Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Trader Joe's Fruity O's

Yes, these are Trader Joe's Fruit Loops, for all intents and purposes. However, as one might have expected, TJ's left out the scary toxic neon colors, and the flavors come from actual fruits and vegetables. I guess they could have called them "Fruit and Vegetable O's" but that probably would have scared people off. I know I wouldn't have bought 'em.

The organic corn flour makes for one super-crunchy, roof-of-the-mouth-scratching "O." I'd say they're even firmer than actual Kellogg's Fruit Loops. And I've never been a fan of them for that reason. The taste of blood doesn't mix well with milk and cereal.

But for those of you with mouths of steel, this might be a decent breakfast treat for you. This cereal does accurately mimic the flavor of traditional fruit loops, although it's much less sugary and somewhat understated in comparison.

I really used to like the crazy neon milk left over from a bowl of Fruit Loops. The milk barely changes color at all with Trader Joe's version. Likewise, when you pick up the bowl to sip the milk right out of it, it actually tastes like milk rather than a melted milkshake dessert. But I guess that's a sign that it's healthy.

At nearly 34 years old, I suppose I should change my priorities and steer clear of the whole "asking for diabetes" thing and drinking carcinogenic dyes from a cereal bowl. I grew out of Saturday morning cartoons recently, but that's only because the ones they show now suck compared to the stuff we grew up with in the 80's.

Sonia has always been a bigger fan of fruit loops than I have, so I expected her to rave about these things, but she gave a lackluster reaction and shrugged her shoulders when she tried them. However, they kind of grew on her by the end of the bowl, and she settled on a dignified 3.5 star score.

Overall, this cereal's not bad. But if you want a few recommendations for cereals that really wowed us, check out our reviews of Organic Mango Passion Granola and Maple Brown Sugar Mini Wheats.

I give the Fruity O's 3 stars.

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.


  1. If you want to up the sugar content, make a "rice krispie" treat out of them...same recipe as the original, just sub the cereal. My mom used to do this for all those '80s cereals we wanted to try, but didn't like (ET cereal!)....turns out melting marshmallows and butter on a bland cereal is a sure fire way for me to eat it!

  2. Nice, vhoiten. I wouldn't call the plain cereal "bland," although I'm sure marshmallows and butter would make them even better!

  3. Cheerios has a Fruity Cheerios line, and these seemed quite similar to that to me - less so than to Froot Loops. Regardless, pretty good - my husband and I seemed to go through a box quite fast...but that's the case for any cereal :)

  4. Thanks for the info, Ellen! Come to think of it, I may have seen those fruity Cheerios, but I haven't tried them yet.