US-based food company General Mills plans to open 50 additional Häagen-Dazs shops in China which would take the total to 250 by the end of 2013.
Of all its international markets, China is the leader of General Mills’ international growth, driven by its four key brands there: Häagen-Dazs super-premium ice cream, Wanchai Ferry frozen convenience meals, Bugles and Trix wholesome snack products.
General Mills wants to capitalise on the growing number of middle-class and affluent families across China which is expected to double to 200 million households by 2020.
Meanwhile, its Wanchai Ferry brand, which is sold in more than 130 cities across Greater China, will enter new markets including Thailand this fiscal year.
The company said it plans to reach US$900 million in sales for its wholly owned businesses in China by 2015.
According to Chris O’Leary, executive VP and COO, international, markets outside the US account for 10 per cent of the company’s total sales 10 years ago, but, now, it represents 30 per cent of worlwide sales.
Based in Minnesota, General Mills operates consumer brands Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Progresso and Old El Paso in more than 100 countries.
Meanwhile, Haagen-Dazs will pull out from the Philippines citing an increasingly challenging environment as the reason. General Mills’ local distribution arm in the Philippines will close the remaining Haagen-Dazs shops in Eastwood and Shangrila by the end of August.
“The decision to close our business in the Philippines was made based on its performance over the years. General Mills’ business in the Philippines has been consistently challenging in all the 12 years that we’ve operated here,” said a General Mills Philippines spokesperson.