Walmart is no stranger to the "hey make us a cereal and base it on something people recognize" game. From their Dreamworks cereals, to the approximately thirty varieties of cookie-based cereals, you can always count on something you won't find anywhere else.
Whether you actually want to eat those exclusive cereals is another story.
Joining this very exclusive "what's something people like and / or remember okay make that a cereal" club is Dippin' Dots cereal.
There have been many ice cream-related cereals in the past. In fact, my most recent review that I did a couple weeks back (don't fact check that) had an ice cream cereal.
But Dippin' Dots seems like a harder challenge, in that much of its appeal is the novelty of how it's made and served. Making a cereal with cereal pieces with a diameter of about 5 millimeters served at about 20 degrees seems impractical.
They could stuff the box with dry ice and include safety gloves, but that might push the price point above where they'd like to be.
But if you're going to make a cereal based on a product with the lofty slogan of "The Ice Cream of the Future", you probably need to step up your game a little.
Dippin' Dots comes in two varieties : Cookies 'n' Cream and Banana Split.
I tried Banana Split first, mostly to get it over with. I hate banana-flavored things. You know what's really good that's banana-flavored? Bananas. Beyond that, not much else. But for the sake of science, I soldiered on.
Luckily, if I didn't wind up liking it, I would only be stuck with a leftover amount of... uh, a pound of cereal.
Walmart has had some perverse obsession with GIGANTIC boxes of these licensed cereals. Their cookie cereal boxes are like 24x18 inches.
Banana Split gave me a bit of hope upon opening, as the banana smell wasn't as weaponized as I was expecting. The color of the cereal was quite sad, with pale browns and pinks, and a generic Kix-looking color.
They probably could have gotten away with "It's Dippin' Dots because the cereal pieces are round, like the little ice cream spheres." But they attempted to pay tribute to actual Dippin' Dots with the clusters that are mixed into the cereal.
The clusters have an appearance akin to "when you step on a big piece of styrofoam and it breaks up into a million little bunches". The texture probably isn't dissimilar, either.
Unless they all sank to the bottom of the box, don't count on a Dippin' Dot cluster bonanza in your bowl. I think I spotted three in my serving. The clusters are an interesting novelty, but the real star of the show is the strawberry part. The strawberry cereal pieces are pretty strongly flavored. You can see in the pictures that the strawberry flavoring is trying to force its way out.
Aesthetically, that's kind of creepy and off-putting, but it tastes quite good.
Overall, Banana Split is fine. I liked it a decent amount, especially given my hatred of banana flavoring. It was enjoyable enough where I will eventually finish the box, but wouldn't buy another one.
[insert "I guess" seal of approval here]
Cookies 'n' Cream seemed like the much safer bet, and the one I was looking forward to more. It seemed pretty foolproof - some chocolate puffs, some vanilla puffs, and some chocolate and vanilla clusters.
It may be 2018, with phones in cameras reaching crazy levels of quality, but I am still awful at taking pictures. Even with that in mind, this washed-out-looking picture is pretty much an accurate representation of the cereal's coloring.
It is incredibly boring to look at.
Granted, cereal in the bowl never looks as good as it does on the box. And it doesn't really matter too much about how a cereal looks in the bowl. But jeez. It's visual sadness.
Flavor-wise, it doesn't get too much more exciting. It's mildly-flavored cereal puffs and chocolate clusters. I thought for "Cookies 'n' Cream", they could have been a little more experimental with the cluster flavoring, but at least the chocolate clusters taste pretty good.
The cereal itself is good enough, but it tastes like an average version of every other chocolate & vanilla cereal you've ever had. It's worth it for the Dippin' Dots novelty, and getting through a box will be no trouble, but this also won't be a repeat purchase.
[insert "shrug" here]