General Mills introduces gluten-free dessert mixes

by Eric Schroeder
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MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. has launched a line of Betty Crocker dessert mixes that are gluten-free. The move comes a little more than a year after the company entered the gluten-free category with the introduction of reformulated Rice Chex cereal.

The new products hitting store shelves this summer are Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix, Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix, Betty Crocker Gluten Free Brownie Mix and Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. According to General Mills, they are the first nationally branded gluten-free baking mixes in the market and are geared toward the 12% of the U.S. population that wants to eliminate or reduce their gluten intake.

The mixes will retail for approximately $4.49, which is about $2 more than traditional Betty Crocker mixes.

"We’re delighted to welcome back those following a gluten-free diet to the dessert aisle with our new Betty Crocker Gluten Free line," said Ann Stuart, director of the Betty Crocker Kitchens. "The quality product, incredible taste and easy preparation of these mixes come from a brand they can easily find and fully trust for delicious outcomes."

Earlier this year, General Mills expanded its gluten-free Chex line by reformulating boxes of Corn Chex, Honey Nut Chex, Chocolate Chex, Cinnamon Chex and Strawberry Chex.

In a July 1 earnings conference call with analysts, Ian Friendly, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of U.S. Retail at General Mills, said the company will continue to innovate with gluten-free cereals.

"We’ll convert additional Chex cereal varieties to gluten-free, building on the success we had in 2009 with gluten-free Rice Chex, and we’ll offer larger packages on some of our most popular brands as a value offering for consumers," Mr. Friendly said.

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