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No One Can Agree on How Millennials Feel About Cereal

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The Internet is stuck on talking about millennials and their (disclosure: our) relationship with cereal. (So I've got to jump in, too!)

A Haiku or Two, on Cereal
A Haiku or Two, on Cereal

Take a look at the (very repetitive) first page of Google search results for "cereal millennials":

  • The baffling reason many millennials don't eat cereal [Washington Post, 2/23/2016]
  • The Real Reason Millennials Aren't Eating Cereal for Breakfast [GQ, 3/21/2016]
  • Really? Millennials Probably Not Too Lazy to Eat Cereal [Live Science, 2/29/2016]
  • This is Why Millennials Actually Don't Eat Cereal [The Kitchn, 3/1/2016]
  • Millennials are too lazy to eat cereal [Business Insider, 2/24/2016]
  • Millennials don't eat cereal because it's inconvenient [Fox News, 2/24/2016]
  • Nearly 40 percent of millennials don't eat cereal for breakfast [Atlantic Journal-Constitution, 3/7/2016]
  • Cereal, a Taste of Nostalgia, Looks for Its Next Chapter [New York Times, 2/22/2016]

The list is a fascinating peek into headline-writing and bandwagon-jumping (otherwise known as rapid-fire reporting): The Times article, which reported that nearly "40 percent of the millennials surveyed [...] said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it"—set off a rash of similar stories, some disparaging our lazy-as-can-be generation, others jumping in to rationalize our cereal aversion (cereal "makes me sad" wrote a real-life millennial on The Kitchn. She makes smoothies instead).

How to Fall in Love with Cracklin' Oat Bran
How to Fall in Love with Cracklin' Oat Bran

But after the rush of articles reporting and re-reporting the statistic that 40% of us millennials are too self-involved to add a drop of liquid soap to a barely dirty bowl, the GQ story—the last of the group above—refuted the claims:

The big issue here isn't that millennials aren't eating cereal, or that they think it's too much work. They aren't eating it for breakfast and they think it takes too much time for breakfast.

But we millennials are eating cereal at other times! Like for dinner. "Even food editors eat cereal for dinner," was our social tagline for the Burnt Toast podcast episode on "What We Cook When We Don't Feel Like Cooking." And I would personally be embarrassed to know exactly how many times I've referenced eating cereal for dinner in my writing in an effort to give the impression that I am (I am!) a real human (I wouldn't be embarrassed, however, by the number of times—a lot of times—I do just that).

Millennials are too lazy to eat cereal for breakfast; and since we're too lazy to cook dinner, that's when we eat cereal.

And when we're too lazy even for that, yet we still want the nostalgic taste of Lucky Charms—and we want it to be fed to us because we also can't face the realities of growing up (did you know that, as the Business Insider headline shouts, "Millennials are more likely to live at home than any other young adults in American history"?)—there's a restaurant where we can overpay someone to pour it into a bowl for us!

Last summer, Kith NYC made news for its customizable cereal bar (not the first of its kind, since there's also Cereal Killer Café in London); this summer, that same concept returns, but with the mega-brand Kellogg's—and the food world big wigs Christina Tosi and Anthony Rudolf—behind it.

Kellogg's NYC, an all-day cereal café located in Times Square, opens on July 4 with a menu that includes six bowls ($7.50 for a large; $6.50 for a small—both more expensive than a box of almost any kind of cereal) made of either Special K, Raisin Bran, Cracklin' Oat Bran, Crispix, Rice Krispies, Frosted Mini Wheats, and Corn Pops with the addition of trendy millennial favorites like green tea powder and lemon zest. There's also a build-your-own bowl option (because millennials love to customize! We can't be told what to do!) and sundaes. And yes, soy milk is available.

18 of Our Favorite Times Cereal Bowled Us Over
18 of Our Favorite Times Cereal Bowled Us Over

This is a great marketing tactic. Look: We're talking about cereal (again!) and we're talking about this café (and so is Eater, CNN Money, Time Out New York, New York Daily News, your grandma...). But personally, I think the beauty of cereal is eating it alone (for me, a bowl of Rice Krispies mixed with Cracklin' Oat Bran)—for dinner, maybe for breakfast too, in a nook of the apartment, away from Times Square's crowds and the din of internet headlines.

But call me old-fashioned.

What do you think: Are millennials really too lazy to clean up after a bowl of cereal? Tell us in the comments below.

Tags: Food News, Ephemera