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General Mills To Remove Gluten From Lucky Charms

The company will be able to meet gluten-free guidelines while keeping the same recipe.

General Mills announced this week that it will begin making its Lucky Charms cereal from the same oat flour that will soon make Cheerios gluten-free.

The Minnesota-based food giant earlier this year announced the development of a method to separate traces of wheat, rye and barley flour from its oat supply. That ability will allow the company to meet the FDA's gluten-free guidelines while keeping the same recipe for Lucky Charms.

“Consumers who avoid gluten will soon be able to enjoy a bowl of Lucky Charms, too,” said Emily Thomas, the brand's senior marketing manager.

General Mills and other makers of packaged and processed foods have been hit hard in recent years as consumer tastes shifted toward fresher and healthier alternatives.

The company attempted to adjust the changing market -- from the elimination of artificial flavors and colors in its cereals to the purchase of natural food company Annie's -- but its workforce has been hit hard amid cost-cutting efforts.

General Mills last week said it expects to cut up to 725 more jobs.

Gluten-free Lucky Charms are expected to hit store shelves in September and be available nationwide by October. The five varieties of gluten-free Cheerios should be available in some U.S. stores soon.