Skip to Content

What are the main ingredients in Corn Pops?

Corn Pops is a popular breakfast cereal made by Kellogg’s. It consists of puffed corn grains made from milled corn. The cereal was introduced in 1950 and has been a beloved breakfast staple for decades. But what exactly goes into a bowl of Corn Pops? Here we’ll take a look at the main ingredients that make up this sweet and crunchy cereal.

Main Ingredients

The primary ingredients in Corn Pops are:

Milled Corn

Corn Pops are made from milled yellow corn. The corn kernels are cleaned, cooked, dried, and then milled into a fine powder. This powdered corn is the main ingredient and provides the cereal’s distinctive corn flavor.

During the cooking process, the starch in the corn kernels gelatinizes, causing it to swell up. This makes the corn powder puff up when heated and gives the cereal its light, crunchy texture.


Sugar is another major ingredient in Corn Pops. Sugar adds sweetness and balances the natural corn flavor.

Corn Pops contain three different types of sugars:

  • Sucrose – Ordinary table sugar made from sugarcane or sugar beets.
  • Dextrose – A simple sugar derived from corn starch.
  • Maltose – A sugar produced when starch is broken down by enzymes.

Together, these different sugars make Corn Pops sweet and appealing to kids and adults alike.

Malt Flavoring

Malt flavoring or malt extract adds a rich, toasted flavor reminiscent of malted milkshakes. It complements the natural sweet corn taste.

Malt extract is produced from germinated cereal grains like barley and wheat. During germination, enzymes break down the starch into simple sugars, creating the sweet and nutty malt flavor.


A small amount of salt is added to Corn Pops. Salt enhances the other flavors and provides a salty contrast to the sweetness.


The bright yellow and golden orange color of Corn Pops comes from food coloring. The dyes used include:

  • Yellow 5
  • Yellow 6
  • Red 40
  • Blue 1

These artificial food colorings provide the vibrant hue that helps make Corn Pops so visually appealing, especially to kids.

Vitamins and Minerals

In addition to the main ingredients, Corn Pops are enriched with vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
  • Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
  • Iron

The vitamins help convert food into energy and promote a healthy nervous system. The added iron helps carry oxygen in the blood.

Nutrition Facts

Here is the nutrition information for a 1 cup (29g) serving of Corn Pops:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 110
Total Fat 0.5g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 190mg
Total Carbohydrate 24g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Total Sugars 12g
Includes Added Sugars 11g
Protein 2g
Vitamin D 25%
Calcium 0%
Iron 45%
Potassium 0%

As you can see, a serving of Corn Pops supplies 110 calories, mostly from carbohydrates. It also provides 45% of the daily value for iron.

However, Corn Pops lacks fiber and other vitamins and minerals found naturally in whole grains. The cereal also contains added sugars.

Ingredients to Avoid

While the main ingredients in Corn Pops are fairly straightforward, here are a few controversial ingredients you won’t find:

  • High fructose corn syrup – Corn Pops uses sugar instead of this highly-processed sweetener.
  • Partially hydrogenated oils – The cereal contains no trans fats.
  • Artificial flavors – Only natural and artificial colorings are used.
  • Preservatives – No preservatives are added.

By avoiding these additives, Corn Pops offers a relatively clean ingredient label compared to some competing sugary cereals.

Gluten-Free Status

Corn Pops are not certified gluten-free. While corn itself is naturally gluten-free, the cereal is produced in facilities that also process wheat and barley ingredients. Cross-contamination with gluten is possible.

So people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid Corn Pops or look for a certified gluten-free option.

Common Allergens

In addition to possible gluten exposure, Corn Pops contain other major food allergens:

  • Corn – The main ingredient is corn.
  • Food coloring – The added colorings may cause reactions.

Those with corn allergies need to avoid this cereal altogether. People with sensitivities to food dyes may also wish to steer clear.


Corn Pops come packaged in a bright yellow box featuring the Corn Pops mascot “Poppy” on the front. The cereals are sealed in a plastic bag inside the box.

Some versions available include:

  • Single standard size (13.5 oz)
  • Family size (20.5 oz)
  • Variety packs (with Cocoa and Peanut Butter Pops)

The cereal is also sold in individual serving cups for convenience.

Where to Buy

Corn Pops can be found in the cereal aisle at any major grocery store, supermarket, or big box retailer that sells groceries, such as:

  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Kroger
  • Safeway
  • Publix
  • HEB
  • Stop & Shop
  • Winn Dixie
  • Costco
  • Sam’s Club

Online retailers like Amazon and also carry Corn Pops. You can buy it as single boxes or in bulk for families and larger households.

The cereal is widely available across the United States and other countries where Kellogg’s products are sold.


A standard size 13.5 oz box of Corn Pops retails for around $3.29 – $4.29 at most stores. Here are some average prices:

  • Walmart – $3.98
  • Target – $3.69
  • Kroger – $3.29
  • Safeway – $4.29
  • Stop & Shop – $4.19

Larger family size boxes and multi-packs offer some cost savings per ounce. Individual serving cups cost a bit more per ounce.

Coupons and sales can also help lower the price. Signing up for loyalty programs at chains like Kroger and Safeway can provide discounts.

Online prices may be cheaper, especially if you buy in bulk. Amazon frequently offers 10-20% off Coupons to cut costs further.


As a classic sugary breakfast cereal, Corn Pops remains popular after more than 70 years on the market. However, it has faced growing competition from other breakfast choices perceived as healthier, like oatmeal and granola.

According to Statista, Corn Pops was the 6th best selling cold cereal in 2020. It generated over $190 million in sales in the United States.

Some factors contributing to its continued appeal include:

  • Sweet taste preferred by many kids
  • Crunchy, puffed texture
  • Nostalgia and retro branding
  • Inclusion in variety packs
  • Lower sugar content than some competitors
  • Simple, familiar ingredients

Despite health trends, many Americans still enjoy traditional favorites like Corn Pops in moderation.


If you’re looking to avoid Corn Pops but want a similar sweet crunchy cereal, here are some alternatives to consider:

Honey Smacks

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks has a comparable texture and sugar content to Corn Pops. It’s made with honey and puffed wheat.

Golden Crisp

Formerly known as Sugar Crisp, Golden Crisp also provides a crunchy, sugary taste. It contains more sugar than Corn Pops.

Malt-O-Meal Puffed Rice

This budget cereal mimics the puffed texture of Corn Pops at a lower cost. It has less sugar than name brands.

Barbara’s Puffins

Made from corn and rice, Barbara’s Puffins offer an organic, gluten-free alternative with some added nutrients.

Nature’s Path Honey’d Corn Flakes

These organic corn flakes are crispy and lightly sweetened with honey. They appeal to health-conscious consumers.

Making Healthier Corn Pops

For those who don’t want to give up their Corn Pops completely, there are ways to make this treat a bit healthier:

  • Choose a full serving of fruit to complement the cereal’s low fiber content.
  • Boost protein by pairing it with Greek yogurt or milk.
  • Mix with a wholesome cereal like bran flakes or granola.
  • Use non-fat or low-fat milk instead of whole milk.
  • Measure out a single serving instead of overeating.
  • Avoid adding extra sugar.

While Corn Pops aren’t the most nutritious breakfast option, enjoying them occasionally as part of a balanced diet should be fine for most people. Moderation and variety are key.


Corn Pops remain a beloved breakfast cereal more than 70 years after their invention thanks to their signature sweet corn taste and puffed texture. This classic cereal contains just a handful of main ingredients like milled corn, sugar, malt flavoring, and colorings.

Despite some concerns over its high sugar content and lack of nutrients, Corn Pops can still be part of a balanced diet for both kids and adults when consumed in moderation. The cereal provides a sense of nostalgia along with its satisfying crunch that keeps fans coming back.