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Great Value Cinnamon Crunch Cereal (Walmart)

Surprisingly, I don’t go to Walmart very often at all, as evidenced by the (almost) complete lack of Great Value (and Equate, and Mainstays, etc.) products among the archives. What gives? Am I protesting their terrible corporate policies, or refusing support to a company that treats its workers like garbage and pay them close to minimum wage while the owners rake in hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars every minute? Good heavens no…I couldn’t afford to do that even if I wanted to pretend to be a socially-conscious consumer.

So then why don’t I go to Walmart all that often? After all, I’m a budget-minded blog and Walmart is right up there with Aldi, and perhaps even Amazon, as the main places to go when you want to save a few bucks. The answer is easy…that place is a nightmare. All around. It’s like every time you go, a circus just let out somewhere and all the inhabitants decide to go shopping there at the same time you are. And it doesn’t matter which location you happen to find yourself at: whether you go to one in a predominantly low-income part of town, or one in a richer part, the clientele always seems to the worst of either. Between that, and the fact that even though Walmart is less than two miles away from us, it’s still farther than Kroger, Aldi, and about the same distance from Meijer, gives us even fewer reasons to frequently go there.

But I’m always willing to make an exception when it’s warranted, and one such time is when we visit my wife’s parents in Tennessee. Sure, they have a Kroger about the same distance away, but considering they live out in the country and it’s at least a ten minute trip no matter what store you go to, we take the extra minute or so required to venture to Walmart. It’s much cheaper, the layout is better and more familiar, and we can typically get everything we need in just that one trip.

Here we have Great Value’s Cinnamon Crunch cereal, which is obviously a copy of a similarly-titled national brand cereal albeit with the word “toast” removed. The appearance is very similar to the national brand, although I seem to recall the N.B. having darker “cinnamon-style” stripes throughout – these are just light squares covered in a generous coating of cinnamon sugar. Does the national brand have the darker colors running through it, or am I just remembering things incorrectly? If so, it’s only a minor cosmetic difference; if not, then I’m just an idiot. Either way, it doesn’t matter one bit.

As for the flavor…well, it lives up to the appearance, with each soft bite delivering a delicious blast of cinnamon flavor that’s up there with the best imitators. It will probably be too sweet for some, but I don’t find it offensively over-sugared, or anything that’s even remotely saccharine; then again, chances are you already know if this is something that’s going to be suited to your tastes. Like the name brand, I think it strikes that perfect balance of being sweet enough for kids, but not so sweet that most adults will be turned off by it. I could be way off, though, considering I enjoy cereals that venture more onto the sweeter side.

The biggest complaint I have is one that’s apparently unavoidable given the delicate nature of the cereal squares: they get soggy very quickly. Those that are averse to mushiness in their cereal bowls would either do well to avoid this altogether, or just cut back on the milk a little bit to keep the cereal crunchy for longer (or do what my wife does and add small amounts of cereal at a time to a large bowl of milk). Who knew cereal eating required such tactic and technique?

Lastly, the value is very solid, with a 20.25 oz. box retailing for $2.85. If you’re just taking a quick glance at the price with no context, that might seem a little subpar, considering Aldi’s knockoff costs somewhere around $2.19. However, a closer look reveals an even better value, as the aptly-named (at least in this case) Great Value’s package gives you a full 8 oz. more cereal. That works out to roughly four cents cheaper per oz than Aldi’s version. Oh yeah, and Millville’s version sucks, which makes the value even more outstanding.

Overall: 9/10. Great Value’s version of the cereal serves up a great cinnamon flavor for a great price, with each 20.25 oz. box retailing for under $3. Fans of the national brand can’t go wrong, for better and for worse: just like the main brand on which this was based, the cereal is very weak and not very milk-resistant, meaning it gets soggy very quickly. If you can’t take soggy cereal, you may have to switch up your cereal-eating style to account for that (less milk, or smaller amounts of cereal at once). Assuming that little caveat doesn’t bother you, this product definitely lives up to its brand name.

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