NEW YORK — General Mills may soon announce a wave of strategic initiatives, including a stronger focus on higher-margin products, a stockkeeping unit rationalization program and new product initiatives aimed at faster-growing pockets of ready-to-eat cereal growth, according to a new Goldman Sachs report. Among other highlights of the report: For the 12-weeks ending May 19, food, drug and mass (excluding Wal-Mart) sales of Kellogg’s RTE cereals slipped 0.9% compared to the same period in 2006. In contrast, the company’s snack/granola bar sales increased 12.7%. General Mills’ soup sales increased 19% for the same period. Goldman Sachs attributes much of this to strong promotional activity. The gum category, meanwhile, is benefiting from increased competition. Overall chewing gum dollar sales increased 3.1%. This is evidence that Cadbury’s stronger push into the U.S. has benefited the category, according to Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs noted that Wrigley is hoping to revive the stick category with the launch of “5” gum.
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