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General Mills Unveils African-American and Hispanic Marketing Initiatives

MINNEAPOLIS -- General Mills, based here, has launched two multicultural marketing platforms to appeal to African-American and Latino consumers: Serving Up Soul and Que Rica Vida.

"As demographics continue to shift, it's important that our marketing efforts appeal to the growing consumer segments," said GM multicultural marketing director Rudy Rodriguez. "Serving Up Soul and Que Rica Vida will provide consumers with much-needed, relevant lifestyle information, expert advice, and delicious, convenient recipes --all things general market consumers have come to expect from our company. Today we are excited to offer programs with even broader multicultural appeal."

Serving Up Soul, an African-American marketing initiative, will increase the relevance of General Mills' products among African-American women. The initiative is part of a multibrand strategy that will enhance the company's affinity with African-American consumers, leveraging brands such as Honey Nut Cheerios, Yoplait, Pillsbury, and Pop Secret, and will provide consumers with original recipes from the Betty Crocker Kitchens. Through Serving Up Soul, General Mills will continue to broaden its relationship with former-model-turned-restaurateur and lifestyle expert B. Smith. Appearing in a series of 10 radio advertisements and five mini-magazines inserted in Essence magazine, Smith will be the spokeswoman for the campaign. She will also be featured on the initiative's new Web site,, and will provide consumers with a seasonal newsletter featuring cooking tips, lifestyle content, and entertaining suggestions. Additionally, Serving Up Soul will conduct a contest this fall to search for an amateur lifestyle expert.

Que Rica Vida -- translated "What a Rich and Wonderful Life" -- is the company's newly launched Hispanic marketing initiative. As such, the program will speak to Latina moms via a new, free Spanish-language magazine of the same name. The magazine, published in conjunction with Miami-based Editorial Televisa, the largest magazine publishing house in the Spanish-speaking world, will feature content devoted to education, meal occasions, and health and wellness, respectively.

Que Rica Vida will also contain recipes developed by the Betty Crocker Kitchens, coupons, and expert tips on food preparation and nutrition, as well as lifestyle articles. Almost 2 million copies of Que Rica Vida magazine will be mailed to consumers and given away at thousands of store promotion events in top Hispanic markets.

Additionally, the Que Rica Vida initiative will execute a community and public relations program in Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami. General Mills is joining with noted muralist Xavier Cortada to sponsor a collaborative community mural project. Executed in partnership with community-based, social service organizations in each city, the project allows local children to submit drawings for inclusion in a mural and compete for cash prizes.

The murals will be exhibited in prominent public spaces. Each community partner will receive a $10,000 donation from General Mills and several Ingles sin Barreras English-learning kits. These Ingles sin Barreras kits will be used to enrich existing programs and services at each center. Entry forms will be available at participating retailers and the local partnering community centers.

General Mills, with annual net sales of $12.5 billion, is a global manufacturer and marketer of consumer foods products. Its brand portfolio includes Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Haagen-Dazs, Old El Paso, and more. It also has more than 100 U.S. consumer brands, more than 30 of which generate annual retail sales in excess of $100 million. General Mills is also a supplier of baking and other food products to the foodservice and commercial baking industries.
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