Cereals and Sugar Shock

April 27, 2020

No one’s even pretending there’s any difference between breakfast cereal and candy.

I’ll be the first to admit that I consume more sugar at breakfast than I probably should. Plenty in my coffee, yogurt sweetened with jam, honey on my bagel, and fresh fruit, which is loaded with fructose.

But I look at some of the new cereals coming down the pike, and yeesh. Why not just feed kids candy for breakfast?

I mean literally, what’s the difference? Some of General Mills' new breakfast cereals include Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Puffs, Trix Trolls and Jolly Rancher.

I don’t mean just to pick on General Mills. Kellogg is adding marshmallows to its Frosted Flakes, while a new company called Magic Spoon is marking its one-year anniversary with a Birthday Cake flavor, which weds a vanilla cake-flavored base with “confetti sprinkles.”

Perhaps inevitably, the cross-branding is going the other way. Cereal is now being used as a branded ingredient/flavor in ice cream, cookies, frozen desserts and even coffee creamer.

Yes, kids’ cereal has been loaded with sugar since forever. But when I see it being cross-branded with actual candy, I have to conclude that the companies that make this stuff aren’t even trying to pay lip service to nutrition any more.

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