Kellogg CEO Solves High Food Costs for Families - Eat Cereal for Dinner

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File

I don't know that the millionaire CEO of a cereal company telling families struggling to buy groceries to just eat cereal for dinner was the best idea. From the reactions he is getting, I'm not alone in commenting on this crazy talk.


The cost of food - buying groceries and eating out - is taking a greater chunk of the disposable income of Americans in thirty years. The last time Americans were paying so much money for food, George H.W. Bush was president. It's 1991 all over again every time you shop for groceries to feed your family. Blame Bidenflation and Bidenomics. Biden's crazy ass economic policies brought about historically high prices, including prices. The rate of inflation may be coming down slowly but the prices in stores have not come down. No one feels like the economy is doing well. Sixty percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. 

Enter WK Kellogg CEO Gary Pilnick. His suggestion for people to stretch their food budget is to have cereal for dinner. Oof. 

“The cereal category has always been quite affordable and it tends to be a great destination when consumers are under pressure,” the cereal company’s CEO 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,” he added. “We talk about making sure that we have the right pack at the right price in the right place. So having a different sized pack that’ll have a different price point, that’ll take some pressure off the consumer while they’re shopping. So, those are some of the things that we’re doing. But, in general, the cereal category is a place that a lot of folks might come to because the price of a bowl of cereal with milk and with fruit is less than a dollar. So you can imagine why a consumer under pressure might find that to be a good place to go.”


I get that the man is selling cereal but he sounds really out of touch. People may enjoy a bowl of cereal for a bedtime snack or as their choice for breakfast but it is hard to believe that people will embrace this idea. 

When people say that are having breakfast for dinner, it's not cereal. It's eggs and bacon or sausage and maybe some hash browns or grits. It's not Frosted Flakes. Will a hardworking blue-collar worker want to have cereal for dinner? 

Cereal is not cheap. Unless you find a bargain store brand box of cereal, shoppers are paying between $4 and $6 per box, on average. If a family has 2 or 3 hungry kiddos, wouldn't it take a whole box to feed the family at dinnertime? 

It makes more sense to listen to a soup company CEO suggest soup for dinner. Pilnick may be out of touch with the little people who make him a wealthy man.

Pilnick’s annual salary is $1 million plus up to $4.4 million more in bonuses as of September 2023, per a filing with the SEC. The company reported $651 million in net sales as of Dec. 30, the end of the last quarter.

During the interview, Pilnick was asked if he was worried that his suggestion might land the wrong way. Nope. He said that cereal for dinner is on trend

“It’s landing really well right now,” he answered. “Over 25% of our consumption is outside the breakfast occasion. A lot of it’s at dinner and that occasion continues to grow. Cereal for dinner is something that is probably more on trend now and we would expect to continue as that consumer is under pressure.”


Ok, then. That's his story and he's sticking with it. 

I'm not shaming single moms who are at the end of the month and the money has run out before the next paycheck comes. I know eating cereal as a dinner in a pinch happens. The Eat Cereal for Dinner campaign by Kellogg began in 2022. Its slogan is "Give chicken the night off." 

This person shares my line of thought and how I've stretched my family's food budget over the years.

Cereal isn't cheap and it's usually full of sugar. People struggling to buy groceries is a reality in today's economy. Cereal for dinner isn't the answer. Normalizing it instead of keeping it breakfast food and dinner in a pinch is not right. It's not trendy. Let them eat Frosted Flakes isn't a good message. It has a 'Let them eat cake' vibe.

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