Category Captain: Mixed Salty Savory Snacks: General Mills
With snacking on the rise and projected to continue increasing, General Mills is bringing capabilities and excitement to this $1.5 billion category through many avenues, including a planned product improvement in 2012 that will further endear its stalwart Chex Mix brand to consumers. Through category research and consumer insights, shelf enhancements and new products, General Mills is leading the MSS category and profitable growth for retailers.
With the growing interest in better-for-you options, the salty aisle is evolving into two distinct groups: traditional (chips) vs. more health-oriented contemporary (snack mixes, pretzels, pita chips, popcorn). General Mills has developed a new salty snacks category structure that mirrors these trends.
Originally launched in convenience stores and previously sold as a seasonal retail item, Chex Mix Muddy Buddies was the No. 1-turning Chex Mix SKU during the 2010 holidays and achieved a top-three standing in franchise turns by the second month in the retail market.
Launched this past summer, Chex Mix Gourmet Blends Italian Herb & Parmesan was supported by national FSI, sampling and store displays. Sales are off to a solid start, and retailer acceptance has nearly reached top 10 in the franchise.
General Mills’ “Game Day” program increased Chex Mix brand awareness during widely viewed sporting events, and featured special display vehicles, Big 10 Network features and Win-Win Radio promotion. “Box Tops For Education” provides an opportunity for snackers to earn cash for their favored schools and is now active on all of General Mills’ salty brands.
Boasting 800,000 Facebook fans, Chex Mix also debuted redesigned packaging last year, which the manufacturer says has further boosted brand loyalty. Store audits indicate that sales performance is optimized by following General Mills’ guidelines, and its shelf layout is being tested at multiple leading retailers.