MINNEAPOLIS – Five varieties of gluten-free Cheerios will begin appearing on retail shelves in July, according to a Feb. 11 blog post from the Minneapolis-based company. The five varieties are Original, Honey Nut, Multi-Grain, Apple Cinnamon and Frosted.

The gluten-free Cheerios will continue to include oats, which are gluten-free but must be handled properly to avoid mixing in with gluten-containing grains such as wheat.

“We’ve developed a way – years in the making – 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 were grown, or during transportation of the whole oats to the mill,” General Mills said in its blog.

The gluten-free Cheerios meet the Food and Drug Administration’s rule for gluten-free labeling, according to General Mills. Only Multi-grain Cheerios needed reformulation. Sorghum and millet, both gluten-free, replaced wheat and barley.

“This is exciting news for the cereal category, probably the biggest news since our commitment to whole grain in every box,” Jim Murphy, president of General Mills’ Big G cereal division, said of the gluten-free Cheerios. “We know there are many consumers, as much as 30% in the U.S., who avoid gluten, and people are looking for more gluten-free options for cereal. So it’s important that we make these five varieties of gluten-free Cheerios available.”