Letter to Shareowners
Letter to Shareowners from John Bryant, Chairman and CEO
Dear Share Owners,
It seems appropriate to begin this letter by taking a moment to recognize a significant milestone. This year, we are marking Kellogg Company’s 110th year in business.
W.K. Kellogg formed what became his namesake company in 1906, starting out with a tiny factory and only 44 employees in a small Michigan town. Facing slim odds of success, meager resources and fierce competition, our visionary, always-optimistic founder persevered and built one of the world’s most enduring companies.
By looking at the essential ingredients Mr. Kellogg brought to his new enterprise 110 years ago, a potent recipe for long-term success is revealed. First, he built his business out of his beliefs in wellness, nutrition and that there was a simpler, more satisfying way to enjoy breakfast. Second, he established a culture of innovation in which challenging conventional wisdom, taking risks and experimenting with new ideas were encouraged.
Above all, Mr. Kellogg believed in his people, instilling in them a hunger for opportunity, an unwavering tenacity and a bold legacy of leadership that’s resonated across generations of Kellogg employees. The values he instilled in our company are what continue to guide us today, and I’m quite certain he would be proud of what we have accomplished in his name.
Over this long history, much has changed in our industry. Consumer tastes have shifted and new marketplaces have emerged, but our commitment to bringing our best to the world each and every day has never faltered. As we embark on 2016, there is one fact that I hope is as crystal clear to you as it is to me: Kellogg is just getting started.
Today, we remain focused on our consumers, our customers, our partners, our employees, our communities and you, our shareowners. I am confident that the strategies we have put in place will continue to drive growth around the world, enabling us to achieve our goals and meet the high expectations we all have for the company.
Defining Who We Are
We believe Kellogg is, ultimately, more than a business. Every day, we strive to be a diverse, inclusive community of passionate people making a difference around the world — in other words, a company with a heart and soul. This is captured within our 2020 Growth Plan, ensuring that our global growth strategy keeps us focused on winning and on doing the right things.
The very essence of who we are as a company is reflected in our unwavering dedication to nourishing people with our foods, feeding those in need, nurturing our planet and living Mr. Kellogg’s values in everything we do. In fact, we continue to place a significant emphasis on the K Values, behaviors that shape our culture and guide how we run our business. During 2015, we re-emphasized these values throughout our global organization to ensure that we always live up to the promise of being a company with a heart and soul. Increasingly, our stakeholders — including our consumers — are motivated to buy from, and work for, companies and brands who share their values.
Just as we’re committed to the long-term health of our company, we’re also committed to the success of our communities. At Kellogg, we believe that every child deserves to start the day with the power of breakfast… and we’re making it happen. Through our global signature cause, Breakfasts for Better Days, we’ve already exceeded our commitment – providing more than 1.4 billion servings of cereal and snacks since 2013 to children and families in need, worldwide. We’ll continue this important work in the future.
Importantly, we are also furthering our efforts to foster sustainability across our business and with our partners. We took many steps last year intended to make a difference, including taking part in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, where we announced bold plans to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2050, while working with our suppliers to cut their emissions in half.
Of course, Kellogg has been active in our communities and in environmental sustainability efforts for many years. But today, more than ever, the world needs companies who are not only focused on business success, but who are also passionate about making a positive difference. This is a spirit and desire that’s clearly burning within the hearts and minds of our Kellogg people worldwide.
Just Getting Started
In closing, I want to say again that Kellogg is just getting started. I sincerely believe that we have barely scratched the surface of this company’s potential. I am confident that the many great things we have accomplished over our first 110 years were simply a great start — a prelude to what we can and will do in the coming days, months, years and decades. This confidence is borne of the fact that our strong management team and dedicated employees remain focused on the very things that matter most to our success: making great food, delighting our consumers and serving our customers.
We have a very simple, clear strategy against which we have been executing. Plus, as a team we are absolutely committed to continuing the successes made in 2015 and driving profitable growth in the future.
Lastly, I’d like to say how grateful I am for your confidence in our business and your support. Our investors are the very foundation of this company. Together, we are Kellogg. We’re 110 years young — and our best days are definitely yet to come!
2015 Annual Report