Some would consider $600 million a large number, but to General Mills its just over half of where they want to be.
The company’s plans released on Tuesday, according to Ad Age, highlight a heavy emphasis of almost doubling profits on its natural and organic foods. With the increasing popularity of a healthier and more naturally-grown market, the company aims to for $1 billion by the fiscal year 2020.
"Today's consumers want more natural foods, with simple ingredients," Ken Powell, CEO of General Mills, said in a presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York annual meeting in Boca Raton, FL. "They are avoiding things like gluten, simple carbohydrates, artificial ingredients, while looking for more fiber, protein and whole grain.”
The above changes in consumer tastes and desires has tightened the waistline of big brand stores who generally buy in bulk with additives that ensure a longer shelf life. General Mills, however, seemingly embraced the change with the purchase of Annie’s Homegrown as part of its expansion in that desired market. Change, the company says, gives room for growth.
"All of these changes create tremendous opportunity for General Mills," Powell said. "Our history is about innovating to meet consumer needs."
While the company does continue to adapt to a changing market, both with more natural and organic options as well as constructing a healthier image for some of its larger brands, its profits in that area was still only a fraction of the $17.9 billion in total net sales for the fiscal 2014 year, according to the company’s annual report. As far as how much of that percentage the company anticipates will change with this ambitious goal, we will have to wait and see.