This is one of three articles about our food packager of the year, General Mills. To read the other stories, click on the headlines below.
Packaging a big part of General success
Raising the bar on granola--and elsewhere
When it comes to keeping an entire fleet of innovative packages in formation, General Mills runs a tight ship.
General Mills has designed a spectrum of packaging innovations that catch the consumer’s eye, sustain a product’s freshness and minimize environmental impact. The only thing tougher for a company than designing a good package is designing a good one that also promotes sustainability.
“General Mills has been able to improve sustainability while maintaining convenience of our products in several ways: through packaging material reduction, use of recycled and recyclable materials and package design changes to improve pallet pack-out and reduce truck shipments, amongst others,” says spokesperson Maerenn Ball.
But where many companies just reduce materials or use recycled content, General Mills functions holistically. A couple of examples:
The Yoplait unit is working to improve how it sources raw ingredients and distributes finished product to reduce the total miles the packaging material travels.
General Mills also got rid of the different colored lids for various Yoplait flavors and replaced them with plain silver foil lids, reducing the amount of ink and energy required to produce those lids, eliminating hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide and significantly increasing productivity.
While sustainable packaging is one criterion for whether a consumer will buy a product or not, convenience still reigns. And, in the convenience packaging area, so does General Mills.
In another kid-friendly move, Cheerios is promoting literacy through its “Spoonful of Stories” program. For the sixth year in a row, General Mills put 5 million small children’s books inside Cheerios cereal boxes to kick off National Children’s book week, Nov. 12-18, 2007. Five different books were selected to go in each box, intending to reach children from low-income homes.