General Mills Improves U.S. Retail Health Profile

General Mills announced it has improved the health profile of 73 percent of its U.S. retail sales volume since 2005. These improvements include enhancing positive nutrition such as increasing protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals or reducing limiters such as calories, sodium, sugar and fat. In fiscal 2013 alone, the company improved more than 20 percent of its U.S. retail sales volume and the nutritional improvements touched all General Mills U.S. retail platforms, including baking, cereal, dairy, meals and snacks.

Reductions in sodium and calories, and increases in whole grain were among the main health improvements General Mills achieved in fiscal 2013. "Health is a core growth strategy for the company," said Maha Tahiri, General Mills' chief health and wellness officer who oversees the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, in a prepared statement. "Since General Mills began tracking health improvements in fiscal 2005, we have made considerable progress. Today, we can point to more than 750 products, both new and reformulated, that have been influenced by our health metric criteria, spanning our entire portfolio and accounting for nearly three quarters of our fiscal 2013 U.S. retail sales volume."

In fiscal 2013, General Mills continued to make strong progress towards its goal of reducing sodium, on average, by 20 percent in its top 10 categories by 2015. This sodium reduction effort represents about 40 percent of the company's U.S. retail portfolio — everything from snacks to soups to side dishes. Fiscal 2013 improvements include sodium reductions of at least 10 percent in several shelf stable Green Giant vegetable offerings, as well as a number of Suddenly Salads and Helper dinners.

In addition, calorie reductions contributed to the overall health metric progress in fiscal 2013. One notable calorie reduction occurred in Yoplait Light, which was reduced to 90 calories. General Mills also introduced a new lower calorie dairy option – Yoplait Greek 100, with 100 calories and a Weight Watchers PointsPlus® value of two points per serving.

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