There was a time for me when sugary cereal was the treasure at the end of the rainbow. I grew up not allowed to choose ‘sweet cereal’ at the grocery store, instead choosing Crispix or Chex. I can look back and thank my parents now, but I surely remember going to friends houses and drooling over their kitchen cabinets…. Count Chocula, Fruit Loops and the grandfather, big daddy of them all, Lucky Charms. These sweet numbers were sugar-coma-inducing boxes of joy, and still to this day I have a bit of a hankering for crispy, oh-so-sweet mini marshmallows. But since none of these big name cereals are gluten-free, they are now but a memory, an empty bowl with pink milk leftover.
I am gathering food brand lists for my GF website, and it’s still shocking to me that so many big companies are missing out completely on the gluten-free bandwagon. Indeed, I went over to Kellogg’s website today and was met with this statement on their GF offerings:
At this time, we do not offer products suitable for consumers on a gluten- or wheat-free diet. All of our products are produced in facilities that also manufacture wheat-containing products. We cannot guarantee that any products are 100% gluten- or wheat-free.
Kellogg’s® Eggo™ Syrup and Kellogg’s™ Fruit Flavored Snacks are formulated gluten and wheat-free and may be acceptable for consumers on restricted diets. However, these products are produced in facilities that also manufacture other products that contain wheat. Consumers have varying sensitivities to gluten, and although we follow approved standardized manufacturing practices, some consumers are so sensitive that even wheat dust that may be in the product can result in a reaction. Therefore, we do not have any products that are gluten-free.
Kellogg’s® Corn Pops and Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies might be suitable, depending on gluten sensitivity. Corn Pops have a very small amount of wheat starch added, and Rice Krispies have a small amount of malt flavoring, made from barley. Check with your personal physician to determine if these products are suitable for you.
What?! Doesn’t this seem like a huge oversight? An enormous business potential missed, in my mind. For instance, Rice Krispies. They are such a simple makeup, yet aren’t gluten-free because of the malt used in their recipe. This malt could easily be replaced with molasses, which General Mills has done with great effect. Kellogg’s seems to just be lazy on the scene, not realizing that expanding their offerings would benefit everyone.
The most frustrating is the still-slim-pickins that confront a gluten free eater in the cereal aisle. Sure, there are fresher, probably healthier options elsewhere for breakfast, but sometimes a box of cereal is what you really crave. As someone that has walked down the cereal aisle and realized literally everything is off limit, finding even a few options is a treat.
So, Kellogg’s, get off you butts and start making gluten free versions of your products. It will show you’re listening to your audience, able to diversify your offerings, and smart enough to know a new market segments when you see one!
That’s all for now.
Kellogg’s has started making some inroads into the Gluten-Free world, starting with one of their classic cereals, Rice Krispies. It’s a start, but there is surely a lot more work to do.