Category Captain: Canned and Packaged Foods–Desserts: General Mills

The desserts category is a family favorite with potential for strong growth in the future. General Mills’ insight leadership, strong retailer partnerships, capabilities and innovative products are helping retailers capture the category opportunities that will fuel future growth.

Desserts is a $1.2 billion category with steady growth trends, and General Mills is the category dollar share leader. To further enhance its category leadership in 2011, the company leveraged its retailer partnerships, deepened its insights, co-developed capabilities and tools, and introduced meaningful product innovation.

In addition to hosting six retailers for an insightful baking roundtable, General Mills’ occasion-based shelf set has been implemented in about 70 percent of TTL U.S. planograms. Besides providing shelving guidance, General Mills publishes a Baking Aisle Vision Platform containing the most current information on product assortment, shelf management, consumer trends and other key issues in the baking aisle.

In December 2010, General Mills joined forces with Kantar to develop a Web-based SKU optimization tool for the dessert category, as well as teaming with Willard Bishop to generate insights on productivity in desserts. To bring variety, excitement and incremental growth to the category, General Mills introduced a new-product platform, plus extensions to several product lines, and five seasonal in-out items this year aimed at driving category dollar sales during the holidays, including spring and fall Party Chip Cake and Frosting, and a new Snickerdoodle premium cookie.

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