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Cereal Eats: Kix

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[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

Cereal is one of the most famously marketed products out there. The jingles and characters and slogans evoke childhood memories for many cereal lovers out there. Personally, I was a bit more focused on the part of the commercial where they said "part of this complete breakfast" and showed a table with a big old buttery slab of toast, some orange juice and a magical bowl full of sugary clusters.

I would have taken a kid out for just one bite of that breakfast, didn't matter what bunny or elf was selling it. But I remember the fateful day when I saw my first Kix Commercial with its slogan "Kid Tested, Mother Approved." In my ten-year-old mind, I'd finally found the loophole in the cruel system of parental cereal control.

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Somehow, my mom actually obeyed this mantra. Kix occasionally landed in our cabinets, a brightly colored beacon in a sea of white and brown boxes. I loved its sweet crunch and spherical shape. I even remember sending in box tops plus shipping and handling for a Kix branded toy dump truck. Cereal box prizes may have been standard procedure for some kids but health food store brand O's didn't exactly obey these laws.

Even more bizarre was when my mom allowed Berry Berry Kix in the house at my sister's request. She was wild about the stuff (I actually hated it, which worked nicely for both of us). But that was the old days of Berry Berry Kix, a strongly fruity cereal with berry shapes in bright, fluorescent colors.

As the years went by, Kix fell by the wayside.

By the time I was old enough to choose and purchase my own cereal, Kix no longer seemed relevant. They didn't have the sugary pull of Rice Krispies Treats Cereal or Cinnamon Toast Crunch, nor did they have the hearty dinner cereal qualities of say, shredded wheat.

Somewhere, deep down though, Kix still held a special place in my heart. Recently, I bought a box to see if they were still as great as I remembered.

Well, first let's talk about the box. Some sort of redesign occurred in 2009, I guess to make it look more "natural." I personally miss the days when the box was a brash bright orange, fresh and flashy. But I supposed this new ear of corn design is getting that "natural" message across.

One dry handful was all I needed to realize this cereal has stood the test of time. A bowl with milk was awesomely delicious. One question ran across my mind: "Why haven't I been buying more Kix!?"

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A more unsettling situation is the change in the Berry Berry Kix. Gone is the bright purple box, which allowed my sister to hold onto the fantasy that she was just like any other kid eating a sweet cereal. This box too has gone "natural" with a more muted color and different font. But the real shock lies inside the box. Vivid berries have been replaced with regularly shaped Kix pieces, dusted in pale purple and pink. While this was of no concern to me, my sister was distraught. She found the flavor to be weak and inferior. Oddly enough, the seasonal Frankenberry holds more of that Berry Berry Kix flavor than this new iteration does. My sister claims the purchase of this once beloved cereal is no longer worth it.

It's a bittersweet tale of rediscovery and change, but in the end, I'd rule Kix a truly awesome cereal. Since its creation in 1937, his cereal has remained a favorite. There's a new flavor out there called Honey Kix. Has anyone tried it? I should probably pick up a box, but when regular Kix delivers such a perfect, crispy golden bite, it's hard to look elsewhere.

About the author: Aside from doing an awesome job with her role as Advertising Sales Manager, Leandra Palermo secretly harbors a lifelong passion with all things crunchy and served with icy cold skim milk. This column represents the culmination of that love affair.

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