Talk:Breakfast cereal industry

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 Definition Industry comprised of multi-national establishments that manufacture cereal breakfast foods. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Food Science, Business and History [Categories OK]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant American English

Read with interest your brief history of the breakfast cereal industry. Both in the first paragraph and last sentence you refer to an "oligopolistic industry controlled by four corporations." I do not see any specific citation. Given the generally negative connotation associated with the term, oligopoly, think it would be appropriate to provide a context for this observation in order to maintain a neutral point of view.

Though not a huge consumer of cereal, my impression is that the industry is quite price/product competitive and not aware of any recent price fixing actions against the industry. I can always shop at Wild Oats and get cereal out of barrel. The big four certainly dominate the national market but not sure that constitutes an oligopoly. I am equally certain that some once referred to the US auto industry as an oligopoly - so much for that one. Bill Falter 15:11, 29 September 2007 (CDT)

that's a good point and I will look around for recent statistics. An industry is an oligopoly if four firms control 75% of sales--that means they compete primarily with each other, and I believe that is the case today and for 100 years. Richard Jensen 15:23, 29 September 2007 (CDT)
Also, you forgot the checklist Richard!!! --Robert W King 15:37, 29 September 2007 (CDT)

I concede that the number of web sites that support your theory of oligopoly is substantial (though most appear to be avowedly partisan). The site you cite asserts the figure but does not source it. Not sure a student from St. Norbert College (know the and school as I attended nearby Lawrence College) who is referring to a professor's study meets what should be the standards of Citizendium scholarship for what I consider a significant assertion. Pending appropriate citation, it would seem that the term "oligopoly" should be deleted from this article. Bill Falter 17:23, 29 September 2007 (CDT)

the oligopoly numbers are there: 4 firms at the 80-90% dominance level. If people don't like it let them eat granola from a barrel. Seriously, it's cited in the textbooks as the classic example. One economist says, "By nearly all indicators employed by industrial-organization economists to measure market structure, company conduct, and social performance, the ready-to-eat cereals industry ranks at the extreme end of the range of food industries. As the quintessential shared monopoly, renewed attention by the antitrust agencies might yield economic benefits for consumers." John M. Connor, "Breakfast cereals: The extreme food industry' Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University at [1] Richard Jensen 18:54, 29 September 2007 (CDT)

"Generic" brands

What about 'em? Less packaging, less advertising, etc. make for good business I hear. I grew up in the Twin Cities, so I ate lots of General Mills cereals for breakfast, but I went to college in Northfield, MN where the delicious aroma of Maltomeal is so often smelled wafting across town. --Joe Quick (Talk) 17:12, 29 September 2007 (CDT)

Three words, Joe: "Gross-knock-offs." --Robert W King 17:46, 29 September 2007 (CDT)

Use of "They"

Can the lede be modified to reduce the usage of the word "They" to make it sound less conspiracy-ish? Can we be specific, detailed? --Robert W King 23:18, 29 September 2007 (CDT)

does it sound like a "conspiracy"? Most of the founders came out of one small town (Battle Creek) and spent their time fighting and emulating each other. The key people lived well into the 20thcentury and dominated their firms and invented most of the famous brands we still eat. I eat cheerios every day. :) Richard Jensen 00:01, 30 September 2007 (CDT)