Mar 23, 2012 • By

News Bites – March 23, 2012

Where consumers buy their groceries is the subject of one of the stories in today’s weekly roundup from a variety of websites and blogs. Big supermarkets are not the only food retail destination, as Phil Lempert points out in a link we share, below. We also include posts about Easter spending, trends in cheese and some great recipe ideas tied to this weekend’s movie blockbuster, “The Hunger Games.”

Our weekly “News Bites” cover General Mills, the food industry and our categories on “A Taste of General Mills.” We also highlight content from other General Mills blogs and websites.

Notable posts about General Mills:

Mobile Marketer outlined how Cheerios and its Spoonfuls of Stories project are encouraging mobile users to donate to First Book, which provides low-income families and schools with books and educational resources. The article, “General Mills’ Cheerios pushes mobile donations via SMS,” says that for each donation to First Book, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing will match the donations up to 50,000 books. posted a story (“Greenwich ShopRite employees appear on Cheerios box”) highlighting ShopRite employees Sue Ogden and Vilmarie Rodriguez, who will appear on a Cheerios box for the Partners in Caring Program, co-sponsored by ShopRite and General Mills.

Andy Wood, our former head of corporate wellness, is quoted in the Rochester Post-Bulletin column “Wes Emmert: Don’t let your job hurt your fitness level.” Wood, who is now an industrial therapist and wellness team leader for Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., provides some tips to prevent “sitting disease” – another way to refer to what workers develop who sit at desks during the day.

Finally, recapped the Box Tops for Education Town Hall at Morehouse College in “Celebrities stop for Box Tops with Steve Harvey.”

Notable posts about the food industry:

The Los Angeles Times (“Natural foods: Eating up the trends”) attended the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, the biggest health food trade show in the world. This article looks at some of the trends from the show.

Phil Lempert, in The Huffington Post’s “Where Are You Buying Your Groceries?” examines the many different options in food retail – from large or smaller grocery stores to convenience and drug store chains.

Speaking of stores, “Kroger Positioning Varies by Market” in Supermarket News looks at the variety of stores now owned and operated by Kroger. The list includes supermarkets, jewelry stores, superstores and convenience stores.

Drug Store News says consumers will spend more money for Easter this year than last. “NRF expects sales to hop up this Easter” says spending will be up 11 percent, from $131.04 to $145.28, on everything from apparel and candy to food and decorations.

“NPD: Morning Eating and Drinking in America,” in Convenience Store News, has some figures from the NPD Group that found that 43 percent of our morning eating and drinking occasions in the U.S. consist of a beverage but no food, 24 percent have a small/mini meal, 21 percent a full/complete meal and 11 percent a snack.

And a story in Progressive Grocer (“Flavor, Variety, New Menu Concepts Drive Cheese Trends”) says bolder flavors are the hottest cheese trend.

Notable posts from various General Mills communities:

“The Hunger Games Themed Party” – Tablespoon

  • I’m a little sleep deprived as I type this, since I went to a midnight showing of “The Hunger Games.” So I was curious about this post inspired by the movie from Tablespoon user Courtney Dial, of Nashville, Tenn. ( She has several ideas tied to the movie for recipes, invitations and decorations.

“Eggciting New Easter Ideas” –

  • Betty boasts these 24 new ideas for Easter get-togethers, including cupcakes, side dishes and meats.

“Fiber One Chocolate and Peanut Butter Parfaits” – Tablespoon

  • We love it when our brands make it into the recipes on Tablespoon. So we’re sharing a Fiber One idea from Jackie Fo, of Charlotte, N.C. (

“Lighten up! Celebrate spring with these seasonal recipes” – Valley Report (Green Giant)

  • Be on the lookout for fresh vegetables popping up in your local markets. Green Giant writes about three early-spring crops you should seek out.

Editor’s note: Is there a blog or website we should be reading, and including on this weekly list?

What would you like us to write about on “A Taste of General Mills”? Is there someone we should interview, inside or outside of General Mills? Is there a topic you’d like us to cover?

Let us know at

You can subscribe to posts from “A Taste of General Mills” via RSS or email.

Also, follow our updates and connect with General Mills on TwitterGoogle+LinkedIn and