Last Updated on July 14, 2021
Today we’re going to be taking a look at whether Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats are gluten-free or not. We’ll also be taking a look at alternative gluten-free rice krispy-style treats. Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats are an extremely popular lunchtime favorite. They’re gooey rice and marshmallow goodness. Perfect to start off your day or as a snack and definitely a household name.
Are Rice Crispy Treats Gluten-Free?
Whether these tasty snacks are gluten-free or not is a very tricky question to answer. Whilst the SmartLabel of allergens and ingredients on the Kellogg’s website states that the only allergens are milk and soya – the list of ingredients makes me feel a little uneasy about the allergens they have disclosed.
The ingredients listed are as follows:
“Toasted rice cereal (rice, sugar, salt, malt flavor, niacinamide, reduced iron, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), folic acid), corn syrup, fructose, vegetable oil, sugar, corn syrup solids, contains 2% or less vegetable glycerin, dextrose, gelatin, natural and artificial flavors (contains milk), salt, DATEM, acetylated monoglycerides, soy lecithin, BHT for freshness”.
Whilst those ingredients may appear to be gluten-free, the ingredient, malt flavor, listed above makes alarm bells ring in my mind. Malt flavoring is often derived from barley, which is, of course, a no-go for gluten-intolerant individuals.
What I find most interesting is that the UK equivalent of Rice Krispies Treats, “Squares” have a clear label that they are not suitable for gluten-intolerant individuals. The label clearly states that barley is an ingredient and therefore is not gluten-free. Same brand, same product – just a different name. Yet the labeling is different – seems odd, doesn’t it?
Rice Crispy cereal itself also has the same issue. The label states the only allergens are milk and soya but malt flavoring is listed as an ingredient. Therefore, to me – this product is not suitable for anyone that lives with celiac disease or can not tolerate gluten.
Is It Worth The Risk?
If you feel the risk is worth taking, that choice is entirely yours. But I certainly won’t be trying them any time soon. Especially as I’m from the UK and the barley is clearly marked.
What I find frustrating is that it should be really simple to make a product like Rice Krispies gluten-free – especially because the main ingredients are essentially sugar and rice! Even more frustratingly, in 2011 Rice Krispies launched a gluten-free cereal, but according to their website the sales were disappointing, and manufacturing constraints were an issue. The product was discontinued. It’s a shame because I feel as though it would certainly be more popular now.
Gluten-Free Rice Krispies Alternatives
I find cereal one of the easiest gluten-free products to buy while shopping. Rice Krispies often having the widest range of alternatives as it’s the nation’s favorite. Whilst Kellogg’s Rice Krispie treats aren’t gluten-free – that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of alternatives out there for us to enjoy. Let’s take a look at some of the internet’s favorites!
Lexi’s Crispy Treats
Lexi’s is a personal favorite of mine. Their tasty treats aren’t just gluten-free – but dairy, nut, peanut, and soy-free too! Plus they’re suitable for vegetarians. It doesn’t stop there! They not only offer the Marshmallow Bliss bar – their other flavors include triple chocolate, chocolate orange, and strawberry & white chocolate. They’ve even just announced a range of protein bars. This business has grown massively since recently launching – and that’s because their treats are just so damn delicious!
Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal
Whilst not strictly an already prepared treat, if you’d like to make your own at home (we’ll take a look at how to later), this is a really great organic alternative. It comes highly rated and is made predominantly from brown rice. After a quick search, it’s widely available at Walmart – and likely at other grocery stores too.
Barbara’s Brown Rice Crisp
This cereal states that it’s gluten-free, but it isn’t prepared in a separate gluten-free facility. So if you’re super sensitive or celiac, it may be best to avoid this one. I always tend to avoid products that are “may contain” as they do set me off. However, I know plenty of gluten-intolerant individuals who are absolutely fine with products that are a “may contain”. This option is again, organic and is readily available at stores like Walmart. It’s made from whole grain brown rice.
Malt-O-Meal Crispy Rice
Don’t let the name deter you! I saw the word malt and was ready to run for the hills – but there’s no malt flavoring in this cereal! It has virtually all of the same ingredients as the original Rice Krispies; just minus the malt flavoring. It’s accessible in grocery stores and one of the cheaper alternatives.
Make Them Yourself
Rice crispy treats are super fun to make yourself – and taste just as delicious. I’ve found the most incredible recipe using Crunchies (yes, they’re gluten-free!). It’s a no-bake recipe, 5 ingredients and very easy to make. What more could you ask for?! Check out the recipe here. They’re certainly not healthy but everyone deserves a treat sometimes! I’ll definitely be treating myself to these soon. If Crunchies aren’t accessible to you, I’m sure any chocolate bar would do.
To conclude, I find the Rice Krispies Treats labelling very misleading and could lead to some of us being extremely ill. You can never be too careful when following a gluten-free lifestyle, so I’d be avoiding Kellogg’s if I were you.
I hope in the future that Kellogg’s decide to bring back their gluten-free cereal as I’m sure it would be well-received now. I, for one, would be first in line to buy! Until that day comes, I hope these alternatives get you by,
Have you tried any gluten-free Rice Crispy alternatives? I’d love to know if you have any favorites. I’d also like to see any recipes you’ve tried to make – feel free to comment below!
Read more about: Do Candy Canes Have Gluten?
Hi, my name’s Zoë. I’m 28 years old and live in London, UK. I work full time as a freelance writer and critic for West End theatre. Writing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I spend most of my free time at the theatre, or at conventions. I’m married to the love of my life, and live in a small apartment with my fur baby, Lillie. I run two of my own blogs: No Safer Place and Stage to Page: both of which have won awards. I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about all things stagey.