General Mills develops ancient grains Cheerios

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

General Mills: 'All of our research shows that consumers are eating more ancient grains and there is not a brand better positioned to launch this product than Cheerios'
General Mills: 'All of our research shows that consumers are eating more ancient grains and there is not a brand better positioned to launch this product than Cheerios'

Related tags Ancient grains Cereal

General Mills will launch ancient grains Cheerios to take the fast-growing trend into mainstream cereal, its marketing manager for cereal innovation says.

The Cheerios + Ancient Grains product took around a year to develop and will launch nationwide across the US in January, 2015. The cereal contains oat and quinoa clusters and two wheat grains – Kamut Khorosan and spelt.

Alan Cunningham, marketing manager for innovation in General Mills’ cereal division, said the product took a previously niche cereal trend into the mainstream aisle.

“While ancient grains are primarily in natural and organic cereals, Cheerios will be the first large cereal brand to bring it mainstream,”​ he told BakeryandSnacks.com.

While it may be the first cold ready-to-eat cereal from a large brand to contain a blend of ancient grains, other cereal majors have products containing ancient grains. Kellogg, for example, launched Special K Nourish hot cereal​ in June last year with quinoa among other grains and Post Foods’ Great Grains brand contains wheat, barley and millet flour.

Asked if ancient grains had a place in the mainstream cereal aisle, Cunningham said: “Absolutely. All of our research shows that consumers are eating more ancient grains and there is not a brand better positioned to launch this product than Cheerios.”

General Mills has invested heavily in its best-selling flagship brand over the past year, chasing several trends in the food space.

In June this year it launched Cheerios Protein​ made from soy in two varieties – a move it said made a high-quality protein available for the entire family – and in January it removed GMO ingredients from its original brand​ to play into what it described as a growing consumer preference for non-GMO food.

Less fiber, more sugar

Cunningham said use of ancient grains across the food sector had increased by 50% over the prior year.

However, the Cheerios + Ancient Grains product contains less fiber per serving than its flagship counterpart (2 gram per 28 g serving rather than 3 g in regular Cheerios) and more sugar (5 g per serving instead of 1 g).

Asked if such a nutritional difference would concern consumers, Cunningham said the cereal would be accepted because it met taste needs.

“Our new product was created to provide consumers with a great tasting cereal that contains ancient grains. We are confident that the nutrition panel will be accepted by consumers. Cheerios + Ancient Grains contains 17 g of wholegrain, 12 vitamins and minerals and only 5 g of sugar per serving,”​ he said.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Can your red beet ENDURE the heat?

Can your red beet ENDURE the heat?

Content provided by Givaudan | 22-May-2024 | Product Brochure

Endure Beetroot is patent pending vegan, kosher, and simple label red option with improved heat stability in cakes and other bakery applications that can...

Increasingly, sustainability is linked to value

Increasingly, sustainability is linked to value

Content provided by Corbion | 08-May-2024 | Insight Guide

Today, it’s not enough for products to be good for you. Consumers — especially Millennials and Gen Z-ers — not only want bakery products that are good...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars