New General Mills products highlight consumer interest in wellness
MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills is following new consumer-driven food trends with its lineup of products launching this summer around the world.
Many of the new products closely align with increasing consumer interest in wellness, convenience, and snacking including new Yoplait Greek 2% Whips!, Nature Valley Nut & Seed Crunchy Granola Bars, Annie's organic cereal, Old El Paso Mini Taco Boats, Totino's Pizza Sticks and Häägen-Dazs Stick Bars.
"We're in a period of very rapid change in the food industry. And consumers are very clear about what they want – simple ingredient lists, free from artificial colors and flavors, free from gluten, less sugar, less sodium, more convenience. This translates into very a clear set of growth opportunities for us," said Ken Powell, General Mills chairman and CEO. "We've challenged ourselves to go out and really understand our consumers, get into their homes, shop alongside them and listen to what they want. These interactions allow us to build greater intuition, which helps us move much faster. Our new product line up demonstrates our ability to listen and respond."
To keep pace with the changing needs of consumers and to deliver new products to market faster than before, General Mills has disrupted its approach to innovation.
"In order to support the growth we've planned, we have moved toward a more entrepreneurial approach to new product development, which not only speeds innovation, but helps us put our consumers first and deliver exciting, relevant new products that meet consumer needs and drive topline growth," said Peter Erickson, executive vice president of Innovation, Technology and Quality.
Consumers today want products that can help them on their wellness journey and seek out foods with simple ingredients, and harder working calories. They also want more protein, fiber and whole grains, products free from gluten and without artificial flavors or colors. And there is increasing interest in natural and organic foods.
Wellness is among the top consumer trends General Mills is addressing this summer with products including:
- Yoplait Greek 2% Whips! – Yoplait's Greek 2% Whips! are made with 2% milkfat for a thicker, richer and extra creamy texture. Available in four flavors: Vanilla Cream, Coconut Cream, Strawberries 'n Cream and Cherries 'n Cream.
- Yoplait Petits Filous – Squeezable, smooth, on-the-go yogurt pouches made with 100% naturally sourced ingredients, gluten free, no artificial colors or sweeteners, no added preservatives and no fruit bits. Available in five flavors: Raspberry, Strawberry, Apricot, Banana and Vanilla.
- Nature Valley Nut & Seed Crunchy Granola Bars – Simply made with the goodness of whole nuts, seeds, honey, tapioca syrup and sea salt, these naturally gluten-free bars come in two varieties: Almond, Cashew & Sea Salt, and Roasted Peanut & Honey.
- Nature Valley Chocolate Oat Bites – Chocolate Oat Bites are baked cereal squares with chocolate chunks and a light, sweet drizzle.
- Good Natured Soups by Progresso – This new line of delicious, hearty and flavorful vegetable soups are non-GMO, vegan and contain no preservatives from artificial sources. Available in Hearty Corn & Chipotle Chowder, Hearty Tomato with Spinach & Roasted Garlic, and Hearty Lentil with Garden Vegetables.
The food industry is also experiencing a shift as the boundaries between meals and snacks are quickly fading. Snacks are no longer only eaten between meal-times; rather many consumers are eating traditional snack foods alongside a meal or as a meal replacement. And while consumers are adopting healthier lifestyles, they are still juggling busy schedules that often cut into meal preparation time.
General Mills is looking to help consumers solve the meal-time dilemma with convenient and tasty solutions. Some of the newest include:
- Old El Paso Mini Taco Boat Party Pack – Taco night can now be a party! Ole! Mini size taco boats are perfect for apps and entertaining and perfect for the younger crowd.
- Totino's Pizza Sticks – Imagine a pizza rolled up and individually wrapped for mess-free microwave prep. These sticks are bigger than a pizza roll, so they're perfect for an on-the-go snack. Available in Pepperoni and Cheese varieties.
- Parampara Dinner Kits – In Europe, consumers can enjoy restaurant quality Indian-inspired dishes at home with this new line of dinner kits in three distinctive flavors: Butter Chicken, Chicken Shahi Korma and Chicken Tikka Masala. The kits include spices, Basmati rice and chutney, so all you have to add is chicken and dinner is ready in 20 minutes.
- Good Table Freezer to Plate – This innovative new meal kit lets consumers use frozen chicken to make well-rounded, flavorful meals in a pinch. Available in Teriyaki, Lemon Garlic Herb, Southwestern and Marsala flavors.
Snacks that used to be considered special treats are becoming a bigger part of consumers' meals and traditional snacks are becoming more nutritious. Consumers are looking for harder working ingredients in their snacks, which means more nuts, fruits and seeds. The combination of these trends reveals that consumers are experiencing a "permission to indulge" on a more regular basis.
General Mills is introducing a whole host of snacks ranging from indulgent all the way to better-for-you to meet consumer's cravings regardless of the time of day or occasion, including:
- LÄRABAR Bites – All four flavors are made from just 5-6 simple ingredients and are gluten free, non-GMO, vegan, dairy free, Kosher and made with Fair Trade Certified ingredients. Available in Chocolate Macaroon, Mint Chocolate Truffle, Double Chocolate Brownie and Cherry Chocolate Chip flavors.
- Häägen-Dazs Stick Bars – Häägen-Dazs stick bars are launching beyond France into a number of markets including the UK, Spain, Belgium, and Italy among others. Two new flavors have been added: White & Almond and Strawberries & Cream.
- Annie's Refrigerated Dough – Sweet organic treats including Cinnamon Rolls, Crescent Rolls, Flaky Biscuits, Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Vanilla Sugar Cookies all made with the goodness of Annie's ingredient promise. Products are made with unbleached flour and without artificial flavors, synthetic colors, preservatives, hydrogenated oils or high-fructose corn syrup, so families can enjoy their favorites at home without compromising great taste for quality ingredients.
- Yoki Popcorn – Yoki snackers in Brazil will have three new ready-to-eat popcorn flavors to experience including cheddar, bacon and butter. Some are first-to-market savory popcorn flavors and give consumers something more exciting than their traditional popcorn snacks.
Kashi unveils new packaging that tells a story
SOLANA BEACH, Calif. — Leading natural brand Kashi is launching a new and refreshed brand identity that reflects its belief that food should not only taste good, but do good.
Created in partnership with Jones Knowles Ritchie, the new look is a commitment to visually telling the brand story of bringing people close to the food they love. Initial changes will be reflected across the company's logo and packaging portfolio.
As a healthy food pioneer for over 30 years, Kashi has always been committed to creating foods that enable uplifting health. With an entire portfolio of Non-GMO Project Verified products and ever-increasing organic offerings, Kashi sought to develop packaging to better reflect its progressive food values, highlight the stories behind the foods and also revisit some of the inspiration from its original packaging.
Kashi was one of the first brands to use white cereal boxes and, with this packaging refresh, is again shaking up the natural and organic category with a bold departure from imagery reliant on farm and field visuals. The new design features food front and center against a clean white canvas and accented with a design that is unmistakably contemporary – with clean lines, vivid colors and straightforward typography.
Kashi is also one of the first brands to incorporate editorial-style stories on all packaging about how the food was made and where it comes from – including employees, farmers and friends of Kashi who had a deep impact on it. For example, Kashi Dark Cocoa Karma Shredded Wheat Biscuits features the story of Wyoming-based farmer Newton Russell, who was one of first farmers to pilot the Certified Transitional protocol (an initiative to help farmers transition fields from conventional to organic) and grew the wheat featured in the first batch of this new cereal.
Other packaging features Wild Willow Farm & Education Center, a 5-acre working farm in Kashi's hometown that focuses on educating the community about the progressive food movement and place where Kashi draws inspiration for its own foods.
"At Kashi, we are inspired by some of the world's most vibrant ingredients and love bringing them together to create tasty food that also delivers the best possible nutrition," said Jeff Johnson, surfing nutritionist and senior director of marketing and new ventures at Kashi. "The new packaging reinforces our belief that foods should be clean and purposeful—the two ideas simply go together."
"Kashi is changing the way it showcases its quality, starting with the consumer's first impression of the product on the shelves and the food itself," said Tosh Hall, creative director of Jones Knowles Ritchie, the branding agency behind the new packaging and identity. "Our new design reflects values of the Kashi Company. The visual identity system and packaging tell the story of the product's quality, its origins and the dedicated people behind the Kashi brand."
New packaging is rolling out on shelves at retailers nationwide.
Newman’s Own goes organic with salad dressing
WESTPORT, Conn. — Newman's Own is leveraging the popularity of organics as well as its salad dressings by adding five new flavors to its portfolio.
All five varieties of the new Newman's Own Organics salad dressings use cold-pressed organic extra virgin olive oil, blended with organic herbs and spices. The dressings are non-GMO, do not contain any artificial flavors or colors, and are free from high fructose corn syrup. As noted on every bottle, these new dressings carry the USDA Organic Seal and have received Oregon Tilth Certified Organic organic certification.
The Newman's Own Organics salad dressing lineup includes five family favorites:
- Olive Oil & Vinegar – an organic version of Paul Newman's original dressing
- Balsamic – the perfect combination of organic balsamic vinegar and herbs
- Italian – delizioso e organico!
- Ranch – perfect for dipping or dressing organic veggies
- Caesar – a tasty topping for the romaine empire (or other lettuces)
"As more and more families are buying organic produce, providing them with delicious organic dressing options is more important than ever," said Bruce Bruemmer, VP Marketing for Newman's Own, Inc. "This launch continues Paul Newman's founding tradition of creating great tasting dressings made with the finest ingredients, all while donating the profits to charity."
Newman's Own Organics salad dressings complement the brand's existing line of organic products, and are available at retailers nationwide.