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General Mills CEO Sees a World With Fewer Soups on the Shelves

  • Maker of Progresso cut 40 soups in shift to fewer varieties
  • Company increased ad spending to maintain interest, CEO says
A customer wearing a protective mask shops inside a grocery store in San Diego, California.
Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg

The soup aisle probably won’t ever look the same again.

General Mills Inc., whose vast array of packaged foods spans Progresso to Cheerios to Yoplait, has cut 40 types of soup from its lineup during the coronavirus pandemic -- almost half of the company’s offerings -- as it rethinks products in an age of pantry-loading. And those flavors, Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Harmening says, won’t be coming back.