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.

Taste: 4.00/10
Value: 7.00/10
Price: 1.86 (on sale at Fresh Market)

Overall GrubGrade: 5.00 (Mediocre)

More Info: GeneralMills.com
Nutrition Facts:
Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch (27 g)
Calories: 110
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

13 comments on “Product Review: New! Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch

  1. […] Other Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch reviews: Grub Grade […]

  2. Dan N says:

    Adam, the sad truth is that it’s the lawyers and government to blame for ruining our food. Food companies are afraid of getting sued or having their products removed from shelves due to government intervention. Prime examples are San Francisco’s attempt to ban happy meals, KFC being sued for trans fats, and the California women suing nutella because it’s not healthy. With all this craziness, food companies feel they have to make their foods with less sugar, fat, and carbs. My question is when will people start taking responsibility for them selves and realize I’m fat maybe because I eat too many cheeseburgers for my lifestyle and it’s not McDonald’s fault for offering to sell me a cheeseburger. Unfortunately, that will never happen and food companies will continue to get sued for the irresponsibility of others. Don’t get my wrong; I think food companies have a responsibility to tell consumers what’s in their food and to offer healthy food that won’t make us sick from disease/poison.

    //End Rant

  3. rob says:

    Saw these at the Walmart and thought they looked like something you would feed a dog.

  4. SkippyMom says:

    “Pros: Might possibly stop the spread of childhood obesity.” LOL – It seriously looks like my dog’s food. I suspect it t@stes worse.

  5. Rodzilla says:

    These really are more or less just cocoa puffs, I’m not mad at cocoa puffs. I don’t think they were intended to be all that much “healthier”. But the recent lessening of sugars and adding of fiber to cereals hasn’t really bothered me. So long as the classics are kept.

    With you on choco mini-wheats.

  6. Natalie says:

    This pisses me off to no end. I purposefully feed my daughter sugared cereal to piss off all my health concious mom friends. Feed your child a wide variety of foods and everyone will be just fine. But I digress. I was really just going to say that I’ve decided to switch to bagged cereals as those haven’t changed their formulas and are still made up of my beloved sugary goodness.

  7. American Heart Association says:

    “According to the American Heart Association, every 1 and 3 American children are either overweight or obese.”

    You may wish to rewrite that opening sentence of your article, it does not accurately describe the findings of the AHA…

  8. Justin D says:

    I saw these on the shelf the other day and had to grab a box and check them out. Honestly, i didn’t mind the taste of them and I am a 22 year old that grew up eating nothing but sugary cereal. To me, these are just square Cocoa Puffs with the chocolate chips from Cookie Crisp thrown on top.

  9. missouri says:

    Tried these yesterday – a smash up of cookie crisp and cocoa puffs – without the goodness of either one.

  10. Lisa says:

    I was shopping with a friend the other day and she saw this and I just KNEW she was going to put it in the cart. Me, with all my health food and she grabs this cereal (shes much older than me, by the way) and Im like, really? cocoa puffs cereal?
    I would never buy it, but I tasted it and I agree, it was boring. And I dont think sugary cereal can ever be “healthy” per se, just enriched with vitamins and stuff which isn’t what I consider a health food

    • Adam says:

      With all due respect, why would you “never” buy it? A calorie is a calorie. How is the sugar in a large banana (17-20 grams) any different than a bowl and a half of this stuff, especially when they are made whole grains, and especially when the majority of one’s diet is filled with whole foods? I think we probably have different connotations of “health” food, but I try to stay away from black and white thinking when it comes to food, especially on the “good” and “bad” perspective, and especially when it comes to natural vs. processed. How can you profess to accurately understand the flavor and textural components that make whole foods what they are if you cannot base them against something that’s been processed? And why is processed always worse for you and less flavored?

      To cut yourself off from any group of foods or type of product is to lose an understanding of perspective in taste and texture and to distort your ability to accurately merits of one element of flavor or taste.

      Not trying to sound like a jerk, because I read your reviews every day and enjoy the content, but as one objective food blogger to another, I’m generally interested to know if you really believe you’re doing yourself any great harm by eating Cocoa Puffs.

  11. […] 8.00/10Past Cereal Reviews:[Chocolatey Cap'n Crunch] [Chocolate Lucky Charms] [Waffle Crisp] [Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch] [Chocolatey Frosted Mini Spooners] [Honey Graham Trackers] [Cinnabon] [Marshmallow Pebbles] [Fiber […]

  12. […] and my love of Cocoa Puffs, I was excited to try Cocoa Puffs Brownie Crunch. I should have taken the advice of cereal expert Adam from Grub Grade and avoided disappointment. Which is what this cereal is—a […]