General Mills to invest US$65m in US facility upgrade to meet soaring consumer demand

USA — American multinational manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods General Mills, Inc. has announced it will invest $65 million to upgrade technology and equipment at its Murfreesboro facility in Tennessee. 

The  Murfreesboro plant mainly focuses on the production of the company’s  Yoplait yogurt and Pillsbury refrigerated and frozen dough products.  

General Mills said the investment will focus on technology and equipment improvements aimed at helping the plant’s operations become more efficient to meet increased consumer demand. 

“We are proud to make beloved brands like Yoplait and Pillsbury for consumers across the US right here in Rutherford County,” said Dave Tincher, plant manager at the Murfreesboro plant.  

“This investment will allow our Murfreesboro plant to remain competitive in the marketplace.” 

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Bill Jones, chairman of Destination Rutherford noted that the county was pleased to have General Mills reinvest in the county despite having many other locations globally.  

“General Mills commitment will ensure that we will keep 1,000 well-paying jobs and the resulting tax revenue in our community,” Jones added.  

Earlier, General Mills announced that The Cerelia Group had agreed to buy its  European dough businesses which include branded and private label dough businesses in Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.  

“These divestitures represent another step in the General Mills accelerate strategy, which is centered on clear priorities on where to play — across geographies as well as platforms and brands — to drive long-term, superior shareholder returns,” General Mills said. 

 “Internationally, the strategy includes efforts to reshape the company’s portfolio for sustainable, profitable growth by increasing its focus on advantaged global platforms, which include Mexican food, super-premium ice cream and snack bars.” 

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Meanwhile, General Mills says it is seeing mass consumer uptake of its Natural & Organic portfolio as the company works to make its brands more accessible to as many consumers as possible.  

Sales of the Natural & Organic segment for 2021 are projected to be up +6.6% to US$271bn and expected to surpass US$300bn by 2023, outpacing total food and beverage growth, according to New Hope.  

Speaking to journalists, Priscilla Zee, business unit director for General Mills’ Natural & Organic portfolio overseeing brands including Annie’s, Cascadian Farms, and Muir Glen, noted how sales are even more elevated when looking at pre-pandemic levels. 

Consumers should however expect to pay more for some of their favorite cereals, snacks, soups, and cooking brands next year. 

General Mills has notified retail customers that it’s raising prices in mid-January on hundreds of items across dozens of brands.  

Products affected include Annie’s, Progresso, Yoplait, Fruit Roll-Ups, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charm’s, Wheaties, Reese’s Puffs, Trix and more. 

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