Photo by @catalinacrunch via Instagram

Catalina Crunch is “dark chocolate artisan cereal”

Rebecca Firkser
September 18, 2018

Living in New York, I’m often faced with the prospect of overpriced breakfast. $13 for a bowl of oatmeal, $15 for fruit and granola—it’s pretty ridiculous. So naturally when I heard of a $39 cereal called Catalina Crunch, I knew I had to give it a try. So first off, it’s not $39 for a single box. It’s subscription-based, and $39 will buy you a “30-day supply,” or four 1.4-ounce pouches of Catalina Crunch. The company says that this price makes each bowl of the cereal just $1.95, but I was skeptical.

Catalina Crunch Dark Chocolate Artisan Cereal was created by Krishna Kaliannan. A childhood cereal-lover diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 17, Kaliannan was disappointed that he couldn’t find a suitable cereal he could eat with all of his dietary restrictions. “I was shopping for an alternative but there simply is no great tasting chocolate cereal that’s actually good for you. So I decided to make my own,” reads the press release.

“Companies such as General Mills, who launched healthier versions of their sugary cereals in the past, are now pulling some of those off the market because they could simply not figure out how to make them taste good without using sugar and artificial sweeteners,” Kaliannan says later in the press release. “They took the lazy route and people stopped buying.” Indeed, many major cereal companies, among them General Mills and Kellogg, decided to double down on sugary products after disappointing sales in “healthier” products like protein-enriched Cheerios or high-fiber Frosted Flakes.

Sugar is definitely the enemy of Catalina Crunch. The words “DITCH SUGAR” are plastered on the front of the pouch in larger font than the name of the product. The pouch mentions that not only is the cereal sugar-free (it’s sweetened with Stevia), it’s also Keto-friendly, gluten-free, vegan, and made with pea protein. When something hits that many trendy health claims, I begin to worry about flavor.

After my first bite, I was surprised by how much I liked the texture of Catalina Crunch. It was delightfully crispy-crunchy. The shape looked more like Cinnamon Toast Crunch than other healthy cereals I’ve tried, and it smells exactly like Cocoa Puffs or Cocoa Krispies. Unfortunately, it didn’t taste like those classic cereals. In fact, it didn’t taste like much at all. Sort of like how some brands of almond milk just taste like creamy water, no part of Catalina Crunch really stood out to me, flavor-wise. However, the texture was so delightful that I wasn’t quite as bothered by the taste (or lack thereof).

Ultimately, Catalina Crunch is just too expensive for the product’s mediocre flavor. It can only be purchased by the case—$39 for a monthly subscription, or $49 for a one-time purchase. Knowing my penchant for crunchy things I have no doubt in my ability to eat a bowl (or three) of the cereal in one sitting. However, there are a lot of other types of chocolatey cereal out there, and those don’t require a subscription.

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