During a routine weekly grocery trip I saw a big display for these Protein Cheerios. As we all know, I can't resist a package emblazoned with a bold "NEW!" so I parked my cart for a moment to check them out. So Cheerios is jumping on the higher protein bandwagon, huh? There's always some variety of Cheerios in my pantry - multi-grain, honey nut, plain - so I thought I'd give these a whirl. There are two varieties of Protein Cheerios - Oats & Honey and Cinnamon Almond. Oats & Honey was the only flavor available at my grocery store, so that's what I grabbed.
I'm appreciative of any product that tosses in some extra protein. Sure, it's still a packaged breakfast cereal and I already know it's gonna have quite a bit of sugar and carbs but when you just have a hankerin' for a bowl of cereal, knowing that you're getting a little protein in the mix is never a totally bad thing.
Here's the full nutrition facts label and ingredient list. It's important to point out that on the front of the box it says each serving contains 11g of protein, but looking closely you see that's only true once you add the milk! Dry, the cereal offers 7 grams of protein per 1.25 cup serving but along with that comes additional sugar - nearly 17 times more than regular Cheerios, to be exact (keeping in mind that a serving of plain Cheerios is only 1 cup).
I don't really like to preach about nutrition labels or make too many comments in general since I think that anything can be made to fit into daily diet and macro nutrient goals and everyone's needs are different, so I'll let you guys pore over this label for yourselves and see if it's right for you.
The box asks what YOU would do with long-lasting energy - start your school day right? Go to the beach for a splash?
Give a spontaneous shoulder ride, perhaps? I have to admit that the wording here gave me a little bit of a chuckle since we're only talking about 7-11 grams of protein here. I'd consider a high protein breakfast to contain at least 20-25 grams and that's typically what I require to keep me fully satiated until lunch.
But whatever - marketing is marketing and since the big hook with this product is the added protein, it only makes sense that they are gonna play that card as hard as they can all over the packaging to make sure people get the point.
Moving on, let's tear open the box and see what we've got!
The Cheerios pieces themselves look like a mixture of Honey Nut Cheerios with some of the midtone-colored pieces from Multi-Grain Cheerios and are glazed with the same (or similar) sweet coating. I liked them, but I still prefer the taste of Multi-Grain Cheerios (my favorite Cheerio variety). The oat granola clusters vary in size from tiny and broken to big and mighty. They're very sweet and the honey taste is strong - it kind of reminds me of the clusters found in a box of Honey Bunches of Oats - another childhood favorite of mine.
Judging on taste alone, I really liked these, but I don't think it's worth a purchase just for the protein hype. While 1.25 cups of dry Protein Cheerios gets you 7 grams of protein, keep in mind that a smaller serving size of 1 cup of plain Cheerios gets you 3 grams of protein (so not that much less) but only 1 gram of sugar. Eat a single serving of Protein Cheerios and you'll get 17 grams of sugar!
Then we can compare calories. A 1 cup serving of plain Cheerios is only 100 calories, while a 1.25 cup serving of Protein Cheerios is 210 calories. So while these are certainly tasty, if I'm looking for some extra protein with my carbs at breakfast I would most likely opt for a bowl of good ole classic or Multi-Grain Cheerios and add a couple of eggs on the side for a comparable amount of calories but with even more protein.
Overall verdict? Protein Cheerios are delicious, but don't fall too hard for the marketing angles. Keep an eye on that label to make sure that they meet your needs. And if you don't care about "hitting macros" or extra sugar or any of that and are just looking for a tasty bowl o' cereal at breakfast or for a snack? Then knock yourself out - you'll probably like these!
For More Information: see the Protein Cheerios official website.
I purchased Protein Cheerios for the purpose of this review and I have no affiliation with General Mills or any other company with regards to the publication of this post.