New Annie's cereals rolling out this year, General Mills says


General Mills is introducing Annie's into the cereal aisle.

Three new Annie's-branded breakfast cereals were announced by the Golden Valley-based food giant this week.

All of them, the company says, have whole grain as the first ingredient, and include 8 grams of sugar per serving.

General Mills has been re-aligning its business strategy in the past 18 months, as it moves towards more fresh and organic products in response to changing consumer tastes. Included in that time is sale of Green Giant and acquisition of Annie’s.

The latter's new cereals are:

Berry Bunnies – Rabbit-shaped cereal, blueberry and strawberry flavored.

Cocoa Bunnies – Flavored with fair trade cocoa; also rabbit-shaped.

Frosted Oat Flakes – Whole grain oat and wheat flakes.

They're USDA-certified organic, and have no artificial flavors, no synthetic colors, no preservatives, and no high fructose corn syrup, according to General Mills.

They'll start getting to retailers in April, and be available across the country this summer, the release says.

General Mills also notes Annie's tried cereal in 2007, but discontinued it five years later

What constitutes a 'healthy' cereal?

There isn't necessarily a one-size-fits-all answer, but Mayo Clinic says there are generally three key components: Fiber, sugar and calories. They recommend finding cereals with at minimum 3 grams of fiber per serving (though recommend aiming for 5 or more grams), pick cereals with lower sugar (so target adult cereals, since the ones marketed to kids tend to have more), and if you're concerned about calories go for about 160 calories.

In the spring of 2014, the Environmental Working Group released findings of a large cereal analysis.

They looked at more than 1,500 cereals, 181 of which were marketed toward kids. Of those, only 10 met the group's guidelines for being considered "low sugar" (which in this case means 1 teaspoon or less of sugar per serving). Meanwhile Mayo Clinic suggests less than 13 grams of sugar per serving.

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