Nutrition :: Flaked cereal – Kellogg’s says nutrition still a priority

It was 1894, and the chief physician at the Battle Creek Sanatorium and his younger brother were experimenting in the hospital’s kitchen, trying to create a better-tasting replacement for the nutritious but bland bread served to patients.

Instead, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and William Keith Kellogg ended up inventing flaked cereal. The discovery eventually led W.K. Kellogg to establish what is now the Kellogg Co., which marks its 100th anniversary on Feb. 19.

Company leaders say W.K. Kellogg’s belief in the health benefits of exercise and a vegetarian, grain-based diet continue to drive Kellogg Co. to improve product nutrition as it enters its second century.

“The vision that he had for the company of products that have good nutritional value, that people really enjoy eating, that are convenient, a good value, is as relevant now – maybe even more relevant now – than it was back then,” says Jim Jenness, chairman and chief executive officer of the company based in Battle Creek.

The business has grown into the world’s largest maker of ready-to-eat cereals, with net sales of $10.2 billion in 2005. Its products, including Rice Krispies and Special K cereals, Eggo frozen waffles and Keebler cookies, are marketed in more than 180 countries.

With growing concerns about obesity, heart disease, and cancer in the U.S., cereal makers are in a race to find new ways to improve the nutritional value of their products.

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