General Mills to reduce workforce by 700 to 800

American Food giant General Mills Inc. said in a filing with federal securities regulators on Tuesday that it was reducing its workforce by 700 to 800 jobs as it tries to cope with falling sales.

Most of the job cuts, which are expected to save from $125 million to $150 million each year, will occur in the United States, the Golden Valley-based company, famous for the Betty Crocker, Cheerios and Green Giant brands, revealed.

It expects the layoffs will be completed by the end of fiscal 2015.

American diet is changing

Americans are finally responding to the growing obesity epidemic, and record levels of type two diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, with a change in eating habits.

General Mills healthier choices

General Mills says the future is in healthier foods.

To try to adapt to changing consumer preferences, General Mills has been shifting towards healthier and more nutritious foods. Rivals such as H. J. Heinz Co. and Kellogg Co. are also trying to adjust.

In response to shoppers’ preference for breakfasts with a lower carbohydrate content, General Mills is adding more protein to its Cheerios cereal.

In September, the company announced plans to shut down a cereal plant in California, laying off 430 workers, and a yogurt facility in Massachusetts (250 jobs) as part of its “Project Century” initiative aimed at cutting costs and reducing production capacity in North America.

Also in September, General Mills said it intended to buy Annie’s Homegrown, which makes natural and organic snacks, meals and pastas, for $820 million. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

General Mills posted disappointing revenue and profit for fiscal Q1 2015 (ending on August 31st). Net income came in at $345.2 million, while sales dropped 2.4% to $4268.4 million compared to $4,372.7 in the same quarter last year.

On May 25th, 2014, General Mills said it had a total of 43,000 workers (both full- and part-time).