Putting together a successful bid may seem intimidating, but K-12 operators should rest assured that General Mills Foodservice has their back. Our experienced and friendly bid team is geared up to help you navigate the bid process—sharing expertise and resources to help you identify and secure the right products to make your menus shine.
“Bid season can be overwhelming, we want K-12 foodservice directors to know we are here to support you." said Christine Miller, K-12 senior national account executive, who leads a team of six with more than 50 years of combined bid experience. Our dedicated team will work with schools to find products and solutions to ensure success.
To help you prepare for your upcoming bids, we recently tapped our team to share their insights on some of the more common questions they are hearing this bid season. Here is a summary:
Q: I have an audit coming up. Where can I find product nutrition and formulation statements for the General Mills K-12 products?
A: General Mills recently added new capabilities to the Product Nutrition Finder, making it easier than ever for you to source your necessary information! You can select the documentation you need and quickly download information en masse, including: K12 Crediting Letter, Smart Snacks Results, and Buy American Letter
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to download the documentation:
- Go to the Product Nutrition Finder page: https:/www.generalmillscf.com/resources/product-nutrition-finder
- Type in the product name or code
- Check the box next to the products you would like documentation for
- Check the box next to what documentation you would like to receive for each product & click “download
- The download will show at the bottom of your screen. All the documents you selected will download into one PDF
Q: Where can I find the CACFP and Smart Snack compliant products that General Mills offers?
A: We have two easy ways for you to access these product lists. Our K-12 Product Guide is a one-stop shop for all nutrition requests. The easy-to-read format can help you understand how our products are regulation-ready. You can find our 2020-2021 K-12 Product Guide here: https://www.generalmillscf.com/industries/k12/support-tool-categories/exploring-products/new-product-brochure
You can also request a list of all CACFP or Smart Snack products and download them on the Product Nutrition Finder: https://www.generalmillscf.com/resources/product-nutrition-finder
Q: I want a product added to my bid; can you help me?
A: If you are asking for a product to be added to your bid, that means our dynamic General Mills field sales team has showed you something exciting. If you let your sales rep know about your interest, the General Mills bid team can add a new product without a written request from you, the school district. If you want a price for an existing product that was not on your original bid solicitation and you haven’t submitted your new bid, we will ask for a written request from you, the school district, to confirm the request is coming from you. The General Mills bid team will then send that pricing to your authorized distributors, with a helpful call-out on what is new. Don’t be surprised if we offer personal tips to try our yummiest new items!
Q: Do you have gluten-free items?
A: Yes, we absolutely do. We are proud to offer 10 Bowlpak cereals that are gluten-free, among many other products. Use our Product Nutrition Finder to get the full list: https://www.generalmillscf.com/resources/product-nutrition-finder
Q: I need a product that meets a specific requirement in a specific price range. Does General Mills have anything to offer?
A: Our General Mills Sales and Bid team will do some research to come up with a few ideas to meet your specific needs. We will send you a litho and work to get you samples so that you can check it out for yourself.
Q: Can you help me write a bid spec so that I can bid the specific General Mills product I want?
A: Your General Mills sales rep is a great place to start. We also have great tools on pages 19-40 of our 2020-2021 K-12 Product Guide that you can reference for standout bid specs: https://www.generalmillscf.com/industries/k12/support-tool-categories/exploring-products/new-product-brochure
Q: How much per unit is product “X”?
A: Your General Mills sales rep and/or our General Mills bid team can give you an approximate price. If you buy through a distributor, we always refer to them for final pricing.
For more information on General Mills products and preparing your bid for the 2020-2021 school year, contact your sales rep or visit www.generalmillscf/industries/k12.
Kathy Brooks, a bid representative with General Mills Foodservice, is marking her 43rd anniversary of helping to guide schools through the bid process.