Politics

Kellogg’s Faces Boycott After CEO Pushes ‘Cereal for Dinner’ in Response to Inflation

Kellogg’s is facing a boycott after its CEO suggested that cash-strapped families suffering under inflation should eat “cereal for dinner.”

Outraged consumers are planning to boycott Kellogg’s from April 1 to June 30 to send the company a message during the second quarter of its fiscal year, as well as pressure Kellogg’s to lower its prices, according to a report by MarketWatch.

The calls for a boycott come after Kellogg’s CEO Gary Pilnick said that families worried about inflation should eat “cereal for dinner,” and even suggested that such woes are a good marketing opportunity for Kellogg’s, telling CNBC that cereal “tends to be a great destination when consumers are under pressure.”

“Some of the things that we’re doing is, first, messaging,” the Kellogg’s CEO said. “We have to reach the consumer where they are. So we’re advertising about cereal for dinner.”

After being asked if suggesting “cereal for dinner” for families suffering under inflation could be taken “the wrong way,” Pilnick said he didn’t think so, adding that the concept is “landing really well right now.”

“Over 25 percent of our consumption is outside the breakfast occasion,” the Kellogg’s CEO, who has an estimated net worth of $15.7 million, said. “A lot of it’s at dinner, and that occasion continues to grow.”

Pilnick added that he expects the trend of “cereal for dinner” to continue “as that consumer is under pressure,” and claimed that “the price of a bowl of cereal with milk and with fruit is less than a dollar.”

Kellogg’s, however, is one of the companies that has raised prices in the past two years, helping fuel higher-than-normal inflation, consumer advocates pointed out.

“Kellogg’s CEO found an angle to exploit an industry-driven food-insecurity crisis to bulk up his company’s profits, but everyday families should not have to make these kinds of choices in the first place,” Liz Zelnick, director of the economic security and corporate power program at Accountable.US, a left-leaning consumer advocacy group, told MarketWatch.

A Kellogg’s spokesperson also confirmed to MarketWatch that the company’s last major price increase was March 2023.

Additionally, the breakfast company has been advertising the concept of cereal for dinner since the summer off 2022, when inflation reached a 40-year high.

“There’s no reason for you to jack up your prices the way you did, except to screw us,” one social media user said in a TikTok video with two million views and more than 300,000 likes.

“And you know what? Now we’re going to screw you — while eating some other brand’s cereal,” the social media user added.

Another TikTok user calling for a Kellogg’s boycott said, “Inflation has continued to rise year over year over year, and they continue to do nothing about it,” in a video with more than 655,000 views and 118,000 likes.

“First we were told that we drink too much Starbucks. Then it was, stop having so much avocado toast. Now Kellogg’s CEO wants to tell us, ‘Oh, you can’t afford dinner, that’s OK, just buy Frosted Flakes and you’ll be all right,’” the TikTok user added. “Touché there, but I will not be eating Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and X/Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.



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