I’ve been on a bit of a plain cereal kick lately, and having never tried Basic 4 I figured now would be the best time.

Basic 4, if you don’t know, is an “adult” cereal with six different elements—yes, six. Corn flakes, puffed rice, yogurt-covered things, raisins, cranberries (I think), and almonds. Apparently, the “Basic 4” refers to the cereal including four food groups. I guess the corn flakes are vegetable, the raisins and/or cranberries are fruit, the puffed rice is grain, and the yogurt-covered whatevers are dairy. Oh, and the almonds are protein! Wait a minute, that’s five—must have been named by one of those weirdos who considered fruits and vegetables a single food group. Crazy…

Anyway, so now that I’ve finally tried it, did it blow my mind? Well, not really. The flakes-to-everything-else ratio is way off, so even though there are six different things going on here, you mostly only taste the corn flakes. It’s surprisingly bland. Like I said, I’ve been in a plain-cereal kind of mood, but even this is a bit underwhelming. I guess it’s kind of an expectations vs. reality thing—when you see a thousand different things going on in a spoonful, you expect more out of it.

As you might expect, this is not a very sweet cereal. There are sweet elements in it, certainly, but it’s just a hint here and there.

The cereal looks okay in the bowl, but in milk all the raisins and yogurt sink to the bottom, and the flakes and puffed rice float to the top, meaning you’re only seeing half the cereal. The flakes get soggy pretty quickly in milk, but the puffed rice and almonds stay pretty crisp—it’s different.

The packaging isn’t too exciting either. You can’t expect much from cereals targeted at adults, I suppose.

In all, it’s okay. I don’t hate it, but I certainly don’t love it, either. But at least I’ve finally tried it, and now I know!


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Basic 4 Rating

Cereal Fix Editors' Rating: 6 / 10


Watch General Mills Basic 4 Commercial

Watch this Basic 4 commercial on YouTube.


  • Jeff Dransfield

    Corn is a grain not a vegetable. The four basic food groups are grains, fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy.

    • Good point… although I guess that means they would have to be grouping nuts and meat under one umbrella (protein?).