business news in context, analysis with attitude

Advertising Age reports this morning that “unlike Kraft Foods, PepsiCo and other would-be defendants -- which shout out almost daily about proactive changes to their portfolios and ad practices -- Kellogg has seemingly ignored warning signs that the growing chatter over childhood obesity would lead down a path to litigation. Kellogg has stood by its existing products and strategies and made few changes to adapt to the newly nutrition-minded world.”

There appear to be a couple of things going on here, according to Ad Age.

One is that Kellogg’s, having been founded on principles of health and wellness, simply doesn’t accept the idea that its products are not necessarily healthy for children. And, it may not “get” the public relations problems that a lawsuit filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) could create long-term.

And there’s another business dichotomy. Fortune reports that 30 years ago Kellogg’s “broke ground by pressing the Food and Drug Administration to allow marketers to use health claims,” but has found that the “minor nods Kellogg has made towards more-healthful children’s products -- reduced-sugar versions of Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops and a whole-grain toddler cereal -- have flopped at retail.”
KC's View:
CSPI may be a pain in the neck to a lot of marketers, but it is a reality that is not going away. And it does reflect an attitude toward food that is gaining greater currency in the public debate.

Ignore it at your own risk.