General Mills, the maker of Cheerios cereals, Nature Valley snack bars, Progresso soups and Totino's pizzas said costs will rise between 4% and 5% this year as prices increase for fuel, dairy, resin-based packaging, cocoa and wheat -- and those prices are expected to rise again in fiscal 2012.
Investors traded General Mills' stock down 2.8% in early trading to $35.86.General Mills has had success in the past dealing with higher costs through expense reductions and the introduction of new higher-priced products. "They have a lot weapons in their arsenal to try to offset that beyond raising prices, but they're not immune," Morningstar analyst Erin Lash told Reuters.
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