I've been eating cereal since the box was nearly as big as me; many times I pestered my mom to buy the cereal with the best prize inside rather than the sugary flakes I liked the most. Over the years, I've become an expert at extracting the prize without having to empty out any of the contents of the box; I'd like to call my method the "tilt, reach, and grab" series. Open the box, tilt it down flat, and then reach at least into the middle of the box until you grab the prize.

Along with the cereal varieties, Pop-Tarts is also one of my favorite Kellogg (NYSE:K) brand items. I used to be hooked on the cinnamon frosted variety, but I now call the S'mores my absolute favorite. The Kellogg Company has shown an eye of the tiger lately that would make its Frosted Flakes front man (front tiger?) proud as it has worked hard to cut costs and attract new little customers in search of prizes.

Many of its boxes lately have been adorned with Spider-Man, web-slinging themes. This method of marketing often lures the cereal eater to the box rather than the crunchy contents. Brand loyalty goes only as far as the cool box, unless you're older and looking to lose weight by eating a diet consisting of a cereal such as Special K.

Kellogg produced solid results for the second quarter, with earnings of $0.57 per share, which was $0.03 better than the analysts' consensus estimate and $0.07 ahead of last year's figure. Kellogg was able to exceed expectations in the face of rising commodity costs that have affected the food industry, including competitors General Mills (NYSE:GIS) and Kraft (NYSE:KFT). The company has been able to absorb increased commodity costs by becoming more efficient through several cost-cutting initiatives. Kellogg reiterated its 2004 earnings target of $2.07 to $2.11, which represents 8% to 10% growth for a company that was recently producing only mid-single-digit increases.

Kellogg has been at the top of the cereal game for so many years but has refused to forget how much hard work it took to establish the brand. The company must be channeling its energy through Tony the Tiger because its shares are attractive (they're gr-r-reat!) as a total return investment, given the company's tremendous brand name, management's cost initiatives, and the healthy 2.72% dividend yield.

Interested in learning about other companies offering tasty dividend yields? Sign up for a free trial to Motley Fool Income Investor today.

Fool contributor Phil Wohl spent more than 12 years on Wall Street and now concentrates his writing on more fictional characters. He has no stake in any firm mentioned above.