General Mills' new product lineup reflects 'deep understanding' of customers

MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills on Monday announced a number of new products set to debut this summer, all of which reflect consumer-driven food trends. With offerings that range from Cheerios Protein cereal to Suddenly Salad made with whole grains, the company's new products were conceived with a keen eye on customer needs.

“Everything we do starts with the consumer in mind, and in Fiscal 2015 we’re applying this consumer first mindset across our portfolio,” said Ken Powell, General Mills Chairman and CEO. “Through a deep understanding of our consumers — what foods they like, where they shop and how they like to cook — we are rapidly addressing their needs with products that offer relevant health news, increased convenience, superior taste and product quality.”

The themes displayed in the new product lineup include:

More than 50% of consumers are looking to pack more protein into their diets, the company said, making protein-rich foods a hot item in U.S. supermarkets. General Mills hopes to meet this demand with Cheerios Protein, Cascadian Farm Protein Granola and new flavors of Yoplait Greek Yogurt.

Bold flavor
The company noted that consumers are embracing products with globally inspired flavors. General Mills is offering Old El Paso Nacho Cheese Taco Shells, Progresso Chili and Chex Mix Xtreme — which boasts flavors like Habanero Lime and Sweet & Spicy Sriracha.

The company estimates that 30% of consumers are trying to cut back on gluten consumption; it will add to its existing gluten-free portfolio with the addition of Chex Gluten Free Oatmeal, Betty Crocker Gluten Free Pizza Crust, Larabar Renola and Food Should Taste Good Brown Rice Crackers.

Whole grains
Eighty-one percent of consumers are trying to incorporate more whole grains into their diets, the company said. It plans to add Suddenly Grain Salad, Green Giant Steamers and Nature Valley Fruteria to help satisfy this segment.

Sweet treats
For consumers looking to sweeten up their days, the company is offering the following decadent additions: Fiber One Streusel, Betty Crocker Hershey’s Premium Dessert Mixes, Pillsbury Melts and Häagen-Dazs Triple Sensations.

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