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What Are the Different Types of Cereal Containers?

K. K. Lowen
K. K. Lowen

There are many different types of cereal containers. Some containers exist for use in the home, while others are designed for food service. A common feature of most cereal containers is an airtight seal that keeps the contents fresh. Containers for cereal vary in size, shape, and style.

Some cereal containers are not made specifically to hold cereal. In restaurants and cafeterias, cereal may be stored in any container that is appropriate for food storage. A cereal container may be used in conjunction with a dispenser as well. For in-home use, people sometimes utilize any sort of airtight container to store cereal rather than purchasing items specifically manufactured for that purpose. Some people may use containers made from glass or ceramic, while others may choose plastic or metal containers.

Some cereal containers serve the dual purpose as both container and bowl.
Some cereal containers serve the dual purpose as both container and bowl.

One type of cereal container has a flip top, allowing a portion of the container lid to open so that people can dispense cereal directly from the container. Other cereal containers may have regular lids with a door in the lid for pouring, and many people use a scoop for this type of container. An individual can still pour cereal directly from a container that has a solid lid, but those with doors in the lids offer more accuracy.

Cereal containers exist in a variety of sizes. Containers made for use by a single person or small family may be of very small size, made to only hold the contents of a small box of cereal. Some households may consume a large amount of cereal and could require a large container for cereal. Households often use multiple cereal containers to accommodate different types of cereal. In the food service industry, very large containers are available to accommodate the contents of bulk-sized cereal boxes or bags.

Some containers are made specifically to hold kids’ cereal. This kind of container usually has pictures, designs, or a color scheme that would appeal to children. Sometimes containers are manufactured with product tie-ins, featuring logos, imagery, or characters related to cartoons, televisions, movies, or music.

Other cereal containers may serve the dual purpose of being a storage container and bowl. The bowl-shaped container will have a lid that is able to seal. Often container bowls are microwave safe, which allows people to reheat hot breakfast cereal later in the day. The bowl containers are also useful for people who bring their breakfasts to work with them and for children who like to eat dry cereal as a snack at school.

Discussion Comments


@drtroubles - I personally believe that plastic storage containers are better, although my opinion has nothing to do with which keeps cereal fresher. Both plastic and glass can keep food fresh.

The reasons I like plastic are that it is easy to clean and much lighter than glass. Plus, if you drop your cereal storage container it doesn't smash. Since I have kids I feel like plastic is a lot safer overall. Another thing I like about plastic is that since it is inexpensive you can always buy new ones. Plus, they don't have to be unstylish! You can shop around and find really nice plastic containers. Maybe you can compromise with your wife?


Does anyone know if glass or plastic containers are better for cereal?

My wife and I are looking at finding some new storage options for our kitchen as we are currently giving the room an overhaul. My wife is leaning towards glass containers due to aesthetic reasons but I actually prefer the plastic containers because they are much cheaper. Basically it is going to come down to purchasing whichever works better over the long term. We haven't purchased new storage containers for years and while I think the plastic ones we have now work fine, my wife feels the cereal could be stored better in glass.


I actually keep my cereal in an old plastic picture. It has a flip lid and the cereal pours out neatly.

I always just kept cereal in the boxes, although I would run into the problem sometimes of ripping the bag when I tried to open it. But when my first child reached his preschool years, I was interested in teaching him to do more things for himself. Pouring cereal from a container is easier for little kids than trying to wrestle with the box, and they're less likely to make a mess.

Although if I had thought of using the pitcher earlier, I would have. When he was a crawling baby, he liked to go into the cereal cupboard, open a box of cereal, pull out the wax bag, and shake it! Good thing I always had it folded up tight, but talk about an accident waiting to happen. He always looked so pleased with himself, too, while he was doing it!


I like those container bowls that can be microwaved and such, because they're kind of neat, but I feel like those sorts of specialty containers cost a lot, so I usually just take a regular kind of plastic container to work and then put the contents into a microwave safe bowl that I keep in my office.


@hyrax53- I like those too, partly because they have less packaging than the cereals sold in cardboard boxes that then have plastic bags inside.

Usually, though, I do separate the large bags into smaller plastic containers, partly because they fit into cupboards better, and partly because they stand upright, making them easier to keep organized. When I need to, though, I just leave the large bags in a closet next to other bulk goods, even when they're opened, since I know they won't get stale.


I like the cereal companies that make their products in resealable bags. I think Malt-O-Meal is one. With those containers, the cereal stays fresh and airtight, unlike the cereals that come in cardboard boxes. That way, if I don't have a plastic container on hand, I don't have to find some other way to store my cereal and keep it fresh.

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    • Some cereal containers serve the dual purpose as both container and bowl.
      By: Tatyana Gladskih
      Some cereal containers serve the dual purpose as both container and bowl.