New Cereal Snacking Mixes By General Mills

General Mills’ Latest Cereal Jabs Competitor Kellogg’s (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

There is comfort in choices — from our heads to our feet including what we eat — provided that those choices are within sensible boundaries. If you struggle with indecision, the breakfast cereal aisle, in particular, poses a threat to your sense of liberty: Do you like your cereal flaky, krispy, shredded, toasted, golden? Fruity and pebbly, lucky and charmed? It’s not so simple. But if you like your cereal “magically duplicitous” — a little bit of ballsy marketing to go with your sugar spike — then step inside the saccharine world of big cereal competition.

General Mills rolled out a brand new, family-size cereal, spotted by snack and food blogger Junk Banter, that marries two of the best-selling cereals into one double-dealing box. Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes appears to be a collaboration between two cereal giants — General Mills (Cheerios and Lucky Charms) and Kellogg’s (Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes) — however, the Tony the Tiger company had little to do with this cereal mashup.

A new cereal… Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes!

A post shared by General Mills (@generalmills) on

Earlier in 2017, Kellogg’s debuted a limited-edition Frosted Flakes cereal with marshmallows, which without a shape and context, like Lucky Charms “marbits” (another word for dried marshmallow pieces), falls short of a “gr-r-r-eat” cereal.

The internet called those tiny, random balls of marbits “coughed-up hairballs of Tony the Tiger’s chest fur.”

And in the world of cereal marketing (or serial marketing), this was an opportunity that could not be missed. General Mills soon thereafter positioned the dapper Lucky Charms leprechaun in front of a familiar blue backdrop and suspicious font that writes “Frosted Flakes.” As Junk Banter pointed out, “apparently ‘Frosted Flakes’ is too generic a term to be trademarked.” This was not an accident. This tweet, also not an accident, made a point to cite the champion cereal brand, writing “The original marshmallow cereal.” Pettiness, it turns out, tastes like competition.

If that kind of thing sounds like your bowl of cereal, spoon up. According to Refinery 29, Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes will be available across major retailers nationwide starting early January. Family-size boxes (20.9 ounces) are priced at $4.99. General Mills is also releasing two new ways to have your morning breakfast — shredded and blasted. Chocolate Blasted Shreds and Cinnamon Toast Crunch Blasted Shreds will appear on store shelves in January.

Sources: Delish, Refinery 29 / Featured Image: Pironimo/Flickr / Embedded Image: Snack Cellar

Tags: General Mills, Kellogg's, Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes
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We Definitely Need To Try Hot Chocolate Cocoa Puffs! (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

This winter, General Mills is gifting us with Hot Cocoa Cocoa Puffs, featuring the Holy Grail of boxed breakfast items: those fluffy, crunchy little cereal marshmallows, which as far as I know are the only known way to make the classic cereal EVEN BETTER.

It’s unclear if the puffs themselves will contain anything different to distinguish themselves as hot cocoa, rather than just … regular cocoa? The front of the box doesn’t say that the actual puffs have a new formula, so I’ll guess that these are just straight up Cocoa Puffs with added marshmallows.

According to The Junk Food Aisle’s Instagram page, the cereal will be available at Target, though it’s not clear where else you’ll be able to find it.

“Yes!!!” commented one Instagrammer. “This is everything I’ve ever wanted in a cereal lol.”

Same.

“It’s amazing,” wrote another. “My world is complete.”

“This actually sounds so good!” said another cereal lover. “I’m gonna have a look next time I’m at the store!”

In other marshmallow cereal news, General Mills is doing some big things with their Lucky Charms. For a limited time, you can get the special Cinnamon Vanilla winter edition, which comes with frosted cinnamon oat cereal and marshmallows, which basically sounds like a beautiful union between Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

“Man, oh man,” The Junk Food Aisle posted on Instagram. “I think this has sleeper potential to be one of the best cereals ever (honestly) because Lucky Charms are already great, cinnamon cereals have a great track record, and the contrast between cinnamon and marshmallows is awesome. If this is [General Mills’] apology to me for killing off Sugar Cookie Toast Crunch, then … we’re getting there. Coming soon.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune notes that both cereals cost less than $3 a box at Target, and they are selling out fast online. So if you prefer to go the virtual route, order your sugary cereal as soon as you can.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune / Featured Image: Pexels

Tags: cereal marshmallows, General Mills, Hot Chocolate Cocoa Puffs, Hot Cocoa Cocoa Puffs, limited edition cereal
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How Good Do These Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites Look! (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

If you grew up in the ’90s, you probably remember the slew of sugary breakfasts that give you an instant jolt of nostalgia. From Oreo O’s to Gogurt to Cinnamon Toast Crunch (which of course you would wash down with a Squeezit or Surge), it’s no wonder if you crave sugar in the morning.

Now, fellow millennials, General Mills has concocted something that might just satisfy your breakfast sweet tooth. During the summer of 2017, the cereal giant will be releasing Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites, which look like cinnamon sugar-dusted donut holes filled with sweet cinnamon icing.

“Cinnamon Toast Crunch is now available in a warm, delicious snack,” a press release from General Mills announced on July 10. “Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites are available in your grocer’s freezer section and are ready from the microwave in just 30 seconds.”

Candy Hunting described them on Instagram as “soft donut bites with a sweet cinnamon filling” and noted that the treats will be released by the end of July.

A post shared by @candyhunting on

Though the bites are no doubt easy to heat up and marketed as a food that can be downed on the go, you’ll want to make sure to bring extra napkins (or perhaps a fork) with you. In a review of Taco Bell’s Cinnabon Delights, a similar product released in 2013, GrubGrade notes that the fried, cinnamon sugar-dusted, frosting-filled balls were delicious but quite messy on the fingers, so I can only assume that you might encounter similar struggles with the new breakfast cereal iteration.

The Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites will be sold in 18-pack boxes, and each four-piece serving has 180 calories, three grams of saturated fat, 13 grams of sugar and 380 milligrams of sodium, though you’re probably not going to be eating them for their nutrition anyway.

The sweet treats are part of General Mills’ summer lineup that includes Annie’s Organic Cheese Puffs, Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Barbecue Bugles, Neapolitan ice cream-flavored Cocoa Puffs cereal, Totino’s Mac and Cheese Pizza Rolls and much more, according to the company’s press release.

“We aim to serve the world by making food people love,” General Mills said in the release. “And there’s a lot to love in our summer launches.”

Sources: General Mills, GrubGrade, Candy Hunting/Instagram / Photo Credit: theimpulsivebuy/Flickr

Tags: Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch bites, Cinnamon Toast Crunch donuts, Food News, General Mills
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Trix Cereal Changed Its Formula And People Are Mad! (Photos)

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By Cooking Panda

General Mills removed all artificial colors and ingredients from Trix cereal in January of 2016, but the internet seems to be freaking out over it now! There should really be a statute of limitations on how much time can go by before you realize you’re mad about something. Anyhow …

Eater reports that the internet (mainly Twitter) is throwing some serious backlash at General Mills for changing the Trix recipe. You can get a glimpse into what’s happening here:

You get the idea.

According to Fox News, the color change came when General Mills removed artificial colors and flavors and fructose corn syrup from the cereal. This was a step in the first wave of removing these things from General Mills’ cereals, following the food trend that consumers were thought to be following. There is a health food trend happening, isn’t there?

Fruit and veggie juices are now used to flavor, and spice extracts are used for color, so that there aren’t any more unnatural ingredients in your cereal. Isn’t that worth it? Remember when the ingredient lists showed Red 40 and Yellow 6? Yeah, no more of that. And hey, guess what? It’s better for the kids!

The same types of changes were made to other cereal brands, like Reese’s Puffs, Cocoa Puffs, Golden Grahams and a few of the Cheerios varieties. The idea is that General Mills will have all artificial ingredients removed from all cereals by the end of 2017. I think that’s pretty amazing!

The Reese’s Puffs and Golden Grahams (my personal fave) brands are using natural vanilla now rather than whatever artificial flavor was being used before. Seems to me, there are way better things to get riled up about. Then again, maybe if General Mills could at least get the Trix back into more fruity shapes, the masses could be a little more pleased?

I guess General Mills does have a challenge trying to find the right natural ingredients to get those colors back on track. Perhaps the hysteria will push General Mills into quicker action in making sure to duplicate the old, bright artificial colors.

In the meantime, they can look forward to comments like these:

Personally, I think they’re doing a fantastic thing!

Sources: Eater, Fox News / Photo Credit: frankieleon/Flickr

Tags: Artificial Flavors, General Mills, Natural Foods, Trix Cereal
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Here’s How To Get Marshmallow-Only Lucky Charms (Photo)

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By Cooking Panda

If you’re used to sitting around with a box of Lucky Charms and hand-picking out the marshmallows, this is your year.

According to General Mills, Lucky Charms will be giving away 10,000 boxes of Lucky Charms Marshmallows starting in May. That’s right, just the marshmallows. And let’s be honest, the marshmallows are the only reason we buy Lucky Charms, anyway. 

Lucky-Charms-Marshamallows-Box

The days of picking through a bowl of Lucky Charms to get that perfect spoonful of marshmallowey goodness are over. Well, at least for the lucky winners of these specially marked boxes.

Next time you buy a box, don’t forget to check the inside back panel to find your 14-digit code. Then enter it online at MarshmallowOnly.com to see if you’re a winner. The sweepstakes will continue through December. 

In 2015, General Mills released the same special marshmallow boxes — but only 10 of them. Seriously, just 10.

The company decided to increase the number of boxes after an impressive amount of requests from marshmallow lovers. Thanks to these dedicated fans, our chances of winning are 1,000 times greater.

“We were overwhelmed with calls, e-mails, and tweets last year, asking for a box of our Lucky Charms marshmallows,” senior marketing manger Priscilla Zee said. “So this year we wanted to give them even more opportunities to win.”

A little effort can manifest itself in wonderful ways, like 10,000 boxes full of Lucky Charms Marshmallows. Lucky winners will have the special boxes mailed to them a few weeks after entering the winning code. 

It’s true: Lucky Charms are “magically delicious.” But how much more magical is their deliciousness when its composed of just the marshmallows? Only the 10,000 lucky winners of these special boxes will ever know. And, of course, the people who hand-pick the marshmallows out, like me. 

If you’re a true fan, you probably even know each shape by heart. Like the heart marshmallow! What’s your favorite charm? Personally, I would love a box full of rainbows.

Source: General Mills / Photo Credit: m01229/Flickr, General Mills

Tags: General Mills, lucky charms, marshmallow only, marshmallows
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The New Pillsbury Churro Bites Are Finally Here!

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By Cooking Panda

Get ready, folks, because this brand new product from J&J Snack Foods Corp. is about to blow your dang mind.

If you’re anything like me, anytime the little Pillsbury Doughboy shows up, your mouth begins watering automatically. Something is just ingrained in me to associate that laughing, silly character with delicious treats headed my way.

On April 11, General Mills and J&J announced that they have teamed up and are finally ready to launch Pillsbury Churro Bites, which is just like the addicting Oreo Churros that are out but possibly even more tantalizing.

I knew the Pillsbury Doughboy wouldn’t let me down!

Traditionally Spanish, churros are often referred to as Spanish donuts. In the case of the Pillsbury Churro Bites, the treats are bite-sized and served up with a cinnamon sugar topping to make them extra sweet, gooey and delicious.

I’m not drooling, you’re drooling!

The Churro Bites will retail in 8-ounce packages, and each package contains a pretty generous 20 bites; all you have to do is heat them up and they’re ready to be devoured.

“Pillsbury Churro Bites are a fun, innovative and exciting snack to add to the J&J Snack Foods portfolio. The product is convenient, shareable and enjoyable for all,” Alissa Davis, the vice president of marketing, said in the press release. “They are ready in minutes, giving a warm and delicious flavor to every bite.”

What’s more, for Cinco de Mayo celebrations, J&J Snack Foods is gearing up to release a special 1 pound 4.25-ounce club pack nationally.

The snacks can be found at retailers nationwide at the moment in frozen dessert sections, so when Cinco de Mayo starts to get nearer, I’m sure that’s where you’ll be able to snag yourself an extra large celebratory pack of the bites as well.

Source: J&J Snack Foods Corp / Photo Credit: Pillsbury Churro Bites via J&J Snack Foods Corp

Tags: churro, General Mills, J&J Snack Foods Corp., Pillsbury Churro Bites, spanish doughnut
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The World Is Getting Even More Pumpkin Spice-Flavored Foods

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By Cooking Panda

The pumpkin spice trend has expanded even further.

A variety of limited-edition breakfast foods will soon be available in the quintessential autumn flavor, such as Cheerios, Special K, and Nutri-Grain bars, as reported by Delish.

After the success of Apple Cinnamon Crunch in 2015, Special K has decided to join the pumpkin spice craze with the launch of Pumpkin Spice Crunch. Rice and wheat flakes with a coating of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice will soon be available, much to the delight of Special K fans. Apple Cinnamon Crunch will also be available this year, for those who want more than one fruit-and-spice-infused cereal to choose from.

Several other cereals will also be available in pumpkin spice, including Frosted Mini-Wheats, Barbara’s Puffins, and Cheerios. As sales of the original Cheerios have decreased 18 percent since 2010, similar to other cereals, General Mills executives believe that pumpkin spice and other innovations may help reverse the downward trend, according to Bloomberg.

“There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with cereal,” said Jim Murphy, head of the General Mills’ cereal division. “We just have to keep it relevant.”

Kellogg’s announced that a Pumpkin Spice Nutri Grain bar will soon be joining its pumpkin-infused product lineup. However, compared to other products, these bars will have a real pumpkin filling. With only 140 calories, they will probably be one of the healthiest ways to indulge in the pumpkin spice trend. 

According to Nielsen data, sales of pumpkin-infused food and beverage products have increased 79 percent since 2011, Delish reports.

“Pumpkin itself is a comfort food,” explained Bill Chidley, brand consultant at ChangeUp, as reported by Bloomberg. “It’s just a perennial favorite, like turkey at Thanksgiving, eggnog at Christmas, fireworks on Fourth of July.”

Wharton School marketing professor Jonah Berger, author of “Contagious,” expanded on this sentiment and the tendency that limited-edition products increase sales.

“While you could probably make pumpkin spice foods year-round, they’re typically only available in the fall, and that scarcity drives demand,” Berger explained. “Fall has also become a trigger for pumpkin spice. People think about going pumpkin picking, and so when the season comes around, they’re immediately reminded of the flavor and want to try it.”

Sources: Delish (2), Bloomberg (2) / Photo credit: General Mills via Delish

Tags: autumn, FALL, food trends, General Mills, Kellogg's, pumpkin, pumpkin spice
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The General Mills Recall Just Got Even Worse

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By Cooking Panda

Fans of the manufacturer General Mills may remember that the company issued a major voluntary recall of all products sold under its Gold Medal Flour label earlier this year, in order to investigate an ongoing, multi-state outbreak of E. coli.

Now, due to four new confirmed illnesses, General Mills is adding additional flour production dates to the previous U.S. retail flour recall.

Initially, the recall included certain sizes of Gold Medal, Wondra, and Signature Kitchens brand flour that had been produced between Nov. 4, 2015 and Dec. 4, 2015. The updated recall has extended the affected production dates through Feb. 10, 2016.

The illnesses that were reported to health officials show a correlation with consumers who have reported to have consumed or handles uncooked dough and/or uncooked batter made with raw flour. Just as before, no illnesses have been connected with flour that has been properly cooked, baked or handled.

“At this time, it is unknown if we are experiencing a higher prevalence of E. coli in flour than normal, if this is an issue isolated to General Mills’ flour, or if this is an issue across the flour industry,” the company wrote in the press release.

“As a leader in flour production for 150 years, General Mills is committed to convening experts to work with government officials to learn more and create new protocols, if needed,” said General Mills President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Harmening. “Most importantly, we want all the avid home bakers out there to have peace of mind and know the most important thing they can do to keep safe is to not eat uncooked flour.”

Just as before, the company reminds consumers that flour is a raw ingredient, and is intended to be cooked or baked; because it is made from wheat and grown outdoors, the bacteria present in its growing conditions is not necessarily removed during the normal flour milling process.

You can find complete recall information at generalmills.com/flour, and view all of the updated product dates included in the company’s recall here.

Source: General Mills / Photo credit: Living Rich With Coupons

Tags: e-coli, flour, General Mills, recall
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E. Coli Has Killed More Of Your Dreams, This Time It’s Betty Crocker Cake Mix

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By Cooking Panda

Thought that General Mills flour recall was over? WELL IT’S NOT, AND NO CARB IS SAFE.

And by that alarming sentence, we mean that you should probably throw out your Betty Crocker cake mixes because they’re made with — you guessed it — General Mills’ Wondra flour.

Betty Crocker ~Super Moist~ cake mixes recalled in the U.S. include the Party Rainbow Chip Mix (the one with pudding inside, I tearfully remind you) and the Carrot Cake Mix. 

If you’ve got either of these bad boys sitting on your shelf awaiting baking and frosting, you can at least contact General Mills consumer relations for a refund. But we understand money won’t make up for time away from cake. 

Check out the full list of recalled items here to be sure E. coli hasn’t killed more of your dreams.

Source: PopSugar / Photo credit: Betty Crocker

Tags: betty crocker, cake mix, e-coli, flour, General Mills, recall
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General Mills Issues Voluntary Flour Recall Over Multi-State E. Coli Outbreak

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By Cooking Panda

General Mills has issued a major voluntary recall of all products sold under its Gold Medal Flour label, in order to investigate an ongoing, multi-state outbreak of E. coli. According to the company’s statement, E. coli has not been found in any General Mills flour products or in the flour manufacturing facility to date.

“As a leading provider of flour for 150 years, we felt it was important to not only recall the product and replace it for consumers if there was any doubt, but also to take this opportunity to remind our consumers how to safely handle flour,” said Liz Nordlie, president of General Mills Baking division, as written on the company’s recall statement.

Of the 38 recorded occurrences under investigation, the CDC found that approximately half of the individuals reported making something homemade with flour at some point prior to becoming ill; some of those ill consumers may have also consumed raw batter or dough, which General Mills does not recommend.

“Flour is an ingredient that comes from milling wheat, something grown outdoors that carries with it risks of bacteria which are rendered harmless by baking, frying or boiling,” states the company’s recall.

“Consumers are reminded to wash their hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw dough products or flour, and to never eat raw dough or batter.”

While most strains of E. coli are harmless, E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that has been known to cause dehydration and bloody diarrhea; Seniors, infants, and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to forborne illness.

If you are a consumer who is concerned about an illness, or have been diagnosed by a physician as having an illness related to E. coli, General Mills urges you to contact state and local public health authorities.

Read the full General Mills recall statement here for a full list of products affected by the recall.

Sources: General Mills / Photo Credit: General Mills

Tags: e-coli, flour, General Mills, recall
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Pumpkin Spice Cheerios Will Be In Stores This Fall

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By Cooking Panda

General Mills is trying to make its signature Cheerios cereal appear to new audiences by introducing…you guessed it, Pumpkin Spice Cheerios.

As of late, pumpkin spice has become the go-to flavor option for a variety of brands. It started out at Starbucks with the introduction of pumpkin spice lattes. Now, for better or for worst, it has become an available flavor from beer and to Oreos and oatmeal.

According to Bloomberg, General Mills is introducing Pumpkin Spice Cheerios in an attempt to innovate the brand and reverse several years of declining sales. Although General Mills products are the best-selling cereals in the U.S., sales of regular Cheerios have decreased 18 percent since 2015.

Although cereal is viewed as a nostalgic food, it has lost much appeal throughout the years. Cereal sales have decreased from $13.9 billion in 2000 to about $10 billion in 2015.

“The cereal category is certainly shifting,” said Melissa Abbott, director of culinary insights for food research firm Hartman Group, as noted by The New York Times. “Consumers over all are less interested in industrially processed grains as a meaningful start to their day.”

According to a Mintel survey, 40 percent of this age group views cereal as an inconvenient food. Many millennials tend to not eat breakfast at all or eat it outside of the home, and when they do eat breakfast, it tends to be smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, yogurt, or hot grains.

However, executives believe that adjusting to the times is the key to reviving the nostalgic breakfast food. After introducing gluten-free Cheerios last year, sales were only down 0.8 percent, the best performance in five years. A limited-edition strawberry Cheerios is currently in stores, and Pumpkin Spice Cheerios will be available around Labor Day, just in time for fall.

“There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with cereal,” said Jim Murphy, head of the General Mills cereal division. “We just have to keep it relevant.”

Sources: Bloomberg, The New York Times / Photo Credit: Bloomberg

Tags: cereal, Cheerios, General Mills, pumpkin spice, Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
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