💰 Inflation intensifies (feat. succulents)

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_Check the succulent receipts [staticnak1983/E+ via GettyImages]_

Check the succulent receipts [staticnak1983/E+ via GettyImages]

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Hey Snackers,

This could have been us, but you played it: an unopened Super Mario 64 game from 1996 just sold for $1.6M. BRB, checking the attic.

Stocks fell yesterday on the latest inflation report. Consumer prices jumped more than expected. About that...

1. Inflation on the rise: higher prices are weighing on wallets — but making some bigger

Bringing home the bacon... correction: the 8% more expensive bacon. Consumer prices jumped 5.4% in June from last year, continuing to accelerate at the fastest pace since 2008. As the US economy gets more #flated, the BLS' monthly Consumer Price Index has been getting attention. The CPI measures prices of 80K common items — sounds like a snooze fest, reads like a thriller. A few gems from prices compared to a year ago:

  • Women’s dresses were 16% pricier. Men's pants and shorts: +11%
  • Indoor plants and flowers were up a succulent 5%
  • Hotel prices jumped 17%. Car and truck rentals: +88%
  • Candy and gum: +3%. Liquor at restaurants: a hard +5%
  • Pet services: +5%. Your dog walker isn't complaining.

Get meta with it... Many economists believe that inflation fears are, in themselves, inflated. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell expects this inflation could be a one-time price increase as the economy rebounds (#tempflation). Supply chain and labor shortages have been driving up prices of raw materials and goods. A few examples:

  • Cars: The global chip shortage caused a spike in used car and truck prices (+45%), which are responsible for a whopping one-third of the overall CPI increase.
  • Flights: Airlines are dealing with a shortage of pilots and workers while demand is rebounding, leading to pricier flights (+25%).

There are two sides to inflation... The side that pays extra, and the side who gets paid extra. Lower-income consumers are more sensitive to rising prices — a spike in the price of meat, milk, or clothing can make a big difference. But some are seeing an upside too: rising wages. From Uber to McDonald's, companies are raising wages and incentives to fill the labor shortage — which, in turn, can contribute to rising prices. Another inflationary upside: soaring home and car prices — for those who own them. Homeowners got $2T richer during the first three months of this year as values spiked.


Grills just want to have funds... Grill-maker Weber is taking its charbroiled stock public, and could seek a $6B valuation in an IPO. Weber's 70-year grilling history began with George Stephen Snr, the man who invented modern grills — and added a lid (key). By the time the 60s rolled around, if you didn't have a Weber grill at your backyard party, you didn't have a backyard party. Now, Weber is sounding less Happy Days, more Silicon Valley:

  • 44: The number of times Weber used the word "disrupt" in its IPO filing.
  • 12: Mentions of "installed base" — 30M grills in the US, and 50M globally.
  • iGrill3: Weber's app-connected grill dongle tells you when the patty is crispy.

And a little bit of chicken grilled... BBQ'ing may be the epitome of American summer, but it's also a hallmark of pandemic socializing. The "outdoor revolution" has benefited everyone from RV companies like Winnebago and Thor, to outdoor gear companies like Yeti and Canada Goose. Now, it's helping Weber and BBQ rivals like Traeger, which also filed to go public last week.

  • $1B in revenue: For the six months ended in March, Weber's sales were up 62% compared to the same period last year.
  • 24% market share: One in four grills on Earth are Weber's, and it holds the top spot for American brands.

Brand can be more important than product... Weber isn’t selling grills – it’s selling its brand name. For Weber, brand recognition is more important than grill innovation (even bluetooth dongles). Weber's biggest strength is that 87% of Americans are aware of its brand — but that's also its #1 risk : “Our business depends on maintaining and strengthening our brand.” That's why it's jacking up marketing spend and hosting events like grill classes and patio parties.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Surge: US Covid cases have doubled in recent weeks as the Delta variant continues to spread and Americans socialize more freely.
  • Banked: Chase's profit more than doubled last quarter, and Goldman's earnings blew past estimates.
  • Extra: Google was fined $600M in France for allegedly violating orders to negotiate paid deals with news publishers.
  • McPerks: McDonald’s franchisees are offering emergency child care and other benefits to bring workers back to the drive-thru.
  • Vroomy: GM is betting on the return to office with a new, $71M campus in Southern California (ETA: 2022).
  • Snacky: Pepsi's sales soared last quarter as restaurants, bars, and stadiums re-stocked its snacks. Including: Cheetos, Doritos, and Lay's.
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Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Google

ID: 1720801