The untold truth of Froot Loops

Froot Loops (that is not a typo, it is actually spelled "froot" as opposed to "fruit"), is a popular and colorful cereal. However, there is a lot about this cereal that you may not know.

The first thing is a big one — all the colors actually taste the same. There are eight different colored loops, all thought to represent flavors, a thought supported by the company's addition of Birthday Cake Froot Loops and Wild Berry Froot Loops to the available "flavor" roster. But nope — they are actually all the same. This is because Froot Loops uses the same flavoring for all the different colors of the cereal (via Women's Health).

Food Beast did a taste test to directly confirm this and their results bore it out, noting that each piece basically tastes like "mildly sweetened cardboard," and they couldn't tell one color from the other. They are clearly not fans.

Interestingly, Froot Loops originally only contained three colors: pink, red, and orange. These colors are represented on Toucan Sam, the Froot Loops mascot, who has those three colors on his beak. When additional colors were added to the cereal, Toucan Sam's beak remained unchanged (via The Fact Site).

Froot Loops in the UK

You may be surprised to find out that Froot Loops are different in the United Kingdom than they are in the United States. The UK version only had orange, purple, and green loops, due to regulations. The UK requires products to have natural additives and flavoring, which the United States does not. Froot Loops couldn't find any natural flavoring for the red, yellow, or blue loops, which means that for those in the U.S., well, those are artificial flavors you're chowing down on.

They also changed the formula in the UK. The result was Froot Loops with a coarser texture, which caused a slightly different taste. The UK loops are also larger in size, switching things up from the stereotype that everything is bigger in America. This change was a result of the change in formula. However, Froot Loops were removed from shelves in the UK in 2015 after only being introduced in 2012, due to lack of demand. Maybe all those changes in taste and texture didn't work out for the best.

Froot Loops and the law

Another interesting fact about Froot Loops is that there is not any fruit in them, which is likely no huge surprise, as that fact is probably pretty obvious. However, Kellogg's, the company that manufactures Froot Loops, has been sued four times over this seemingly obvious fact. The lawsuits claim the cereal is misleading. In all instances, the judges have ruled in favor of Kellogg's because the cereal is spelled "froot," which is not a real word (in case you didn't realize that). The judges ruled that a cereal called Froot Loops couldn't reasonably be expected to have real fruit.

Froot Loops, also unsurprisingly, have unhealthy chemicals in them. In 2010, Kellogg's was forced to voluntarily recall 28 million boxes of cereal to save their reputation, including Froot Loops, due to customers getting food poisoning from the cereal. The weird part is that the chemicals causing the problem weren't even in the cereal, but were in the packaging itself. The boxes were reported to have a strange odor, causing symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea. The boxes were then found to contain higher levels of chemicals called hydrocarbons in the wax used on the packaging. This huge recall resulted from complaints from only 20 people. It is good to know that Kellogg's was responsive to customer complaints, regardless of profit motive, as it prevented more people from becoming ill.

Froot Loops as part of a healthy breakfast?

Now, with all this information about Froot Loops, you would not expect to see them listed as a healthy choice for breakfast — however, you would be wrong. In 2009, Smart Choices logos began appearing on food that, according to them, would, "Direct consumers to smarter food choices in the supermarket, which will eventually lead to more balanced diets and to more beneficial foods as food manufacturers renovate products to meet the nutrition criteria for carrying the icon." 

In case you missed any of that marketing-speak, they are saying that companies would change the way they make food, and make it healthier to be able to use the logo from Smart Choices. While this might normally be dismissed as a marketing ploy, the Smart Choices program included nutrition professional associations and was managed by the American Society of Nutrition. This gave Smart Choices legitimacy (via The Atlantic). However, Froot Loops was given the logo without any changes to the cereal, when the first ingredient listed is sugar. This is not so smart, and the program ended the same year.

With all this information, it is obvious that Froot Loops are an unhealthy breakfast filled with sugar that bear no resemblance to fruit flavors. We like them for the crunch, anyway.