2010 Power 50: No. 34 David Mackay

David Mackay - Power 50 Profile

First Lady Michelle Obama [3] not only introduced David Mackay at a White House press conference in May, she also praised him for his contributions in the fight against childhood obesity.

“David, we are so grateful for all that you’ve done,” Obama said.

That’s because Mackay is chair of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a CEO-led organization designed to help reduce obesity — especially childhood obesity — by 2015.

The White House press conference was held to announce that HWCF member companies have pledged to cut a total of 1.5 trillion calories by 2015, whether it be through changing recipes or reducing portion sizes.

As consumers’ awareness and discussion around nutrition escalates, Kellogg is introducing products to cater to their wants and needs.

The Battle Creek, Mich., company is giving attention to fiber, a nutrient that 90% of adults and children do not get enough of, Mackay said.

Based on consumer feedback, it added fiber to many of its most popular cereals. By the end of 2010, the majority of Kellogg’s cereals in the United States will provide at least 3 grams of fiber.

It’s also extending the FiberPlus brand into new categories. In addition to its FiberPlus Antioxidant bars, there’s new FiberPlus cereal.

“We’ll continue our journey to strengthen the nutrition profile of our foods without sacrificing taste or quality,” Mackay told SN.

Along with expanding its better-for-you assortment, Kellogg has faced other challenges. It got a bumpy start to the summer when it voluntarily recalled in June select packages of Corn Pops, Honey Smacks, Froot Loops and Apple Jacks because of an odd smell coming from the liner in the package.

Then there’s the economy, which has made consumers more frugal than ever.

“Coupon redemption has gone up dramatically in the last 12 months, people have a greater propensity to buy on promotion, and in-home consumption has increased,” said Mackay.

In response, Kellogg has tailored its promotions to the needs of today’s shoppers. It’s driving home the value message of breakfasts like milk and cereal, which costs about 50 cents a bowl.

“Despite some of the most challenging economic times consumers have faced in many years, our products continue to be key revenue drivers in the retail environment,” Mackay said.

Kellogg is also looking to evolving demographic trends. Since its ready-to-eat-cereal share in Mexico is over 70%, it sees strong opportunity with Mexican Hispanics.

“They’re very familiar with our products, and going forward we intend to strengthen our connection with that audience,” said Mackay.