Kelloggs changes breakfast cereal boxes to cut costs and help the environment

Scientists find way to protect delicate breakfasts while reducing packaging

The air is to be sucked right out of some of Ireland’s most popular breakfast cereals leading to a dramatic reduction in the amount of packaging used and removing hundreds of tonnes of harmful carbon out of the atmosphere every year.

Delicate breakfasts in danger of being crushed by careless consumers have been protected by air pillows for decades but cereal scientists at Kelloggs have finally worked out a way to shrink some of their boxes while protecting the integrity of their contents.

In a project dubbed simply Air, Kelloggs reduced the air in its cereal packaging to cut costs and reduce the environmental impact of packaging. However, only 35 per cent of its most popular cereals could handle an air reduction without falling to bits.

So far its Corn Flakes, and Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes have proved to be resistant to change but Special K, Bran Flakes and Frosties have all managed to survive with significantly less air in their environment.


“Work continues across our packaging range to minimise our impact on the environment, whilst continuing to protect our foods,” a spokeswoman told The Irish Times.

Smaller boxes

She also stressed that while many of its boxes will soon be noticeably smaller, its cereals will not fall victim to the curse of shrinkflation and the volume in each box will stay the same.

Kellogg’s says it can strip 700 tonnes of carbon out of its operation each year and use almost 190 tonnes less cardboard and plastic annually by remodelling its packaging.

As part of a long-term overhaul of its business model, the company has also committed to further lowering the salt and sugar content of cereals aimed at children while enhancing the fibre levels across its range of cereals.

The measures to be outlined this morning are part of a Wellbeing Manifesto to be rolled out in the years ahead. The company said least 20 per cent of salt will be removed from its children’s cereals by the end of 2022, while sugar levels will fall by 10 per cent.

The company will also announced plans to fund breakfast clubs at 28 Irish schools in 2021 in partnership with the Community Foundation for Ireland.

"People are rightly demanding more from companies like ours," said Kellogg Ireland general manager Sarah Ferguson. She added that the company had worked to "reduce things like sugar and salt" but said the impact of its food production was much broader than just what goes in the box.

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast