Well, folks, the long wait is over. No, we’re not talking about the sequel to the record-breaking epic 2009 film "Avatar," written, produced, and directed by James Cameron, though indeed that movie’s sequel, "Avatar: The Way of Water" will finally hit theaters on December 16, 2022. What we’re talking about here is the wait for a promotional tie-in foodstuff that’s actually good enough to be enjoyed based on its own merits regardless of the marketing dog and pony show of it all. Because, as we’ll try to convince you, the newest cereal from Kellogg’s, Pandora Flakes, is an excellent addition to the brand’s lineup. But it’s one that will be out of this world before long, so if you want to grab a box, don’t wait (even though it took nearly a decade and a half for that "Avatar" sequel).
Fully described by all the language on the front of the box as "Avatar Pandora Flakes of Corn with Blueberry Flavored Blue Moons," this cereal works because the slight change here — namely the addition of those crunchy blue spheres — accentuates the classic Frosted Flakes flavor rather than taking it in a whole new direction, such as we have experienced with some other recent releases from the brand that were less successful. (Frosted Flakes Strawberry Milkshake, we’re looking at you here!) While this new product may not win over anyone who dislikes the standard Frosted Flakes variety, it’s certainly unlikely to scare off any fans of the classic cereal.
What’s in Pandora Flakes cereal?
Despite the otherworld inspiration for this latest Kellogg’s cereal, it’s probably no surprise that it’s made with ingredients that are fairly down to earth. Like mostly corn, to be clear. The copy on the front of the box reads in part "with blueberry flavored blue moons — naturally flavored with other natural flavors." That description reads a bit sphinxlike to us, but perhaps we can make sense of it all when going through the ingredients one by one? First, again, you’ll find corn, "milled corn" to be precise. Next comes sugar, followed by "corn flour blend" and then we get to the "contains 2% or less of" ingredients.
Those are malt flavor, salt, wheat flour, whole grain oat flour, oat fiber, natural flavor, soluble corn fiber, calcium carbonate, blue 1, red 40, yellow 6, and BHT for freshness. So evidently that blueberry flavor is lurking somewhere in those "natural flavors," as we’re pretty sure the "malt flavor" is just more added sweetness. Suffice it to say that overall this cereal’s ingredient list will be very much familiar to many citizens of this world.
How much does a box cost?
Kellogg’s Pandora Flakes cereal is on the pricier side, but that’s only to be expected for a specialty, limited-time product — the company has to make up for all those unique cereal boxes they printed and all the little blue "moons" they milled somehow, right? At the time of this writing, per a press release shared by Kellogg’s, a 10.2-ounce box of Pandora Flakes retails for $4.99, while a 16.3-ounce box of the cereal retails for $5.99. Do the math, and you’ll see that’s about 48 cents per ounce for the smaller box, and 36 cents per ounce for the larger size, so going bigger is the better value if you want to factor price into your purchase.
That said, we shopped around some and actually found different pricing at a few stores. As of publication, Target is selling the larger size available for $4.79 (before tax) which beats the MSRP even for the smaller box. Either way, you can get other cereals for a good deal less cash if you would rather watch your budget than try the latest new thing. For example, a 24-ounce box of classic Frosted Flakes currently sold at Target can be yours for $4.79 , too, so that’s half a pound more food for the same price, albeit without little blue moons to crunch on.
Is this cereal a limited release?
Just as even the most successful films must leave theaters eventually — per Box Office Mojo, the first "Avatar" film was in movie theaters for just over a year or 379 days, to be exact — this new cereal from Kellogg’s will not be around forever. While we don’t have a so-called "hard out" date for when its production and distribution will stop, we can safely guess that it will be by the end of March in 2023. That’s because March 31, 2023 is the last date on which certain Kellogg’s products can be bought that will still qualify for a free movie ticket when you buy three participating Kellogg’s products thanks to a partnership the cereal brand is running with movie ticket vendor Fandango. Note that what you actually get is a voucher with a value of up to $13, so at some theaters that may get you a ticket, while at others it’s just a part of the price.
Also, note that just because you can’t find any Pandora Flakes for sale near you, you might not have missed your window of opportunity yet — in fact, you may be too early for it. The cereal went on sale in October 2022 but its availability is limited to Target stores (and on Target’s website) from now until mid-November 2022, so if you don’t see the stuff at your grocery store or on other online retail sites, sit tight, it will surely be there soon.
How does the new Avatar cereal compare with other Frosted Flakes flavors?
While we do have some specific praise we’ll lavish on Pandora Flakes in a moment, as noted, this cereal works primarily because it’s not a major departure into new ground for Kellogg’s and its venerable Frosted Flakes brand of breakfast cereals. Frosted Flakes has tried adding new things to their base sugary corn flake cereal a few times, as with Frosted Flakes with Marshmallows, for example. (And let’s not forget Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Chocolate with Spooky Marshmallows, a cereal that threw two curveballs into the mix and really was a changeup.) The brand had rolled out plenty of other flavored Frosted Flakes, such as Cinnamon Frosted Flakes, Chocolate Frosted Flakes, and more. Heck, this isn’t even the first tie-in to a movie franchise, what with Frosted Flakes Obi-Wan Kenobi Cereal that hopped on the "Star Wars" train.
What’s new here is the addition of those blueberry-flavored "blue moons." They have the exact same crunch and mouthfeel as the base frosted flakes cereal, yet they add an undeniable new flavor to the mix. So whereas some people may love a cereal with marshmallows, dried fruit, or nuts, others prefer when our cereal merely crunches, and this one provides plenty of crunch plus an upgrade to that classic Frosted Flakes flavor.
What’s the nutrition info for Pandora Flakes?
Time for the sad trombone noises because, as usual with these sweet, sugary breakfast cereals, the nutrition "facts" are more of a nutrition farce. This cereal is just not very good for you at all. Let’s do the numbers starting with the serving size, which is 1 cup of dry Pandora Flake cereal. You’ll get a modest 140 calories in that serving, along with, notably, zero appreciable fat, saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, or monounsaturated fat — if the cereal contains any of those fats, it’s in such low amounts that the brand is not even obliged to disclose them.
But on the carbs, you get 33 grams per cup, which is 12% of your daily total, and as for the sugar content, you get 13 grams of the sweet stuff with each serving, which is more than half the sugar an adult woman should consume in an entire day, and well over a third of an adult man’s daily recommended total, per Harvard’s School of Public Health. Now, there are some vitamins and minerals thanks to the grains, and these include iron, of which you’ll get 35% of your day’s needs, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6, of which you’ll get 15% of each, and plenty of vitamin D, too.
Did we enjoy Pandora Flakes?
Yes, we liked this cereal very much, in fact, albeit just as a treat, not as a part of our daily breakfast or anything like that. The best thing about Pandora Flakes in our experience was how, as noted, those little blue moons have a satisfying crunch to them. They add flavor without changing the overall consistency of the cereal, and that’s a win for us, even though we don’t care much for added bits of foodstuff in our cereal bowls. The blueberry flavor of the blue moons is unmistakable and complements the base sweetness of the sugary flakes, but without in any way overriding their taste.
We also appreciate how Kellogg’s has used some of the "real estate" on the decidedly blue Pandora Flakes box to spread some information about being green here on earth. On one side of the box, the company includes several tips on recycling, like reminding people that the cereal’s cardboard box and plastic bag can both be recycled and that using Energy Star-certified dishwashers for your bowls and spoons can dramatically reduce water waste. Now, will this cereal help drive ticket sales of the new film "Avatar: The Way of Water" starring Zoe Saldaña, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, and Kate Winslet? That we can’t predict for sure. Will Kellogg’s cereal fans like this new cereal, though? You can bet your last lump of unobtainium (or last ingot or whatever you have there) on it.