General Mills hopes adding fiber, cinnamon to cereals boosts sales

The Minneapolis-based General Mills hopes that adding more cinnamon to its Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and rolling out fiber-packed “better for you” cookies will boost the performance of its brands.
By CANDICE CHOI, Associated Press Published: July 10, 2014
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— General Mills hopes a pinch of cinnamon and a dash of fiber will be a recipe for stronger sales.

The Minneapolis-based company is doing things like adding more cinnamon to its Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and rolling out fiber-packed “better for you” cookies to boost the performance of its brands, which include Pillsbury dough, Betty Crocker baking mixes and Progresso soups.

The company, which last month announced a cost-cutting plan that will include a review of its manufacturing plants, is working to adapt its offerings as it grapples with the changing eating habits of Americans.

The surging popularity of Greek yogurt in recent years, for instance, blindsided the company’s Yoplait yogurts. And the move toward foods that people think are fresher has hurt Hamburger Helper, which last year was renamed “Helper” in a nod to people who prefer chicken.

Here are some insights executives shared ahead of the company’s investor day:

CONQUER COOKIE AISLE:

General Mills is entering the cookie aisle for the first time with a “better-for-you” cookie. Its new Fiber One cookie has 5 grams of fiber and 120 calories. A Pepperidge Farm chocolate chip cookie, by contrast, has no fiber and 140 calories.

Food makers have been adding nutritional benefits — particularly fiber and protein — to a wide variety of products to ease the guilt often associated with snacking.

REMINDING PEOPLE WHY THEY LOVE CEREAL

General Mills is adding more cinnamon to Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and reformulating Trix cereal to make them taste fruitier.

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