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MINNEAPOLIS -- The convenience store channel is a key target for General Mills Inc.'s bakeries and foodservice segment, according to Food Business News. During a March 20 call with analysts to discuss its latest quarterly earnings, the company stated the segment's sales in c-stores, as well as in the school foodservice channel, are expected to outpace the industry.
Food products have become "an increasingly important contributor to channel sales" as c-stores face lower fuel and tobacco sales, said Dave Dudick, senior vice-president and president of the bakeries and foodservice segment. As such, General Mills has increased its snack distribution in the channel.
"Our Nature Valley Oats 'n Honey Bar is the top turning grain snack bar in the entire convenience store channel," Dudick added. "And we've just launched a great new product lineup in January, including Nature Valley protein bars and a new Chex Mix variety."
General Mills' six most profitable items in the segment are snacks, cereal, frozen breakfast items, yogurt, biscuits and baking mixes, according to the report.
"Our strategy of focusing on the highest margin products and the fastest-growing channels is working," Dudick concluded.
During the earnings call, Dudick noted that the education channel also represents a big opportunity due to new whole-grain requirements for school nutrition programs and the expectation that the K-12 breakfast occasion will grow at double the overall channel growth rate. He also noted that the collective purchasing power of students at colleges and universities is $76 billion and increasing.
In addition, the company expanded its yogurt platform in the growing healthcare channel with the introduction of Yoplait Greek 100.