Category Captain: Canned and Packaged Foods–Baking Ingredients, Spices and Seasonings: General Mills

General Mills, which competes in both the scratch and convenience segments of the baking category, is a key player in bringing traffic to the aisle. More than 80 percent of consumers who shop baking have tried General Mills products. Through holiday merchandising insights, path-to-purchase consumer research and new product innovation, General Mills leads the category forward and drives profitable growth for retailers.

In 2011, General Mills introduced a holiday merchandising platform featuring shopper insights and holiday-specific display solutions. To unlock long-term, sustainable growth in the baking aisle, General Mills kicked off a six-month path-to-purchase study of consumer attitudes, decisions and behaviors throughout the purchase cycle. In August 2010, the company hosted six retailers at an all-day roundtable that was to share its vision for the aisle. Along with enhancing communication, the event influenced baking aisle adjacency recommendations at one top retailer, reinforcing its reputation as a leading strategic partner in the baking aisle.

General Mills publishes a baking aisle vision platform that enables its salesforce to more effectively team with retailers to collaboratively grow the business. To meet consumer needs and maximize sales rates, the company recommends anchoring the ends of the aisle with high-penetration segments, optimizing the strongest category adjacencies and aligning the aisle with consumer purchase patterns for an improved shopping experience.

To bring variety, excitement and incremental growth to the aisle, General Mills introduced a new product platform featuring Fun da-Middles cupcakes filled with frosting in the center, which are positioned to be both fun for kids and an easy-to-prepare introduction to baking for millennial-generation moms. Other products include Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate Brownies, Bisquick Complete Pancake Mix and Gold Medal White Whole Wheat Flour.

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