A selection of Cheerios products will soon be Gluten-free in Canada by the end of next month. It’s nothing more than a nod to the Gluten-free fad currently sweeping the western world. But it’s the kind of thing companies like General Mills think must do to retain or grow their market share…
Original Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Multi-Grain Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios and Chocolate Cheerios are all going Gluten-free. General Mills Canada Marketing Director Emma Erickson was positively over the moon making the announcement earlier this week:
“We are so excited that Canadians seeking gluten-free options will now have even more choice. 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.”
Oats, it seems, are naturally Gluten-free, but the stuff General Mills uses to make its cereals always has traces of Wheat, Rye and Barley. GM is therefore, going to use a new process they’ve developed to remove those ‘contaminants’ for the Gluten-free products.
General Mills is already offering Rice Chex, Chex Honey Nut and Cinnamon Chex as gluten-free options. Chocolate Chex is launching in Canada this summer, alongside the Cheerios products.
This is all good news for folks who actually have a Gluten problem. But they’re only a tiny fraction of the potential market. Most buyers of Gluten-free processed food products simply think they’re healthier. These consumers are largely younger people – 30-ish types – who recent polls have revealed are far more conscious of their food and their environment than previous generations. They are, by extension, more likely to explore and espouse trends and fads such as the Gluten-free movement.
Me? I firmly believe that, since the vast majority of us and our ancestors going back to pre-historic times, have grown up – healthy and more or less happy – eating grains with Gluten in them. my doctor says I’m perfectly healthy.
~ Maggie J.