Jul 01, 2015 • By

Lucky Charms going gluten free

The change we made in our cereal production facilities that allows five varieties of Cheerios to be gluten free also now means Lucky Charms is joining that list.

That’s because Lucky Charms will use the oat flour being made for gluten-free Cheerios.

Chairman and CEO Ken Powell made that announcement this morning, during the webcast of our latest earnings results.


“Consumers who avoid gluten will soon be able to enjoy a bowl of Lucky Charms too,” says Emily Thomas, senior marketing manager for Lucky Charms. “And the recipe won’t change. It will maintain the same great, magically delicious taste that Lucky Charms fans love.”

The other ingredients in Lucky Charms already are gluten free, including the marshmallows.

We announced the news about gluten-free Cheerios in February and how we developed a way to sort out the small amount of wheat, rye and barley in our supply of whole oats that are inadvertently introduced at the farms where the oats are grown, or during transportation of the whole oats to our mill.

This sorting ensures that the oats we use – for the five Cheerios varieties and Lucky Charms – allow us to meet the FDA’s strict guideline for gluten free.

You should be able to find Lucky Charms, labeled gluten free, on store shelves in September (with national distribution by October).

(Editor’s note: As of Oct. 2015, the production schedule has them coming out at the end of 2015).

Check the side panel for “GLUTEN FREE” at the bottom of the nutrition information.

The five varieties of Cheerios going gluten free will be in stores soon in some areas of the U.S., and by September across the country. They are Original Cheerios, Honey Nut, Multi-Grain, Apple Cinnamon and Frosted.

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    I AM SO HAPPY!!!

  • Danielle R Gregory

    how are they going to get all those colors in those little dehydrated marshmallows without artificial colors and other such nonsense? c’mon, General Mills, you can do better than that! what is the point of going “gluten free”, if you are still poisoning people? it’s time for some of these big companies to step up and be a part of the solution!

    • HopeFaith

      So those of us with Celiac Disease can enjoy our favorite cereals again. Gluten free is not organic, it is about Celiac Disease–an auto-immune disease!!

      Also, see their other blog post about reducing artificial colors, etc.

    • noregerts

      Must be nice to not be celiac and think gluten free is just a fad diet.

      • MotherGinger

        What an ignorant statement. My children are gluten-free because it seriously worsens neurological tics in them, enuresis, oppositional defiant disorder, and a host of other issues major & minor. None of them have celiac disease. Celiac is, for many people, at the end of the spectrum of gluten-worsened or gluten-caused damage, and we avoid it even though we haven’t yet gotten to the bottom of the barrel. “Fad” has nothing to do with it.

        Others avoid it because they’ve done the research and seen the gluten sensitivity in their family line may well cause problems for them in the future, know how simple it can be to eat meat, veggies, and other grains, and simply choose to be gluten-free because of that knowledge. That is also not a “fad;” it is part of their efforts to maintain health in the context of a whole foods diet that excludes foods to which they are or likely will be sensitive. Most have seen a serious improvement in bloating and other digestive ills as a result.

        That we would like to feed our children occasional treats that avoid both wheat AND synthetic colorings does not mean we think being gluten-free isn’t a much harder cross to bear for those whose very lives depend on said avoidance. We know it’s hardest on you, and wish you success in your battle against the very disease we’re attempting to avoid. (this is given that celiac is defined by biopsy-proven gut damage, the very damage that we’re seeking to prevent based on knowledge that gluten already causes less serious issue in us)

        • Danielle R Gregory

          thank you for your support. i have undiagnosed autoimmune disease and eat a very restricted diet, including gluten free and avoiding artificial ingredients, as well as some other things. some people think it’s a “fad”. but for me, it means being able to get out of bed in the morning and go to work, and not taking prescription drugs that only hide symptoms. i wish you and your kiddos the best of luck; i think you would do well to look into some gut-healing treatments, or at the very least read up on the “blood type diet” – it changed my life! God bless!

        • Painipedia

          Well said!

      • kitkat

        I agree – what’s even harder is when you go to a restaurant and ask if they have GF and they give a snide remark that they do not follow fad diets. More info about Celiac disease really needs to be out there. gluten causes an auto immune response that causes your body to attack itself. destroying your small intestines. People see GF on the shelf and assume it’s bad for you. It’s a friggin protein. It’s not bad for you unless you have a certain auto immune disease. No research has ever proven someone has a sensitivity to gluten. And nothing can prove you have a sensitivity. Basically they say it’s all in your head if you do. And if you really do, then it’s not the gluten that’s bothering you. You may have a Wheat sensitivity or allergy. That is completely different than gluten. Gluten is a protein it’s not a food that exists on it’s own. And be very cautious if you are eating GF because you think it’s healthier. It’s absolutely NOT. for example cereals and breads are fortified with vitamins and minerals. GF is not. has pretty much zilch when it comes to vitamins and minerals. I hope General Mills considers this and fortifies their GF cereals with vitamins and minerals.

      • Danielle R Gregory

        wow. such a curt comment from somebody who probably is miserable because of their diet. i do not eat gluten fee because it is a fad; i eat gluten free, dairy free and corn syrup free because i like being able to get out of bed in the morning. i do not like artificial ingredients in my food, because… well, for one thing, because it’s not food! additionally, i do not eat artificial ingredients because i have taken the time to educate myself beyond a doctor’s diagnosis, so i understand the harm putting chemicals into your body can do. so, instead of assuming somebody is a jerk just for challenging a company to do better, maybe you should try eating only real food for about a month and see how much less grouchy you feel.

    • Painipedia

      Some of us with illnesses will benefit from this a lot but you don’t care about that, do you? Your no friend to those of us with Celiacs.

      • Danielle R Gregory

        you have no idea how many of my friends have Celiac, nor what all i care about. please see my above comment to “noregrets”, and consider a food-based diet to help in controlling your own meanness.

  • Kim Keetley

    My husband is very happy about this. Since being diagnosed with celiac disease, he has missed his Lucky Charms and soon he will get to eat them again.

  • HopeFaith

    Thank you so much for all the work you do on behalf of the Celiac Community!! We have been enjoying Chocolate Lucky Charms when we can find them. I am so looking forward to more mainstream Gluten Free Cereals!!

    Thank you for putting our health first!!

    • Kevin Hunt

      Hello! Thanks for your support! Just one note for you and for others reading these comments, Chocolate Lucky Charms will not be going gluten free at this time. The Lucky Charms packages that are gluten free will be clearly labeled on the side panel. Thank you!

      Kevin Hunt
      General Mills

  • Suzy Walker Hammel

    Thank you, General Mills, for making so many GF items. For those of us with Celiac Disease, we truly appreciate it. Others might make comments about dyes, etc. but when one is stuck being GF – no other choice, even small steps such as Lucky Charms going GF is an absolute delight! We were once limited to a few choices but thanks to companies like you, we now have more and more choices.
    I can indulge with a bowl of Lucky Charms as a late night snack once again after years of missing it. :)

  • Cristin Shay

    Thank you!!! My generally very strong daughter who has Celiac’s Disease had a momentary pity party while we walked through the cereal aisle last week. She stood in front of the lucky charms and said “I’m never going to have these again.” I felt awful for her. You just made her day. :)

  • Kevin Hunt

    Hi Bill,

    Be assured that our sorting process for the high volume of whole oats we receive for our cereals – removing the stray wheat, rye and barley – is being tested thoroughly and exceeding the guidelines. This is something we have worked on developing for several years. All General Mills products that say gluten free on the package meet all applicable gluten-free safety and regulatory standards of the FDA. We look forward to getting the gluten-free Cheerios on shelves soon, followed by Lucky Charms. Thanks for reading our blog.

    Kevin Hunt
    General MIlls

    • Heather

      What ppm level are you testing down to? Many of us still react badly to 20ppm.

      • Kevin Hunt

        Hi Heather,

        Thanks for reading this blog post. We’re meeting and exceeding that. But if you have any questions after trying them, please consult your doctor.

        Kevin Hunt
        General Mills

  • Kevin Hunt

    Hi Tom,

    Whole oats do not contain gluten. Thanks for reading our blog.

    Kevin Hunt
    General Mills

    • Tim

      Kevin- what does all this mean for the Monsters? Can we anticipate a gluten free oat based Monster line this October?

      • Kevin Hunt

        Left you a response on the Monsters blog post you also commented on. Many things are being considered by the Cereal team and if we have news we will share it!

        Kevin Hunt
        General Mills

  • Cher

    Will they have corn?

  • John Wilwerding

    I’m a MN native that ate wheat for 50 years, then became wheat intolerant. Been a breakfast cereal eater forever. Been forced to eat corn and rice cereals, and certified gluten free hot oatmeal. Been waiting for “clean” oat cereals for a few years now! I really miss Multi-Grain Cheerios! Thank you! I can’t wait for September!

  • msf3

    Thank you for being one of the good guys! Until diagnosed with celiac disease a decade ago, I always enjoyed your cereals, and am looking forward to getting back my (big G, little o) “Go power”.

    Is the process a trade secret or is it patented? If the latter, has General Mills looked into licensing the process? As much as I appreciate your products, it would be nice if the process could reach even wider use.

  • Christina Murphy Alchus

    gross :( Yes gelatin is a bad thing. blah!

  • LA Stevens

    Thank you. I don’t do a lot of processed food since my diagnosis but cereal is a great treat and simpler for busy mornings.

  • Seshagiri Varanasi

    Hi Kevin, I can’t see the ingredients list yet, but do these new gluten free products contain Soy in them still? Last I checked, CHEX has SOY in it.

    • Kevin Hunt


      Thanks for reading our blog. Soy is not listed on the Lucky Charms label as of now. The nutrition panels for Lucky Charms will be updated here once it goes gluten free:

      Kevin Hunt
      General Mills

      • Seshagiri Varanasi

        Thanks for the reply. I have an autistic kid who is on Gluten Free Casein Free Soy Free diet and the Gluten free Chex had soy in it. Do you know if the new gluten free cheerios are soy free?

        • Kevin Hunt

          Just checked with the Cereal team for you. They will not contain soy.

          Kevin Hunt
          General Mills

  • Linda

    Will they be using the same gluten free oats that are in the Chex “gluten free” oatmeal? I would love to eat this, but Chex “gluten free” oatmeal makes me ill every time I eat it (but I can eat other gluten free oatmeals). I’m a little wary to try it.

    • Kevin Hunt

      Hi Linda,

      No, they are not made with the same oats as the oatmeal. Hope you give them a try. Thanks for reading our blog.

      Kevin Hunt
      General Mills

      • Linda

        Hi Kevin,

        That’s great news. Thanks for looking into it. I can’t wait to try gluten free Lucky Charms. I hope that I can eat them, I used to love them as a kid!


    • stacy

      I reacted to the Chex gluten free oatmeal too…20 pound weight gain in less than 2 weeks, headaches, muscle aches, anxiety, rash, and all of the rest of my great gluten reactions that I ignored because I believed I was eating GF. Thankfully I log all of my food and track my weight on my fitness pal so I could pin point the problem…then I googled and found out Chex gluten poisoned me ..along with a lot of other people

  • disgrace


  • Barbara Marco Hicks

    Thank you so much for making mainstream gluten free cereal choices a reality for those of us who must eat gluten free! Some of us live in remote areas with not many choices for gluten free items, so it really helps to be able to pick up cereal at the local grocery store….and it benefits the budget as well! Keep up the good work!

  • David B

    Hi Kevin, Will the Star Wars cereals (which look to be Lucky Charms just re-branded) also be GF? If so, when? I was at Target today and the ingredients appear to be all GF, but the box doesn’t say Gluten Free. However, it also does say that the product contains (or may contain) wheat. Thanks for letting me know.

    • Kevin Hunt

      Hi David,

      Left a reply to your other comment/question, on the Star Wars cereal post. The Star Wars cereal is not considered gluten free. Thanks!

      Kevin Hunt
      General Mills

  • Ruth Anne Robbins

    Whole family rejoicing! Happy Celiac Awareness Day!

  • Kim

    My son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in January and he was so VERY excited to learn he could eat Honey Nut Cheerios and now Lucky Charms. Thank you for understanding cross contamination matters!

  • Connie Drapeau Kennedy

    Why bother? They’re pure junk already. Just leave them that way.

    Sign me,
    An Unhappy Cheerios Eater

  • Jade

    I live in Canada. In fact Winnipeg, at my local and un local Safeway the lucky charms have not yet arrived. When are they coming?!

    • Kevin Hunt

      Hi Jade,

      The production schedule has them coming out later this year, in the U.S., the Canada timeline will follow and we’ll let you know!

      Kevin Hunt
      General Mills

  • Bethany

    Hi!! Will gluten free lucky charms still be hitting the shelves in October? I am very excited to finally eat them again!!

  • Jessica Nelson

    I have been unable to find gluten free lucky charms in stores on the west coast. Have they been distributed already?

    • Kevin Hunt

      Hi Jessica,

      They are in the process of being distributed across the U.S., and should soon appear. Look for the label on the side panel. Thanks for reading our blog!

      Kevin Hunt
      General Mills

  • Karen Swartz

    Every week I check at my local Kroger’s. They don’t seem to have made it to the Atlanta suburbs yet. I can’t wait to relive my childhood!