The Boxtop - Cereal Netletter
Volume 16, Number 2 Late Autumn 2014

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Late Autumn 2014 Index

1. Warren Dotz Character Collectables Exhibit
2. General Mills Offers Mega Bloks Cars Free Inside Boxes of Cereals
3. "Cereal Time" Show Is Available on YouTube
4. General Mills Releases 2014 Monster Cereals Drawn By DC Comics Artists
5. Who Owns the Major Organic Cereal Brands?
6. Cereal Isn't Just For Breakfast
7. Kix Offers 3 Different "Pop Out, Build, and Play" Adventures Boxes For Kids
8. "The Great American Cereal Book"

Cereal Reviews:
1. Post Pebbles - Summer Berry Flavor
2. General Mills Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
3. Quaker Oats - Cap'n Crunch's Sprinkled Donut Crunch
4. General Mills Multi Grain Cheerios - Dark Chocolate Crunch
5. Kellogg's Rocky Mountain Chocolate Cereal
6. General Mills - Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme
7. Quaker Real Medleys - Cherry Almond Pecan Multigrain Cereal
8. Quaker Real Medleys - Peach Apple Walnut Multigrain Cereal
9. Kellogg's Jif Peanut Butter Cereal
10. General Mills Peanut Butter Toast Crunch
11. Post Great Grains - Blueberry Pomegranate
12. Kellogg's Special K - Chocolatey Strawberry
13. Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats - Touch of Fruit in the Middle - Raspberry
14. Kirkland Ancient Organic Grains Granola with Almonds

What's New in Cereal?
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Christmas 2014 Cereals
Kellogg's Offering Collectable Spoons Free Inside Cereal Boxes

Send Us Your News

Warren Dotz Character Collectables Exhibit
by Topher
SFO A World of Characters PosterWarren Dotz, author of several advertising character books collects figurines of popular advertizing characters. Over three hundred examples of advertising icons from his collection are on display at SFO Museum in the San Francisco Airport's International Terminal.

Check out a sampling of this collection, entitled "A World of Characters". The show runs until January 4, 2015.
SFO A World of Characters Figurines

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General Mills Offers Mega Bloks Cars Free Inside Boxes of Cereals
by Topher
Mega Bloks CarsHave you been lamenting the lack of prizes that can be found inside your cereal box? Perk up! This Fall, General Mills introduced a set of four Mega Bloks cars you can find inside marked boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, Reese's Puffs, Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms, Golden Grahams, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Each car comes with two sets of stickers. Boys and girls have the option to customize their cars with "Power Rangers" or "Hello Kitty" stickers (or mix and match both sets on one car). There are 4 different sets of stickers, each assigned to one of the four cars --- which come in red, black, blue and white. Collect the whole set!

The cars have a customizable engine block (just flip the upper frame on the lower chassis) to change from a regular car to a muscle car. You can also use other Mega Blocks to build on the chassis. In addition, each box features instructions to make a "Maga Jump" out of the cereal box by cutting out a pattern to construct a cardboard ramp. Too much fun.

[Click image to see close-up view of the cars with Power Rangers stickers (left) and Hello Kitty stickers (right)].

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"Cereal Time" Show Is Available on YouTube
by Topher
Cereal Time on YouTubeCereal Time is a channel dedicated to breakfast cereal reviews. Gabe Fonseca offers over 2 dozen short videos, each focused on a specific cereal or similar group of cereals. His latest shows feature Halloween Crunch and 5 Monster cereals.

Gabe offers in-depth reviews of current cereals and classics that haven't been seen in the breakfast aisle in over two decades. He shows us boxes from his collection, clips from tv ads, closeups of the cereals, and offers us a brief history lesson energized with a sense of humor. Pour yourself a bowl of your favorite breakfast grains and enjoy the show!

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General Mills Releases 2014 Monster Cereals Drawn By DC Comics Artists
by Topher
2014 General Mills Monster CerealsGeneral Mills teamed up with DC Comics artists to draw this year's Halloween-issue Monster Cereal boxes. Jim Lee illustrated Boo Berry; Terry and Rachel Dodson drew Count Chocula; and Dave Johnson handled Franken Berry. You'll find reviews of several monster cereals in our Winter 2014 issue.

In addition to these 3 boxes, General Mills also released 1979 retro boxes of Count Chocula and Franken Berry, and 1980 retro Boo Berry boxes, exclusively through Target. The boxes feature cut-out masks of the respective monsters. Read more on the General Mills Blog.

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Who Owns the Major Organic Cereal Brands?
by Topher
Barbara's Bakery Puffins
There are a large number of organic cereal manufacturers and we think that's a good thing. Organic cereals are a growing market segment and Big Cereal has noticed. Here's a chart showing a few of the major organic brands along with their parent companies.

Parent CompanyBrands
Arrowhead MillsArrowhead Mills
Barbara's BakeryAlpen, Barbara's Bakery, Organic Weetabix
General MillsCascadia Farm
Golden Temple of OregonPeace
Nature's PathNature's Path
PostCascadia Farm
Roman MealRoman Meal
U.S. MillsErewhon, Farina Mills, New Morning, Skinner’s, Uncle Sam
The Hain Celestial GroupEarth's, Health Valley

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Cereal Isn't Just For Breakfast
by Topher
Kellogg's Night BoxesCereal manufacturers have renewed their efforts to expand their market from the breakfast table through the rest of the day. This is not new. A November 23, 1997, article in Business Week entitled, "Mmm! Cereal for Dinner", noted Kellogg's and General Mills were meeting with success, noting that snacking on cereal in the workplace and home was becoming more common. "Why?... Eaten dry out of the box, prep time for a cereal meal is zero. Even getting the stuff in a bowl with milk is faster than making a sandwich".

Fast forward to a June 18, 2014 article in The Wall Street Journal entitled, "Pitching Cereal for Dinner and Late Nights" attributed 20% of cereal consumption to off-breakfast eating --- whether it be in a bowl with milk, dry snacking, or cereal bars (for folks that think a bowl with milk is too time consuming). The article notes that Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a popular snack with late night video-gaming 20-and-30-something's.

We're increasingly seeing more cereal ads showing folks eating cereal at times at off-breakfast hours. General Mills has a humorous 2014 TV ad entitled "No Marshmallows" featuring a couple consuming Lucky Charms a little later in the day. (You can tell it's not breakfast time because no one is wearing pajamas and they're not sitting at the kitchen table). Kellogg's offers several Frosted Flakes ads taking place after the breakfast hour, including "Football Family" wherein a family eats cereal during halftime.

Kellogg's has been offering a cool "starry night sky" version of many of its cereals available at Kroger (which has exclusive boxes with codes that will get you a free month of Hulu Plus), Wal-Mart, and Target, in a not-so-subtile effort to let you know cereal makes a good nighttime snack with the tag line: "Good. Night. Snack."

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Kix Offers 3 Different "Pop Out, Build, and Play" Adventures Boxes For Kids
by Topher
Kix Adventures BoxesI really like what the creative folks at General Mills are doing these days. Target was offering 3 gorgeous, playful, boxes of Kix featuring several cardboard animals that can easily be punched out of the front and back panels of the cereal box for your kids to enjoy. Kix, Berry Berry Kix, and Honey Kix each offer a different playset of cut-out animals.

Kids can also visit the Kix website to enjoy interactive stories built around the cutout characters.

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"The Great American Cereal Book"
by Topher

"The Great American Cereal Book" is a full color 368-page hardcover tome of breakfast cereal. Co-authored by Marty Gitlin and Topher Ellis, the book features stunning photography from Rob Ritzenthaler and Don Chick.

The Great American Cereal Book350 images of cereal boxes, advertisements and premiums from 1863 to 2010 are gloriously presented along with historical information (complete with dates, ingredients, slogans, spokescharacters, and interesting facts) on all of your favorite, not so favorite, loved, and forgotten cereals.

Printed on high quality paper and strategically priced under $20, this massive (a whopping 1.5 inches thick and weighing in at almost 2.25 pounds) encyclopedia of cereal is available now at your favorite bookstore, online, or specialty retailer.

Mentioned and reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, N.Y. Times, Reader's Digest, Smithsonian Magazine, and countless other quality publications and websites. And as seen on TV, and heard on several radio stations. Wow!

New books that are personally inscribed and autographed by Topher Ellis can be ordered for $25 (includes Priority Mail shipping and a tracking number). Order by early December and you should get your personally inscribed books in time for Christmas! Paypal accepted. Contact Topher.

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Cereal Review
by Barbara Ellis

Post Pebbles - Summer Berry Flavor
Post Pebbles - Summer Berry FlavorPost has been turning out one Pebbles flavor after another, and I leave no Pebbles unturned. I have fun trying the different iterations they create. Plato wrote, "I do not know how I may seem to others, but to myself I am only a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright Pebble to be contented with." These Pebbles are a patriotic red, white and blue flakes made of sweetened rice with strawberry, raspberry and blueberry flavors respectively.

While they smell berry-full, I don't like them. Individually they're alright. Blended they don't taste very good. The cereal gets stuck in your teeth really badly. Although the colors don't bleed into the milk, the milk does pickup a slight berry flavor and these Pebbles sog easily. I had no interest in eating the rest of this box. Summer Berry Pebbles gather "no más". 4 Boxtops ("We Have A Spill On Aisle 4". Feed it to your dog.)

Cereal Review
by Sarah Dean

General Mills Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
General Mills - Apple Cinnamon Cheerios After Cheerioats (later rechristened as Cheerios) was released in 1941, it took General Mills over 35 years to release their first Cheerios brand extension (Honey-Nut Cheerios in 1978). Ten years later, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios was born. This cereal is self-described as a "naturally sweetened whole grain oat and corn cereal". It's a great mix of cinnamon and apple flavors evenly distributed in nice and crunchy Cheerio O's. It's unexpectedly very tasty, and I love seeing Kermit on the box. 8 boxtops. (Very Good. Recommend Purchase.)

Cereal Review
by Star Smith

Quaker Oats - Cap'n Crunch's Sprinkled Donut Crunch
Quaker Oats - Cap'n Crunch's Sprinkled Donut CrunchCap'n Crunch's Sprinkled Donut Crunch cereal is interesting because it tastes just like regular Cap'n Crunch but the pieces are round instead of the usual square. The cereal smells and tastes sweet without milk but adding milk makes it even sweeter. The multi-colored sprinkles are pretty and add to the sweetness. The milk turned different colors as the sprinkles floated in the milk --- kind of cool to see. I liked the round pieces because they don't cut the roof of my mouth like the original cereal. This cereal could only get better with more sprinkles. You can never have enough sprinkles! 8 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

Cereal Review
by Eric Smith

General Mills Multi Grain Cheerios - Dark Chocolate Crunch
General Mills Multi Grain Cheerios Dark Chocolate CrunchMulti Grain Cheerios Dark Chocolate Crunch is a nice choice for folks who like a chocolate flavored cereal but don't want one that is overly sweet. The flavor is subtle and tastes like a bowl of multigrain Cheerios eaten with chocolate milk. These Cheerios are in three colors (regular Cheerios brown, golden brown, and dark brown) and there are little nuggets of sugar that add to the crunch. This cereal is not as crunchy as advertised but does well in remaining somewhat firm when eaten with milk. The chocolate flavor has an ever so slight bitterness to it which is expected when eating dark chocolate. This is a nice touch for consumers who expect it; but the lack of sweetness could be a turnoff for those looking for a sugary kick. The milk picks up a fair amount of the chocolate flavor and makes for a nice treat after eating the cereal. 8 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

Cereal Review
by Chris Ellis

Kellogg's Rocky Mountain Chocolate Cereal
Kellogg's Rocky Mountain Chocolate CerealThere has been a flood of chocolate cereals appearing in the grocery aisle over the past two years. This box caught my eye. It's made up of chocolate frosted flakes, cornflakes, almond slivers, and thick chocolate chips. By comparison, Special K's chocolate chips are thinner and crunchier. These are chocolate "chunks" which are less bitter and remain firm throughout the bowl. I liked them and they were worth trying, but it's not a cereal I would buy again. The box is beautiful and really looks to convey a higher quality product. 6 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

Cereal Reviews
by Terri Ellis

General Mills - Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme
General Mills - Hershey's Cookies 'n' CremeHershey's Cookies 'n' Creme smells like Nesquik (and I'm sure this reference doesn't make the folks in Hershey very happy). The cereal is made up of two different puffed balls which have tastes reminiscent of chocolate chip cookies, and a bad cocoa brownie. The balls are 80% smaller than they appear on the box. (In retrospect there is a really small bowl on the box that makes the balls appear extra large). The cereal floats really well on milk. It has a consistency similar to the middle of a malted milk ball. Biggest problem is they just don't taste like "cookies and cream". Cookie Crisp is better. 5 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

Quaker Real Medleys - Cherry Almond Pecan Multigrain Cereal
Quaker Real Medleys - Cherry Almond Pecan Multigrain CerealQuaker Oats has a new line of cereal, cereal bars, and oatmeal, which they released under the "Real Medleys" brand. There are two cereals in this line: Peach Apple Walnut Multigrain Cereal (see review below) and Cherry Almond Pecan Multigrain Cereal. This cereal is flavorful. The first couple of bites are a little sweet. The clusters are tasty. There are a fair amount of almonds, pecans and cherries which are all full of flavor. Although it stays crunchy in milk, it's a chewy cereal. The cherry bits can get temporarily stuck in your teeth --- like caramel. I wouldn't say the cherries are "tart" but they are tasty. I would buy this again. 8 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

Cereal Reviews
by Topher, Editor

Quaker Real Medleys - Peach Apple Walnut Multigrain Cereal
Quaker Real Medleys - Peach Apple Walnut Multigrain CerealQuaker's Peach Apple Walnut Peach Apple Walnut Multigrain Cereal has crunchy, lightly sweetened granola clusters, tasty chopped walnuts, and very subtilty sweet fruit bits. The cereal stays crunchy to the end. Nutrition-wise, there are 7 grams of fat per serving (11%), no cholesterol, 45 grams of sodium (2%), 3 grams of dietary fiber (13%), 5 grams of protein, and a few vitamins and minerals. It's a winner. 7 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

Kellogg's Jif Peanut Butter Cereal
Kellogg's Jif Peanut Butter CerealIt's hard to miss Kellogg's Jif Peanut Butter Cereal in the grocery aisle. The fun box is designed to look like a jar of Jif peanut butter with its distinctive red, blue, and green stripes and textured red lid. The concept is great. It's a corn-based cereal made with real Jif peanut butter. There is a light peanut butter smell right out of the box and the cereal, which looks like small, fat, Cheez-it's with a big hole in the middle, floats on milk. The initial bite is very good. It's not too sweet and they don't rip up your mouth. On the downside, there's not much texture at all and they begin to mush within a couple of minutes but they never loose their crunch entirely. 7 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

Postlogue: The back of the box offers a peanut butter and chocolate serving suggestion: eat Jif cereal mixed with Krave Double Chocolate. Okay, but how much longer do we have to wait before the Krave team simply comes out with Krave Peanut Butter & Chocolate cereal? And they have two chances to get it right: 1. Chocolate Krave with Peanut Butter filling, or 2. Krave Double Chocolate and Krave Peanut Butter mixed into the same box.

General Mills Peanut Butter Toast Crunch
General Mills Peanut Butter Toast CrunchWhy is it so hard for Wendell the Baker to get a heavy peanut butter flavor baked into a cereal? (And what ever happened to Bob and Quello?) Wendell started baking Cinnamon Toast Crunch in 1984 and added Peanut Butter Crunch in 2004. Upon opening the box, you are greeted with a nice and heavy peanut butter smell. Individually, however, these small, thin, wavy toast squares have a light peanut butter taste. Made of whole grain wheat, sugar, rice flour, and peanut butter, the toast is nice and crispy but the flavor is too faint. Overall it's pleasant but it could be better with a more robust peanut butter taste. Still, it's a worthy addition to the lineup. 7 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.)

Post Great Grains - Blueberry Pomegranate
Post Great Grains - Blueberry PomegranatePost Selects Great Grains is a huge brand franchise for Post, and I appreciate that they keep trying new combinations for us to try. "Great Grains - Crunchy Pecan" and "Great Grains - Raisins, Dates, Almonds" are the classics --- with the later being their best seller. Both debuted in 1992. Great Grains - Blueberry Pomegranate is made of several whole grains, sugar, dried cranberries and dried blueberries. The crispy flakes are offset by the chewy dried cranberries which act like little caramels. The real blueberries impart no texture despite an overly intense flavor which tastes fake. I have no interest in a second bowl. 5 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

Kellogg's Special K - Chocolatey Strawberry
Kellogg's Special K - Chocolatey StrawberrySpecial K, which originated in 1955, has become Kellogg's most profitable brand. They continuously experiment with line extensions, most notably with the 1991 introduction of Special K - Red Berries. Special K - Chocolatey Strawberry is essentially Special K - Red Berries with miniature little Hershey chocolate bars that sink to the bottom of your bowl. You'll scoop one up every third or forth bite and they taste more cocoa-y than chocolatey. You're notice the chocolate flavor at first but will lose track of it soon after. I suppose if you need a morning chocolate fix this might be one way to get it without too much guilt. I rate it 1 boxtop lower than regular Special K - Red Berries. 6 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats - Touch of Fruit in the Middle - Raspberry
Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats - Touch of Fruit in the Middle - RaspberryFrosted Mini Wheats are Kellogg's third best selling brand, behind Special K and Frosted Flakes, and there are lots of varieties from which to choose. You'll find everything from Big Bites to Little Bites, Unfrosted to Strawberry Frosted, and Chocolate to fruit filled. The first Kellogg's Mini Wheats appeared in 1970. Mini Wheats are of course little shredded wheat biscuits. The raspberry "fruit in the middle" is made up of raspberry, apple, and pear flakes. It imparts a strong fruit flavor which is heaviest as you work your way into the center. I found these way too sweet. Sickly-sweet. The more I ate them the more I didn't like them, and they were eventually abandoned. 1 Boxtop (Why Bother. Leave It On Your Grocer's Shelf.)

Kirkland Ancient Organic Grains Granola with Almonds
Kirkland Ancient Grains Granola with AlmondsKirkland is Costco's house brand. Ancient Grains are manufactured for Costco by Nature's Path. Besides the rolled oats, unrefined cane sugar, soy oil, inulin (a natural soluble dietary fiber), sea salt and almonds, the cereal contains four ancient grains: spelt, Kamut Khorasan wheat, quinoa, and amaranth.

Spelt is a prehistoric form of wheat with noticeable measures of iron, amino acids and fiber. Kamut is of Egyptian origin and has more protein than Durham wheat, with higher levels of lipids, amino acids and vitamins. Amaranth, a grain used in ancient Mesoamerica, is a complete protein with some dietary fiber and dietary minerals. Quinoa, which was cultivated and used by pre-Columbian civilizations, is also a complete protein with an amino acid profile superior to other grains.

This granola has a good flavor and a great crispy/crunchy texture with big clusters and slivered almonds. It's high in dietary fiber (6 grams / 24% USDA) per 3/4-cup serving. It's even better when you toss in some raspberries or blueberries. 9 Boxtops. (A Classic! Belongs On Every Breakfast Table).

What's New In Cereal?
by Topher

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Celebrates 30th Anniversary
"Cheers to 30 irresistible years". General Mills is quietly celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a small mention on the side of current cereal boxes.

Christmas 2014 Cereals
Sugar Cookie Toast Crunchº General Mills has released an adorable cereal box "Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch".
º General Mills is releasing "Holiday Sprinkles Cookie Crisp" featuring Chip the Wolf (aka Howler) wearing a red stocking cap.
º Quaker Oats has its annual "Cap'n Crunch Christmas Crunch" out in stores. Nice looking box.
º Other cereals that usually release seasonal boxes for the winter include: Kellogg's "Holiday Rice Krispies", and Post "Pebbles" and "Fruity Pebbles" with characters wearing holiday garb.

Kellogg's Offering Collectable Spoons Free Inside Cereal Boxes
Target is offering specially marked boxes of Kellogg's "Disney Pixar Storybox" Cereals with a free "Disney Parks" collectable plastic spoon free inside the box. Brands include Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops.

Send Us Your News
If you notice anything new in your supermarket cereal isle, or wish to report a new cereal development, please email us. We'll give you credit for your information, or keep it confidential, at your request. Thank you.

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The Boxtop is a non-commercial publication. It is not affiliated with or endorsed by any cereal or company. All of the names, characters, brands, and icons included here are trademarks of their respective parent companies and cannot be used for commercial purposes. Enjoy breakfast and support your favorite characters!
Opinions expressed are those of the writer, which like most things having to do with cereal may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editor, anyone else on the staff, or the world at large. A good sense of humor is appreciated. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases through Amazon links. Enjoy.
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