General Mills innovation EVP on becoming ‘best big small company’

By Stephen Ellison, Contributing Writer

Peter Erickson, executive vice president of Innovation, Technology, and Quality for General Mills, is focused on a very clear goal: to help the company, with 43,000 employees and brands like Cheerios, Nature Valley, and Betty Crocker, become “the best big small food company in the world.”

But blending scale and agility is a tall order for most large organizations. We spoke with Erickson earlier this month to talk about how he’s approaching it; how the company stays close to consumers; and his efforts to position the $17.6 billion company as the “partner of choice” for inventors and startups working in the food industry.

Erickson has been with Minneapolis-based General Mills for 27 years, and he reports directly to CEO Ken Powell.

Erickson also shared an infographic, below, on consumer trends driving product innovation at the company.

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