Sunday, February 20, 2011

Big and Small, no Middle?

Financial services company Credit Suisse, after analysis of the cereal industry, projected this week that the two leading cereal companies, Kellogg and General Mills, are expected to grow, mainly at the expense of Quaker Oats and Post. The latter companies "are facing structural challenges" that make them vulnerable to the much stronger corporations.

This seems to be an ongoing trend toward bifurcation, not only in the cereal industry but across a wide range of sectors. In other words, the future for cereal appears to be in the large corporations targeted in the mass market, and smaller, start-ups that can respond quickly to emerging trend and niches. The ones that will struggle are the companies in-between who do not have the same clout as the mega-companies or the innovation of the smaller ones. While Post (Ralcorp), Quaker, and Malt-O-Meal are all still in the game, within a shifting economy will they be able to find their place, not only in brand positioning but in their own financial sustainability?

I believe the next few years will reveal the answer.

(source: Barron's)

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