[Review] Kellogg’s Limited Edition Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts

I’ve noticed an alarming trend lately.

One brand–Jolly Rancher–has been gradually desensitizing today’s youth. Yes, I know that sounds odd coming from the guy who just spent the introduction to his last review rambling about poop. But in my defense, it’s like that one book says: everybody does it.

Back to the culprit, Jolly Rancher. I only need one piece of evidence to show that Jolly Rancher is corrupting the morals of our children. Exhibit A!

Exhibit A (credit: AdWeek)

Just…look at that. Take a good long look. A bunch of goofy looking, possibly drugged fruits are telling our children to…”keep on sucking?” Folks, that’s as NSFW as junk food gets. I’m not even going to consider what they might be referring to, since we keep things PG here in the Cellar. All I know is, it’s going to take another family friendly brand to help restore whatever wholesome image Jolly Rancher has left.

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts have answered the call! Limited Edition Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts come in three flavors: Frosted Cherry, Frosted Green Apple, and Frosted Watermelon. I’m ready to give them a try, but given the mash-up between the two foods, I’m not sure whether to chew or suck.

…You know what, let’s just move on.

Frosted Cherry

Frosted Cherry is up first, and boy do these things smell like cherry Jolly Ranchers. The flavor is also powerful–a hugely sweet, slightly sour cherry taste hits immediately. It completely overpowers the floury pastry, and while I’d usually say that’s a good thing, here the cherry flavor seems like a bit too much.

Toasting the Frosted Cherry Pop-Tarts helps slightly. The cherry taste is still bold, but the pastry flavor perks up a bit and helps balance out some of the hyper-sugary flavor. I’ve got to give Kellogg’s props for accurately capturing the flavor of a cherry Jolly Rancher…but that doesn’t exactly mean it’s an enjoyable Pop-Tart.

Frosted Green Apple

Similar to Frosted Cherry, Frosted Green Apple Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts have a really strong scent. The filling’s flavor balance is basically the inverse of Frosted Cherry, though: it’s primarily sour, with a bit of sweetness. Even the aftertaste is heavily sour, and again, not even the bland pastry could save my taste buds.

After some toasting, the pastry becomes more flavorful (as usual), but the green apple filling somehow becomes even more sour. That sour taste builds with every bite, and I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly enjoyable flavor unless you’re really into sour candy. Again, another Jolly Rancher-inspired Pop-Tart that does a decent job of achieving its intended flavor, but I couldn’t eat more than one.

Frosted Watermelon

Oddly, Frosted Watermelon doesn’t have an obvious aroma like the other two flavors–but given how those turned out, maybe that’s a good thing. Frosted Watermelon Pop-Tarts ditch the sour aspect of the other two flavors, which seems to weigh in their favor. They’re very sweet, to be sure, but the watermelon flavor manages to be light and kind of refreshing. The uncooked pastry remains worthless and adds nothing.

I’m happy to report that when toasted, Frosted Watermelon Pop-Tarts are actually pretty enjoyable! The overly sweet watermelon filling tones down a bit, aided by the buttery warm pastry. Would I eat an entire box of them? Probably not. But I could definitely eat more than one, which is more than I can say for the other two flavors.

Limited Edition Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts remind me somewhat of the Frosted Crush Orange and Frosted A&W Root Beer Pop-Tarts that came out last summer: they achieve the flavors they’re inspired by, but probably to a fault. These Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts are a fun novelty, but I think they have too much of the Jolly Rancher flavor to be truly enjoyed, at least as a breakfast pastry. On the bright side, they all made me completely forget about Jolly Rancher’s questionable slogan.

So…mission accomplished, I guess?

Item: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Jolly Rancher Pop-Tarts
Price and Place of Purchase: $1.88 each at Hy-Vee
Nutrition Facts (serving size-1 pastry): Frosted Cherry: 200 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.

Frosted Green Apple: 190 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.

Frosted Watermelon: 200 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 170 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 16 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.

In a Nutshell: All flavors do a pretty good job of mimicking real Jolly Rancher flavor, but that’s not exactly a good thing. Frosted Watermelon is the only one worth buying. Inappropriate junk food slogans are ruining our children.
Overall Score: Frosted Cherry: 6 out of 10

Frosted Green Apple: 5.5 out of 10

Frosted Watermelon: 7 out of 10

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