My 5-year-old son eats roughly two things — around 30 ounces of whole milk per day and a full bag of Sour Patch Kids with every movie we see (which is about once a week). I can’t imagine then a more perfect target demographic for Sour Patch Kids cereal. (Okay, maybe Sour Patch Kids ice cream, but I’m a shitty father and didn’t realize until just now that such a culinary Frankenstein even existed.) And yet, when I attempted to get him to taste-test the cereal, he was surprisingly reluctant. In fairness, he’s not big on new things — hence the reason he only mostly eats two things to begin with — but combining those two things together seemed like it would prevent the normal tortuous back-and-forth of convincing him that a baseline of sustenance is necessary to continue living. (Again, I’m a shitty father, so I’d never thought of combining Sour Patch Kids and whole milk before Post did it for me.)
But alas, the bowl sat there, untouched. Per usual, I attempted to explain why he should eat what’s before him — how it’s awful to waste food, money, etc. This time, though, my heart wasn’t really in it. Not even because of the tremendous nutritional quandary the cereal presented. Mainly it was because of the way the Sour Patch cereal pieces were swelling up like those water-growing capsules that fascinated me as a kid. Or to be extra upsetting — after about five minutes, they reflected the kind of post-death bloat that a body goes through after lying dead in a creek for a couple days. Appetizing, it was not. So I gave him a pass — and a bottle of milk and regular candy Sour Patch Kids (like a true permissive parent).
That, however, is just one 5-year-old’s opinion. And what the fuck does he know? He’s only 5 (despite all the Sour Patch Kids he’s ingested in those five years on earth). So below, the MEL staff, who I also forced to try the cereal and who is generally very high (another of the cereal’s target demographic I’d imagine), weighs in with their thoughts.
Miles Klee, Staff Writer: This cereal surpassed my abysmally low expectations — I didn’t barf — so there’s that. Still, I didn’t want more than a few bites, and those few I shoveled down quickly for fear that my brain would realize what was happening and shut down all motor functions to prevent me from ingesting the stuff. Instead, it was forced to try and reconcile the reality of Sour Patch Kids Cereal (a lightly citric version of any all-sugar rainbow cereal you clamored for as a kid) with my fond appreciation for actual Sour Patch Kids, and a different kind of short-circuiting followed. Somehow, the sense-memory of the candy’s elastic texture and puckering flavor began to override the impression of what I was then crunching between my teeth, and I lost all touch with reality. After I’d finished, I could not stand to look at the leftover sour milk in the bowl for more than a second — a silent but uncanny reminder of the crime against nature that had just transpired. Please, if anyone you love is eating this for breakfast, stage an intervention. Because that is a cry for help.
Eddie Kim, Staff Writer: Was anyone asking for this cereal? I guess it sorta tastes like Sour Patch Kids, but it’s in the aroma more than the actual flavor. The cereal itself, a concoction of corn, wheat and oats, is totally unremarkable — it neither has the signature mouth-shredding crunch of the ol’ Cap’n nor the rich sogginess of, say, Corn Pops. This stuff is just Froot Loops with more citric acid, which is to say it’s just worse Froot Loops — and if I really want to drink tangy milk, I’ll just go with yogurt. I have a sneaking, cynical suspicion that the entire existence of this cereal is thanks to focus-group sessions that taught execs at Post® that, uhh, ‘90s kids like nostalgia and stuff! And that people will make it go viral on YouTube! Either way, it got us to do this taste-test, so I guess mission accomplished. If we’re talking movie snacks turned into cereal, though, I’m still waiting for Milk Dud Crunch. Make it, you cowards.
Brian VanHooker, Staff Writer: The smell really grossed me out. It’s the exact same smell as the candy, and while I like the candy, I’ve never found myself sucking in the fumes from it, so that was rough. Like Eddie mentioned, it’s a lot like Froot Loops, but more sour. The thing is, I hate Froot Loops, and I have a serious phobia of sour milk. Seriously, if a gallon of milk is within three days of its expiration date, I don’t touch it. I can’t ever smell-test milk because if I think it might be sour, it smells sour to me.
So when it came to this sour cereal, I was surprised that I didn’t immediately barf from it. But not only that, I didn’t find it that bad at all — even if it never tasted like a “normal” cereal to me. This is over numerous bites — a whole bowl in fact — too. Again, my only real complaint is that I never adjusted to the strange taste, which stayed weird all the way to the end.
Tim Grierson, Contributing Editor: I’m not a big cereal guy — get me a breakfast sandwich or an omelette instead — and I hate Sour Patch Kids. So was there any chance I was going to enjoy Sour Patch Kids Cereal? Probably not, but I gave it a try anyway.
It mostly brought back memories of eating sugary cereals as a kid, which I was rarely allowed to have because my parents were smart. There’s a certain taste that sugary cereals have. It’s not even sugar. It’s more like immaturity and attention-deficit disorder. Whatever it is, it’s not a fun taste.
Not to mention, the aftertaste of this cereal is absolutely awful. I felt like I licked too much Fun Dip. My mouth was just dry and unpleasant. I desperately wanted to brush my teeth. I know what “sour” tastes like. This was not that. This was the sensation of having dried toxic chemicals too close to my mouth.
Magdalene Taylor, Editorial Assistant: As I purchased the cereal for the team, my favorite grocery store cashier Shay immediately said, “Do you smoke? Because these would be good if you smoked.” I do not smoke, but her insight was absolutely correct. You’d be thrilled to have this cereal on hand if you were high. I thought it tasted just fine, but I couldn’t imagine reaching for it on a sober stomach. Beyond the tart element that makes it distinctively Sour-Patch-Kids-flavored, it was actually a pretty tasty, fruity cereal. Still, it’s juuuuust off-putting enough to confirm that I can reasonably go through life without ever eating it again.
Andrew Fiouzi, Staff Writer: I’d have preferred a bowl of actual gummy-textured Sour Patch Kids swimming in milk to this vitamin-flavored crunchy shit. It looked fine enough but ultimately tasted like kids vitamins. More specifically, it tasted exactly like the pediatrician’s number one recommended vitamin: The Flinstones Vitamins. As someone who never bought into the Fred-Flintstone-shaped grift of those crunchy, ostensibly nutrient-packed chewables, Sour Patch Kids cereal made no sense to me. But if you’re the sort of person who likes the smell of your own urine after a night of drinking, this sour, then sweet, then vitamin-tasting cereal is perfect for you.
Nick Leftley, Senior Editor: First off, what the hell is a ‘sour patch kid’? Is it basically a Cabbage Patch Kid, but from a slightly different section of the family tree — one that leans more into the rutaceae branch and less into the brassicas? In what way is that appetizing? I don’t know if you remember Cabbage Patch Kids, but they looked like rejects from a snooty prep school for unholy pig-trolls, and an astringent version of them isn’t something I immediately feel the urge to put in my mouth.
But I digress. I don’t actually like Sour Patch Kids, and was frankly relieved to discover that this cereal tasted nothing like them. Instead, it was just a very generic, shitty, fruity kids’ cereal flavor that I’m struggling to recall one week on from eating them. In France, Sour Patch Kids are allegedly branded simply as “Very Bad Kids,” and this cereal would be both more honest and a lot more appealing if it followed suit.