Posted by Dale Buss on May 29, 2013 02:19 PM
Having scored a big hit with its Nature Valley Protein Bars last year, General Mills has gone searching for bigger shares of the better-for-you snack business. And it's enlisting some of its best-known brands, from Fiber One to Green Giant, in the hunt.
The Minneapolis-based CPG giant has done about all it can to overhaul its mainstay ready-to-eat cereal business in a more nutritious manner, including shifting nearly the entire portfolio to whole grains. But that category remains sluggish. Meanwhile, the company's Yoplait brand was caught flat-footed by the Greek-style yogurt craze and is still trying to catch up.
Focusing on its snack brands and on extending other brands into the snacking arena has become crucial for growth for General Mills. Snacks have been its strongest business for the last five years, with average annual sales growth topping 8 percent a year during that time.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on December 20, 2012 03:01 PM
If innovation is the lifeblood of business, then General Mills will be pumping hard in the new year. The CPG giant released news about more than 100 new products that it will launch in its U.S. retail portfolio alone during its fiscal 2013.
General Mills would like to generate between 4 percent and 5 percent of its sales from new products "and we think we will be very much in that range," CEO Ken Powell told Wall Street analysts during a conference call this week, according to Ad Age. "We want to make sure that we are launching products that are bringing new consumers into [their brand] franchise, and we have steadily improved that number."
The new products range from new varieties of Fiber One products to a Snickerdoodles flavor of Chex Mix Muddy Buddies. And if there are some underlying themes to the whole list, they would be peanut butter and chocolate, along with fiber and protein, according to a General Mills blog post detailing the roster of new products.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 6, 2012 05:08 PM
For a while, the notion of regulating genetically modified organisms (better known as GMOs) included in food seemed like a good idea, and anti-Big Food advocates in California attracted a lot of support in a state where residents like to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Calfornians have never minded serving as a bellwether on new regulatory initiatives that end up sweeping the rest of the country, such as automotive emissions.
But the closer today's vote on Proposition 37 loomed, the more that initial support of the idea waned. And this U.S. Election Day, even backers of the anti-GMO initiative seemed resigned to its defeat, although it's still being closely watched. (Update: Prop 37 was indeed defeated at the polling booth.)
What happened? Well, a combination of huge contributions by moneyed CPG brands battered Prop 37's drive to label GMOs in a massive advertising and PR blitz with a "No on 37" drive. And backers of the added regulation alleged dirty tricks by the competition as they sought to sway voters (despite scientific evidence to the contrary) that GMO-containing products are hardly the stuff of "Frankenfood" that really harms consumers.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2012 01:11 PM
The vast majority of American consumers don't care whether their foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Food executives and think tanks will tell you that and cite, for example, how Indiana local bakery Aunt Nellie's bombed when it introduced a specifically labeled "non-GMO" bread a couple of years ago.
But California isn't most of America, with a more health-conscious outlook than most states. That's why mainstream food companies are in a hot and heavy contest against GMO opponents over Proposition 37, The Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act, a piece of state legislation that, if passed in November, would require GMO-containing products to disclose that on labels, and make California the first state to mandate genetically modified food.
Similar to what happened to automakers after California took an extreme position on cutting emissions, essentially imposing that higher standard on cars sold all over the country, food and beverage companies are concerned that California will serve as a bellwether in GMO labeling regulation as well.
In a particular bind in this fight are the many mainstream food conglomerates that now own organic brands, which by definition don't include GMOs: Kellogg, owner of GMO poster brand Kashi; General Mills, owner of the Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Larabar and Food Should Taste Good brands; Coca-Cola, owner of Odwalla and Honest Tea; PepsiCo; and Dean Foods, owner of Horizon Organics.Continue reading...