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Cheerios Are Finally Going Gluten-Free
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.
The 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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Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams