Absolutely nothing Is Unsusceptible To Disturbance– Consisting Of Breakfast

Milk and orange juice. They’ve been breakfast staples of the Repair (and America) for a very long time. And now both markets are facing an existential crisis.

America’s largest milk manufacturer, Dean Foods, applied for insolvency this week ( CNBC). Dean Foods will remain in operation while it restructures and resolves its financial obligation. So do not stress over milk disappearing from the racks of your grocery shop. There’s plenty to go around.

Dean Foods hopes the Dairy Farmers of America will buy it out. The 2 celebrations remain in “sophisticated” conversations about that possibility.

However even if Dean Foods is acquired, that does not change the reality that the milk market in the United States is in trouble.

Chart - Declining U.S. Milk Consumption

Per capita usage of milk has dropped about 26% in the U.S. in the last 20 years. Integrate that with falling milk prices, trade concerns and labor lacks and you get a market in turmoil.

So why are people consuming less milk? It’s primarily health-related. Individuals are switching to nondairy options. And that’s interrupting– and improving– the market.

America’s orange industry is handling a different kind of interruption. Actually it’s handling two different types of disruption– one brief term and one long term.

When Typhoon Irma struck in 2017, it uprooted citrus trees throughout Florida. Juice processors didn’t anticipate Florida’s citrus industry to return on its feet rapidly. So they signed 3- and five-year contracts with foreign growers.

But Florida citrus growers recovered much faster than anyone anticipated. And now they have lots of oranges and grapefruits (to name a few things) to offer. However there’s no one to buy their products ( TCPalm).

Florida’s citrus industry will survive its short-term oversupply problems. However there’s a much more hazardous danger that could eliminate it for good.

A pathogen (originally from China) called huanglongbing ( HLB) has contaminated 90% of the state’s citrus groves. The pathogen prevents fruit from ripening. Scientists have no idea how to eliminate HLB. And unless a remedy for HLB is discovered, Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry could be dead within 10 years ( The Washington Post).

Just considering Florida’s citrus trees disappearing is depressing. But that’s not the point of this story.

There’s a factor we concentrate on interruption in the start-up space. When a market is disrupted, there are billions of dollars on the line. That’s why start-ups that disrupt the status quo are so important. The markets they’re attending to are enormous.

But it takes a smart investor to understand disruption can come from anywhere. No market is safe. No product is safe. No sector is safe. You require to keep your eyes and mind available to the possibilities. Interruption is everywhere– if you want to see it. And so are the good financial investment chances that disturbance develops.

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