• 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.

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

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.