Health Benefits of Breakfast Cereal
Would you like to know just how good are bad your favorite super-market breakfast cereal really is for you?
Kellogg’s is a market leader and world wide supplier of packaged breakfast cereals.
After months of remaining tight lipped it has finally given in to the power of the consumer and public health co-coordinators and has agreed to release the nutritional ratings and prove the health benefits of breakfast cereal.
The federal government’s health star ratings cover its full cereal range of 37 products and give a star rating from 1 -5.
The shock results may surprise you.
Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes, Nutri-Grain and Crispix – which breakfast cereal has just been slapped with the lowest rating in the Kellogg’s range – 1.5 health stars?
The ratings calculator has awarded Crispix with 1.5 stars and seven children’s cereals with two.
Kellogg’s senior nutrition and regulatory affairs manager Dr Michelle Celander avoided answering whether the “treat cereals” will be reformulated, even if sales plummet.
At the end of the day we have many consumers who absolutely love our treat cereals and we feel that being transparent around the health star ratings is the absolute right thing to do,” she said. ”
They will continue to love the great taste of our cereals with the health stars or not.”
Seventy per cent, or 26 Kellogg’s products achieved a rating of between four and five health stars.
Leading the charge are Guardian and All-Bran Original and Wheat Flakes, which all rated five stars, and the Special K, Sultana Bran and Just Right ranges.
The kid-friendly Mini-Wheats Little Bites Original and Chocolate both rated 4.5 stars.
Rice Bubble Multi-grain received four stars, while the original version got three.
Jane Martin, executive manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition, said
Kellogg’s decision was a major win considering how sugar-loaded they are, especially children’s products that are brightly-colored and sprinkled by cartoon characters.
“We hope to see Kellogg’s will reformulate the children’s products, to give them a healthier profile. Even something like Rice Bubbles, the stars don’t look that good,” she said.
“And what about [Coco-Pops] Chex, that’s two stars. Oh my gosh, I used to buy that.”
During this time consumer advocacy group Choice launched the “Just Not Right” campaign to pressure it to use the ratings.
”More than 115 different packs needed to be changed and that takes time, and it is truly a logistical feat to bring this many products to market with the new packaging,” she said.
Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey called the “Just Not Right” petition, signed by over 4200 people since March, a victory for busy shoppers who want to buy and eat healthy cereals.
Shoppers can now compare products like-for-like and make fully informed decisions in the cereal aisle, the cereal aisle has become the first to be completely decked with health stars.
“Kellogg’s is sending a very clear signal to companies holding out that it’s time to act in the interest of consumers,” Mr Godfrey said.
“If companies are embarrassed by the number of stars a product has then that sends a very clear message to them that they do need to consider reformulating products.”
The group is still pressuring food giant McCain, Mars, PepsiCo, Mondelez, George Weston and Goodman Fielder to implement the health star scheme.
A Mondelez spokesman said the company, the owner of Kraft, Belvita and Philadelphia, was resisting the scheme because it was flawed.
“Our view is that the concept and formula underpinning the voluntary system fails to account for individuals’ dietary requirements and takes an unrealistic view of portion sizes,” she said.
Food companies have four more years to comply with the star-rating scheme that gives shoppers at-a-glance information about a product’s nutrition, according to the federal Health Department.
After that, it may become mandatory.
The rating takes into account the amount of salt, sugar and saturated fat in products per 100 grams.
The ratings are available on Kellogg’s USA website and will be seen on cereal boxes from June 2015.
Kellogg’s All Bran, Sultana Bran, Guardian, Coco Pops and Special K Nourish variants will be the first to be adorned with health stars.
Kellogg’s grip on the worldwide breakfast cereal market has been slipping in recent years now it has taken this bold step to show it understands the need for healthy cereals and total transparency.
Its share dropped from 40 per cent to 27 per cent between 2010 and 2014, according to research firm Euromonitor International, as demand for healthier products rose.
Kellogg’s later disputed these figures, saying Aztec data showed it had the biggest supermarket cereal share at 35.4 per cent.
Kellogg’s cereal star ratings
All-Bran® Original ★★★★★
All-Bran® Wheat Flakes ★★★★★
All-Bran® Apple Flavoured Crunch ★★★★☆
All-Bran® High Fibre Muesli Almond & Apricot with Sultanas and Pepita Seeds ★★★★☆
All-Bran® High Fibre Muesli Cranberry & Pink Lady Apple with Pepita Seeds ★★★★☆
All-Bran® Wheat Flakes Honey Almond ★★★★☆
Mini-Wheats® Little Bites Chocolate ★★★★☆
Mini-Wheats® Little Bites Original ★★★★☆
Special K Advantage® ★★★★☆
Special K Nourish® with Apricot, Cranberry & Almond ★★★★☆
Special K Nourish® with Blackcurrant, Apple & Pepitas ★★★★☆
Special K Nourish® with Wildberry, Raisin & Pepita ★★★★☆
Sultana Bran Buds® ★★★★☆
Sultana Bran® ★★★★☆
Kellogg’s Five Whole Grain Muesli® Sun-dried Apricot, Cranberries & Pepitas ★★★★☆
Kellogg’s Five Whole Grain Muesli® Roasted Almonds, Coconut & Flame Raisins ★★★★☆
Special K® Oats & Honey ★★★★☆
Just Right® Original ★★★★
Rice Bubbles® Multigrain ★★★★
Special K® Forest Berries ★★★★
Special K® Fruit & Nut ★★★★
Special K® Original ★★★★
Special K® Whole Grain Clusters with Protein Cranberry, Pepitas & Almonds ★★★★
Special K® Whole Grain Clusters with Protein Flame Raisin & Red Apple ★★★★
Corn Flakes ★★★☆
Sultana Bran Extra® ★★★
Rice Bubbles® ★★★
Coco Pops® ★★
Coco Pops® Chex® ★★
Crunchy Nut® Clusters ★★
Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes® ★★
Froot Loops® ★★