|Jeff Harmening, CEO of General Mills|
“Because the market is so dynamic it’s more important than ever we keep focused and stay focused on what the consumer is looking for,” said Jeff Harmening, CEO, Feb. 20 during a presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference. “Things helping us compete more effectively will be strong execution. We have to match what we do with data with compelling marketing ideas — Match science with the art of marketing.”
An example cited by Harmening during the presentation include Oui yogurt. The company is going to launch a similar product in the United Kingdom in March under the Liberte brand. Another example is Pillsbury Choco Cookie bars in India and Fiber One bars in the United States.
“They have almost everything in common,” Harmening said. “In the US it has fiber. In India they have calcium because that is what they are looking for. Other than that the products are basically the same.”
“We just innovated H?agen Dazs into stick bars and we are just getting started,” he said.
The company is focused on expanding H?agen Dazs distribution into Australia and Italy. In addition, Harmening said the brand has a lot of room to grow in China.
General Mills’ Old El Paso business is larger outside the US, Harmening said, and the company is focused on growing its share in America.
“This is a brand that really lends itself to e-commerce,” he said. “A consumer can decide to have taco night, place an order and have all of the ingredients they need in their cart.”
“We are in a great position, because we have leading brands,” he said. “If I had a No. 5 market share I would feel differently.”Fs