Kellogg’s Open for Breakfast is #notOpen

farmer price cost cereal
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Dear Kellogg’s,

Thank you for posting my questions on your website, but unfortunately you failed to answer.

How much does the farmer get?

I asked for the percentage of the retail price of cereal the farmer receives—you wrote a pile of nonsense—so let me assist.

The ingredients in ready-to eat-cereals are commodity crops, like sugar, rice, corn and wheat. A commodity crop is one that is relatively nonperishable, transportable, storable, grown in large quantities, and undifferentiated. They are abundant… and cheap. You transform these cheap commodities with ultra-processing, marketing and promotion to create hugely profitable brands.

The farmer gets 8%.

The costs outlined in the above graphic were based on this article. It is an estimate, nevertheless, this paper [PDF] also states 8.3%.

The farmer receives very little, and is exposed to price fluctuations on the global commodity market. You, on the other hand, make a mint.

Is it ethical to target children with marketing for ultra-processed cereal?

The answer is no, no, it is not.

You say none of your products are marketed to children under 14.

Nothing to see here, then.

You have targeted children since the advent of colour television. A key feature of your brands are animated characters.

  • Frosties, created in 1952, had a kangaroo mascot, until Tony the Tiger took over.
  • Coco the Monkey was born in 1986, taking over a long line of characters for Coco Pops, since 1958.
  • Toucan Sam was created in 1963, to promote Froot Loops.

You state your Coco Pops commercials are clearly aimed at Mum as the main grocery buyer, yet the first 20 seconds of this advertisement was designed to appeal to children. This advertisement, along with an LCM spot, were pulled by the Advertising Standards Board, as they were in breach of the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative, in mid-2013.

Yet marketing is much more than advertising. It is product development, it is packaging, and more, much more. The cartoon characters on the boxes, for instance, signify to children that the cereal is for them.

totes designed to appeal to an adult
Totes designed to appeal to an adult

You say that your current stance is that none of your “products are directly marketed to children under the age of 14.”

Care to prove it? Kill your cartoons!

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