The name behind pantry favorites such as Frosted Flakes, Special K, and Cheez-It crackers, Kellogg (NYSE:K) posted a solid second quarter despite partially soggy sales.

The company's seeming lack of snap, crackle, and pop on the top line resulted from foreign-exchange headwinds, which have knocked about global giants such as Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). Without the currency mishmosh, Kellogg's revenue would've grown by 3%. Earnings per share of $0.92 were the real highlight, a jump of 12% on a GAAP basis, and 23% in constant currency terms.

Of course, part of the EPS gain came courtesy of a lower tax rate and the postponement of advertising expenses. Still, underlying operations improved: Gross margin increased in the face of continued cost inflation and expenses related to management's ambitious multi-year $1 billion savings initiative. That's the kind of operating discipline that helps strong companies emerge from tough times even stronger.

Lest you think that everything's milk and honey, Kellogg has had a few helpings of difficulty, including an overall 0.5% volume decline in Q2. Though it may be best known for its cereal brands, Kellogg derives roughly 40% of its revenue from snacks (versus more than half for cereal), and peanut-related recalls earlier in the year continued to hurt snack performance.

In addition, Europe -- a significant square on the global game board, at 18% of Kellogg's year-to-date sales -- was a major volume killer. Some of that decline resulted from a planned shift in product mix, but the rest was exclusively recession-related. Attempting to appease hard-hit consumers, European retailers have favored lower-priced private-label products. Management now sees improving European trends, but profit margins could suffer as the company ramps up promotions.

In happier news, North America needed no excuses; volumes here increased slightly, accompanied by impressive sales gains in the cereal business. Finally, Latin American consumers continue to hunger for American brands such as Kellogg, a phenomenon corroborated by consumer-staples giant Colgate-Palmolive's (NYSE:CL) recent results.

Looking ahead, management expects consumers to continue eating at home more often. Should that trend slip in a stronger economy, the company's cost-savings plan -- slated for a year-end 2011 completion -- should help offset future business softness.

Updated earnings guidance isn't quite as aggressive as General Mills' (NYSE:GIS) fiscal 2010 outlook, but the stock's 15 P/E is significantly below its own historical average of around 19. That said, investors should remember that Kellogg is essentially a cereal and snacks play; it doesn’t have the product diversity of General Mills, ConAgra (NYSE:CAG), or supermarket titan Kraft (NYSE:KFT).

But for investors who don't mind a relatively finicky focus in their food makers, Kellogg should continue to provide two scoops of stability and moderate growth.

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Fool contributor Mike Pienciak does not own shares of any company mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.