Cheerios, Betty Crocker, and Pillsbury's Parent Company Is Changing Its Ingredients
When it comes to inflation's impact on supplies, sometimes you just have to get creative and roll with it. That's what General Mills intends to do as shortages have particularly affected the multinational brand's pizza, hot snacks, cereal, and refrigerated baked goods — so much so, it's changing the recipe.
Materials including starch, packaging, fats, and oils were the most challenging for the company to find, leaders said in an earnings call with investors at the end of March. The problems sourcing the ingredients have resulted from labor challenges, logistics "bottlenecks,' and most recently, availability of the things that go into foods like Annie's, Betty Crocker, Bugles, Cheerios, Cookie Crisp, Lucky Charms, Nature Valley, Old El Paso, Pillsbury, Yoplait, and more.
"The biggest issue we're seeing is really around material selection. So ingredients coming into our plants," Jon Nudi, President of North American Retail said in the call. "In some of our products, we've reformulated over 20 times year-to-date."
Part of the issue is a global supply shortage resulting from the war in Ukraine, which has put additional strain on oils and starch. Those two ingredients are usually made of wheat—which is heavily exported by Russia and Ukraine. Both countries are halting sending resources out right now. Earlier this month, General Mills said it had suspended its advertising and cereal business investments in Russia amid the conflict.
The company has taken steps to mitigate shortages in addition to altering recipes like fully staffing distribution centers and creating multiple teams to help logistics with sourcing products. The multinational manufacturer will also be reaching out to suppliers to request prioritization on certain ingredients and adding capacity for other products, including fruit, potatoes, and cereal Supply Chain Dive says.
While General Mills hopes these efforts will improve its supplies, the company doesn't believe it will return to normal levels of inventory until 2023, "where hopefully, we can get back to more historical inventory levels," Nudi says.
Before you stock up, be sure to check out This Beloved Breakfast Cereal Is Making People Sick.