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Product & Services
Strengths & Weaknesses
Financial Positioning & Sustainability
Areas of Business Improvements
Yahoo! Finance Page
Portfolio of Annual Global Growth Report 2011
Product & Services
General Mills offers a variety of products that a large number of consumers are loyal to. All of the company's products are essentials to daily life and so puts the company at an advantage during hard economic times, since people will always need to eat.
includes: baking products, dough/pastries, fruit, cereals, ice cream, meals, organic/natural, pasta, pizza, snacks, soups, vegetables, and yogurt.
includes the company's Big G cereals, which are: Cheerios, FiberOne, Chex, Lucky Charms, Wheaties, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, Total Raisin Bran, Kix, Honey Nut Clusters, Count Chocula, Trix, Whole Grain Total, Cookie Crisp, Golden Grahams, etc.
Another product line would be soups, which include: Progresso and Muir Glen. And one last example would be its'
vegetables product line including: Green Giant, Cascadian Farm, and Muir Glen
General Mills' cash cow products include: Cheerios, Chex, and Wheaties cereals (Big G Cereals). These will always sell and make profit for the company when all else fails. They are the company's well-known staple products.Its' star products are: Progresso soup, Green Giant vegetables, Yoplait yogurt, Betty Crocker baking products, and Haagen Dazs ice cream. A couple of its' failed products were: a basketball-shaped cereal named "Dunk-A-Balls" and Home bread mixes. The products that are in question or have potential to become a more profitable products include the company's organic products and its' ready-to-eat meals.
Furthermore, within its' products, General Mills has been trying over the recent years to decrease their sugar in their cereals. General Mills is a very health conscious company, which attracts many consumers.
See Appendices for a chart showing the amount of sugar reduction in different Big G cereals.
A more in-depth, general list of General Mills' products includes the following (GeneralMills.com, 2011):
refrigerated and frozen dough products
dessert and baking mixes
frozen pizza and pizza snacks
fruit and savory snacks
a range of organic products: soup, granola bars, and cereals; and ice cream and frozen desserts, and grain snacks.
It sells its products/services through (GeneralMills.com, 2011):
direct sales personnel
broker and distribution arrangements to grocery stores
natural food chains
drug, dollar and discount chains
commercial and noncommercial foodservice distributors
operators, restaurants, and convenience stores.
Even though much of General Mills' products are well-known and recognized, the company has added new products to its product mix this year, as seen in the following graphic (GeneralMills.com, 2011):
New Products added in 2011:
After the 2011 fiscal year's sales, General Mills put out the amount of retail sales, their dollar share, and their branded rank according to the different categories of its' product mix. You can see this information in the following chart (GeneralMills.com, 2011):
In terms of its' manufacturing, General Mills, Inc. manufactures and markets branded consumer foods worldwide. It also supplies branded and unbranded food products to the foodservice and commercial baking industries. These two videos that follow give an idea of how their manufacturing plants work, as well as the process and new innovations that are happening within General Mills' manufacturing sector (Youtube.com, 2005).
General Mills is most widely known for its' cereals. In fact, the main product that is manufactured is cereal, more specifically Cheerios. It is the company's "cash cow", meaning it is their staple product that will always be there to generate them a profit.“Cheerios help in growth and are often the first finger food for young children (Youtube.com, 2011). They are also a wholesome breakfast for people of all ages. The main point is that Cheerios have a hull on the outside that must first be removed before making oat flour. The oat hulls are a by-product of Cheerios, but they are not going to waste. About 75,000 oat hulls that are produced in the Twin Cities are burned at the mills in Minneapolis.“When the oat hulls are burned at the place they are produced, General Mills’ carbon footprint is reduced by 21% and the company is also saving in the consumption of natural gas by 90%, which in turn saves money and is benefitting the environment” (Youtube.com, 2011). Not all of the hulls are used at the factory; the remaining are sold to power other facilities and around 17,000 homes in the area.
These videos above speaks about the main processes that are followed while manufacturing the product. The type of process manufacturing that is being demonstrated to make the original Cheerios is the oat-to-hull process using the CPG award-winning biomass-powered plant that was recently put into action by General Mills in January 2011 at Fridley, Minnesota, which portrays innovation, knowledge, and creativity. More information on the biomass-powered plant can be seen in the above video.
The actual step-by-step process of making the original Cheerios from whole grain oats is not too complicated. First, the dry ingredients are mixed with water, which results in a thick, raw batter. To get the “O” shape of the Cheerios this batter is then pressed through special molds. After getting the small circles, each of them is put through a drying process. After drying, a form of hot steam is applied in a pressure cylinder. When the cereal is removed from this high-pressure cylinder and returned to a normal atmosphere, the water inside of the Cheerios turns to steam and causes the Cheerios to puff up. After this, the only step left is a bit more drying and the spraying of vitamins and minerals onto the Cheerios. Basically, the process includes: “preprocessing, mixing, cooking, delumping, drying, cooling and tempering, cooling and drying, and finally packaging” (epa.gov, 1995). There is a pretreatment where the received oats and grains are inspected, then they go through the puffing process in the puffing “guns”, screening, and drying, and the final finished product goes through proper packaging and out to the retailers.
(SEE APPENDIX FOR PERT CHART ON PRODUCTION PROCESS)
Moving on to total sales, it is important to distinguish that General Mills divides its' sales in terms of U.S. Retail, International, and Joint Ventures. The total sales and numbers are seen and described below (GeneralMills.com, 2010).
Net Sales from U.S Retail, International, and Joint-Venture Products:
(Sources: General Mills, Inc. company website, YouTube).
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