May 5, 2010

Wheaties Fuel: You bet I'll eat my Wheaties

I'm not usually a big fan of foods that work harder to plug their celebrity endorsements than than they do to boast about their ingredients and flavor. It's usually a sign of blandness and lack of inspiration. So you can imagine I wasn't any too thrilled at the idea of Wheaties Fuel.

Being on the Wheaties box is one of the pinnacles of sports celebrityhood -- and a traditional way to endorse a bland, less-than-inspiring product. No offense to classic Wheaties, but they lack the zing I want in my breakfast bowl every morning.

Now Wheaties has a new product in an edgy carbon-colored box filled with the eerily disembodied faces of A-list of sports celebrities: Albert Pujols, Kevin Garnett, Peyton Manning, Bryan Clay and Hunter Kemper. The fresh box has a new set of insides, dubbed "Wheaties Fuel" and supposedly co-developed with the cover athletes and a nutrition expert. It sounds like an attempt to spruce up dull old Wheaties with a new skin-deep paint job, doesn't it?

Surprisingly, it's not.

Wheaties Fuel is a marvelous cereal, paralleled by few on the store shelves today. Fuel is comprised of puffed rice and dense Wheaties bunches, and manages to have a delicious flavor without being sugary. Even better, it is stout enough that you won't be left hungry an hour after downing a bowl. The Fuel website says that's because of a mix of complex carbohydrates and fiber -- and that would make sense, nutritionally. Think of it this way: Wheaties Fuel is flat-out more dense than other cereals.

For starters, Fuel feels heavier in your spoon and fills your stomach more completely. It also pours with an impact unlike your standard corn flakes. The way it hits the bowl is granola-like.

In case you don't believe me, lets look at the tale of the box. The fancy-duds Wheaties Fuel box is much smaller than most other cereal boxes, yet it packs a lot of weight. Compare it to a Chocolate Cheerios box, another smaller-than-average sized box that also happens to be on my breakfast shelf at the moment. The Chocolate Cheerios box, while diminutive, is still wider and thicker than the Wheaties fuel box. Even so, Fuel outweighs it 1 lb. 1.1 oz. to 11.25 oz.

I suppose the moral of the story is that good things come in small, dense packages. Wheaties Fuel starts the day with Five sporks out of five.

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