General Mills is tapping into the latest consumer-driven food trends with its new lineup of product innovation launching this summer. Cheerios Protein cereal, LÄRABAR RENOLA grain free granola, Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal, nacho cheese blasted Old El Paso taco shells, Suddenly Salad made with whole grains, indulgent Pillsbury Melts filled cookies and Häagen-Dazs Triple Sensations ice cream are among the more than 150 new products appearing across the U.S. and around the world. General Mills offers an overview of new products in its new product look book.
“Everything we do starts with the consumer in mind, and in Fiscal 2015 we’re applying this consumer first mindset across our portfolio,” said Ken Powell, General Mills chairman and chief executive officer. “Through a deep understanding of our consumers—what foods they like, where they shop and how they like to cook—we are rapidly addressing their needs with products that offer relevant health news, increased convenience, superior taste and product quality.”
Powell and other General Mills executives will discuss the company’s innovation-fueled plans for growth for Fiscal 2015 at its investor day event at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, July 8.
Consumer trends fueling innovation
The newest lineup of products from General Mills builds upon another strong year for innovation. New items launched in Fiscal 2014 drove nearly 5 percent of the company’s net sales in U.S. Retail according to A.C. Nielsen. In addition, 11 General Mills products—including Yoplait Greek 100, Fiber One Protein Bars, Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch and Green Giant Frozen Steamers—were ranked among the top-selling 100 new food products of 2013, according to Information Resources Inc.’s (IRI) New Product Pacesetters Report.
This year, protein-packed cereal and yogurt, snacks and convenient meals with bold and indulgent flavors, whole grain and gluten-free food options are key consumer-driven product themes poised to drive growth for General Mills.
Products for protein seekers
Today, more than 50 percent of consumers are looking to add more protein to their diets, making high-protein foods among the most sought-after items in U.S. supermarkets. To meet growing consumer desire for protein, General Mills will expand its lineup of products featuring protein with:
- Cheerios Protein – General Mills expands the Cheerios franchise with new Cheerios Protein, the first-ever protein-fortified Cheerios product that combines the famous toasted “O”s with crunchy granola clusters. Each serving offers 11 grams of protein with milk.
- Yoplait Greek new flavors – Consumers looking for a protein-rich, full flavor Greek yogurt in fruity and indulgent flavors will enjoy new varieties including Lemon Meringue, Key Lime, Peaches ‘n Cream, Honey, Piña Colada, Caffe Mocha and Caramel.
- Cascadian Farm Protein Granola – At 10 grams of protein per serving, new Cascadian Farm Protein Granola is the first mainstream organic protein granola made from pea protein.
Bold flavors in snacks and meals
Consumer tastes are evolving to embrace products with globally-inspired flavors that offer variety and adventure in every bite. General Mills is bringing bigger and bolder flavors that will wake up the taste buds to many of its convenient meals and snacks, including:
- Old El Paso Nacho Cheese Taco Shells – Blasted with nacho cheese flavoring inside and out, the new Old El Paso Bold Nacho Cheese Taco kit brings a remarkably popular quick service restaurant trend into the homes of consumers for the first time.
- Progresso Chili – Soup season will heat up with Progresso’s new premium Chili, made with hearty ingredients, including tender chicken and beef, thick cuts of vegetables, herbs and spices. Available in Southwest Style Chicken Chili with Beans or Smokehouse Pork and Beef Chili with Beans.
- Chex Mix Xtreme – Chex Mix is turning up the heat in the snack aisle with new Xtreme flavors such as Habanero Lime and Sweet & Spicy Sriracha.
Meeting gluten-free needs
It is estimated that around 30 percent of consumers are trying to cut back on gluten. Consumers who follow a gluten free diet continue to seek great tasting, gluten free foods. General Mills adds to its extensive gluten free portfolio with:
- Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal – For the first time, Chex brings one of America’s favorite breakfast meals to the homes of gluten-free eaters with its all new Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal in Maple Brown Sugar, Apple Cinnamon, and Original flavors.
- Betty Crocker Gluten Free Pizza Crust – Expanding into new gluten-free meal occasions, Betty Crocker introduces Gluten Free Pizza Crust mix, which is in high demand among gluten-free consumers.
- LÄRABAR RENOLA – LÄRABAR is reinventing granola with the launch of the first nationally distributed, grain-free granola, called RENOLA. Made with simple ingredients including nuts, fruit and seeds, it is available in three flavors: Cinnamon Nut, Cocoa Coconut and Berry.
- Food Should Taste Good Brown Rice Crackers – Made with simple ingredients including gluten-free grains like sesame and flax seeds, quinoa and amaranth, these crackers are available in culinary-inspired flavors such as Sea Salt, Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato and Basil.
Adding more whole grains
While a subset of people are turning to gluten-free foods, 81 percent of consumers say they are trying to eat more whole grains. The following are just some of the newest General Mills products to help the company deliver more than 37.5 million servings of whole grain per day:
- Suddenly Grain Salad – This new line of Suddenly Salad makes simple work of creating a side dish with whole and ancient grains. Every box includes more than 27 grams of grain blends like brown rice, wild rice and quinoa paired with flavorful dressings like Tuscan, Southwest and Mediterranean.
- Green Giant Steamers – Green Giant takes the guesswork out of preparing dishes that combine vegetables and whole grains. New varieties of Steamers feature brown rice or barley with frozen vegetables and culinary-inspired sauces like Parmesan Asiago, Rosemary, and Teriyaki.
- Nature Valley Fruteria – These new chewy granola bars combine real fruit pieces and chewy oats for a 100-calorie snack designed to appeal specifically to Hispanic consumers. Available in Mango Strawberry and Strawberry Apple.
Sweetening the day with an indulgent treat
For people looking to sweeten their day, General Mills offers a wide variety of treats that can fit many lifestyles:
- Fiber One Streusel – Weight-conscious consumers who don’t want to indulge in high-calorie coffee shop treats will enjoy new Fiber One Streusel bars in Strawberry and Blueberry.
- Betty Crocker Hershey’s Premium Dessert Mixes – Betty Crocker partners with Hershey’s to bring even more varieties to its line of premium dessert mixes with Hershey’s s’mores, Reese’s Peanut Butter & Chocolate and Health dessert bar mixes and Hershey’s s’mores cookie mix.
- Pillsbury Melts – These ready-to-bake filled cookies can be topped with a drizzle of chocolate in two varieties: Molten Fudge Cake and S’more Sensation.
- Häagen-Dazs Triple Sensations – Available in Europe and China, new Häagen-Dazs Triple Sensations offer three layers of indulgence in each bite—rich and creamy ice cream, a crunchy topping and a sauce. Available in Praline Caramel Seduction, Chocolate Caramel Passion, Speculoos Caramel Desire.