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Cheerios is an American brand of cereal manufactured by General Mills, consisting of pulverized oats in the shape of a solid torus. In some countries, including the United Kingdom, Cheerios is marketed by Cereal Partners under the Nestlé brand; in Australia and New Zealand, Cheerios is sold as an Uncle Toby's product. It was first manufactured in 1941 and was originally called CheeriOats.

Nutrition facts
Serving size 1 cup (28g)
Servings per container 9
Amount per serving
Calories 100 Calories from fat 15
% Daily value*
Total fat 2 g 3%
   Saturated fat 0.5 g 3%
   Trans fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 140 mg 6%
Potassium 180 mg 5%
Total carbohydrate 20 g 7%
   Dietary fiber 3 g 1%
   Sugars 1 g
Protein 3 g
Vitamin A 10%      Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 10%      Iron 45%
*Percent daily values are based on a 2,000‑calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Box of Cheerios


Cheerios was introduced on May 1, 1941, as CheeriOats, but the name was changed to Cheerios in 1945. Cinnamon Nut Cheerios was the first departure from original Cheerios in mid-1976, while the second was Honey Nut Cheerios, introduced in 1979.[1] Highly effective marketing led to the cereal's great success for General Mills, which sold approximately 1.8 million cases of Honey Nut Cheerios in its first year alone.


In January 2014, General Mills announced that it would halt the use of genetically modified ingredients in original Cheerios.[2] In February 2015, the company announced they would be making Cheerios gluten-free by removing the traces of wheat, rye, and barley that usually come into contact with the oat supply used to make Cheerios during transportation to the General Mills plant in Buffalo, New York along Lake Erie.


Many television commercials for Cheerios have targeted children featuring animated characters (such as an animated Honeybee). Bullwinkle was featured in early 1960s commercials, with the tag line at the end of the ad being "Go with Cheerios!" followed by Bullwinkle, usually worse for wear due to his Cheerios-inspired bravery somewhat backfiring, saying "...but watch where you're going!" Hoppity Hooper was also featured in ads in the mid-1960s, as General Mills was the primary sponsor of his animated program. From 1969 to 1972, the Cheerios kid and Sue encounter a villain and flee from it and the Cheerios kid pours the cereal into a bowl and the jingle "Get yourself go" plays. The Cheerios go into a spiral and into the Kid's muscles then the Kid and Sue escape and track down the villain and the Cheerios kid says his catchphrase "Get Cheerios." The jingle borrows the tune of The Monkees's "I’m a Believer" and "A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You" which were released 3 years prior.

The Cheerios KidEdit

Beginning in the mid-1950s and continuing through the early 1960s, "The Cheerios Kid" was a mainstay in Cheerios commercials. The Kid, after eating Cheerios, quickly dealt with whatever problem presented in the commercial, using oat-produced "Big-G, little-o" "Go-power." The character was revived briefly in the late 1980s in similar commercials. In 2012, The Cheerios Kid and sidekick Sue were revived in an internet video that showed how Cheerios "can lower cholesterol."[3][4] Video clips of "the Kid" and Sue are part of a montage included in a 2014 TV commercial, along with clips of the Honey Nut Cheerios bee's early commercials.


In 1984 and 1985, characters from the comic strip Peanuts were featured in many Cheerios commercials. In the commercials, the characters become tired at the middle of something (e.g. a dance lesson, playing tennis), but then another character tells them that they didn't have a healthy Cheerios breakfast. Then, at the end of the commercial, the character would have lots of energy, followed by children singing "You're on your toes with Cheerios!"

Spoonfuls of StoriesEdit

The Spoonfuls of Stories program, begun in 2002, is sponsored by Cheerios and a 50/50 joint venture of General Mills and Simon & Schuster. Mini-sized versions of Simon & Schuster children's books are published within the program when the book drive occurs.[5][6] The program also includes a New Author contest; winners' books are published in miniature inside boxes of Cheerios.[7][8]

Shawn JohnsonEdit

In 2009, Olympic gold medalist and World Champion gymnast Shawn Johnson became the first athlete to have her photo featured on the front of the Cheerios box. The limited edition was distributed in the Midwestern region of the United States by the Hy-Vee grocery store chain.[9][10]

Just CheckingEdit

In 2013, a Cheerios commercial aired, titled "Just Checking," showcasing an interracial family in which a daughter asks her mother (white) if Cheerios is good for the heart, as her father (black) mentioned. The mother says the cereal is good according to the box which states that the whole grain oats lowers cholesterol. The next scene features the father waking up as a pile of Cheerios spill down his chest, which the daughter placed there having taken her father's words literally. The commercial received unintentional notoriety due to the racist anger at the commercial showing a biracial family. This was so extreme that General Mills disabled further comments on the video.[11][better source needed] In 2014, General Mills released a Super Bowl ad titled "Gracie," featuring the same family: in the commercial, the father, using Cheerios to illustrate his meaning, tells the daughter that a new baby is coming, that her mother is pregnant, and the daughter accepts – as long as they also get a puppy and the father agrees while the mother looks a little surprised.[citation needed]


To promote the premiere of the Vortexx Saturday morning block on The CW Television Network in August 2012, special boxes of Cheerios were branded as "Vortexx O's," complete with the schedule on the back, and the wordmark plastered on one of the Vortexx promotional backgrounds. Toys were also included in the box, featuring John Cena, Iron man, and the Pink Power Ranger

Good Goes AroundEdit

In 2017, Latrell James was hired to sing a song for a new Cheerios commercial. The commercial is easily recognised by the refrain "Good goes around and around and around, good goes around and around."


Discontinued productsEdit

  • Cheerios and X's[14] (1993)
  • Team Cheerios[15][16] (formerly Team USA Cheerios) (1996)
  • Millenios[17] (Cheerios with "2"-shaped cereal pieces) (1999–2000)
  • Berry Burst Cheerios[18] (including variations of Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Cherry Vanilla and Triple Berry) (2003)
  • Dulce de Leche Cheerios (2012) (sweetened Cheerios made with caramel)
  • Banana Nut Cheerios (2015–2016) (sweetened Cheerios made with banana puree)[19]

2009 FDA demandEdit

In May 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter[20] to General Mills indicating that Cheerios was being sold as an unapproved new drug, due to labeling which read in part:

• "You can Lower Your Cholesterol 4% in 6 weeks"
• "Did you know that in just 6 weeks Cheerios can reduce bad cholesterol by an average of 4 percent? Cheerios is ... clinically proven to lower cholesterol. A clinical study showed that eating two 1½ cup servings daily of Cheerios cereal reduced bad cholesterol when eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol."

The FDA letter indicated that General Mills needed to change the way it marketed Cheerios or apply for federal approval to sell Cheerios as a drug. General Mills responded with a statement that their claim of soluble fiber content had been approved by the FDA, and that claims about lowering cholesterol had been featured on the box for two years.[21]

In 2012, the FDA followed up with a letter approving the Cheerios labeling and declaring that the matter was moot and required no further action.[22]

2019 EWG studyEdit

2019 testing from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found traces of the Roundup herbicide glyphosate in Cheerios and other cereal brands, with the highest levels being found in Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch (833 parts per billion) and Cheerios (729 parts per billion). EWG considers 160 parts per billion and higher to be unsafe levels for children. However, the Environmental Protection Agency has a much higher threshold of 0.1 to 310 parts per million.[23]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Elliott, Stuart (June 27, 2011). "7 Agencies Will Tell You This Cereal Is No. 1". The New York.
  2. ^ Walsh, Bryan (January 20, 2014). "Cheerios has ditched GMOs. Does it matter?". Time. 183 (2): 15. The whole-grain oats that are the main ingredient of Cheerios have always been GMO-free, but General Mills is now ensuring that the sugar and cornstarch used in the cereal come from non-GMO sources.
  3. ^ Schultz, E.J. (September 17, 2012). "General Mills Brings Back Green Giant, Cheerios Kid In Nostalgic Appeal". Advertising Age.
  4. ^ 1950s-1970s Cheerios Commercials (The Cheerios Kid). YouTube. November 28, 2010.
  5. ^ "Cheerios – Spoonsfuls of Stories". Simon and Schuster. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  6. ^ Beder, Sharon. "Sponsorship and Donations – Book Donations". Business Managed Democracy. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Lost (and Found) Balloon by Celeste Jenkins, Maria Bogade". Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  8. ^ "Cheerios – Spoonsfuls of Stories – New Author Contest". Simon and Schuster. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "Front sports briefs". Dubuque Telegraph Herald. The Associated Press. December 14, 2008. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015 – via HighBeam.
  10. ^ "Special Promotions – Shawn Johnson Cheerios Box". Archived from the original on May 21, 2011.
  11. ^ Harris, Aisha (May 31, 2013). "Cheerios Ad Brings Out the Racists". Slate. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "COMPANY NEWS: Cheerios and X's; How to Play With Cereal, But Without the Milk". The New York Times. June 23, 1993.
  15. ^ Tatum, Kevin (May 29, 1997). "Breakfast With Northampton's Champs. 1996 Softball Squad Depicted On Cereal Box". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  16. ^ Schevitz, Tanya (February 25, 1998). "Cereal Toasts De La Salle / Football team lauded on Cheerios box for victory record". San Francisco Chronicle.
  17. ^ Hoye, Sue (December 28, 1999). "Marketing 2000 as the millennium". CNN.
  18. ^ "Cheerios cereal celebrates its 70th birthday". KABC-TV Los Angeles, CA. June 24, 2011. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)
  19. ^ Cheerios [@cheerios] (March 1, 2016). "@NumberEighty3 unfortunately, Banana Nut Cheerios have been discontinued :( So sorry for any inconvenience! ^C" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  20. ^ "Warning Letters - General Mills, Inc. 5/5/09". Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  21. ^ "Popular cereal is a drug, US food watchdog says". AFP News. May 12, 2009. Archived from the original on May 19, 2009.
  22. ^ "Letter to General Mills Concerning Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal Labeling". Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine. U.S. FDA. May 3, 2012.
  23. ^ Picchi, Aimee (June 13, 2019). "Cheerios, Nature Valley cereals contain Roundup ingredient, study finds". CBS News. Retrieved June 15, 2019.

External linksEdit