- General Mills is launching miniature versions of its Trix, Reese’s Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereals.
- The breakfast staples were reformulated into small, round shapes. It is a new form for Cinnamon Toast Crunch that previously was available in squares, the brand said.
- As companies look for ways to reinvent their portfolios, the debut of miniature varieties offers an easy way to reposition a popular product while making cereals more convenient for snacking.
General Mills is looking to maintain its dominant position in the cereal space after the pandemic attracted more consumers to the category and rival Kellogg saw sales slip as it struggled to handle supply chain issues. Adding to its product portfolio with reformulated varieties of three of its most popular cereals provides a new opportunity for growth in the space.
“Sometimes the best new innovation is the smallest one," Mindy Murray, General Mills’ senior marketing communications manager, said in a press release. "There's such a love right now for full-size things that have been shrunk into mini versions, and we realized we could do the same with our cereals.”
The shrinking phenomenon has become popular in the snacks space as consumers look to limit their intake of salt and sugar. This week, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay launched bite-sized Minis versions of three of its most popular snacks: Doritos, Cheetos and SunChips. Other brands like Hostess and Campbell Soup’s Goldfish also have launched tinier versions of their signature products.
By reformatting three of its popular products into smaller bite-sized pieces, General Mills is capitalizing on the increasing use of cereal as a snack.
In 2020, it added 16 indulgent cereals to its portfolio — including products inspired by energy bar Larabar and cookie snack Dunkaroos. That year the cereal giant also began selling Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Golden Grahams Remix Snacking mixes, which combine the cereals similar to Chex Mix.
General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening said at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference this fall that growing market share in the cereal space during the past five years has given it the confidence to continue innovating its products.
“We've been investing behind those brands. We've been investing behind our capabilities, whether it’s related to innovation or pricing or brand building, or whether it's on our core or new products,” Harmening said.