Cocoa Pebbles vs Cocoa Krispies: Which Cereal Is Healthier?

Cocoa Pebbles and Cocoa Krispies are two of the most popular chocolatey cereals among cereal lovers.

Cocoa Pebbles were introduced in 1971 and are made by Post consumed brand, while Cocoa Krispies debuted in 1958 and are made by Kellogg’s.

Both cereals are made with crunchy rice doused in a chocolatey flavor. And what’s surprising is that both cereals look pretty similar.

However, when it comes to choosing one, which is healthier?

Cocoa Pebbles or Cocoa Krispies?

That’s what I am going to find in this post, but here’s a quick answer for those in a hurry.

Short answer: Cocoa Pebbles are healthier than Cocoa Krispies because they contain fewer and simpler ingredients, are lower in calories, contain a variety of B vitamins, and do not contain artificial colors. However, Cocoa Krispies are lower in sodium and contain calcium and vitamin C.

Read on for a detailed comparison of both cereals in terms of ingredients and nutritional value. 

Read also: Golden Grahams Vs Cinnamon Toast Crunch: Which One Is Healthier?

Cocoa Pebbles vs Cocoa Krispies: Ingredients comparison

Cocoa Pebbles ingredients

The base ingredient of Cocoa Pebbles is rice, which provides a light and crispy crunch.

Sugar is the second ingredient after rice, making up a hefty portion of the cereal.

Other ingredients that you would find include: 

  • Canola oil
  • Cocoa (for chocolaty color and flavor)
  • Salt
  • Caramel color
  • Natural and artificial flavor
  • BHT (to keep the cereal fresh and prevent it from becoming rancid)

Besides the above ingredients, Cocoa Pebbles is fortified with various vitamins and minerals such as Iron and Zinc, and vitamins A, B3, B6, B2, B1, B9, B12 and D3.

Cocoa Krispies ingredients

Like Cocoa Pebbles, the first two ingredients in Cocoa Krispies are similar: rice and sugar.

Other ingredients that you would find include:

  • Cocoa
  • Maltodextrin
  • Malt flavor
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Salt
  • Natural and artificial flavor
  • Artificial colors (red 40, yellow 6, blue 1)
  • BHT

Cocoa Krispies are also fortified with vitamins and minerals such as Iron and Zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, B9, B12 and D3.

The verdict: which is better?

Cocoa Pebbles appears to be slightly better in terms of ingredients compared to Cocoa Krispies.

That’s because Cocoa Pebbles does not contain artificial colors, while Coco Krispies does.

Also, Cocoa Pebbles use canola oil which is considered better than the palm kernel oil used in Cocoa Krispies.

Overall, Cocoa Pebbles just edges out Cocoa Krispies when it comes to having a slightly more natural and less processed ingredients list.

Note that when it comes to dietary restrictions, both cereals are gluten-free. However, they are not vegan as they contain vitamin D3(typically sourced from sheep).

Cocoa Pebbles vs Cocoa Krispies: Nutrients comparison


When it comes to calories, Cocoa Pebbles provides satisfying chocolate flavor and crunch at 20 calories less than Krispies.

Cocoa Pebbles contain 140 calories per 1 cup serving(36g), while Cocoa Krispies contain 160 calories per 1 cup serving(42g). 

Though only 20 more calories than Pebbles, the calorie difference is noticeable between these two classic cereals.

What accounts for the extra 20 calories in a serving of Cocoa Krispies? The slightly more sugar and carbs.


When it comes to sugar, Both Cocoa Pebbles and Cocoa Krispies contain significant amounts.

Cocoa Pebbles contains 12g of added sugar, while Cocoa Krispies contains 13g per serving.

Both amounts are well near the recommended limit for added sugars, which is no more than 24g per day for women and 36g for men.

Note that Cocoa pebbles come in a marshmallow flavor, which is extremely high in sugar with 17g per serving.


It’s actually a tie when it comes to protein.

Both Cocoa Pebbles and Cocoa Krispies contain 2g of protein per cup serving. 

The protein comes mainly from the cereals’ base ingredient – rice. 

Generally, 2g of protein is on the low side for cereals. 

However, note that cereals are typically consumed with milk, which enhances the overall protein content.


When it comes to fiber content, both the cereals fall short.

Cocoa Pebbles contains less than 1g of fiber per cup serving. While minimal, it beats out Cocoa Krispies, which have absolutely no fiber.


When it comes to sodium, there’s quite a big difference between both cereals.

Cocoa Pebbles contain 220mg of sodium per cup serving. That’s about 14% of the daily ideal sodium limit (1500mg) set by the American Heart Association.

Cocoa Krispies, on the other hand, packs 125mg of sodium per cup serving. That’s significantly less than Pebbles at just 8% of the daily ideal sodium limit.

Cocoa Krispies are the better choice for those looking to lower their sodium intake than saltier Cocoa Pebbles.

Vitamins and minerals

Cocoa Pebbles and Cocoa Krispies are fortified with various vitamins and minerals to boost their nutritional profiles. 

Cocoa Pebbles are fortified with a wide range of B vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 and B12.

Meanwhile, Cocoa Krispies contain fewer B vitamins – only B9 and B12. However, they are fortified with vitamins C and E, which are missing in Pebbles.

Both cereals provide iron, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin D3.

Here’s the table showing the levels of vitamins and minerals in both cereals.

Vitamins & mineralsCocoa Pebbles(% daily value)Cocoa Krispies (% daily value)
Vitamin A50%30%
Vitamin CNA20%
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)30%NA
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)40%NA
Vitamin B3 (niacin)30%NA
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)25%NA
Vitamin B9 (folate)50%15%
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)80%45%
Vitamin D310%10%
Per serving

Final words: Which one is more healthier?

After closely comparing Cocoa Pebbles and Cocoa Krispies side-by-side, Cocoa Pebbles emerges as the healthier choice.

There are several reasons for this, such as:

  • Cocoa Pebbles have few and simple ingredients.
  • Cocoa Pebbles are slightly lower in calories.
  • Cocoa Pebbles do not have artificial colors.
  • Cocoa Pebbles has wide range of B vitamins.

However, there are a couple of areas where Cocoa Kripies fights back, such as:

  • Cocoa Krispies are lower in sodium.
  • Cocoa Krispies contain calcium and Vitamin C, which are missing in Pebbles.

That being said, Cocoa Pebbles still reigns as the overall healthier pick.

Note that I have not compared the cereals based on taste and price because taste is subjective, and the prices of both cereals can vary.

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Yatender is the founder of Investohealth! He provides thoroughly researched, unbiased reviews analyzing packaged foods' ingredients, nutrition, and health impacts. Join him on a quest for healthier, more informed eating habits.

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