Frosted Toast Crunch: The hits and misses of cereal innovation

Frosted Toast Crunch: The hits and misses of cereal innovation

I tried Frosted Toast Crunch for the first time recently after picking up a box while grocery shopping.

A huge fan of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I proudly own a Cinnamon Toast Crunch T-shirt, I thought to myself when I saw the box, "Heh, why not?"

The verdict: Cinnamon Toast Crunch with less flavor. (The So Good blog's review was a tad more favorable.) It probably won't be bought again. But that did get me thinking about the various hits and misses of cereal innovation in my lifetime.

Hit: Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries

According to Wikipedia, this was introduced in 1967, four years after the original product was launched. When I was a child, all of the crunch berries were red. Green, blue and purple were introduced in my teens. I resisted at first, but eventually realized that they all taste exactly the same. Crunch berries were a perfect foil to the little yellow squares that comprise Cap'n Crunch. I won't eat the original stuff because it just seems wrong without crunch berries. A good innovation by Quaker Oats.

Miss: Cap'n Crunch Oops! All Berries

Too much of a good thing. You need the little yellow squares. You just do. Geek Girl lists it as one of her top 5 cereal innovations. I just don't understand.

Hit: Honey Nut Cheerios

The 60s and 70s must have been when people decided they needed more oomph from their cereals as this is when Honey Nut Cheerios was introduced, as well, according to Wikipedia. It was actually the second variation of Cheerios, following Cinnamon Nut Cheerios, which flopped. While I enjoy Cheerios, I'll choose a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios over a bowl of the regular stuff any day. The reason why is fairly obvious. Sugar.

Miss: The other Cheerios varieties

There are currently 12 varieties of Cheerios on the shelves. Twelve! Including one called Dulce de Leche Cheerios, which I'm just going to call Mutant Freak Starbucks Cheerios. That's too many, folks. I've tried a few of them such as Yogurt Burst Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios and Chocolate Cheerios. None of them have impressed me. Just stop it, Cheerios. It should just be you and Honey Nut Cheerios. I suppose Apple Cinnamon Cheerios can hang out from time to time, but just on special occasions.

Hit: Frosted Mini-Wheats

The frosting is the only thing that makes Shredded Wheat edible. It's true. Don't deny it. And the smaller size is an improvement, too.

Miss: Rice Krispies Treats Cereal

Just eat a Rice Krispies Treat. The milk is not necessary.

• Joe Grace is a writer who lives in Chicago with his wife. His favorite all-time cereal is Count Chocula, better known as Sugar Rush in a Box. You can write to him at


Filed under: Food, Lists

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