Saturday, July 16, 2016

Annie's cereals now available nationally

If you look around the "natural" section of the cereal aisle of many U.S. grocery stories you will probably see the new Annie's organic cereals. They are widely available nationwide now, and come in three varieties: Berry Bunnies, Cocoa Bunnies, and Frosted Oat Flakes.

On the surface this might seem like a relatively insignificant development, especially since "health food" branded cereals are a small and niche, albeit growing, market. Upon closer examination, however, this is a significant story because it involves one of the major players: General Mills.

The story started back in September 2014 when General Mills announced that they would be acquiring Annie's, which had become a well-known player in natural and organic foods targeted to families. Recognizing the growing interest in more nutritious foods among consumers, General Mills saw an opportunity to expand its offerings by adding a recognized and respected brand to its portfolio. Annie's is, however, far more than cereal - they make a wide range of food products. In fact, cereal is not one of their traditional strengths. They first tried back in 2007, but quickly discontinued the line. General Mills, a leader in cereal, wanted them to try again, hence the current three new ones first announced back in February, but only now widely available.

Of course, Annie's is not General Mills' only line of more natural cereals, as they already have the Cascadian Farms brand. But, in this time of frustrating cereal sales, companies are attempting whatever they can to change their fortunes. General Mills is hoping that the Annie's brand will be part of the solution.

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