"General Mills has been growing for more than a century, constantly innovating and investing to meet changing consumer needs. As we enter fiscal 2016, we are keenly aware of our consumers changing food preferences. This presents a tremendous opportunity to create growth for General Mills," said Ken Powell, General Mills chairman and chief executive officer, in a news release. "We remain deeply committed to following our consumers and adapting our portfolio to their tastes and interests."
The company's product lineup address several trends:
Around the world consumers are focused on wellness and have new interests in products made with simple ingredients, foods free from gluten, natural and organic foods, foods that deliver more fibre, more protein and more whole grain, and foods free from artificial ingredients. General Mills is responding to these evolving consumer preferences with:
- Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli – A blend of simple ingredients including toasted oats, sun flower seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, toasted coconut, almonds and pumpkin seeds, new Nature Valley Toasted Oats Muesli can be eaten plain, with milk or yogurt. Each quarter-cup serving has less than 5 grams of sugar. Available in Original or Blueberry flavours in the U.S., and Field Berry and Coconut Almond varieties in Canada.
- Yoplait Plenti – This new line from Yoplait combines Greek Yogurt with whole grain oats, flax and pumpkin seeds for hearty, protein-packed yogurt. With 12 grams of protein in each cup, Yoplait Plenti is available in eight flavours including blueberry, black cherry, coconut, peach raspberry, spiced apple, strawberry and vanilla.
- Annie's organic soups – Available in the soup aisle for the first time, Annie's introduces its new organic soup line in flavours like Star Pasta & Chicken Soup, Tomato Soup, Creamy Tomato & Bunny Pasta Soup, Bunny Pasta & Chicken Broth Soup and Creamy Carrot & Bunny Pasta.
- Food Should Taste Good Real Good Bars – These delicious, indulgent bars combine large, whole nuts, seeds and real fruit pieces with fair trade chocolate and unexpected culinary spices like Madagascar vanilla, shaved coconut and chai. Food Should Taste Good Real Good Bars are gluten free and contain no GMOs, artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
- Nature Valley Simple Nut Bars – Simply made with the inherent goodness of whole nuts, seeds, honey, tapioca syrup and sea salt, these naturally gluten-free bars come in two varieties: Almond, Cashew & Sea Salt, and Roasted Peanut & Honey.
- Cheerios Plus – In Canada, Cheerios Plus combines delicious toasted Cheerios with crunchy granola clusters mixed with nutritious protein or flax seed. Available in Cinnamon Coconut and Honey Almond.
- Yoplait O'Fruit – In China, this drinkable yogurt has big fruit pieces that require an extra-large straw to drink. It is one of three different lines of Yoplait launching this summer in China, which also includes Perle de lait, a thick and creamy French style yogurt, and Panier de fruits, a fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt.
And just last month, General Mills announced it would remove artificial flavours and colours from artificial sources in Big G cereals, replacing these ingredients with fruit and vegetable juices and spice extracts. Seventy-five percent of the Big G portfolio will meet this claim by January with the remainder by the end of calendar year 2017.
Even people following a wellness lifestyle can find a little room for an indulgent treat. General Mills is introducing a new range of sweet treats from the ultra-indulgent to the permissible:
- Cinnabon Mini Pull-Aparts – Pillsbury brings Cinnabon's deliciously fluffy and gooey cinnamon rolls home in delectable, bite-sized pieces. Each package of new Cinnabon Mini Pull-Aparts comes with 12 mini pull-apart rolls and signature Cinnabon cinnamon and creamy frosting.
- Haagen-Dazs Stick Bars – In France, Haagen-Dazs introduces a new line of ice cream stick bars in five flavours: Macadamia Nut Brittle, Salted Caramel, Pralines & Cream, Vanilla Caramel Almond, and Chocolate Choc Almond.
- FiberOne Cheesecake Bars – Consumers seeking a wellness lifestyle can still make room for indulgence. With only 150 calories, these new bars are made with irresistible layers of graham cracker crust, creamy cheesecake and flavourful toppings like strawberry and salted caramel.
- Betty Crocker Mug Cake – In Brazil, Betty Crocker introduces a no-bake mug cake, a baking mix that can be prepared in a coffee mug and heated in the microwave for 90 seconds. Available in four varieties: Brigadeiro, Beijinho, Pacoca and Orange.
General Mills is also tapping into some of the hottest movie equities with products featuring Minions, Star Wars and Disney's Frozen, letting consumers of all ages bring the magic of the movies into their lives to make breakfast and snacking fun. New to shelves will include Limited Edition Star Wars and Minions cereals, in addition to Yoplait Go-Gurt and kid yogurts featuring characters from Disney's Frozen.