General Mills unveiled dozens of new products on Tuesday, many of which highlight the Golden Valley-based food company’s shift toward healthy items free of artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.
 
Among the products most prominently featured in General Mills’ winter 2017 product line were yogurts and granola or snack bars.
 
Following a positive second quarter performance in its organic products segment, General Mills said it is expanding its lineup of Lärabar brand bars. Among several new additions, Lärabar will include a new Fruits and Greens series that incorporates flavors like Mango Spinach Cashew. Another popular organic brand, Annie’s, is receiving new popcorn flavors.
 
General Mills is also introducing new granola cups line-up, an array of Sweet and Salty XL bars and biscuits under its Nature Valley brand.
 
“Snacking presents a tremendous growth opportunity for General Mills,” CEO Ken Powell said in a statement. “Our products are in 97 percent of U.S. consumer households and about one-third of our global sales are international.”
 
Despite the company’s prevalence around the world, General Mills has reported year-over-year sales declines every quarter since the three-month period ending May 31, 2015, when its sales were flat.
 
For decades, the food giant has relied on the sale of processed and carb-laden foods, which it is trying to change as trends show many consumers seeking gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and non-GMO foods. (TCB analyzed General Mills’ diet change in our March 2016 issue.)
 
The company’s Yoplait yogurt brand, which has faced rocky sales since the rise of Greek yogurt brands like Fage and Chobani, is upping the protein in its Yoplait Greek cups (to about 14 to 15 grams) and rolling out a custard-style yogurt that is free of artificial colors and flavors.
 
General Mills is also hoping to nudge Yoplait more into the snack category with a line of Dippers brand cups, which include pretzel rounds for dipping.
 
Additionally, Progresso, another General Mills brand that has declined in sales over recent quarters, is receiving a re-launch with 100 percent antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken breasts in its chicken soups. According to General Mills, this change to Progresso will make it “the first large retail soup brand in the U.S.” to use antibiotic and hormone-free chicken.
 
More on changes to General Mills’ existing products or the launch of new products in its winter 2017 lineup can be found here.

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