Apparently, I am part of the generation that is partly responsible for the decline in cereal sales. Nobody is going out of business here - it's still a $10 billion dollar industry, but people have been sounding off (thank you NYTimes). I'm not sure how that happened considering that many of my contemporaries, myself included, lived on cereal during college. Anyhow, we don't eat much cereal because A is mildly lactose intolerant and frankly intolerant of non-dairy milks too. So sad.
And for the record, this is a granola cereal that isn't just for the "crunchy granola" types. In fact, I think the crunchy granola types might eschew this because it's not healthy enough. No chia. No flax. No spinach. :P
I first discovered this granola cereal at my sister's house. This was and still is one of her go-to favorites. Classic vanilla.
I haven't tried the "Cluster & Flake" cereals, because why tolerate the flakes when you can have just the clusters? Amirite?
Decent amount of fiber and protein. Not too much sugar. Nothing artificial.
What I like most is that this granola isn't overly sweet. As for the flavor, normally, vanilla is, well, vanilla. Kind of plain and boring. Not here though! Unlike my last post, the vanilla belongs here and adds a pleasantly sweet yet refreshing taste. The clusters provide the most substantial crunch, which is especially great for people who like to conquer their food. Slivered almonds add to the crunch as well, but it's not as noticeable compared to the clusters. A liked this so much. Was it the vanilla? Was it the crunch? I'm not sure he could pinpoint one thing. It's just a good, solid cereal that you can eat plain out of the box, which is exactly what A has been doing. We run out of this cereal regularly.
Naturally, I had to pick up the chocolate counterpart.
The only real differences here are the chocolate flavored clusters and the chocolate chunks.
Literally the same cereal, just with chocolate. It has the same things that I like about the vanilla cereal. Even with the chocolate, it's not overly sweet! Unlike the vanilla, this sweetens your cereal milk and makes it chocolately, which I don't mind at all. While A remains a vanilla man through and through (that's not a bad thing! Vanilla is classic and doesn't stain the carpet y'all), he actually liked this chocolate version too. And can I just say, A is not a cereal man by any means. He craves this. And the vanilla! That's crazy!
If you're a minimalist, I suppose you should choose the one that appeals to you most. As for us, I confess that we've stocked up on both because they are equally delicious. Vanilla for when you're feeling vanilla. Chocolate when you're feeling chocolate. It's the same rationale for why I own two pairs of my favorite jeans, one light and one dark, to suit any occasion. Yes. Repurchase x 2.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Just the Clusters Vanilla Almond Granola Cereal. Classic, moderately healthy but not too healthy, for those of us who appreciate the crunchies. 9 out of 10.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal. The same thing for the CHOCOLATE LOVERS. YES PLEASE. 9 out of 10.