Tropicana’s new cereal — dubbed, simply, Tropicana Crunch — is pretty tasty. It’s a honey almond offering akin to Honey Bunches of Oats. It’s hard to make that taste bad, in and of itself.
The problem lies in what they want you to do with that cereal. The orange juice company wants you to…yes…pour orange juice over the cereal instead of milk.
I ate it. It was gross.
Tropicana sent Mashable a test box of the cereal ahead of its release on Wednesday. Dutifully, I poured Tropicana orange juice (original, no pulp) over the cereal.
I ate it. It was gross.
Orange juice just isn’t made to pair with cereal. When you bite into the Tropicana Crunch doused with OJ, at first things seem normal. The honey almond cereal is crunchy, with notes of nutty sweetness. Oh, a nice, crisp breakfast cereal, you think. But then, the orange juice hits and, frankly, it makes zero sense. The sweetness of the cereal paired with the sour pucker of orange juice sounds like it might work in theory. But in practice the orange juice totally overwhelms any pleasantness the cereal might offer.
You feel like you’re drinking crunchy orange juice. And even once the sour jolt fades, the sweetness of the fruit juice with the sweetness of the cereal is too much. It’s cloying. It’s not good. Even the viscosity of the orange juice is unsettling. It’s thin and doesn’t add any of the creaminess offered by milk. It’s just all wrong.
But you know what was delicious? Tropicana Crunch with almond milk. I happened to have some unsweetened almond milk in the fridge that I use for coffee. It paired perfectly. The milk softened the cereal and soaked in. And it tasted, dare I say, normal.
It’s almost like Tropicana wants you to put orange juice on its cereal because they make orange juice. Or it’s a marketing stunt tied to some fake holiday (National Orange Juice Day is Wednesday) celebrating orange juice. It’s probably a mix of both.
Now, the company stated in a press release that it conducted a survey with Wakefield Research that suggested some 15 million Americans have tried pouring OJ over their cereal. If that’s so, I have some questions for those Americans. I just want to talk.
But listen, I’m not going to tell you not to buy Tropicana Crunch. You can do with your money whatever you please. But if you do buy it, I suggest you have some type of milk on hand.