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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.

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.

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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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55 Responses:

 
Jana Schultz
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
27 Feb 2015 7:12:48 AM PDT
Do we have any information about being processed with nuts?

 
Andi
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 8:51:13 AM PDT
I would imagine that since one of the varieties is Honey Nut Cheerios, that if you've got nut allergies you'd be better off avoiding them.

 
R SOSINSKI
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said this on
27 Feb 2015 8:13:43 AM PDT
It's about time, when will the others get on board?

 
Diana T.
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 11:26:04 AM PDT
I agree. There are so many cereals out there that should be GF 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 GF 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 GF or at least offer a GF version.

 
Colette
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 3:37:59 AM PDT
Cheerios is the first cereal I ate as a child and I ate them until I went gluten free 7 years ago. I can't wait to try them again!

 
Craig
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
02 Mar 2015 4:34:43 AM PDT
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.

 
Stacy
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said this on
06 Mar 2015 7:48:43 PM PDT
Exactly!

 
dappy
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 7:00:53 AM PDT
Well it took them a while. I wrote to General Mills probably about two years ago and told them they were missing out by not converting cheerios. It's the most popular cereal by far.

 
Jo
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 8:11:48 AM PDT
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.

 
Melissa
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said this on
05 Mar 2015 4:03:51 PM PDT
I agree 100% with gluten free watch dog.

 
Jefferson
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said this on
18 Mar 2015 11:46:18 AM PDT
If the product is labeled "gluten-free," then it must meet FDA labeling standards, and contain under 20ppm gluten. That standard is the same regardless of the type of oats they use.

 
Luann
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 8:24:59 AM PDT
AWESOME!!

 
Terry
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 8:50:03 AM PDT
Literally cheering for Cheerios this morning over this announcement!

 
Lynne Sims
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 9:03:05 AM PDT
This is AWESOME news!!!

 
Don
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 9:55:36 AM PDT
This is a fabulous announcement.

 
Jeanne Foerch
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 9:58:08 AM PDT
It is great to have one more "on board" Gluten Free!

 
Molly
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 10:12:30 AM PDT
Finally! I've been waiting 25 years for cereals to get on the gluten free train!!

 
Linda M
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 10:22:19 AM PDT
So happy to hear this news. Cheerios was a staple until I knew I had celiac.

 
Jen
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 10:58:33 AM PDT
I love that Chex are good and the price is decent. I always use coupons as well. I'm hoping Cheerios are decent priced.

 
Ann
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 11:01:27 AM PDT
Very glad to hear Cheerios is going gluten free! I will definitely be trying them.

 
Christy
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 11:36:19 AM PDT
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.

 
Mary Aloi
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 12:02:46 PM PDT
This is the best news yet!!! I love Honey Nut Cherrios and have not been able to eat them since I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005

 
Benny
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 12:44:30 PM PDT
Now if they will make Life cereal GF I will be happy.

 
D Moran
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 1:03:02 PM PDT
Excellent news I used too love Cheerios

 
Robin
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 2:46:41 PM PDT
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.

 
Kathymacn
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said this on
14 Mar 2015 5:30:05 PM PDT
Try Glutino White Sandwich Bread. It's soft, like Wonder Bread.

 
Bobbi
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 2:49:33 PM PDT
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.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
03 Mar 2015 3:12:06 PM PDT
They are gluten-free...they are certified....they are testing.

 
T Manahan
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 3:47:13 PM PDT
So happy, loved honey nut cheerios and haven't been able to eat them for a very long time. Nice to have a variety of cereals to choose from.

 
Patti
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 4:00:30 PM PDT
So encouraging to see articles like this!!!

 
Susan
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 4:17:37 PM PDT
I understand that some of the gluten free Chex cereals, while stating that they have no high fructose corn syrup, contain a fructose that is even worse. The rice forms use actual sugar.
I wonder what ingredients we will find in the Cheerios. I would love to support Cheerios with this new product. Love their advertisements.

 
Pattie
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 4:32:42 PM PDT
I would like to know the nutritional value in the gluten free version.
Also I think people are eating healthier breakfasts, such as oatmeal. Cereal has so many added ingredients, not a good way to start your day.

 
Emily Davis
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 5:02:34 PM PDT
Oh Happy Day! Since having to go GF I have missed my nightly bowl of Cheerios greatly! I can hardly wait to begin treating myself again! THANK YOU CHEERIOS!!!!

 
M J
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 7:02:05 PM PDT
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.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
03 Mar 2015 3:08:26 PM PDT
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 GF cereal in almost every store.

 
said this on
02 Mar 2015 7:15:31 PM PDT
Thanks, I always wanted to be able to eat them. My sisters then my sons loved them. I thought, besides the oats not being certified GF, that the malt (which is from barley) was the problem.

 
Susan

said this on
02 Mar 2015 7:54:11 PM PDT
Cheerios is the one cereal I have missed the most for the last 8 years. Woohoo!

 
L Parker
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said this on
02 Mar 2015 9:31:35 PM PDT
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 GF 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

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
03 Mar 2015 3:03:53 PM PDT
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...

 
Leah
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said this on
07 Mar 2015 2:04:44 PM PDT
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.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
11 Mar 2015 10:01:10 AM PDT
This is a misunderstanding of definition of gluten-free on packaging. Cheerios don't automatically contain 20 ppm...the law says that they cannot contain over that amount--there is a difference.

 
Leah
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said this on
07 Mar 2015 1:58:38 PM PDT
Great info.

 
Heather
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said this on
03 Mar 2015 5:18:36 AM PDT
This is great news! Hooray for being able to buy Cheerios again!

 
appletrix
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said this on
03 Mar 2015 5:35:31 AM PDT
Thanks. Great news.

 
Ruth
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said this on
03 Mar 2015 6:17:38 AM PDT
The next step is for Cheerios to be certified non-GMO, then we'll have a much better cereal.

 
Mary
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said this on
03 Mar 2015 10:28:31 AM PDT
At least the oats should be GMO free, unlike their Corn Chex.

 
Ione Angilan
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said this on
03 Mar 2015 2:36:26 PM PDT
Great news.

 
Asha
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said this on
03 Mar 2015 2:36:39 PM PDT
I am looking forward to the products.

 
A.Hanchaoui
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said this on
04 Mar 2015 5:44:21 AM PDT
Thank you very much. Cheerios will be on my shopping list all the time.

 
Leah
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said this on
07 Mar 2015 1:55:42 PM PDT
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.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
11 Mar 2015 10:02:19 AM PDT
Malt can be made from multiple grains including rice and oats.

 
DeeMcBee
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
09 Mar 2015 10:35:32 AM PDT
Oh boy, I'm SO looking forward to GF 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.

 
Mary
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said this on
11 Mar 2015 10:40:23 AM PDT
The company has spent the past 3 years developing a mechanical filter to take out the gluten grains at their facilities. After rigorous testing, they have perfected the filtering process, ensuring that the oats used for Cheerios meet FDA's strict gluten-free guidelines.

 
Juli Becker
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said this on
07 Sep 2015 2:11:39 PM PDT
These just arrived in our area and I have had one bowl. I think they will be better with fruit. I like them for changing my diet so I vary it and not all rice or corn.

 
Dave
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said this on
24 Apr 2016 2:37:26 AM PDT
I spoke with the makers recently and they said that the Gluten free Cheerios recently on the market at the same price as regular was a test market. Then they said that the would be re-released in May as Gluten free and at an price more than regular.




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I am very interested in this too. My daughter tested negative for celiac, but has terrible primarily neurological symptoms. Because she tested positive for SIBO at the time and was having some GI symptoms, I was told it was just a Fodmap issue. I knew better and we have been gluten free for 2 years. Fast forward to this February. She had a SIBO recurrence that I treated at home with diet and herbal antibiotics because I couldn't get the insurance referral. She was doing great. Then stupid me brought in gluten containing chick feed for the new baby chicks we got. Feed dust everywhere. Total mess. Really, no GI symptoms (she was SIBO free by then)...but the neurological symptoms! my daughter couldn't walk for three days. Burning down one leg, nerve pain in the foot. Also heaviness of limbs, headache and fatigue. Better after three days. But unfortunately she had a TINY gluten exposure at that three day mark and had another severe reaction: loss of balance, loss of feeling in her back and arms, couldn't see for a few seconds, and three days of hand numbness, fatigue, concentration problems. Well, I actually contacted Dr. Hadjivassilou by email and he confirmed that the symptoms are consistent with gluten ataxia but any testing would require a gluten challenge. Even with these exposures, antibodies would not be high enough. His suggestion was maintain vigilance gluten free. I just saw my daughter's GI at U of C and she really only recognizes celiac disease and neurological complications of that. But my impression is that gluten ataxia is another branch in the autoimmune side of things (with celiac and DH being the other two). At this point, I know a diagnosis is important. But I don't know how to get there. We homeschool right now so I can give her time to heal when she is accidentally glutened, I can keep my home safe for her (ugh, that I didn't think of the chicken feed!) But at some point, she is going to be in college, needing to take exams, and totally incapacitated because of an exposure. And doctors state side that are worth seeing? Who is looking at gluten ataxia in the US?

Caro..............monitoring only the TSH to gauge thyroid function is what endo's do who don' t do a good job of managing thyroid disease. They should do the full panel and check the actual thyroid hormone numbers.........T3 and T4. The importance of the TSH comes second to hormone levels. In order to track how severely the thyroid is under attack, you need to track antibody levels.......not the TSH. I did not stay with endocrinologists because I found they did not do a very good job and found much greater help and results with a functional medicine MD. You should not have a goiter if your thyroid is functioning well and your TSH is "normal". Maybe they should do a full panel? Going gluten free can have a profound affect for the better on thyroid function and that is something that is becoming more and more accepted today. Ask most people with Celiac and thyroid disease and they will tell you that. My thyroid never functioned well or was under control under after I discovered I had Celiac and went gluten free. It was the only way I got my antibody numbers back down close to normal and they were around 1200 when it was diagnosed with Celiac. I was diagnosed with Hashi's long before the Celiac diagnosis. I am not sure Vitamin D has anything to do with thyroid antibodies but who knows? Maybe it does have an affect for the better. It is really hard to get Vitmain D levels up, depending on where you live. Mine are going up, slowly, even after 12 years gluten-free but I live in the Northeast in the US and we don't have sun levels like they do in the South. I take 5,000 IU daily and that is a safe level to take, believe it or not. I get no sun on my job so the large dose it is! Having Celiac Disease should not stop you from being able to travel, especially S. America. I travel, although I do agree that some countries might be very difficult to be gluten free in. You can be a foodie and travel with Celiac so no worries on that front. You may not be able to sample from someone else's plate, unless they are eating gluten-free too but I have had awesome experiences with food when traveling so you can too!

I don't know what you drank or where.... so here are a few thoughts. - sure, a dive bar might have dirty glasses and serve a cocktail in a beer glass? But a nice reminder place, with a dishwasher, should be fine. If it's a sketchy place, Stick to wine, then it's served in wine glasses that aren't used for beer or bottled ciders in the bottle. - ciders on tap might, just a slight chance, have an issue. Because of beer on tap, mixed up lines, etc. - you may have a problem with alcohol - you may have issues with The high sugar content of the drink. I know I have similar issues if I drink serveral ciders of extra sugary brands - are you positive it was a gluten-free drink? Not this " redds Apple" pretending to be a cider - it's beer with apple flavor. Or one of those " gluten removed " beers?

Hi Stephanie, I'm also from the UK, I've found this site more helpful than anything we have! As already mentioned above, in my experience it could depend on what and where you were drinking. Gluten free food and drink isn't always (not usually) 100% gluten free as you may know, maybe you have become more sensitive to even a trace of gluten that is probably in gluten free food/drink. Is it possible you have a problem with corn, particularly high fructose corn syrup that is in a lot of alcoholic drinks? This was a big problem for me and the only alcoholic drinks I can tolerate are William Chase vodka and gin. I contacted the company last year and all their drinks are 100% gluten and corn free, made the old fashioned way with no additives, so maybe try their products if you like the occasional drink and see how you get on. If you drink out, not many pubs sell their products but I know Wetherspoons do and smaller wine bars may too. l was never a spirit drinker but I must say their products are absolutely lovely! Very easy on a compromised gut too considering it's alcohol. I second the suggestion on seeing a natural health practitioner. I've recently started seeing a medical herbalist, as I've got nowhere with my now many food intolerances since going gluten free last year and I've noticed a difference in my health already.

Sorry for the very late reply and thanks for the replies, I didn't get a notification of any. In case anyone else comes across this and has been wondering the same as I was, I did try a vegetable broth and I did react to it in the same way as if I'd eaten the vegetables. As for the candida, I've been using coconut oil and am seeing a medical herbalist for this and leaky gut. It's only been a few weeks but I've noticed an improvement all round.