General Mills: Driving Food Systems Change through Regenerative Agriculture
by William Rosenzweig, Toby Stuart, Elaine Hsu, Emily Pelissier, and Christina Skonberg
In 2019, global food company General Mills committed to advancing regenerative agriculture on one million acres of farmland by 2030. It was a risky proposal because a supply chain for regeneratively-grown ingredients doesn't exist and the company doesn't own the acreage. Also, the costs and outcome are uncertain. The Natural and Organic Operating Unit is spearheading regenerative practices which sequester carbon instead of contributing to climate change. But while Annie's Mac & Cheese consumers care about regeneratively grown products, Lucky Charms consumers are mostly unaware of the term. Can an acquired brand drive transformation across a 150-year-old company resulting in the triple-bottom-line they believe is critical for the planet and their long-term viability?
1. Explore how an acquired brand influences a large established company and navigates the relationships with different brands to achieve its goal. 2. Assess company strategy in an environment of multiple external business pressures and rapidly changing tastes and values. 3. Understand the role of CPG companies in the larger food system, their relationships and responsibilities to human health and climate, and the benefits and challenges of regenerative agriculture.
Berkeley Haas Case SeriesFollowThe Berkeley Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by faculty members at the Haas School of Business. Cases are conceived, developed, written, and published throughout the year, on subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and strategy to finance and marketing. Each case includes a teaching note for use in the classroom.