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This Just In: A Lucky Charms Knockoff Is Tastier Than the Original

Apr 26 2015 - 9:00am

Lucky Charms holds a tender spot in our hearts — it is after all an excuse to call a bowl of delicious crispy marshmallows a meal — but we have a major gripe with this childhood favorite: the cereal portion is pretty darn terrible. Dry, stale-tasting, and with an odd, cardboard-like aftertaste to boot, it's so "meh" that we sometime even skip with the formality of eating it. This got us to thinking, could any of the knockoff Lucky Charms cereals out there be better?

In the name of serious journalistic reporting, we rounded up all the options we could get our hands on and let the taste-off commence; we'll start with the most offensive and go from there. (And yes, as the headline would suggest, the winner isn't Lucky Charms.)

Marshmallow Magic

Safeway's take on Lucky Charms wins for scariest mascot.

So, How Did It Fare?

Spoiler alert: there's little magic in a bowl of Safeway Kitchen's Marshmallow Magic. While the cereal component isn't the worst of the bunch — sorry, Lucky Charms, that's you — there were almost no marshmallows in the box to speak of. As one taster put it "if I wanted oats, I'd buy plain oats, not 'Marshmallow Magic'".

Happy Shapes

Happy Shapes boasts pretty sad packaging for such a cheerful name.

So, How Did It Fare?

Sadly, its contents are on par with the packaging. Inoffensive but ultimately forgettable. The general consensus was that the cereal is dry, flavorless, and not sweet enough. On the upside, the marshmallows are plentiful and tasty (though they don't hold a candle to the marshmallows in Lucky Charms).

Marshmallow Mateys

You know you're probably in trouble when the best praise a cereal's marketing team came up with is "twice as much!"

So, How Did It Fare?

The pros: the cereal is pleasantly malty and there are plenty of marshmallows in each bowl. The cons: the marshmallows are good, but not great, and the cereal was a touch too dry and gritty.

Frosted Bites With Marshmallows

Market Pantry's (one of Target's store brands) take on Lucky Charms name gets to the point.

So, How Did It Fare?

As an astute observer may notice, the marshmallows in Frosted Bites With Marshmallows look eerily similar to those in Marshmallow Mateys. Further investigation suggested that they are one and the same, as both cereals are made in the same city. Frosted Bites edges out Marshmallow Mateys on the strength of its airy, crisp cereal and good looks.

Lucky Charms

The Lucky Charms box [1] is a cultural icon for a reason.

So, How Did It Fare?

Let's call a spade a spade, the cereal portion of Lucky Charms is near inedible, or as one taster put it: while the "mallows are tasty, the cereal is . . . just a formality." That said, the marshmallows have a perfectly crisp texture, come in eye-catching colors and shapes, and are overall the best of the bunch.

Mom's Best Cereals Mallow Oats

Don't let its virtuous-looking packaging fool you. To many, this was the real winner.

So, How Did It Fare?

While a few Lucky Charms loyalists disagreed, Mallow Oats beat out the OG Lucky Charms for one major reason: its cereal was the best by a large margin. We'd even go so far as to dig into a bowl of the puffy, lightly-sweetened cereal on its own. (Something pretty much no one would every say about Lucky Charms.) And while the marshmallows are a little plain Jane in appearance (blame the lack of artificial food coloring) they are nearly as tasty as Lucky Charms mallows. All in all, this box is a win.

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