They taste exactly the same as normal Lucky Charms.
There. If you were wondering whether Lucky Charms’s new Mixed-Up Marshmallows have wacky flavors, there’s your answer. I won’t blame you if you leave the site now and go read Joyce’s Ulysses, watch Chocolate Rain for the thousandth time, or do whatever else the hip young kids are doing these days.
But if you want to stay, I’ll provide my thrilling theory behind this new cereal and a thoughtful ranking of which new marshmallows are the coolest.
Still with me? Let’s put on our tinfoil hats and munch multicolored marbits together!
It seemed strange to me that General Mills would pull this Mixed-Up Marshmallows idea out of nowhere. Wouldn’t it be expensive to manufacture eight new marshmallows colors? I mean, General Mills could’ve just dropped a vial of “Graham Cracker Flavor Essence” into their oat formula instead, called it “Lucky Charms S’Mores Cereal” and delighted millions.
But then I remembered how General Mills is trying super hard to remove artificial colors and flavors from Lucky Charms by the end of 2017—like they already have with Trix, Cocoa Puffs, and other cereal classics—a task that’s proving difficult because of the cereal’s multicolored marshmallows. Not only is it scientifically difficult to find vegetable dyes that can make bright marshmallow rainbows, but it’s also going to be hard to market a new Lucky Charms cereal that doesn’t magically ooze neon blue sugar paste into the milk.
So what better way to ease consumers into the idea of less colorful marshmallows than by mixing some reimagined marshmallows in with the originals? At least, that’s why I think Lucky Charms with Mixed-Up Marshmallows (and Chocolate Lucky Charms with Mixed-Up Marshmallows) exist. I wouldn’t be surprised if, by this time next year, we see some of these Mixed-Up Marshmallows (namely the rainbow and moon) usurping the places of their older, true blue siblings.
If this is the case, I wonder how General Mills will explain the change within Lucky Charms lore: will Lucky the Leprechaun cast a hex gone wrong? Or will he take the Cadbury approach and tell cereal lovers, “The marshmallows didn’t change color, you’re just getting older and less susceptible to magic!”
Either way, I’m going to live in the moment for now. We’ve been blessed with eight whole new marshmallows to turn into cherished breakfast compatriots, so I might as well judge which marbits have the coolest color mix-up. So without further ado, let’s meet the tag teams competing for the title of “Raddest Palette-Swapped Sugar Nugget.”
Cerealously’s Lucky Charms Mixed-Up Marshmallow Countdown!
#8: Four-Leaf Clover Hat Marshmallows
To the passing eye, this marshmallow seems the least changed. The iconic “dark green on lime green” color scheme of Lucky’s hat is subtly tweaked to “sky blue on pale yellow,” a decidedly un-Irish combo that looks less like a deliberate color change and more like an Instagram filter gone awry.
#7: Heart Marshmallows
Oh, so the pink heart became a purple heart? How revolutionary. This is a very “safe” tonal change that stays within the realm of socially acceptable heart colors. Deep down, I was hoping for a black heart, accompanied by some sort of weighty social commentary about the heartlessness of online bloggers who waste their afternoons complaining about modified marshmallow pigments. Or they could’ve at least written “CHILL OUT” on one of the marshmallows, Valentine’s Day Conversation Heart-style.
#6: Horseshoe Marshmallows
From a font geek’s point of view, the new horseshoe just looks like a serif version of the old blue moon marshmallow. *Yawn.* Next!
#5: Hourglass Marshmallows
A simple color inversion turns a typically “meh” ‘mallow into a tight-waisted jack-o-lantern. A cool concept, though I have to dock this new hourglass points because it doesn’t illuminate my room at night. I’ll still save a bagful of ’em for next October.
#4: Rainbow Marshmallows
This is easily the most drastic marshmallow color swap, and if this alternate rainbow is here to stay, it’ll definitely be the most controversial. I can see the clickbait headline now: “Lucky Charms Just Messed With Your Childhood Favorite, And It’s An Absolute G*sh D*rn Travesty.” But despite any initial outraged gut reactions, I don’t think the new rainbow is that bad. It’s fun, vibrant hues simultaneously remind me of Troll dolls, ’90s VHS sleeves, and those Crayola marker blacklight posters.
#3: Balloon Marshmallows
The only reason these balloons rank so high is because when you put them side-by-side, their merry red ‘n’ green color scheme positively leaks Christmas cheer all over the spoon you’re eating them with. But even without its light red brother, the new green balloon marshmallow still looks like Mint Oreo Creme. A win-win, if you ask me.
#2: Moon Marshmallows
This is another marshmallow that only earns high marks because of its new + old color pairing. Pale blue alongside pale red is my favorite color combo, and for good reason: from decorating old Taco Bells to being named Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year, good ol’ Rose Quartz & Serenity have earned their chromatic legacy. Plus the red moon I picked for the above photo looks like Mac Tonight’s head. That’s a win-win-win.
#1: Shooting Star Marshmallows
This one seems a little unfair, because the shooting star was already my favorite Lucky Charms marshmallow. I mean, it looks like a banana wearing a sauna towel: what’s not to love? But the new shooting star is somehow even more gorgeous. It resembles a strawberry creamsicle and when added to milk, it subtly explodes into a blooming cherry blossom. There aren’t enough hyphens in the world to tell you how big of a win this one is.
Speaking of milk, Lucky Charms with Mixed-Up Marshmallows does taste a little different than normal Lucky Charms. I don’t know if there are actually twice as many marshmallows in every box, but it sure feels like it. What was once a mild 80–20 ratio of oats to marshmallows now feels like a sweet and squishy 60–40. In this way, Lucky Charms with Mixed-Up Marshmallows preserves all the perfectly powdery, brown sugary oat goodness of its predecessor with an added touch of magical deliciousness.
Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that these new marshmallows turn the milk more colorful than an oil puddle in a sunbeam, either.
I may have joked about some of the mixed-up marshmallows being boring, but in reality, I love them all. I’d be perfectly happy with any of these new marbits sticking around, as long as they preserve the whimsical spirit and unbeatable flavor that has made Lucky Charms rival Shamrock Shakes for the “Best Clover-Themed Thing Ever” title.
Though this cereal could use a little graham cracker flavor. Just sayin’.
The Bowl: General Mills Lucky Charms with Mixed-Up Marshmallows
The Breakdown: It might be a placebo effect, but it tastes like we’re getting more marshmallows per serving with this cereal. And even though these new marbits may be harbingers of less colorful days to come, I’ll never complain about marshmallowy Mac Tonights and sweetly nostalgic VHS sleeves.
The Bottom Line: 9 ideas for putting s’mores flavor in everything out of 10
(Quick Nutrition Facts: 110 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein per 3/4 cup serving)