What do American cheese, cereal and golf have in common?

Hint: The coronaviris is changing consumer behavior

Let’s start with a confession…

Several years ago — Oct. 2006 to be precise –our family travelled to Hawaii for a friend’s wedding.

As luck would have it, an earthquake hit — and, the Oahu power grids was shut down. With no electricity, hotels started emptying their refrigerators, piling food in the conference rooms and inviting guests to 24-hour all-you-can-eat buffet.

I made a dash to one specific table on which was piled the biggest hill of American cheese I’d ever seen.


I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

You see, as my family knows,  American cheese is one of my favorite foods.  Not just favorite cheese — favorite food.

I’m in what marketers call a micro-niche.

OK, fast forward to today….


According to Ad Age

Few generations have been as choosy as millennials with their brand and product preferences.

In recent years, the group has been blamed for “killing” a variety of items that struggled with sales declines as they fell out of favor.

Among the casualties: Millennials shied away from American cheese, because it was too processed—and perhaps too orange.

Then came the coronavirus.

Consumers are making fewer trips to the grocery store and many (most?) are budget strapped.

That’s right in American cheese’s wheelhouse: it’s plentifully available, has a long shelf and, oh yeah, it’s relatively cheap.

So, American cheese has been on a hot streak for several weeks.

For the 10 weeks ended May 9, sales of American cheese were up more than 47 percent.

Take that picky millennials!


Cereal is another booming food category.

According to Ad Age:

Before the pandemic, younger generations have gravitated toward either on-the-go meals or trendier options like avocado toast and spinach smoothies.

Cereal was particularly hard hit.

But now, with more kids at home and in need of an easy meal they can make themselves, cereals are on the rise.

Cereal is easy to prepare; you can tell your kid to get a bowl of cereal.  It’s easier than making a scrambled egg, and certainly easier than making a soufflé.”

Breakfast cereal sales are up 35%.


Golf is also a pandemic beneficiary:

Golf was never the sport of choice for younger generations.

It was at odds with millennials’ values and preferences — the rules were overly complicated, the game took the time-starved group too long to play, and golf is not known for its environmental sustainability.

But now, golf is on an upswing during the pandemic.

Golf is played outdoors, where the virus is said to be less easily transmitted.  And, except for cart-riding time, it’s relatively easy for players to maintain their social distance.


Bottom line: Welcome back to the fold, millennials!

One Response to “What do American cheese, cereal and golf have in common?”

  1. Robert Heflin Says:

    In Texas almost all golf the golf courses have remained open. Unless you are family members it is 1 person per cart and social distancing is pretty well maintained. There are no rakes in the sand traps and no flags in the cups. My texas grandson Ethan, who is becoming a very good golfer has been able to practice every day it doesn’t rain and tournaments have started up again. Only the city of Houston closed their golf courses around here, we we are in the burbs so no effect.
    Very interesting about American cheese cereal. Da Cuz

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