US food major General Mills plans to focus on eight key markets and five global product categories in an attempt to reach its long-term goal of up to 3% in annual organic growth.

Speaking at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference yesterday (16 February), General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening said its new strategy – called Accelerate – will also see greater investment behind top-selling local brands such as Pillsbury, Totino’s and Yoplait, as well as strategic acquisitions and divestitures.

Key category areas it will be focusing on include ice cream – through the Häagen-Dazs brand – and Mexican food – through the Old El Paso brand.

Cereal, pet food and snack bars are the other areas of focus.

Harmening said the five global product platforms generate 45% of the company’s overall sales.

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The markets it will focus on, outside the US, are Brazil, India, Canada, France, the UK, Australia and China.

The new plans are part of efforts to reach a long-term organic sales growth target of 2% to 3% per annum and mid-to-high single-digit adjusted earnings per share growth in constant currencies.

In a statement, the company said: “The Accelerate strategy defines the path for the next chapter of General Mills’ growth, leveraging the company’s historical strengths and deploying them in ways that are relevant for today’s consumer and marketplace.”

It added: "The Accelerate strategy enhances the company's ability to generate profitable growth through geographic and product prioritisation and portfolio shaping."

General Mills reiterated its expectation that the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to drive elevated consumer demand for food at home, relative to pre-pandemic levels, through the remainder of fiscal 2021. 

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