MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gluten-free, high-protein and “total indulgence”, those are the phrases of inspiration for General Mills’ newest groceries.
The Twin Cities-based company just launched its newest line of products.
From high-protein Cheerios to Sriracha Chex Mix to cookies stuffed with s’mores, this line is about extremes. These products suggest consumers are either being very conscientious or very open to splurging.
The new products all come from observations. It’s Jeanine Bassett’s job to figure out what consumers are eating.
“I’m totally watching people,” she said. “I see the stuff in their carts, and I put the dots together.”
This year Bassett says buyers are covering the full spectrum in terms of buying trends.
“The first one really is about wellness,” she said. “And the other side is just pure, flat-out indulgence, more chocolate, more flavor, more boldness.”
Indulgence looks like cookies with a gooey s’more center. Wellness looks like the new granola lines.
Another trend is that people are paying less attention to the numbers at the top of the nutrition label and more to the ingredient list at the bottom.
“It used to be more about fat-free, count your calories,” Bassett said. “That’s still there, but we are seeing more…What’s it made of? How did it come to be? Who made it? Where did it come from?”
You’ll also see foods adding protein – like cheerios, oatmeal or chocolate chip cookies. Gluten-free is also big.
Some are on grocery store shelves already. Others will roll out over the next few months.
Bassett says this year the inspiration for their cookie line came from Pinterest. They noticed people were trying to bake cookies with a “surprise” in the middle, and they weren’t coming out so well. Bassett says they’re trying to simplify the process by helping the customer out.