In recent years the once mighty and untouchable colossus Kellogg has been losing it’s firm grip on the cereal world. Why exactly is hard to say but the rapid growth of General Mills by hoovering up Pillsbury and Nestle is hardly coincidental. By adding the genius minds behind Cinnamon Toast Crunch to the team that brought us the magically delicious Lucky Charms and Count Chocula, General Mills muscled itself past Kellogg to dominate the cereal aisle.
So General Mills is now bigger than Kellogg, who cares? Multinationals are constantly absorbing each other in a fight for shelf space with little consequence for the consumer. This isn’t quite true, not in this instance anyway. Kellogg, under major pressure, had to react to regain its foothold in the market. All the while the threat of litigation surrounding the obesity epidemic was looming ever larger. Kellogg reacted by reducing the sugar and salt and rebranding a number of their “kiddie” cereals in an attempt to attract the growing market of health conscious parents. General Mills took a different stance allowing customers to buy from their healthier range if they wished but apart from fortifying its sugary cereals, the recipes would remain the same. So what does that means for overall taste of both brands?
As you’d expect, Honey Cheerios in fact taste better now that they’ve combined forces with General Mills. Honey Loops on the other hand have naturally become less sweet (they were as saccharine as an episode of Giada at Home), but they have become a bloated puffy tasteless shell of their former selves, not unlike Elvis on his toilet/deathbed. While Cheerios are crunchy and sweet, but not sickly, HL are like sugar Puffs without the sugar and I don’t even like sugar puffs in their natural state. Like Elvis this could spell the end for HL or make a slight comeback like Matthew Perry and end up as a much maligned and mediocre cereal that only sells when it’s on special offer. Unless you are morbidly obese I think you can live with the few extra grammes of salt and sugar in your diet.
Winner: Honey Cheerios