Home » General Mills Unveils Summer 2016 Product Line-Up
General Mills is following consumer driven food trends with its line-up of products launching this summer around the world. Many of the new products closely align with increasing consumer interest in wellness, convenience, and snacking including new Yoplait Greek 2% Whips!, Nature Valley Nut & Seed Crunchy Granola Bars, Annie's organic cereal, Old El Paso Mini Taco Boats, Totino's Pizza Sticks and Häägen-Dazs Stick Bars.
"We're in a period of very rapid change in the food industry. And consumers are very clear about what they want – simple ingredient lists, free from artificial colors and flavors, free from gluten, less sugar, less sodium, more convenience. This translates into very a clear set of growth opportunities for us," said Ken Powell, General Mills Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We've challenged ourselves to go out and really understand our consumers, get into their homes, shop alongside them and listen to what they want. These interactions allow us to build greater intuition, which helps us move much faster. Our new product line up demonstrates our ability to listen and respond."
To keep pace with the changing needs of consumers and to deliver new products to market faster than before, General Mills has disrupted its approach to innovation.
"In order to support the growth we've planned, we have moved toward a more entrepreneurial approach to new product development, which not only speeds innovation, but helps us put our consumers first and deliver exciting, relevant new products that meet consumer needs and drive topline growth," said Peter Erickson, executive vice president of Innovation, Technology and Quality.
One of the ways the company is doing this is through "lemonade stands," where product development teams go into business for a day with a product concept, setting up a table to interact with people – whether at a cooking school, a farmers market, a fitness center or even a traditional grocery store. Lemonade stands allow teams to more quickly test new product ideas with consumers and capture learnings earlier in the new product development process.
In many cases the company's new development processes have increased speed to market from about 24 months to less than 12 months.
Consumers today want products that can help them on their wellness journey and seek out foods with simple ingredients, and harder working calories. They also want more protein, fiber and whole grains, products free from gluten and without artificial flavors or colors. And there is increasing interest in natural and organic foods. Wellness is among the top consumer trends General Mills is addressing this summer with products including:
The food industry is experiencing a shift as the boundaries between meals and snacks are quickly fading. Snacks are no longer only eaten between meal-times; rather many consumers are eating traditional snack foods alongside a meal or as a meal replacement. And while consumers are adopting healthier lifestyles, they are still juggling busy schedules that often cut into meal preparation time. General Mills has a long history of helping consumers solve the meal-time dilemma with convenient and tasty solutions. Some of the newest include:
Check out the June 2020 issue of Prepared Foods, featuring our cover story on creating functional flavors with stocks, bases & sauces, consumers’ appetite for beef and other animal proteins, new dairy and dairy alternative offerings, and much more.