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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Cheerios Are Finally Going Gluten-Free

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Photo: Mike Mozart

    Celiac.com 02/25/2015 - General Mills has announced that original Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios and three other Cheerios varieties will undergo formula changes, including a switch to gluten-free oats, and will be released as a gluten-free cereal.

    Photo: Mike MozartThe move by the food and cereal giant mirrors a similar recipe change that successfully boosted sales for its Chex brand, which has been gluten-free since 2010.

    The company will likely begin selling gluten-free versions in July, says Jim Murphy, president of Big G Cereals, General Mills' ready-to-eat cereal division.

    Apparently, General Mills felt that that could no longer ignore the skyrocketing sales of gluten-free foods, and the slow decline of foods that contain gluten, including breakfast cereals.

    "People are actually walking away from cereal because they are avoiding gluten," says Murphy, a development that, at a time when cereal sales, including Cheerios, are already weak, the company can ill afford.

    Meanwhile, unit sales growth of food with a gluten-free claim on its packaging grew 10.6% in 2014 compared to the previous year, and gluten-free sales, especially among breakfast cereals are expected to continue double-digit growth through at least 2018.

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    It's about time, when will the others get on board?

    I agree. There are so many cereals out there that should be gluten-free but aren't--Kellogg's Cornflakes, Cocoa Krispies, Cap'n Crunch, Quaker Oatmeal, Cocoa Puffs, Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs, just to name a few. It makes no sense that these aren't gluten-free since their main ingredient is corn or rice.


    Is the 'malt flavoring' or whatever that represents only a trace amount of the ingredients really that necessary? I doubt it. Add Fiber One bars to the list, too. It should be relatively easy to make them gluten-free or at least offer a gluten-free version.

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    This article from www.glutenfreewatchdog.org may be of interest: http://bit.ly/1Mka0fC

    Here's an excerpt from the article-I've had two conversations with General Mills, including one with a VP of Research and Development. She confirmed that gluten-free Cheerios are made using “high-quality†regular oats. General Mills claims that wheat and barley grain are removed from their oat supply by a proprietary mechanical process developed by engineers at General Mills (General Mills has reported elsewhere that they are using a mechanical filter). She went on to say that General Mills did not take the decision to produce gluten-free Cheerios lightly and that the process to develop this cereal has taken four years.

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    YAY! This is great news for cereal lovers. Wishing that more brands will get with the program too. Now if I could find a good soft bread, that would be even better news.

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    I hope they use different equipment for the gluten free Cheerios not the same equipment used for cereals with gluten. I have a feeling this change is for the people who choose to be gluten free and not those of us with celiac disease.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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