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Did the old Trix taste better?
April 7, 2009 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Did the old yellow+orange+red spheres version of Trix taste better than the current multicolored Trix or am I just looking at the past with rose tinted tastebuds?

It's possible that it's just nostalgia, but when I was a kid I thought Trix tasted really great. Now it seems much more bland. I'm guessing that it's just me. But if they added lots of colors to Trix then maybe they also changed the taste somewhat.

Does anyone know if the recipe for Trix is the same now as it was 20 years ago (except for the extra colors of course)?

I found a blog spot comparing the shapes, but not the taste:
http://finkythekid.blogspot.com/2007/05/silly-rabbit-that-aint-new-shape-of.html
posted by HappyEngineer to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Twenty years ago, they probably wouldn't've used HFCS.

But your taste buds aren't the same as when you were a kid, either. You're better able to appreciate bitter things like coffee and beer, and less of a sucker for supersweet stuff like, well, suckers.
posted by box at 6:54 PM on April 7, 2009


They did taste different. This guy says they changed the flavor in the '80s, when they made them fruit-shaped, and even claims to have called Proctor and Gamble when it happened. I just figured it was because they used less sugar.
Also, there were Freakies.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 7:01 PM on April 7, 2009


I remember sometime in the early to mid 90s they did change their flavor. It even said "new and improved flavor" on the box and the commercials promoted it that way. I think they tasted worst and stopped liking them.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:10 PM on April 7, 2009


I want to say that they did the new and improved flavor thing when they switched to fruit shapes, which according to wikipedia was in 1992.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:16 PM on April 7, 2009


The original round ball Trix were a completely different class of food than the current cereal. I had them once after they went fruit-shaped and never touched them again.
posted by kate blank at 7:18 PM on April 7, 2009


Oh, they did indeed change the flavor, and I was part of the focus group that tested it out.

Honestly, this is a bit of conjecture as I was a friggin' kid at the time, but I distinctly remember eating for breakfast a couple week in a row of one box of Trix coming out of a White, Unlabeled box. I knew it was Trix: it was a fruit-shaped cereal of Cherry, Orange, and Lemon shapes. I think they might have added lime at this stage. It had passed the "platonic spheres" stage by the time I was seven or so, which is when I think this was happening. I might have been nine. (Born 1983)

Anyhoo, one big point was that the SECOND box was reformulated. Brighter colors, but it tasted, if I recall, weaker.

Okay, I don't know a damn thing how it tasted. This was almost 20 years ago. I do remember being PART OF THAT EXPERIMENT.

My family did a few Focus Group/Product Testing type things. I was one of the families that tested "Secret Treasures" breakfast cereal, and a couple other things.
posted by SansPoint at 8:11 PM on April 7, 2009 [9 favorites]


I remember the old Trix as being a lot tastier. Tangier maybe more citric acidier?
posted by jessamyn at 8:27 PM on April 7, 2009


Basically you have SansPoint to blame for this.

I remember once when I was probably about 12 years old, my family was in Chicago for vacation or some such reason. Anyway we spent a day at the Museum of Science and Industry, and towards the end of the day we were walking through some exhibit when a lady in a white coat approaches me and asks who I am there with and if I'd like to be part of a study they were conducting. So I ask my parents, they're like yeah-sure-can-we-watch, and she says sure and leads us into some back hallway. They actually had this one-way mirror thing for observers to look into the study room that she takes me into, so my family stands outside of that, watching. She proceeds to give me some play money, and then unveils a huge board with EVERY type of candy bar in existence at the moment glued to it. She starts asking me which ones I would buy and why and I'm just in 7th heaven. I don't think I ended up even getting any candy or anything out of the study but it was just fun to imagine I had been given all this cash and HELL YES this is EXACTLY what I would do with it.

The best part was that my mom snapped what is still my very favorite picture from growing up - it captures me, through the mirror, in the process of shopping all this candy, but even better: the reflection of the bitter, spiteful face of my younger sister, peering through the window in a jealous rage at me in all my product-testing glory.

And yes. The pre-1992 / fruit-shaped Trix tasted infinitely better than the crap they've been producing since then.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:16 PM on April 7, 2009 [35 favorites]


Huh. I was almost convinced that it was just nostalgia, but I guess it really doesn't taste as good. Is the same true about Captain Crunch? I still like Captain Crunch, but it seems to me like it doesn't quite have the sharpness of taste that it used to. I had been assuming it was just nostalgia again, but perhaps that recipe also changed.
posted by HappyEngineer at 11:25 PM on April 7, 2009


Related, from this article on Slate it sound like cereal companies change the recipe whenever the weather changes.
The makers of Cocoa Pebbles admitted as much when asked about the use and promotion of polydextrose as a dietary fiber. "We are removing the polydextrose ingredient from Pebbles.
...
He says the company is instead fortifying the cereal with higher doses of vitamin D, which he describes as a "more timely and relevant" nutrient.

I'd almost be surprised if any two boxes tasted the same.
posted by Ookseer at 12:08 AM on April 8, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't have a good enough sense of taste to comment as to whether all the chemicals are the same or whatever, but they're definitely a different texture nowadays. The last time I had them, with the fruit shapes and all, they were covered in a crystalline shell that I presume to be sugar or some similar sweetener/preservative, and I know that they used to be uncovered puffs of... I don't know, corn or wheat or whatever, with the fruit coloring and flavoring.
posted by Etrigan at 2:05 AM on April 8, 2009


This may not help you in your quest to remember the taste of Trix 20 years ago, but lately I have been taste-testing the current US round ball Trix in comparison to Latin American fruit-shaped Trix. I have a friend who works at General Mills and hooked me up with Latin American Trix after I complained about them taking away the fruit shapes. They do taste differently! The round ball Trix have a stronger taste initially, but the fruit-shaped Trix have a softer taste at first but a different and stronger after taste. I have opened up this experiment to my boyfriend, and he agrees. I think Etrigan has a good point about the crystalline shell -- they definitely have a different texture.

The ingredients and nutrition facts are definitely different between the US and Latin American boxes. However, I don't know if the Latin American fruit-shaped Trix are the same recipe as the pre-1992 US fruit-shaped Trix.

FYI – General Mills switched back to round ball Trix in an attempt to standardize cereal making equipment and reduce production costs. Apparently the rest of the world will soon follow suit, if the engineers have any say over the international marketing departments.
posted by Maarika at 7:32 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was in the prime sugar-cereal-eating age group when it changed shapes, and the flavor definitely changed as well. I associate it with a more "berry" flavor, as opposed to the earlier one which I think of as a more "generic sugary fruit" flavor. I guess whether it was better or worse is a matter of taste, but I didn't like it anymore after the shape/flavor change.
posted by lampoil at 7:35 AM on April 8, 2009


Let's start a petition to bring back the old Trix, lol. I was disappointed a few months back when I got a box and it wasn't what I remembered.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:50 AM on April 8, 2009


It's possible that it's just nostalgia, but when I was a kid I thought Trix tasted really great. Now it seems much more bland.

Spotted this in the sidebar. Wanted to mention that part of the problem may simply be that your senses of taste and smell aren't as acute as they were. As a kid, your senses are extremely good; that's part of why children often despise foods that adults like fine. There are subtle flavors and textures that adults just can't detect.

Now, obviously, the recipes are also changing, and that could easily explain your experience. But the new Trix might be just as intense as it was, possibly even identically flavored, were you tasting it with an olfactory system that worked as well as it did twenty years ago.

Cherry Robitussin is an example in my particular life. As a kid, it was so horrible that it nauseated me for at least a half an hour; taking the stuff was a major ordeal. As an adult, I don't like it, but it's just unpleasant, not unspeakably vile.
posted by Malor at 6:56 AM on April 10, 2009


Honestly, this is a bit of conjecture as I was a friggin' kid at the time, but I distinctly remember eating for breakfast a couple week in a row of one box of Trix coming out of a White, Unlabeled box. I knew it was Trix: it was a fruit-shaped cereal of Cherry, Orange, and Lemon shapes. I think they might have added lime at this stage. It had passed the "platonic spheres" stage by the time I was seven or so, which is when I think this was happening. I might have been nine. (Born 1983)

Weirdly enough, I remember this too, pretty vividly. My mom was on some consumer reports (maybe affiliated with the organization?) list - we would get trial foods like that all the time. I remember being psyched about the Trix one because while we would usually get some 'new product' and then have to answer a few questions about it, the Trix thing reminded me of blind taste tests you would see on commercials on TV (I was born in 1981, so I was also pretty young at the time.

Aside from food focus group things, we would also be asked to watch cartoons on saturday mornings at certain times, then we'd get phone calls afterward and have to answer some questions about it. That was way more exciting.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 12:53 PM on April 13, 2009


I imagine the questions were about the commercials. That's pretty standard market research for tv commercials. They ask you some questions about the show, too but it's just so you don't know that all they care about is whether you remembered their commercials and how they made you feel.
posted by empath at 8:01 PM on April 15, 2009


All I know is, in the late 70's they had a national poll as to whether the rabbit should be allowed to have some Trix. My sister and I both voted yes -- and in fact, as I recall, the result of the poll was yes -- but they never gave the rabbit any Trix.

That is probably the root of my currently anti-corporatist political stance.
posted by Michael Roberts at 3:10 PM on May 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Malor, there is no way the formula for Cherry Robitussin is the same now as it was when you were a kid.
posted by Caviar at 1:48 PM on May 10, 2009


But the new Trix might be just as intense as it was, possibly even identically flavored, were you tasting it with an olfactory system that worked as well as it did twenty years ago.

I dispute that. YouTube "Babies Eating Lemons." I think the ability to taste becomes more refined over time, not less. Hence the reason you learn to like beer and a good espresso as an adult: you can taste more of it, which balances out the bitter.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:12 PM on June 2, 2009


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