PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The One Global Baked Goods platform for General Mills, Inc. has strategies to answer four consumer problems, said Staci Seibold, a vice-president of innovation, technology for General Mills. The four strategies are harder-working carbohydrates, simplicity, free-from foods and calories that are worth it, she explained Oct. 6 at AACC International’s annual meeting in Providence.
For the first strategy, General Mills wants to increase the relevance of carbohydrate-based products. Carbohydrates may be paired with protein, and some carbohydrates may release energy slower. Ancient grains, such as teff found in the Love Grain product, also may increase the relevance of carbohydrate-based products.
Simplicity involves trust and transparency in products. For example, snack products may contain nuts and whole grains that are visible because of see-through packaging. Consumer trust is not broken when the consumer opens the package later at home, Ms. Seibold said.
Peanut-free, which is becoming increasingly important at schools because of allergen concerns, and gluten-free are examples of free-from foods, Ms. Seibold said. Verifying non-bioengineered ingredients and products, more examples of free-from, will increase consumer trust, she said.
Ms. Seibold explained how consumers want calories, such as those in chocolate cake, to be worth it. Consumers think, “When I indulge, I want a fully immerse-able experience,” she said.
This worthy calories strategy may be approached in three ways, she said. Sensory delights might come through such products as Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. Justifiable indulgence might involve adding a little fiber to a product.
“Add just a little bit of health to take that guilt away,” she said.Bold flavors and colors, such as watermelon, may achieve sensory disruption, a third way of making the calories worth it.