The Breakfast Cereal Rating Guide

While I’m in the “Let’s reminisce about childhood” mood, let me put the following out for discussion.

As a child, my siblings and myself had a particular fondness for breakfast cereals. As I wrote in an post a while ago, we were freaks for sugar coated cereals, and were allowed to indulge our fondness on the weekends. That meant bowls of cereals both well-loved (Peanut Butter Crunch, Sugar Smacks, Honeycombs) and forgotten (Jean LaFoote’s Cinnamon Crunch, Crazy Cow, Quisp).

Years later, while writing for a humor magazine, I tried to qualify just how much I enjoyed these cereals. The result is as follows:

You start with a baseline number of zero. You then add or subject numbers as dictated. Employ these number against all cereals to determine which will be the bigger hit at the breakfast table.

Packaging

  • Package has cartoon character: +1
  • Package has a cartoon character that we’ve seen on a television advertisment: +1
  • Package has a cartoon character that we’ve seen on a television show: -1
  • Cereal comes in a box: +0
  • Cereal comes in a bag: -5

Grain Used

  • Rice: +0
  • Wheat: +1
  • Corn: +2
  • “Bran” in the Cereal’s Name: -2
  • “Granola” in the Cereal’s name: -1
  • “Fiber” in the Cereal’s name: -4

Flavors

  • “Fruit Flavors”: +1
  • Blueberry: +1
  • Strawberry: +1
  • Vanilla: +1
  • Cinnamon: +2
  • Chocolate: +7

Sweeteners

  • Honey: +1
  • Frosted: +2
  • No sweeteners added: -3

Toppings

  • Raisins: +1
  • Marshmallows: +5

Health Status

  • Television promotes the cereal’s healthiness: -3
  • Mom proclaims the cereal’s healthiness: +0
  • Mom proclaims the cereal’s unhealthiness: +4

Appearance in Milk

  • Cereal turns the milk a pale red, blue, brown, or yellow: +3
  • Cereal turns the milk gray: -2

Miscellaneous

  • Name of the cereal is a derivative of an established brand: -2
  • Name of the cereal has “Kix” in it: +1
  • Name of the cereal has “Cheerios” in it: +3
  • Name of the cereal has “Cookies” in it: +5
  • Cereal has coupon inside: +0
  • Cereal has activities on the back of the package: +0
  • Cereal has a plastic toy inside: +7