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Taste test: new cereals

Serving size Three-fourths cup One cup Three-fourths cup Three-fourths cup
Calories 110 120 110 110
Fat/Fiber 0g / 3g 1.5g / 0g 1.5g / 0g 1g / 1g
Sugars/Sodium 8g / 160mg 10g / 180mg 9g / 130mg 11g / 125g
Carbs/Protein 26g / 2g 27g / 1g 22g / 2g 23g / 1g

After being raised on sugary cereals that we washed down with Hawaiian Punch, it takes a lot to make something too sweet for my liking. But you know the nutritional gurus are getting through to our children when they turn their noses up at chocolate Cap'n Crunch and brownie-flavored Cocoa Puffs. Cereal manufacturers are hard at work, it seems, producing newer versions of old favorites to further lure our children toward their sugar-coated offerings. Some are healthier than others and some taste better. We found four of those new cereals at local grocery stores and fed them to a panel of student judges from area schools. We tasted the cereals dry, right out of the box. Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product Frosted Flakes with Fiber, Less SugarTrix Wildberry Red SwirlsCocoa Puffs Brownie CrunchCap'n Crunch Chocolatey Crunch

Even our most devoted Frosted Flakes eaters couldn't tell these were a version with less sugar and more fiber. They were grrreat! Judges liked the golden color of the flakes as well as their crisp texture. One judge said she would prefer the cereal with milk, saying, "I think they would stay crunchy even in cold milk."The new, even more colorful, version of Trix cereal bits were described by one judge as "balls of rainbows." The little balls of crunchy sugar were flavorful, but not overly so. "They are kind of like eating a dry smoothie," said one panelist. The flavor reminded another of fruity yogurt. "These are delicious," said one. "I want these for breakfast and in my lunch box."Shaped like little squares, these were supposed to look and taste like brownies. Judges were turned off by the strong chocolatey taste and the very crunchy, unbrownielike texture. A couple said they tasted more like chocolate, chocolate chip cookies than brownies. None said they tasted like what they expected from a cereal. "These are good, but there are better cereals on the market," said the only taster who liked this cereal.Like beloved Frosted Flakes, it's hard to imagine improving on Cap'n Crunch. What's really more fun to eat by the handfuls on a rainy day in front of the television? And, the makers of the captain's new chocolate crunch bits didn't have much imagination with this new cereal. The morsels were chocolatey, but not very exciting. Judges said they were craving the familiar flavor of the cereal and found the chocolate flavor overpowering. "Why mess with the original Cap'n Crunch?" asked one.

they buy?
Three of the five judges said yes.All five judges said yes.One of the five judges said yes.One of the five judges said yes.
Shopping information$4.09 for a 16.3-ounce box from Publix.$3.49 for a 10.7-ounce box from Publix.$3.99 for a 12.2-ounce box from Publix.$4.89 for a 20-ounce box from Publix.

Panelists: Calvin Finley, a fourth-grader at St. Jude Cathedral School; Matthew Overton, a sixth-grader at St. Jude Cathedral School; and Libby and Jack Houston and Julia Saunders, seventh-graders at Shorecrest Preparatory School. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or e-mail them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Taste test: new cereals 08/30/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 4:30am]
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