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General Mills Tries a New Take on Lucky Charms

The new variant may be even more magically delicious.

The creators of products that have been popular for decades have a unique challenge on their hands.

That challenge is to find ways to continue to serve the same product, whether it be fast food like the iconic McDonald's  (MCD) - Get Free Report Big Mac or Hershey's  (HSY) - Get Free Report beloved Kisses, and find a way to make it different -- but not so different that it makes customers who love the original turn away,

There's an art to this process, and one that many companies have gained quite a bit of finesse in. Yum Brands chain  (YUM) - Get Free Report Burger King gets a shout-out for reinventing the Whopper what seems like hundreds of times, for instance.

Cereal makers also face this unique challenge. General Mills  (GIS) - Get Free Report, for instance, which has been chugging along since 1928, has been making many of its classic cereals since those early years. Kix, Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, and Trix aren't only some of the company's longest-running products, but they're iconic -- and often what folks think of when they imagine the cereal aisle at their local grocery.

Lucky Charms has been around since the '60s, but there's nothing wrong with giving this classic a fresh coat of paint -- and that's exactly what General Mills is about to do.

A Cozy Take on Lucky Charms

Everyone loves the marshmallows (or, as General Mills calls them, "marbits") in Lucky Charms, but in its newest incarnation, they're getting a very seasonal boost. The new Lucky Charms S'Mores replaces the usual oat cereal with chocolate cereal, as well as adding graham squares to get that toasty campfire flavor.

This new variant of the cereal will hit store shelves in January 2023, Tasting Table reports. So if you love the taste of S'mores but just don't feel like building a fire to get the delightfully gooey result, this cereal is a way to scratch that itch (and, of course, avoid going outside in freezing temps to make it).

General Mills Aims For the Grownups

While kids were definitely the target demographic for General Mills in its earlier years, the company is now also aiming its wares at a newer one: older adults that have nostalgia for the taste of cereals they ate when they were kids.

This move was partially driven by shrinking cereal sales, a problem the company was coping with in 2019 alongside Kellogg  (K) - Get Free Report. Sales went up during the pandemic likely because of the ease of making oneself a bowl of cereal during a difficult time, but as vaccines became available and people felt ready to go out into the world once more, cereal sales slumped again.

However, General Mills seems to be finding ways to thrive, helped no doubt in part by its portfolio outside the cereal aisle, which includes brands such as Blue Buffalo, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and Yoplait. 

The company reported a 5 percent growth in the U.S. morning foods sector during its Q1 2023 earnings call in September.

"Additionally, we are making significant capital investments to increase our internal manufacturing capacity on key platforms such as pet food, fruit snacks, hot snacks, Mexican food, and cereal," chairman and CEO Jeffrey L. Harmening said. "These businesses were growing before the pandemic, they grew during the pandemic, and these investments will enable them to continue to grow into the future. "