I think the ol’ Dollar Tree gets a bad rap. I also think people didn’t know Hershey’s made cereal, let alone cereal called Fillows. Technically, it’s just made with Hershey’s chocolate (or at least the name) since General Mills actually manufactures it.
Either way, I was wandering around my local Dollar Tree looking for some non-stick spray (used up all my roommate’s Pam) when I discovered that they sell food there. Name brand food at that. When everything’s a dollar, it’s pretty difficult to pass up over a pound of yummy looking cereal. I know what you’re thinking, “It’s food from a dollar store! That’s probably close to expiring!”
The expiration date on these Fillows said June 2020, six months from the time of purchase. Checking it against a box of Special K that one of my roommates bought from Target, the shelf life on that was one year. Considering most cereal gets eaten soon after getting home, I was okay with losing a few months of shelf life if it only cost a buck.
Even though I’m a health nut, I still like a cheat treat once a week or so. These looked like the perfect thing to have for a midnight snack (probs would pass on these for breakfast, it’s chocolate and creme, I mean c’mon).
That image exaggerates the amount of creme in the average Fillow, but there was still a noticeable chunk in each bite. We’re getting ahead of ourselves though, let’s look into the probably-not-great nutrition facts first.
Should the sub-par nutrition in these deter you from picking a box off your local Dollar Tree? Absolutely not. But 19 grams of sugar per serving, yikes. At least there’s some good iron in there.
If you need a replacement for that trisodium phosphate, just head to your local Menards where they have a great substitute.
When will we learn the dangers of genetic engineering?
The cereal hasn’t talked to me….yet.
Okay, let’s actually take a look at it up close and enlarged to show detail.
Almost forgot, this came in an aluminum foil bag.
The picture above verifies that six month shelf life, too.
Okay, time to stop messing around and actually get to the cereal.
At first pour, the cereal definitely looks as promised on the front of the box. If we zoom in, it even looks like a similar size:
One thing we did notice was that a lot of the Fillows were actually stuck together. Not that big of a deal, but the person in charge of pinching these micro-loaves must have been zoned out in the factory.
These sort of look like that cereal Krave, except inside out. The first bite we took was pre-milk and tasted very chocolately. They must really use Hershey’s. There was also a significant taste to the inside creme filling, even though that part felt a bit hollow biting into it.
These were almost like miniature pop tarts in composition (being a rectangular shape with filling inside). The cereal also tasted almost identical to Cocoa Puffs if we ignored the creme filling, and that’s not a complaint either. General Mills probably just took the same recipe for the Cocoa Puff’s and fed it through a different mold or however industrial cereal making works.
You know what the REALLY best part about these was? It wasn’t the pillows filled with creme, the chocolately goodness (well kinda) or the fact that this was $1 for over a pound. It was the fact that when all was said and done, we were left with some really legit chocolate milk in the bowl after eating this. The other thing was I ate most of this at a normal pace, so the fillows didn’t need to steep in the milk like a bunch of chocolate milk tea bags, we just had some at the end.
Packaging: Above Average
Nutrition Facts: Below Average
Preparation: Above Average
I wouldn’t want to eat these for breakfast since they’re so sugary, but they make for a great snack at any other time of the day. If you can find a box at the local Dollar Tree, it’s a good substitute for your usual $3.29 cereal (with half the amount).