How much of General Mills’ revenue comes from haram?

General Mills is a multinational consumer food manufacturer. It markets numerous well known American brands, including Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Cheerios.

General Mills’ revenue breakdown is the following:

General Mills Revenue Breakdown

Within its Ice Cream category, Häagen Dazs has a “Spirits Collection ” of alcoholic ice creams. It’s impossible to determine exactly how much of General Mills’ revenue comes from the sale of these products, but since premium ice cream makes up 4.5% of total revenue and alcoholic ice creams is a smaller subset of this category, (likely less than half) we estimate the Spirits Collection to contribute less than 2.25% of General Mills overall revenue.

A second issue is that some of General Mills’ cereals e.g. Lucky Charms and Count Chocula, contain marshmallow/frosting made with pork gelatin. We estimate these brands contribute only a small amount to General Mills overall revenue considering General Mills makes over 100 brands of cereal.

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

Only a non-material amount of General Mills’ revenue comes from haram.

Does General Mills rely on interest to operate?

Year-to-Date
for period ended
2/28/2021
Fiscal year
ended
5/30/2021
Fiscal year
ended
5/31/2020
Interest Income $106,000 (net)$7,400$6,000
Total Revenue$4,520,000$18,127,000$17,626,600
Interest Expense $427,700$472,500
Total Expenses$3,693,400$14,982,200$14,672,700
Interest Income / Revenue2.35%0.04%0.03%
Interest Expense / Total Expense2.85%3.22%
*Numbers in thousands, U.S. Dollars

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

Riba is used but not relied upon in General Mills’ operations.

What is General Mills’ Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) impact?

Environmental

In 2015, General Mills promised to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28% over the next 10 years.

General Mills also launched its first “Regenerative Agriculture” program in March 2019, aimed at improving the biodiversity and topsoil fertility of over 1 million acres of U.S farmland.

In February 2020, General Mills was put on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s “A List” for its work on tackling climate change.

Social

General Mills has an impressively high Glassdoor rating of 4.1 out of 5 from over 3,000 employees compared to a 3.3 average for all Glassdoor rated companies.

However, In February 2020, the U.N released a list of 112 companies operating in the Israeli occupied West Bank and negatively impacting Palestinians. General Mills was on that list.

This is because General Mills is the parent company of Pillsbury, and manufactures frozen Pillsbury goods in the Atarot Industrial Zone. The zone is an Israeli settlement that exploits forcibly captured Palestinian land and water in clear violation of international law.

General Mills has not moved out of Atarot since the list was published, and is consequently profiting from stolen Palestinian land and resources.

Governance

No notable governance highlights.

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

General Mills has a net negative ESG impact.

Comfort Rating

From General Mills’ business, financial, and ESG reviews, Practical Islamic Finance rates General Mills stock as:

Uncomfortable to invest in from a Halal perspective.

Justification

There are certain violations of ethical standards that are simply intolerable. Aiding the dispossession of a people’s land and resources is one of them.

Ibn Umar reported: the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection.”

Sources

Businesses

Named: 112 companies linked to illegal Israeli settlements by the UN

General Mills Wiki

List Of Companies Working With Israeli Settlements Made Public

Pillsbury Boycott

General Mills Reviews

General Mills 2021 Annual Report 

General Mills Q1 2021 Report 
What’s the gelatin in your marshmallow pieces (marbits) made from?

Authors