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Nature Valley Protein Bars named ’Most Innovative Product’ of 2013

Consumer Goods Technology recognizes General Mills for open innovation


Minneapolis - Consumer Goods Technology magazine today named Nature Valley Protein Bars the ‘Most InnovativeProduct of 2013.’

“We are honored to be recognized by Consumer Goods Technology for introducing the most innovative product of the year,” said Michelle Peterson, marketing associate director for Nature Valley. “Nature Valley Protein Bars were the first great-tasting, high-protein snack bars created for mainstream consumers, made from ingredients you can see and recognize, such as roasted peanuts, almonds and decadent dark chocolate.”

Introduced in January 2012, Nature Valley Protein Bars are a delicious snack and source of energy available in three flavor varieties – Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate; Peanut, Almond & Dark Chocolate; and Salted Caramel Nut. Each bar has fewer than 200 calories and contains 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. The protein in Nature Valley Protein Bars comes from roasted peanuts or creamy peanut butter with almonds, as well as soy protein.

Nature Valley Protein Bars were developed in partnership with several outside partners, reflecting General Mills’ open innovation strategy known as the General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN). For instance, one external partner helped incorporate high levels of great tasting protein in the bars. Another partner company developed the “crisps” used in the bars specifically for General Mills.

“By combining these externally-sourced innovations with the expertise of our own R&D teams, Nature Valley Protein Bars deliver a convenient and great tasting source of protein to which consumers have responded tremendously well,” said Joshua Opiacha, a senior principal scientist for General Mills.

Nature Valley Protein Bars were named the No. 8 item in the Food & Beverage Brands category on Symphony IRI’s 2012 New Product Pacesetters list. The IRI report is released annually and recognizes the top 100 food and beverage and non-food CPG products.

Consumer Goods Technology’s‘Most Innovative Product’ award nomination process started in July when entries were collected from consumer goods executives, industry analysts and consultants, and technology providers. These nominations were then narrowed down to a list of five finalists by Consumer Goods Technology’s editorial staff based on multiple award criteria. This slimmer nomination list was then sent to the magazine’s Editorial and Research Advisory Boards, which elected the winning product. The award was presented today at the Consumer Goods Growth & Innovation Forum in Miami.

Past winners of this award include Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray, Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Centers, Bounce Dryer Bar, OFF! Clip-On Mosquito Repellent and Flings Pop-Up Trash and Recycle Bins.

To learn more about Nature Valley Protein Bars, visit To learn more about the General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network, visit

About G-WIN
General Mills officially launched its open innovation program, the General Mills Worldwide Innovation Network (G-WIN) in 2007 to enhance and accelerate its innovation efforts. G-WIN has historically focused on food technology, products, packaging, ingredients and processing, and has connected with thousands of world-class innovators around the globe since its launch. Since launching G-WIN, many of the company’s most successful new product launches have incorporated open innovation, such as Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownies, Yoplait Greek 100, Progresso Light soups and Nature Valley Protein Bars.


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