May 27, 2013 • By

Snacking trends and innovation driving growth

General Mills’ strong, global snacking business – including brands such as Nature Valley, Fiber One, Chex Mix, Food Should Taste Good, LÄRABAR, and more – is profiled in Sunday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper.

The article, “General Mills rides snack boom,” explores the strength of the snacking category in the U.S. and how consumer trends and product innovation are driving growth for food companies.

Star Tribune reporter Mike Hughlett writes:

Snacks have been the hot growth spot for packaged food firms worldwide, and General Mills is embracing the trend. From its ubiquitous Nature Valley bars to myriad Chex Mix offerings, snacks have been General Mills’ strongest U.S. business over the past five years.”

Hughlett interviewed two General Mills executives for the article – Jon Nudi, a General Mills vice president and president of the U.S. Retail Snacks division and Dave Dudick, a General Mills senior vice president and president of the Bakeries and Foodservice division.

Jon highlighted the company’s innovation growth story in the grain snacks category, including successful product launches such as Nature Valley Protein, Fiber One bars, and Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies, which each achieved more than $100 million in first year retail sales.  “What’s really driven our success is aggressive innovation,” he said. Building on this success, in January the company launch Fiber One Protein bars and has a number of innovative new products ready to ship to stores this summer, including Nature Valley Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares and Fiber One 90 Calorie Lemon Bars.

According to Nielsen, General Mills’ dollar share of the grain snacks category has increased 9 points since 2008, gaining share each year.

General Mills also has a strong snacking business outside of traditional retail stores.

Dave explained that the snacks category is one of six priority categories across General Mills’ Bakeries and Foodservice business – especially in the convenience store channel. “C-stores are the champion of snacking,” said Dave.

During the interview, Dave noted that General Mills has increased convenience store distribution for our snack products in each of the past four years and that Nature Valley’s Oats ‘n Honey granola bar is the top-turning grain snack bar in the entire convenience store channel.

Some of our most successful new products in the convenience store channel over the past several years include Chex Mix Muddy Buddies and Nature Valley Energy Bars.

Read the full article at Subscription may be required.