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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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    Gluten Free Watchdog has an article stating that GM will not use certified gluten free oats , but will be using some proprietary process to separate contaminants like wheat from the cheaper oats they purchase. excerpted from gluten-free Watchdog site: *General Mills is using a proprietary mechanical process that they claim removes wheat and barley from regular oats. These oats will be used in the gluten-free varieties of Cheerios which will be available nationally by the fall of 2015. A separate post on Cheerios is forthcoming. Update (2/12/15): This comment has been posted. Please click HERE

    As long as they test below 20 ppm they would be considered both safe and gluten-free. Do you believe that they would claim that they are gluten-free if they were not? No. The liability would be way too high...

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    Although it's nice to have more gluten free options in the cereal isle, as I have a picky celiac, what I don't like is their reason for it...more MONEY in their pockets.

    I am not sure why making money is a bad thing...every company that sells food is trying to make money, no matter what the little blerb says on their box. I guess to avoid that you could grow your own grains and make your own O's...right? This just means that you can now find a gluten-free cereal in almost every store.

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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.

    They are gluten-free...they are certified....they are testing.

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    Watchdog reported that Cheerios is NOT using certified gluten free oats and is in fact using a machine that removes the visible wheat and other grains from the bulk oats. Didn't sound safe for celiacs to me.

    I agree 100% with gluten free watch dog.

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    That's right cereals are NOT good for us everyday... Jam packed grains in a processed format, hmm, how delightful. Why support a brand that's so late to making ingredient changes and this is 100% directed at profits. Cheerios as a brand does not care about sustainability, their company mission doesn't care about celiac disease, auto-immune illnesses, and/or allergen-free lifestyles, nothing. We should be supporting brands who actually give a sh$$ and are innovating, by making our food healthier, tastier while contributing to the local farmers, and a greener ecosystem. I'm NOT buying Cheerios when there are alternatives on the market.

    Exactly!

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    I was heart broken when I was told that I had celiac disease. That meant I had to give up my favorite cereal--Cheerios. I am so happy to hear that I will be able to eat them again. That means that they will be malt free.

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    Gluten Free Watchdog has an article stating that GM will not use certified gluten free oats , but will be using some proprietary process to separate contaminants like wheat from the cheaper oats they purchase. excerpted from gluten-free Watchdog site: *General Mills is using a proprietary mechanical process that they claim removes wheat and barley from regular oats. These oats will be used in the gluten-free varieties of Cheerios which will be available nationally by the fall of 2015. A separate post on Cheerios is forthcoming. Update (2/12/15): This comment has been posted. Please click HERE

    Great info.

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    As long as they test below 20 ppm they would be considered both safe and gluten-free. Do you believe that they would claim that they are gluten-free if they were not? No. The liability would be way too high...

    For people who have celiac disease we are only allowed 20 ppm for the whole day, so if I eat Cheerios than I would have to be careful for the rest of the day and not get gluteninated.

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    Oh boy, I'm SO looking forward to gluten-free Cheerios! I don't care if the reasoning behind their decision to make these gluten free is cash-driven. I don't care if they care about Celiacs or not. The point IS is that more gluten free products are becoming available to those of us who want them, and I WANT!!!!! Yes, I have 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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