General Mills Inc. is a food processing company, which manufactures baking products, yogurt, pizza, soup, breakfast cereals, ice cream, flour, packaged meals, organic products, vegetables, pasta, fruit and pastries. It is one of the world’s leading food processing companies.
The history of General Mills Inc. traces back to 1856, when Robert Smith opened the Minneapolis Milling Company on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Later, the company was bought by Cadwallader C. Washburn. His brother, William D. Washburn also joined him shortly thereafter. The brothers opened the Washburn “B” Mill in 1866 and it became very successful. In 1874, they opened the Washburn “A” Mill.
In 1877, John Crosby became a partner of the company and it was renamed as Washburn – Crosby Company. William Hood Dunwoody went to London on behalf of the company to open a wheat market. He became very successful and later became a partner of the Washburn – Crosby Company. Dunwoody also opened a hospital and an educational institution in Minneapolis. In addition, he built a charity home named Dunwoody Village in Pennsylvania.
In 1878, almost 17 workers were killed as a result of a flour dust explosion in the manufacturing plant. But, the mill was rebuilt. In 1928, the company acquired the WLAG radio station. In 1926, under the leadership of then company President James Ford Bell, the company joined with 26 other mills in the area. Thus, General Mills, Inc. was formed.
In 1929, the company introduced Betty Crocker coupons, which could be redeemed in the store for discounts on certain products. From 1941 to 1961, it sponsored The Lone Ranger radio show. The first space food was also created by General Mills, Inc. In 1965, it decided to try its luck in the toy industry by acquiring Rainbow Crafts, the maker of Play-Doh. From 1970 to 1995, the company also started several restaurant businesses, such as Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Pillsbury was acquired by General Mills, Inc. in 2001 and it became one of the company’s most successful brands.
Company Headquarters: Golden Valley, Minneapolis, MN, USA
Annual revenue: $14.797 Billion
No of employees: 33,000
Geography: USA, Canada, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe
Demography: Natural and Organic
Betty Crocker, Big T Burgers, Big G Cereals, Bisquick, Cascadian Farm , Bugles, Diablitos Underwood, Frescarini, Gardetto’s, Fruit Snacks, Gold Medal, Green Giant, Good Earth, Hamburger Helper, Jus-Rol, Haagen-Dazs, Knack & Back, Larabar, La Saltena, Latina, Macaroni Grill, Muir Glen, Old El Paso, Nature Valley, Pillsbury, Progresso, Pillsbury Atta, Totino’s/Jeno’s, Wanchai Ferry, V. Pearl, Yoplait