Saturday, December 14, 2013

Crowdtap sampling opportunity: Cocoa Pebbles from Post!

Through Crowdtap, I received two large family-size boxes of Cocoa Pebbles to sample with kids and share with the whole family. I have done these sample and share opportunities before, but you usually just received enough for one meal. So this family-size box sampling is a great change.
We started with one sample, then keep a diary and report back to Crowdtap. Below are the comparisons we did, starting with the initial impressions of the samples we got.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - two large boxes of Cocoa Pebbles from Post cereal
So both boxes look identical and I had a hard time telling, after sampling both cereals, whether any of them was the real Cocoa Pebbles. But anyway, digging deeper, the nutrition information on the boxes is the same - both are fairly nutritious and I would serve them for breakfast. Each box has a unique code because as part of the sampling, we need to complete an online survey and report back our impressions.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - carefully noting down the numbers helps keep the sample and share on track!
Having a couple of friends with gluten allergies, I actually pay attention to such things now and realized for the first time that Cocoa Pebbles are gluten-free and fairly rich in vitamins and minerals!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - both samples have the same great nutritional value that we expect from Post cereal!
When doing the sampling, you are always asked to describe your initial impressions. So we put a little of cereal into a bowl and describe the impressions. Our faces for the first sample were "like, yeah, cocao pebbles, so what?" Brown in this case is good because it promises chocolate flavor, so we next added some milk and the little ones had the privilege of sampling the cereal #1 first.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - sample one is on the bag, make that in the bowl. Sampling about to begin!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - perfect breakfast, pebbles with milk. Sweet and still nutritious, plus quick to prepare too!
 Sorry for the blurry sample, but it was along the lines, now that we have milk on this stuff, we will eat it NOW!. Anyway, the cereal #1 tasted fine, slight chocolate flavor, not too sweet and light. So even eating a bowl of cereal will not wear you down. Which also makes this an ideal mid-day snack or a good topping for ice cream.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - the official tasting comparison. Neutral containers and right size for lunch and munch!
This was now the professional comparison. We took neutral containers, filled them up with the different samples and packed them into lunch bags for snacks. The flavor was almost the same, the lighter samples may have been a little bit sweeter, but we do not know how much the actual color figured into our taste impression. Not surprisingly maybe the adults went for the darker sample, reminding us of dark chocolate, which we prefer. The little one went for the lighter, milk-chocolate colored sample. To me the darker sample tasted a little bit stronger of chocolate, but was the difference striking? Not really, almost identical in flavor. Visually to me the darker sample was still more appealing.

Overall, this was a fun experience. It was great that everyone got to sample the cereal. In the past, the sample shares included just enough for one person, which was kind of strange because it was obvious to the little ones that they were testing something and I always felt that this influenced their responses. This time, I simply filled the bowls up with one of the samples and then we  all at the cereal, in addition to our other breakfast; usually we have some toast and jam and orange juice or coffee with our cereal. So this sampling was a lot more like a regular breakfast and I think the opinions expressed tend to be more honest or reliable this way because it did not feel like a test, but like a regular meal to everyone. Loved the experience of being able to eat the samples for a few days and really try them out in difference scenarios, such as cereal with milk, dry snack in between meals or ice cream topping after dinner. We were able to really form an opinion about the cereal and so I felt a lot better completing the survey.

Disclaimer: I received two samples of Cocoa Pebbles in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely my own and have not been influenced by Crowdtap or any third party.

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