As Victoria slowly lowers its restriction levels, global food company General Mills is reflecting on the last seven months of varying COVID-19 lockdowns.

General Mills managing director Peter Everett said the country is transitioning to a COVID-19 normal and the company is looking at how it can adapt to what that means.

Victoria’s continued lockdown has seen General Mills experience stable growth in Victoria, up 17 per cent on last year, compared to the company’s national figure of 14 per cent for the 21 weeks ending 2 August 2020.

Everett said: “What we’ve noticed in Victoria is continued growth across our home-cooked meal brands, such as Old El Paso and Latina Fresh, as restaurants and cafes remain closed to in-house dining and more Victorians cook at home.”

Queensland and New South Wales, where COVID-19 restrictions have eased and panic buying subdued, General Mills has seen sales settle closer to business as usual levels.

Everett said it was important for the company to “give back” and ensure all members of society can enjoy the basic necessity of food, particularly in the current context.

They have demonstrated this through their recent announcement of a model that is unique to Foodbank Australia, with General Mills’ Rooty Hill plant in Western Sydney producing on average 10,000 dedicated meals of Latina Fresh ricotta and spinach agnolotti each month, for the next year, for people in need.

“We take our responsibility to help Australia through this pandemic seriously, which can be seen across our product offering and through our partnership with Foodbank Australia,” Mr Everett said.

This comes as the General Mills Foundation has granted a further US$100,000 (Approx. AU$137,500) to Foodbank Australia to help respond to the significant increase in community need for food staples due to the pandemic.

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