Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Behind the Scenes at General Mills

This past week I got to take my very first trip for my personal blog Getting all my Ducks in a Row. I was chosen as one of 14 bloggers to attend Box Tops University and get a behind the scenes look at General Mills Photography Department.

I learned a lot about Box Tops and got to connect with the other bloggers throughout my trip but one of the highlights for me, being a kitchen accessory addict, was the walk through of the prop room and kitchens of General Mills.

To say that I was speechless would have been an understatement. The vast array of all things kitchen was just down right obscene.

 I've decided that I have got to start a collection just like this - on a smaller scale of course - so that when I get back to trying recipes for the food blog, I have all kinds of beautiful things to show them off!

After we walked through the prop room it was off to the see the kitchens.  I couldn't believe that they were real working kitchens.

Each photography project starts off with someone making the recipe according to package directions with products bought in the same grocery stores that we shop in. This was fascinating to me - but the tour guide was earnest in saying that we want each and everyone who sees it - to be able to re-create it.

 After the recipe has been prepared, most of the time in bulk to get just the right cut of brownie or rise in the cupcake, it is dressed and photographed.

Love the use of tweezers here to get symmetry with the sprinkles of each cupcake. They really take the time to make sure that each and every photograph comes out looking beautiful. So the next time that you see a photograph, video or advertisement from General Mills remember that it's real food, someone took the time to pick out each and every aspect of the photograph and lots of effort and love went into cooking, dressing and photographing it.

Oh and someone ate it!

After each photo session - all left overs are put in a common area of the kitchen and it's first come, first serve!

Another aspect of the tour was the wall of food photos. Each year they host a contest of sorts and allow their employees to come in and join in on the fun. The only rule is that they must use one product in their shot. This really gives new meaning to the term playing with your food!

These are just a few of my favorites:


I am still reeling from my whirlwind trip, the fact that I was chosen and all the information that I learned while visiting Minneapolis, Box Top University and General Mills World Headquarters. It was so much fun to be able to interact with a brand that I have been welcoming into my home for the last 14 years. If your family collects Box Tops your should really check out the 10 Things I Learned at Box Top University post I did on my blog. They are really working hard to make it easier to earn more for your schools!

My flight, accommodations, meals and transportation were provided via General Mills. I was not compensated in any other way and not required to share or post about the trip. But come on - how could you not share this unique experience with others? All opinion expressed is mine and mine alone.


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