consumer packaged goods

General Mills To Keep 'Foot On the Pedal' With Marketing Investments


In reporting its earnings for fiscal Q3 2024, General Mills indicated its marketing investments wouldn’t be slowing down any time soon.

While the company reported organic net sales were down 1% YOY, the company had previously stated it doesn’t expect to return to sales growth for the year, and General Mills CEO Jeffrey Harmening characterized the results  which included a 25% increase in operating profits --  as positive.

“General Mills’ strategic focus on brand building, innovation, and in-store execution contributed to improved volume and market share trends in the third quarter,” Harmening said in a statement.

On an earnings call with investors, Harmening acknowledged one area where the company had struggled: pet food. He acknowledged difficulties in returning to growth in the wet food and specialty categories, citing the need for improved messaging for one brand in particular.



“We need to get back to advertising [Blue Buffalo] Wilderness with a message that’s going to resonate [with] consumers,” he told an investor on the call. “We’re working on that now. That’ll be important.”

One area where General Mills’ marketing strategy does appear to be working? Breakfast, cereal and granola bars. The company reported that Nature Valley was growing market share in the category, citing successful product innovation.

Later in the call, General Mills CFO Kofi Bruce addressed a question related to whether media investments were lower for fiscal Q4, responding, “No … one of the things that worked really well … is that we have continued to invest behind our brands at a mid-single-digit rate.”

He added: ”From where I sit, we’ll continue to keep our foot on the pedal. I don’t expect a material change. So I’d expect to round the year out somewhere in the mid-single-digit range of increase on our media [spending], which will put us comfortably ahead of our top line expectations.”


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