Ch9 Article 2 - For General Mills, Wheat-Free Items Are...

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Page 1 of 2 2009 Factiva, Inc. All rights reserved. For General Mills, Wheat-Free Items Are Tricky to Make, Cheap to Market By Ilan Brat 829 words 2 July 2009 The Wall Street Journal J B1 English Mass marketer General Mills Inc. is carving out a niche in gluten-free food after realizing it could reach eager customers without costly ad campaigns. The company's Betty Crocker brand is rolling out gluten-free mixes for cookies, brownies and cakes. The mixes are the first gluten-free offering from a major, mainstream brand in the cake-mix aisle. Gluten is a key protein in wheat, but many people react badly to it. Ann Simonds, General Mills's president of baking products, says the company decided to pursue gluten-free products last year after its customer-relations department noticed that customer inquiries about food allergies and sensitivities most frequently centered on whether items contained gluten. "It used to be, as a marketer in the food industry, you needed a $50 million idea to make the business model work," says Ms. Simonds. "Today, you can meet an unmet need that will be a $5 million business. . . . That would be worth it for a company like General Mills." Last July, General Mills released a gluten-free version of its Chex cereal, and the company received
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This note was uploaded on 01/26/2011 for the course MKT 337h taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Ch9 Article 2 - For General Mills, Wheat-Free Items Are...

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