BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — Like many major food companies, Kellogg Co. has been working its way through a difficult operating environment marked by bottlenecks and shortages and high cost inflation. But unlike the others, the Battle Creek-based company now finds itself dealing with a month-long strike, an issue that dominated management’s discussion during a Nov. 4 conference call to discuss third-quarter results.

“Our fill rates and our customer service levels are not where we want them to be,” Steven A. Cahillane, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said during the conference call. “And we’re not alone in that either, but we hold ourselves to a very high standard, and we aim to get better and better…We have one particular area that is more challenging than others, and that’s our cereal business, and that’s obviously being compounded because of the strike that we’re going through right now. But outside of…

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