Confessions of a Cerealholic
Millennials may be ruining other industries, but don’t you dare blame us for the decline in our precious cereal sales.
By Ashley Wertz, University of Pittsburgh
Many try to tell me that ramen is the prince of college foods, a versatile block of questionable origin.
While I have nothing against ramen’s price and ability to be made into pizza, but my heart belongs to another.
Since the dawn of my childhood, there has been one food that has always come through: Cereal. You can keep your ramen with chicken, beef and oriental flavor packets. With cereal, the choices are endless. And the best part is that you can eat it for any meal.
“Cereal??? Cereal is a breakfast food!” you cry.
The designated times in which you can eat certain foods, like time, is meaningless. The sooner you learn that, the greater your life will become when you don’t have to wait until morning to dig into a bowl of Honey Combs. Breakfast food in general should not be limited to the wee hours of the morning when you’re most likely struggling to keep your eyes open anyway. But that’s a completely different article.
So why vouch for cereal? It’s a staple in households across the nation. However, it has come to my morose attention that cereal is apparently going out of style faster than an early-2000s red carpet event.
For reasons beyond my understanding, news outlets have claimed a war on cereal. More importantly, a war waged by its most loyal of consumers. Yep, millennials are once again being blamed for messing shit up somehow. According to “The Washington Post,” cereal sales have decreased over the last fifteen years. And since younger generations don’t have enough to worry about, why not blame them for this drop in numbers as well? The article claims that millennials can’t be bothered with eating cereal because there’s just too much to clean up afterwards.
I hate doing dishes as much as the next person, so I can see where these surveyed individuals are coming from. Though the steep assumption that 40 percent of those surveyed decided rinsing a bowl out is too much work is not the best representation of a generation. I also fail to see how young adults not wanting to wash dishes has anything to do with the business of making breakfast grains.
However, in the case that I’m completely misjudging my own generation’s taste in convenient cuisine, let me tempt your taste buds with an unofficial ranking of the greatest cereals of all time.
10. Life Cereal
Life Cereal is better known as the childhood cereal your mom always tried to make you eat instead of the other sugar-loaded, preferable options. It’s not on a Grape-Nuts level though, so it could be worse. I’m taking points off for the small window of time before it turns to mush though.
9. Rice Krispies
What Rice Krispies lacks in taste it more than makes up for in presentation and texture. I don’t care how old I get, I’ll probably never stop finding the “snap, crackle and pop” amusing. But at the end of the day, it can’t stand up to the contenders that actually have a flavor.
8. Cocoa Puffs
This one is a double-whammy. You’ve got the beauty of chocolate cereal in general and the added bonus of chocolate milk when you’re done. Understandably, Cocoa Puffs come on a little strong for some. It works better as a snack later in the day rather than first thing in the morning.
7. Lucky Charms
Okay, so the non-marshmallow pieces may look like cat food, but that never stopped Lucky Charms from going hard. Sure, there are some notable challengers like Count Chocula, but they fall flat in the face of true greatness. Really, is there a breakfast food that embodies the feeling of watching Saturday morning cartoons more than multi-colored marshmallows?
6. Frosted Mini Wheats
Not to be confused with its full-sized, significantly less awesome cousin. Yeah, I didn’t know there were full-sized wheats either, but that’s beside the point. Mini Wheats bridge generational gaps, connecting everyone on a basic level. No matter how old you are, there’s a basic consensus that it’s just a weird cereal. And they just keep getting smaller, which makes me worry that they will eventually shrink into extinction.
5. Special K
What if you could feel like you’re actually being healthy but also still eat a bowl of cereal? I don’t know how good Special K really is for you, but at least there’s some piece of mind knowing you’re getting your daily dose of fiber. However, not all Special K is created equal. Don’t mess with plain, boring flakes. The chocolate or cinnamon pecan is where it’s at.
4. Honey Nut Cheerios
The image of a talking bee has been tainted for many by Jerry Seinfeld, but don’t forget about the original. He would never steal your wife. And I don’t think it’s possible to get sick of Honey Nut Cheerios. They’re sweet but not on a Cocoa Puffs level, so you can eat it all day. Not enough time between class? Cheerios. Late night study session? Cheerios.
3. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Although the original formula for Cinnamon Toast Crunch is deserving of a top spot on its own, it gets by with a little help from its friends. The addition of French Toast Crunch is a doozy. There’s just something so satisfying about cereal shaped like small bread.
2. Fruity Pebbles
Few cereals have been associated with a TV show and lived to tell the tale. And although “The Flintstones” has long since been retired, Fruity Pebbles are still going strong. Unlike Rice Krispies, Fruity Pebbles have everything you’ve been missing. It’s the most juvenile, but that’s what makes it so great.
You might not believe that Honeycombs deserves the number one seat on this list, but I’m here to tell you you’re being too harsh of a critic. It’s arguably one of the most underrated of all. In my humble opinion, Honeycombs score high in every category. Consistency, taste, shape, size, etc. Quite simply, it’s the cereal we need and deserve.