WK Kellogg Stays in MI, Incurring No Layoffs

The cereal giant had plans to move some production to Canada, which would have laid off 170 workers.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

December 19, 2023

2 Min Read
WK Kellogg to stay in MI
The cereal giant is keeping cereal production in Michigan, keeping jobs and investing in equipment. Image courtesy of Tim Boyle / Staff / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Cereal giant WK Kellogg has reversed its decision to move cereal production and will stay in Battle Creek, MI.

In September 2021, the company announced plans to move some of its operations to its cereal facility in Belleville, Ontario, CAN. It's reverse decision will keep around 170 workers employed at the Battle Creek plant.

On December 12, 2023, a 15-year designated renaissance zone for WK Kellogg Co was approved by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

Despite saving money through lower manufacturing costs, the move would have idled two of Battle Creek's three operational lines and eliminated 170 jobs.

WK Kellogg Co leaders decided to retain volume at its Battle Creek facility, where the company will drive efficiency through investment in more modern technology, as well as train employees in high performing work systems, making them more competitive in their manufacturing network.

By investing in Battle Creek instead of Belleville, the company could retain 170 jobs, create at least 43 additional jobs, invest between $43-$143 million in infrastructure, and invest up to $60 million in employee training, according to a project memorandum by WK Kellogg and the MEDC.

To make the project viable, WK Kellogg requested from the MEDC a $5 million business development program grant and an MSF Designated Renaissance Zone for a period of 15 years.

The request was approved last week and will remain valid for 120 days with approval for an MSF Fund Manager to extend the commitment for another 60 days, according to local news 3.

Keeping production rolling at the MI plants will boost the state's agribusiness industry.

“We are pleased to maintain cereal production in Battle Creek, the Michigan community where it all began more than a century ago and where it begins again with WK Kellogg Co,” said WK Kellogg Co Chairman and CEO Gary Pilnick. “We are proud to be doing so in partnership with our employees and their union, along with the support of Battle Creek Unlimited, the city of Battle Creek and the state of Michigan.”

In addition to investing in machinery and equipment, the project will include training current employees to enable the high-performing work team model necessary to drive future success.

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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