MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills unleashed its army of new products for this summer, and products focused on health and wellness are leading the charge.
“Health used to be about, kind of, counting calories and looking at the nutritional label, and consumers still do that, but increasingly they’re looking at the other part of the box, the package, to say, ’What’s in it? How is it made? Where did this food come from?’” said Jeanine Bassett, vice-president of Global Consumer Insights at General Mills. “So, how that shows up in the products they’re purchasing is sometimes what’s not in it, like gluten-free and sometimes what’s in it or how it’s been made, like organic.”
Catering to consumers who eat gluten-free, General Mills created a special grain-sorting process to make its Cheerios gluten-free. Gluten-free Cheerios are available in Yellow Box, Honey Nut, Multi-Grain, Apple Cinnamon and Frosted varieties.
General Mills’ new Chex Clusters cereal is also gluten-free and features fruit pieces, rice crisps and rolled oats clustered together. The cereal contains no artificial colors, artificial flavors or high-fructose corn syrup.
Another cereal joining the General Mills lineup is Cascadian Farm Organic Honey Oat Crunch. Made with organic whole grain flakes and crunchy oat clusters, the cereal is sweetened with sugar, honey and molasses.
Also offering organic options, Annie’s is introducing its line of organic soups. The ready-made soups contain no artificial flavors, synthetic colors, preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup and come in five varieties: Star Pasta & Chicken, Tomato, Creamy Tomato & Bunny Pasta, Bunny Pasta & Chicken Broth and Creamy Carrot & Bunny Pasta.
The trend of axing artificial ingredients continues with the launch of Food Should Taste Good’s new Real Good Bars. Real Good Bars are made with nuts, seeds, fruit pieces and culinary spices and contain no G.M.O.s or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. The Macadamia Chia flavor, dipped in Fair Trade dark chocolate, features almonds, macadamia nuts, shaved coconut, and a dash of chai. The Hazelnut Sea Salt bar includes hazelnuts, almonds, Madagascar vanilla and a hint of orange zest all dipped in Fair Trade dark chocolate.
Food Should Taste Good also is introducing a new line of Bean Chips, available in Black Bean Multigrain and Pinto Bean Multigrain. The chips are gluten-free, certified kosher and contain zero grams of trans fat.
Also tapping into protein-rich ingredients, Yoplait’s new Plenti line of Greek yogurts offers 12 grams of protein per cup. The yogurts are filled with ingredients like fruit pieces, whole grain oats, flax seed and pumpkin seeds.
Yoplait’s original line has added protein and reduced the sugar. Yoplait has nixed 25% of the sugar in its Yoplait Original yogurts and added more milk, increasing the amount of protein per serving from 5 grams to 6 grams and reducing the calories from 170 to 150.
Low sugar content is also a theme for Nature Valley’s new Toasted Oats M uesli. With less than 5 grams of sugar per serving, the muesli is a blend of toasted oats, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, toasted coconut, almonds and pumpkin seeds.
Nature Valley also is introducing new Protein Soft Baked Granola Bites. The snack, available in honey almond and blueberry almond flavors, features soft-baked granola clusters and 7 grams of protein per serving.
Nature Valley’s third new product launch is the Simple Nut Bar. Made with whole nuts, seeds, honey, tapioca syrup and sea salt, these gluten-free bars come in two varieties: almond, cashew and sea salt, and roasted peanut and honey.
General Mills has released a slew of new products that focus on convenience and helping consumers prepare meals more quickly.
Cascadian Farms is allowing consumers to get organic vegetables right out of the freezer with its new frozen Multicolored Carrots & Beets.
Also delivering easy-to-prepare vegetables, Green Giant is introducing Fire Roasted Vegetables, which offer a roasted flavor without the prep time. These vegetables are available in four varieties: fire roasted zucchini; carrots and onions; fire roasted corn, peppers and onions; and fire roasted tri-color peppers.
Vegetables are the stars in Progresso’s new Bistro Cups, which are designed to be made with a Keurig brewing system. The cups come in creamy tomato and Parmesan, broccoli and cheese, and Southwestern-style creamy white bean and corn varieties.
Progresso also has released a line of premium Cooking Stocks. They are made by simmering bones, vegetables and herbs and contain no artificial flavors or preservatives.
Also free of artificial flavors are The Good Table’s new line of sauce and coating mixes. Designed for use on chicken and fish, the mixes are available in four gourmet flavors: Parmesan Herb, Southwest Tortilla, Crunchy Thai Peanut, and Lemon Herb.
Immaculate Baking’s new pretzel dough also shuns the artificial; containing no artificial preservatives, bleached flour or hydrogenated oil, this ready-to-bake pretzel dough makes eight 49-gram servings.
Providing another way to make mealtime easier, Old El Paso is launching Mini Soft Tortilla Taco Boats. These shells, molded into a boat shape, were designed to fit perfectly in the hand and safely hold all taco fixings.
While healthy foods are trending, General Mills is still providing consumers with avenues to indulgence.
Pillsbury is introducing Cinnabon Mini Pull-Aparts, which include 12 mini pull-apart cinnamon rolls featuring signature Cinnabon cinnamon and frosting.
Pillsbury also is adding to its Melts line with the new Pillsbury Melts Caramel Brownie Cookies. These treats are ready-to-bake cookies featuring caramel filling and a caramel sauce to drizzle on top.
Pillsbury is sweetening up breakfast with its new Mini Bagels, available in cinnamon creamy cheese, strawberry creamy cheese, and plain creamy cheese. The tiny treats feature bite-sized soft bagels filled with cream cheese.
Adding to the decadent desserts, Fiber One has released its new Cheesecake Bars. Available in strawberry and salted caramel flavors, the 150-calorie bars feature layers of graham cracker crust, cheesecake, and toppings such as strawberry and salted caramel.
Just for kids
General Mills’ plethora of new products includes a handful of new releases made specifically for children featuring their favorite characters.
Following the Frozen trend, Yoplait is introducing Go-Gurt portable low-fat yogurt featuring characters from Disney’s Frozen.
Another animated favorite is busting into breakfast with new Minions cereal. Made with whole grain oat squares and dusted with banana berry flavor, these cereal squares feature Minion designs and provide 11 grams of whole grains per serving.
Proving it is a force to be reckoned with, Star Wars characters are appearing in two new products from General Mills. Star Wars cereal features fruity cereal pieces in Star Wars aircraft shapes and marshmallows shaped like lightsabers, storm troopers, Yoda and R2-D2. Each serving contains 9 grams of sugar and 10 grams of whole grains.
Star Wars Fruit Snacks also include Star Wars shapes, including storm troopers, R2-D2, Yoda, C-3PO, Darth Vader and Tie Fighter.
Click here for a slideshow of new products from General Mills.