As the cereal industry struggles, General Mills may have found a way to survive.
Last year, the company announced plans to cut all artificial flavours from cereals.
In an earnings call on Wednesday, the company revealed that sales of the seven cereals reformulated without artificial flavours and colours in January grew sales 6%, compared to a 6% decline last year, reports Quartz.
Seventy five per cent of General Mills’ cereals no longer contain artificial ingredients as of January.
As consumers respond positively to General Mills’ move towards natural products, the company has been increasingly investing the area, with products such as gluten-free Cheerios and the recent move to label all genetically modified ingredients.
The boost in natural cereal sales wasn’t enough to push positive sales in the company’s third quarter. Overall, General Mills sales growth dropped 8% in the quarter, at $4 billion.
The cereal industry has struggled in recent years, with cereal sales dropping 5% from 2009 to 2014.
There are an increasing variety of breakfast foods on the market — many of which millennials believe to be more convenient than the classic bowl of cereal and milk. Hoping to win back consumers, cereal makers have begun marketing cereal as an nostalgic, almost gourmet ingredient, a marketing play where all-natural options could play a major role.