We Tried Kellogg's New North Pole Snow Creme Cooling Cereal. Here's How It Went

It's that time of year again, folks. That multi-month stretch leading up to the holidays where Christmas/Hanukkah/generally wintery decorations, gifts, candies, candles, lights, and other such goods hit store shelves long, long before most of us have even begun to think about those late year festivities. One clear sign that the ever-expanding holiday season is upon us? Elf on the Shelf is back. What is the whole Elf on the Shelf thing about, anyway? Gather round and we'll tell you the tale! It all dates back to a time long, long ago, before Miley Cyrus was even known as Hannah Montana, when George W. Bush was early in his second term as President, and when the first iPhone was still two long years away from release. Yes, the year was 2005. That was the year that, according to CNBC, a mother and daughter team, Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, self-published a book called "The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition" that came with a little elf doll included.

Since that year, Elf on the Shelf has become a tradition in countless homes across the globe. Elf on the Shelf has now partnered up with Kellogg's to release a truly unique "magically cooling" breakfast cereal, and we tried it out for you. (Whether that's so you don't have to ... we'll see.)

What's in Kellogg's North Pole Snow Creme Cereal?

it shouldn't come as a surprise that there are a lot of ingredients in this cereal that are less than wholly nutritious. But you don't eat sugary breakfast cereal for the nutrients, you eat it for the taste, and then you compensate for that with whole wheat toast, fresh fruit, eggs, and skim milk, right? Good then. What you'll find here is primarily corn, and in a "corn flour blend" to be specific, that being made of whole grain yellow corn flour and degerminated yellow corn flour. Next up? Yep, sugar. The marshmallows consist of sugar, corn syrup, modified food starch, gelatin, and "natural flavor," followed by wheat flour, whole grain oat flour, and oat fiber.

From there, we move into the shadowy "contains 2% or less of" territory and we find soluble corn fiber, salt, natural and artificial flavor, calcium carbonate, blue 1, red 40, yellow 6, and BHT for freshness. And some vitamins and minerals are listed, which we'll cover later. So ... not really healthy stuff, all told. But again, we knew that going in. And what you won't find here are any common allergens — except for wheat — like soy or dairy, so at least most people will be safe to have a bowlful of North Pole Snow Creme Cereal with Marshmallows. (For the record, it's kind of hard to land on the exact right name to use for this cereal without it being the proverbial mouthful!) 

How much does Kellogg's North Pole Snow Creme Cereal cost?

While this cereal is not yet available for purchase on Walmart's website — Walmart has the exclusive rights to sell the stuff, FYI, though we imagine some of it will end up for re-sale on eBay at some point — we have cross-referenced information from multiple sources, including Hypebeast and Winsight Grocery Business, among others, so we're confident in saying that a box of North Pole Snow Creme Cereal will cost $5.29. That's for a 12.2-ounce box that is touted as being "Family Size." And that price is yet another sure indicator that inflation has hit hard. If you take a look at a couple of the past Elf on the Shelf and Kellogg's collaborations (no, this is not the first time these folks have teamed up), you'll see that previous boxes of "Elf" cereal sold for just $3.64, and that's for the same 12.2-ounce size.

Do note that part of what you're paying for here is merely the novelty of it all. You can get a box of Frosted Flakes that's 34 ounces, or nearly triple the size of the Snow Creme Cereal, for $5.98, aka less money, for example. But it wouldn't be a magically cooling elf-themed cereal, now would it? (And hey, at the time of this writing, Walmart is selling a Disney's Hocus Pocus 2 cereal that's just 7.7 ounces per box for $10.31, so it's got that one beat!)

How long will Kellogg's North Pole Snow Creme Cereal be available?

At the time of this writing, the new Kellogg's North Pole Snow Creme Cereal is not even actually out on Walmart.com and isn't on store shelves yet, either, and it's hard to say exactly when it will become available. But per a press release shared by Kellogg's via PR Newswire, the cereal will go on sale at Walmart "starting in October," so we're confident it will be appearing online and on store shelves (yes, by all means, make with Elf on the Shelf on the shelf wordplay as much as you'd like) very soon. As for how long it will stick around, based on the previous Elf on the Shelf foodstuff collaboration, we're confident in saying you'll be able to buy a box or two of the Snow Creme cereal through the holidays, but it likely won't be available for much longer than that.

If you find yourself to be a fan of the stuff, by all means, stock up some, though — based on the August 30, 2023 expiration date on the box of Elf on the Shelf cereal we tried, it has a long, stable shelf life. (Yes, another shelf pun, sorry.) For now, just keep checking back online or when you stroll the aisles at your local Walmart because this cereal is destined to drop any day.

How does North Pole Snow Creme Cereal compare to other Kellogg's products?

In a lot of ways, Kellogg's North Pole Snow Creme Cereal is quite similar to other cereals the company has offered over the years. After all, it's a sweet, crunchy cereal with marshmallows added — hardly new territory in the breakfast cereal world. And indeed, as noted, this isn't even the first time Kellogg's and Elf on the Shelf have collaborated. The brands teamed up on Kellogg's The Elf on the Shelf Hot Cocoa Cereal and Kellogg's The Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookie Cereal. Then there are the other foodstuff collaborations like, per their press release, Kellogg's The Elf on the Shelf Jumbo Snax, Kellogg's The Elf on the Shelf Pop-Tarts Bites, and Kellogg's The Elf on the Shelf Nutri-Grain Bites. Capitalizing much, no?

On the other hand, this cereal is unique in one notable way, and it's that whole "magically cools your mouth as you eat" thing, those words being emblazoned on the front of the box verbatim. Per Kellogg's, that ingredient, never directly named or explained, is: "A special, slow-release flavor ingredient that awakens the senses, enjoy a unique experience like you just took a bite out of a fresh made snowball." A director of brand marketing for Kellogg's, Sadie Garcia, adds: "With this new cooling cereal, we've dreamt up one more way families can bring the wonder of the season home, this time with a cereal that's just as delicious as it is magical." Maybe a bit of an overstatement, but the cereal does have a mouthfeel that was new to us.

What's the nutrition information for Kellogg's North Pole Snow Creme Cereal?

Alright, let's do the — for lack of a gentler way to put it without obfuscating our meaning — bad news part of the review: This is not a healthy food. At all. A serving, which is considered one and a third cups has 140 calories when eaten dry, or 200 calories when consumed with 3/4 of a cup of skim milk. (We used whole milk in our tasting, for the record.) That serving, focusing now only on the cereal served without milk, for the record, has one gram of fat, two grams of protein, 34 grams of carbs (which is 12% of your recommended daily total), 200 milligrams of sodium (9% of your daily amount), and 13 grams of sugar, all of those being added sugars and totaling more than a quarter of your RDA for sugar. (26% of it, to be precise. And let's be honest, you're not going to be precise when measuring out a serving!)

Sure, you also get 25% of your daily iron needs, 10% of your vitamin C, and 20% each of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamins B12 and B6, but overall, this cereal is essentially empty calories, much of which come from heavily modified starches and from sugars. So do grab that fresh fruit and some protein and some whole grains to round out your breakfast, and also treat this cereal like a treat.

Did we like Kellogg's new Elf on the Shelf North Pole Snow Creme Cereal?

Yes, yes we did like this cereal, but with a few, well, "buts." First, let's talk about the flavor in broad strokes. It has notes of vanilla and it's very sweet — frankly a bit too sweet for our palate, with the intensity of the sugary taste only growing all the more pronounced as the milk breaks down the starches. A good solution to the sweetness might be to mix this cereal in a 50:50 ratio with an entirely non-sugary cereal, like a rice square or bran flake type of situation. As for the marshmallow part of the equation, there are really very few when you compare the cereal to something like, say, Lucky Charms. For us, that was a positive, because again we were right at the sweetness threshold.

And then let's get to the "magical cooling" of it all. Frankly speaking, had we not been made well aware of this "cooling" by the box (and by our own reading up) we might not have noticed it, but when paying attention to the feel of this cereal, it's unmistakable. The cooling sensation is akin to the effect of menthol flavor on your tongue, your upper palate, and your cheeks, albeit in this case there is no minty or menthol taste, so don't worry there. It's an interesting experience, eating a sweet, vanilla-flavored cereal with this mildly cooling edge, and it's an experience we definitely recommend you try, albeit tempered with a non-sugared cereal mixed in.