MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills had a strong third-quarter fiscal 2019 in convenience stores. The company’s net sales for its c-store and foodservice segment increased 3% to $472 million, according to the company’s earnings report.
General Mills said the growth was driven by innovation in its “Focus 6” platforms, some of which include frozen meals, snacks, baked goods and yogurt. Moving forward, the Minneapolis-based company will use a “consumer first” strategy to achieve top-line growth in c-stores, which focuses on five areas: product innovation; consumer marketing; in-store execution; enhancing its differential platforms, such as Haagen-Dazs and snack bars; and pursuing acquisitions.
"We had a strong third quarter, with positive organic sales growth and significant operating margin expansion," said Jeff Harmening, chairman and CEO of Minneapolis-based General Mills. "Our year-to-date performance and fourth-quarter plans give us confidence that we will meet or exceed all of our key fiscal 2019 targets. Our improved execution and strengthened performance this year reinforce our view that a balanced approach to top and bottom-line growth, centered on our consumer first strategy, will drive long-term value for our shareholders."
Here are three reasons for General Mills growth in c-stores during its third-quarter 2019 …
1. Snack bars
Snack bars were at the forefront of General Mills’ c-store growth during the third quarter. Its Nature Valley Granola Bars hit nearly $38 million in total c-store sales last year, good for a 2.5% increase from 2017, according to Chicago-based research firm IRI. Moreover, its Nature Valley Granola Cups—a newer addition to the brand’s portfolio—hit nearly $6 million in total c-store sales last year, resulting in a 42.1% increase from 2017, said IRI. C-store unit sales also grew 39.6% for this brand.
Snack bars weren’t the only segment that helped General Mills in convenience stores during the third quarter. The brand also saw growth in cereal, specifically its Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms brands. These items grew 6.4% and 4.4%, respectively, in total c-store sales, at the end of last year.
3. Chex Mix
General Mills Chex Mix also pushed the brand forward during the third quarter. The salty snack surpassed $112 million in total c-store sales in 2018, good for a 6.1% increase from the previous year, according to IRI. The snack also increased more than 2% in c-store unit sales during this period.