The theme of Strasser’s chapter last Thursday was “New Products, New Habits”. Well, one of those new products was cereal. And the new habit that accompanied cereal was the changing nature of work. Before the invention of cereal, Americans ate hearty breakfasts that included lots of calories and fat. When the economy was mostly agricultural and rural, people needed to eat a bigger breakfast. But as the country became more urbanized and work shifted from hard physical labor to more service and office work, (new habits), there wasn’t the same need for a large, heavy breakfast. Kellogg invented the flaked cereal. There were two Kellogg brothers, one a medical doctor (John Harvey Kellogg) and the other a business man (Will Keith Kellogg). This episode of Biography looks at the lives and careers of both Kellogg brothers and the history of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.
What was interesting? What was surprising?
J.H. Kellogg’s fascination with health and healthy living recalls Strasser’s description of King Gillette (p.97) •
Why did cereal become so popular? (in addition to the changing nature of work and eating habits discussed above) Strasser claimed (p.89) that people were taught my marketers (i.e. Kellogg) to NEED corn flakes. Do you agree? Is that what Kellogg did? •
Will Keith Kellogg actually invented (by accident!) corn flakes. But it would never have happened without John Harvey Kellogg’s interest in health. What were the influences on each of the brothers that led to the invention of corn flakes? In other words, what were the events and causes that led to the invention of corn flakes? What things almost led to there being no such things as Kellogg’s Corn Flakes? •
Based on the limited discussion of marketing in the video, what were the keys to W.K.’s success in marketing corn flakes? •
How might things have been different if John Harvey Kellogg was more business and profit-oriented? •
What do Milton Hershey, Asa Candler,...
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