The 19 Most Popular Cereals Based on Boxes Sold

What is your favorite cereal? For many people, that answer comes quickly and with gusto. Many of us grew up with fond memories of enjoying a bowl of cereal with cold milk while watching Saturday morning cartoons. Cereal is a beloved comfort food for all ages, with different brands and flavors earning our loyalty over the years. In fact, a 2021 Mintel survey of 1,806 Internet users found that 58% of participants agreed that “the flavors of cereal I enjoyed as a child are still my go-to.”

How much money does cereal make a year? During the first year of the pandemic, U.S. cereal sales surged 9%, fueled by society’s unified desire for convenience, comfort, and nostalgia. So what is the most popular cereal? Kulick’s French Toast Recipes took a look at cereal revenue and boxes sold to find the most popular cereal in the U.S.:

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The 19 Most Popular Cereals Based on Boxes Sold

What Is the Best-Selling Cereal in the United States?

Here are the 10 most popular cereals in the United States ranked by annual sales:

  1. Cheerios sales: $435.9 million
  2. Honey Nut Cheerios sales: $421.7 million
  3. Frosted Flakes sales: $412.6 million
  4. Honey Bunches of Oats sales: $375.2 million
  5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch sales: $344.3 million
  6. Lucky Charms sales: $283.4 million
  7. Froot Loops sales: $269.1 million
  8. Frosted Mini-Wheats sales: $241.9 million
  9. Life sales: $177.5 million
  10. Fruity Pebbles sales: $172.3 million

What Cereal Sells the Most Boxes?

Here are the 10 top-selling cereals based on number of boxes sold:

  1. Cheerios boxes sold: 139.1 million
  2. Frosted Flakes boxes sold: 132.3 million
  3. Honey Nut Cheerios boxes sold: 129.3 million
  4. Honey Bunches of Oats boxes sold: 111.3 million
  5. Cinnamon Toast Crunch boxes sold: 105.2 million
  6. Froot Loops boxes sold: 91.7 million
  7. Lucky Charms boxes sold: 86.4 million
  8. Frosted Mini-Wheats boxes sold: 71.3 million
  9. Life boxes sold: 58.1 million
  10. Fruity Pebbles boxes sold: 54.1 million

So how many cereal boxes are sold each year in the United States? According to the National Cereal Day website, 2.7 billion cereal boxes are sold annually! That’s enough to wrap around the world 13 times. Another fun cereal fact is that 49% of Americans begin their day with a bowl of cereal.

When Was Cereal Invented?

In 19th century America, morning meals consisted mostly of meat, which lead to digestive issues and constipation due to lack of fiber. This sparked a vegetarian movement that would eventually lead to food reforms. In 1863, a religiously conservative vegetarian named James Caleb Jackson ran a medical sanitarium in western New York. He created a breakfast cereal from graham flour dough that was dried and broken into shapes, which he called Granula. It was so hard that it needed to be soaked in milk overnight. John Harvey Kellogg, a surgeon operating a health spa in Michigan, later made his own version and named it Granola. Inspired by the same concept, a former patient of Kellogg’s, C.W. Post, created Grape-Nuts. This would go on to become the first ever popular product to offer a discount coupon.

Cereal + Boxes Sold in a Year Annual Sales

139.1 million

$435.9 million
Honey Nut Cheerios

129.3 million

$421.7 million
Frosted Flakes

132.3 million

$412.6 million

Honey Bunches of Oats

111.3 million

$375.2 million

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

105.2 million

$344.3 million

Lucky Charms

86.4 million

$283.4 million
Froot Loops

91.7 million

$269.1 million

Frosted Mini-Wheats

71.3 million

$241.9 million

58.1 million

$177.5 million
Fruity Pebbles

54.1 million

$172.3 million
Raisin Bran

48.9 million

$172.2 million

Special K

47.0 million

$167.1 million

Rice Krispies

42.1 million

$136.7 million

Special K Red Berries

39.4 million

$134 million

Reese’s Puffs

35.3 million

$121.5 million

Raisin Bran Crunch

37.5 million

$120.7 million

Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries

38.3 million

$112.5 millio

Apple Jacks

40.8 million

$110.7 million
Corn Flakes

31.7 million

$110.0 million


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This page was last updated by Bruce Kulick and Lisa Lane Kulick