General Mills says 'no' to formulating more G.M.O.-free products
by Keith Nunes
BOCA RATON, FLA. — Ken Powell, the chairman and chief executive officer of General Mills, Inc. has a simple answer for anyone wondering if the company plans to reformulate more products to be G.M.O.-free.
While the announcement that the company has removed bioengineered ingredients from its iconic original Cheerios brand has generated a lot of discussion within the food and beverage industry, it has failed to move the needle from a sales perspective, Mr. Powell said. He was speaking after the company’s presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference taking place this week in Boca Raton.
“I think it has been fine,” Mr. Powell said, referring to the performance of Cheerios following the announcement in early January. “We have a good health portfolio and grow our share consistently.”
He noted that non-G.M.O. is “something out there,” but has not “affected competitive performance.”
At the beginning of the year, General Mills announced it had removed non-bioengineered ingredients from Original Cheerios by making changes to how it sources and handles ingredients that are used to manufacture the product. Specifically, the company is separating cane sugar from beet sugar and using corn starch made with non-bioengineered corn.
Shortly after General Mills made its announcement, Post Foods L.L.C., St. Louis, announced its Grape-Nuts brand was certified G.M.O.-free.