So, after actual years of not writing about cereals the temptation got the better of me and I have decided (possibly briefly) to continue my quest. My hand was somewhat forced by the small amount of hysteria surrounding Kelloggs launching their new “White Choc Coco Pops” and I felt duty bound to try them out to see how they taste, to see how they effect my life and if they are worth the hype.
Kelloggs have frustrated me over the last year or so. They have discontinued one of the best cereals going (Ricicles) and then, due to pressure from people who think they know better but obviously haven’t done as much cereal research as me, they changed the recipe of one of their most popular cult cereals, Coco Pops. As a father of 3 young children of course I appreciate it is important for them to be healthy, but I also know that one of my fundamental rights as a parent is knowing that I can choose whether or not to buy them Coco Pops if I am worried about the sugar content. Unfortunately the recipe change on Original Coco Pops has had a terrible effect on the taste of them and as such I don’t enjoy them half as much as I used to. I have spent quite a while sampling own brand supermarket alternatives for Coco Pops and can confirm Lidl’s ‘Choco Rice’ is by far the closest to the original Coco Pops recipe (thank me later). This isn’t just me being miserable, if you search “Coco Pops Recipe” on Twitter you will find very few glimpses of positivity and the few glimpses you will find are likely to be from Kelloggs themselves, here are just a few that capture the feelings towards their new Coco Pops recipe with 30% less sugar. Some people seem as angry at me but most are not taking it out on Kelloggs themselves, some are shouting at thin air, some are livid with Jamie Oliver who doesn’t even work at Kelloggs and some are angry with the big guy.
I particularly enjoyed the one-upmanship between Coco Pop recipe activists here:
To put things in horrific context there are more positive tweets about Nigel Farage than there are about the new Coco Pops recipe.
BUT…….today is a new day, these are a new cereal (that surprisingly state ’30% less sugar’ proudly on the box as if they existed before) and as such they should be given a fair trial (and it will be a trial). I had a busy morning unloading a container and getting rained on (the perfect combination) and was excited for my lunch break, safe in the knowledge that my lunch break would consist of driving to Asda, meeting my dear friend and finding some White Choc Coco Pops.
However, just before I headed out I got delayed when I received a lovely scam phone call from someone in a very busy call centre who was calling from, and I quote, “the google”, he needed us to verify our (non existent) account urgently, I very much enjoyed telling him I didn’t believe he was calling from ‘the google’ and that we don’t have any dealings with ‘the google’, he was a persistent individual who said that I must know who ‘the google’ were. I did not. Anyway, after this brief disruption it was time to head out and try to find some of the new White Choc Coco Pops.
Once in to Asda I spotted two stands in the distance proudly displaying all the White Choc Coco Pops graphics, after a mild panic my good friend spotted there was one box left, the social media hype has clearly worked and they had sold well. With box in hand I headed back to work to try them.
Appearance wise they look just like sticky Rice Krispies (another cereal Kelloggs have recipe bodged in the past year, don’t get me started), smell wise they are very similar to original Rice Krispie squares, so far not getting much of the ‘white choc’. Once I’d poured the perfect amount of milk in to the bowl (something I feel I am an expert in and would willingly help others with through paid training sessions) headed upstairs to my desk excitedly to tuck in. I’ll be honest that’s where the excitement stopped, I’ve not had an disappointment like this since my ‘Abibas’ shoes started to perish. The best way to sum up the disappointment is that if you were blindfolded and I asked you what flavour they were meant to be you would never guess white chocolate. They taste like a non-sweet watered down marshmallow flavour. There is a reason why confectioners, cereal manufacturers and other food producers don’t make ‘non-sweet watered down marshmallow’ flavoured items. They were so bland, so dull and sound so much better than they actually are, I would be amazed if they stayed on the shelf for more than a limited time period. Imagine replacing Ricicles with these, who in their right mind makes that decision AND gets paid for it. My goodness me Kelloggs, for goodness sake. I will be interested in looking up repeat sales date for this, I’ll have to try ‘the google’ to find out.
I’ll admit to struggling with a taste comparison for White Choc Coco Pops but I’ll try. Sometimes my daughter wants a cupcake, if she is good she might get a cupcake, if she gets a cupcake the reality is she will lick/bite off all the nice icing and leave the chewed at dribbled on thin cake bit at the bottom and ask if I want it, the level of excitement that dribbled on manky bit of cake gives me is very similar to the excitement I am feeling about having these for lunch again tomorrow.
I will give White Choc Coco Pops a chance, I have plenty more in the box, tomorrow is another day. I would be interested to see how others feel but they feel like mutton dressed as lamb, weakly flavoured white chocolate lamb.