Carlos Gutierrez, Chairman & CEO of Kellogg Co.
This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, August 14, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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TERRY KEENAN, GUEST HOST: He has been earning his stripes pitching Kellogg's Frosted Flakes cereal boxes now for years. And today, the gr-r- reat Tony the Tiger is celebrating his 50th birthday. Since 1952, he's been the star spokestiger for one of the leading breakfast cereal and snack makers.
And here to tell us how Kellogg's is going to celebrate all this is Carlos Gutierrez. He is the chairman and CEO of Kellogg's; and the man himself, the birthday boy, Tony the Tiger with us as well.
And congratulations, Tony, and congratulations as well. What do you attribute to Tony's popularity over the last 50 years? He is as popular now with kids, my 3-year-old, in particular, as he was with kids in 1952.
CARLOS GUTIERREZ, CHAIRMAN & CEO, KELLOGG CO. (K): I think it is his humanity. You know, Tony is everyone's friend. He displays characteristics of any human being. He gets happy, he gets sad, he plays, sometimes he stumbles. He is everyone's friend. He is trustworthy. We are very proud to be associated with him, obviously. And today is his 50th birthday and thank you for having him on.
KEENAN: And, you know, in addition to Tony, Frosted Flakes have continued to endure even amid all the new types of cereals. Why do you think that has been the case?
GUTIERREZ: I think, in part, it's generational. A lot of baby boomers who grew up with Frosted Flakes today love Frosted Flakes. And it's actually quite interesting that the consumption of Frosted Flakes is done as much by adults as by children. So, it is generational.
KEENAN: Your stock remarkable in the sense that it was up eight percent in the second quarter, one of the worst quarters ever for the stock market. Your snack business is doing very well in particular. Are you planning to grow that going forward?
GUTIERREZ: Yes, we plan to grow snacks and cereals. I believe our stock has done well because we have shown reliability and consistency, and I think investors are looking for that in this day and age. We have grown the top line. We have our gross margin. That has enabled us to invest behind brand building in brands such as Tony's Frosted Flakes.
KEENAN: You also have been also raising prices, up about seven percent in the latest quarter, much more than your competitors. Are you afraid you may be pricing yourself out of the market?
GUTIERREZ: We are actually not raising list prices. What we're doing is discounting less than we had before so when we are on deal, our prices...
KEENAN: Less coupons and things?
GUTIERREZ: That's right, because we are adding more value. We have better marketing programs, more innovation. We are able to do that without discounting as much as we were in the past. And that's allowing us to grow our revenue, increasing our margins and giving us investment funds.
KEENAN: Almost out of time, made a big acquisition of Keebler. Planning some others going forward?
GUTIERREZ: Right now, we are focused on growing our business that we have today, snacks and cereal, and continuing to do as we are doing now.
KEENAN: OK. Thanks for being with us.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you. Thank you.
KEENAN: And happy birthday, Tony.
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