This February, Kellogg Company is celebrating Black History Month and more than 20 years of supplier diversity – working with companies owned by people with disabilities, those in the LGBTQ community, minorities, veterans and women. Kellogg relies on more than 20,000 suppliers for the ingredients, packaging and services to help us achieve our vision of enriching and delighting the world through foods and brands that matter.
People are at the core of our Deploy for Growth strategy – we know our greatest strength lies in the many diverse, inclusive and passionate colleagues we have around the world. And, just as we expect our workforce to mirror our diverse customers, we have the same goal for our supplier community.
In honor of Black History Month, we’re proud to salute Baldwin Richardson Foods one of the largest African-American-owned food companies in the US. This minority-owned business supplies Kellogg with fruit fillings for Nutri-Grain®, Kashi®, Mini-Wheats®, Crisp®, and Pop-Tart® products. A Kellogg supplier for more than 21 years, Baldwin Richardson has produced a total of 45 million pounds of food for the company.
Cara Hughes, Senior Director of Sales, Baldwin Richardson, answers a few questions and shares the unique partnership between Kellogg and her family’s company.
What is Baldwin Richardson Foods and how was the relationship between Baldwin Richardson and Kellogg established?
Baldwin Richardson Foods is a leading manufacturer of custom ingredients for the food and beverage industry. We are a company that offers customers a range of services, including innovation, product development, solid procurement strategies, customer service and consumer insights. Our overall approach is to build long-lasting, strategic partnerships with our customers and suppliers.
In 2001, Kellogg reached out to Baldwin Richardson seeking a supplier for its Nutri-Grain® bars fruit fillings. The company sought an experienced supplier – and wanted to increase diversity in its supply chain. As a high quality supplier with many capabilities, we never anticipate or expect to win opportunities based on being a diverse supplier. We continually strive to provide exemplary products and services to solidify our partnerships.
We were excited about the opportunity to collaborate with such a fantastic global company like Kellogg. To this day, Baldwin Richardson Foods is the sole manufacturer of Nutri-Grain® bar fillings for all of North America.
What makes this partnership so successful?
Kellogg is very strategic in its approach to its suppliers. The team invested the time to learn about our people, processes and our business. In turn, we learned what it takes to be a dependable supplier for a global company like Kellogg. Our goal is to always be a reliable, resourceful and innovative partner. We work closely with Kellogg to provide key insights and collaborate for success through forward thinking innovation and continuous improvement.
How has your company grown through its partnership with Kellogg?
Kellogg continues to challenge us to find new ways to cost optimize, develop and produce innovative fillings that will meet the needs of their iconic brands and customers. Over time, we have become an extension of Kellogg’s Research and Development team. In our Culinary & Innovation Center we are able to develop a library of new products with increased speed to market for Kellogg. Now, they come to us first with new projects.
How does Baldwin Richardson add value?
We are an innovative company that proactively introduces Kellogg to new concepts that are on-trend and tailored to their specific brands. We are also one of only a few suppliers that are invited to participate in Kellogg-run brainstorming and ideation sessions. Additionally, we are known for being a quality company, with predictable, competitive pricing – we’re a diverse company that thinks differently because of who we are.
We have been awarded four Gold Supplier awards from Kellogg, designating Baldwin Richardson Foods the highest-performing company among its peer ingredient supplier companies – not just among diverse suppliers, but all Kellogg suppliers. We’re very proud of this distinction.
How does Kellogg emphasize diversity among its suppliers?
Kellogg strives to have a diverse supplier base and encourages its diversity suppliers to connect with one another. Many times when I’m at a business conference, I see Debra, Kellogg Supplier Diversity Manager, promoting Kellogg’s forward-thinking stance on diversity.
And, at Baldwin Richardson Foods, we’re proud to partner with a global company like Kellogg – a company that believes innovative foods that enrich and delight the world come from a culture that fosters inclusion, respects ideas and encourages diversity of thought.
For more information on Kellogg’s Supplier Diversity efforts, visit our site today.