General Mills Inc is lowering the amount of sugar in its children's breakfast cereals to no more than 10 grams per serving from 11 grams a year ago, the latest move from a U.S. foodmaker to address childhood obesity.
The growing problem of obesity is leading to more children having adult health problems, such as diabetes or high cholesterol.
The step-down in sugar by General Mills, the maker of Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs and Trix cereals, is a move closer to its year-old goal to reduce to single-digit levels the number of grams of sugar per serving in all of its cereals advertised to children under 12.
General Mills, which also sells Progresso soup and Yoplait yogurt, said it must reduce sugar in tiny, incremental steps, lest consumers notice the difference and stop buying.
'Consumers have a very keen idea of what these cereals ought to taste like and if you change the taste dramatically or suddenly, they'll walk away from the brand,' said Jeff Harmening, president of General Mills' Big G cereal division, in an interview.
'We will not make changes if it reduces the taste of the product,' he said.
As of December 31, all shipments of the company's 11 cereals advertised to children will have 10 grams or less, General Mills said.