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Australian breakfast cereal audit

14 / 03 / 19

The Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) is a health promotion charity and the independent authority on the nutrition and health benefits of grains and legumes. To understand the nutrient profile of grain and legume foods available in Australia the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) runs a regular systematic audit of products on shelf. Their first audit of breakfast cereals was conducted in 2016 and they repeated it in October 2018. The data demonstrates there is a large variety of nutritious breakfast cereals available to choose from. The results of the audit of 441 breakfast cereal products from the four major supermarkets in Sydney yielded the following:

  • 85% of products were at least a source of fibre, with 2g or more per serve
  • 85% had a health star rating (HSR) of 4 or above (the average was 4.1)
  • 64% were low in sodium, containing less than 120mg/100g
  • 70% were at least a source of wholegrain, with 8g or more per serve
  • 20% were low in sugar, with under 5g per 100g (and eligible to make a ‘low sugar’ claim on pack)

When looking at average total sugar levels, the average was 15g/100g with a range of 0-40g/100g. Almost half of products contained fruit, which is a significant contributor to total sugars. When looking across the sub-categories of breakfast cereals, the amount of total sugar did not vary greatly but was highest in the Ready-to-eat cereal category. While hot plain cereals (eg plain porridge) showed very low levels of total sugar, it is often added by the consumer after cooking. 

Cereal audit graph.png 

NOTE: the hot plain cereals (eg porridge oats) do not include sugars added by the consumer.

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