Cereals have been eaten by mankind for thousands of years. From simple oats to our favorite breakfast cereal, we simply love the sweet, crunchy or fruity taste.
Depending on your own preferences, there are hundreds of different cereal brands out there, although classic cereals, such as Cheerios and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, are some of the most popular in the USA.
We take a closer look at the 21 most popular cereals in the US, and we find out makes them so deliciously irresistible.
Cherries are one of the most loved breakfast cereals in America. These tiny, ring-shaped cereals have a fun appearance which appeals to kids.
But they don’t just hold a lot of flavor. Cheerios also contain a range of different minerals and vitamins.
When it comes to flavor, there are quite a few different flavor options with Cheerios. These whole-grain treats come in a range of flavored tastes.
The original flavor designed for these circular cereals was Honey Nut Cheerios. This is also still the most popular cereal flavor in America.
Honey Nut Cheerios combines healthy whole grains with the sweetness of honey. In comparison, there are also Cheerios in Oat Crunch, Chocolate, Berry and Apple Cinnamon flavor.
The fruity flavors are becoming more popular, so you can also get Fruity Cheerios which contain little fruit bits for added taste.
If Cheerios are your favorite, then it’s worth trying a few other flavors to add a bit more variety to your breakfast table.
Plus, Cheerios also occasionally offer limited heart-shaped Cheerios, so keep an eye out for their happy hearts.
Frosted flakes are the most popular Kellogg’s brand which is enjoyed by children and adults alike.
While Kellogg’s has chosen a sporty tiger as their mascot for Frosted Flakes, this type of cereal is mostly aimed at kids.
These corn flakes are coated with sugar to make them taste more like a breakfast cereal which is healthy but also sweet.
Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes contain a range of different minerals and vitamins that are ideal to get your day started.
If you are watching your weight, then this fat-free cereal can help to give you a little boost but make sure you eat it in moderation as it contains a good amount of sugar.
Frosted Flakes are available in a variety of flavors, such as Honey Nut, Chocolate and Marshmallow.
You can also create your own breakfast cereal by using Frosted Flakes as a base and mix in any fresh fruit you like. Strawberries and blueberries go really well with this tasty, sweet cereal.
Another top-selling cereal is our favorite Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It’s especially popular with kids and everyone who loves cinnamon.
Cinnamon isn’t just a great Christmas flavor but you can also find it in lots of other healthy foods.
The cinnamon taste in these American cereals is strong but not overwhelming. It’s also combined with some sugar to avoid any of the typical bitter aftertaste that cinnamon can produce.
One of the reasons why Cinnamon Toast Crunch is so popular with Americans is because it goes extremely well with cold milk.
Once you have eaten all the delicious cinnamon bites, you can drink the cinnamon-flavored milk. This creates a great cinnamon experience.
But you don’t always have to add milk. You can also eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch straight from the bag.
Besides the sugar content, cinnamon is generally considered a healthy treat which can aid the digestive system.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch also comes in a huge range of flavors, from Sugar Cookie and Apple Pie to Churros, Chocolate and Dulce de Leches.
4. Corn Flakes
Corn Flakes are Kellogg’s classic cereal brand. It was the first type of cereal that was brought to people across the US, and many believe that Corn Flakes was the basis for Kellogg’s many other brands.
Corn Flakes are simply made from corn that have been flattened and roasted. It’s similar to Frosted Flakes but Corn Flakes doesn’t have the added sugar coating.
This means these cereals have a greater corn flavor and it’s a great core cereal for mixing in your favorite fruit, yogurt and even sprinkled granola.
Some people who want to avoid the larger amount of sugar in frosted flakes prefer to go for Corn Flakes and some milk with just a little bit of sugar on top.
Whatever way you choose to enjoy your Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, it’s important that you store your cereal in a cool and dry place to keep them deliciously fresh.
Rice Krispies are a little different to the traditional corn cereal. This type of cereal is essentially toasted rice which has been covered in a light sugar paste.
The puffy texture of Rice Krispies is what makes it so much fun to eat for children (and adults!).
Kellogg’s created this crunch and crispy cereal with the thought that eating cereal is an experience, and Rice Krispies are just as nice to listen to as they are to eat.
Many people love eating Rice Krispies cereal with cold milk and a little bit of added sugar on top.
However, you can also use this popping cereal for some other delicious sweet treats.
Why not coat them in melting chocolate, put them in the oven for a few minutes to bake some simply irresistible desserts?
Kellogg’s also created the Rice Krispies Treats bar which is essentially Rice Krispies in the shape of a handy cereal bar.
They are super quick and easy to make, so you can just whisk some together and make them yourself. They are ideal as a quick snack.
Besides the original Rice Krispies flavor, Kellogg’s also developed a few other tasty flavors, including Cinnamon Sugar with a spicy touch of cinnamon, Frosted Krispies with added sugar and Cocoa Krispies for all chocolate lovers.
6. Special K
Special K is often an overlooked cereal from Kellogg’s. Perhaps because it’s more targeted towards people who are looking to lose weight and follow healthy eating diets.
Similar to Rice Krispies, Special K is made with rice grains, although they are kept in the typical Kellogg’s flakes shape.
You can enjoy Special K with cold milk, yogurt, fresh fruit and in almost any way you like.
As Special K flakes are relatively bland in taste, they are an ideal base for whatever you want to add to your breakfast cereal.
We found Special K works really well with fresh fruit, such as bananas, strawberries and raspberries, or you can also add some chocolate flakes for a little more sweetness.
Kellogg’s also have created a large recipe list for Special K recipes so make sure to get some inspiration beyond breakfast.
There are some great cereal recipes for lunch, dinner and even desserts so you can make a lot more with your cereal than just eat it in the morning.
Made by General Mills, Reese’s Puffs have been marketed as breakfast candy for a long time, especially when it first launched in 1994.
This approach made sense when you consider how popular Reese’ Peanut Butter Cups were at the time.
Kids absolutely love eating sweets for breakfast, so the brand’s campaign managed to hit its target.
While Reese’s Puff cereal isn’t as sweet as the peanut butter cups, it’s still a great breakfast treat that tastes fantastic with cold milk.
Plus, the combination of chocolate and peanut butter taste is a firm favorite with many.
Saying this, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the sugar content of this cereal.
While many cereal manufacturers are trying to make their cereals more healthy with less sugar, some of the traditional American cereals still contain a large amount of sugar.
8. Raisin Bran
Raisin Bran is another flagship cereal from the Kellogg’s company. It combines the fruitiness of raisins with the healthy crunch of whole-grain bran flakes.
The nice contrast between the crunchy flakes and the soft and chewy raisins work well in cold milk.
But you can also use yogurt or some other fresh fruit in your Raisin Bran to mix up your breakfast cereal.
Raisin Bran flakes are a big American breakfast cereal because it’s so versatile and you can also use it in different ways for other sweet treats or desserts.
This cereal has a high fiber content but it’s low in cholesterol and saturated fats which makes it a healthy cereal supporting your heart.
One other plus with Raisin Bran is that it doesn’t go soggy so quickly when you leave it in your milk for a little longer.
There are a range of different Raisin Bran flavors, including Bananas, Vanilla Almonds, Cranberries and Toasted Oats.
All these flavors include the crunchy bran flakes as well as the juicy raisins.
9. Lucky Charms
With its bright color of the cereal and the packaging, you can instantly tell that General Mills are aiming to get to children with this tasty cereal.
Lucky Charms is a combination of shaped marshmallow pieces and shaped toasted oat pieces.
The different shapes, from bells, clovers and fish to arrowheads, make breakfast more fun for children.
General Mills continue to add different shapes for the marshmallow pieces, so you will a greater variety in future.
Additionally to the many shapes you can find floating in your breakfast bowl with Lucky Charms, there are also plenty of different flavors, such as Honey, Clusters, Chocolate and Fruity.
For anyone who is looking for a gluten-free cereal, Lucky Charms is also available with gluten-free grains.
10. Apple Jacks
When you think of a fruit-flavored cereal, then you probably see images of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or even bananas.
But Apple Jacks cereal describes exactly what’s inside the box: a cereal that is packed with apple flavor.
Some people find that Apple Jacks isn’t quite resembling the flavor of natural apples. There is also a lot of sugar and cinnamon in this cereal.
While the apple taste of Apple Jacks might not convince everyone, it’s still a delicious breakfast cereal made in America.
11. Cap’N Crunch
You can tell instantly from the name what this cereal is going to taste like: crunchy. But Cap’n Crunch is slightly different to many of the other sweet cereals.
This cereal is more savory with a buttery taste. However, you can still taste some of the sweetness as there is brown sugar adding during the baking process.
The Cap’n Crunch pieces aren’t quite as round as some other cereal and they are also a bit more rough in texture.
Saying this, different colored pieces are still fun to play with in the bowl. Plus, there are also different Cap’n Crunch flavors, such as berries or peanut butter.
You can even opt for the less traditional Cap’n Crunch shapes as they also offer a churros shape.
Cap’n Crunch is also available as a lunch time snack on the go.
Life from Quaker is different to many of the other American cereal brands on our list. It contains a lot less sugar but more vitamins.
Life cereal is also made with a larger amount of whole grains, and you can choose from different flavors, such as Cinnamon, Chocolate, Vanilla as well as the Original Life.
This American-made cereal takes inspiration from its healthy approach of its makers Quaker who produce oat muesli, granola and other oat products.
All these flavors have a light sweetness to them, so kids and adults can enjoy this cereal made in the USA without having to add additional sugar.
Depending on your preference, we found that the Vanilla flavor tastes as a little warm and buttery, so you can also have it as a snack on the side.
13. Froot Loops
The iconic Froot Loops are so easy to spot with the bright colored packaging and a funky bird as a mascot.
Froot Loops are similar to Apple Jacks in shape but they don’t just have one fruit flavor.
If you carefully taste the flavors, then you will find grapefruit, lime, lemon and lemongrass.
Saying this, Froot Loops aren’t quite as fruity in flavor as Starbursts. Plus, not each color represents one flavor.
All Froot Loops shapes taste exactly the same with a hint of fruity flavor and plenty of sugar which works best in cold milk.
Frosted Mini Wheats must be the most chunky cereal that was ever invented. It has an unbelievable ten layers of whole wheat in the shape of a pillow.
The frosted sugar topping adds a little sweetness to the crunchy bites.
Frosted Mini Wheats don’t get soggy too quickly although you shouldn’t leave them in milk for too long.
This delicious cereal comes in Chocolatre, Strawberry and Blueberry flavors, although many still prefer the original with a little added fruit on top.
The Corn Pops from Kellogg’s has seen so many name changes that it’s probably hardly surprising that today it has exactly the same name as when it was first released in 1950.
However, the ingredients have stayed mostly the same, and they include milled corn, corn syrup, sugar and even wheat starch which amazingly makes Corn Pops a multi-grain cereal.
Corn Pops have a strong corn taste with a subtle sweetness. This makes it ideal for all ages.
Plus, the circular shape is so easy to eat that it’s not surprising that Corn Pops is one of the most loved cereal in America.
Honey is a natural sweetener, so you can find it in a lot of popular cereal, including Honey Bunches of Oats.
This American breakfast cereal contains three different types of whole grains, including corn, whole wheat and whole oats.
This does not just make the cereal incredibly healthy but it also gives each bite a little extra texture.
This cereal has plenty of minerals and vitamins with fewer saturated fats but more fiber.
Instead of the usual amount of sugar in a cereal, Honey Bunches of Oats contains a good amount of honey which also impacts the flavor.
You can find this delicious US cereal in different flavors, including Maple, Strawberry, Vanilla, Almond and Cinnamon as well as the well-loved Original.
17. Fruity Pebbles
Similar to Honey Bunches of Oats, Fruity Pebbles are a huge popular cereal from the Post company.
It is aimed at children featuring Flintstones characters on the packaging.
Unlike Froot Loops. Fruity Pebbles has a slightly greater fruity taste and it’s an equally healthy kid’s cereal.
Another advantage to some other cereals is that Fruity Pebbles has a slightly lower sugar content which makes it a healthier option.
Not quite the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, but a fun cartoon character always attracts attention. This is especially true when it’s on front of a cereal box.
Trix cereal has seen quite a change in its long history. It was originally ball-shaped but now looks more like fruit.
Together with the funky colors, this makes Trix bites extra fun to look at and eat.
While these cereal bites may look like a bowl of fresh fruit, they only contain fruit juice and plenty of sugar.
Trix was originally three flavors but since there were new shapes introduced, the number of flavors has gone up a lot and now include watermelon, orange, berry, lemon, grapes and raspberry.
Invented by General Mills in 1937, Chex is aimed mostly at adults. Although it looks a little plain with its grid shape, Chex has an interesting history.
It is the only American breakfast cereal that was originally made by pet food company Purina.
But this is nothing to worry about Purina inventor Ralston Purina always intended these shredded wheat squares to be for humans.
Chex has many people divided because it’s actually a savory cereal best known as a Super Bowl party snack.
However, the original Chex ingredients, rice, corn and wheat, also come in sweeter varieties, including chocolate, vanilla, apple cinnamon and blueberry.
Thanks to the different ways that you can use Chex, it’s still a very popular American snack.
20. Cocoa Puffs
Sometimes it’s surprising to find out how old some well-known cereal brands are. For example, Cocoa Puffs have been invented in 1956.
Made for all kids of all ages, Cocoa Puffs combine the sweetness of chocolate with a good crunch.
And a big bonus with these chocolate puffs is that the chocolate melts into the milk making it a deliciously wonderful chocolate milk to drink after you finished eating.
21. Honey Smacks
While Kellogg’s Honey Smacks are super popular, this cereal contains one of the biggest amounts of sugar in all the cereals we looked at.
In fact, Honey Smacks were originally called Sugar Smacks, which was an accurate name but not ideal for marketing campaigns.
Over the years, Honey Smacks has represented by quite a few different Kellogg’s mascots, although none were as popular as the Dig’em Frog.
But Honey Smacks haven’t had bad press just for their sugar content. Kellogg’s also had to withdraw it in the past due to a salmonella outbreak.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Oldest Cereal In The World?
Oats are one of the oldest cereal in the world, and oats have been consumed by people for thousands of years.
Our traditional breakfast cereal is relatively new. The first mainstream cereal, called Granula, was invented by Dr. James Caleb Jackson in 1863.
He ran a popular health spa in New York at the time, and noticed the health benefits of grain for his clients.
A few years later, John Harvey Kellogg discovered that you can flatten grain granulas to make them easier to eat. This was the birth of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.
How Should Cereals Be Stored?
It’s best to remove your cereal from its packaging and store it in an airtight container that keeps out dust, moisture and insects.
Depending on how quickly you plan to eat your cereal, you also need to check the expiry date to make sure that you don’t end up eating old cereal.
Why Do We Eat Cereal With Milk?
The majority of us love eating cereal with milk but this is really down to your own preferences.
Research has shown that the milk in our breakfast cereal covers the cereal and it stops it from turning soggy as fast as it would with water.
Instead of milk, you can also use yogurt, juice or milk alternatives, such as coconut milk, oat milk or soy milk, in your cereal.
They all create a slightly different taste but the result is the same: a delicious breakfast.
Can You Eat Cereal At Night?
Yes, you can eat cereal at night and any other time of day. Some people even think that a bowl of cereal with milk before going to bed can help you sleep better.
Saying this, you can enjoy cereal throughout the day depending on how it fits in with your diet.
Whether you love your Rice Krispies or you prefer classic Corn Flakes, there are plenty of great American brand cereals to enjoy.
It’s a good idea to have a look around for cereal alternatives now and then. Check out the cereal’s fat content, sugar content as well as the grain types it contains.