For over a century, Kellogg has provided us with wholesome cereals, snacks, and frozen foods. Some of its most well-known brands include Rice Krispies, Fruit Loops, Special K, Pop Tarts, Eggo, Cheez-Its, Nutrigrain, Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, and Frosted Mini-Wheats.
What is even more impressive than this list of popular products is the company’s commitment to social and ethical responsibility.
Since its founding in 1906 by W.K. Kellogg, the company has been healivy reliant on its stakeholders and have rewarded them accordingly. Even Kellogg’s initial foray into local markets began with consumers directly asking store managers for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. On the Kellogg website, the company provides an annual corporate responsibilty report that directly addresses shareholders including “consumers, employees, customers, investors, business partners, community members, and governmental and nongovernmental organizations.”
2012 marks the 4th year that Kellogg Company has appeared on the Ethisphere Institute’s list of the world’s most ethical companies. The Institute compiles the list with the priciples of “the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability” (Business Wire). Kellogg seems to have these principles in spades. In fact, Kellogg was ahead of the curve in terms of environmentally sustainable practices. It has been using recycled paper board to package the majority of its products since 1906.
The strong culture of stakeholder value theory in Kellogg Company is both admirable and strategic. Since the majority of Kellogg products are those that parents would purchase for their children to consume, I would argue that its ethics give it a competitive advantage over other company brands. It is also remarkable that Kellogg has seemingly had this ethically sound business strategy since its founding. It comes down to a simple committment to serving people– whether they are in the surrounding community, in another country, or those that will benefit from environmentally sustainable practices in the future.
“We are a company of dedicated people making quality products for a healthier world” – W.K. Kellogg