In 1860, General Mills entered the market as a flour producer that revolutionized the industry by producing flour that had superior baking properties. Great customer satisfaction coupled with their ability to maintain quality enabled them to develop other products that were not considered agricultural commodities. By the 1960s, they were marketing beloved children's products that included Play-Doh, Easy Bake Ovens, Spirograph, Monopoly and Nerf balls (General Mills, website). The popularity of these products enticed General Mills to create memorable characters such as Betty Crocker and the Pillsbury Doughboy, which have become icons in American history. Throughout the years, General Mills has enacted many different characters and they have become a staple for many of their brands. “As of date, General Mills is the six-largest food company. They market in more than 100 countries, and hold the No. 1 or No. 2 position in virtually every category they compete (General Mills, website).” General Mills’ primary business is food processing, where they maintain a wide variety of products and brands. One key component of their mission is developing innovative products that are healthier and differentiated from their competitors. Their industry environment consists of marketing their U.S products through distribution outlets such as grocery stores, natural food chains and mass merchandisers (General Mill, Website). One reason for their high market share is their original and abundant ad campaigns. Their ability to maintain market share points out that their customers are not only brand loyal, but they also understand the environment is constantly changing. Everyone has heard of General Mills whether they know it or not. General Mills has over 100 popular products fitting into a wide range of different food businesses such as baking goods, cereals, meals, organic, Pillsbury, snacks and yogurt. Some of their more popular brands include Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Cheerios, Haagen-Dazs, Yoplait, Green Giant, Hamburger Helper and Old El Paso. On their website, General Mills claims that “On average, U.S. shoppers place at least one General Mills product into their shopping cart each time they visit the grocery store.” This statement is likely true considering the extensive product lines General Mills has within each sector of their company. Another fact leading to this conclusion would be that General Mills currently has the number 1 position in the market for dry dinner mixes, refrigerated dough, fruit snacks and dessert mixes. Additionally, they hold the second position in eight other markets. People who purchase General Mills' products are parents, health conscious people, seniors, young adults, pregnant women, athletes, and really almost everyone. A majority of their fruit snacks and cereals are targeted towards kids; therefore a lot of parents make purchases in these two categories. Products sold in the baking, breads, pasta, meals, pizza, soup and vegetable categories are targeted towards those who go grocery shopping to purchase goods for the family. Generally athletes, health conscious people, and some seniors buy their organic, vegetable, soup, yogurt, and grain products. A product that is targeted towards everyone and which almost everyone buys is ice cream. Finding a specific target market for General Mills' products is hard to establish, because they target any consumer that you can think of with one product or another. General Mills’ brand portfolio includes more than 100 products. Depending on the scope chosen for General Mills’ industry, its competitors will vary. We will be focusing on the industry of one of General Mills’ specialties; refrigerated yogurt. Yoplait is the brand name used for these products and in the U.S. they receive their toughest competition from Dannon. This can be seen by looking at the competitors of General Mills as a whole....
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