The Kellogg Company : advertising & marketing assignments

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Selected Kellogg's advertising

It's quite a leap from breakfast cereal to cheese crackers and vegetarian sausages, but food giant Kellogg's has worked hard to adapt to a changing marketplace over the past 30 years. Its core market of breakfast cereals first came under attack in the 1990s from both competitors and consumers, forcing the group to acknowledge that it had been outflanked in the fiercely contested US market by General Mills. Careful attention to core brands and a barrage of high quality, premium priced cereal variants helped Kellogg's regain its leading position but a bigger problem has been the steady global decline in sales of traditional breakfast cereals, from a high of $6.7bn in 2011 to $5.2bn for 2018. That decline prompted the group to broaden its portfolio with a range of snacks and convenience foods. The most notable recent add-on was Pringles, acquired from P&G in 2012. Other significant purchases included protein-based Rxbar and Bear Naked natural snacks. However most of the group's Keebler cookies business is being sold in 2019 to Ferrero. Kellogg's will keep only a few leading brands such as Cheez-It crackers. Despite the shift towards snacks Kellogg's retains a huge breakfast cereal business, with some 40 brands and variants. Key brands include Special K, All-Bran, Frosted Flakes (known as Frosties or Zucaritas in some markets), Mini-Wheats, Froot Loops, Rice Krispies, Coco Pops (or Choco Krispies), Crunchy Nut and Corn Flakes. Kashi is a more specialist natural cereal brand in the US, partnered in some international markets by WK Kellogg organic and vegan cereals. Several brands have also been extended into cereal bar snacks along with Nutri-Grain. In the US, especially, the group also has a collection of other breakfast items such as Pop-Tarts, Eggo waffles and Morningstar Farms frozen vegetarian meals. Group sales for 2018 were $13.5bn, with net income of $1.3bn. Steven Cahillane is CEO.

Capsule checked 25th April 2019

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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Daily Update 2nd Apr 2019: In another big push into the US, Ferrero sealed a $1.3bn deal to acquire the Keebler cookies division of Kellogg Company. Brands changing hands include Keebler, Mother's, Famous Amos and Murray's, as well as cookies manufactured for Girl Scouts of the USA.  The deal also includes the company's Fruit Twistables fruit snacks, pie crusts, and ice cream cones businesses, as well as several production facilities across the US. Combined sales were around $900m. Kellogg's is holding on to Pringles, Cheez-It and its protein and cereal-based bars.

Adbrands Social Media 23rd Jan 2019: "What's Your Perfect Bowl?". There's nothing particularly out of the ordinary in J Walter Thompson's latest campaign for Kellogg's in Australia, but its warmth and lightness of touch take it a cut above your usual cereal ad. The casting in particular is first-rate. Unusually for a TV ad, JWT hired specialist casting agent Lucky Price, best-known for his work on long-running local reality show 'The Block', to find real-life cereal fans for the campaign. "To have the opportunity to apply a television approach to casting an advertising campaign is really exciting," said Price. "From bikers to baristas, school teachers to surfers, you name it, we saw it. The quality of our submissions was incredible, and the final cast was whittled down from almost seven thousand respondents." That diligence pays dividends in the final film. Interesting to see some of the different pack branding Down Under too. "Rice Bubbles"?

Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Feb 2018: Kellogg's is continuing to wrestle with steep declines in its core business of breakfast cereals. Sales in the US Morning Foods division fell 5% year-on-year, while Keebler, Pringles and other snacks were down 4%. Combined revenues slipped below $13bn for the first time since 2010 to $12.92bn. The decline would have been even greater without a lift from Brazil's Parati Group, acquired mid-year. However attributable net income continued to rise, almost doubling to $1.30bn as a result of lower costs and expenses and a one-off $400m pension plan adjustment. Without exceptional items, the increase in operating profit was around 8% year-on-year.

Adbrands Weekly Update 12th October 2017: Kellogg's new CEO Steven Cahillane got off to a quick start, signing off on a deal to acquire niche protein bar manufacturer Rxbar for an astronomical $600m, around six times this year's revenues. Traditional food companies are facing an alarming slump in sales of their established brands as a result of surging consumer demand in more exotic, healthful fare. Rxbar is made with all-natural ingredients, and no added sugar, gluten, soy or dairy.

Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Oct 2017: Kellogg's announced the unexpectedly abrupt retirement of John Bryant, a 20-year company veteran and CEO for the past seven years. Bryant left the company this week, and has already been replaced by Steven Cahillane, CEO of vitamin manufacturer Nature's Bounty since 2014. Cahillane previously worked at Coca-Cola, as president of the Americas division, and in various senior roles at AB InBev. Kellogg's confirmed earlier expectations of a 3% decline in sales for the current year.

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