Kellogg Company splits into Kellanova and WK Kellogg Co.
Kellanova – comprising its larger, faster-growing snacks business – is a nod to the original corporation with the addition of ‘nova’, which is Latin for ‘new’; while WK Kellogg Co – North America, Canada and Caribbean cereal businesses – honours the legacy of its founder who created Corn Flakes in 1894.
In June 2022, Kellogg announced plans to fragment into three companies to ramp up its ability to be nimbler and more industry focused and leading. Last month, it reversed this strategy to form two new entities, due to a waning consumer and investor interest in its plant-based business.
Kellanova will steward a suit of iconic brands, including Pringles, Cheez-It, Pop-Tarts, Nutri-Grain, RXBAR and others, along with plant-based labels like MorningStar Farms. The unit will also oversee Kellogg’s international cereal brands such as Frosties, Zucaritas, Krave and Miel Pops; its noodle operations; and North American breakfast items like Eggo waffles.
The second entity – WK Kellogg Co – is Kellogg’s North American cereal business, which includes brands like Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Special K, Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes.
The Kellogg’s name, however, will remain on brand packaging for both companies in all territories around the world.
Ambition for the future
“The name Kellanova signals the Company’s ambition for the future – to continuously evolve as an innovative, next generation global snacking powerhouse – built on the strong brand equity and legacy built over the past 117 years as Kellogg Company,” said Steve Cahillane, Kellogg Company's chairman and CEO. Under the new organogram, Cahillane takes on the roles of chairman and CEO of Kellanova.
“The Kellanova logo retains the iconic 'K' to intentionally connect to our heritage and the strong foundation that got us to where we are today. The forward curved and extended 'v' embodies our forward momentum as we embark on this next chapter.”
Gary Pilnick, CEO designate of WK Kellogg Co, said the name celebrates its founder’s “spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. At the same time, we are looking forward, focused on propelling the company into the future.
“We eliminated the use of periods in the name to signal the start of a new, unwritten chapter.
“The logo itself stems from the iconic signature of Mr Kellogg. We have taken his instantly recognisable script and then underlined and elevated the ‘Co’, emphasising our ambition as a 117-year-old start-up taking Mr Kellogg's original company to new heights.”
Pinpointing the names
“It was such a daunting task because you’re renaming something that is a household name” – Steve Cahillane.
Kellogg engaged in an intensive process to create names that would maintain a strong connection to its legacy while capturing the ambition of each unit’s portfolio and trajectory.
The Battle-Creek, Michigan-headquartered multination threw the challenge out to its staff in its operations around the world and received nearly 4,000 suggestions from over 1,000 employees.
“It was literally a lightbulb moment,” said Cahillane, referring to the Latin use to coin the new moniker.
“It is a beautiful language, it’s timeless.” 20% advocated a variation on the founder’s name.
Cahillane added, “Unveiling the names for the global snacking and North American cereal businesses is an exciting milestone for both companies as we progress towards unleashing their full potential as standalone businesses.
“Upon spin completion, we believe both businesses will be better positioned to focus on their distinct strategic priorities, execute with increased agility and operational flexibility, realise improved outlooks for profitable growth and shape distinctive corporate cultures, each rooted in Kellogg Company's strong values.”
Kellanova will also retain the ticker symbol ‘K’ on the New York Stock Exchange, while the ticker for WK Kellogg Co will be announced in the coming months.
The company names will go into effect once the spin-off of the North American cereal business is finalised, expected by the end of 2023.