Sainsbury’s Choco-Hazelnut Squares

I have to give some credit to Sainsbury’s here.

Most imitations are blatant, wholesale rip-offs of the branded good. Today we’re talking about an imitation product of the Kellogg’s Krave cereal: cereal squares filled with chocolate or hazelnut ganache.

Sainsbury’s took this idea, but with one pretty major difference. They’ve sold it in handy lunch-box sized packs, marketing it as an “on-the-go” breakfast cereal alternative which does not require milk. Although this concept is new in the UK (cereals as packaged on the go-no-milk snacks), an earlier review of Cadbury’s Chocolate Squares in SouthEast Asia on this blog shows that it’s been around in the eastern market for a year or two.

Sainsburys choco hazelnut squares(2)

Although Nestle has got it’s 5-in-1 sachets of Cheerios and Cookie Crunch in supermarkets, those aren’t advertised as “milk-free” alternatives (then again, eating cereal out of the box has been something so many of us have been doing!)

So you see: the packet itself is small, at 40g, constituting what “should be” one serving of cereal. I paid 59p for this; which is pretty expensive considering an average 375g box of cereal costs less than 2 pounds per box, and which contains upwards of 8-10 servings.

I don’t like the animal on the packet. I (think) it’s an Owl, and 20 guesses how Sainsbury’s related that to it’s Choco-Hazelnut squares. It clearly does not exclude the “children” target market, given its colours and graphics which could appeal both to young and old.

Small squares. Deformed. Bent? Sheesh. Talk about some bad product consistency here. In my history of eating “squared” cereals, I’ve never encountered such mishaps. Broken is fine, but totally misshaped? That points to some manufacturing defects in the product “baking / forming” itself, which shouldve been picked up early in the developmental process.

Sainsburys choco hazelnut squares

At least it’s light and puffy, despite it’s thi character. To me that’s a good thing, since this leads on to the thicker (texturally) ganache. Too thick an exterior wouldn’t let you enjoy the smoothness of the inner filling; and this cereal avoids that pitfall. It’s got a good crunch initially as well, which collapses into the light puff, and finally, the ganache.

I wonder if it’s worth mentioning this; but I thought the corners were  sharp; angular squares are appealing, but I can imagine something too “sharp” being dangerous to little mouths (I.e Kids).  This might be due to the thin-ness of each piece, since a “fat” corner wouldn’t be sharp would it; but I guess that’s something we’ll have to ask the manufacturer.

The outer shell of the cereal didn’t taste very wheaty: some might like this, some might not. It was more like a “pillow puff” version of Cornflakes, with a clear corn / grit taste to it. It’s also lightly sweetened; I did not detect any “distinct” sweetness worth mentioning on its own.

The ganache was dull as well. It wasn’t “bad” tasting. It had little hazelnut aromas, not even the cheap-sweet-nutella-esque that is so common in hazelnut confectionery. I suppose one can’t expect very much from a grocery store brand. Kellogg’s Chocolate Hazelnut Krave beats this on Hazelnut taste hands-down. There was “chocolate”. Nothing deep-cocoa-ey, but just plain sweetness. As you can tell, I’m having difficulty explaining the taste characteristics of this cereal. It’s just that bland.

A sad thing then, that what was the perfect “canvas”  (the puff) for the ganache had ultimately gone to waste. Sainsbury’s Choco Hazelnut Squares’ ganache was a let-down.

Nutritionally, I’d expect this to fare better, sugar-wise, then Krave. This wasn’t the case. There isn’t much too different between this cereal and Krave’s nutritionals. At 420kcal /100g, they’re roughly identical, sad to say. The 40g serving-size  pack that you buy this in will surprise you as well, as 40g isn’t very much.

(Sorry for not having a picture of this one. I snapped one, but it was blurry, and oddly enough didn’t show that it was blurry when I previewed the shot after.)

Sorry Sainsbury’s, but Kellogg’s Krave takes the cake, and it’s cheaper for the box too.

-The Exercising Male


Kellogg’s Nutri-grain cereal review

Kellogg’s Nutri-grain is a breakfast cereal in Australia, and a cereal bar in the US. The breakfast cereal variant isn’t commonly reviewed: hence the choice to write about it today.

The box is brown. Brown. Brown. Brown. Doesn’t help that the cereal is brown too. Essentially you’ve got something on the cereal shelf that looks like a block of wood, and doesn’t appeal to kids, or adults.

A quick search on the Australian Kellogg’s site revealed the target consumers.

Sportsmen. Nutri-grain Iron men, as they are dubbed. There are several Kiwi and Aussies athletes sponsored by Nutri-grain. As a triathlete myself, I have to say that I absolutely love this one.

Each piece is individually-shaped, piece-by-piece in a waffle-crisp way. I have no idea what the holes are for, since the cereal itself is porous and absorbs milk. Perhaps it adds to the “home-made” / artisan feel that the look for in that comforting bowl of cereal in the morning.

I liked the way each pieces gets soggy in milk. It becomes mushy, and contrary to the conventional notions of a good cereal; the fact that it retains absolutely ZERO “crispy-ness” is what I enjoy most. You’ve still got the shape of each individual piece – the holes in each are still recognizable, except that it COLLAPSES instantly on any pressure exerted by your teeth, or tongue (this is kinda gross, I know. But how else do I describe it?)

Taste is one-dimensional. I guess you can’t expect much from something which isn’t bursting with added sugar. It tastes very wheaty, in the “cheap wholemeal bread” way: and I am inclined to believe that this ties in with the higher-than-average protein content derived totally from wheat (more on that below). There’s a mild malt-taste in this cereal which was enjoyable when taken together with milk (albeit not as strong as a malt drink per se) that provided some depth to the cereal that is (thankfully) unrelated to sweetness.

For 120kcal per cup of dry cereal, you get 6g of protein. This is more than Special K, and the bran cereals out there. You’ve also got a hefty dose of carbohydrate here, perfect for a pre or post workout snack.

I love this cereal, and is one of the few which I’ll make purchase again and again.

Good on’ya Kelloggs Australia.

Now: how do I get a hold of this in the UK when the University term starts?

-The Exercising Male

Kelloggs Special Edition Crunchy Nut Yoghurt, Cranberry & Almond

Nothing gets a grocery store lovers blood pumping more than the sign of something new or special edition to excite our taste buds with; something that just has to be snapped up immediately to try due to the fact that it could be cruelly taken off our shelves at any moment..banished to only a name on Wikipedia taunting us of past editions that we may have missed out on.

Crunchy Nut Yoghurt, Cranberry & Almond

Do not fear though I managed to get my hands on this new Kelloggs Special Edition Crunchy Nut Yoghurt, Cranberry & Almond (wow that was a mouthful) in my local Asda store; standing out from the usual yellow box of Crunchy Nut this immediately stood out to me appropriately coloured a deep red with the usual overflowing bowl of tasty looking honey & nut cornflakes.

This version, however, doesn’t just have the usual honey nut cornflakes, no no, there’s also the edition of yoghurt coated flakes, dried cranberries and sliced almonds. I absolutely hate it when cereals boast these additional add ins and then, when you come to pouring yourself a bowl they seem to be few and far between..this I can safely not experienced here.

There are really good amounts of not only yoghurt flakes, but tangy satisfying dried cranberries..and huge..yes huge almond slices! This certainly isn’t a cereal that has skimped on the’ll certainly get your satisfying nutty fix here, not only in the honey nut flakes but in these delicious slivers of almond.

Crunchy Nut Yoghurt, Cranberry & Almond

If the original Crunchy Nut is tasty then this is amazing! Not only do you get the sweet flavour from the cornflakes but a wonderful fruity acidic tang from the dried cranberry pieces, a sense of creaminess from the yoghurt flakes and added crunch and “nuttiness” from the almond slivers, heaven in a cereal bowl.

And how do these compare to the original Crunchy Nut in the cereal milk department? Well the additional add ins don’t really the Original Crunchy Nut the honey nut cornflakes slowly break down in the milk and soften slightly, yet never getting too soggy thanks to the sugar coating..and what is left is a flavoursome sweet honey nut milk that is ready to be slurped down.

Crunchy Nut Yoghurt, Cranberry & Almond

The only downside I would say is the nutritionals of this cereal, it certainly isn’t one for the healthy conscious with a whopping 37g of sugar and 422 kcal per 100g; but as a treat now and then it is a perfect cereal to satisfy any sweet tooth you may have.
All I can say is..if you love Crunchy Nut then I would snap up a box of this before its too late and this Special Edition is taken off the shelves.

Crunchy Nut Special Edition Yoghurt, Cranberry & Almond

per 100g
422 kcal
7g protein
77g carbs (37g sugar)
9g fat (2.5g saturates)
0.63g salt
2.5g fibre

Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Clusters Milk Chocolate Curls Review

I’m not sure how to classify this one –
a) a typical breakfast cereal? a la breakfast flakes, weetabix, etc.
b) A granola / muesli / toasted grain variant?

Kellogg’s has thrown this dilemma my way, by introducing Crunchy Nut Clusters. Crunchy Nut is your “typical” breakfast flake, with honey-oated flakes, and nuts embedded on them. When you introduce the “clusters” aspect, however, you then get something akin to granola. This granola component is exemplified even further by the addition of rice cripspies to each cluster, and the fact that we have some VERY sizeable chunks, as we shall see below.

Just how sizeable are the chunks? Look at the picture. Varying in sizes, some are HUGE, some are medium, and some are downright minuscule, evidently the “cereal dust” remnants of the clusters. The progression of sizes below may be viewed as inconsistency, on the part of the manufacturers. However, i like to see it as some.. healthy variation.

Healthy variation? You’ve gotta be kidding me, you might think. But think about it; the cereal dust: it forms this… sludge with your milk that’s akin to a sweet porridge. So in the other, texturally, you get porridge-y cereal at the bottom, and crunchy clusters on top.

How cool is that? I think i can confidently say that Kellogg’s hadn’t intended this. But hey? Who knew that “budget manufacturing” could add an additional level of depth to this breakfast?

Crispy, crunchy, etc. No surprises eh?? I was reminded very much of Special K Granola (texture-wise though, taste, you’ll see later). It was actually light, despite “Cluster” bringing Hefty Pieces to mind; and refreshingly crunchy. So crunchy that it was almost like popping candy, as you bit through each chunk. The rice crisps and the flakes were totally discernible. The milk chocolate curls were soft, and melted nicely like a typical Cadbury chocolate would. Mind you these chocolate curls are not some pathetic “mockolate”. Chocolate shavings from a proper chocolate bar! Not that crumbly stuff you get in cheap muesli, not that thin, brittle compound you get in protein bars.

I loved the texture in this cereal. Authentic, to its namesake, and light enough that you don’t feel ENGORGED after eating it, like how one sometimes feels after eating half a bowl of luxury / gourmet granolas.

So there we have it; we have something which has the mouthfeel of Special K granola – light, excellently crispy, but with the creaminess of chocolate added. Does it taste like Special K granola though? Because if it does, then i think many wouldn’t like it.

I am so glad to say that this cereal TASTES like a luxury granola. It is sweet, with the familiar Crunchy Nut honey taste, (which, by the way, is quite a legitimate one). The Rice Crispies were slightly disappointing, and DID taste of Special K granola, with its artificial, plasticky tang that reminds one of apricot.
What i thought was the most amazing taste was the chocolate. As noted above, it was creamy – REAL chocolate shavings – it TASTES like shavings of chocolate too. Imagine having little bits of heaven in every bite of cereal. Bits of heaven which melt AND deliver that sweet-milk-dairy-cocoa that is your typical supermarket milk chocolate. Hey; i’m glad that we’re getting shavings of chocolate here – something even the luxury granolas sometimes fail to deliver.

I’m amazed. I would say this is the best tasting Kellogg’s cereal i’ve had in the past year, sold at the average supermarket cereal price (2 pounds for a 500g box)

One area where there’s a little “tension” is the fact that it’s 460kcal/100g here, so it’s over the usual “400kcal” threshold. It’s calorie-heavy, this one. I guess those ‘milk chocolate curls’ come at a cost then. A pity the UK serving sizes on the nutrition labels don’t tell you the kcal / cup like in the US; but i’d estimate that a 45g serving (205kcal) gives you a 3/4 cup.

Wonderful cereal. Some might say horrendously irregularly-sized chunks – from knuckle-sized all the way to cereal dust pieces. I thought it was a welcome variation that you could get in your bowl. If you’re in the UK, buy this, and try it.

I had this, and bought this on a whim after a long run where i wanted to reward myself. (even though i’d be away from it for 3 months, as i’m returning home for the Summer)

Absolutely no regrets.

-The Exercising Male

Kelloggs Country Store

Kellogg’s Country Store seems to be one of those cereal that isn’t all that widely available; I’d heard about it yes, but never had really seen it around any supermarkets before until my local Sainsbury’s greatly expanded and started stocking far more yummy cereal products. Yippee! Obviously anything new, that hasn’t been tried before simply has to be bought for..ahem..research purposes..especially when it is a product of the muesli variety.

Kelloggs Country Store

Us Brits are weird..we’re one of the only countries in the world that actually eats our muesli, generally, dry, without soaking it in anything; I remember one year when I was holidaying to Madeira marvelling at how delicious their soaked muesli was with huge juicy raisins and a creaminess akin to nothing I’d tried before. Anyway enough of my ramblings, quite simply put this is a muesli made up of : oats and little cornflakes with sultanas, hazelnuts, dried apple pieces, honey and a sprinkling of brown sugar.

Kelloggs Country Store

When you peek into the packaging some of this muesli appears to be just dust..but oh wow how this dust tastes good..quite simply put like a sweet oaty brown sugar that you just want to shovel down your throat. This is a cereal that may not even make it into the bowl as it is so good to eat dry; so sweet and moreish..which I must say many mueslis are not.

However this is where the weird part comes..Country Store is good dry, yes, but is it good just poured into a bowl and topped with milk. Hell no! The mini cornflakes lose their crunch, the dust just becomes mush and all the cereal just seems to loose its sweet honey sugar oat flavour; fair enough the hazelnuts add a nice crunch here and there but ultimately its drab.

Kelloggs Country Store


Do not fear though..Country Store can be saved. Simply soak it overnight! I don’t care what you soak it in but soak it!..Ok maybe milk may be a good idea haha! I soaked mine in almond milk overnight and then topped it with a bit extra milk come morning time. I cannot express how good it makes the cereal; once the oats etc have been allowed to absorb the creamy milk overnight everything just becomes ideal; the flavour stays and just becomes a refreshing sweet bowl of brown sugar muesli heaven; the sultanas are rich, juicy and succulent, the apple pieces are moist and refreshing and although the hazelnuts lose a little bit of their crunch it doesn’t matter because ultimately the taste is just so much better.


Kelloggs Country Store


If you want a breakfast cereal that is relatively healthy but still feels so indulgent you’ve just gotta grab yourself some of this if you can find it..just make sure to do it the continental way and soak it overnight!

Kellogg’s Honey Loops

Here’s a warning. This is going to be a short post.

Kellogg’s Honey Loops is nothing.

1) a cereal, granted by the fact that it’s on the aisle where those are found

2) a collation of loops, granted by… It’s name / label

3) A sweet cereal, granted by the word “honey”.

4) It’s cheap, granted by its pricing along the lines of Coco Pops and Cornflakes.

That’s it. Nothing else. Nada.

That’s what disappoints me here (I seem to be disappointed quite a lot, don’t I?). As you can see from the photos, even the colour of Honey Loops is terribly plain: akin to a worn out piece of linen that is discarded after use by a wealthy merchant, and perhaps pulverised and added as colouring to this cereal. Even the TEXTURE was akin to linen – porous, with actual visible holes in each piece.

No doubt this serves as a sponge to suck up milk; but it’s nothing more than how Cheerios, Sugar Puffs, or any other porous cereal does it. Simply by virtue of its holes. Nothing new, nothing surprising.
I would say it had a moderate level of crunch to it, when added with or without milk.
A) With milk – it gets soggy after a good 5 to 6 minutes; afterwhich even its “core” becomes soft and uninteresting.
B) without milk – its crunchy, but not in the “croquant” or hard candy manner, but in the manner of a thick toasted bread crust. If you get my drift.

It even resembled a Cheerio. Look at this.

Now on to the “honey” part of this. I suppose it’s what draws people to the cereal, anyhow. I doubt the shape of it would be substantial enough a reason for anyone (who is old enough to read this blog) to reach for this cereal on the shelf.

I didn’t detect a bit of “honey” in this. Not even the artificial sweet tones you get from Nestle’s “Honey Stars” – whom I applaud for the effort to do justice to their name. Kellogg’s has totally failed here. If only I could depict all this in a picture – alas I can’t. Maybe I could describe this sweetness as simply lacking in basal character – it isn’t even “sweet”, it doesn’t feel kiddish. It tastes healthy, and has a similar sweetness to Cheerios.

Totally unsatisfying, Kellogg’s. Even the nutritionals are bad – you’re as calorific as Frosties ( 377kcal / 100g vs. 375kcal / 100g). Ok you have 5 grams more protein than the latter; but you contain a mere 3 grams less sugar than the latter (34g vs. 37g).

Quite honestly – i wouldn’t buy Honey Loops by virtue of its protein content – that paltry 5g works out to 1g per serving. One gulp of milk would give you that much protein. It’s taste was disappointing too.

Oh Kellogg’s; why do you continue with this cereal? Nostalgia? Maybe your buyers love the Bee on the front of the Box. Hmm.

-The Exercising Male

Kellogg’s Coco Pops Choc n Roll

A popular cereal remade to be a healthier version suited for kids. Targeted not just at kids with its flashy marketing and cereal mascot, but with its claims of “fibre”, etc.

Come on; we aren’t fooled, Kellogg’s.

1) Yeah, maybe Choc n Roll DOES have 5 times as much (10g v 2g) of fibre when compared with Frosties

2) Yeah, maybe Choc n Roll IS on the <400kcal / 100g range of cereals (hence fairly healthy with respect to granolas which average 500kcal / 100g)

3) Yeah, maybe Choc n Roll DOES taste less sweet than conventional Cocopops, and has less sugar (26g v 35g) than the original.

But COME ON – what you’ve given us is just a gussied up version of a product that already exists, and which you can use as a hook to hang additional material on. (i.e. those health claims above)

So Choc n Roll IS healthier than Frosties and Coco Pops, that, we’ve established.

But how does it taste though? Does it even qualify as the sugary treat we cereal-lovers so crave?

That’s what this review is for.

Size-wise (you’ll have to get used to my thumb references here), you can pretty much tell from the picture that the “Rolls” are large. Bite-size, but still larger than the coco pops you might be used to. If grabbing by the fist-ful, they won’t fall out of your hands that easily.

So what you get in the morning is a bowl of these little circular things, about 40 or so in a typical serving (that’s 30g, according to the box), for 113 kcal. (and a measly 3g of fibre)

I won’t apologise for the grainy photos here – there really isn’t much to this cereal.

Taste-wise it’s sweet: it’s malty like Nesquik, but chocolatey like Nestle / Hershey’s (if you’ve had those) chocolate. Of course, that’s a joke in itself, to use “chocolatey” next to Hershey’s. What you get is mockolate at its best, just some sweet “chocolate-flavoured” snack whose flavour disappears almost as quickly as it enters your mouth.

Texture-wise; that’s the fun part. Yeah, it’s crunchy like Coco Pops; but what’s different here is that owing to its size, its CORE stays crunchy in milk, hence a soft, milk-soaked exterior which yields to a substantial centre.

It’s a pity the taste doesn’t match its well-initiated texture. The fact that it’s less sweet actually works against it here. It doesn’t even stain your milk brown to give you that wonderful cereal milk (see seriouseats for more)

It’s just a larger version of coco pops that has some varied nutritionals from the original. It’s healthier, but with a mere 1 or 2g of fibre more; which, quite honestly, you could get from half an apple, or some broccoli.

Good job Kellogg’s; I’m not sure how much you profited from this “new cereal”, but guessing from the reviews online, you sent samples to a great number of “family / mum” blogs with hopes of hitting that family bracket.

I won’t be buying more of this. I’ll have my sweeter Coco Pops any time, the textural difference is marginal, though laudable.

-The Exercising Male

All Bran Golden Crunch

Many people see All Bran as a boring choice, rabbit food, brown, tasteless sticks; I on the other hand, love the stuff, I could eat bowl after bowl of it, drenched in milk, stirred with yoghurt, any which way you put it, I’ve always had a soft spot for its “branny” goodness, so you can imagine my delight when I saw a new product pop up in the cereal aisle..NEW ALL BRAN GOLDEN CRUNCH, what is this I hear you ask?

All Bran Golden Crunch Cereal

Described as crunchy wheat bran and mixed cereal pieces with a caramel flavour, it is a cluster cereal, with pieces around the size of your average granola, but health fans, be warned, this is not your healthy All-Bran regular cereal,  packing 405kcal per 100g and 21g of sugar it is not as forgiving on the waistline as its 334kcal regular counter part and with less than half of the standard All Bran fibre count at 13g. However it is extremely good!

The clusters are a good decent size, and combine a light bran flavour mixed with a sweet notes of caramel, the caramel isn’t so overpowering that it would be too sweet to eat on a morning but is certainly prevalent enough that you are able to tell what the flavour is. They provide a lovely good crunch, whether eating them out of the box as a quick on the go cereal fix, or when poured into a bowl and topped with milk, the clusters give way slightly, but never become soggy which is always a major plus. There’s nothing more upsetting than ending up with a soggy bowl of cereal before you’ve even had chance to truly appreciate the goodness.

All Bran Golden Crunch Cereal

With these being a bit sweeter than regular All Bran; I would say they would appeal to Bran lovers and non-Bran loves alike, I liked them, my family, normally All Bran haters, liked them. So generally its a win win..apart from the fact of course that it isn’t as healthy, but if you want something as a bit of a treat or  you are just enticed by the NEW signs on products then at least know that this shouldn’t be too much of a let down for you, with it’s sweet tempting Bran/Caramel flavour.