While perusing the aisles of the store I work at, I noticed a couple of “new” (we’re always really behind on getting new products) selections in the cereal aisle: Dippin’ Dots flavors. Always a sucker for a gimmick and always desperate for something to write about here, I grabbed one of each. Curious as to just how behind I was on getting these, I turned to my go-to source of cereal news, cerealously.net, where he had a post from April announcing their re-release. Yes, re-release, as the cookies and cream flavor had originally come out in 2018 alongside a banana split flavor, both featuring a cookie-cluster piece reminiscent of the crunchies inside an ice cream cake. Alas, these clusters weren’t invited back for the reunion tour, and the banana split was replaced by a flavor the cereal aisles of 2021 have come to know all too well: birthday cake. Dan Cerealously warned that chances are, without those clusters there would be almost nothing noteworthy about these (and also that birthday cake cereals are typically pretty boring). But since he hasn’t written anything about these specifically, I guess I will have to.
First things first: I can smell the cereal through the box. I haven’t even opened them yet, but these boxes smell heavily of saccharine cereal. This is one of those things that isn’t inherently a bad thing, but like… why is it happening. How does the outside of the box still smell this strongly.
The cookies and cream ones are a bit of a mixed bag. The white orbs have absolutely no taste to them whatsoever, save for a vaguely sweet glaze if you eat them dry. The chocolate ones taste close enough to Coco Puffs to get the point across. When you eat them together, they are the sum of its parts. Both pieces are also slightly softer than a Coco Puff, but every once in a while there’s one that’s almost tooth-shatteringly hard, which makes for a confusing eating experience.
The birthday cake ones tasted fine for the first few spoonfuls. They had enough of that vaguely eggy flavor to distinguish its flavor as “cake” and not just “sugar.” However, as is often the case with a flavor this… subtle, by the time I was halfway through the bowl, it was extremely bland. On the bright side, at least it didn’t have the slightly corny flavor the other ones did, as one would expect from a “multi-grain” blend vs the other one begin just corn. They also left behind a coarse, brown dust floating in the milk that doesn’t really correlate with any of the color of the cereal pieces themselves? So that’s fun.
There…. really isn’t anything else I can really say about these cereals. There’s nothing intrinsically bad about them but they aren’t good either. There’s definitely nothing explicitly Dippin’ Dots about them. With nothing else to say about it I have no choice but to talk about…. The box.
In short: much of the box art seems like a generic cereal box you would see in the beginning of a movie about some kind of dystopian suburbia, subtly foreshadowing that things might not be quite right. The cookies and cream box has a maze, and the birthday cake box has a word search. These are normal, back-of-the-cereal-box things. But both prominently feature Frozeti the Yeti, an alleged Dippin’ Dots mascot that, upon googling, does exist to the extent that they have a costume for events, yet no one I know has ever seen him on any other piece of Dippin’ Dots paraphernalia. It may also be worth noting that the word search features words like “liberty ice,” which also not a real thing, as far as any normal person is concerned.
Both boxes also feature recipes like Rice Krispies Treats but with cookies and cream orbs and “breakfast parfaits” consisting of birthday cake cereal and yogurt, which maybe could be less “alien trying to figure out what humans eat” and more “cereal executive knowing they have a bad product and are trying to find any way to get people to finish the box.”
The side flap opposite the nutrition facts advertises something called “Comfort Zone Camp.” At first glance, the name made me think this would be some sort of alt-right, “welcome to the real world, snowflake” bullshit about ripping kinds from their comfort zones, but apparently it’s for children who recently experienced the death of a parent or guardian. So… that’s kind of a bummer, and a weird thing to put on the side of a bright and colorful cereal box for children.
But the real kicker? It’s the one thing that any eagle-eyed cereal enthusiast would notice on sight, but I saved it for last for a very good reason. This cereal isn’t made by General Mills, or Kellogg’s, or Post, or even Malt-O-Meal or some other generic cereal manufacturer.
It’s made by a sporting goods company.
OK, maybe calling PLB Sports & Entertainment a “sporting goods company” is a little over the top. They specialize in merchandising deals where they take an athlete’s face and slap it on a box of generic cereal. Some highlights of their product line, according to their online shop, include DeAndre’s Hop Box, HerrO’s Fruit Loops, Josh’s Jaqs (go Bills? I guess? This is the only one that even hints towards what team the person plays for), and the much less creatively named Field of Dreams Corn Flakes, with some select boxes autographed by Dwier Brown. I don’t know who any of these people are. But if you do, you can get their cereal.
Notably absent from their online store, however, is Dippin’ Dots. Not even the company specializing in C-List athlete-branded cereals wants to be associated with these boring, bland spheres. And since PLBSE only sells their products in select stores (seemingly mostly in the northeast, within driving distance of its Pittsburg facility?) Kroger and Publix shoppers will never get to experience these completely innocuous cereals.
Conveniently, Dippin’ Dots themselves has seemingly also scrubbed all signs of this cereal ever existing from their website. In order to find it at all, you have to go to their “merchandise” shop on Amazon, scroll down past the T-shirts and gummy vitamins, and even then they’re listed as “unavailable.” All google searches for Dippin’ Dots cereal brings up either the cerealously.net post I mentioned earlier or the 2018 iteration of the cereal. Somebody at Big Cereal is trying to gaslight me into thinking this cereal doesn’t exist. But I know they’re real. I am holding the boxes in one hand and typing this with the other. I know they’re real. I wish I could scrub my memory of this, because this level of conspiracy-theorist-rambling is way more attention than this boring cereal deserves.
Dan Cerealously, if you are reading this and want these, just to prove they are real, I will mail you some. But you don’t want these. You’ve known for months you don’t want these.