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General Mills (NYSE:GIS) Is Ready to Feast on the Competition

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The company's aggressive overseas expansion and new product launches are starting to pay off.

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Return of the Green Giant

General Mills also launched more than 100 new products around the world in the latest quarter, and plans to continue rolling out new foods-including 40 new yogurts-this year.

In its earnings release, the company said that a number of these new foods made strong contributions to its sales growth in the latest quarter. Most were healthier products, such as Apple Cinnamon Chex and Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds cereals, Nature Valley Protein Bars, and Progresso Recipe Starters cooking sauces.

The company plans to ramp up its advertising spending to support its new products. Part of its plan involves reviving one of its original mascots, the Green Giant, who had until now been relegated to a background role in the company's marketing. Advertising Age ranked the Giant as the No. 3 advertising icon of the 20th century, behind the Marlboro Man and Ronald McDonald.

The new Giant will apparently be much more talkative: in the new campaign, he will encourage kids to take the "One Giant Pledge" to eat one more vegetable a day. The TV spots will also direct viewers to a Facebook page, where they can interact with the Giant and download "ho-ho-ho" ringtones. General Mills also plans a number of in-store promotional efforts to further bolster its new foods.

Combining well-known icons like the Giant and new techniques, such as social media marketing, will help the company attract more customers and stand out from its bargain-priced competitors.

This article by Chad Fraser was originally published on Investing Daily.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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