Kellogg’s in the news: From projected $13.6bn snack sales to accusations of ‘illegal discrimination’ and ‘sexualising’ products

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

America First Legal has taken umbridge to Cheez-It packaging that features American drag queen and celebrity RuPaul. Pic: Kellogg's
America First Legal has taken umbridge to Cheez-It packaging that features American drag queen and celebrity RuPaul. Pic: Kellogg's

Related tags Kellogg company Kellanova WK Kellogg Co diversity, equity and inclusion woke Employment workforce Breakfast cereal Snacks RuPaul

The Cheez-It, Frosted Flakes and ‘Together with Pride’ cereal maker - which is on track to complete the split into Kellanova and WK Kellogg Co during Q42023 - has been accused of ‘woke’ workplace diversity policies that are unlawful and for ‘sexualising’ its products.

Kellogg last year unveiled plans to split the company​ to ramp up its ability to be nimbler and more industry focused and leading.

Kellanova will feature a portfolio weighted toward snacks and emerging markets, led by highly differentiated brands with considerable opportunity for expansion, including the supernova Pringles, Cheez-It and Pop-Tarts brands.

This business entity expects to deliver long-term annual growth rates of 3-5% for net sales (organic basis), 5-7% for operating profit (currency neutral and adjusted basis) and 7-9% for earnings per share (currency neutral and adjusted basis).

Projected are full-year net sales of $13.4-$13.6bn in 2024, along with an adjusted-basis EBITDA of $2.25-2.3bn and an annual adjusted profit between $3.55 and $3.65 per share.

WK Kellogg Co builds on a foundation of holding a leading share position in the North American cereal market with iconic brands like Special K and Froot Loops.

This company will focus on integrating its commercial execution and modernising its supply chain, which it expects to improve its competitiveness, along with adjusted-basis EBITDA margins by 500 basis points by the end of 2026

Full-year net sales are projected to top $2.7bn, while adjusted-basis EBITDA is expected to come in at $255m-265m in 2024.

Earlier this month, Kellogg forecast a smaller drop in annual profit than previously expected, following multiple price hikes​ for its snacks and cereals.

“We are excited to be able to share the strategies and financial outlooks for what will be two outstanding companies after the spin-off,”​ said Steve Cahillane, Kellogg Company's chairman and CEO, ahead of the company’s Investor Day.

“We’ve discussed previously the benefits of enhanced focus and fit-for-purpose strategies for both standalone companies, and today we will share how these benefits translate into improved financial performance and shareowner value.”

Former Trump advisor accuses Kellogg’s of ‘sexualising’ products


In other news, America First Legal - a nonprofit run by former Trump aide Stephen Miller - has accused the CPG monolith of “unlawful employment practices.”

AFL has asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate the public traded company’s policies and programmes, which it claims are “infused with woke ideology.”

In a letter to the anti-discrimination agency, AFL’s senior counsel Reed D. Rubinstein asserts Kellogg’s “engages in unlawful employment practices by seeking to ‘balance’ its workforce based on race, colour, national origin and sex.”

He adds the company is pushing to have “25% under-represented talent at the management level” ​by 2025 and runs a Chef in Residence fellowship programme that is only open to racial minorities: “only Black or African American chefs are allowed, even if individuals with other immutable characteristics are otherwise qualified.

“Kellogg’s employment practices are unlawfully based on ‘equity,’ which is a euphemism for illegal discrimination,” ​he argues.

He also criticises Kellogg’s marketing campaigns, accusing it of discarding its ”long-held family friendly marketing approach to politicise and sexualise its products.”

The watchdog illustrates this point by highlighting Kellogg’s Together With Pride cereal to celebrate Pride Month in 2021, a collab with GLAAD, a nonprofit focused on LGBTQ advocacy and cultural change, and boxes of Cheez-Its featuring drag queen RuPaul.

It also criticised Kellogg for having Tony the Tiger “linking elbows with the controversial transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney at the 76th Annual Tony Awards in New York City”.

AFL took exception to Tony the Tiger posing for a photo with Dylan Mulvaney
Pic: GettyImages

AFL said it has also sent a letter to Kellogg’s board of directors threatening shareholder litigation if the company maintains these policies. The EEOC can sue companies if it finds employment practices amount to illegal discrimination.

Kellogg’s did not respond to a request for comment before this story went to print.

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more