Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oot-Fray Oops-Lay.

I can’t remember the last time I had Froot Loops.

Fifty years ago, maybe?

Anyway, it was back in the good old days when Toucan Sam’s breakfast of choice came only in red-orange-yellow. Since then, it has picked up the other end of the spectrum, with green-blue-purple loops, as well.

Ah, Froot Loops. From the get go, a pretty yucky cereal.

It’s not that I didn’t like sweet cereals.

As a kid, I preferred Sugar Pops to Corn Pops, Frosted Flakes to Corn Flakes, and Sugar Crisp to Puffed Wheat.

But I never did go for the trickier cereals: Alpha-Bits, Lucky Charms, Froot Loops, which, come to think of it, may have been introduced when my cereal-consuming days were on the wane.

These days, my cereals are strictly in the non-sugar coated camp – Kashi whatever, and the Whole Foods versions of Cheerios and Shredded Wheat.

But back to Froot Loops, if someone had asked, I suspect that I would have assumed that they were fruit-flavored. That red was cherry, yellow was lemon, and orange was orange. Not that these flavors would have borne any resemblance to actual froots fruits. Just that the taste of the cereal would have been vaguely reminiscent of the fake flavors we have come to associate with anything that’s cherry-lemon-orange flavored. (Seriously, does a cherry Life Saver or Popsicle taste anything like  a real cherry?)

So I was a bit surprised to see the small flurry of late January activity that took over a corner of the really-doesn’t-matter-but-is-mildly-interesting-o-sphere, revealing that Froot Loops come in colors, not flavors.

This was not new news.

The Straight Dope reported it nearly 15 years ago. (Note to self: check out Straight Dope every once in a while. While it has been “Fighting Ignorance Since 1973” – obviously not on the Internet all that time – I was not familiar with it. It looks like a trove of goodies…)

But someone decided to revive the story, and there  you have it.

Colored froot-flavored cereals like Froot Loops come in a rainbow of colors, and those colors align with different flavors of “froot,” don’t they? Well…no. They do not. All of the different colors in the box are only that: colors. (Source: The Consumerist.)

Same goes for Trix and Fruity Pebbles. (Who would actually eat a cereal called Pebbles? Care to fracture a molar, anyone?)

Just how good and fruity Froot Loops actually are is not something that Kellogg’s was lying about. Not exactly. But they may have been letting us consumers be assumers here.

When Kellogg’s talks about Froot Loops, here’s what they have to say:

Kellogg’s Froot Loops™ is packed with delicious fruity taste, fruity aroma, and bright colors. Made with whole grains and lightly sweetened, Froot Loops is a fun part of a complete breakfast, and is a good source of fiber.

Delicious fruity taste? Oh, really? frootloops

Fruity aroma? Guess that depends on what you mean by “fruity”.

As for bright colors, well, I find Froot Loops pale in comparison to the vibrant colors found in, say, an eight-pack of Crayolas.

And speaking of colors, didn’t Toucan Sam used to be black?

My mother used to send away for free-anything, and there was a stuffed Toucan Sam floating around our house at some point. And that puppy was black. Just saying.

The bottom line is, I guess, that if you want real fruit taste, real fruit aroma, and bright colors, chop up your own real fruit and add it to your cereal.

And what a joy it is to have something this trivial to worry about.


Wondering about Oot-fray Oop-lays? Early ads for Froot Loops were in Pig Latin. Do kids still speak Pig Latin, or is that a lost language?

No comments: