Who doesn’t love cereal? It’s a yummy food that’s eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s sweet cereal, healthy cereal, specialty cereals, and oatmeal. But when you think of cereal, typically, there's one company that's the cereal company when discussing popular brands, and that’s General Mills.
This company’s humble beginnings started in 1860, and with more than 150 years under their belt, they’ve perfected products that promote convenience through foods that require very little time to prepare. That's what made General Mills so popular, and around 1947, “ready-to-eat cereals . . . grew dramatically, and more brands were introduced.”
General Mills is a leader in the world of packaged consumer foods behind only Kellogg. Their products are vast, and with this company making products like Gold Medal flour, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Bisquick, Chex Mix, most notably Cheerios and more, it's unlikely that you haven’t come across a General Mills product because they sell over 100 products in over 100 countries.
What makes their cereal so great is for a lot of people is nostalgia. Think about the time when you made yourself a bowl of cereal and sat down in front of the TV as a kid. Simple, right? What was your favorite cereal? One of the Cheerios brands? What about Chex? Did you run away from Raisin Bran, or did you eat it when presented to you? Maybe you were one of the few who mixed two or more cereals together. No matter the what you ate or ran away from, here’s the ranking of the top 20 General Mills Cereal Brands.
20 Fiber One
Fiber One is a cereal with the name "fiber" in it, and that makes this cereal unappetizing. Sure, it can help you get the needed fiber in your diet, but cereal shouldn’t simply be about nutrition; it should taste good as well. Look at the box, and you’ll see multiple cardboard grains ready and willing to cut the roof of your mouth if you give this cereal the chance.
There's nothing great about this cereal, and it's best if all people forgot that it exists and find a cereal that'll love them as much as they love cereal. Only eat this cereal if you truly must force yourself to get fiber.
Chex isn't a cereal. The end. You can go to the next item on this list. Seriously, though, Chex isn’t really the type of thing you want to eat for breakfast. It's touted by its own website as a “food made with simple ingredients,” which is great, but Chex is a “cereal” that gets soggy within minutes once your milk makes contact.
Any cereal that also must market itself (heavily) as a snack food for parties is no friend of mine. Funny enough, the snack food version of Chex is probably much more successful than the cereal because it simply doesn’t contain Chex to sell itself.
Wheaties is “the breakfast for champions.” Wheaties must blackmail athletes to get on their boxes because the cereal doesn’t taste good. Literally, the only thing that makes this cereal great is that it’s an icon. Although it's funny to say athletes are blackmailed, on a serious note, Wheaties continues to highlight athletes at the top of their game. It's expected at this point that Wheaties will have athletes on the box, and without them, the cereal isn’t the same.
The major problems with this cereal are dryness and lack of taste. It's safe to assume that the problems with taste are based on the mission to market this cereal to children who aspire to become champions, but the dryness makes this cereal something that both children and adults wouldn't enjoy.
Total cereal is Wheaties without the athletes on the box. It's not typically a cereal a lot of people would purchase unless there’s a desire to maintain or improve their health via cereal. General Mills says that Total has “100 percent of the Daily Value of a least 11 vitamins and minerals,” and it’s the only leading cereal with that kind of nutrition and flavor in the same box.” If the goal is to get vitamins, then this cereal isn’t so bad to eat, but if you’re looking for taste, flavor, and fun, steer clear of this cereal, and look for something a little tastier.
16 Cascadian Farm
Oh, did you think this brand wasn't owned by General Mills? Think again. Cascadian Farm isn’t too bad. The whole brand is here because a lot of their cereals are “healthier” versions of General Mills (and other brands’) cereal. Cascadian Farm is an organic cereal company that’s “dedicated to bringing wholesome organic food to your table.” Cascadian Farm is on this list because it has flavor and it isn’t awful to eat, but it’s far from the best cereal from General Mills. Majority of their cereal are granola-based, but you’ll also see organic versions of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Golden Grahams, and probably the best version of imitation Fruit Loops ever.
As plain as the original Kix cereal is, it still tastes pretty good (the flavored versions are good, too). This cereal started in 1937, and ever since, it’s been their mission to provide “wholesome grains like whole wheat grain corn” and to deliver “a cereal that provides good nutrition your kids need and great taste your kids love.” For the most part, this cereal lives up to that. It's lightly sweetened, and so, it’s appetizing; there isn’t too much going on that will make people feel guilty for eating it regularly. It’s so good that adults probably eat this cereal, too.
When people think of Cheerios, they probably think of it as a legendary cereal. It’s extremely iconic, and people probably had Cheerios at least once in their lifetime. Sure, this cereal is super plain and has a “grainy” flavor, but Cheerios doesn’t hurt you either. It's pretty much a safe cereal to eat. The wonderful thing about original Cheerios is that you can sweeten it and add components to this cereal to make it work for your needs. Whether you want to add sugar or fruit, this cereal is a blank canvas that can serve the needs of everyone in the family.
13 Multigrain Cheerios
If eating nutritional Cheerios is your thing, then this cereal is right in your wheelhouse because it’s nothing but a health bomb. According to their website, “Multi Grain Cheerios delivers the perfectly balanced combination of nutrition and taste with 5 whole grains and essential nutrition to help you get through the day.” Being honest, it tastes exactly as the website says it does–a bunch of plain, healthy puffed oats. Of course, if the goal is to lose weight and maintain health, then this cereal will make sure that you receive “100% of your daily value of 9 vitamins & minerals” and that you get fiber and calcium.
12 Frosted Cheerios
Okay, yes, there’s another Cheerio flavor on this list, but it’s a worthy addition. Remember when Frosted Cheerios came out on the market? It was glorious. The frosted Cheerio version has the same issue as all the other Cheerios—sogginess—but this cereal is on the list for its flavor. There’s a light sugary taste akin to Frosted Flakes (a Kellogg brand) but wrapped up in a better cereal. Admittedly, the cereal can be too much for some people, especially if you don’t like that kind of sugar flavor, but it also provides needed taste to what's usually an underachieving cereal.
11 Reese’s Puffs
Alright, so this cereal is pretty much a sugar bomb. It's not a cereal for people who want a healthy breakfast. But if you want to taste one of the best crossover cereals ever, then this is the best. It tastes exactly like a Reese’s peanut butter cup. It’s the best thing about this cereal and is also the worst thing about this cereal. Take too long to eat this cereal, and the peanut butter flavor will take over, making this cereal a pain to eat. After a couple of days eating this cereal for breakfast, it may become a chore to eat because, after all, it's extremely potent.
10 Golden Grahams
It’s a graham cracker cereal! Golden Grahams “was promoted as ‘A Honey of A New Cereal’” when it arrived in stores in 1978. Over the years, Golden Grahams featured “a promotion and sweepstakes with the wildly popular show ‘Knight Rider’” in the '80s and “introduced Golden Grahams Treats” in 1996, so it’s been a staple for many households for a while. The cereal itself isn’t too sweet (which is a good thing), and as the only graham cracker-flavored (honey and brown sugar) cereal on the list, it holds up as a nice crunchy cereal that leaves a flavorsome cereal milk (if that’s your thing) that's worth finishing.
9 Cocoa Puffs
Cocoa Puffs are like Reese’s Puffs, but this cereal is much older than the more peanut-buttery version. Like many of the older General Mills cereal brands, there was a mascot used to sell the cereal. For Cocoa Puffs, it was Sonny the Cuckoo Bird, who famously shouted, “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.” Chocolate for breakfast is a wonderful and welcome idea, but similar to Reese’s Puffs, Cocoa Puffs can and will become too sweet for some and a blessing for others, as it seeps in milk. As the lone purely chocolate cereal, between the flavor, the history, and its consistency, it’s worth your time.
8 Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Cinnamon Toast Crunch—everything you need to know is in the name. It’s Cinnamon, it’s square, and it’s crunchy. Created in 1984, Cinnamon Toast Crunch has a “light powdering of cinnamon and sugar,” and it “was an instant favorite among children and adults” even when this cereal started off as a kid’s cereal. But Cinnamon Toast Crunch wasn’t just a hit in the United States; it also soon found its way to other countries and into the homes of people all over. The best part of eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the cereal milk that’s left behind that picks up cinnamon notes.
7 Banana Nut Cheerios
So, some will argue that this cereal should've never made this list. Typically, banana flavors in any food seem to be a mix between sweet and artificial. But this cereal is on the list because it just doesn’t taste like a terrible rendition of banana. It’s probably because this Cheerios cereal uses a “combination of real banana puree, cinnamon spice, and oats.” Considering that other people said that it tasted like “banana bread,” it seemed like this cereal would last forever, but sadly, it was discontinued in 2015. But if you're able to find this cereal in stores (if there’s any luck), then it's worth eating just to get the experience of the wonderful taste this cereal brought to the cereal game.
6 Very Berry Cheerios
Very berry is very good. This cereal is “a blend of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, serving just the right amount of sweetness in every bite.” This statement from the Cheerios website is true. It has the perfect amount of fruit flavors and is a surprising bite when you try it for the first time. However, if you’re looking for a truly fruity flavor of Cheerios, then you may be disappointed because some flavors might be more prominent than others. For example, sometimes, raspberry is the dominant flavor, and the others fade in the background. Nevertheless, the cereal tastes healthy, and it’s not cloyingly sweet.
5 Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
Flavored with “apple puree and a daring amount of cinnamon,” apple cinnamon Cheerios are pretty much Apple Jacks but tastier (and probably without the health questions attached). However, for some people, the taste of these Cheerios may be artificial and doesn’t remind them of apple or cinnamon. But who cares about the people who dislike this cereal? After all, it hands down will provide the taste of apple cinnamon all in the tiny Cheerios swimming in your bowl. As a part of the Cheerios family, apple cinnamon, like the others on the list, isn’t riddled with unhealthy and unwanted ingredients, making this cereal one of the best to eat.
4 Cookie Crisp
Basically, Cookie Crisp cereal is a chocolate chip cookie in a bowl. Nothing's healthy about this cereal, and some of the best cereal isn’t made for that purpose. This is also a cereal that'll melt away in your milk if you wait too long to eat it, so eat it quickly. Cookie Crisp has gone through a lot of changes over the years since it first arrived on the market. Originally owned by Ralston in the late '70s, “the original Cookie Crisp box featured a wizard known as 'Jarvis'” and by 1981 “the mascot again switched, this time introducing the Cookie Crook and Officer Crumb.” It wasn’t until the '90s that Ralston sold the company to General Mills.
“Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” This statement couldn’t be more wrong. Adults love Trix cereal, and even if Trix will cut the roof of your mouth, the fruity puffs are worth the pain. Trix has been delivering comfort in a bowl since the 1950s and obviously looks like Kix. The original cereal only had red, yellow, and orange, but through the '80s, '90s and early '00s grapity purple, lime green, wildberry blue watermelon, raspberry-orange, and wildberry-red were introduced. No matter if you ate the original ball shape or the semi-short-lived fruit shape, this puff corn cereal is one of the best to eat.
2 Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms arrived in 1964 and featured “full-color ads in Sunday comics and comic books plus animated ads featuring the charmin’ leprechaun.” This sweet cereal with marbits (the official name for the marshmallows), is addicting, and considering that the marshmallows are the only part of the cereal that's important (especially when you were a kid), you'll be happy to know (if you don’t already) that you can buy marshmallows without the puff oats! Lucky Charms isn’t a cereal you have to convince someone to eat because it sells itself, and that’s why it's ranked so high.
1 Honey Nut Cheerios
Now, this list couldn’t be complete without Honey Nut Cheerios. Honey Nut is probably the best-selling flavor from the Cheerios brand. It's slightly sweet and features, to many, the best flavor among all the other variants of Cheerios. When Honey Nut Cheerios first arrived on the market in 1979, it made a big splash, and it still leads sales for the company. Honey Nut Cheerios is also the top-selling cereal in the United States, bringing in over “$656 million for General Mills.”
So, while Honey Nut Cheerios may be the second Cheerio flavor on the market, it's number one in consumers' hearts.