WEAKENING RESOLVE ON PRICES?
Post also seems a bit less adamant in its resolve not to raise prices, which became a big issue last April when the company announced a sweeping price rollback on all its brands. Since then, at least one competitor has said it will bring its prices up.
While Mr. Callahan didn't say Post would raise prices, too, he didn't deny it could happen.
"We're firm on the fact that we want to be a value leader," he said, adding that the definition takes many forms beyond price. He said the company defines value not just through lower prices but also in good product quality and strong new products.
"Value leadership is an ongoing position we want to enhance," he said, while declining to give specifics for competitive reasons.
The price rollback, while it inevitably took a toll on profits, also hurt dollar shares. IRI, which measured ready-to-eat cereal at $7.2 billion-down 9.1%-for the 52 weeks ended May 18, puts Kellogg in the leadership position with $2.4 billion in sales, down 15.1%. No. 2 General Mills had sales of $2.1 billion, down 4%, while Post's dollar sales fell 10.6% to $1.2 billion.
HOLIDAY FRUITY PEBBLES
Post is also breaking tradition this October with the introduction of a limited edition, seasonal cereal called Holiday Fruity Pebbles.
The Christmas-theme cereal is unusual for Post, which has avoided limited-time brands until now.
The product will receive a TV campaign beginning in November from Ogilvy & Mather, New York.