Kellogg CEO Under Fire After Odd Remarks

( – The US Food and Drug Administration reports that consumers spend more than 11% of their disposable income on food. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that it’s been “30 years since food ate up” that much of Americans earnings. Grocery costs rose by 1.2% in January year-on-year, and prices at restaurants increased more than 5% during the same time frame. WK Kellogg CEO Gary Pilnick is under fire after making odd remarks about cereal.

On February 21, CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” aired an interview with WK Kellogg CEO Gary Pilnick. Host Carl Quintanilla began by quoting those figures from the USDA and the Wall Street Journal and asking Pilnick his thoughts on rising food costs.

Pilnick said cereal “has always been quite affordable” and tends to be an excellent product for Americans facing financial pressure. Pilnick noted that WK Kellogg was trying to reach consumers and offer support by advertising “cereal for dinner.” He claimed a bowl of cereal with milk and fruit was less than a dollar.

Quintanilla said he supports marketing strategies and innovation but questioned if the idea of promoting cereal for dinner might “land the wrong way” with consumers. Pilnick doubled down on his stance, claiming that “breakfast cereal is the number one choice for in-home consumption.” He also said the idea of having breakfast for dinner was “landing really well right now.”

However, Pilnick’s suggestion didn’t land well with consumers who took to their social media pages to tear into the Kellogg CEO. For instance, a TikTok user named Jenny referred to the idea of having cereal for dinner as a dystopian hellscape. ScaryAuntie wrote, “Give the peasants cereal for dinner,” and Emmett suggested boycotting the company.

Another user referred to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing that showed Pilnick received a $1 million base salary and more than $4M in bonuses and incentives and asked other users if they thought he was feeding his family cereal for dinner. Another person noted that a family-size box of cereal and a carton of milk costs about the same as a package of frozen lasagna.

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