Children and young people, Health and well-being, International development and finance

Cork Fakes: The social and economic costs of the removal of micronutrients from Kellogg’s cereals

Since 2013, there is evidence that Kellogg's has been removing key mirconutrients from its breakfast cereals in Mexico. This report makes an economic assessment of the savings to Kelloggs and compares this to the health, well-being and development of Mexican society. It finds that  Kellogg’s is estimated to save $85 million USD over five years from this practice, whilst the minimum cumulative social cost to Mexico for the removal of just three key nutrients will be $250 million USD over five years. This means for every dollar that Kellogg’s saves by de-fortifying cereals it destroys at least three dollars in value to Mexican society. The report discusses the implications of this for Mexican consumers.

Cmf
Cereal

This report builds on a previous analysis by the Changing Markets Foundation that exposed the practice of removing micronutirents by the cereal giant. These findings clearly show that Kellogg’s approach is not working in the interests of its investors, consumers or wider society. Is the decision to reduce the micronutrient content a push for short-run cost savings? Is Kellogg’s putting profit over the long-term health of the Mexican population? Although the costs of malnutrition are not reflected on a company’s balance sheet, as a flawed long-term strategy Kellogg’s may be undermining its growth potential by damaging the health and productivity of its consumers. The findings presented in this report suggest not only a strong social, economic and moral case for changing course but also a business one. It is time for Kellogg’s to show its commitment to people over profit and stop breaking its breakfast promises.

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