One of the four categories on the Boston Matrix – a tool of product portfolio analysis that classifies a business’s products according to market share and rate of market growth. Cash cows are products with considerable market share in a low growth market. They are usually products that are well established in the market place and are unlikely to require significant investment in promotion. They resemble products at the mature stage of the product life cycle (discussed in the subsequent section), when any research and development costs and other start-up costs are likely to have been recovered. Overall, they require little investment and, so, are excellent cash generators. Part of the profit they generate is often used to finance new products. This is where the name comes from – these products should be ‘milked’ not just for the benefit of shareholders’ dividends, but also for investment in research and development into other products.