breakfast cereals
  • Despite advertising their health benefits, many breakfast cereals in South Africa contain a large amount of sugar.
  • Many of these products are also marketed directly to children and toddlers, with bright boxes and animated characters.
  • At least five cereals in South Africa have more than 30 grams of sugar for every 100 grams of cereal.
  • And every serving of more than ten cereals in South Africa contains, on average, at least 25 grams of sugar.
  • Here are the cereal brands with the most amount of sugar currently on South African supermarket shelves.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

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. 

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.

ManufacturerProductSugar (g/100g)
BokomoOtees Originals Creme Soda34.2
Kellogg'sStrawberry Pops33.1
Kellogg'sCoco Pops33.1
BokomoWeet-Bix Bites Chocolate31.7
BokomoWeet-Bix Bites Honey31.4
Kellogg'sCoco Pops Fills28.9
BokomoOtees Originals Apple28.4
Kellogg'sFroot Loops28
Kellogg'sCoco Pops Crunchers Chocolate27
BokomoProNutro Pro-Light25.8
BokomoOtees Originals Bubblegum25.1
Kellogg'sCoco Pops Chocos25
NestleMilo25
NestleCheerios Honey24.9
BokomoOtees Pops Chocolate24
BokomoProNutro Toddlers Chocolate23.4
JungleCrunchalots Strawberry22.8
BokomoOtees Bitz Chocolate22.4
BokomoOtees Originals Chocolate22.3
BokomoProNutro Original Wheat free22.3
BokomoOtees Original22.2
Kellogg'sRice Krispies Vanilla21.7
BokomoProNutro Honey Melt Flavoured21.6
BokomoProNutro Original Wheat and Gluten free21
FuturelifeFlora Flamingo 19.7
FuturelifeBuddy the Bear19.5
BokomoProNutro Original19.1
BokomoProNutro Toddlers Vanilla19.1
BokomoProNutro Toddlers Banana19.1
Kellogg'sAll-Bran Hi-Fibre18
NestleCheerios Multigrain17.6
JungleCrunchalots Honey16.9
Kellogg'sSpecial-K16.7
JungleCrunchalots Chocolate16
FuturelifeSmart Food Strawberry15.8
FuturelifeSmart Food Chocolate15.8
BokomoFibre Plus13.6
Kellogg'sAll-Bran Flakes12.9
BokomoBran Flakes12.7
NestleCheerios Oat9
BokomoOtees Popped Rice8.9
Kellogg'sCorn Flakes7.9
Kellogg'sRice Krispies7.9
BokomoCorn Flakes7.5
BokomoWeet-Bix2.9
BokomoWeet-Bix Protein2.1
BokomoWeet-Bix Lite

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