General Mills is seeking to diversify its distribution channels and raise the profile of its popular consumer brands, namely Nature Valley, Haagen Dazs and Betty Crocker, in the hospitality and foodservice sectors, the company's sales manager foodservice MEA Wissam Menkara and shopper marketing manager MEA Marion Guerel revealed to Hotelier Middle East during the Speciality Food Festival at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
"In the Middle East region, General Mills products have always been very strong in the retail business. With our presence here, we aim to establish our brands in a new channel: the foodservice industry," Guerel said.
She added: "We want industry people, especially chefs and other hospitality professionals to believe that these products, which are in high demand, can also work to have in their portfolio as well."
Menkara concurred, saying that the company is spotlighting Nature Valley, Haagen Dazs and Betty Crocker as "General Mills is committed to innovation, brands that offer new and interesting products that are meeting market expectations", he said.
He continued by introducing Nature Valley's two new flavours: oats and coconuts, as well as chocolate.
For Haagen Dazs, a brand which he described as "always about offering the best quality and best ingredients with an innovative way of presentation, as befits its premium brand position", Menkara said its latest innovation is its new stick bars range.
"Haagen Dazs is our most iconic foodservice brand," Guerel pointed out. "Its aim here is to shine versus other premium ice creams."
Menkara said that Betty Crocker is also introducing new innovations.
"As a market leader in the baking category and in cake mixes, with Betty Crocker, we want keep delivering our promise to the market and have just launched three new cold desserts, namely pannacotta, caramel and whipped cream," he said.
Gourel explained that 'cold desserts' are products which actually do not require any baking. "These are very easy to use, just put in a pan and stir fry a bit and put in the fridge," she said, adding: "For the Middle East market, this is actually perfect for Ramadan because the oven would usually be occupied with other festive delicacies."
The Speciality Food Festival is taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from September 18 to 20, 2017, in conjunction with Dubai International Hospitality Week.