Peanut Butter Cheerios, anyone?
General Mills gave a peek at some of the products it will introduce in 2012, a lineup that includes Dulce de Leche Cheerios and peanut-butter flavored Multi Grain Cheerios.
The Golden Valley-based food maker said today that it plans to launch about 50 new products in the first half of 2012. Among them: a lactose-free version of Yoplait yogurt.
Consumers seeking lactose-free products are "a large piece of the fluid milk market, and it's estimated that 15 percent of the market" needs or wants lactose-free dairy products, said Don Mulligan, General Mills' chief financial officer. "That's a nice new opportunity for us."
The boom in Greek-style yogurt has hurt sales of General Mills' traditional powerhouse, Yoplait, so the scramble is on for innovations that can reverse the declines.
In the cereal category, General Mills plans to roll out a frosted version of its Cinnamon Toast Crunch, called Frosted Toast Crunch. Ken Powell, General Mills' chief executive, told analysts that this and the new Cheerios flavors "will be arriving on store shelves in the next few weeks."
Most new products do not ultimately succeed, but a few do, and they also serve to generate some interest among consumers and retailers.
Tom Webb can be reached at 651-228-5428. Follow him at twitter.com/TomWebbMN