General Mills Details Global Growth Priorities At Annual Investor Day

General Mills Chairman and CEO Jeff Harmening said the company remains committed to its Consumer First strategy, which means deeply understanding what consumers are looking for, and responding quickly to give them what they want.

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NEW YORK, July 11, 2018 (PRNewswire) — General Mills executives on Wednesday updated investors and analysts on its global growth priorities at the company's annual Investor Day.

General Mills Chairman and CEO Jeff Harmening said the company remains committed to its Consumer First strategy, which means deeply understanding what consumers are looking for, and responding quickly to give them what they want. Fiscal 2018 represented an important first step in returning General Mills to sustainable topline growth, including finishing the year with three consecutive quarters of organic net sales growth.  

"In a world of high change, it's clear to me that Consumer First is more relevant than ever. I firmly believe that when we serve our consumers and give them what they want, we win every time," said Harmening. "And when we win, our employees win, our communities win, and our shareholders win."

Global Growth Priorities

Harmening reiterated three global growth priorities the company is pursuing to generate consistent topline growth: 

  • Competing effectively everywhere: on all brands, across all geographies, through innovation, marketing, and in-store execution.
  • Accelerating differential growth platforms, including Häagen-Dazs, Snack Bars, Old El Paso, and the Natural & Organic portfolio of brands.
  • And reshaping the portfolio for growth through acquisitions and divestitures.

Competing Effectively

The key to success is finding a healthy balance of topline and bottom line growth. Improvement on topline trends will continue, but it's also necessary to drive efficiency and support for margins. Opportunities for efficiency include accelerated Holistic Margin Management savings and Strategic Revenue Management, which will generate positive price/mix benefits for all segments across the company.

Accelerating Growth

Innovation is ramping up globally resulting in a fantastic lineup of new products including YQ yogurt, EPIC performance bars, Betty Crocker mug treats and Häagen-Dazs stick bars and mini cups. The company continues to broaden its approach to brand investment, leveraging a wider variety of vehicles beyond media advertising, including point of sale, packaging, and sponsorships.  General Mills is investing in each of these areas in Fiscal 2019 to drive meaningful consumer engagement and accelerate growth.

General Mills' E-commerce business grew 50 percent in Fiscal 2018, and that growth is expected to continue into Fiscal 2019. With the addition of Blue Buffalo, the company expects to generate $1 billion dollars in net sales from E-commerce by Fiscal 2020.

Reshaping the Portfolio

The primary focus is maximizing Blue Buffalo's growth opportunity within the General Mills portfolio. Divestitures is another important piece of the portfolio shaping strategy. The anticipated scope of the divestiture opportunity is roughly 5 percent of total company sales.

Fiscal 2019 Priorities

Building from the Global Growth Priorities, in Fiscal 2019 the Company will be focused on:

  • Growing the core business by competing more effectively and accelerating differential growth platforms.
  • Successfully transitioning Blue Buffalo into the General Mills family and continuing its track record of double-digit growth.
  • Delivering on its financial commitments by leveraging Holistic Margin Management and Strategic Revenue Management efforts to drive efficiency and maintaining a sharp focus on working capital and cash flow.

About General Mills

General Mills is a leading global food company that serves the world by making food people love. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie's, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, Blue and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2018 consolidated net sales of US $15.7 billion, as well as another US $1.1 billion from its proportionate share of joint-venture net sales.

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