Morning Brew - ☕️ Fast break

Making the case for Kellogg’s three-way split.
Morning Brew June 23, 2022

Retail Brew


Hi there. Ohio State has trademarked the word “the.” Meanwhile, we’re still waiting to hear back on “a,” “an,” and “and.”

In today’s edition:

Jeena Sharma, Katishi Maake


Split ends

A money bag filled with chips Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photo: airborne77/Adobe Stock

Although romcoms tell us otherwise, not everything lasts forever. Take Kellogg, which is splitting up…well, into three businesses. On Tuesday, the company said that by the end of 2023, its snacking, cereal, and plant-based divisions will run as three separate public companies.

Separate ways: The news comes a decade after Kellogg bought Pringles, a decision that has helped it grow its ever profitable global snacking division that scored $11.4 billion—out of $14.2 billion—in revenue last year. By contrast, Kellogg’s core cereal biz has been lagging and only accounted for $2.4 billion of its sales last year.

As such, splitting up the company seems like a smart decision, as it separates the “cash cow brands” from its growth brands, Aaron Sorensen, partner at Axiom Consulting Partners, told Retail Brew.

  • Kellogg CEO Steve Cahillane made a similar pitch to Food Dive: “[If you] look at the three businesses and look at the sum of the parts, you’d say that yes, we’re not getting the value for the breadth and scale, for our snacking business for sure,” he said. “The best way to drive these three businesses forward is through their independence.”

Shifting consumer preferences also lends itself to the decision as the company is “reinventing itself in order to stay relevant,” Sorensen added. “I would applaud the decision, because the brands that are going to be the billion-dollar brands are probably not the same brands that they have today.”

Flashback: The Kellogg split is one of the most high-profile in the food biz since Kraft Foods separated to create Mondelez International—its international snack business—in 2011. Earlier this week, Mondelez also announced that it would acquire Clif Bar for $2.9 billion.

Planting the seeds: While the snacking division has been enjoying all the glory, Sorensen said long-term growth might be in Kellogg’s plant-based foods biz.

“If you look at as a shareholder where future growth is going to come from, I think that plant division in particular may drive greater growth, given where the consumer is headed in terms of wellness and the types of products that they’re going to offer,” he said.

Click here to keep reading.—JS



Rub elbows with e-commerce pros


For e-commerce merchants, all roads lead to Route Connect.

The premiere e-commerce event of the year is coming in hot—and it’s all going down on June 30 from 6–9:30pm ET. Tune in online and join some of the top names in the digital retail space as they reflect on this unique moment and plan for a bright future.

Panels will dig deep into relevant issues like growth, sustainability, and improving connection and customer experience. You’ll hear from founders, leaders, and creators at world-class brands like Fly by Jing, Supreme, and Inamorata.

Get inspired, get energized, and get ideas to help you build your e-commerce brand this year…and beyond.

Register for Route Connect and join the party on June 30.


Ecofriendly talk

Sustainability efforts at fashion brands Francis Scialabba

Sustainability is all the talk these days, but it might be just that—talk. A whopping 93% of retail executives believe technology can make it possible for their companies to reach sustainability goals, but only slightly more than half (54%) know where to start, according to a Harris Poll survey of 1,491 executives commissioned by Google Cloud.

What’s the deal? ESG practices are top of mind for retail executives: 71% said they’re making ESG a priority, compared to the 64% global average of leaders across industries.

  • For comparison, 59% of retail execs said driving revenue and/or growth is a priority.

“That higher level of visibility also means that the environmental footprint of retail is often under the microscope, from sustainability of fashion and product packaging, to the complexity of resource-intensive supply chains,” Carrie Tharp, VP of retail and consumer solutions at Google Cloud, said in a statement.

In reality…Despite these stated intentions, some sustainable practices aren’t all that widespread. Only 36% of retail execs said they operate a recycling program, as opposed to the 42% of execs across industries.

+1: As for retail execs’ other top priorities, 65% said evolving business strategies, while 63% went with retaining and attracting talent.—KM



Amazon Ads

Gen Z went to the market…and had some sticker shock (who doesn’t these days?). To get a taste of adult Gen Zers’ shopping mindsets, we partnered with Amazon Ads on a fun quiz that reveals how they’re being mindful when filling up their carts, IRL and online. Take it now.


Today’s top retail reads.

Sachet away: While Unilever has publicly denounced single-use plastic sachets for products like shampoo and toothpaste, it’s reportedly worked behind the scenes to undermine laws banning them in several Asian countries. (Reuters)

On the money: Texas-based fast-casual chain On the Border saw sales fall 36% between 2006 and 2021, but this year it’s finally on track to notch positive results, thanks to a C-suite refresh and a menu makeover. (Restaurant Business)

Coin flip: Alo Yoga will now let its corporate employees convert their pay to cryptocurrency as part of its effort to “move wellness into Web3,” according to VP and head of marketing Angelic Vendette. (Business of Fashion)

Back-to-school cheat sheet just dropped. Plan your retail brand’s BTS approach with Back to School in 2022 from Ziff Media Group. Get the tips, insights, and stats you need for success, right here.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.


  • Chipotle workers in an Augusta, Maine, location have filed for a union election, a first for the chain.
  • Franchise Group is reportedly thinking about dropping its bid for Kohl’s to around $50 a share from ~$60.
  • Nike is exiting Russia in full, after temporarily suspending operations there in March.
  • American Eagle, taking a break in the China market, closed its Tmall store.
  • Revlon is the latest meme stock after its shares surged more than 50% on Wednesday.


Catch up on the Retail Brew stories you may have missed.




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