Mar 20, 2013 • By

Boosting profit and market share in our food away-from-home business

While you’re likely familiar with General Mills’ business from the products that you see on grocery store shelves, you may be less familiar with our food-away-from-home Bakeries and Foodservice business — which has been an important source of our profit growth over the past several years.

Despite the challenges that faced the foodservice industry during the recession, General Mills has transformed our Bakeries and Foodservice business over the past five years to significantly improve its profitability and grow market share.

General Mills’ $2 billion Bakeries and Foodservice business delivers our brands to on-the-go consumers in convenience stores, schools, hotels, hospitals, restaurants and bakeries throughout out the U.S.

Dave Dudick, senior vice president and president of the Bakeries and Foodservice division, today reported during the company’s third-quarter earnings webcast that the division is on track to again meet or beat all of its business targets for the year.

In the following video interview, I asked Dave to provide me with background on his role and an overview of General Mills’ Bakeries and Foodservice business.

So far this fiscal year, Dave shared that the division’s operating profit is up 16 percent. Over the past five years, the segment operating profit for the Bakeries and Foodservice division has increased at a 14 percent compound annual growth rate.

While the division has a very diverse portfolio of products — offering everything from pizza dough flour to Yoplait Parfait Pro kits — the division’s top six product categories (snacks, cereal, frozen breakfast, yogurt, biscuits and baking mixes) make up three-fourths of the division’s gross profit.

Dave said a key driver of the division’s profits over the past five years has been its focus on most critical product lines and the most important channels for growth, such as convenience stores, schools and colleges, and healthcare.

Just one example that illustrates this focus is how we’ve brought our popular Yoplait Greek yogurt directly to new foodservice channels. While Greek yogurt has been hugely popular in traditional U.S. grocery channels, it isn’t yet widely available in some important foodservice channels, including healthcare.

This fiscal year, we added a Greek variety to our popular Yoplait Parfait Pro kits and we’re expanding distribution of these kits to nearly 1,600 campuses.

We’ve also brought our tremendously popular new Yoplait Greek 100 yogurt to the healthcare channel.

Dave summarizes these efforts in the following video interview.

He closed his comments with optimism about the future prospects for the General Mills Bakeries and Foodservice business, noting that the foodservice industry is expected to grow at a mid-single digit rate and that the division’s plans and performance are on track.

Dave’s entire presentation during the third-quarter earnings webcast is available in the Investor section on GeneralMills.com.

Editor’s note: This post contains forward looking statements regarding future results. Please see our press release dated March 20, 2013 for risk factors that could affect the results anticipated in these forward looking statements.