Long-Term Investing Lessons From The Cereal Industry

In February, Business Insider published an article titled “Millennials Aren’t Eating Cereal Because It’s Too Much Work.” The tongue-in-cheek title had some data points to consider. American cereal sales are down over 30% in the past fifteen years, turning from an industry that sold almost $14 billion worth of cereal to a bit over $10 billion worth of cereal. Affluent customers have come to disfavor industrial processed grains, and the basis for the headline is a 2015 Mintel survey in which 40% of millennials said they didn’t eat cereal because it’s too much work.

The complaint about cereal being hard work fueled a lot of social commentary about the cultural decline propelled by the rise of the millennial generation. I’m mostly sympathetic to commentary that points out the flaws of my generation, but this one didn’t bother me. Cereal itself arose because it was convenient, and given that convenience is … Read the rest of this article!