NORTHVILLE, MI (Oct. 21, 1999) -- Back in late July, we looked in with interest at Worthington Foods (Nasdaq: WFDS), the world's largest company dedicated solely to producing and marketing meat alternatives and cholesterol-free food products (see Burger Wars Part I and Part II).

You'll recall that although I was intrigued by the rapidly growing market for low-fat meat substitutes, I was concerned with the direction the financials were heading. Particularly bothersome were a decline in margins and a jump in long-term debt.

The third marking period has passed and I had planned to hold a parent-teacher conference (that means a half-day for students -- woo-hoo!) to see if any progress has been made in da numbahs. However, some news has unfolded that takes precedent. The times, they are a changin'.

Earlier this month, Tony the Tiger held a news conference in which he stood up and proclaimed "Soy hamburgers: They're grrrreat!" That's right. The Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Worthington Foods for approximately $307 million, or $24 a share -- a 67% premium to its previous day's closing price.

It seems the people on Planet K were also taking note of the expanding demand for low-fat meat alternatives and are ready to roll the dice in hopes of adding a high-growth element to Kellogg's Snap, Crackle & Pop.

I'm disappointed in this development only in the sense that it will end what I had hoped to be an educational study of a small company trying to establish its brand and carve out a niche for itself among the food giants. Instead, it's become a food giant. It will be interesting, however, to note the effect Kellogg's marketing power and experience will have on the Worthington brand, and watch the growth of this unit going forward.

Enough about Worthington Foods. Lets talk about me for a minute!

I'll be occupying this space each week on Thursdays from now on (or until our readership on this day narrows to only my mother and my former third-grade teacher), and I'd like to share with you my plans. I'm hoping that at least 50% of the time my columns will be focused on what I feel is the most important aspect of Fooldom, and that's you -- the community. I'll be sharing highlights of the best conversation threads on our message boards, interviews with some of our more prominent contributors, as well as some Foolish contests and games. The other 50% of the time I'll be writing movie reviews and sharing recipes.

OK, I'm kidding. The other weeks will be the usual fare of looking into companies or examining the various aspects of Drip investing. I'm also open to suggestions for topics or issues you'd like covered, so don't hesitate to drop me a line at

On that note, I'm going to turn in for the evening. I'll see you next week with our first Foolish Drip Port contest!

Drip on, Fools!