I have a cereal confession to make: I’m a sucker for Fiber One.
Annoying ad guy notwithstanding, I’ve never thought the “healthy” cereals produced by the brand tasted like cardboard. I mean, their bars basically taste like candy, and their cereals beat the sox off most sugary adult cereal you can get. Even the Fiber One Original has a special place in my heart. The bran-ey taste gets such a boost from aspartame that it’s like sucking down the flavor of a Sara Lee Bran Muffins, while the crunchy little twigs make it both an ideal mix in with chocolate chips, as well as a great topper for yogurt.
It’s a double edge sword eating Fiber One, no doubt. While it tastes good going down, my small intestines will often be kicking myself later (literally), so much so that I have to restrain myself from buying both the Original and Honey Clusters varieties. The Original is tough to duplicate, but I’ve earned to get my Honey kick on by replacing the Honey Clusters with good old fashioned Honey Nut Cheerios. Despite a newfound love for Multigrain Peanut Butter Cheerios, the box with the smiling bumble bee remains the most purchased Cheerio variety in my house.
But how does it compare with the newest member of the Fiber One cereal line? Fiber One 80 calorie cereal clearly is targeted to the dieting women crowd (lets not mince words here) but that’s never stopped me from trying out a Fiber One product in the past. Looking to test just how authentic that honey taste is, I put it up against Honey Nut Cheerios in the blog’s first ever Cereal Throwdown.
Appearance and Texture: Honey Nut Cheerios have a classic shape that seems different than every other Honey-O knockoff your local grocery store is producing. The O’s are fairly small with a distinct glaze that renders a smooth mouthfeel. I love snacking on them because the glaze dissolves slowly in your mouth, and you can literally suck on the peices like candy. Fiber One 80 Calorie, meanwhile, comes in two shades. There is also a slight honey glaze, although it doesn’t seem as distinct because of the ridge lines. The peices have a slight puffed nature to them though, and aren’t as liable to spill when you go digging around for them in your grab-n-go pouch while at work (what, eating on the job?). Likewise, they have a bit sturdier of a crunch, which allow you to get more dissolve time in your mouth. Because of these two facts, I give a slight edge to Fiber One 80 Calorie.
Taste: It’s a lot closer than I thought going in. The good news is that if you’re a honey fan both pack a punch. While Honey Nut Chex might just hold the record for most potent honey sweetness, Honey Nut Cheerios and its nine grams of sugar (from honey, sugar, and brown sugar) hit you with a mellow and classic taste that also gets a big boost from an almond flavor on the backend. Once more, you can actually taste the oat base, which isn’t marred by any off chemical or excessive corn flavors. The flavors of corn bran are more apparent in the Fiber One cereal but not as off-putting as the ingredient list might hint, and the honey flavor is all but identical in sweetness to Honey Nut Cheerios. However, each piece lacks the certain depth of flavor that is encased in each Honey Nut Cheerio, and something just doesn’t seem to mesh as well as the tried and true combination of oats + honey + almonds. Honey Nut gets first crack here.
Nutritional Considerations: Per serving, you’re looking at 80 calories (duh) against 110 calories. From a density standpoint you’re going to get more servings at fewer calories per bowl of Fiber One, and while a serving of Honey Nut Cheerios definitely hits the spot, it’s easy to overload. But I like that Honey Nut Cheerios doesn’t kill you with fiber. Too much fiber is gonna straight up make me not want to move, so even though the whole low calorie angle might be the way to go for the desk-ridden crowd, Honey Nut Cheerios supports my lifestyle better. Gotta give the bee the edge here.
Winner: It’s no secret I hold Honey Nut Cheerios to be the gold standard of golden honey deliciousness in boxed, cartoon character form. That being said, the honey taste was very evenly matched by Fiber One 80 Calories, which in a “close my eyes” taste test was tough to call out. But the giveaway — and the element which makes Honey Nut Cheerios so great — is that complex almond taste, which compliments and brings out the flavors of the oats. Truth be told, both of these have become repeat purchases for me, but if you’re going to twist my arm and make me buy one or the other, I’m going with the Bee every time.
Honey Nut Cheerios
- Ranking: 9/10
- Chances I’d Buy Again: 100%
Fiber One 80 Calorie
- Ranking: 7.5/10
- Chances I’d Buy Again: 80%