General Mills takes Cheerios gluten-free in Canada

General Mills takes Cheerios gluten-free in Canada

Cereal brand Cheerios is going gluten free in Canada and offering five different varieties this summer.

Beginning this month, and rolling out across the rest of the country over the coming months, the five Cheerios varieties which are going gluten free are Original, Honey Nut, Multi-Grain, Apple and Chocolate.

"We are so excited that Canadians seeking gluten-free options will now have even more choice," said Emma Eriksson, director of marketing for General Mills Canada. "We want everyone to enjoy our cereals and these gluten-free Cheerios products will maintain the same great taste that consumers love at the same price they're used to."

First introduced into the US last summer, manufacturer General Mills has refined the process of removing the small amount of wheat, rye and barley from its supply of whole oats in order to ensure that the oats used for Cheerios complies with Health Canada's requirements and standards for gluten-free products.

Sales of the gluten-free Cheerios have risen 5% year on year in the second half of 2016, compared to an 8% decline in  2015.

Meanwhile, sales of General Mills cereals no longer containing artificial flavours or colours were up by 8% this year, compared with a 6% drop last year.

"The US cereal category has improved considerably since last year," said General  Mills chairman and CEO Ken Powell. "This is being driven by stronger innovation and renovation aligned with current consumer interests."

Along with the new line-up of gluten-free Cheerios, General Mills already offers Rice Chex, Chex Honey Nut and Cinnamon Chex as gluten-free options. Chocolate Chex is launching in Canada this summer.