MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. today launched Wheaties Fuel, a product the company claims is the "first-ever cereal designed specifically to help fuel athletic performance." The new cereal is available for purchase on-line at www.Wheaties.com/evolution, while supplies last. The cereal is expected to be on retailers’ shelves beginning in January 2010.

A panel of elite athletes, including Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts; Kevin Garnett, power forward for the Boston Celtics; and Albert Pujols, first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, along with John Ivy, a sports nutritionist, helped develop the cereal, which is described as "a lightly sweetened, crunchy whole wheat flake with granola and crispy rice and a touch of cinnamon and honey."

"We’re excited to bring the first-ever cereal designed specifically to help fuel athletic performance to the marketplace," said Dan Stangler, marketing manager for Wheaties. "Wheaties Fuel takes advantage of the advances in science of the past 85 years and leverages the expertise of champion athletes, a leading sports nutritionist and everyday athletes, to create a product that will be fueling wins for the next 85 years."

Each serving of the cereal contains whole grains, 5 grams of fiber, 200 calories, 100% of the recommended Daily Value of five B vitamins, and calcium and vitamin D to promote bone health.

Wheaties Fuel was chosen from three possible cereal formulas. The formulas that did not make the cut were a lightly sweetened, hearty whole wheat flake with cinnamon clusters, and a lightly sweetened whole grain wheat and bran flake with fruit and crunchy almonds.

The move is not the first line extension for Wheaties. In the mid-1990s, General Mills launched Honey Frosted Wheaties and Crispy Wheaties ‘n’ Raisins. Both were discontinued in 2002. A third extension, Wheaties Energy Crunch, was sold between 2001 and 2004.