Our Nutrition Philosophy
Foods are not composed of a single nutrient. Instead, nutrient density helps tell the whole story about the nutritional value of a food. Nutrient density is the per-calorie proportion of beneficial nutrients in a food against nutrients to limit.
Nutrient-dense foods contribute to the consumption of key food groups, including whole grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Nutrient dense foods also contribute beneficial nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber, while balancing nutrients to limit such as sodium, sugar, and saturated fat.
At General Mills, we provide a diverse portfolio of products, including whole grain cereals, low-fat and nonfat yogurts, and fruits and vegetables, which can help consumers meet dietary recommendations and help build healthy eating patterns. General Mills also provides educational material and simple meals focused on nutrient density, affordability, and convenience for a variety of our products.
At General Mills, our view of sustainable nutrition focuses on how our ingredients are grown, the nutrition of our foods and the materials used to protect the food’s nutrients, quality, and safety. We believe packaged foods play an important role by contributing shelf-stable, nutritious, convenient, and accessible foods that meet our consumers’ family traditions and food preferences.
The World Health Organization has identified Sustainable Healthy Diets as dietary patterns that promote an individual’s health and well-being; have low environmental pressure and impact; are accessible, affordable, safe, and equitable; and are culturally acceptable. General Mills supports this perspective and is focused on providing nutrient-dense foods that contribute healthful ingredients, including whole grains and low-fat dairy, to the diet.
General Mills is also a leading voice on regenerative agriculture. We invest to help support farmers as they shift toward more sustainable practices to reduce environmental impact and restore soil health.
General Mills provides useful, fact-based information on packages to help consumers make informed dietary choices. As consumers’ desire for personalized nutrition expands, General Mills works to remain informed about emerging nutrition research and continues to provide innovative product offerings. From products like Ratio™ and Good Measure™ that are focused on being carb-conscious to heart healthy Cheerios™, our diverse portfolio is designed with foods that keep specific nutrition and lifestyle goals in mind. All our product packages display accurate nutrition labeling and follow relevant nutrition and health claim requirements as prescribed by regulations in the country of sale.
At General Mills, we are committed to making food with passion and putting people first by improving the affordability and accessibility of our nutrient dense products. We do this in a variety of ways including promoting nutrient dense affordable meals and snacks like ready-to-eat cereal, low-fat and nonfat yogurt, canned soup and vegetables, and whole grain granola bars and being a long-standing supporter of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) feeding programs like school meals, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant, and Children (WIC), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
General Mills also develops materials and supports partnerships to educate consumers and health professionals on the benefits of nutrient dense foods and how to build affordable, nutritious meal solutions. Our Plus It Up™ campaign is one example of this and aims to help consumers use nutrient dense packaged foods to prepare filling and affordable meals and snacks. We believe encouraging nutrient dense packaged foods that are accessible and affordable can help to improve nutrition for all consumers.
Nutrition & Dietary Intake Research
General Mills has an in-house team of dietary intake research scientists who leverage data from nationally representative surveys, such as the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), to support our regulatory advocacy efforts through evidence-based positions/perspectives and accelerate business opportunities grounded in evidence. We invest in research to better understand the dietary intakes of our consumers and the impact of food on health and wellness.
General Mills also believes in cross-sector dialogue and diverse partnerships to advance nutrition research in support of public health. We collaborate with a range of scientists, universities, consortiums, and organizations across the globe to advance nutrition science and help answer multifaceted nutrition problems. We are dedicated to discussing our policies and practices openly and transparently.
Benefits of Yogurt
Yogurt is a delicious and nutrient-dense for meals and snacks. In addition to providing many important nutrients like calcium, protein, vitamin D and potassium, yogurt contains live and active cultures which can make it easier to digest than other dairy sources for people with lactose intolerance. Overall, yogurt eaters have better nutrient intakes and are more likely to have nutritionally adequate diets. General Mills makes many delicious yogurt varieties, 56% of which provide at least ½ serving of low or non-fat dairy.
Benefits of Cereal + Whole Grains
General Mills Big G cereals proudly offer a variety of nutrient dense, affordable breakfast cereals, including iconic brands like Cheerios™, Cinnamon Toast Crunch™, and Chex™. Every Big G Cereal is made with whole grain and fortified with key vitamins and minerals, offering an accessible and delicious breakfast choice families can feel good about.
New General Mills research findings suggest that eating a fortified ready-to-eat cereal (RTEC) breakfast is affordable and results in a higher intake of several key nutrients, such as fiber, calcium, vitamin D, folate, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6. Other key nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium can be associated with higher intakes with the addition of milk. RTEC consumers also have higher intakes of whole grain and dairy compared to consumers of non-RTEC breakfasts or breakfast skippers.
Link to publication: https://www.bellinstitute.com/publications/frontiers-in-nutrition-article