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After complaints, General Mills is making crunchy granola bars easier to chew

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In an effort to cater to the changing tastes of Americans, General Mills has unveiled a new product line aimed at health-conscious consumers who eat food away from home – and one of those products includes an easier-to-chew granola bar.

The Golden Valley-based food giant announced this week it will be rolling out more healthy snacks, including an improved Nature Valley Crunchy Bar. The top consumer complaint the company receives is that the product is too hard to bite into, Shannon Heine of General Mills told BringMeTheNews Thursday.

Heine says the new bar will still have the same taste and crunch texture they're known for, but they "will simply be easier to bite into." The bars will be available nationwide this fall.

Quartz says Nature Valley is the world's most popular snack bar brand, but its share of the market has been falling as the popularity of KIND and CLIF bars grows.

The new bars come as General Mills looks to stake a larger claim in the food that's eaten away from the home sector, by expanding its convenience and food service operation segment (which serves food at schools, corporate cafeterias, hospitals, restaurants and convenience stores).

As part of this, General Mills announced new products that will be available in the coming weeks.

Among them: various Yoplait products, including Yoplait SmoothiePro, Yoplait Plenti and Minion-themed Go-gurt; Annie's Organic Soup; Natural Valley products, including Toasted Oats Muesli, Simple Nut Bars and Soft Baked Granola Bites.

Other products include some treats and precooked meal helpers.

For a complete list of new products, click here and here.

These are part of the Golden Valley-based food giant's latest effort to reclaim its share of the market after its retail segment fell 1 percent in the latest fiscal year, which ended May 31. The company has already announced its efforts for gluten-free Cheerios, new flavors of low-calorie Greek Yoplait yogurt, and the removal of artificial coloring from its cereals.

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