🍟 McD + BTS = Dynamite

Thursday, May 27, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks |
_Apparently,  BTS makes fries taste better [Bonfanti Diego/Cultura via GettyImages]_

Apparently, BTS makes fries taste better [Bonfanti Diego/Cultura via GettyImages]

Yesterday’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
34,323 (+0.03%)
S&P 500
4,196 (+0.19%)
13,738 (+0.59%)
$39,084 (+2.32%)

Hey Snackers,

Ever since its parks reopened, Disney has been brainstorming creative ways to bring customers back. The latest: a $100 sandwich.

Stocks ticked up yesterday as inflation worries cooled. Meanwhile, meme stocks roared back to life: AMC is up 62% this week, while GameStop is up 37%.


Bad week for oil giants... Last month, Exxon's activist investor Engine No. 1 slammed Exxon's energy transition plan — or lack thereof. The hedge fund sounded the "Blockbuster Alarm," saying Exxon faces an existential risk from tying its future to fossil fuels. Unlike Shell and BP, Exxon hasn't vowed to move away from oil and gas, arguing they'll remain key. Now, it might not have a choice.

  • Surprise: Engine No. 1 won at least two seats on Exxon's board, a historic defeat for Exxon that will likely force it to change its oil-focused strategy.
  • Receipts: Engine's bid to win shareholder votes — and Exxon's quest to prevent that — became one of the most expensive proxy fights ever.

The little Engine No.1 that could... Engine No. 1 owns only 0.02% of Exxon’s stock. Though Exxon aggressively tried to persuade investors to vote against Engine, it still managed to snag seats. Engine capitalized on retail investors’ worries about Exxon's shrinking profits —  and its future in a lower-carbon economy. 110+ countries have pledged carbon neutrality by 2050. CA, Japan, and the UK said they'll start banning sales of new gas cars in the 2030s.

  • Shell took an L, too: Yesterday, a Dutch court ordered the oil giant to cut its carbon emissions, an unprecedented ruling that could set a precedent in other European countries.
  • Chevron investors just voted in favor of a proposal to cut emissions, rebuking the C-Suite.

Tackle climate change or be changed... Oil giants are facing heightened pressure from governments and investors to reduce emissions and embrace renewable energy. BlackRock, one of Exxon's largest investors, signed a pledge supporting net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner. That pressure from investors and governments has real consequences, as we saw this week. Now, change-resistant companies like Exxon might be forced to change.


"I-I-I'm in the stars tonight"... McDonald's has been seeing stars (and $$$ signs) thanks to its Famous Orders program, which launched last year. Fried chicken sandwiches weren't the only stars of McD's quarter: meal partnerships with Travis Scott and J. Balvin boosted digital sales. In McD's own words: "nothing had a greater impact on our digital business than the introduction of Famous Orders." Last quarter, McD's sales even beat pre-pandemic levels.

  • "The BTS Meal"... Yesterday, McD's released its long-awaited meal with K-pop sensation BTS. It's the first celeb collab to launch globally.
  • Unbox it: 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, medium fries, a Coke, and two Korean-style dipping sauces (sweet chili and Cajun). Missed opp to call them "Dynamite Nuggets."

So much more than nuggies... This BTS deal is more than a meal — it's a global event. People are obsessed with BTS, and McDonald's is milking it. Fast food chains operate on razor-slim profit margins, so promotions like these can be game-changers:

  • Merch: McD's is dropping a limited-edition BTS merch line (including: a fuzzy purple robe with a fries logo). J. Balvin and T. Scott also got merch.
  • Exclusive content: McD's is releasing "never-before-seen digital surprises" featuring BTS in the McD's app to drive digital sales.
  • Spots: McDonald's TV ad — which debuted last night —  uses BTS' newest hit, "Butter." So smooth.

It’s the “Golden Repackage” strategy... McD's just proved that you don’t need a new product to gain new customers. The best thing about the BTS meal: it's composed of basic items that McD’s is already making. Just ship franchisees the dipping sauces, and voila: BTS Meal. Famous Orders drive sales without adding new ingredients or workflows. McD's calls it: "maximizing digital investments without adding any restaurant complexity." This repackaging strategy drives customers to the app and keeps them there, boosting loyalty and sales.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Roar: Amazon confirmed that it's buying MGM for $8.5B, which will add thousands of titles to Prime Video’s streaming library.
  • Vax: Covid vaccine-makers are lobbying to oppose a Biden-backed proposal which would temporarily waive Covid vax patents.
  • Health: Google will gain access to patient records from national hospital chain HCA to develop healthcare algorithms (as if it doesn't know enough).
  • HD: Vimeo, the artsy video-hosting platform that was spun out of IAC, saw its stock plunge after it IPO'd on Tuesday.
  • Moon: Lockheed Martin and GM are partnering to develop a new moon buggy for NASA astronauts and cargo.
  • Cruise: Royal Caribbean got the first go-ahead from the CDC to (finally) begin test cruises from Miami with "volunteer passengers."


  • Weekly jobless claims
  • Earnings expected from Salesforce, Costco, Ulta, HP, Dollar Tree, and Best Buy

Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Amazon, GM, and Snap

ID: 1665067