How much sugar is packed into South Africa’s favourite cereals

 ·21 Mar 2021

Shoppers in South Africa could see some new cereals appearing on store shelves in the coming months.

While established favourites including Corn Flakes, Coco Pops, Otees and Jungle Oats have been around for generations, many brands have not stood the test of time.

Kellogg’s Frosties has been discontinued, as has Corn Flakes With Honey, Rice Crispies has seen recipe changes, while Nestle Bar One cereal and Nature’s Source Choc Bitz have become scarce, or have disappeared from store shelves altogether.

Among the churn of cereal brands, new options also emerge including the latest from Kellogg’s – Coco Pops Fills.

The new cereal is marketed as being “crunchy on the outside, with chocolate filling on the inside”, and joins the likes of Coco Pops Crunchers and Coco Pops Choco’s under the Coco Pops umbrella of products. Kellogg’s South Africa said it intends on ramping up marketing for the new product in the coming weeks.

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 have been warned to be mindful of the sugar content in each offering.

BusinessTech looked at 50 cereals that are available in South Africa to see exactly how much sugar is contained in each serving.

We found that 17 cereals have sugar content that makes up more than a quarter of a serving, while three cereals have sugar content that accounts for more than a third. Like most cereals, the new Coco Pops Fills carries a high sugar content, making up 29% of every serving (28.9 grams of sugar per 100 grams of cereal). This is the eighth highest of all the cereals we looked at.

Bokomo’s Creme Soda Otees remain the cereal with the highest sugar content, with 38.6 grams of sugar per 100 grams of cereal. This is followed by Kellogg’s Strawberry pops (33.1 grams of sugar) and Coco Pops (33.1 grams of sugar), and two Weet-Bix cereals – chocolate bites and honey bites, with just over 31 grams of sugar each.

The new Kellogg’s Coco Pops Fills, despite the chocolate-filled centre, sits between the likes of Froot Loops (28 grams of sugar) and chocolate ProNutro (26 grams of sugar), but some way off other cereals in the same umbrella.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Corn Flakes (both Kellogg’s and Bokomo) carry low sugar content, with Nutrific Wholewheat Biscuits and Weet-Bix Lite carrying the lowest sugar content overall, at 2.0 grams and 1.1 grams per 100 grams.

Otees Creme Soda – 38.6 grams of sugar per 100g 

Strawberry Pops – 33.1 grams of sugar per 100g 

Coco Pops – 33.1 grams of sugar per 100g 

WeetBix Chocolate Bites – 31.7 grams of sugar per 100g 

WeetBix Honey Bites – 31.4 grams of sugar per 100g 

The table below outlines the nutritional information of 50 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.

Read: Food, electricity and petrol prices are all going up – as South Africans keep getting poorer

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