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Tara Lachapelle

Kellogg, It's Grrr-oan!

The cereal maker's new CEO faces a big task in turning around a tired trademark.
Photographer: Getty Images

Kellogg Co.'s newly minted CEO Steve Cahillane signed off on a $600 million deal for protein bars just four days into the job, a purported message to investors that this isn't the same uninspired cereal company they'd given up on. But it's far too soon to make that claim -- after all, it's the part after the acquisitions that Kellogg hasn't been very good at. 

This month's RXBAR transaction is its third-largest, following Pringles in 2012 and Keebler in 2001, but neither instills much confidence. Kellogg, the leader in North America's shrinking cereal market, has done little in the way of major innovation for Pringles or Keebler as consumers shun sugary, processed foods in favor of fresher, healthier choices. It's also owned Kashi granola bars and Morningstar veggie burgers for nearly two decades, brands that should be dominating current trends. Instead, all have lost market share in recent years under Kellogg's watch, giving way to new entrants: