There are a lot of pop culture rites of passage, but few are as interesting as the tie-in breakfast cereal. Imagine how much of an impact you have to make to believe that people will want to eat the sweetened grain version of you. Mr. T had a cereal. Steve Urkel had a cereal. There once was a disco ball cereal.
The marketing juggernaut that it is, it’s no surprise that Star Wars has been in cereal game for a while. Whether it’s just the brand or more character-specific - see C-3POs - this particular tie-in is so on brand that there’s a joke about it in Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs. And that trend continues in 2020 as the newest superstar in the Star Wars canon gets his own cereal. Yes, Baby Yoda has come to the cereal aisle.
Baby Yoda, or The Child if you want to use his given name, debuted last year in the first episode of Disney+’s The Mandalorian and instantly became a crowd favorite. The toys and related clothes - not to mention the memes - are everywhere now, so the jump to a food source is hardly a surprise.
What is a surprise is the flavoring option that they’ve gone with this particular cereal. Described on the box as “fruity flavored sweetened cereal with marshmallows and other natural flavors,” it’s not exactly the first amalgam of tastes one might conjure given the series’ “western with blasters” aesthetic. The light green marshmallows, roughly Baby Yoda shaped, are the only real tell visually that you’ve got Star Wars in your bowl.
Credit to the folks behind the cereal for making it work. The core fruity notes come off as a lighter version of fruity cereals like Fruity Pebbles, that weirdly indistinct flavor that tells your brain “fruit” even if you can't quite label which. It benefits from not being overly sweet, which being a cereal based on a blockbuster franchise was a real concern. A one-cup serving features 12 g of sugar, so you’ll want to pay attention to serving sizes, but eating it doesn’t feel like you’ve declared war on your teeth.
Marshmallows are usually used to punch up more mundane cereals, but in this case, they bring the occasional burst of extra sweetness and texture to the party. Marshmallow and fruit cereal work better in tandem than you might think, and is something that more cereal manufacturers should play around with.
All in all, it’s a cereal you’re not going to mind munching on for the long haul if sweet cereals are your - or your kids' - thing. In fact, it would probably make for a great addition to Chex/party mix if you were looking to make a batch that’s more sweet than savory. You can find the big boxes at Sam’s Club now and nationally over the next few weeks.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.