Market Trends / Snacks

General Mills rides snack boom

Fiber One Chewy Chocolate Bars

Now, even the Jolly Green Giant is hawking salty snacks. He’s synonymous with vegetables, from broccoli to beans, but General Mills is expanding his reach to the burgeoning “veggie chip” market.

Sound far-fetched? Well, the Minneapolis-based packaged foods giant took its Fiber One brand from the cereal aisle to the snack bar shelves, creating a $300-million-plus business in just a few years.

Snacks have been the hot growth spot for packaged food firms worldwide, and General Mills is embracing the trend. From its ubiquitous Nature Valley bars to myriad Chex Mix offerings, snacks have been General Mills’ strongest U.S. business over the past five years.

The snack explosion reflects the long-term changes in consumer eating habits, especially the ubiquitous movement of eating on-the-go. Yet researchers are wondering if all this snacking is just adding calories to an already bloated American diet.

Food firms face a paradox: People want to be healthier, but they also want to pig out on chips and cookies. The industry supplies plenty of the latter, but generally sees healthier options as the future. “As people snack more, they are increasingly looking for ‘better-for-you’ snacks,” says Jon Nudi, head of General Mills’ U.S. snacks business. Big G has indulgent treats, such as Nacho Cheese Bugles, but it skews toward healthier snacks like Fiber One bars and granola-based products, food industry analysts say.

Green Giant Sweet Potato Chips

The success of the company’s snack division has helped compensate for a big downturn in General Mills’ U.S. Yoplait business, which has been hammered by its weak position in the flourishing Greek yogurt market.

General Mills also has been building a snacking business in its natural and organic foods division through the purchase of Larabar energy bars and Food Should Taste Good salty snacks.

And snacking helped fuel one of General Mills’ biggest acquisitions in years, the nearly $1-billion deal in 2012 for Yoki Alimentos, a Brazilian food maker with a strong share of that country’s popcorn and salty snack market.

“Overall, the snack market is growing globally because of the increasing time poverty among consumers,” reports Lamine Lahouasnia, Euromonitor International’s global head of packaged food research. Whether in India or Indiana, people are working longer hours, and women are exiting traditional domestic roles. “We all have less time to prepare proper meals at home,” Lahouasnia says.

Source: www.startribune.com

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery Magazine 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Golden Boy Pies

For the complete story on Golden Boy Pies, see “The classic appeal of Golden Boy.”

4/14/15 2:00 pm EDT

Gluten Free: The Rising Growth Market

On April 14, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery will launch its 2015 Editorial Webinar Series with a web event on how Gluten-Free is impacting the commercial snack and bakery market—the first of four scheduled web events.

Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery Magazine

sfwb march 15

2015 March

March's Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery publication features our cover report: "Canyon Bakehouse redefines gluten-free" Plus Much More!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Sweet-Savory Flavor Combinations

When it comes to snacks, what’s your favorite sweet-savory flavor combination?
View Results Poll Archive

THE SNACK AND BAKERY STORE

organic-production-&-food-q.gif
Organic Production and Food Quality: A Down to Earth Analysis

Effects of Organic Production on Food Quality is the first comprehensive book on how organic production methods influence the safety and quality of foods, based on an unbiased assessment of the latest scientific findings.  The title is a 'must-have' for everyone working within the food industry.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook IconTwitter IconYoutube IconLinkedIn Icon

The Weekly Mix

Operations Weekly Logo

Written by Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery editors, our Operations Weekly weekly enewsletter provides bakers and snack food manufacturers with up-to-the-minute news, ideas and industry trends.

Sign up today!