Were High Prices A Cereal Killer?

General Mills is trying to call an end to the snap, crackle, and pop of the breakfast-food industry's rampant price hikes. On Apr. 4, it announced plans to cut coupons and other promotions and to lower prices of eight top cereal brands by an average of 11%. That strategy will free dollars for brand-building advertising and product improvements, and still leave more for the bottom line, contends President Stephen Sanger. General Mills needs the boost: Its profits and stock price have faltered. But if rival Kellogg cranks up its own promotions, breakfasters may find their flakes cost as much as ever.

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