The use of high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors, coupled with an increasing aversion to gluten by many consumers, have caused this breakfast champion to somewhat fall out of favor with those paying closer attention to the foods they eat.
Staying ahead of nutritional trends, General Mills® was aware of these consumer demands and had already started working on the health profile of its cereals. “We do a great deal of extensive consumer research prior to any product rollout to ensure that we’re delivering on the needs of today’s consumers, particularly in the areas of taste, quality and health,” said Andrew Friedmann, Senior Account Executive, Non-Commercial for General Mills Foodservice.
As a result of their research, General Mills now makes all lines of Cheerios™ gluten-free, along with Chex™ and Lucky Charms™; artificial colors/flavoring and high fructose corn syrup have been removed from 90 percent of its cereals, and sugar was reduced by 25 percent in Cocoa Puffs™ and Cinnamon Toast Crunch™. In addition, General Mills’ cereals have been whole grain since 2005 and considered heart healthy as early as 1997 – long before the Health & Wellness trend skyrocketed amongst consumers.
BREAKFAST & SNACKING
Today’s busy lifestyles merit more on-the-go options than ever before. As a result, snacks for breakfast and breakfast foods as snacks have grown in popularity and have contributed to the all-day breakfast trend. Though purchases of breakfast sandwiches are still the number one choice on the menu, options like cereal mixes, smoothies, yogurt parfaits and oatmeal cups are catching the eyes of consumers who want other portable and nutritious options.
To address this and many other consumer needs, General Mills created its Crunch Lab concept (which displays cereal in a convenient, snack-like form that can be mixed and matched) specifically to address the all-day snacking trend.
Currently, the Crunch Lab is most popular in the college and university market, but it is also being used as an innovative solution in both the healthcare and lodging segments too. “The Crunch Lab allows consumers to mix and match their favorite brands of cereal, providing the ultimate, customized snacking experience,” said Friedmann.
By the bowlful or the handful, this breakfast Go-To is makes for the perfect grab-and-go snack.
This article is an excerpt from entegra’s magazine, Insights2Solutions. Entegra customers can access the full magazine – log in to entegraPS.com and go to Health & Wellness.
Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.