Froot Loops come to the UK. I compare with the US version.

Kelloggs are trialling Froot Loops in the UK at the moment, in special limited edition boxes. I used to eat them, alongside any number of other colourful cereals, when I lived in the US, so I picked up a box. I don’t remember the US ones well enough to be able to compare the taste and crunch, but these ones taste pretty good to me.

Froot Loops come to the UK.

The UK version only has 3 colours of loop, and for good reason. Our version only used natural colours, so we have orange, coloured with carrot, purple, coloured with blackcurrant, and green, coloured with spinach and nettle. You can’t taste any carrot, spinach or nettle, by the way. Here are the British ingredients:

Cereal Flours (Oat, Wheat, Maize), Sugar, Glucose Syrup, Salt, Natural Citrus Flavouring with other Natural Flavourings, Plant Extracts (Nettle, Spinach), Fruit and Vegetable Extracts (Carrot, Blackcurrant), Colour (Papricka Extract)

And here are the US ingredients:

Sugar, whole grain corn flour, wheat flour, whole grain oat flour, oat fiber, soluble corn fiber, contains 2% or less of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (coconut, soybean and/or cottonseed), salt, red 40, natural flavor, blue 2, turmeric color, yellow 6, annatto color, blue 1, BHT for freshness.

There’s quite some difference there. Firstly, the US version has sugar as its number one ingredient. It also has partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, while the UK version seems to manage with no oil at all. Our primary cereal seems to be oats, while the US, unsurprisingly, has corn at the top, and then some soluble corn later. I’ve no idea if that really changes the taste much, but oats are quite a wondrous food. Oats have the highest protein levels of any cereal crop, which probably explains why UK Froot Loops have THREE TIMES the protein of their US counterparts.

Then you have Red 40, and a host of other artificial colours. BHT, or Butylated hydroxytoluene is a petroleum-based antioxidant used for freshness, but once again, the UK version manages to mysteriously not need it. It is possible that the natural colours (such as the carotene in the orange loops) are doing double duty, as they have strong antioxidant properties themselves.

The point of this post is this: There is no good reason why Kelloggs could not use the recipe they’re using in the UK in the US too. Even if you don’t care about the artifical chemicals (and you should), the British recipe is undeniably far better for you. The calorie amount is actually roughly the same, but the British version has about three times as much protein (great stuff, but also a slow-release calorie source), and about two thirds of the sugar. So neither are what you’d call healthy food, but the Glycemic Index of the US version would be much higher, as it releases its energy over a shorter period of time, meaning you get hungry again more quickly.

Essentially, UK Froot Loops are quite unhealthy on their own, but in moderation you could fit them in to a reasonably healthy diet. US Froot Loops are a comparative nutritional void, laced with a variety of suspect artificial substances with links to hyperactivity and cancer.

So, why not ask Kelloggs if they’d like to start treating American customers as well as they treat British ones? Currently, the deck is stacked against any American who wants to eat healthily, and the obesity epidemic can certainly be blamed in part on the choices companies make in formulating their products. As this post has shown, producers know how to make healthier products, but they feel they can get away with cutting corners when US consumers are concerned.

24 comments to Froot Loops come to the UK. I compare with the US version.

  • Yarr

    I used to eat Froot Loops starting when I was kid (many many years ago) to finally give up on them several years ago. As they added more and more chemicals the cereal became a tasteless soup of… non-food. More and more of the processed food being sold here in the USA is nothing but industrial chemicals, with little to no actual natural food in them. From Oreo cookies (tasteless cookies with artificial sweeteners that turn to mush soon after being dipped in milk), to Nabisco graham crackers (over-baked cardboard tasting that are nothing like they used to be), everything is nothing but chemicals these days. No telling what happens when they are all mixed together in your system with other processed mostly-chemical “foods”.

  • Thomas

    Just bought 5 Cartons as I miss my froot loops (i only ever lived in NY for 3 years but got hooked on them) I happen to have one small individual american version in the pantry which I smuggled of the last cruise ship I was on and can tell you that SADLY the British version tastes absolutely vile. It not only looks different (probably less food colors) but it tastes not fruity and also rather salty. In this case i say give me the American version anytime!

    • Oh dear! I rather like the UK version. We must have very different taste-buds.
      They looks to have about the same salt amount, but maybe you couldn’t taste it so much in the US one. I don’t remember it too well.

  • ryan

    on taste the US fruit loops wins hands down, UK ones are to crunchy seem to have very little taste at all. I got back from Florida a few weeks ago and bought some back with me and when i seen Tesco selling them i bought a few boxes and they are nothing a like in appearance taste or texture.

  • Just had the UK versions they taste nothing like the US versions, the US versions are significantly more delicious tho vastly unhealthier for you. Also the UK ones have no distinct taste. I was disappointed that’s why I googled this article. Anyway nice post.

  • Gazza

    USA wins hands down! I’m not buying the uk ones for the nutritional value I’m wanting the taste!…the uk ones are bland at best and don’t even look the part. Very unhappy about this!

  • Sam

    Disappointed. If I wanted to be healthy at breakfast I’d eat Special K.
    Glad they are limited edition. I would only have bought them if they were the USA ones.
    I won’t be buying again. They are just plain coloured honey loops, with less flavour.

  • Glr

    Well I won’t be buying them again, they were rank.

  • Charlie

    Discovered UK Froot Loops in Tesco when shopping last night and was absolutely amazed!! ~unfortunately they are NOT the same and this was apparent from the very first mouthful. utterly gutted, I don’t like paying £7 for a box of cereal!

  • carol

    Discovered fruit loops in Florida best thing ever,eat them every day for breakfast for each of my 2week holidays and even bought some home in the suitcase so i could continue the pleasure, so you could imagin the delight when i saw them on the shelves in Tesco.I wish i hadn’t bothered they were disgusting, really,really bad and the only thing i can compare them to is the smell of stale cardboard. Not that the fruit loops were stale i am sure its the receipe. Emailed Kelloggs U.K and there reason for the differance in taste is the sugar etc. When in the US i am sure on the packageing as in UK it states “Made with natural Flavours and Colours”, so whats gone wrong? The supposed unhealthy US version with it high Glycemic Index stood me and my family in very good sted, after a good breakfast of the afor mentioned U.S cereal we wre ready for what Florida had to offer,how can that be unhealthy!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • David

    Sadly after the initial excitment of finding froot loops at a sensible price, £2 for the U.K version at waitrose compared to £9.99 at the Lakeside sweet shop for the U.S version, I was very dissapointed with the contents. I understand that the U.S. version is “unhelthy” BUT the U.K version is rather taseless. Come on Keloggs, surely a stronger tasting version is achievable.

  • dave mccrombie

    I dunno bout ya american’s, but i used to love fruit loops as a kid in australia. one day, they suddenly dissapeared offa shelves without comment. tha’s coz those things were crawling with sugars, and emulsifiers, and god knows what else chemicals.

    sure they were awesome, but they were also really bad for the body. till re, but the american food industry is more interested in profit than health. these uk ones, now they’re still not exactly super healthy, but they are a step inna right diferection – with natural ingredients, nd higher oat content than the toxic cocktail of the us version.

    as for the taste? it doesn’t taste so bad to me. sure it’s not the same as the sugar-bomb death of the us type, but that’s the point. besides, ya can just throw on a spoonful of sugar if you really wanna rot ya teeth so bad. but maybe they could do with little touch of natural flavourings in addition to the natural colourings

    • They could certainly increase the amount of natural flavouring they use. That might help bring folks around.

      If you’re not used to how strongly the US variety tastes though, the UK ones do taste reasonably fruity.

  • NotaSheep

    It’s really sad to see a conversation meant to be about health end up being about taste. Do people even care when they die anymore?

    • I wonder that myself sometimes! I find the UK ones completely pleasant to eat, but if it takes upping the natural flavour to convert more folks, I guess that’s what it takes.

  • Stephx

    The ice cream, chocolate, pop tarts, cakes, cookies sold in the UK have large amounts of sugar too. Should the UK/UN ban them as well? No, because it’s all about moderation. the US version is a million times better than the UK one. There’s no need to make cereal taste horrible, flavor is very important if you are going to eat something only once in a while. There’s nothing wrong the US version when you eat it in moderation. Americans like things to taste good, after living in the UK I’ve noticed a lot of the foods do not have much flavor and it’s just simply really gross food here. They shouldn’t sell cereal like this as a name brand, the UK should make a different generic version instead because they taste like two different brands of cereal. Also, Americans know their cereal, especially with the HUGE selection we have, we love our cereal and messing with a classic is just wrong.

  • Karissa

    Sorry, but the UK Froot Loops taste horrible. Of course health is a concern, but I don’t eat Froot Loops for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. Sometimes I want delicious sugary food! This tastes like crunchy oats with a slight vegetable taste. Yuck. Good thing I bought it on sale, I won’t be buying it again. American Froot Loops for the win!

  • Patrick

    Having initially been introduced to Frootloops when young while on holiday to the US, I have continued to eat them infrequently in Australia or New Zealand. Having now moved to the UK I spotted them in a store and thought I’d treat myself to some. What a terrible mistake. Like all other posts here, I don’t live on Frootloops and I have them as a treat. The UK ones taste terrible, I will not be buying them again in the UK. Will wait until I am safetly back outside the EU before purchasing a decent flavoured box again.

  • Hannah

    The UK ones are tasteless and look nothing like the real ones. I’ve eaten the two versions and the American ones taste so much better. The reason we can’t have the real ones is because those food dyes are banned in the EU because they say how there linked to hyperactivity and cancer. There’s a lot of other harmful products freely available here that kill people every year, how about cigarettes and alcohol, shouldn’t they start on those for fairness.

    Anyway, I think it should be up to the person what they want to eat. It is my body and if I want to eat this stuff I have the right to. All they need to do instead of banning the ingredients is introduce a warning on the box like they do for all harmful products. Something like – consuming this product can cause hyperactivity etc. They do exactly the same thing for cigarettes and harmful chemicals that can kill you if you inhale.

    Back onto Froot Loops, I’m tired of the food police dictating what I can and cannot eat, modifying the UK recipe is a good example of this.

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  • Jennie. Gore

    I tasted them in Vancouver and I loved them.I
    then bought them in Tesco in Worcester UK then they stopped selling them why as I love them,I hope to be able to buy them again
    very soon.

  • Erinyes

    NotaSheep – what’t the point in living longer if your entire existence is eating bland boring food, guess you’re all about quantity then quality… If I’m going to be wiped out but the next global disaster I might as well go out with a sugary goodness bang!

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