Slideshow: Simple in the spotlight at General Mills

by Rebekah Schouten
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MINNEAPOLIS — Less is more in the latest batch of new products from General Mills, Inc. Simple ingredients are the selling point of several new offerings, from Old El Paso blue corn taco shells made with only three ingredients to recently renovated Betty’s Original Recipe cake mixes, which contain just seven recognizable ingredients.

Jeff Harmening, General Mills
Jeff Harmening, c.e.o. of General Mills

“We’re increasing our levels of innovation across the board, with a laser focus on delivering exceptional taste with simple ingredients,” said Jeffrey L. Harmening, chief executive officer of General Mills.

The Minneapolis-based company also is focused on snack innovation, Mr. Harmening said, as the snacking trend has permeated the entire food industry.

“Pursuant to our Consumer First strategy means knowing our consumers and changing with them as their lives and interests change, and we have seen a lot of change with our consumers in recent years.,” Mr. Harmening said during General Mills’ investor day presentation on July 12. “It starts with the values and trends that shape consumer food behavior. For example, snacking continues to be a huge food trend. In the U.S, 94% of adults have eaten at least 1 snack in the last 24 hours and 70% have eaten at least 2. And snacking isn't just a U.S. trend, it's a global phenomenon that impacts every one of our markets.”

New snacks from General Mills include better-for-you options such as Annie’s organic cheese puffs, which are gluten-free and made with real cheese, and new flavors of Lärabar Bites, which are non-G.M.O., gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free. But the company also is offering more indulgent snacks, such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites soft donut bites and Pillsbury mini double chocolate cookies.

“We're seeing consumers changing their definition of health to a more holistic idea of wellness that includes the balanced approach of what they eat, including room for healthy and indulgent food offerings,” Mr. Harmening said. “And importantly, the perennial trends of great taste, convenience and value remain vitally important for consumers as they make their food choices every day.”

Click to view a slideshow of new products from General Mills.

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