World Energy Crisis Over: New Wheaties Fuel Runs On Sugar

After months of hype and buildup, General Mills finally launched its new Wheaties product last week. After 85 years of a single formulation and recently staggering sales, the General Mills marketing team decided it’s time to invigorate the Wheaties Brand. The new product is aimed squarely at the male demographic, and to that effect has been carefully designed and formulated to be a manly start to the day.

The product is still unavailable in supermarkets, so we could not examine the ingredient list nor the nutrition facts panel to learn what makes this product a breakfast of male champions. However, their website provides some hints:

1. Whole grain. That’s not new, the old formulation is also whole grain.

2. Excellent Source of Fiber. This means it has to have at least 5 grams worth, up from the current 3 grams. This is good.

3. 100% of the daily value of Five B vitamins. All added through fortification. While this is a nice, most Americans are not deficient in B vitamins.

Here’s what the website does not tell the male consumer about where the fuel comes from:

1. More sugar – If you’ve tasted Wheaties, you know they’re facing stiff competition from sugary cereal on the taste front. Many people complain that Wheaties taste like shredded cardboard. The solution is, of course, more sugar. How much more?

We’re not clear on exactly how much because the info is unavailable on the website (Men don’t read nutrition info right?). The older formulation has 4 grams per serving, about 1 teaspoon. The new formula will be 25% sugar by weight!

2. More calories – 200 calories per serving instead of the current 100. That’s twice as many calories. While some of the extra 100 calories come from the sugar increase, the rest may possibly be the result of a larger serving size.

3. No Folic Acid – not that it matters much, but the new formulation has removed folic acid (another B vitamin) from the list of fortifications, because it is associated with girly nutrition and pregnancy. Indeed, not a manly vitamin.

We emailed General Mills for more nutritional information and will share with you if and when we get it. In the meantime, if any of our readers spot this product in the wild, shoot us an email with the details.

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  • Rachel

    This is a very interesting post: it’s like Wheaties has gone the way of a macho sports drink, lots of sugar, questionable nutrition, and loads of hype. Thanks for opening our eyes and being on the lookout.

  • Chou

    The male market–a holy grail. I look forward to seeing how it does. Thanks for the write up.

  • Mark Krumm

    On your comment regarding the removal of folate, I would suggest that readers form their own opinion as to why this micronutrient has been removed. It’s likely not because of the perception that folate is a female-only vitamin. (Actually, I would imagine that any guy who knows why folate had been added to their food may also know the complexities of too much folate.) I personally don’t know why it has been removed, however this may be the reason…

    There is a body of research that suggests that too much folate can cause some cancers. Here’s one link:

    Much more may be found by searching for folate and cancer.

  • Holly

    Well… I like the taste. So, it has a little more sugar. I don’t like cardboard cereal. It has protein, fiber, and tastes good. That’s enough for me!

  • Donna Marlor RD

    Wheaties – or “Sweeties”? This is a perfect example of the food industry marketing to our emotions (feels good to win), health goals, and addictive type of food complete with fat, sugar, salt and crunch. Shame on the health professionals endorsing this product!