General Mills abroad

by Stormy Wylie
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   General Mills' grain-based foods brands are well-known to most Americans. Few haven't heard of Gold Medal flour, Betty Crocker cake mixes, Bisquick baking mix, Bugles corn snacks and breakfast cereals like Cheerios, Wheaties, and Cocoa Puffs.

   But the company's brands may not be as familiar to international consumers. Only a small percentage of General Mills' top brands are exported, said Pam Becker, a spokeswoman for the company. Bisquick is sold in the Middle East, Betty Crocker can be found in Latin America and Bugles is the company's top-selling grain-based product in Europe.

   Most of General Mills' international business is conducted through joint ventures, including Cereal Partners Worldwide, with Nestle; Snack Ventures Europe, with PepsiCo; and International Dessert Partners, with Bestfoods. Fibre 1, Snow Flakes and Corn Flakes breakfast cereals are popular in Europe, Ms. Becker said, but many consumers do not know these are General Mills' products because they are sold under the Nestle label instead of the Big G logo.

    –– Stormy Wylie, editor