Saturday, August 24, 2013

I like to pour some out into a bowl and snack on only the largest flakes; then I will add blueberries and milk and before you know it, I have devoured it all. Sure I’m talking about Corn Flakes. So, stop reading now if you want but the way I like to write about successful lives I am also interested in successful products and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes are a great food for America.

It was 153 years ago that William Keith Kellogg was born in Battle Creek Michigan. He was one of 16 children and quit school at the age of 14. He quit to join the family business selling brooms door to door. Already he was proving his ambition to try to make money as soon as possible. He didn’t need no stinking schooling. Kind of reminds me alittle of 3 giants in our generation who all quit college to make money. Guys like Bill Gates, Steve Lobs and Mark Zuckerberg..

By age 20 he had moved onto working at a health sanitarium run by his flamboyant older brother Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. There was a comedic movie made staring Matthew Broderick, Bridget Fonda and Dana Carvey called The Road To Wellville about the ins and outs of one unusual health facility in the early 20th century, run by the eccentric Dr. Kellogg.

As members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Kellogg’s believed that personal health was a significant part of faith. They were early followers of vegetarianism, nutrition and exercise. One night in 1894, William Keith was in the kitchen working on creating a new type of Granola and by accident he let stand a batch of boiled wheat overnight. When he returned the next morning , the mixture had turned into flakes. He repeated the process with corn and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes were born.

In 1906 the brothers incorporated the Battle Creek Toasted Cornflakes Company. William marketed the product with creative advertising showing attractive women holding up a box of the stuff on the covers of the box. Over the years he expanded the brand to new products like Rice Krispies in 1933. The three snap, crackle and pop stars of that product helped him to become one of the world’s wealthiest men.

He used some of his vast wealth to support childhood education, health and countless civic minded causes. He died in 1951 at age 91. It was one year before another great product was born. Sugar Frosted Flakes was introduced with their famous tiger on the box. Yes, Tony the Tiger always said it was great. The Kellogg’s company in general is a great representation of America.

There is Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Sugar Frosted Flakes, Raisin Bran, Raisin Bran Crunch, Pops , Special K and Muslix; all famous cereals. There are plants in 18 countries all around the world and sales totaling more than 14 Billion dollars last year alone. That is an awful lot of fun choices to eat in the morning. Thanks Kellogg.


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