200 products launching worldwide
Protein-packed snacks, convenient weeknight meal solutions for busy families, gluten-free options and tasty chocolate flavors are common themes in the company’s lineup of innovation planned for this fiscal year, unveiled this morning at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
I attended General Mills’ presentation at the NYSE for our annual Investor Day as company leaders shared new product plans for the first half of our fiscal year, which began in June.
“Product innovation is the fuel that creates category growth,” said Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills. “We also have a robust new product plan, with more than 200 new items being introduced in the first half of the year alone.”
A few of the tasty highlights and trends?
To get a sneak peak at our new products launching in the first half of this fiscal year, check out this slideshow.
Here’s my take on some of the consumer trends driving our new product development:
Mini-meals to maintain energy
As consumers eat more snacks and mini-meals throughout the day, they are seeking ingredients such as protein or fiber in convenient, portable foods to fill them up and give them energy. According to the Hartman Group, in 2012, snacking made up 53 percent of all eating occasions in the U.S.
Convenient meals with premium, exotic or global flavors
On average, U.S. consumers devote less than 30 minutes to prepare and cook the evening meal, so convenience is very important – right after taste – in deciding what to make for dinner. Along with convenience, consumers want meals that please the whole family, while offering on-trend, premium, exotic or global flavors.
Indulgence with high-quality ingredients
While convenience, value and health are increasingly important consumers, equally important are great taste and high-quality ingredients. This summer General Mills will launch a number of new products for consumers looking for an indulgent, high-quality chocolate taste.
While ready-to-eat cereal remains the most popular at-home breakfast choice in the U.S., General Mills sees emerging opportunities for increasingly on-the-go consumers such as BFast, a new dairy-based portable drink.
I’ve tasted a number of the new products from our U.S. Retail division this summer. Below are several of my favorites so far:
I absolutely love the new Nature Valley Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares. They come in both Peanut Butter and Cinnamon Brown Sugar flavors – the latter is my favorite. While I eat cereal for breakfast before work most mornings, these new products are a great mid-morning snack paired with coffee.
We have taco night in my house at least every other week, so I was excited to spice up our typical routine by trying the new Old El Paso Mexican Cooking Sauces and new Stand ‘N Stuff Soft Flour Tortillas.
I selected the Chile and Roasted Garlic Mexican flavor of Cooking Sauce and followed the simple recipe on the package for chicken burritos. The Stand ‘n Stuff Soft Tortillas were perfect for piling up all of the fixings I like to cram into my tacos without the mess of trying to roll everything up – a big benefit in my book.
As a huge granola fan and someone who likes to snack during the day, I really like the convenient packaging for new Nature Valley Protein Granola. Available in Oats ‘n Honey and Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate varieties, each serving contains 10 grams of protein and at least 23 grams of whole grain.
To learn more about General Mills’ lineup of new product innovation, you may listen to a webcast of the company’s Investor Day presentation, available in the Investor section of GeneralMills.com.