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2021-09-02

These are the breakfast cereals in SA with the highest sugar content - mostly targeting kids

Breakfast cereals in South Africa, particularly those targeting children, have for some time made some reasonably bold health claims. This is despite most containing large amounts of sugar - sometimes in higher quantities than the vitamins and minerals they advertise.


Andrew Thompson | Business Insider SA

Most leading cereal brands for sale in this country continue to advertise the inclusion of vitamins, minerals, iron, multigrain, fibre, or even probiotics. Some leave the interpretation of common phrases like "high in", "source of", and simply "with" up to the consumer. Others, like several Kellogg's cereals, make a direct claim that some of their breakfast cereals may aid with "growth" and "development". 

Although most breakfast cereals on supermarket shelves do contain some vitamins, minerals, healthy grains, or fibre, most also have high amounts of sugar. 

But according to experts, eating too much sugar can harm health - and cutting back on some sugars could make it easier to concentrate and stay alert. In particular, experts warn against overeating processed and refined sugar - common in items like breakfast cereal.

At least five breakfast cereals directly targeting children with colourful boxes and adults with health claims have more than 30 grams of sugar for every 100 grams of cereal eaten. 

The top ten sugar-filled cereal types have more than 25 grams of sugar per 100 grams, which equals more than a quarter of sugar for every serving. 

And some brands that tacitly purport to be healthy, or contain labels such as "light", or for toddlers, also have surprisingly high sugar contents. Of the products checked by Business Insider South Africa, a "light" ProNutro had 25.8 grams of sugar per 100 gram, and a chocolate flavoured version of the same product targeting parents with toddlers had 23.4 grams.

This sugar content per 100 grams in as many as 40 different breakfast cereals is higher than items that may be considered unhealthy or desert foods - like some vanilla ice cream and even a typical Coke can.

Some local iterations of global cereal brands also have higher sugar levels than those available in foreign markets.

For example, local Kellogg's Rice Krispies Vanilla has a sugar content of 21.7 grams per 100 grams. The original brand in the United Kingdom, stocked on South African shelves after a revolt, has just 7.9 grams. And in the United States, it has 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams.

The same is true for Coco Pops in the United Kingdom - the UK version has nearly half the amount of sugar per 100 grams as the version available in South Africa.

Here's how much sugar is in some of South Africa's biggest cereal brands.

Manufacturer

Product

Sugar (g/100g)

Bokomo

Otees Originals Creme Soda

34.2

Kellogg's

Strawberry Pops

33.1

Kellogg's

Coco Pops

33.1

Bokomo

Weet-Bix Bites Chocolate

31.7

Bokomo

Weet-Bix Bites Honey

31.4

Kellogg's

Coco Pops Fills

28.9

Bokomo

Otees Originals Apple

28.4

Kellogg's

Froot Loops

28

Kellogg's

Coco Pops Crunchers Chocolate

27

Bokomo

ProNutro Pro-Light

25.8

Bokomo

Otees Originals Bubblegum

25.1

Kellogg's

Coco Pops Chocos

25

Nestle

Milo

25

Nestle

Cheerios Honey

24.9

Bokomo

Otees Pops Chocolate

24

Bokomo

ProNutro Toddlers Chocolate

23.4

Jungle

Crunchalots Strawberry

22.8

Bokomo

Otees Bitz Chocolate

22.4

Bokomo

Otees Originals Chocolate

22.3

Bokomo

ProNutro Original Wheat free

22.3

Bokomo

Otees Original

22.2

Kellogg's

Rice Krispies Vanilla

21.7

Bokomo

ProNutro Honey Melt Flavoured

21.6

Bokomo

ProNutro Original Wheat and Gluten free

21

Futurelife

Flora Flamingo

19.7

Futurelife

Buddy the Bear

19.5

Bokomo

ProNutro Original

19.1

Bokomo

ProNutro Toddlers Vanilla

19.1

Bokomo

ProNutro Toddlers Banana

19.1

Kellogg's

All-Bran Hi-Fibre

18

Nestle

Cheerios Multigrain

17.6

Jungle

Crunchalots Honey

16.9

Kellogg's

Special-K

16.7

Jungle

Crunchalots Chocolate

16

Futurelife

Smart Food Strawberry

15.8

Futurelife

Smart Food Chocolate

15.8

Bokomo

Fibre Plus

13.6

Kellogg's

All-Bran Flakes

12.9

Bokomo

Bran Flakes

12.7

Nestle

Cheerios Oat

9

Bokomo

Otees Popped Rice

8.9

Kellogg's

Corn Flakes

7.9

Kellogg's

Rice Krispies

7.9

Bokomo

Corn Flakes

7.5

Bokomo

Weet-Bix

2.9

Bokomo

Weet-Bix Protein

2.1

Bokomo

Weet-Bix Lite

1.1


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