Is General Mills
Back in December, things were looking pretty upbeat for the company -- with the implication that it might have been slipping by the food police relatively unnoticed. W.D. Crotty reported that despite some trends that might take cereal off the table, other products, like Totino's Pizzas and Hamburger Helper, were still doing robust sales.
At an investor conference, General Mills said 2004 numbers will come in at the low end of its previous guidance for a range of $2.75 to $2.85 per share. The stock slipped only a hair as a result of the news, though it seems a bit of an overreaction to slip at all, given that it will still meet forecasts.
The outlook for General Mills is certainly brighter than Altria Group's
Over the weekend, Campbell Soup
Another major rival, Kellogg
Not to be outdone, General Mills has several products on plan to address the growing market for healthy alternatives, such as Total Protein Cereal (what a change from Wheaties), 8th Continent Light Soymilk, and Progresso Carb Monitor soup.
Today's news headlines lends negativity to General Mills, though the company ensured it will still meet expectations. However, it does imply that the Atkins trend is a force to be reckoned with and to be watched. General Mills' brands that aren't generally considered low-carb fare include Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Cheerios, Yoplait, and Bisquick.
While the outlook for General Mills may not be so bleak, it should be interesting to watch the changing face of grocers' shelves, and what the costs may be as food companies reformulate major products to keep up with consumer tastes and trends.
Is General Mills in a better competitive position than its rivals? Talk it over with other Fools on the General Mills discussion board.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.