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General Mills: Next generation growth is in subscription snacking

By Kacey Culliney+

07-Jan-2014
Last updated the 08-Jan-2014 at 17:50 GMT

'Nibblr is a unique model and offering for us. It allows us to tap into even more snacking occasions, especially snacking at work,' says marketing director
'Nibblr is a unique model and offering for us. It allows us to tap into even more snacking occasions, especially snacking at work,' says marketing director

General Mills says its subscription snacking service Nibblr will feed next generation business growth as convenience booms.

The service was created by the company’s internal business development unit 301 Inc. – a small group of individuals tasked with creating ‘next generation growth’ beyond General Mills’ core production.  Nibblr was officially launched across the US in mid-November last year, after 12 months in development.

Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com, Martin Abrams, marketing director of 301 Inc., said Nibblr holds great promise amid a broader subscription services boom, fueled by a consumer desire for convenience.

“As you can imagine, we have a lot of research on snacking, so we can bring that expertise to a subscription-base snack service; a growing industry,” he told BakeryandSnacks.com.

“Nibblr is a unique model and offering for us. It allows us to tap into even more snacking occasions, especially snacking at work.”

The service offers over 59 different non-branded snack combinations from dried fruit and nuts to cheese crisps and crackers. Each box arrives with four pre-portioned snacks and can be delivered weekly, every two weeks or monthly for varying durations.

“It’s a chance to discover new favorites and something outside what is typically found in a vending machine,” Abrams said.

Targeting millennial taste explorers

Nibblr is a service designed to hold broad appeal, he said, but the main consumer target is millennial women. “They are taste explorers and don’t want to see the same old snacks. Additionally, more than half our snacks are less than 150 calories and come in the perfect snack-size portion, making them appealing to this audience.”

“…The Nibblr service is perfect and convenient for the taste explorer mindset.”

Standing tall alongside Graze.com competition

A clear competitor to Nibblr is UK-based Graze.com – set up five years ago by seven friends – that has expanded into the US this month.

Asked how General Mills will differentiate and compete with Graze.com, Abrams said that Nibblr has points of difference.

“With each order, our subscribers also receive a ‘reality bite’ - a piece that delivers original and playful content that we hope will give them a fun moment in their day.” The first box, for example, contains an original poster with a message and design by an artist from Brooklyn, New York, he said.

Nibblr can also be offered as a gift up to twelve times, he added, and has several payment and delivery options.

Graze.com ventures into the US with more than 55,000 subscribers, General Mills would not disclose its subscription figures but said it is pleased with the numbers to-date. The company plans to expand this spring - adding more snack combinations – but for the time being will remain in the US market only.

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