As consumers and food solutions experts, we get excited about new product launches coming to a store near us. It piques interest in both sides of our brains. Professionally, we analyze the “whys” of the launch and revert to questions about what type of pan they’re using. On the personal side, we’re foodies, and we love to see what exciting new products we’ll be testing in our break room in the coming months.
General Mills recently announced its slate of end of summer/fall new products, and after talking about it, we determined the lineup is a pretty good indicator of where packaged bakery food trends will be heading for the next couple of years. Here are four insights we gleaned from the announcement.
In packaged goods, consumers used to have to choose one. You were either going to eat healthy or indulge in calorie- and chemically-laden products. Thanks to advancements in ingredient innovation, you no longer have to choose. Food manufacturers can now make shelf stable foods that are indulgent and made with all-natural ingredients and real food. For example, General Mills announced its Annie’s Homegrown brand will launch an organic confetti cake mix. Think about that for a minute. Organic confetti cake mix. And, it’s front of label packaging touts that it is “Made with Goodness!”
Old marketing norms relegated ingredient lists to the designated tiny type on the back of a package. Today, more and more manufacturers are finding value in promoting clean label ingredient listings on the front of the package. General Mills’ Epic Performance Bar has joined the fray with its most recent introduction, an Almond Butter Chocolate bar that promotes the inclusion of dates, cage free egg whites, almonds, chocolate, sea salt and vanilla.
Product developers and marketers are finally starting to pay attention to young consumers and the parents who buy their products by creating kid-focused versions of existing product lines. General Mills’ popular Larabar brand will be launching Larabar Kid this fall, promoting the bars’ use of nine or fewer ingredients.
We’ve traded in the kitchen table for on-the-go eating occasions, and General Mills is responding with the launch of Nature Valley Peanut Butter Granola Bites. For those consumers that find granola too inconvenient, they now will be able to grab a couple of these portion-controlled granola snacks and eat them in the car.