Global Growth Creates Jobs at Home: General Mills CEO

Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 | 3:54 PM ET
General Mills CEO: Global Growth Creating Jobs In Minneapolis
Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 | 2:40 PM ET
General Mills CEO Ken Powell discusses how important global growth is to his company, how rising grain and corn prices impact business, and the state of the U.S. economy.

General Mills is benefiting from the "astonishing" development of the middle class in emerging markets, which is creating jobs in the U.S., General Mills CEO Ken Powell told CNBC's "Street Signs" on Thursday.

"People get rising incomes, they move into that middle class, the first thing you do with that little extra money is you improve your diet," the executive said. "So it's a tremendous opportunity for companies like General Mills to get incremental growth."

The food company's competitors included Unilever, Kellogg and Nestlé.

Calling growth in the emerging markets "astonishing," Powell said the expansion of this emerging middle class will probably unfold over the next several decades.

"Food is such an everyday behavior," he told CNBC. "We know the demand is going to be there."

Even though Brazil has slowed a little bit this year, General Mills' sales continue to be very strong, and even Chinese sales were "rock solid" during its slowdown, Powell said.

The company's move into emerging overseas markets also creates jobs in the U.S., Powell said, adding that the activity "is creating R&D jobs, marketing jobs, technical jobs—not only in those countries but right here in Minneapolis."

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