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Jamelle Bouie Reviews Kellogg's The Elf on the Shelf Cereal

Cereal Eats: Elf on a Shelf Cereal, Reviewed

I should say from the jump that I have an ideological problem with the entire idea of the “elf on the shelf.” I think it is unconscionable to subject children to imaginary surveillance for the sake of altering their behavior. It’s basically training them to live in a police state. It’s bad!

But the question of this review isn’t whether the concept of “elf on the shelf” is bad; the question of this review is whether the cereal based on the concept is bad. And I regret to inform you that it’s terrible.

It’s worse than terrible; in fact, it’s putrid. The single biggest problem is that it is attempt to mimic a baked good, so it has the cloying sweetness and fake butter flavor of every cereal that attempts to do just that. The problem is that cloying sweetness and fake butter flavor are awful, and I would not wish them on anyone.

This is not the worst cereal I’ve ever eaten, but if I had to choose between this and a bowl of coal straight from Santa’s mines, I’d choose the coal.

Verdict: 1.5 spoons out of 5.

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