General Mills Partners with Curves

May 10, 2007
Tom Ryan

By Tom Ryan

General Mills has partnered with women’s-only fitness chain Curves International Inc. to launch a line of granola bars and cereal under the Curves name.

The new Curves-branded weight management product line is part of a long-term partnership giving General Mills broad, exclusive promotional rights across several key food categories encompassing everything from licensed products to consumer promotional activity for the Curves brand. This marks the first time the Curves name has been licensed for retail use.

Curves Chewy Granola bars will debut in the spring and Curves cereal will be available on shelves this summer. Besides traditional advertising venues, the launch will be supported by promotions and sales at the nearly 8,000 Curves locations across North America.

With more than four million members, Curves operates one of the nation’s fastest-growing franchise systems by targeting busy women with limited time for exercise. The concept is best known for their 30-minute fitness work-out sessions featuring strength and cardio training, and the low-key approach has been known to get many women in the gym for the first time.

General Mills said it found that weight management ranks high among consumer’s health concerns and can be “powerfully motivating,” pointing to research showing that 61 percent of consumers want to lose 20 pounds. The Curve partnership is designed to offer simple, yet effective food and fitness solutions for women to help take the weight off and keep it off.

Besides providing General Mills with a product primarily focused around weight loss, the Curve line also provides General Mills with a vehicle to reach adult women.

“We’re very excited about this partnership because it perfectly underscores our commitment to making consumers’ lives healthier and easier,” said John Haugen, vice president of health and wellness for General Mills. “Our new line of products connects Curves’ women and fitness-inspired equity with General Mills’ health and wellness-focused innovation. This winning combination can help women achieve their weight management goals.”

“We want to help women take the smart path to long-term weight management and believe that extending our brand to packaged food is a positive next step,” said Gary Heavin, founder and CEO of Curves International.

Discussion Questions: What do you think of General Mills’ tie-in with Curves? What factors do marketers have to assess before deciding to tie into another organization’s brand image? What are the opportunities and potential pitfalls?

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4 Comments on "General Mills Partners with Curves"

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Mark Lilien
12 years 7 months ago

Curves for Women has the same grocery potential that Weight Watchers has. The keys for General Mills: what’s the taste? What’s the license fee? If the taste is fine, and the fee is low, the profit potential is there. Any strong brand with a low license price can be a winner if the taste is good.

Susan Rider
Susan Rider
12 years 7 months ago

Congratulations to General Mills/Curves for having the foresight and the vision to jump on this opportunity. This is an excellent idea and should prove profitable for both companies. The Curves franchises are popping up all over the place and women that are members will certainly use the healthy snacks marketed by both.

Before a company decides to partner with another company, much due diligence needs to be accomplished to assure common vision, goals, integrity and target niche. Companies need to protect their proprietary brand at all cost so partnering with a bad company can be tragic. But, partnering with a reputable, well known brand can be magic!

David Livingston
12 years 7 months ago

I don’t know if this is true but I have heard the only one making money from Curves is the one doing the franchising. The franchisees are struggling to get enough members and suffer from cannibalization due to so many outlets close together–similar to the Subway concept. Time will tell if Curves is successful. The fact that General Mills is backing this product line is a sign of encouragement. The pitfall is if Curves owners go broke and the name becomes damaged goods.

Stephan Kouzomis
Stephan Kouzomis
12 years 6 months ago

What a perfect fit. Demographically, pyschographically, and geographically.

And a long term loyalty shopper base can be had for both companies!Hmmmmmmmm


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