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Breakfast cereal

Processed food made from grain / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Breakfast cereal is a breakfast food made from processed cereal grains. It is traditionally eaten as part of breakfast, or a snack food, primarily in Western societies.

Flaked breakfast cereal may be served in milk and topped with fruit such as raspberries.

Although warm cereals like porridge and grits have the longest history, ready-to-eat cold cereals appeared around the late 19th century and are most often mixed with dairy products, traditionally cow's milk. They can also be paired with yogurt or plant-based milks, or eaten plain. Fruit or nuts are sometimes added. Many cereals are produced via extrusion.

Some companies promote their products for the health benefits that come from eating oat-based and high-fiber cereals. In the United States, cereals are often fortified with vitamins but can still lack many of the vitamins needed for a healthy breakfast. A significant proportion of cereals have a high sugar content ("sugar cereals" or "sugary cereals" in common parlance). These cereals are frequently marketed towards children and often feature a cartoon mascot and may contain a toy or prize.

Between 1970 and 1998, the number of different types of breakfast cereals in the U.S. more than doubled, from about 160 to around 340; as of 2012, there were roughly 4,945 different types (estimate based on the mass customization of online shopping).[1] In this highly competitive market, cereal companies have developed an ever-increasing number of varieties and flavors (some are flavored like dessert or candy). Although many plain wheat-, oat- and corn-based cereals exist, many other varieties are highly sweetened, while some brands include freeze-dried fruit as a sweet element. The breakfast cereal industry has gross profit margins of 40–45%,[2] 90% penetration in some markets,[3] and has had steady and continued growth throughout its history.[4]