Snap, Crackle, Pop

A recent survey established that 61 per cent of all households in the UK serve ready-to-eat cereals at least twice a week, while for all families with children the figure is 82 per cent; annual consumption is 127 oz—or just under 8 lb. a head.


The Kellogg Company of Great Britain is the second largest in the world-wide American Kellogg organisation, who manufacture in 18 countries and distribute in 150. Its 16 varieties account for a cool £240 million sales and represent 55 per cent of the British market.


In 1866, the wife of a minister of religion in Battle Creek, Michigan, decided that a diet based on grains, nuts and vegetables was essential to “right living”. The Seventh Day Adventists set up an institute, known as the Battle Creek Sanatorium, to implement her ideas. In 1876 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was appointed its chief physician and became interested in the production of an easy to digest breakfast. With his brother, William Keith Kellogg, the Sanatorium’s business manager, he developed a thin, malt-flavoured toasted maize flake, the original “com flake”. In 1906 William established the Battle Creek Toasted Cornflake Company and laid the foundations of the modern breakfast cereal empire.


The British Kellogg Company was founded in 1924 and a factory was established at Stretford, Manchester, in 1938. This is now one of the largest food factories in the world, producing over a million packets of cereals each day. Another factory was opened in 1978, and the largest cornmill in Europe, at Seaford in Liverpool, processes 960 tons of grain a day. The central warehouse in Manchester can accommodate 400,000 cases of cereal and Kellogg operate 80 road vehicles a day. It is the only food company in Britain operating its own overnight rail service to London, with an average of 30 rail vans leaving from a private siding each night.


Whichever way you look at it, with religion you’re on to a good thing. The organised churches are among the richest property owners in the world, and by distancing themselves from capitalism’s worries and problems, lead a protected existence. Seventh Day Adventists, from humble beginnings, founded a breakfast cereal empire and fortune and we workers, while ensuring the continuation of their good fortunes, are exhorted to take comfort in referring our problems to the non-existent deity which is the cornerstone of their profitable existence.


Eva Goodman