General Mills, Batter Blaster win innovation award
Aug. 22, 2011
by Eric Schroeder
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — General Mills, Inc. and Batter Blaster received the 2011 C.P.G. Award for Innovation and Creativity from the Grocery Manufacturers Association and its Associate Member Council. The award, which was presented at the 2011 G.M.A. Executive Conference being held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, is given annually to companies that have demonstrated creativity, innovation, and have made a significant impact on the industry knowledge base.
“This award celebrates industry creativity and innovation, and these winners have proven to be exemplary in both,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the G.M.A. “General Mills and Batter Blaster have found creative ways to provide consumers with healthier, more sustainable products at a time when consumers are demanding both innovation and value during today’s challenging economy.”
The G.M.A. said it received a record number of entries and evaluated applications in two manufacturer categories — those from companies with total sales of less than $3 billion and those from companies with $3 billion or more in sales.
Based in Austin, Texas, and founded in 2007, Batter Blaster won the award for companies with total sales of less than $3 billion with Batter Blaster’s Organic Original Pancake and Waffle Batter. The product, served in a patent-pending, pressurized can, has overhauled the healthy morning breakfast routine for families across the board, the G.M.A. said.
“We’ve certainly learned that innovation takes guts — it’s not the path of least resistance,” said Sean O’Connor, founder and c.e.o. of Batter Blaster. “It requires massive changes in consumer behavior and the education and awareness to gain that mindshare. But innovation can change even the oldest of categories. Ready-made pancake mix has been around since 1889. Batter Blaster is still shaking up that category more than 120 years later, adding new consumers and growth to a typically traditional category.”
Minneapolis-based General Mills received its award for the development, launch and use of its oat hulls biomass burner. The biomass unit burns oat hulls left over from the milling process to produce about 90% of the steam needed to heat the plant and produce oat flour used in making Cheerios and other products. According to the G.M.A., the burner nearly eliminated the need for natural gas at the plant for steam and heat beginning in December 2010.
“Our biomass burner addressed two compelling business needs — saving money and reducing our footprint on the environment for years to come,” said Ken Powell, chairman and c.e.o. “We’ve sharpened our focus on building sustainability into every step, from seed to spoon, and this project is one of the most recent and visible successes from this journey. Accomplishments such as the biomass burner inspire and challenge all General Mills employees to dream big when developing creative solutions to make General Mills an even more sustainable company.”