General Mills gets into the delivery business

Monday, March 11, 2013

General Mills has a new play for the Betty Crocker generation.

The Golden Valley-based packaged foods giant this week is launching a unique food delivery service, partnering with supermarket operator Coborn’s and focusing on the senior demographic. The service is a pilot, but if it works in the Twin Cities, General Mills could take it to other markets.

The company is producing a new product for the delivery service, frozen full meals — beef stew with cheddar mashed potatoes, etc. — under the moniker Betty Crocker Kitchens. The meals will be distributed by CobornsDelivers, which covers the Twin Cities area.

Jon Seltzer, Ph.D., a professor and retailing specialist in St. Thomas University’s Opus College of Business, said the General Mills-Coborn’s venture makes “makes perfect sense.”

General Mills is not well-known in the frozen meal space. So, with the Betty Crocker meal pilot program, it’s creating a new product with minimal inventory demands, he said.

And it has potential to be a winner with consumers. “I see all sorts of appeal,” Seltzer said. “It will be a question of how does it taste?”

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Originally published: 03/11/2013, Star Tribune