Driving sales and streamlining labor in K-12 foodservice

Photograph: General Mills

In today’s environment, streamlining labor and inventory costs while optimizing sales are critical for any successful K-12 foodservice operation. Operators need versatile K-12 meal solutions that are easy to execute and provide the flavors and brands students love, while also meeting the nutritional requirements.

The full line of 2-ounce equivalent grain cereal cups from General Mills were designed specifically to meet these demands. The varieties include popular, classic favorites such as Honey Nut Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs and Cinnamon Chex that can be easily incorporated into breakfast, lunch and snack dayparts.

These products provide efficiencies in inventory and storage, with pre-portioned packaging that’s ideally suited for grab-and-go displays as well as for recipe assembly in the kitchen.

Not only do these cereal cups meet regulators’ 2-ounce equivalent grain requirements, all are Smart Snack compliant, which means they meet the requirements of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 for nutrition standards required for all foods sold in schools. In addition, many are gluten-free and most have no artificial flavors or colors from artificial sources. Several also have reduced sugar, including the new 2-ounce equivalent grain Trix cereal cups which has been reformulated with 25% less sugar.

Consider displaying cereals from General Mills with suggested milk pairings, such as fat-free chocolate milk for Cocoa Puffs or Lucky Charms and soy milk for Cinnamon Chex, Blueberry Chex or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Merchandising any of these or other 2-ounce equivalent grain cereal cups from General Mills can help drive milk sales.

    Other self-serve merchandising ideas include:

    • Stack cups between layers of sheet pans, either on a tabletop or in a baker’s rack.
    • Place cups in baskets for students to pick up and add to their tray.
    • Create a cereal station with cereal on one side and fruit and yogurt on the other.
    • Create holiday-specific displays, such as a Lucky Charms takeover for St. Patrick’s Day.

    And for even more ideas for merchandising, click here!

    The 2-ounce equivalent grain cereal cups from General Mills also can be used in other recipes to easily create additional breakfast, snack and lunch options. For example, consider a Unicorn Parfait made with layers of fruit and yogurt, served with Lucky Charms cereal and an ice cream cone as a horn.

    Or consider creating meatless lunch dishes by combining the crunch and flavor of General Mills 2-ounce equivalent grain cereal cups with fruits, vegetables and protein-rich products such as nut butter, cheese or Yoplait® ParfaitPro® yogurt alternative. Bees on a Branch, for example, features celery and carrot sticks topped with nut butter, raisins, sunflower seeds and Honey Nut Cheerios. Or make a Cinnamon Rice Chex Blueberry Crumble by combining Yoplait® ParfaitPro® with cereal and blueberries.

    Consider using Blueberry Chex in place of croutons in a salad to add both crunch and color, or feature Blueberry Chex in a trail mix that includes a cheese stick, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and apple.

    General Mills 2 oz. equivalent grain cereal cups are perfect for events throughout the year. Upcoming activations and events include National School Breakfast Week, which takes place March 6-10, 2023 and includes National Cereal Day on March 7.

    For more information and ideas about how to drive profitable sales volume in K-12 foodservice operations with 2-ounce equivalent grain cereal cups from General Mills, visit General Mills Foodservice today.

    This post is sponsored by General Mills Foodservice