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Kellogg to split into 3 companies; 2 will be headquartered in Battle Creek

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Kellogg Co., the 116-year-old maker of Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies, Pringles and Eggo, will split into three companies focused on cereals, snacks and plant-based foods.

The cereal and plant-based meat companies will remain headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, where Kellogg was founded in 1906. The snack company will be headquartered in Chicago with a campus in Battle Creek. Kellogg’s three international headquarters in Europe, Latin America, and AMEA will remain in their current locations.

Kellogg’s, which also owns plant-based food brand MorningStar Farms, said Tuesday that the spinoff of the yet-to-be-named cereal and plant-based foods companies should be completed by the end of next year.

Kellogg’s had net sales of $14.2 billion in 2021, with $11.4 billion generated by its snack division, which makes Cheez-Its, Pringles and Pop-Tarts, among other brands. Cereal accounted for another $2.4 billion in sales last year while plant-based sales totaled around $340 million.

In a conference call with investors, CEO Steve Cahillane said separating the businesses will make them more nimble and better able to focus on their own products. All three businesses have significant stand-alone potential, he said.

“Cereal will be solely dedicated to winning in cereal and will not have to compete for resources against the high-growth snacking business,” said Cahillane, a former Coca-Cola and AB InBev executive who joined Kellogg in 2017.

Cahillane will become chairman and CEO of the global snacking company. The management team of the cereal company will be named later. The board of directors has approved the spinoffs.

U.S. cereal sales have been waning for years as consumers moved to more portable products, like energy bars. They saw a brief spike during pandemic lockdowns, when more people sat down for breakfast at home. But sales fell again in 2021. In the 52 weeks to May 38, U.S. cereal sales were flat, according to NielsenIQ.

Kellogg’s cereal business was also rocked last year by a fire at a plant in Memphis, Tennessee, and by a 10-week strike by more than 1,000 workers at plants in four states. The strike ended after the company promised higher wages, enhanced benefits and a quicker path to permanent employment for its temporary workers.

In March, a few hundred other workers at a plant that makes Cheez-Its won a new contract with 15% wage increases over three years.

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