Monday, January 6, 2014

General Mills Innovation Leader Focusing Direct To Consumer

Success does leave clues and retail food manufacture General Mills is an industry icon not because they have been around so long.  General Mills is an icon because they focus on the consumer, innovation, technology and edifying the “brand” with consumer relevance.  That focus on the dynamic not static consumer with relevant innovation has been the foundation for ongoing success at General Mills.

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru like General Mills Marketing staff believes that “the Consumer is Dynamic not Static” It was not long after testing direct to consumer frozen food delivery via Betty Crocker Meals that General Mills qualified enough consumer demand and attributes to extend direct to consumer food sales trials.

While most consumers head to the grocery store to stock up on snacks; General Mills is now going beyond frozen meals and experimenting with a subscription service that ships snacks boxes directly to consumers.

This new subscription service is called “Nibblr”.  The Nibblr subscription, “mails subscribers a regular snack shipment that cost about $6 each time. Snackers then rate what they tasted and future shipments are based off customer tastes. Yes, if this idea sound familiar think Netflix or Pandora and consumers are not adverse to signing up for food service either.

“Nibble” is contemporized consumer relevant innovation from this multi-national food retailer.  The “Nibblr snacks aren't General Mills-labeled and are mostly fruits, nuts and trail mixes. ..General Mills launched Nibblr through a business development unit the Golden Valley-based company calls 301 Inc. That unit, started last year, was envisioned by General Mills as a way to partner with emerging companies to develop food products. Nibblr has an immediate and established competitor in, a U.K.-based company owned by Carlyle Group L.P.

Will it work? The competitor “Graze told Bloomberg two weeks ago that it launched U.S. operations earlier this year and already has 55,000 customers and is adding 1,000 customers a day. It will begin a major marketing push in January.”

Success does leave clues new non-traditional points of food distribution are finding success daily.  Companies the ilk of General Mills find success operating at the “Innovation Intersection”.  That intersection is filled with a cross section of industry leaders, inventors, academics, entrepreneurs, customers and suppliers. is at that same intersection are you? 

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