"Revenge (spending) is sweet" [kali9/E+ via Getty Images]
It's another Suez Canal-style crisis, but this time it's a different kind of Evergreen: a street in Tallinn, Estonia is closed for two weeks to allow frogs to migrate (#EverToad).
Went stimulus shopping... Retail sales surged in March, soaring ~10% from February — the largest jump since May of last year. As $1.4K stimulus checks hit bank accounts and vax shots hit arms, Americans hit stores and restaurants. The biggest pops in consumer spending were in pandemic-pummeled sectors:
Slim fit, revenge fit... After a year of saving up and holding back, Americans are "revenge spending" on pre-pandemic pleasures. Think: non-stretchy clothes, non-canned cocktails, and non-Zoom experiences. A few examples...
The US economy has come a long way.... in a short time. April 2020 seems like eons ago. But just 365 days ago we had: a world-halting pandemic, 22M unemployed, and zero vaccines. We're far from coming full circle, but this March rebound feels like a return to “normalcy.” US consumer confidence is at its highest level since the pandemic began. Nearly 1M jobs were added last month — the biggest gain since August. Now, consumer spending is expected to help propel US economic growth to +6.4% this year — its best rate in decades.
At least it has the Slurpee... Pepsi isn’t just the soda you order when they don’t have Coke — it's a multinational snack beast. It owns the four big Os of snacking (Cheetos, Doritos, Tostitos, Fritos...and Lay's). It also owns Quaker Oats, and random airplane favorites like SmartPop, Sun Chips, and Sabra hummus. Thanks to pandemic snacking:
Big hemp energy... Since the 2000s, sales of full-calorie soda in the US have plummeted. So Pepsi has been leaning harder into "functional beverages." Functional = providing more than just sugar/alcohol, enhanced by a healthy(ish) touch. Think: vitamin-packed energy drinks and enhanced waters. This year, Pepsi partnered with Beyond Meat for plant-based snacks and drinks. Another example of its functional focus:
Functional = marketing markup... People graviate toward products they think make them healthier and/or more productive. Companies like Pepsi know you're willing to pay more for the "functional" alternative (even if that’s just one unpronounceable ingredient). So they're doubling down on it, especially in marketing. From Bud's hard green tea and coconut water, to Sephora's CBD-infused body oils and hair gummies — the fashion is in the function.
Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Delta and Amazon