Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cereal: Aldi vs the Name Brands

Cereal: Aldi vs the Name Brands:

I have previously talked about how much I love cereal. [1]

And I suspect at some point I will talk about how much I like the store Aldi. [2]

One of the many things I like about Aldi is that there store brand is often as good, if not better, than the name brands.  This is very true with their cereals.

Aldi cereals are boxed under the name: Millville. [3]

I have, naturally, tried many of these and now I present to you a face-off between the Aldi brands and their name brand counterparts. [4]

Kid's Crunch vs Cap'n Crunch (Quaker): Just so you don't think this is going to be a completely one sided review, I figured I start with this one.  To put it bluntly, I think a bowl of Styrofoam would be better.  This stuff was flavorless and texturally was like Cap'n Crunch which had gotten soggy, dried out and then went stale. [5]  There is a peanut butter version of Kid's Crunch, but I don't really like the peanut butter version of Cap'n Crunch, so you won't catch me trying it.

The Verdict: Quaker is the clear winner.

Honey Crunch 'n Oats vs Honey Bunches of Oats (Post):  I think that there are two Aldi versions of this one, as compared to the six hundred versions of the Post cereal. [6]  The Aldi versions don't taste exactly like the Post cereals but they taste just as good in their own way.  Also the Aldi versions don't have quite as many oat clusters. [7]

The Verdict: A tie.

Frosted Flakes vs Frosted Flakes (Kellogg's): If you hadn't noticed before the name "Frosted Flakes" is not actually copyrighted. So everybody tends to have their own version.  I'm a big fan of the frosted flakes, despite the fact that they go soggy in milk very quickly.  Well the Aldi version slightly solves that by coating each flake in ten pounds of sugar.  This makes them oh so much better. [8]  And just like the Kellogg's version the flake part gets all stuck up in your teeth.

The Verdict: Aldi wins

Chocolate Frosted Flakes vs Frosted Flakes: Choco Zucaritas (Kellogg's): The Kellogg's version used to be called Frosted Flakes Chocolate with Choco Zucaritas in smaller writing underneath, but while you weren't watching they dropped the word Chocolate all-together.  Last summer (2013) there was an Aldi version.  It was probably the noisiest cereal ever invented [9] Nevertheless it was very good.  I am sad that they have not yet brought it back.

The Verdict: Aldi wins

Crispy Oats vs Cheerios (General Mills): The Aldi version isn't bad, but it isn't very good either.

The Verdict: General Mills wins

Honey Nut Crispy Oats vs Honey Nut Cheerios (General Mills): Every once in a while I get a hankering for Honey Nut Cheerios.  If I'm lucky I can satisfy it away from home, because if I buy a box, I eat one bowl and then it sits on the shelf until it goes stale.  The Aldi version tastes effectively the same but the O's are much harder and crunchier.  Which I actually think is a positive.  And I spend less money as it sits on the shelf going bad.

The Verdict: Aldi wins.

Apple Cinnamon Crispy Oats vs Apple Cinnamon Cheerios (General Mills): Aldi used to stock this on a regular basis.  It came in the same cases as the Honey Nut version, but I guess it didn't sell as well because they no longer make it.  To me it tasted better than the the Cheerios version and it was also much harder and crunchier.  Which was even more of a positive in this case.

The Verdict: Aldi wins.

Peanut Butter Cocoa Puffs vs Reese's Puffs (General Mills): Reese's Puffs are pretty tasty, but the Aldi version are just a bit more coated in the peanut butter goodness.  Besides making them taste better, it also makes them just a bit heavier.  Also, they actually retain the milk inside themselves better than Reese's Puffs.

The Verdict: Aldi wins handily.

Fruit Rounds vs Froot Loops (Kellogg's): Remember how I said the Kid's Crunch was kind of like flavorless Styrofoam?  Well they take the stuff that was too flavorful for the Kid's Crunch and use it to make the Fruit Rounds.  Blaaaagh!

The Verdict: Kellogg's win easily [10]

Marshmallows and Stars vs Lucky Charms (General Mills): The cereal bits are bad. The marshmallows are gross.  About the only good thing about this cereal is that it comes packaged in a box that fits easily into your trash can.

The Verdict: General Mills wins decisively.

Aldi Raisin Bran vs Kellogg's Raisin Bran vs Post Raisin Bran: This is another example of a cereal name that isn't copyrighted.  All three are pretty good.  Not something I go to on a regular basis.  [11]  Of the three I like the Kellogg's version the best.

The Verdict: Kellogg's wins by a nose [12]

Crunchy Granola Raisin Bran vs Raisin Bran Crunch (Kellogg's): Again both of the cereals are fine.  But the Aldi version's flakes are tastier and crunchier.

The Verdict: Aldi wins

Cinnamon Crunch Squares vs Cinnamon Toast Crunch (General Mills): The Aldi version has more powdery cinnamon and sugar on it.  This makes it a little more toothsome [13].  Either are fine, but we go through a lot of the Aldi version in our house.

The Verdict: Aldi wins.

Corn Squares/Rice Squares vs Corn Chex/Rice Chex (Quaker): All of them test nearly the same.  The Aldi versions are even harder to tell apart.  The Aldi versions are also just a bit less solid.  This gives a slight edge to the Chex.

The Verdict: Quaker Wins.

There are actually a lot of other Aldi versions of cereals but as they are versions of name brand cereals that I don't eat in the first place, I've never bothered to try them.

Looking at the results it seems like you've got about a 50% chance that an Aldi Millville cereal will be better than name brand version and since the Aldi versions are much cheaper, I never feel bad about trying them out and then if they suck, throwing them away.

[1] - You can read it here
[2] - Perhaps the future version of myself can come back and put that link here.
[3] - Any similarity to the name 'General Mills' is entirely coincidental. I'm sure.
[4] - Presented, mostly, in the order I thought of them.
[5] - If that's even possible.
[6] - And that is only a slight exaggeration.
[7] - Which might be an issue for you, but wasn't for me.
[8] - I also highly recommend them poured onto ice cream.
[9] - With the obvious exception of the tooth shattering Grape Nuts.
[10] - And hopefully the Fruit Rounds die.
[11] - If you need your colon cleared out any of the three will do you proud.
[12] - Or should I have said by a scoop?
[13] - If I can say that without sounding too pompous.

10 comments:

  1. Don't forget aldi's guarantee. If you don't like it, just take it back.

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  2. Very good to know..Thanks for the info. I just popped open a box of Millville Raisin Bran. I rely on the discount stores in order to eat since I'm a working class citizen.

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  3. Very good to know..Thanks for the info. I just popped open a box of Millville Raisin Bran. I rely on the discount stores in order to eat since I'm a working class citizen.

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  4. Um, Mister B...Aldi's brand Millville is produced for Aldi by...wait for it... General Mills.

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  5. Are Aldi's brand Millville GMOs free, because it doesn't state that on the box?

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  6. The Millville cereals are made by malt-o-meal, which is made by post. Wikipedia lists out this info. They are all very good.

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  7. After a bit (a very little bit) of research, it looks like they are in fact made by General Mills (sorry Veronica). Which, given the name "Millville", makes sense.

    Whoever makes them. They are tasty goodness.

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  8. Nah. It's Malt-O-Meal! Us poor kids can totally tell. :D http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-06-06/news/9806060066_1_chains-under-various-brand-brand-of-plain-toasty-os-malt-o-meal

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  9. Okay, so I did some more research.

    Seems that you get lots of different people saying that it is either: malt-0-meal, post or general mills.

    Malt-o-meal is actually owned by Post. So, really we are debating between Post and General Mills.

    Of the website discussions out there, the majority of them say that it is General Mills who makes it. Including one in which a person says that their father works for GMs and confirms that they make the Aldi brand. On top of that, you have the coincidence of names: General Mills - Millville

    Ultimately, I don't know. What I do know is that Aldi cereal is tasty.

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