Today we face a wall of cereals at the store, all clamoring to be the best for protein, keto, fiber, kids, diabetes, low carb or overall health — or they are just the best at sugar. The best cereal is the one you love, but the most popular cereal of all time? Hold me Lucky Charms because we’ll have to get granular to sort out those grains.
Wishlisted analyzed Amazon’s and Walmart’s top-selling cereal lists of over 100 products to find the best cereals in the U.S., according to sales data. Are these the best cereals of all time — maybe? But these are indeed the top cereals right now! Did your favorite cereal flavor make the list? Is the nation hooked on sugar for breakfast, or do we prefer something heartier? Which companies make the most popular cereal brands? Pour yourself a fresh bowl and find out!
Notably, the list is not full of the sugariest and brightest cereals at the supermarket. The best-tasting cereals to Americans generally have heartier ingredients! Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Bunches of Oats and Special K are our favorite healthier options over choices like Great Grains, Life, Catalina Crunch and Raisin Bran. Our sugary splurges are satisfied with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Frosted Flakes over other sugar-laden options like Cap’n Crunch, Froot Loops or Golden Crisp.
General Mills makes the nation’s top two favorite kinds of cereal, Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Kellogg’s landed #4 and #5 with Special K and Frosted Flakes, while Post Consumer Brands secured #3 with Honey Bunches of Oats. All but one major cereal company has a product in the top five — PepsiCo, Inc, maker of Cap’n Crunch and Quaker cereal products, did not place.
Wishlisted used Amazon’s Best Sellers list for the breakfast food category, cold breakfast cereal and Walmart’s Top Rated Products in Cold Cereal List (sorted by best selling) to analyze cereal product sales data for this article. Both lists are frequently updated, so we pulled data from these lists seven times each store over five days (1/26/23-1/30/23) to average rankings together. We collected this information using Web Scraper, a data extraction tool.
Amazon assigns numerical rankings to its best sellers list, and we ranked Walmart products based on the order of appearance. Rankings for each cereal at each store were averaged across the seven samples and then averaged between the stores to arrive at a final combined rank of the best-selling cereals on Amazon and Walmart. In the final analysis, we included only cereal products sold at both stores and took the highest-ranking cereal brand flavor if multiple existed. For example, we only used Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds (#3) and excluded Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted (initially #4) because they are the same cereal with slight flavor differences.
Products were hand-paired between the two stores, always matching by exact flavor and usually by product size. When product size pairs were impossible, we ignored the differences to create a match or matched bulk cereals with non-bulk but did not include products sold in bags or cups. For example, a family-size Cinnamon Toast Crunch sold through Walmart pairs with Amazon’s normal-size Cinnamon Toast Crunch if a family-size is unavailable; a mega-size Life Cinnamon cereal at Walmart pairs with a three-pack of normal-size Life Cinnamon cereals through Amazon. A box of Froot Loops would not pair with a 2 oz cup of Froot Loops.
Amazon and Walmart frequently update their Best Sellers and Top Rated Products lists. Therefore, obtaining varying results for the same study completed at a different time is possible.
Here, you can download a CSV spreadsheet containing the analysis behind this work. If you want to learn more about our work or have any questions, please get in touch with us at [email protected]. Please feel free to use or share this data with whoever may find it helpful — Wishlisted asks that your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page so its contributors can receive proper credit for their work.