Recipe for higher sales: Add fiber, cinnamon

General Mills will add fiber, cinnamon to boost sales

AP Food Industry WriterJuly 10, 2014 

General Mills New Things

ASSOCIATED PRESS/2011General Mills cereals, 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.

RICK BOWMER — AP

NEW YORK -- 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, blind sided 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 changes in the company:

n A "better-for-you" cookie, its new Fiber One cookie has 5 grams of fiber and 120 calories.

n Adding more cinnamon to Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and reformulating Trix cereal to make them taste fruitier

n Reminding consumers to come back and try brands they've always loved. The strategy apparently works. Last year, General Mills said it was able to boost sales of Cocoa Puffs by touting their more chocolatey taste.

n Developing products specifically for convenience stores. In Iowa, the company recently tested ready-to-eat Pillsbury cinnamon rolls that come four to a package for about $2.

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