Why Does Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s Whole Grain And Sugar Content Differ In A Smaller Box?

11, 12, same diff.

11, 12, same diff.

Reader IonicBurn noticed something kind of weird over his breakfast cereal this week. He had two different-sized boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, because it’s the best cereal in the world and that’s what his wife happened to pick up. With the boxes side by side, he noticed that the sugar and whole grain content different from one box to the other. Aside from the nutrition discrepancy, the boxes were identical. So how does being in a different box change the nutrition content?

He wrote:

Yesterday while enjoying my favorite breakfast cereal Cinnamon Toast Crunch by General Mills, I noticed something a little strange.

My wife had inadvertently purchased two different sized of this cereal and the two boxes were sitting next to each other. This is why I noticed that the smaller box showed only 11 grams of whole grain per serving and the larger box showed 12 grams. Thinking the serving size must be different I checked the nutrition facts. Both boxes have the same size serving of ¾ cup or 31 grams. But that is not the only difference.

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12grams

nutritionfacts

Although it is the exact same product in each box, I found the following differences on the nutritional facts sheets printed on the side of the box.

The smaller box had 220mg of sodium per 31 gram serving, where the larger box only had 180mg.

The smaller box had 10 grams of sugars per 31 gram serving, where the larger box only had 9 grams.

It sure seems strange that the nutritional facts change depending on the size of the box. Doesn’t it all stay the same???

Yes, it’s the same cereal in each box. Or it should be. So we contacted General Mills to find out what was going on here. Their answer? These boxes had been made just before and just after they tweaked the recipe. Here’s their response:

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the nutritional profile of our products, we recently reformulated Cinnamon Toast Crunch to increase whole grain and reduce sugar and sodium. Boxes containing the new formulation, reflected on the nutrition facts panel, began appearing on shelves in April-May 2012.

…Well, okay. That makes sense. Did any regular Cinnamon Toast Crunch eaters notice a difference? Let us know.