History Of General Mills Essay, Research Paper
In the following executive summery of General Mills Incorporated I will provide you the reader with the following information. History of General Mills from its first flour mill to its present day status, including key events and people relating to the company. The major negative and positive events, how they effected the company, and what General Mills has learned from them. And what present day employees of General Mills need to know about their employers history, and why. After I have done this I will provide you with information on what General Mills does, and it position in the Food and Beverage Industry.
Historical Analysis and Interpretation of General Mills Inc.
In 1866 Caldwallader Washburn started his first flourmill in Minneapolis Minnesota he named his company Washburn Crosby Company after himself and a partner. After fourteen years of perfecting his flour milling techniques, he won first prize at an 1880 exposition. This lead to change the flour company name from Best Flour to Gold Medal Flour.
After years of ups and downs Gold Medal Flour came up with one of its most recognized marketing strategies in the companies history. In 1921 advertising manager Samuel Gale produced the fictional spokeswoman Betty Crocker. He did this in such a way that the everyday housewife could relate to Betty Crocker. With the extra resources available from the huge success of Betty Crocker, Gold Medal Flour came up with a well known cereal Wheaties in 1924.
After being with the Gold Medal Company for three years, president James Bell, transformed Gold Medal form the small successful company it was to the huge corporation that that it is today. Bell did this by consolidating the Gold Medal Company with other United States mills in 1928. This new conglomeration was named General Mills. After the consolidating was accomplished General Mills was the largest miller in the world. The companies operations were independent of one another, but they received help with advertising and merchandising from corporate headquarters. Without Bell s intuition and strategies General Mills would not be the recognized name that it is today.
During World War two General Mills altered its focus form food into other categories, such as chemicals and electronics. These divisions still existed in 1961 when Chief Executive officer Edwin Rawlings, decided to close half of the flourmills in order to free resources. With these resources Rawlings supported the electronics division, and wanted to diversify General Mills s operations. One way he diversified was to buy up toy companies such as Kenner Products in 1967 and Parker Brothers in 1968. These two acquisitions made General Mills the largest Toy Company in the world.
Over the next twenty years General Mills continued its acquisition of unrelated businesses. For example, 1968 General Mills purchased Monet Jewelry, Eddie Bauer in 1971, Red Lobster in 1970, and Yoplait Yogurt in 1977, just to list a few.
These acquisitions thought to be a good idea at first proved to be a large mistake in the long run. In 1984 the toy and fashion industries profits decreased dramatically, and General Mills had to make a decision on weather or not to stay in thoughts industries. In 1989 General Mills executives decided then that they should concentrate their efforts in the more profit productive food and grain industry. As a result General Mills sold off all remaining fashion businesses. I believe that the downfall of that time period for General Mills was the failed strategy of buying up any unrelated business it could find.
In the same year General Mills and Nestle joined forces to create Cereal Partners Worldwide. Cereal Partners Worldwide entered the European market that same year. Three years latter General Mills collaborated with PepsiCo to form Snack Ventures Europe. The European ventures of General Mills have proven to be very successful over the past years, and I consider getting into foreign markets to be a great strategy for General Mills.
In 1994 the competition in the cereal industry was very fierce, and most competitors engaged in price slashing. In order to stay competitive General Mills had to participate in this activity costing the company millions. To add to the lost profits, the Food and Drug Administration found an unauthorized pesticide in fifty five million boxes of General Mills cereals. Every single one of these boxes had to be destroyed with a price tag of one hundred and forty million dollars. This unfortunate accident could have been avoided at every level in the corporation, but I was not caught until the contents were already packaged. I would hope that the present employees of General Mills know about this situation, and take the proper precautions so that it doesn t happen again.