General Mills said it intends to launch about 50 new products at the beginning of 2012, along two main themes, according to the company’s corporate public relations manager Maerenn Jepsen.
Jepsen wrote on the General Mills blog: “Two themes stood out for me among the upcoming product introductions – the growing influence of multicultural consumers on American taste preferences and consumers’ desires to either add or avoid certain ingredients in their diets, whether seeking more whole grain or protein or avoiding lactose or gluten.”
Dulce de Leche Cheerios was one of the company’s new products highlighted during a conference call with investors on Tuesday, as having a taste profile that is popular with Hispanics, but also broad general market appeal.
Also in the cereal category, the company is expanding its range of multi grain Cheerios, to include a peanut butter variety. And General Mills is releasing four flavors of lactose-free yogurt under the Yoplait brand, which it is hailing as the first lactose-free yogurt from a major yogurt brand.
Meanwhile, Kraft has said it will launch more than 70 new products in the New Year, many of which are customizable, including new flavor combinations for its Velveeta Cheesy Skillets Dinner Kits and new Kraft Sizzling Salads Dinner Kits, in which consumers add their choice of meat and vegetables.
Kraft’s VP of breakthrough innovation Barry Calpino said: “Americans are having more interactive experiences with food and want the opportunity to do some of the cooking themselves. With global influence and the merging of different cultures, consumers are open to new flavor combinations. Being able to customize the flavor and texture to enhance the end dish is important and Kraft Foods is delivering.”
The company said it will also introduce BelVita breakfast biscuits in the US, a cookie-type product made with whole grains and fortified with vitamins and minerals. And MilkBite Milk and Granola bars, said to contain as much calcium as an 8oz glass of milk, were also part of the company’s new product line-up, as Kraft aims to capitalize on a trend for healthier snacking.