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What happened to my Life (cereal)?

alkapal Jan 30, 2010 05:08 AM

Out of nostalgia, I bought some Life cereal. I hadn't had it in 35 years, and was anxious to have some again.

What happened?

The cereal looks like Chex cereal, with similar texture. Each piece seems smaller, too.

It seems to have corn in it? I thought it used to be all wheat.

It used to get nice and mushy if you let it sit in the milk for a while -- and this never got mushy! What affects that quality?

It also seemed -- yes, wait for it -- sweeter!

Does anyone know what happened to my Life?

(I mean, what happened from a food production standpoint). Why did they change it?

Is the corn subsidized so that it incentivizes "cornification" © in other products that heretofore had not used corn?

And what about the lighter "Chex" texture? It gives a similar volume, but I'd venture the weight is a lot less.

Your insights, please!

  1. m
    m.r. Feb 17, 2010 08:33 PM

    I'm not sure exactly when, but several years ago, there was a 'new and improved' type of campaign for LIFE. So, yes, it was changed. To me, it seems like it's the texture that's changed more than the taste. LIFE was one of my favorite cereals when I was a kid in the 70s and 80s, and I actually just bought a box today.

    1. NellyNel Feb 3, 2010 05:54 AM

      Okay so I was feeling a bit sick, so I left work early Monday and went and bought some comfort food . Wonder bread, Nutella, American cheese....and a box of Life. (I havent bought any of these items in YEARS)
      Anyhow - alkapal is definitely right - Life has changed! Sigh.
      What I did not buy is milk so I can't say about the texture in milk but the squares are without doubt - thinner than they used to be ....lighter in texture... the taste is not as oaty, and the sweet taste is a slightly differerent type of sweet...
      It used to be oaty with flecks of sweet here and there whereas now it seems sweet all around...

      2 Replies
      1. re: NellyNel
        CocoDan Feb 3, 2010 07:40 AM

        As previously stated, I've been eating them regularly for twenty years, and think they're just fine. Maybe the changes have been suttle over that period of time, but they'll stay on my breakfast cereal rotation mixed with other selections.
        Have a good "Life",

        1. re: CocoDan
          Bob W Feb 3, 2010 08:08 AM

          I'm with Dan -- I've been eating Life since the days of Mikey, and I still love it. It's right up there with various Chexes and Cheerioses, Special K, and Grape-Nuts.

      2. CocoDan Feb 1, 2010 08:47 AM

        I actually eat Life quite often, and mix them with other cereals; granola, kashi, corn flakes, wheat flakes and others, then add fruit; banana, strawberry, blueberry or grapes. Makes a nice light, healthy breakfast. I find them to be the same for the past twenty years or so, and still enjoy them.

        1. EWSflash Jan 31, 2010 04:17 PM

          Life's one of my favorite cereals. I've been eating it since it came out. I eat it for dessert, no milk, so I have to say that I've never noticed a difference in sweetness, and to me it's always tasted pretty oaty, it's one of the things I always liked about it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: EWSflash
            alkapal Feb 1, 2010 03:45 AM

            the texture is definitely different.

            if you've been eating it all along, maybe you haven't noticed small incremental changes that to me seem (cumulatively) monumental after 35 years.

            1. re: alkapal
              NellyNel Feb 1, 2010 06:43 AM

              I used to love Life!
              But, like you - I havent had it in YEARS! Now I have to try it.
              It was one of the only cereals that I preferred with milk. I used to love the texture when wet.
              Definitely it had an oaty taste but I also remember the flecks of sugar that made them sweet.
              It's funny how I can remember exactly how they were and yet I havent had them in at lest 20 years!
              Ok I know what I am having for lunch - I shall post back later!

            2. re: EWSflash
              chowser Feb 3, 2010 06:38 AM

              I haven't had it in years but it used to be one of my favorites. For dessert, we'd have it over ice cream.

            3. b
              bluemoon4515 Jan 31, 2010 01:23 PM

              Did you get the Cinnamon Life? The ones on the bottom always get soggy before I can get to them.

              1. s
                Sinicle Jan 30, 2010 03:01 PM

                I really don't get dry cereal; but the taste of Life has always appealed to me and I will try it now and then. I have not noticed much difference over the years and I was there at the beginning, like Mikey.

                1. r
                  rockycat Jan 30, 2010 06:31 AM

                  Life is an oat-based cereal. It has corn, wheat, and rice flours in it but the primary taste is oat. Although I can't say that it would surprise me if it is really sweeter now than previously.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rockycat
                    alkapal Jan 31, 2010 03:47 AM

                    was it always primarily oat? whatever it *was,* i liked *that* flavor.

                    1. re: alkapal
                      rockycat Jan 31, 2010 05:42 AM

                      Yup. It is made by Quaker Oats, after all.

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