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Saturday, October 9, 2021

General Mills Research Report

About the Company

General Mills Inc was founded on June 20, 1866, by James Ford Bell, John Crosby, and Cadwallader C. Washburn. This American multinational marketer and manufacturer of branded food for consumers have its headquarter in Golden Valley which is a suburb in Minneapolis. It is also known as “Big G”.

Foundation of General Mills

It was in 1928, when James Ford Bell, the president of Washburn Crosby merged the firm with 3 other mills and acquired Elevator Company & Wichita Mill.

Television Sponsorship and Merchandising

Each product by General Mills contained a coupon on its box back at the beginning of 1929, known as the Betty Crocker Coupon that could be redeemed on select products from the catalogue of Betty Crocker but was discontinued in 2006. “Box Tops for Education” which is a similar program started in 1966 is still active. It uses to sponsor “The Lone Ranger”, a radio show from 1941 to 1961. Along with this show it has sponsored many other television shows including “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” and “The Bullwinkle Show

Aeronautical Research and Electronics Division

A division of Aeronautical Research was formed by General Mills in 1946 by joining hands with Otto C. Winzen high-altitude balloons like the Skyhook balloon were formed by this division in collaboration with ONR. The DSV Alvin submersible that is used for exploration missions related to the deep-sea including the mystery of the Titanic was also developed by this division of the company. The General Mills’ Aeronautical work was completed around World War II is continued by the company Raven Industries even today continues to utilize the General Mills work during World War II in their Aerostar department.

Diversifying into the toy industry and restaurants

Rainbow Crafts, a play-doh manufacturing company was acquired by General Mills in 1965. It also acquired Kenner in 1967. In 1970, General Mills came up with “Monster Cereals” which today is available during Halloween.

Red Lobster, a five-unit restaurant firm was acquired by the firm in 1970 and expanded nationwide. The company opened a division named “General Mills Restaurant” that acquired Good Earth, China Coast renamed Darden Restaurants and even founded Olive Garden.

In 1980, General Mills enter the retail industry by acquiring Eddie Bauer and Talbots but was short-lived. Parker Brother, who had the idea of monopoly the board game, had General Mills as its parent company because of which the firm had to go to court from 1976-85.

General Mills from 1990 Till Date

General Mills partnered with Nestle S.A to form “Cereal Partners” that markets all over except Canada and the US with the name of Nestle. It acquired Pilsbury in 2001. Since 2004 it has decided to switch to whole grain instead of focusing just on breakfast cereal. It has reduced the sugar level in its cereals and has started to manufacture cereals with less sugar, especially for children. Its rank was 181 when it came to the list of Fortune 500 companies in America in 2012 and was also the third-largest consumer for food products in 2015. It acquired Annie’s Inc. in 2014 and Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. in 2018. The first pilot program for regenerative agriculture was started by General Mills in March 2019, with plans of improving soil health by 2030 on 1 million acres of farmland. CDP recognized General Mills as a corporate sustainability leader globally in February 2020 and even secured a place on the ‘A’ list of CDP for water security and climate change.

General Mills Products

  1. Breakfast cereals
  2. Baking goods
  3. Grain snacks
  4. Meal products

Other Brands under General Mills:

  • Epic Provisions
  • Häagen-Dazs ice cream
  • Yoplait
  • Colombo
  • Progresso
  • Jeno’s
  • Totino’s
  • Latina
  • Frescarini
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Annie’s

 History

The story behind the foundation goes back to the Minneapolis Milling Company founded by Robert Smith, a congressman from Illinois in 1856. This firm was soon acquired by Cadwallader C. Washburn, who for the development of the firm, hired his brother William D. Washburn. He joined hands in business and opened Washburn “B” Mill, which was converted to Washburn “A” Mill in 1874.

It was in 1877 when partnering with John Crosby, a winter wheat flour mill – Washburn-Crosby Company was established. William Hood Dunwoody who was sent to England by Washburn for marketing spring wheat, on being successful in the trip became a silent partner later. In 1924, WLAG was acquired by Washburn-Crosby Company who renamed the acquired company WCCO.

Location of General Mills

  • Wellston, Ohio
  • Reed City, Michigan
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Belvidere, Illinois
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Carlisle, Iowa
  • Carson, California
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Covington, Georgia
  • Golden Valley, Minnesota
  • Great Falls, Montana
  • Hannibal, Missouri
  • Irapuato, Mexico
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Murfreesboro, Tennessee
  • Arras, France
  • Cagua, Venezuela
  • Guangzhou, China
  • Rooty Hill, Australia
  • Waverley, Australia
  • San Adrian, Spain
  • Mumbai, India



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Josie Patra
Josie Patra is a veteran writer with 21 years of experience. She comes with multiple degrees in literature, computer applications, multimedia design, and management. She delves into a plethora of niches and offers expert guidance on finances, stock market, budgeting, marketing strategies, and such other domains. Josie has also authored books on management, productivity, and digital marketing strategies.

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