6.4 trillion calorie reduction
As we’ve shared previously, General Mills is part of a multi-year effort designed to help reduce obesity – especially childhood obesity – by 2015.
Along with 15 other leading food and beverage companies that make up the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), we pledged to reduce the number of calories in the marketplace by introducing lower-calorie product options, changing recipes to lower calories in existing products and reducing portion sizes of single-serve items.
Last May, we announced that HWCF achieved its goal of reducing calories in the U.S. marketplace by 1.5 trillion, and accomplished the task ahead of the 2015 deadline.
Today, we’re excited to share that these calorie reduction efforts have been validated – and praised – by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to the health and health care of all Americans.
“It’s extremely encouraging to hear that these leading companies appear to have substantially exceeded their calorie-reduction pledge,” stated James S. Marks, MD, senior vice president and director of the Health Group at RWJF, in a press release.
Following HWCF’s May announcement, RWJF led a rigorous, independent evaluation to determine if coalition members did indeed meet their calorie reduction goal. The evaluators found that not only did HWCF meet its 1.5 trillion calorie reduction goal, the coalition of food and beverage companies cut 6.4 trillion calories from their products, which is more than four times the amount the companies pledged to reduce by 2015.
Cumulatively, HWCF companies reduced their products’ calories by the equivalent of around 78 calories per person per day, if spread evenly throughout the population.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Lisa Gable, president of the HWCF, said, “This is a very significant shift in the marketplace.” She added that not only are more lower calorie options available, but they are being well-received by consumers.
General Mills has also found that consumers are increasingly seeking healthier options, as long as taste is not compromised. Two recent lower calorie products that have done particularly well are our Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies and our Yoplait Greek 100.
The New York Times reported today on HWCF’s efforts and noted that year-one retail sales for General Mills’ Yoplait Greek 100 reached $150 million, making it the single largest new-product launch for Yoplait in 20 years.
In addition, our Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies generated more than $100 million in retail sales in their first year.
In total, General Mills offers more than 500 U.S. retail products that contain 100 calories or less per serving and more than 800 products with 150 calories or less per serving.
General Mills is proud to be part of the important work being done by the HWCF.
Yet, we know that more work is ahead of us.
We plan to continue providing consumers with healthy options that offer great taste, convenience and value while focusing our innovation on not only reducing calories, but also by reducing other limiters such as fat, sugar and sodium and increasing important nutrients.