🍜 Campbell's Millennial soup moment

Friday, September 4, 2020 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

When the Campbell Soup delivery arrives

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Hey Snackers,

As if Baby Yoda hadn't already done enough for this world, the tech that was used to film 'The Mandalorian' could now ease the film industry's COVID production struggles. Like Advil for our hearts, Yoda bae eases the pain.

The Nasdaq plunged nearly 5% as tech stocks had their worst day since March. Apple and Tesla were some of the biggest losers, shedding over 8% after their big stock split surges.

1. Campbell's make-or-break Millennial soup moment

Cream of Mushroom Mondays... followed by Tomato Bisque Tuesdays. Campbell was feeling like Souperman back in March after people started stocking up on its pantry classics. The pandemic sales jump was driven by Millennials buying soup, "a trend that many believed was not possible," according to Campbell's CEO. Now, he believes in his shelf.

  • +1%: The quarterly sales growth Campbell posted in March. Sounds underwhelming — actually fantastic for a company whose soup sales have fallen 8 of the past 9 years.
  • +17%: Campbell's wild June quarter growth. People hoarded its pantry products including: Snyder's pretzels, Goldfish crackers, and Pop Secret popcorn (claaassic Netflix lineup).
  • +12%: What Campbell just reported for its latest quarter. Sales of soups, Prego sauces, and V8 juices soared 19%. Despite those tasty numbers...

Campbell stock fell 7% Thursday... That's because demand for its products is slowing after the months-long surge. Campbell’s CEO hasn't lost hope: soups and broths are still being used to cook "more modern" dishes (think: Chicken Noodle + cauliflower rice). But are cauli recipes enough to hold onto the Millennial shoppers gained during the pandemic?


Customer retention is hard... especially when your customer growth was fueled by pandemic panic. Campbell is expecting its sales slowdown to continue as we return to a lifestyle that doesn't involve can-hoarding. Young people are eating out more often and eating fresher foods — more frequent grocery trips, less once-a-month hoarding splurges. Campbell hasn't done much Millennial-friendly culinary innovation to retain its new cohort of Soupers.


Hold the (combusting) phone... We spot a trend. Kodak wants to manufacture drug ingredients. Nestlé bought a biotech company. Samsung... is building a $2B drug plant. The massive Korean conglomerate, most famous for Galaxy phones, also has a massive drug-manufacturing arm. Because if you don’t have a drug-related division during a pandemic, what are you even doing?

  • Samsung entered the pharma game late, but has aggressively expanded as corona drug manufacturing needs heat up. Now it's working on potential COVID treatments.
  • Samsung Biologics' manufacturing orders nearly 3X'd to $1.5B last quarter. “Covid-19 is giving us more opportunity than crisis” — empathetic leader of Samsung Biologics.
  • "Super Plant": Not a plant-based burger company. Samsung is building a $2B drug manufacturing plant that'll be the largest in the world when completed in 2022.

Getting AP Bio flashbacks... The award for most complex corporate structure goes to Samsung. Its Biologics biotech division makes meds for some of the world's largest pharma companies — yet it's just one of many stars in Samsung's corporate galaxy.

  • Samsung consists of ~80 companies with different stocks traded on the South Korean stock market.
  • Samsung covers over a dozen industries including: life insurance, ship building, resorts, fashion, and asset management. Even Bezos can't keep up.

Samsung does a lot... But in the US, Samsung's largely overshadowed by Apple. Apple lets you get rid of Safari as a default browser on iPhone and the crowd goes wild. Samsung releases a foldable glass phone and the hype is... not really hype. But Samsung sells more smartphones globally than any other company. It also runs some of the world's largest biotech and building companies — and it makes up 11% of South Korea's economy.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Rejected: Airbnb reportedly turned down an offer to merge with Bill Ackman's SPAC, saying it prefers going public via traditional IPO.
  • Checked: Noticed that your paycheck is fatter? Your employer might be participating in President Trump's payroll tax deferral (you'll still have to pay up on April 30th, though).
  • Smoked: E-cig maker Juul is planning to cut over half its employees and is considering pulling out of Europe and Asia.
  • Booked: Facebook will halt new political ads during the week before the November election, hoping to fend off last-minute misinformation.
  • Whopped: Burger King unveils its "touchless" restaurant concept, complete with solar panels, outdoor seating, and lots of drive-thru.

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Snacks Daily Podcast

The wood-paneled wagon of '70s road trip glory is back.

Fiat Chrysler's Jeep just unveiled a modern model of its iconic Grand Wagoneer... at $100K with 7 big touchscreens (but sadly, no wood side panelling).

Tune into our snackable 15-minute pod to hear how companies are capitalizing on nostalgia to drive big spending.

  • Friday: The big August jobs report.

Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Apple

ID: 1322825

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