General Mills Revamps Classic Snack Brands to Target New Demographics and Combat Market Disruptors

In the world of quirky fruit snacks, a time-honored favorite, Gushers, is catching the waves of brand refresh that’s been sweeping the year. And they're not alone. Big brands have been twirling up new spins on old products, repackaging nostalgia with a dash of innovation, with General Mills leading the snack-pack.

This revamp exercise, surprisingly, did not stem from brand decline or dwindling popularity, according to the global head of design at General Mills, Teman Evans. Instead, they were motivated by the need to protect against disruptors and appeal to the next generation of snack-hungry shoppers.

So, what did General Mills do differently? For one, they swapped around the target demographics. Gushers got the biggest facelift to resonate with the 90s era adults who fondly remember the snack packs from their school lunch days. Simultaneously, it also aims to instigate a delicious competition in the crowded candy category.

Meanwhile, Fruit by the Foot changed its persona to a more "chill" vibe, providing a soft escape to aid teenagers amid their stress-filled lives, amplified by social media scrutiny.

Finally, the Fruit Roll-Up refined its messaging to serving as a "canvas for play", fostering creativity in young ones while maintaining its position among General Mills' other strongholds post-pandemic. As their designs start converting eyes into dollars, we see the early signs of the rejuvenated brands' high impact in the market share.

During this process, General Mills and Pearlfisher, the creative agency behind the overhaul, heavily relied on "memory cues". They used elements that consumers associate with the brands to create more impactful impressions.

This shift is a strategic reminder of how important it is to adapt to the evolving consumer landscape, especially as e-commerce and digital spaces become increasingly relevant. It also highlights the worthiness of thorough internal soul-searching for brands.

Stepping into the realm of Acknowledging the buzz of generative artificial intelligence (AI), Evans notes that the human element will always have its place, even as AI continues to evolve.

Now, shifting gears to talk about - our digital marketing solution.

This massive brand refresh led by General Mills raises intriguing points relevant to our mission. Like these major brands, we're all about understanding and leveraging data to make connections that matter.

Whether you're rebranding or launching a new product, can help you understand your target audience and predict how they'll receive your new brand or product. More so, we like to believe that the future of digital marketing involves AI - but the human touch will always be significant.

We merge these two elements to take digital marketing to the next level, using data to understand behavior and preferences, leveraging AI to make data processing efficient, and incorporating human expertise to make sense of it all. Can wiggle room for misunderstanding be assigned to the past already?

Oh, and did we mention we're as fun as a fruity snack pack? Just like General Mills and Pearlfisher, we believe in putting a fresh spin on things. See you on the other side of disruption. Let's bet our pouches on this – the marketing future will brim with rebrands, AI, and sweet surprises.

About The Author

Derek Sturman
Co-founder of, CEO of Panda
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