We Tried Kellogg's New Little Debbie Nutty Buddy Cereal. It's A Candy Bar In A Bowl

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Before we talk taste, crunch, nutrition, and overall opinions of this new Little Debbie Nutty Buddy cereal from Kellogg's, let's talk history for a bit, because this cereal has quite a lot behind it. First, as you may know, Kellogg's has a history that can be traced back over 120 years, the forerunner of the modern company having begun to produce cereals on a commercial scale in the year 1894. And by the early 1900s, the company was large enough to commence international exports of its beloved Corn Flakes, or "Toasted Corn Flakes," as they were known then. Next, let's talk about Little Debbie. That's a brand that has been around since 1960 when it was created as a new line of snack cakes for the McKee Foods company. The Nutty Buddy bar was introduced under the Little Debbie label four years later, in 1964.

Long story short, we have two legacy brands here, though granted Kellogg's has about twice as much history as Little Debbie does. And while it took a long time for these two American originals to have their paths cross, they finally did in 2020 (more on that later) and have done so again in a unique and delightful way — with the breakfast cereal form of a classic favorite snack. Or is it a dessert cereal, actually? That's one we'll leave up to you to decide, should you grab a box of Kellogg's new Little Debbie Nutty Buddy cereal. 

What's in Kellogg's new Little Debbie Nutty Buddy cereal?

As we often do when taking a close look at a new foodstuff that was inspired by another foodstuff — especially a venerable classic — let's first look at the ingredients you'll find in a Nutty Buddy bar from Little Debbie. Originally known as Nutty Bars, in the Nutty Buddy bar of today, you'll find, per information sourced from Walmart, primarily dextrose (so yes, the first ingredient is sugar), peanut butter, enriched flour, sugar, palm and soybean oils, water, and then we delve into the "contains 2% or less of each" category. So ... not a health food, but more of a sugar pile, in other words.

In the Nutty Buddy cereal from Kellogg's, we're happy to report that sugar is not the first ingredient. It's the second. First comes whole wheat flour. Then the aforementioned sugar, followed by whole grain oat flour, rice flour, fructose (another kind of sugar, for the record), vegetable oil, and then on into the less than 2% range, wherein you'll find things like nonfat milk, cocoa, natural and artificial flavor, some coloring agents, and a preservative. In other words, again, not a health food, exactly. And that's true even though you'll also find things like iron and vitamin D and folate and vitamin B6 and such — those and other vitamins and minerals are naturally occurring thanks to the grains used in the recipe, and they can be found in pretty much all cereals.

How much does Kellogg's Little Debbie Nutty Buddy cereal cost?

This cereal is fairly more expensive than your average garden-variety breakfast cereal option, but there are a few understandable reasons for that. First, this is a brand new cereal, so it makes sense that it's priced at a bit of a premium right now. Second, this is definitely a specialty product that must be more complicated to produce than, say, Corn Flakes. Or Frosted Flakes, for that matter. And third, Kellogg's has now released enough of these types of partnership cereal products to clearly know what people are willing to pay and set its price points accordingly.

Per a press release from Kellogg's shared by PR Newswire, an 8.2-ounce box of the new Little Debbie Nutty Buddy Cereal will sell for $4.99, while the larger 13.1-ounce box (which is the size pictured here, for the record) will sell for $5.99. For a bit of context, let's compare those prices to the current price of a few other Kellogg's cereals. At Walmart right now, you can get a huge 24-ounce box of Frosted Flakes for $4.48, making it more than three times cheaper than Nutty Buddy cereal. And you can get a 23-ounce box of Choco Krispis at Walmart for $4.88, so there are cheaper chocolate cereals out there. But one with that peanut buttery goodness and a great crunch to it? For that, you gotta buy this.

Is this cereal a temporary product?

Fear not, fans of super sweet, chocolatey, and peanut buttery cereals! This new Kellogg's cereal seems like it will be a permanent addition to the company's cereal roster. It has been first rolled out for sales only at Walmart, so if you are having trouble finding it in the fall of 2022, don't worry, it's coming. (Or you can get going to Walmart, of course.) At the time of this writing, Little Debbie Nutty Buddy cereal is slated to go on sale at retailers nationwide and online on December 2022, per the company press release. And while we are confident that this cereal is not being planned as a limited release, we need to issue a few words of caution here.

There have been, as noted briefly and to be discussed at length in a moment, two other prior collaborations between Kellogg's and Little Debbie, namely the Kellogg's Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies Cereal and the Kellogg's Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies Cereal. Based on some quick searches, we easily found the latter, the Cosmic Brownies Cereal, for sale at Walmart and at Amazon. But we could not find Kellogg's Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies Cereal for sale anywhere, so be aware that this new cereal, too, may end up being a fleeting offering if it does not sell well enough. (Spoiler alert: it probably will, though, because ... Nutty Buddies in a bowl, people.)

How does Nutty Buddy cereal compare with other Kellogg's products?

Okay, so it's probably no surprise by now for you to learn that this cereal is indeed quite comparable to several other cereals Kellogg's has released in the past, and that's true in several different ways. First and most obviously, it's the third collaboration with the Little Debbie's brand in the past few years, so this partnership between the legacy cereal brand and legacy snack brand is hardly bold new territory — and that's fine, by the way, not a knock on it. 

Second, the Nutty Buddy happens to be rather similar to the Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies Cereal — both are brown, rectangular prisms (to go all 9th-grade math on you there) that are primarily defined by a chocolate flavor. Both have a satisfying crunch. Both turn the milk into an almost Yoo-hoo-like beverage if given enough time in the bowl. The differences? Cosmic Brownies has sweet rainbow-colored bits, Nutty Butty has a peanut butter flavor.

But perhaps the most notable way this new cereal from Kellogg's is truly comparable to other products from the brand is that it really nails the flavor. If you are familiar with Nutty Buddy bars, then you will recognize the taste found in this cereal. It's pretty similar to how Kellogg's nailed it in another recent collaboration, namely its recently re-released Cinnabon cereal: when you eat that cereal, you really can taste the classic Cinnabon cinnamon roll flavors.

What's the nutrition info for Kellogg's new Little Debbie cereal?

Now for the part of the job we're not as thrilled with: the bad news part. Remember how we discussed all those ingredients earlier and a lot of them were just sweeteners? Well, now we need to talk about the stats in detail, and it turns out that yeah, as you suspected, this is not healthy stuff at all. The main numbers to consider will be given for a serving size of one and a third cups, or 41 grams for our metric system-using friends, and note that in a standard bowl of cereal you'll probably have close to two servings. In terms of sheer calories, one serving rates at 170 calories, and that's not bad at all, really. There's very little fat in there, just three grams, which is a mere 4% of your day's total, along with just 0.5 grams of saturated fat, or 3% of the RDA. The sodium is low, too, at 125 milligrams, or 5% of your daily allotment. The carbs are a bit higher at 33 grams or 12% of you RDA, while the fiber is low at two grams or 7%.

Where things get really ugly is, of course, with the sugar. There are 16 grams of sugar per that 170-calorie serving — according to some metrics, that's way too much. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends a maximum of just 24 grams of sugar daily for adult women and 36 for adult men!

Did we enjoy the new Little Debbie Nutty Buddy cereal from Kellogg's?

Yes, we very much liked Kellogg's new Little Debbie Nutty Buddy Cereal, but we have to say we were also very careful in closing and sealing the bag, because this is going to be an only once in a while treat. It is as sweet as any candy bar (or bar masquerading as more of a snack but, come on, it's candy and we all know it) and eating a full bowl of the stuff was almost too much for us. If you have an insatiable sweet tooth, and especially one that loves chocolate and peanut butter combined, then you will have met your match with this stuff. Having heroically eaten the entire bowl for the sake of journalism, we can tell you that the cereal retains its crunch rather well even after several minutes in the milk and, as noted, it does nonetheless impart some good sweetness and flavor into the milk.

The flavor itself is like a blend of cocoa and dark chocolate with the peanut butter flavor more subtle but certainly present. Dry, the chocolate notes remain quite dominant, but we found them softened a bit with milk, while the peanut notes came out more. The next time we enjoy a bit of this cereal it will be a smaller portion, and we've also had a few other ideas, like grinding it into powder and sprinkling that over oatmeal or even over ice cream, because why not go double sweet?