Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Product Review: Kellogg's Wild Animal Crunch cereal

The folks from Kellogg's sent me out a box of their new cereal, Wild Animal Crunch, the result of a new partnership with Animal Planet.

Now, I'm already a big fan of Animal Planet, and my youngest son, who you will hear me call the Rhino, adopted an endangered black rhino called Piggy as a result of hearing about poaching from watching the Animal Planet channel, which is how he got his nickname. So the partnership is, as Martha Stewart would say, "a good thing."

So, how is the cereal? Well, first, the box is great. I know that the box sounds like a strange thing to focus on, but you know how, as a Mom, the first thing you do when you buy any food for your family is turn over the box and read the ingredients? Well, Kellogg's has this thing called Nutrition at a Glance. The top of Wild Animal Crunch has all the important nutritional info you want right there, in big numbers for those of us who usually have to hold things out at arm's length to read them (of course, the kids stick everything RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE when they want you to see it, don't they?!). So, right away, just by looking at the top of the box, you know the calories, sugar, protein, fat...all the stuff Moms worry about, and Wild Animal Crunch is only 100 calories per serving, with only 1g of fat and lots of vitamin C, so I was pleased.

The box is also great, btw, for kids, because we know that a lot of times they want us to buy a cereal based on how cool the box is, and the box Kellogg's sent me is in a "Marine Collector's Package." Now, I don't collect cardboard cereal boxes, but if I did, this would be the cutest ever, since it has two adorable seals, necks twined, on the front, with one of them looking soulfully into the camera. The Rhino noticed that right away and pointed out how cute the seals were. On the back, there's "trading cards", with pics of a sea turtle and an orca and a dolphin and fun facts about each. There's also a marine Word Scramble and a True or False quiz your kids can do while they are sitting at the table scarfing down the cereal.

My favorite part of the box, though, is the small section on the back, in the lower right corner, that invites kids to "Be a Voice for Animals!" I'm a sucker for wildlife activism, belong to the Audubon Club, adopted our poor pet kitty from a shelter and get updates from the Black Rhino Conservancy every month, so I completely endorse helping out animals whenever and wherever possible. Animal Planet has a program they call ROAR, which requires you to be 18 or over to sign up, but kids can definitely take part, and I hope that when you are done reading my insightful review : ) you will go check it out.

I, for one, also welcome the lack of cheap plastic Corporate Mascot Branded Toy inside the box. I don't know about you, but I have enough of those things cluttering up my kitchen drawers already.

So enough about the box, on to the cereal. Which, yes, I ate myself, and I have to say Wild Animal Crunch is darn good! It comes in really cute animal shapes, like elephants and turtles (more kid appeal!) and says it is vanilla/chocolate flavored, but to me it just tasted like a slightly sweet whole grain cereal. The vanilla/chocolate flavor is not overpowering at all. I don't want the Rhino bouncing off the walls, so that's really what I'm looking for: something sweet enough he'll try it and want to keep eating it, but not really high in refined sugars because who needs that? The Rhino happily ate some and was glad to find it didn't "taste healthy," which to him would be a bad thing. ; ) He said he liked it and would have it again.

Those who worry about food allergies will want to know that Wild Animal Crunch contains wheat, and some soybean traces in the corn used to make the cereal.

Overall, I'm really pleased with Kellogg's partnership with Animal Planet, and I give Wild Animal Crunch cereal a big thumb's up!

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