South Africa has a multitude of brightly coloured cereal boxes stacked on the shelves of major retailers adorned with mascots and advertising “fun” flavours for kids – but shoppers should be mindful of the amount of sugar in each serving.
A look at 40 of the most popular cereal brands on store shelves today, revealed that almost half have sugar content that makes up a quarter of a typical serving.
Cereal brands are constantly changing their recipes to attract market share in a competitive space – which means that some brands change over time, new brands are introduced and others are discontinued.
In August 2018, Kellogg’s changed the local recipe for Rice Krispies, turning the single grain, relatively sugar-free cereal, into a multi-grain vanilla-flavoured breakfast bowl with far more sugar.
The new recipe pushed the total sugar content from 8 grams of sugar per 100g, to over 21 grams.
And while Kellogg’s added sugar to Rice Krispies – from 8 grams of sugar per 100g, to over 21 grams – it was also removed another family favourite from the shelves in South Africa, namely Kellogg’s Frosties which carried 37.4 grams of sugar per 100 grams when measured in 2018.
The breakfast cereal giant has since added a new character to its brands in the form of Kellogg’s Unicorn Fruit Loops – a strawberry flavoured cereal carrying 18 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
BusinessTech looked at 40 popular cereals to identify which ones have the highest sugar content per serving.
With the loss of Kellogg’s Frosties, South Africa’s most sugar-filled cereal crown now belongs to Bokomo, with the group’s Creme Soda flavoured Otees carrying 38.6 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
This is followed by Otees Mixed Berry, Kellogg’s Strawberry Pops, Coco Pops and Otees Chocolate Flakes – all of which have more than 30 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
Otees Creme Soda – 38.6 grams of sugar per 100g
Otees Mixed Berry – 33.5 grams of sugar per 100g
Strawberry Pops – 33.1 grams of sugar per 100g
Coco Pops – 33.1 grams of sugar per 100g
Otees Chocolate Flakes – 31.9 grams of sugar per 100g
The table below outlines the nutritional information of 30 popular cereals in South Africa, ranked by the highest sugar content per 100 grams.
The recommended serving size for a bowl of cereal is 30 grams, and the details below do not account for added milk or sugar, which can significantly change the sugar content.
However, the grams of sugar per 100 grams can be interpreted as a percentage – thus some of the worst offenders (33 grams per 100 grams) can be read as one third of any serving size being sugar.