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General Mills Runs 'Groupon' in San Francisco, Twin Cities

  |  April 22, 2011   |  Comments

Daily deals platform orchestrates first-ever offer from CPG brand.

generalmillsGroupon subscribers in San Francisco and Minneapolis/St. Paul on Thursday were offered a deal on food that they'd actually have to serve themselves.

General Mills became the first CPG brand to test the daily deals platform, asking $20 for $40 worth of breakfast cereal, snacks, cookie mix, canned corn, and Hamburger Helper. Such items are part of the 90-year-old giant's "General Mills Sampler Pack," which was accompanied in the Groupon offer by a coupon book worth $15. The pitch also included free home delivery.

The 4,500-voucher allotment for the Twin Cities sold out at 9:21 p.m. ET. San Francisco's 500 available vouchers sold out by 3:16 p.m. ET.

Five-thousand vouchers isn't exactly a huge number on the daily deals platform. When comparing the effort to other national Groupon offers, General Mills is clearly in test mode.

"We're always looking for efficient ways to sample our products and given Groupon's scale, we thought this would be a way to reach a sizeable audience," Karl Schmidt, the food giant's director of promotion marketing, told Ad Age. "Our next steps are to evaluate the results - I think the early read is positive - and then factor the results into our next fiscal year, which begins in June."

Minneapolis-based General Mills isn't the only company to sell CPG products directly through Groupon. E-commerce sites like Soap.com began offering household items on Groupon last year.

But mostly, the Chicago-based Groupon is known for its local restaurant deals.

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Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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