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Kellogg's taps Nature's Bounty executive as next CEO

NEW YORK— Kellogg's (K) CEO is retiring and will be succeeded by an executive from a vitamin and protein bar company, as packaged food makers around the world try to keep customers who are looking for healthier products.

The maker of Frosted Flakes, Pop-Tarts and Eggo waffles said Chief Executive John Bryant will be replaced by Steven Cahillane, an executive from The Nature's Bounty Co. Cahillane will start as CEO next week and will also join the company's board. Nature's Bounty sells Balance bars, Solgar supplements and Ester-C vitamins.

Bryant, 51, will remain executive chairman of the board until March, and then Cahillane will take over that role, too. Cahillane, 52, has also worked at soda company Coca-Cola Co. and beer maker AB InBev.

Food companies seek to simplify ingredient lists

Battle Creek, Michigan-based Kellogg has struggled to make its cereals and snacks more appealing to Americans who are increasingly seeking to avoid processed food. The company, whose revenue has fallen every year since 2013, announced last month that it would add probiotics to its Special K cereal later this year to try and boost sales.

Packaged food conglomerates have been trying to appeal more to consumers who favor fresher foods, smaller, local brands and are worried about the ingredients they eat. Kellogg and competitors like General Mills and Post have been cutting costs and changing strategies as consumer trends shift away from processed foods in North America, a key market.

Shares of Kellogg Co., which are down about 15 percent since the beginning of the year, slipped 11 cents to $62.93 in trading Thursday.