- General Mills launched Good Measure, a new brand of snacks with ingredients that don't cause a spike in blood sugar. The line includes three variety of bars — Blueberry & Almond, Peanut & Dark Chocolate and Almond & Dark Chocolate — that will be available on Amazon and at Hy-Vee stores in Minnesota.
- The bars feature natural ingredients like nuts and seeds and have fewer than five net carbohydrates per serving. Each bar is held together with nut butter. They each have three grams or less of sugar and derive much of their sweetening from rare sugar allulose.
- Good Measure bars are targeted to consumers with diabetes or pre-diabetes, along with other medical conditions where blood sugar levels need to be monitored. As consumers are becoming more interested in eating to benefit their health, food companies are creating products that meet specific dietary needs.
The brand launch, which comes out of General Mills' Innovation Lab, aims to be a solution for consumers who have a difficult time enjoying snacks.
In a video on Good Measure's website, brand founders Ryan Backer and Tom Nack talk about how they were searching to find problems that could be solved through food. One mother they met needed to make meticulous measurements and consult charts in order to give her 10-year-old diabetic daughter a snack, and then dose her with an appropriate amount of insulin so her body could handle it. Backer, Nack and Good Measure's other founder, Jonathan Scearcy, researched the issue and worked to build snacks that people who have blood sugar issues could eat without having to do arduous calculations.
While this brand seems like a niche offering, there are millions who would benefit from a diabetes-friendly snack that is easy on blood sugar. According to statistics released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10.5% of all people in the United States have diabetes. And more than a third of people in the U.S. have pre-diabetes, defined as a higher-than-normal blood sugar level that could turn into diabetes if not remedied. Blood sugar spikes could come from many foods that are actually natural and thought of as better-for-you such as fruit as well as foods that are high in carbohydrates.
Foods that help meet distinct consumer needs — especially when it comes to health and wellness — are becoming popular options for manufacturers. And this is a specific niche that not many manufacturers have met. A quick search for snacks that won't cause a blood sugar spike mainly includes foods like avocado or quinoa. And it's apparent that General Mills wants consumers to know Good Measure's effects. On each snack bar's packaging, the text "Little impact on blood sugar" is more prominent than the brand name.
General Mills is not the only company to make a food for a specific diet. Hormel has long made products for people who have trouble swallowing under its Thick & Easy brand. Nestlé also owns several brands that serve specific consumers, including the nutritional supplement drink Boost. Nestlé has been especially active in building this segment of its business, acquiring brands and supplements that help meet particular nutritional needs.
Good Measure is the beginning of what may be a new area of business for General Mills. Born out of its Innovation Lab, Good Measure shows that the company's product developers have their eyes open for health-related niches. There's more room to grow both for this brand — General Mills' blog has images of Good Measure Almond Crisps, which foreshadows more snacks in the future — as well as other white spaces for food that is both desirable and meets dietary needs.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly indicated Good Measure products are already available on Amazon.