General Mills
 
General Mills, the world’s sixth-largest food company and maker of household brands like Green Giant, Betty Crocker and Cheerios, joined the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in May of 2010.  Their site is located in the David H. Murdock Research facility at the NCRC. 
 
Since 2005, General Mills has led the food industry with positive changes that have improved the health and nutrition profile of products representing 50 percent of its U.S. retail business.  General Mills reduced the number of calories fat, sugar and sodium in its products and added vitamins, calcium, whole grain and fiber.  The company now has more than 640 U.S retail products with 130 calories or less per serving and 460 U.S. retail products with 100 calories or less per serving.
 
The arrival of another Fortune 500 company was a major step forward in the development of the NCRC.  Both General Mills and Monsanto were drawn to the NCRC by the strength of the research capabilities and potential partnerships with the eight universities on campus.  The 70-year-old General Mills Company is taking advantage of the cutting-edge technology and expertise offered by the NCRC to form partnerships that offer a unique opportunity to collaboratively uncover solutions to improve the nutrition of food, including whole grains and vegetables. 
 
 
Lane Johnson, PhD
Site Lead, General Mills
 
Dr. Johnson received a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota. In 1987, he joined the Pillsbury Company to help establish a biotechnology program that was primarily focused on their Green Giant vegetable business. In 2001, Pillsbury was purchased by General Mills, and Dr. Johnson became director of the company’s agricultural research, which was focused on the genetics, breeding, agronomy and agricultural sustainability of grains and vegetables. Currently, Dr. Johnson is establishing a research program at the NCRC to leverage the highly collaborative environment and support General Mills’ efforts in the nutritional enhancement of vegetable and grain based products.