General Mills Snacks on Trends
General Mills has tailored its 2017 new-product lineup to capitalize on what the consumer packaged goods company see as "a dramatic rise in snacking around the globe as consumers adapt their eating habits to increasingly busy lifestyles."
"Snacking presents a tremendous growth opportunity for General Mills," said Ken Powell, General Mills chief executive officer. "While [consumer] preferences are changing faster than ever, what hasn't changed is the desire for food that tastes great, is convenient and affordable."
The most significant growth area within the category involves wholesome snacks, which are the fastest-growing segment in the overall food and beverage market, according to 2016 research from Packaged Facts.
And one of the biggest trends driving that growth is a shift in consumer eating habits toward more beneficial weight management.
"Controlling weight used to be about counting calories, [but] now it's about calories that count," said Jeanine Bassett, vice president of global consumer insights. "Today, it's more about satiety, which is why you see increased interest in protein."
Among other trends guiding General Mills' product pipeline is a continued swing back toward simplicity. Consumers are seeking products made with simple, recognizable ingredients and free from undesirable components such as gluten or artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Organic options are increasingly favored as well — along with greater transparency about where ingredients are grown.
On the other hand, many consumers are still making room for indulgent treats on occasion. "Oftentimes, consumers talk about eating healthy as a presentation of their best selves and their aspirations," said Basset, "But in reality, they simply want something that tastes good."