Hood – who joined Kellogg in 2012 as part of the Pringles acquisition after 19 years with Procter & Gamble - will lead the portfolio of businesses in the company's largest region, including U.S. Morning Foods, U.S. Snacks, U.S. Frozen Foods, U.S. Specialty Channels, Kashi and Canada. He replaces Paul Norman who left the company earlier this year.
"Chris is a talented executive who has successfully led our European business through challenging market conditions and expansion into new markets, revitalizing our marketing and innovation activity and improving our profitability," said chairman and CEO Steve Cahillane.
Lawlor joined Kellogg in Ireland in 1991 and has steadily moved up the ranks, most recently running the European cereal business.
Both leadership changes are effective July 1, 2018.
Speaking on the firm’s latest earnings call on May 3, Cahillane said the company had been reshaping its portfolio to focus on higher growth products and regions, acquiring Brazilian biscuits, pasta and powdered beverages maker Parati at the end of 2016 and protein snacks brand RXBAR in late 2017. It has also stepped up its presence in West Africa this year, investing $420m to add to its joint venture equity interests in the region.
We expect Frozen Foods to continue to grow
While there are still challenges ahead in US Morning Foods and in Kashi snacks (“We're busy getting back to basics and investing in what we know can grow”) key parts of the portfolio were showing improvements, claimed Cahillane.
“Our on-trend frozen foods business has accelerated its strong growth. In US snacks, behind the noise of DSD [direct store delivery] exit impacts, our core brands are gaining share again. Our overall business is increasing its velocities on shelf and Pringles is growing strongly worldwide.
“Both Eggo and MorningStar Farms sustained double-digit consumption growth in Q1. Both brands have benefited from renovated food and packaging, new innovations and commercial focus on core offerings. We expect Frozen Foods to continue to grow, even as it begins to lap its year-ago acceleration, in coming quarters."
He added: “Kashi continued to drive strong consumption growth and share gains for Bear Naked Granola while [we’ve been] working to stabilize Kashi brands cereal and snacks outside the natural channel.
“We stabilized our core international developed cereal markets and even showed some improvement. And we've built scale in snacking presence in emerging markets and it's paying off with accelerated growth in those markets.”