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Taste test: new cereals

I was in high school when dietitians started touting the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. My mother worked very hard to put hot food on the table every morning before school. And, almost every morning, I would bound down the stairs, grab a cold drink and tell Mom I didn't have time to eat. Now, when my own children skip breakfast, I know how bad my mother must have felt. But, I have learned to compromise. If they won't eat a hot breakfast, I make sure to keep portable foods on hand for school days. And, I always keep the pantry stocked with cereal. This week, our tasters tried four new cereals likely developed with back-to-school children in mind.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

ProductKellogg's Mini Wheats Cranberry With Yogurt Drizzle Harvest Delights Post Honey Bunches

of Oats Honey Crunch O's
Annie's Organic Cocoa Bunnies General Mills Strawberry Tiny Toast
Judges'

comments
Judges weren't impressed with this new creation from Kellogg's. They liked the idea of eating healthy "mini wheat" bits for breakfast, but all four said the overall flavor was fake. "It has an artificial flavor with a melted Twizzlers overlay," said one judge. Another said the cereal had a healthy, grainy appearance but didn't pay off in the end. "I think they are using the word 'delights' loosely," said a panelist who described the pieces as sweetened bark.This blend of flakes and oats reminded judges of a party mix with a refreshing light and fresh taste. "This is a winning combination," said one taster. "It's a blend of several existing cereal bits, but not too sweet." Although panelists said this cereal tasted like other familiar brands, they appreciated the overall flavor and texture of the combination. "The milk leftovers from this cereal would be fabulous," said one judge.The word "organic" on the box had judges wincing before they tasted these little bits. But, the flavor was a pleasant surprise. "The cocoa is pretty subtle but I would use this cereal as part of a homemade trail mix," said one panelist. "If you like chocolate, this is great," said another judge, who compared the cereal to Cocoa Puffs. Another said the chocolate flavor was bold like dark chocolate. "This definitely tastes natural," said a judge who appreciated the cute little bunny-shaped pieces. "These would be amazing crushed over ice cream."The youngest member of our panel loved these tiny toast-looking cereals. "It's yummy," she said. All of the judges agreed this blend would be especially attractive to children. "It looks like marshmallow croutons," said one taster. Another said she liked the strawberry flavor, but said it overpowered the cereal. "It's a little artificial tasting," she said. "I don't think I would want to get my kids going on this. They may never stop."
Would

they buy?
One of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$4.35 for a 14.3-ounce box from Winn-Dixie.$2.98 for a 14-ounce box from Walmart.$3.98 for a 10-ounce box from Walmart.$2.98 for an 11.1-ounce box from Walmart.


Panelists: Steve Sims, theology teacher at Tampa Catholic High School; Kay Hodnett, personal chef; Sophie Wiltshire, high school senior; and Janet Keeler, assistant professor of journalism at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to mstark@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/tastetest.

Serving size27 pieces¾ cup¾ cup¾ cup
Calories190130110120
Fat/Fiber1g / 6g1.5g / 2g1.5g / 2g3g / 1g
Sugars/Sodium10g / 0mg 7g / 170mg8g / 120mg9g / 120mg
Carbs/Protein46g / 5g27g / 2g22g / 2g22g / 2g

Taste test: new cereals 08/22/16 [Last modified: Monday, August 22, 2016 10:59am]
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