My Cereal Killing Spree [by Katy]

[For three weeks, Josh & Katy blogsit]

What I am about to relate to you is a horror story of sorts. It starts like this. Two teenagers are making out innocently in the back seat of a car. No. It starts out in the morning, with breakfast cereal.

Now I don’t know how you feel about breakfast cereal. Me, I’m a big fan. Especially this kind – Kashi Good Friends. I eat a bowl religiously, every morning. I LOVE this stuff.

Kashi Good Friends has a combination of whole grain flakes, small pieces of granola, and something that the packaging refers to as “twigs.” The twigs are not a selling point for Josh. He prefers twigs on trees. I, on the other hand, find them delicious.

Here is some Kashi in my breakfast bowl. It’s not breakfast now, but just looking at it makes me a little hungry all the same. All it needs is some skim milk, and it’s good to go.


Kashi is a touchy-feely California company. According to the box, they created Good Friends in 1995 in order to “satisfy a cereal lover’s desire for a tasty, low fat breakfast – a mainstay for a new generation seeking both great taste and whole food nutrition.”

I always assumed that meant Kashi loved me. I mean, did you notice that they have faces of affectionate , multiracial people on their box? There are several different groupings of people, young and old, and they obviously all love me.

Here are some of them loving me.


Here are more of them loving me.


I began buying Kashi Good Friends back in San Francisco at Trader Joe’s, a magical, cheap grocery store they have in other parts of the country, but tragically not in Atlanta. Now I buy it in the “health food” aisle at Kroger when it is on sale.

But this is where the story takes a nasty turn. Several weeks ago, I went to Kroger and found that instead of the familiar brown box I know so well, I saw this.


The same box – but different people. And RED. As red as blood.

What’s more, there was a banner proclaiming: “SAME GREAT TASTE, BUT NOW WITH 20% MORE GRANOLA, TASTIER TWIGS & 12g OF FIBER!”

I’ll admit something to you. One reason I started eating Kashi Good Friends to begin with was because it is only 70 calories for one 3/4 cup serving. I know the Amateur Gourmet doesn’t want us to make food choices based on health or dietary reasons. But hey, the Amateur Gourmet’s not a five-foot-four woman with a slow metabolism in an image-conscious consumer culture, you know what I’m saying?

But now the new Kashi Good Friends has done something very nefarious. Kashi has upped the calories! It is now 127 calories for the same amount of cereal, although they masked this by changing the serving size on the box. Why would my good friends mask something from me?

So now follow my neurotic logic here. Even though I will be eating the SAME cereal every morning as I have for years, I might very well GAIN weight due to my extra caloric intake. Am I right? If this turns into obesity, it could be fatal. All for “tastier twigs.” My good friends would kill me for TASTIER TWIGS. (Which actually begs the question: are they still even accurately described as twigs if they’re tasty?)

I was horrified! My heart pounding in my ears, I ran home and fired up the laptop. I dashed off an irate missive to Kashi. Good friends, indeed!

They responded kindly and lovingly with the suggestion that I reduce my serving size to a “generous 1/2 cup” if I want the same amount of calories as before. They said that if that serving size appears smaller, this is only because “it’s more dense, with the extra pieces of granola filling in the spaces between the flakes and twigs.”

Now I’m no cerealologist, dear readers, but I don’t THINK that makes sense. I think I’m being manipulated by someone I love. And that hurts.

At this point, I’m sure you all are wondering: what can I do? Well, that’s simple. You can stop the slaughter of old Kashi Good Friends by going to and complaining, or you could call them for me at at 1-858-274-8870 (press “1” for Consumer Relations). I say, you’re either part of the problem or you’re part of the solution. If you’re not mad, you’re NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

I’d rather be dead than go RED.



13 thoughts on “My Cereal Killing Spree [by Katy]”

  1. I LOVE the last image in your Kashi piece; the “friends” are obviously part of some evil weight-gain scheme the way their skinny little faces leer so smugly. Pure Brian De Palma.

  2. I love this cereal and was just rhapsodizing about it to a friend last night. I’m a diabetic, so for me, the main concern is carbs, as the more carbs I eat, the more insulin I need, the more insulin I take, the fatter I get. On this basis, Kashi is still kosher for me. It has about 35 carbs per cup (which, for those who have eaten this dense cereal, will realize this is enough). And let me tell you, 12 grams of fiber is really great because it’s a painless way to get about a third of the fiber you need because this cereal is delish. So my advice is stop counting calories, worry more about carbs, and eat a whole cup of Kashi without guilt!

  3. Katy & Josh – a hearty welcome as stand-ins for the A.G. My you’ve been busy this week–impressive! We might get so accustomed to the budget conscious angle that we’d consider you “Good Friends” whom we’ll miss after this three weeks? I agree you were dissed by your friends at Kashi and I suspect you can chalk it up to marketing geeks and focus groups–the same mentality that brought us wood grain trim on the toasters of the 1970’s. Yes, I remember the 70’s. Well, this is getting long-winded so good luck then.

  4. I prefer the cinna-raisins Good Friends much better, even though the people on the box look weird. My favorite cereals are from Barbara’s though, I love Puffins, Shredded Oats…

  5. Like Katy, I am a cereal freak and I like Kashi. I am partial to their “Go Lean Crunch!” As the name implies with its jaunty exclamation mark, “Go Lean Crunch” is a crunchy and happy, lively version of their relatively mundane regular “Go Lean” cereal. Mmmm, it’s a taste and texture sensation, much more satisfying than the plain Jane”Go Lean.”

  6. I am neither a cereal connoisseur, a Good Friends fiend nor a Kashi kingpin, but I can understand your feelings of complete betrayal. It seems like the folks over at Kashi are not manufacturing Good Friends after all. Perhaps they should consider renaming their cereal Deceptive Chums.

  7. Three points:

    1. I think you’re slightly psycho- I like that.

    2. Kashi products blow. My roomate buys Kashi GoLean Crunch, but I can’t eat it because it makes me sooooo gasy.

    3. Better dead than red? I’ll have you know red is dead sexy!

  8. FYI, FWIW, Kellogg’s owns Kashi. Corporately, not in that freakish 0\/\/3N3D thing that the kids do nowdays.

  9. Oh my god, Kashi Good Friends is my favorite, too! I did notice the change, but I mix the Good Friends kind with the GoLean Crunch kind anyway, so I didn’t get mad. It’ll be ok. Maybe you can add extra dried fruit or something to make yourself feel better. Sidenote: Kashi with unsweetened Silk soymilk is the best, ever, with a few dried cranberries or cherries, or on a lucky day a banana.

  10. I’ve been a Kashi from… addict for 7 years. Since I live in Israel, I have to count on good frends bringing it to me when they come to visit.

    I’d prefer less twigs and the old calorie count, but I’m not going to stop eating it.

    When are they going to start selling Kashi products in Israel??

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