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Kellogg's CEO Suggests Americans Should 'Eat Cereal For Dinner' During Tough Economic Times Cereal prices in the U.S. have increased roughly 28% since the beginning of 2020.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WK Kellogg Co Gary Pilnick is taking heat online after suggesting that financially struggling Americans should eat cereal for dinner during a recent interview.

Pilnick appeared in an interview with CNBC last week where he touted the brand's latest advertising campaign with the tagline: "Give chicken the night off." In the interview, he suggested that Americans who are struggling financially should opt for cereal as dinner during the week.

"The cereal category has always been quite affordable, and it tends to be a great destination when consumers are under pressure," Pilnick said. "If you think about the cost of cereal for a family versus what they might otherwise do, that's going to be much more affordable … Cereal for dinner is something that is probably more on trend now, and we would expect to continue as that consumer is under pressure."

Related: Should CEOs Take a Pay Cut to Avoid Layoffs and Cutting Jobs? It's Complicated, Experts Say

Cereal prices in the U.S. have increased roughly 28% since the beginning of 2020, according to most recent data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the Kellogg's company increased prices by over 12% across products during fiscal 2022-2023.

In March 2023, Kellogg announced that its North American cereal division would change to be named under WK Kellogg Co. while the global snack brand would be named Kellanova.

WK Kellogg Co. saw net sales reach $2.76 million in 2023, up 2.5% year over year.

Related: Kellogg's in $5 Million Lawsuit for Not Putting Enough Strawberries in Its Pop-Tarts

"As an independent company, we are already experiencing the benefits of greater strategic focus and operational flexibility as we aim our organization, capital, and resources towards delivering on our strategic objectives," Pilnick said in a company release at the time.

Naturally, Pilnick's comments were met with opposition on social media.

WK Kellogg Co, was down over 13.5% in a one-year period as of Tuesday late afternoon.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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