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Kellogg's CEO called out for suggesting people hit by rising food prices should eat cereal for dinner

This is not the financial advice people were looking for.

Kellogg's cereal; Kellogg's CEO; CEO eat cereal; eat cereal to save money

Kellogg's CEO tells people to eat cereal to save money

It doesn't matter if you're a single adult or married with children, there's nothing quite like having cereal for dinner or a late night snack once in a while.

Something about it feels nostalgic but it's also really easy to fall back on when you're too exhausted to cook a full meal. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a bowl of cereal for a meal outside of breakfast. You're feeding yourself or your family a food that contains some of the vitamins a body needs.

Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

The backlash came followeing Pilnick's comments about why his company felt the need to create a commercial advocating families eating cereal for diner.


Americans have been feeling excess pressure at the grocery store as prices continue to climb as companies rake in record profits, while wages stay the same. This may make for some resentment with consumers, especially when the CEO of a large company like Kellogg's promotes their own product as a solution for saving money.

“The cereal category has always been quite affordable, and it tends to be a great destination when consumers are under pressure,” Pilnick tells CNBC. "We gotta meet the consumer where they are so we're advertising about cereal for dinner. 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."

It's true, grabbing a family size box of Frosted Flakes and a gallon of milk is much more affordable than cooking a pot roast with all the fixings. The problem is, people probably don't want to hear money saving tips from a CEO that makes millions a year who is pushing a solution that essentially increase his company's earnings. "Squawk on the Street" host, Carl Quintanilla seemed to try to hint to Pilnick that his strategy may upset some people by asking if he was worried his approach may, "land the wrong way."

While the CEO said the approach was "landing really well right now," people on the internet are having some big feelings. A TikTok user who goes by the name PinkWigCorporategirly, uploaded the clip featuring the CEO's comments along with a caption that read, "Rich CEO of Kellogg's telling the poor and all of the laid off workers to eat cereal for dinner while standing in front of a mansion. This is what companies think of you."

The TikTokker was not alone in her feelings. Several commenters chimed in with their own thoughts.

"Give the peasants cereal for dinner," one person writes.

"Even cereal is $5+/box and the bags hold LESS cereal now, like 45% of the bag, so Kellogg's can kick rocks," someone else says, while others were worried about the sparse nutritional value in cereal.

"You don't need vegetables. Especially not kids. Who needs to be healthy," another sarcastically asks.

PinkWigCorporategirly wasn't the only one to make a video about the CEO's remarks. The general consensus seems to be that Pilnick should not give out financial advice that will enhance his own company's profits.

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