Jun 27, 2012 • By

Appetizing innovation to accelerate growth

New Yoplait 100-calorie Greek yogurt, chef-inspired cooking sauces by Progresso, and artisan, whole-grain pizza crust by Pillsbury are just a few mouth-watering examples of the new General Mills products that you’ll see flowing into stores this summer.

This morning, during a presentation to analysts, company executives revealed General Mills’ line up of new products for the first half of the company’s current fiscal year.

Above and beyond mere line extensions, the impressive number of entirely new and different products across our portfolio reflects a key approach in General Mills’ innovation strategy – We focus on launching bigger, more differentiated products to better address unmet consumer needs and attract more consumers to our brands.

“We have high levels of innovation planned across our core product portfolio, and we’ll have good contributions from recently acquired businesses,” said Don Mulligan, our chief financial officer, on this morning’s webcast for analysts.

Below is a sneak peek at some of General Mills’ hottest upcoming product launches.

• Yoplait Greek 100 ─ This is a 100-calorie Greek yogurt that has the rich and creamy taste of Greek yogurt in six flavors: strawberry, black cherry, mixed berry, peach, key lime, and vanilla. As a bonus for consumers who are counting calories or watching their weight, this new yogurt is the only Greek yogurt endorsed by Weight Watchers® with a PointsPlus® value of 2 per serving. Yoplait Greek 100 yogurt will be available across the U.S. by August.

• Progresso Recipe Starters –To give busy moms and dads a head start to home cooked meals, Progresso has developed Recipe Starters, a new line of versatile cooking sauces which can be used to create home-cooked classics. Each of the five cooking sauces can be used to make numerous delicious meals, from Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese to Creamy Lemon Chicken. The flavors launching late this summer are Creamy Roasted Garlic with Chicken Stock, Fire Roasted Tomato, Creamy Parmesan Basil, Creamy Portabella Mushroom and Creamy Three Cheese. Progresso created more than 100 recipes using this new line of sauces, one of which is included on every label of Recipe Starters.

• Apple Cinnamon Chex – I’ve been a huge Chex cereal fan since I was a little kid (Corn Chex are my favorite!), so I’m always interested in tasting fun new additions to the delicious family of gluten-free cereals. Apple Cinnamon Chex cereal is sprinkled with real apple and cinnamon and is made with nine grams of whole grain per serving.

• Fiber One Chewy Bars – The latest bars from the popular Fiber One line are an ideal snack for the whole family, with kid-friendly Chocolate and Strawberry PB&J flavors. The bars have 20% of the Daily Value of fiber and 100 or 110 calories per bar.

• Cascadian Farm Ancient Grains Granola – This new organic cereal combines quinoa, spelt, Kamut® khorasan wheat with Cascadian Farm granola. The light, puffed ancient grains provide a nice complement of texture to the crunchier granola pieces.

• Gardetto’s Sandwich Crackers – Flavor is a big factor for people when purchasing food in a convenience store, which is why General Mills chose Cheddar Bacon and Garlic Cream Cheese as the bold flavors for new Gardetto’s Sandwich Crackers, available exclusively in the convenience store channel in the U.S.

• Green Giant Seasoned Steamers – Green Giant is introducing six varieties of new Seasoned Steamers frozen vegetables, made with unique, chef-inspired seasoning blends. Seasoned Steamers is one of the first sauce-free seasoned frozen vegetables lines in the market.

• Shake -n- Pour Desserts – Betty Crocker is launching new Shake -n- Pour desserts in Chocolate Brownie, Confetti Cupcake and Chocolate Cupcake flavors.

Other new General Mills products coming to stores in the U.S. soon include:

• More yogurts from Yoplait USA, including Yoplait Simplait, Yoplait Fruplait, Liberté Greek yogurt and Liberté Méditerranée.

Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds cereal.

• Snacks such as Fiber One 90 Calories Brownies Chocolate Chip Cookie flavor, LÄRABAR’s new über bar line, Nature Valley Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter granola bars, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Treats, Pillsbury Baguette Chips, and Mott’s Medley’s Fruit and Vegetable fruit snacks.

• Convenient meal options like Pillsbury Whole Grain Artisan Pizza Crust, Wanchai Ferry Chicken Fried Rice, Hamburger Helper Cheese Lover’s Lasagna and Supreme Cheese Pizza flavors, Betty Crocker specialty potatoes in Cheesy Hashbrown and Parmesan Asiago flavors, and Yoplait Greek Smoothies.

• Pillsbury Brownie Blondie Bites sold in the In-Store Bakery channel.

• Pillsbury Homestyle Mini French Toast in the K-12 channel.

• Baking products including Cereal Equity Muffins, Fun da-Middles Cookies n’ Crème cupcake mix, Supermoist Red Velvet Cake mix, Pillsbury Flaky Caramel Rolls and more.

A few highlights from General Mills’ international business include:

• A new Meringue and Raspberry flavor of the successful Häagen-Dazs Secret Sensation ice cream mini-cups.

• Additional varieties of Wanchai Ferry frozen dumplings in China.

• New varieties of Calin yogurt in France.

• The expansion of the Nature Valley franchise in Europe with the launch of a new Sweet & Nutty line of bars.

• Cereal Partners Wordlwide’s new Fitness White Chocolate and Chocapic Pillows.

What do you think of these new products?