General Mills is targeting kids’ constipation with a new start-up brand the US food group hopes to take to the retail market next year.
Doolies, a range of high-fibre snacks, bites and smoothies, has been developed as part of the Old El Paso owner’s Accelerate Strategy, which was unveiled in February to drive in-house innovation to achieve long-term organic sales growth of 2% to 3% a year.
Under that same initiative, General Mills created what it calls a “strategy and growth organisation”, housing a “disruptive growth office’ in which sits a unit called Gworks, “tasked with changing the way the company innovates”.
“This group started in 2019 within our North America retail segment and was comprised of small, nimble ‘co-founder’ teams who had a dedicated focus to solve one transformational business, trend or project as it related to a consumer need,” General Mills explained.
Doolies is part of Gworks, which “uses a test-and-learn model to validate new business opportunities with an ‘entrepreneurial mindset’”, the Nature Valley snack bar owner said.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
General Mills started selling Doolies products via a direct-to-consumer channel in May under Doolies Foods. After a “strong” uptake, the brand will roll out on Amazon in November, and if successful, a retail launch will be explored next year.
“Through months of consumer research, we found that kid constipation is a big and growing problem for today’s parents. Thirty per cent of kids in the US suffer from constipation and parents aren’t satisfied with solutions currently available – particularly pharmaceutical laxatives that are heavily recommended by paediatricians,” General Mills said. “Parents are hoping to solve constipation more naturally – through intuitive foods and ingredients that help support a healthy digestive system.”
Good Measure is another start-up brand introduced by Gworks. The nut butter bars and almond crisps were launched in June targeted at people with pre-diabetes or diabetes needing to avoid a spike in blood sugars.
General Mills reported its annual results in June for the year ended 30 May, when organic sales growth was 4%. However, it set out guidance for the 2022 fiscal year for a decline in the region of 1-3%.
The company cited the inflationary environment and an expected drop-off in at-home consumption for the downbeat outlook.
“Conversely, away-from-home food demand is expected to continue to recover in fiscal 2022, though not fully to pre-pandemic levels. With roughly 85% of the company’s net sales representing at-home food occasions, these dynamics are expected to result in lower aggregate consumer demand in the company’s categories in fiscal 2022, compared to fiscal 2021 levels,” General Mills said.