Kellogg CEO: Innovations coming for cereal, Pop-Tarts

Kellogg, known for Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops cereals, says millennials are hot for its frozen foods, helping boost the company’s sales. Sales of Eggo waffles and MorningStar Farms veggie burgers, both in the frozen foods aisle, jumped more than 10 percent during the first three months of the year, Kellogg said Thursday.

“The millennial generation really thinks about frozen differently than other generations,” said CEO Steve Cahillane. “It’s kind of the new fresh and the new convenient.”

kellogg'sArtificial colors and flavors were recently removed from Eggo, which helped increase sales, Cahillane said. And the packaging of Eggo and MorningStar were also updated.

“We expect frozen foods to continue to grow,” said Cahillane.

Kellogg, which has struggled with falling sales as more people avoid processed food, has been working to change consumer perceptions of its food. In October, it bought protein bar maker RXBar, which promotes its bars as being made with just egg whites, fruits and nuts.

In the first quarter, Kellogg said total revenue rose nearly 5 percent from a year ago to $3.4 billion, beating Wall Street expectations. Besides frozen foods, RXBar and Pringles also sold well, the Battle Creek, Michigan-based company said.

It reported net income of $444 million, or $1.27 per share, in the three months ending March 31. That’s up from $266 million, or 75 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted earnings came to $1.19 per share, 12 cents above what analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Shares of Kellogg Co., which are down about 16 percent in the last year, rose 2.5 percent to $58.08 on Thursday.

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