Slideshow: General Mills whips up on-trend innovation

by Monica Watrous
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MINNEAPOLIS — Launching next year from General Mills are more than 50 new products that deliver on consumer demand for healthy snacking, simple ingredients, protein, gluten-free and bold flavors.

“We’re putting our consumers at the center of our new product innovation by rapidly addressing evolving food trends and investing in areas that our consumers value,” said Jeff Harmening, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, U.S. Retail. “I’m very excited about the quality of our new products. We’ve deeply engaged with our consumers and we’re creating foods that meet their needs.”

Breakfast options

Set to debut in the cereal aisle, Cheerios + Ancient Grains combines the brand’s iconic O’s with crunchy oat and quinoa clusters, puffed spelt and Kamut wheat. Each serving contains 17 grams of whole grain.

Returning to shelves in January is French Toast Crunch, a product that debuted in 1995 but was discontinued in 2006. The cereal features toast-shaped pieces flavored with cinnamon and syrup. The company said fans gathered thousands of signatures for an on-line petition, created a Facebook page and contacted the company with calls and e-mails to bring back the cereal.

From the Chex brand come new gluten-free granola mixes in honey nut and mixed berry almond varieties. The products are made with whole grain Rice Chex pieces and gluten-free granola clusters.

New Nature Valley Protein Oatmeal is packaged in microwavable cups with 10 grams of protein per serving. In mixed berry crunch and cranberry apple crunch varieties, the products include whole grain oats, real fruit pieces and a crunchy granola topping.

Wholesome snacks

Healthy snacks debuting from General Mills include nutrition bars with simple ingredients and yogurt products.

Nature Valley Nut Crisps combine nuts and seeds to create a crunchy texture with a sweet and salty flavor. Varieties include salted caramel peanut and almond dark chocolate.

The Larabar line is expanding with a new gluten-free dark chocolate raspberry bar made with whole nuts and dark chocolate chunks.

The Food Should Taste Good brand introduces Real Good Bar, a line of gluten-free snack bars made with whole nuts, seeds and fruit pieces. Available in four varieties, the products are made with such ingredients as hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, diced mango, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds and Madagascar vanilla.

Debuting in the dairy case is a line of Greek yogurt mousse products featuring a light and airy whipped texture. With 9 grams of protein per serving, Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! has eight varieties: black cherry, strawberry, strawberry cheesecake, vanilla cupcake, blueberry, raspberry, lemon meringue and tropical. Four new flavors in the Yoplait Greek 100 line include coconut, honey, banana caramel and orange crème. Yoplait Original adds two flavors: caramel and cookies and cream.

Bold flavors

New snacks and convenient meals from General Mills deliver bold and on-trend flavors. In the frozen aisle, Totino’s Bold Pepperoni Rolls have a crispy crust and are available in ranch and cheddar varieties.

New to retail stores nationwide, Chex Chips are puffy and crunchy squares with 30% less fat than regular potato chips. Flavors include cheddar jalapeño and cinnamon and sugar.

Old El Paso Restaurante soft shell taco kits come in three culinary-inspired flavors: beef carne asada, chipotle chicken and baja fish. The products include soft flour tortillas, seasonings and sauces.

Indulgent treats

New offerings from Pillsbury include limited-edition ready-to-bake Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pillsbury Mini bakery snacks, which are available exclusively in convenient stores in such varieties as cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins with streusel, chocolate chip muffins and cinnamon crumb cake.

From Fiber One come three new products that contain 20% of the daily recommended fiber intake per serving. Fiber One Chocolate Chip Crunchy Cookies are individually packaged for portion control and portable consumption. Fiber One Mint Fudge Brownies are 90-calorie fudgy bars with mint chips and a mint drizzle. With 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, Fiber One Protein Cookies & Creme Bars are chewy with a chocolatey coating.
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