Different Brands Of O-Shaped, Oat-Based Cereals Don’t Taste Alike

Are all oat-based, O-shaped cereals basically the same? Sure, they look pretty interchangeable, and their nutritional profiles are all basically the same. That doesn’t mean that they taste exactly alike, though, and our colleagues on Consumer Reports’ sensory panel recently turned their taste buds to Cheerios and its imitators.

Which cereal tasted the best? Cheerios won that contest, with high ratings for texture and flavor. What’s surprising, though, is that two brands that are more expensive than Cheerios per serving basis received low ratings for flavor and texture. These were Aldi’s version of an organic Cheerio, called Simply Nature Organic Toasted Oats, and Whole Foods’ house brand, 365 Everyday Value Organic Morning O’s. It’s noble to seek out organic cereal and all, but tasters found that the Aldi version tasted like “cardboard,” and Whole Foods’ cereal had a “stale texture.”

While milk can improve texture issues, it can’t really mask serious problems with flavor. A cheaper cereal from Dollar General tasted like “cornmeal,” and Walmart’s version was “bitter and cardboardlike.”

The winner of these tests? Trader Joe’s version, called Joe-Os, which had slightly lower flavor ratings than Cheerios, but is much cheaper. It’s interesting to note that Trader Joe’s “Honey Nut O’s” have ground almonds, while the General Mills version doesn’t.

Cheerios beats store-brand ‘Os’ for taste [Consumer Reports]

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