General Mills unveils line of Annie’s cereals

Published 10:14 am Tuesday, February 16, 2016

By Mike Hughlett

Minneapolis Star Tribune

General Mills said Tuesday it will roll out Annie’s branded cereals, the latest new product line to be sold under the new Annie’s brand.

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Three Annie’s cereals will hit the grocery stores in the first half of 2016: Frosted Oat Flakes, Berry Bunnies and Cocoa Bunnies. The cereals will be available in natural food stores this spring and are scheduled for distribution through all grocery channels by the summer.

Earlier this year, General Mills debuted an Annie’s yogurt for kids and, last year, it launched a line of soups under the Annie’s name.

General Mills bought Annie’s in late 2014 for $820 million, a key acquisition given Annie’s strong presence in the growing natural and organic food business. Annie’s is best known for its mac and cheese and snacks such as Cheddar Bunny crackers.

Annie’s, based in Berkeley, Calif., operates as an independent unit of General Mills, which is headquartered in Golden Valley.

The new Annie’s product lines are attempts to capitalize on General Mills’ core production capabilities. The company dominates the cereal market along with Kellogg. Ditto for soup, where General Mills’ Progresso brand goes head-to-head with Campbell. With its Yoplait brand, General Mills is one of the nation’s largest yogurt makers.