Cheerios get no lift from GMO switch

CANDICE CHOI AP Food Industry Writer Published:

NEW YORK -- Plain old Cheerios are no longer made with genetically modified ingredients, but the switch hasn't yet translated to a boost in sales.

General Mills, the company that makes the cereal, in January announced it would start making its plain Cheerios without GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. The move came after a campaign by the group Green America, which prompted fans to express their support on the Cheerios' Facebook page.

On Wednesday, CEO Ken Powell said in a phone interview that the Minneapolis company has gotten supportive letters and online comments for its decision. But he said the company was "not really seeing anything there that we can detect" in terms of a sales lift.

"It's what I expected," Powell said. He added that genetically modified organisms aren't really a concern for most customers.

Americans have been moving away from cereal more broadly, as alternatives such as Greek yogurt or breakfast sandwiches have gained popularity. That has left General Mills and rival Kellogg Co. struggling to boost sales. Cheerios is no exception; Powell conceded that sales have been "down somewhat" for the brand.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.