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Battle Creek leaders reflect on the Kellogg breakup

Rebecca Fleury, in a blue patterned dress, stands at a lectern with the Battle Creek city seal under a blue awning
Leona Larson
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Battle Creek City Manager Rebecca Fleury speaking outside city hall on Wednesday.

City officials are speaking hopefully about the Kellogg Company’s plans to break into three separate businesses and move some operations to Chicago.

City government leaders say Kellogg has assured them no jobs will be lost in Battle Creek, even as the company breaks up its cereal, snack foods and meat alternatives divisions. The snack business, by far the most profitable of the three, will be headquartered in Chicago instead of in the Cereal City.

At a press event today, Battle Creek city leaders said they had no advance notice Kellogg would split up. Instead, they met today with Kellogg CEO Steve Cahillane. Kellogg has said the two spun-off businesses will remain in Battle Creek, though it’s also suggested it may sell one of them, the company making meat alternatives for vegetarian and vegan consumers. It’s been given the temporary name Plant Company.

Battle Creek City Manager Rebecca Fleury said the most important thing is that Kellogg doesn’t plan to cut jobs in Battle Creek. She also said it wasn’t surprising that the snack-food business will move its headquarters to Chicago.

“For those of you who didn't know, they already have a presence in Chicago. They had acquired a building when they purchased the RX Bar. And that isn't any different than we have right now presently,” she said.

Global Snacking, as the company is known for now, will also have a campus in Battle Creek.

Fleury acknowledged Kellogg may sell its meat-alternatives business, the smallest of the three divisions. But Fleury said a conversation with Cahillane left her with hope that Plant Company would stay in Battle Creek even if it’s sold.

“He did share that he felt if that were to happen, that why wouldn't you want to leave it in place? If that makes sense for your business. But we're speculating, he was speculating,” she said.