What We’re Eating: Super Mario Cereal

When Kellogg’s first announced their partnership with Nintendo to produce the Super Mario cereal, I was excited! Not so much for me, because I’m a full grown adult who probably shouldn’t include a sugary cereal into my everyday diet, but if I was a kid when this came out, I would have eaten it exclusively. In other words, I felt excited for today’s kids who’s eyes would light up when they saw this cereal on the shelf.

And that was pretty much the start and end of my feelings on the Super Mario cereal—or so I thought. I wasn’t planning on going out of my way to find a box of the cereal myself, but I was in Target the other day, and…well, do I need to explain more?

Seriously, though, my girlfriend was shopping for clothes, and I had nothing better to do than wander around and let the inevitable consumerism hit me like a ton of bricks, not unlike the ones Mario demolishes on a regular basis. And sure enough, as I strolled through the aisles looking for snacks, something bright and colorful caught my eye in the cereal section.

There it was: the Super Mario cereal in all its glory, featuring Mario, Peach, and Bowser.

Super Mario Cereal pic
The legendary Super Mario cereal!

How could I resist this optimistic box art? It’s so happy and fun, and the “power-up marshmallows” looked delicious. It’s like Lucky Charms meets the Mushroom Kingdom. And it only cost like $2 or something, so I snuck it in the cart and met up with my girlfriend. By the time it crossed the register, she was none the wiser, and it was too late to turn back.

Naturally, as soon as we arrived home, I got the box and opened it. Would it be as delicious as I hoped? I needed to know! I poured a bowl full of the stuff, but something didn’t seem right. Just take a look for yourself:

Super Mario Cereal closeup
The Super Mario cereal…with little-to-no marshmallows.

Something definitely seemed off: the marshmallow to cereal ratio. Also, are those supposed to be the invincibility stars Mario collects in the games? It’s not entirely clear, but regardless, I still had hope. Maybe the marshmallows were just hiding underneath all the normal cereal bits, and once I dug my spoon in, I’d pull up a treasure trove of deliciousness.

I poured some milk over the bowl and began shoveling the cereal down. Unfortunately, my eyes did not deceive me—10 percent of the cereal was marshmallows, and that’s being generous. The other 90 percent comprised the uninspired star pieces, which were dry and bland. I won’t lie, it almost felt like a chore to finish the bowl. I kept searching and searching for more marshmallows, but barely any popped up.

That said, when I did happen to get a marshmallow, it tasted like a splash of color in an otherwise grayish landscape. And that’s what was so disappointing about this cereal—it had the potential to be amazing, with enough sugar to rot the teeth right out of my head. But they decided to dull it down for some reason, probably to be “healthy” for the kids.

Needless to say, I would totally buy a much unhealthier version of this cereal. If you’re wondering if it is worth buying, the answer is: probably not, unless you want it as a collectible. It is a great novelty but doesn’t have much value beyond that.

Long story short, Nintendo and their plumber mascot should stick to gaming.

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