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Marian Burros of the New York Times writes this morning about the so-called healthy cereals that are coming on the market, noting that “nearly all of the current ones are organic or ‘natural,’ and their labels crow about specific benefits like helping the environment, managing weight and promoting peace. Their ingredient lists include green tea, omega-3 fatty acids, hemp, cardamom, flaxseed, gobs of antioxidants and evaporated cane juice. They claim to be low-fat, high-protein, low cholesterol, wheat-free, vegan. Just as prominently displayed is what they don't contain: artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, refined sugar, hydrogenated and tropical oils, trans fatty acids, not to mention sulfites and monosodium glutamate.”

However, there is one thing that Burros says most of the cereals don’t have: good taste.

She pretty much eviscerates the category: “One thing few of them can boast about is taste. I sampled about 100, and words like cardboard, sawdust, soggy and stale often came to mind. And natural dried berries don't taste any better than artificial ones.” And, she writes, while “75 percent of these cereals deliver on their basic nutritional promises - more fiber and less sugar - but the amount of whole grains in them may not be greater than in conventional cereals. So reading the fine print on their labels, though taxing, is essential.”
KC's View:
We only want to eat things that taste good. We daresay that most consumers feel the same way.

Which makes you wonder why there is so much food in the world that tastes like crap.

The natural/organic category only will grow in the long run if the stuff tastes good. The segment has come a long way, but at least in the judgment of the New York Times, it still has some work to do.