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General Mills Unveils New Products For 2017


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General Mills unveiled a host of new products rolling out this month that address a range of modern snacking trends around the world. From Annie's organic popcorn to Yoplait Custard to Nature Valley Granola Cups to new flavors of Häagen-Dazs ice cream, General Mills has a lineup of new products that are aligned with growing consumer interests, company officials say. 

There has been a rise in snacking around the globe as consumers adapt their eating habits to increasingly busy lifestyles. In fact, wholesome snacks are the fastest-growing segment surpassing the overall food and beverage market according to 2016 research from Packaged Facts.  

"Snacking presents a tremendous growth opportunity for General Mills," says Ken Powell, General Mills chairman and chief executive officer. "Our products are in 97 percent of U.S. consumer households and about one-third of our global sales are international. This gives us a great ability to listen and deliver what consumers want. And while preferences are changing faster than ever, what hasn't changed is the desire for food that tastes great, is convenient, and affordable. Our scale allows us to easily transfer great ideas into great products around the world."

According to Jeanine Bassett, vice president of Global Consumer Insights at General Mills, one of the biggest shifts in consumer eating habits has been in the area of weight management.

"Controlling weight used to be about counting calories, now it's about calories that count," says Bassett. "Today it's more about satiety, which is why you see increased interest in protein."

The latest additions to the General Mills portfolio address this demand for harder working calories include Yoplait Greek 100 yogurt with at least 14 grams of protein per serving, a super-sized version of Nature Valley Sweet & Salty bars, and Fiber One layered chewy bars.

Consumers are continuing to seek products made with simple, recognizable ingredients and free from things they are looking to avoid, like gluten or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, company officials say. For many consumers, organic is an increasingly appealing choice. Consumers also want more information about where ingredients were grown.

"Products like Liberté yogurt are providing transparency around the ingredients they use. For example, they aren't just using vanilla beans, but vanilla beans from Indonesia," says Bassett.

Among the products addressing simplicity and "free-from" ingredients include LÄRABAR Fruits + Greens bars, and Nature Valley granola Cups with no artificial flavors, colors or corn syrup, and newly renovated Progresso soup, now made with only antibiotic and hormone free chicken.

While interest in simple, wholesome snacks are on the rise, consumers are still making room for indulgent treats, according to officials. 

"Oftentimes consumers talk about eating healthy as a presentation of their best selves and their aspirations, but in reality, they simply want something that tastes good," says Bassett.

General Mills continues to deliver on this with exotic new flavors of ice cream and yogurt, such as Häagen-Dazs green tea almond stick bars, which continue to expand to new global markets, crave-able Yoplait Dippers, and the return of Yoplait Custard.

Here is a sampling of the new products launching now:

Very Berry Cheerios - The same wholesome qualities of gluten-free Cheerios, plus the  taste of real fruit - strawberry, raspberry and blueberry - in every bite.  No colors from artificial sources. No artificial flavors. No high fructose corn syrup.

Yoplait Custard – Back by popular demand, Yoplait Custard makes its return after a 10-year hiatus.  The custard-style yogurt is made from whole milk and available in six flavors including Vanilla, Strawberry, Blueberry, Banana, Lemon, and Caramel.  No colors or flavors from artificial sources. No high fructose corn syrup. Made with dairy free of rBGH/rBST growth hormones.

Nature Valley Granola Cups - Nature Valley Granola Cups combine flavors like Peanut Butter Chocolate and Almond Butter with harder-working, wholesome ingredients like oats.  No colors from artificial sources. No artificial flavors. No artificial sweeteners.

Nature Valley XL Bars - Supersized for maximum hunger, these Sweet & Salty XL bars from Nature Valley come in Pretzel, Peanut & Chocolate; Peanut; Chocolate Nut & Seed varieties.  Made with satisfying ingredients like almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pretzels and chocolate chunks.

Fiber One Layered Chewy Bars – Each bar combines layers of crisped grains, drizzled caramel, crunchy almond toppings and chocolate.  Available in Double Chocolate Almond and Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate flavors. Free from artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Each bar delivers 28 percent of your daily value of fiber at seven grams per one bar serving.

Annie's Popcorn - New Annie's Popcorn is available in Organic Butter & Sea Salt and Organic White Cheddar varieties. Free from artificial flavors, synthetic colors and preservatives. Naturally gluten free.

LÄRABAR Fruit and Greens bar - Each bar has 1/4 cup of kale or spinach plus fruits and nuts. Available in Strawberry Spinach Cashew; Pineapple Kale Cashew and Mango Spinach Cashew varieties.

Liberté Yogurt new flavors - Earlier this year, Liberté transitioned all of its yogurts to USDA certified organic. In January, new Indonesian Vanilla Bean, and a limited batch flavor of Nicaraguan Coffee Bean made with organic direct trade Intelligentsia coffee will hit shelves. 

Yoplait Dippers - Non-fat Yoplait Greek yogurt is paired with crunchy snacks made for dipping. Available in six combinations from sweet to savory: Chocolate Raspberry Chunk Yogurt with Chocolate Pretzels, Caramelized Banana Yogurt with Chocolate Pretzels, Vanilla Bean Yogurt with Honey Oat Bites, Toasted Coconut Yogurt with Honey Oat Bites, Chipotle Ranch Yogurt with Tortilla Chips, or Coffee Chocolate Chunk Yogurt with Cinnamon Crisps. No artificial colors/flavors. No high fructose corn syrup.

For a full list of new products launching from General Mills, visit blog.generalmills.com.

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