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Eating cereal at dinner to deal with inflation, the Kellogg's CEO's idea that doesn't work


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Eating cereal at dinner to deal with inflation, the Kellogg's CEO's idea that doesn't work

Cereal...for dinner! The absurd idea was pushed by the CEO of the American company Kellogg's, a cereal giant which notably markets Frosties, Coco Pops and even Honey Pops. Asked on CNBC about the group's strategy on February 21, Gary Pilnick was pleased that "25% of cereal consumption [is done] outside of breakfast, including a large part at dinner." A “trend” that he expects to see progress “while consumers are under [the] pressure” of inflation, even if it means wanting to encourage it.

“We advertise cereal at dinner,” he said, assuming to go “find people where they are.” “If you think about the cost of cereal for a family, compared to what else they might eat, it’s much more affordable.” And to insist by assuring that “the price of a bowl of cereal with milk and fruit is less than a dollar”.

If the idea could delight children who are not yet eager for spinach at dinner, it has earned Kellogg's a backlash on social networks. “Advertising to hungry people that cereal might be a good idea for dinner is not 'picking people up where they are',” an Internet user on X said indignantly. “It's exploitative their hunger to make a profit.” “I often ate cereal for dinner,” remarked another. It wasn’t to save money, but because of my depression.” An Internet user makes fun of being able to “almost already feel the diabetes coming”.

The fact is that eating cereal for dinner is not necessarily the best idea from a nutritional point of view. These ultra-processed products are “overall very sweet”, noted a survey by the consumer association CLCV in 2017 on cereals intended for children. For a cheaper price per kilo and to be satisfied, it is better to turn to pasta, for example.

If Gary Pilnick's comments caused outrage, they are part of a communication strategy that the company had already initiated. Already in 2022, during a competition, the marketing director of Kellogg's, Sadie Garcia, praised cereals at dinner, “an option with little preparation and inexpensive, to spend less time cooking and cleaning and more time with those you love.

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