- General Mills is investing in its e-commerce channel, which the company calls its "fastest growing food-channel," said Shawn O’Grady, General Mills' president of sales and channel development, during the company's recent earnings conference call.
- Currently, General Mills's online sales comprise about 1% to 2% of total sales, but O'Grady pointed to projections of 5% to 6% in the next few years. Some markets, like the U.K. and France, are already seeing nearly 10% of sales happening online in some categories.
- "So it’s pretty clear that we’re going to move in that direction very rapidly in the U.S. And this is an area that we’re investing in at General Mills to develop our capability, and make sure that we can be leaders and great partners for all of our customers who have a lot of interest in this," said General Mills CEO Ken Powell.
"[O'Grady] said General Mills' product portfolio is well suited for on-line shopping. Products like Larabar and some of the company’s gluten-free items do well on web sites that are geared for 'spear fishing' or single item searches, and such mainstream product lines as Cheerios, Betty Crocker and others do well on web sites that cater to consumers looking to do their full basket shop on-line," Food Business News reported.
With retailers like Wal-Mart and Amazon moving in on the grocery e-commerce space, it's no surprise that food companies would be the next to follow. Online grocery sales are growing rapidly and much more quickly than brick-and-mortar retail, as these channels will increase sales by 21.1% and 3% respectively from 2013 to 2018, per a report.
As for other e-commerce food and beverage moves, PepsiCo picked a new leader for its e-commerce expansion, Gibu Thomas, Wal-Mart's former head of mobile and digital. Mondelez set a large growth goal for its e-commerce business, which is $100 million today, to hit $1 billion in 2020.