If you thought Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino couldn't be outdone . . . well, you were right. The pandemonium caused by the Unicorn Frappuccino - the barista freakouts, the customer obsession - was Peak Unicorn in America, and it's all been downhill from there. That's what Kellogg's is trying to capitalize on with its new Unicorn Cereal, which hits shelves the first week of March.
But it feels a little too late.
That's not to say that people no longer like unicorns. There has been unicorn toast, noodles, lattes, macarons, pancakes and Pop-Tarts. There are even "unicorn poop" cookies - a riff on a popular internet meme that asserts that unicorns, um, produce rainbows. And there have been attempts to make grown-up versions of unicorn dishes with a rainbow array of fruits and veggies, rather than food coloring. But we've unicorned pretty much any food that can be unicorned at this point, and the trend seems to be slowing down.
So why, then, is cereal just getting into the game? General Mills announced last month that it is adding a unicorn marshmallow to Lucky Charms, presumably making it more magically delicious. And Kellogg's Unicorn Cereal was originally available in the United Kingdom last fall (and where it had a different name, Unicorn Froot Loops, and a much shinier box) before the brand decided to bring it stateside. As with all unicorn-themed products, the packaging looks like a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper, though it's clearly geared toward people much too young to remember what that is. There's a coloring activity on the back of the box, and another activity on the side helps you discover what your "unicorn name" is. (Mine is Ms. Violet Raindrop Mist. Please address me as such.)
The cereal box says it has "magic cupcake" sprinkles on the pink, purple and blue O's. It has a strong vanilla scent, and like most sugary cereals, the best part of it is drinking the sweet milk left behind in the bowl. But it tastes exactly like Froot Loops, because that's what it is, minus a few colors, and with Sparkles the Unicorn taking over for Froot Loops spokesanimal Toucan Sam. (Okay, fine, I have no idea what the unicorn's name is. Let's just call her Sparkles, because it feels right.) Anyway: You're not getting anything new with this unicorn cereal, which is merely rebranded to take advantage of a trend that is in its waning days. Whatever, kids will love it.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Maura Judkis