Saturday, January 13, 2018

Strange Things Are Afoot At The Special K - Limited Edition Apple Cinnamon Special K

Special K Apple Cinnamon Crunch - Aldi
You guys already know I have a newfound appreciation for breakfast cereal. (See this post for details.)  
I keep the staples, like (Aldi-branded) Frosted Flakes, Special K, and Frosted Mini Wheats stocked at all times, but I figure my family might appreciate some variety, so I've been buying these limited edition releases to keep things interesting...but that hasn't really worked out. 
These seasonal cereals are the last ones picked for the breakfast-kickball team. My family just doesn't want to eat them. After one bowl the novelty has worn off and they rather go back to a tried and true favorite. (Except for those seasonal Lucky Charms, they were decimated in less than a week.) As I type this I have two boxes of seasonal pumpkin spiced cereals in our pantry, practically untouched, but since my boyfriend and his daughter like apples I thought this flavor might be a winner. Was I right? I guess we'll find out!
Visually, it's a pretty mature looking box. No bright colors, bells, or whistles, just a brown-beige backdrop with some heavy handed "rustic" styling aimed at people who stick to the "Special K" diet. We have a lot of faux textures going on here: Fake wood table, fake painted paneling background, and a cereal bowl that would probably cost you $20 at Pottery Barn. I think the text is the highlight of this design, without the interest and pop of color from the faux-aged text this would be another bland-looking stock image. As much as I pick on it, I don't hate it. I just feel like it's trying too hard. 
On the backside, we have this dynamic collage of images pushing the "fab, fit, fun" life style that Special K is known for. This modern look is really refreshing, and a quite different from the rustic old fashioned box-face. I like this a lot more, and kind of wish it were the real cover-image, but it's too busy and unfocused. Also, why don't they have fun games and stuff printed on the backside of the box? Give me some facts about apples, a word find, or something! (Adults want to have fun too!)
Upon first sniff, it smells just like apple cinnamon instant oatmeal. It's oat-y, sweet, lightly spiced, and fruity, but in a caramelized sort of way. So far, so good. 
I tried a handful of the cereal dry, right out of the box, and that's when things took a strange turn. Is there something wrong with me? Because when I crunched down on this cereal I could taste classic "healthy" cereal, mixed with apples, cinnamon, and mustard. Seriously, I am getting these weird, sweet, Dijon mustard vibes from this stuff, which I surprisingly don't hate, but it is weird. Really weird.
Maybe milk will help me out, so I poured myself a small bowl (I didn't want to over-commit) and gave that a try, whatever was causing that weird mustard sensation was weakened by the milk, but it was still kind of there. I have no idea what the cause may be, maybe the added vitamin C? It's not an inedible cereal, but it certainly is a lot more tangy than I expected, and I find the apple flavoring lingers for a really long time.  
Apple cinnamon is normally a safe bet when it comes to breakfast items, so I thought this would be a hit with my family, but it's been in the pantry for almost 2 weeks now and no one has touched it since I took my photos. (FYI: My typical process is take photos, write notes, and then blog about it when I get the time.) 
I'll probably end up polishing off this box myself, since I am stubborn and hate wasting food, but I definitely won't repurchase this particular flavor.  
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1 comment:

  1. I thought this cereal sounded amazing but I came to a similar conclusion, it just doesn't work for some reason. I did manage to finish the box but I didn't like it :)