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March 05, 2019

On National Cereal Day, a list of the 10 best cereals

Some offerings in this corner of the breakfast world are better than others; here are our favorites

Carroll - Sugary Cereal Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

On National Cereal Day, we take a look at the best that corner of the breakfast world has to offer.

Today is National Cereal Day. What a time to be alive.

Do you still eat cereal to start your day? If so, your legion has dwindled to a certain extent, as Big Cereal has reported a downward trend in sales to the tune of a 3.3 percent decline between 2012 and 2017.

That said, it’s still a multibillion-dollar industry amid evolving tastes for the most important meal of the day. Some might say it’s too big to fail.

All I know is this: some cereals are definitely better than others, with Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, Honey Bunches of Oats and Cinnamon Toast Crunch leading the all-important sales figures. (Good for General Mills, Kellogg’s and Post!)

When it comes to Moo Moo Milk Bar – a three-month pop-up shop that featured “Cereal. Ice Cream. Shakes.” in Newtown Square, Delaware County – cereals that made their best-seller list included variations of Golden Grahams, Fruity Pebbles and Froot Loops.

Also, Wheaties are garbage since they never honored the Phillies, Flyers, Sixers or Eagles (though Dr. J got an individual nod in 2006.) 

Also again, this list lacks Mr. T Cereal because Mr. T Cereal is no longer made, and that’s heartbreaking.

One could argue – as this post will – that those are not the best cereals out there, though (at least not all of them). Instead, what will follow is a collection of PhillyVoice’s favorites. 

We invite – nah, implore – you to share your favorites in the comments below.


10. Corn Flakes. This cereal is only on here because it’s really healthy and I didn’t want to turn this into a crutch whereby people give their kids really unhealthy cereals – like most of these below – and then try to bill me for their pediatrician visits. (Plus, it’s pretty edible for a healthy offering.)

9. Fruity Pebbles. “The greatest cereal to add to (tart) frozen yogurt” was the in-house review. Yes, also, when the “sweetened crispy rice cereal with intense fruity flavor” cereal launched in 1971, this cereal was an homage to The Flintstones, and The Flintstones was a great cartoon.

8. Honey Smacks. There was a lot of pushback to this choice internally when I’d stanned for it. (Not to mention that whole pesky salmonella outbreak.) But, yo, this was like coffee for kids back in the day, and the frog’s a cool mascot. (No, they don’t look like roaches, either.)

7. Lucky Charms. We’ll be damned if we didn’t give that leprechaun some love as St. Patrick’s Day approaches, so much love that it gets the lucky-number slot on the list. Plus, Biz Markie loves them. Also, there’s a LC-inspired beer out there now, and not too may beers can claim that level of mash-up cred.

(Warning: Profanity in the comedy video below)

6. Reese’s Puffs. This is a relatively newb on the cereal market (if a quarter century can be considered new). A serving also has more sugar in a serving than an actual Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. But whatever. It’s delicious, and it inspired a rap commercial.

5. Rice Krispies. Snap. Crackle. Pop. They’re straight-up players. Not only that, but this tasty cereal (that makes sounds!) also transforms into the tastiest of carry-along treats.

4. Frosted Flakes. These are Corn Flakes’ less morally upstanding cousin. They’re also tastier. Like, really, really tastier to the point of being g-r-r-reat. Also, as the old #DadJoke goes, they’re Santa’s favorite cereal. (We draw the line at the chocolate version, though. That’s way over the top.)

3. Corn Pops (nee Sugar Corn Pops, Sugar Pops and Pops). “It brings back childhood-morning memories,” said one PV staffer. ‘Nuff said. (And yes, the commercial below features Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul.)

2. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Confession time: These are my son’s favorite. They’re also a peak late-night snack. Also, in compiling this list, I learned there was something called “Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros” so if you’ll excuse me, I’m heading out to buy 100 boxes once I get done with the final entry on the list.

1. Life. If it’s good enough for Mikey – who didn’t die from mixing Pop Rocks with soda – it’s good enough for everybody (and it’s pretty healthy and very tasty too!)

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