US food company General Mills has raised the prices of its cold cereals by around 2%, effective immediately, due to the rising costs of commodities such as wheat.

US food giant Kraft Foods, US cereal maker Kellogg and US confectioner Hershey Foods have all recently announced price increases due to rising commodity costs.

Minneapolis-based General Mills also said that it stood by its forecast of a 50% increase in fiscal 2003 earnings per share before special items, boosted by new products and by cost savings from its acquisition of Pillsbury in 2001.

"Our view is that our prices will increase, but at a rate slower than inflation," chief executive Steve Sanger was quoted as saying by Reuters. "We will use our productivity (savings) to offset some of the cost increases that we experience."