Refrigerated and frozen products such as Yoplait yogurt and Green Giant vegetables helpedGeneral Mills Inc., Minneapolis, post a 14 percent net sales gain to $3.5 billion during the 13-week first quarter of fiscal 2009, ended August 24. Officials said volume increases (measured in pounds) contributed four points of sales growth. Meanwhile, segment operating profits grew 9 percent to $632 million despite higher input costs and a 17 percent increase in consumer marketing spending.
General Mills noted that Yoplait division net sales grew by 19 percent, led by contributions from Yoplait Light, Yo-Plus and Fiber One yogurts. Meals division sales also grew by 10 percent, led by Progresso ready-to-serve soups and frozen Green Giant vegetables. Pillsbury USA division net sales grew 6 percent, including "gains" from Grands Biscuits and Totino's frozen pizza and snacks.
First-quarter net sales for General Mills' Bakeries & Foodservice segment grew 17 percent, reflecting price increases taken to combat higher input costs. However, pound volume declined by 5 percent during the period.