I think for the leading brands the cost of breakfast cereal can be stupidly high. I usually opt for own brand alternatives, or offers. In Asda recently, I saw a brand I'd not heard of before, 'Mornflake' and the 500g box of 'Mornflake Oatbran Flakes' was on offer for £1, so I decided to try them. Even if these turn out to be really good, these were less than half price in this offer and I'd think twice about paying over £2 for a small 500g box of cereal usually.
The box of this cereal says to me 'up market', think Dorset Cereals. The box is thick orange card with a design in green and brown of crops with a clear plastic window so you can see the product instead. A sophisticated design that suggests quality.
The box states that these are 'high in oatbran goodness' and there's a strap line at the bottom which reads 'Milling our way in Cheshire for 14 generations.' So this product says to me it's good for me, long established, good quality and traditional...but does it deliver?
As I poured the flakes into a bowl I noticed that a lot were broken up and bitty. Whether this is because my box has been handled a bit roughly in transit or it's the product itself that is prone to this I don't know but I wasn't too happy and having a few flakes and and the rest of the bowl as bits for my breakfast.
This aside, the flakes are actually are substantial and tasty. Each flake is sightly thicker and heavier than a bran flake for example and I found a bowl of this left me feeling a lot more full than most cereals.
The flavour is funnily enough, oaty. A lot of the time these 'healthy' cereals can be tasteless with a cardboard texture, but these are one of the better I've tried. Very tasty indeed.
Good for you?
In the supermarket these were merchandised with the Special K, Bran Flakes, All Bran etc. So the healthier end of the aisle. Mornflake are obviously selling this as a healthy breakfast. Quotes from them on the product say "Our flakes are the perfect start to your day - they're made from a huge 40% oatbran which helps lower cholesterol." It also states they are high in fibre, high in bran and contains no GM ingredients, artificial colours, preservatives or flavours.
So it contains good stuff, I get that but what about the nutritional information? Well, I was surprised. Each 40g serving, with milk contains 204 calories, which is more than the cereals I usually eat which come in at about 180, and let's face it who weighs their cereal? Most people I imagine would go over 40g when pouring it out into the bowl.
To get a better idea I looked at the values per 100g. Per 100g, cereal alone this contains 353 calories, 14.1g sugar and 5.4g fat. So how does this 'healthy' cereal compare to a 'non healthy' one? Well for example the same amount of Coco Pops contains 387 calories, (315 more), 35g sugar (20.9g more) and 2.5g fat (2.9g less). So not as cut and dried as I thought it would be.
Overall, I enjoyed the flavour of this cereal, but was disappointed by the condition it reached me in. I like the look and am confident it contains a lot of ingredients that are good for me, however I could probably find a cereal with much the same ingredients, with a smaller calorie and fat content and a smaller price.