Aug 20, 2023
General Mills doubles vitamin D in cereals
Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cheerios are the first two General Mills cereals to gain a vitamin D boost following the FDA’s increase to maximum limits of the nutrient in cereal. Dreamstime/TNS General
Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cheerios are the first two General Mills cereals to gain a vitamin D boost following the FDA’s increase to maximum limits of the nutrient in cereal. Dreamstime/TNS
General Mills is doubling the amount of vitamin D in some of its most popular cereals to address a common nutrient deficiency while also giving the company’s products a healthier shine.
Golden Valley-based General Mills, which is the top-selling cereal maker in the U.S., said Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch now carry 20% of the recommended daily value of the vitamin. That’s near the new maximum for breakfast cereal that federal regulators set earlier this year.
Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Trix and Cookie Crisp also will get a vitamin D boost later this summer.
Known as the sunshine vitamin because our bodies produce it when exposed to sunlight, vitamin D is essential for bone health and immunity. More than 90% of Americans do not produce or consume enough of it, according to federal data.
“For many people, consuming vitamin D fortified foods and exposing themselves to some sunlight are essential for maintaining a healthy vitamin D status,” according to the National Institutes of Health. Fortified milk has been a common source.
General Mills said it is the first to “broadly roll out this important nutrition upgrade” following the new standards for cereal.
Rival cereal maker Kellogg initially petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to increase the maximum amount of Vitamin D allowed in ready-to-eat cereals and received approval earlier this year.
Consumers have signaled in surveys they are willing to pay more for a product to achieve a specific health or wellness benefit. The International Food Information Council found this spring that vitamin D is the third most sought-after nutrient, trailing protein and fiber.
Researchers have warned of a “health halo” effect, when promoting some nutritional benefits can mask nutritional negatives in a product, such as excess sugar.
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