One of the greatest accomplishments of the kosher food industry was making mainstream products in the commercial cereal market kosher. When I think of breakfast cereal, the iconic Post® logo immediately comes to mind – that ubiquitous red oval logo that graces almost every American kitchen and conjures up childhood memories of countless bowls of Cocoa Pebbles and Raisin Bran. Every child that grew up in a kosher home eating Post® cereals shares in these memories.
Founded in 1895 by C.W. Post, the first products were conjured up in an old barn in Battle Creek, Michigan. Post’s first creation, “Postum” was a cereal beverage and one of the first packaged breakfast products marketed in America. By 1897, Post® Grape Nuts, one of the first ready to eat cold cereals, was available for purchase by the public. C.W. Post bought a large parcel of land in Battle Creek and built a state-of-the art production facility alongside modest homes for his employees. He created both employment opportunities for a large segment of the local population, as well as housing for their families. The company continued to grow and from 1925 to 1929, C.W. Post’s company acquired over a dozen other companies and expanded production to more than 60 products. In 1929, the parent corporation name changed to General Foods Corporation. In 1942, Post® introduced its iconic Raisin Bran cereal, which is a staple product in millions of American households. In 1971, the perennial favorites Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles debuted in supermarkets across the country and in 1992 Post® recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of Shredded Wheat cereal.
The OK has certified Post® Cereals for over 60 years. To date, over 3,500 kashrus inspections have been logged at Post® manufacturing facilities and seven rabbis oversee the kosher supervision program. Today, the OK certifies 64 varieties of Post cereals, produced in six different facilities. Some kosher certified varieties are pareve, while some are certified dairy (not Cholov Yisroel).
Post® takes its commitment to kosher compliance very seriously. Dedicated personnel within the company work continuously with the OK to ensure that every step of the kosher protocol is followed precisely and that all products are accurately labeled. There was a time that kosher cereal contained non-kosher promotional items. This posed absolutely no kashrus issue, since the promotional item was individually wrapped and clearly marked as non-kosher. Unfortunately, however, there were still kosher consumers who were confused. OK Kosher, known for its clear mission of kashrus without compromise, worked cooperatively with Post® management to protect the kosher integrity of Post® products and Post® went out of its way to discontinue the entire campaign despite the loss involved.
JaNeen Allen, Nutrition and Regulatory Scientist at Post and the liaison between the OK and Post®, reiterated the Post® commitment to providing a wide variety of kosher products: “As one of the fastest growing food manufacturing companies in the US, Post Holdings is always striving to provide a range of products for the consumer. Within that range, we want to ensure that if there is an opportunity for our products to be accepted as kosher, we follow that course. For years we have worked with the OK and we are looking forward to continuing our relationship and providing as many kosher products as possible to your community. Thank you so much for the opportunities you have imparted on our company.”
Rabbi Eli Lando, Chief Customer Relations Officer at the OK, whose team works directly with Post®, is continually impressed by Post® Foods’ respect for the kosher consumer. “It is heartwarming to see that Post® appreciates the importance of OK Kosher’s high kosher standards and the needs of the kosher consumer. This achievement is a direct result of our commitment to full cooperation with our customers and we look forward to an ongoing relationship and growth for the benefit of all kosher consumers.
The OK and Post® are proud to announce a new kosher certified variety of the famous, kid-favorite “Pebbles” cereals – Post® Chocolate Peanut Butter Pebbles Boulders.
Ms. JaNeen Allen and Mr. George Dover accepted the Featured Company Award at our recent International Mashgiach Conference on behalf of Post® Foods, LLC.