Clarion Rates Cereals

By Quinn Palermo, Johnny Kelliher, Claire Harrison


Quinn Palermo

A snapshot of a local Target’s wonderfully abundant cereal offerings

If you’re an American, there is probably some cereal in your pantry. We eat it when we’re toddlers, we eat it when we’re old. There is one constant in the average American life and that constant is the tasty, versatile grain shapes we all know and love. That being said, the cereal brands and types vary wildly. From Raisin Bran to Lucky Charms, there is a cereal brand for everyone. However, there are cereals that are very clearly better than others. And as journalists, it is the responsibility of Johnny, Claire, and I to rate these cereals. Without further ado, here is a comprehensive list of many of the american classics we remember fondly.

8. Frosted Flakes

Okay, let me begin by saying that we rated these cereals dry, not with milk, which almost automatically puts Frosted Flakes last. Without milk, they’re basically sugar corn mash. There is absolutely no depth in terms of flavor and texture. I wouldn’t even let my dog eat this dry, let alone eat it as a snack during school. Claire, Johnny and I unanimously agree: Frosted Flakes sucks.

7. Krave

Krave was a cereal of my childhood; before I put the first Krave in my mouth, I had high expectations of gooey, chocolatey deliciousness that would melt in my mouth and bring back fond memories of snack time in third grade. However, I was quickly disappointed by, well…, everything! It had a crunchy outer shell, yes, but the chocolate on the inside was absolutely underwhelming in every way. There was a little chocolate taste, yes, but it was nothing like how I remembered it to be. It’s still a good cereal that I don’t exactly regret eating, but it did not live up to the nostalgia. Overall, it was fine. If one didn’t have high expectations for the cereal in the first place, it’s likely that it would have scored better, but many of us have had Krave at some point in our lives, which puts this cereal at a solid 7 on the scale.

6. Golden Grahams

Not gonna lie, I actually loved these. The texture was perfectly crunchy and the squares were really sweet (but weren’t too sweet) and overall were really tasty. My taste-testing colleagues, were not as enthused about them as I was, though. While they didn’t rate the worst on their scales, they certainly didn’t take any top spots, either. In general, Golden Grahams are an average cereal– I (as well as Claire and Johnny) think that I wouldn’t actively seek them out on shelves every time we had to go shopping, but they’re certainly preferable to some of the other cereals on this list.

5. Froot Loops

 I feel like almost everyone I know has some sort of memory attached to this cereal. For Claire, the cereal transports her to the year 2009 with cousins visiting from Maryland. Just the smell was enough to bring her back to this ancient time. For me, Froot Loops remind me of summer camps and early morning breakfasts at hotels throughout the country. They’re a really reliable cereal that tastes good with and without milk and is sweet enough that you loved it in childhood but has subtle enough flavors that it isn’t overwhelming for those with more refined palates. However, Johnny doesn’t really like Froot Loops, which holds Froot Loops back from its rightful spot among the top four.

4. Plain Cheerios

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Quinn, plain Cheerios are bland and gross! Only old people eat plain Cheerios!” However, this simply isn’t true. Plain Cheerios are one of the best cereals out there. Think about it; they’re reliable, they’re versatile, and they’re great for you, especially when you’re comparing them to the other cereals Americans grow up with. You can eat them with anything. Fruit tastes great with them, and savory breakfast foods like eggs and bacon don’t taste bad with them either. They pair well with everything! They also only have one gram of sugar, and the serving size (1 cup) is pretty large as well. I eat these bad boys on the regular. If I had to pick one cereal to eat for the rest of my life, it would be plain Cheerios. The only reason why these aren’t in first place is that Claire and Johnny don’t have good taste (they rated plain cheerios significantly closer to last place than I did) which puts plain Cheerios at number four.

3. Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is a cereal I had in my cabinet all the time as a kid and for good reason. They were really tasty! The powdery mixture of sugar and cinnamon has a pretty even spread on the cereal, and it makes the milk taste like cinnamon. The only thing that needs improvement with Cinnamon Toast Crunch is how fast it takes to get soggy in milk, as well as the actual cinnamon amount in the biscuit part of the cereal. A little extra cinnamon would really round out the entire biscuit and would help compensate for any powder lost when it’s in milk. 

2. Lucky Charms

Lucky Charms are pretty amazing, not gonna lie. The marshmallow to cereal ratio is basically perfect and usually ensures that you get marshmallows within each bite you take of the cereal. The unicorn marshmallow shape is, while controversial, ultimately a good addition to the marshmallow medley. It tastes great dry and tastes even better with milk as the subtle wheaty flavors of the cereal interact with the syrupy-sweetness of the marshmallow. There is nothing else I can say about them, to be honest. Pretty much a perfect cereal. 

1. Captain Crunch Berries

Christ on a corndog, Captain Crunch is one of the best cereals out there. The way the “berries” contrast with the cereal squares is very different but equally as perfect as how the cereal in Lucky Charms contrasts and is simply a sort of cereal that you can’t really get tired of. It’s definitely sweet, but even the sweetness in Captain Crunch is more subdued and better presented than in Lucky Charms, which runs the risk of having bites without marshmallows, which can ruin the balance. In Captain Crunch, the cereal squares can balance themselves out even without the presence of the Berries, which add a slightly different flavor dimension when eaten with the cereal squares. While there are many cereals that one may consider to be worthy of the top spot, there can unfortunately only be one, and it’s clear that Captain Crunch is the one that deserves it the most.

That’s a wrap for this cereal tasting- is there anything else that you’d like Clarion to rate? Fruit? Cheerio types? The Clarion staff has had a lot of fun rating these cereals, and we’d love to rate other things too. Suggest what you’d like us to rate in the comments, and we might rate it in the near future!