 1.86 (on sale at Fresh Market)
Overall GrubGrade: 5.00 (Mediocre)
More Info: GeneralMills.com
Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch (27 g)
Total Fat: 1.5 g
Saturated Fat: .0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 130 mg
Potassium: 80 mg
Total Carbs: 22 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 9 g
Protein: 2 g