General Mills Wants to See Less of You

CHICAGO Food maker General Mills is getting into the weight-loss business with a new program, dubbed “A brand new you.”

The program, which launched this week, was inspired by an employee program—labeled the “10/10 Weight-Loss Challenge”—introduced in January 2004. During the program, nearly 500 employees of the Golden Valley, Minn., company collectively lost nearly 3,000 pounds.

“The 10/10 Challenge couldn’t have come at a better time for me,” said Mark Addicks, General Mills’ chief marketing officer in a statement. “The program taught me new exercise and eating habits, and as a result, I lost 22 pounds in little more than two months.”

Through the program, consumers enroll at a Web site, Based on entries for height, weight, age, gender and activity level, the program sends a meal plan designed for the user to lose one pound a week. Dieticians at General Mills’ Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition and the Betty Crocker Kitchens developed the menus.

Promotion for the weight-loss regimen will include freestanding inserts and in-store efforts. Spending was not disclosed.