Thursday, February 06, 2014

Review: Post Poppin' Pebbles

Recently I pointed out the introduction of a new variety of Post Pebbles cereal that seems to be getting lots of attention and buzz. Pebbles limited time variants are becoming quite common, but this one is rather innovative because of "Poppin' Pieces" that fizz in your mouth. Again, I don't normally review every new cereal that shows up in the store, but this one deserves a closer taste.

Starting with taste, it is by and large conventional Pebbles: highly sweet and loaded with both natural and artificial flavors. If you like candy for breakfast Pebbles is the closest thing to it. This particular variety highlights "Burstin' Berry", which is evident but still within the range of what I expect from Pebbles. Certainly it is flavorful, but way over the top for what I like in a breakfast cereal.


Another gripe that I have with Pebbles is that like most rice-crisp cereals the small pieces quickly turn to mush, and for the most part Poppin' Pebbles lives up to the expectation. There is a twist, however. The green balls (i.e. the "Poppin' Pieces") which cause the fizzing sensation are designed to breakdown slowly, and even after 10 minutes in milk are still intact. A definite slight improvement for Pebbles.

Without question the main feature, and for me the only redeeming quality, of Poppin' Pebbles is that this is simply designed to be pure fun. Apart from the modest sounds of Rice Krispies, what other cereal physically interacts with you? This is gimmickry that is unlikely to have lasting interest, but for now it will move boxes off the shelf. The cereal quietly talks back, and everyone will try swishing the green balls around in their mouth waiting to feel the fizzing. Sadly, the fizzling is very modest; hardly exhilarating. Nevertheless, this makes for a fun morning over your cereal bowl!

Nutrition? Seriously? There are really no significant nutritional qualities to Pebbles of any variety, and every consumer should understand that. The main problem is sugar (33% of volume), although not the worst one out there. Sure there are fortified vitamins and minerals, but no fiber and only 1g of protein.

If it wasn't for the unique innovation here, this would just be another highly sweetened cereal representative of an earlier age in cereal development. But, Post has tried something new that will not only generate sales, but ultimately strengthen its Pebbles brand. Children of all ages will be delighted, at least until they tire and move on to something else.

(Review protocol HERE)

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