Design Your Own Terrible Cereal

Kellogg's Pops MiXit Cereal

Kellogg's Pops MiXit Cereal

I Paid: $1.69 per 5-ounce bag (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 1 stars

Marketing: 5 stars

Kellogg's limited-edition Pops MiXit Cereal represents one of the most profound disappointments of my mass-marketed-food reviewing career. The gulf between the concept and delivery of these modular cereals is not merely large—it's freakin' massive.

Let's start with the concept and see if this isn't exciting to you. Instead of buying a bag of one kind of lowbrow cereal, you're able to buy several varieties in one box and combine them to make up a different breakfast cereal each morning. Thus, you can pair Double Fudge and Chocolate MiXit (neither of which is available as a stand-alone cereal) to yield what Kellogg's calls Choc-a-Lot. Double Fudge + Marshmallow makes Nite 'n Daze. Chocolate + Graham + Marshmallow = S'more, and so on and so forth. This is pure genius—we've all* daydreamed about formulating the perfect breakfast cereal, and now Kellogg's is bestowing upon us that Zeus-like capacity.

Except no, it's not. Every variety of MiXit tastes more or less like stale Kix. Yes, stale Kix: It's worth noting explicitly that even though the Corn Pops "POPS" typography appears on each MiXit bag, these are not Corn Pops. They're dour, interchangeable little spheres that are slightly gritty and weakly flavored (at best). The only thing you really get when you mix various types of MiXit together is a larger bowl of stale Kix-like cereal. MiXit's sawdusty taste most likely comes courtesy of its first ingredient, yellow cornmeal, favorite choice of down-market cereal brands.

In conclusion: You can only take a great concept so far with blah ingredients.

*Well, I have, anyway.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.