Food Market brings news, talk and insight into the food business, from farms to supermarkets to restaurants. Reporters Mike Hughlett and Tom Meersman delve into the work of Minnesota’s food companies and issues such as food safety and labeling.

General Mills trots out scores of new products

Posted by: Mike Hughlett Updated: July 7, 2014 - 10:08 AM

General Mills formally introduced 150 new products Monday, from organic granola with pea protein to hot and spicy iterations of Chex Mix.

New products, be they completely new items or fresh iterations of existing goods, are crucial for big packaged food makers like General Mills. New products in General Mills’ previous fiscal year drove nearly 5 percent of its U.S. retail sales.

With protein prominent in consumers’ minds these days, Mills’ new line-up includes two key protein-enhanced products. Protein Cheerios, a high protein version of the leading cereal line, hit grocery stores recently.

Under its Cascadian Farms brand, General Mills has also launched a “protein granola” made with pea protein, the first mainstream product of its kind the company says.

Golden Valley-based General Mills also aims to continue capitalizing on the gluten-free trend.

Following up on successful gluten-free versions of Chex ready-to-eat cereal, General Mills is releasing Chex gluten-free oatmeal. And under its Larabar brand, the company is launching what it says is the first national grain-free granola, Renola.

With spicy flavors big in the food market these days, General Mills is rolling out Chex Mix Xtreme, a snack that comes in such flavors as Harbanero Lime and Sweet & Spicy Sriracha.

Other top new Mills products include: Progresso Chili, available in Southwest Style Chicken and Smokehouse Pork and Beef; and Nature Valley “Fruteria” bars, a snack designed to appeal specifically to Hispanic consumers.

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