Posts tagged with "Anheuser-Busch InBev"

Mr. Peanut joins the Skippy family in a $3.4 billion acquisition

February 12, 2021

It’s been a tough few years for Mr. Peanut, who died in early 2020 and was reborn as a baby nut as part of a Super Bowl ad campaign.

Now he has a new home: Kraft is selling Planters to Hormel—the parent company  of such brands as SPAM and Skippy—in a $3.35 billion deal, CNN reports.

The sale, which is expected to close this year, will give Hormel ownership of most products included in the Planters brand—among them, mixed nuts, trail mix, Corn Nuts, Cheez Balls, and Cheez Curls. Planters brought in about $1 billion in sales in 2020.

The deal could very well be a win-win for the companies: For Kraft, ditching Planters will offer a chance to focus on its most successful brands (for example, Lunchables), the company said in a news release Thursday. The deal also will help Hormel to expand its snack offerings at a time when people are eating at home more.

Kraft Heinz CEO Miguel Patricio has been leading an effort to turn the company’s prospects around, since he came to the company last July from Anheuser-Busch InBev. Kraft has been selling off lower-margin businesses. Last year, the company announced a sale of its natural cheese business, including Polly-O and Breakstone’s, to the French company Lactalis for $3.2 billion. 

Planters in particular is vulnerable to competition from private label products, said Patricio during an analyst call.

Before the pandemic, Kraft was struggling. Many on Wall Street said it failed to adapt to the changing tastes of consumers, who are shying away from processed foods.

According to CNN, analysts have also questioned the strategic decisions of private equity firm 3G Capital, which partnered with Berkshire Hathaway to first buy Heinz and then merge it with Kraft in a 2015 deal. After Berkshire Hathaway, 3G is the second-largest shareholder of the company. Following the merger, the combined company worked to cut costs—at the expense of much-needed innovation, many Wall Street analysts believe.

However,  the pandemic, which has driven people to stock up on pantry staples and nostalgic foods, has helped boost Kraft’s sales. In the fourth quarter of 2020, net sales grew 6% to $6.9 billion, beating Wall Street’s expectations.

Research contact: @CNN

Watch out, Tesla: Nikola is the trendy new electric truck

June 10, 2020

Elon Musk and his e-car company, Tesla, have some fierce, new competition—in the auto market, on Wall Street, and on social media, CNN reports.

Nikola—a company also named after the Serbian-American inventor and electrical engineer, Nikola Tesla, at its founding in 2014—just went public in Arizona and already is bruited to be highly competitive in the market for hydrogen fuel cell and battery-powered electric trucks.

In fact, Nikola’s founder and executive chairman, Trevor Milton, is bragging about it—and touting preorders for the company’s Badger truckon Twitter, CNN says.

Shares of Nikola are up more than 120% since it completed a merger with an already public shell company named VectoIQ on June 3, notes Transport Topics.

The stock jumped 103% on Monday alone, though it plunged 22% early Tuesday morning in volatile trading along with the broader market before bouncing back. Nikola shares were up nearly 10% by late morning.

VectoIQ—which changed its name to Nikola and ticker to NKLA last week following the merger,—already has soared more than 600% in 2020; with most of those gains taking place after Nikola announced plans to buy VectoIQ in March.

Tesla shares, which also have also skyrocketed lately to a near record high, were down slightly.

Nikola, which also makes semi trucks, is now worth about $26 billion based on Monday’s closing price, even though it’s not expected to generate any sales— let alone profits—until 2021, according to CNN.

This makes the company more valuable than Ford and Fiat Chrysler—and it is catching up fast to GM—a fact that Milton boasted about on Twitter on Monday, saying that “‘I’ve wanted to say this my whole adult life; $NKLA is now worth more than Ford and FCA. Nipping on the heels of GM.”

Nikola already has announced sales to big customers, including an 800-truck order from Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev and a multimillion dollar order with freight shipper US Xpress Enterprises.

Research contact: @CNN

Beer lovers dread looming shortages and price spikes

October 16, 2018

At the September 27 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at which then-nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh was questioned about allegations of sexual assault, he was clear about his love of lager. “Yes, we drank beer,” he said, referring to his group of high school friends at the Georgetown Preparatory School. “My friends and I, the boys and girls. Yes, we drank beer. I liked beer. Still like beer. We drank beer.”

Indeed, as a senior, Kavanaugh wrote in the yearbook, “100 kegs or bust”—the goal he and his classmates set for their high school experience.

That’s way above the average for most Americans, but by any measure, beer is a very popular U.S. beverage. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization in 2014, Americans drink an average of 2.4 gallons of alcohol, per person, per year—and beer accounts for half of all drinking in the United States.

Now, Kavanaugh and his fellow beer-lovers nationwide are facing a looming shortage of their favorite brew, according to reports by The New York Times and Reuters.

The cause is climate change.

Specifically, new research conducted by the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Britain warns that increasingly widespread and severe drought and heat may cause substantial decreases in barley yields worldwide, affecting the supply used to make beer, and ultimately resulting in “dramatic” falls in beer consumption and rises in beer prices.

Extreme weather events featuring both heat waves and droughts will occur as often as every two or three years in the second half of the century if temperatures rise at current rates, the study determined.

Average global barley yields during extreme events are expected to drop between 3% and 17%, depending on the conditions, said the study, published in the journal Nature Plants on October 18.

Under the hottest scenario, China will suffer the most shortages this century, followed by the United States, Germany, and Russia, the researchers said.

Dabo Guan, a professor of Climate Change Economics at the University of East Anglia and the study’s lead author, said beer issues pale in comparison to other climate induced problems, including food security, storm damage and fresh water scarcity.

The study did not consider climate change’s affects on other staple ingredients of beer such as hops.

Consumers in developed countries who want to avoid shortages would be wise to support policies reducing emissions of gases scientists blame for warming the planet, Guan said.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest brewer, said this year it would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025.

Jess Newman, the head of U.S. agronomy for Anheuser-Busch, said the company was experimenting with developing drought-resistant barley and working with farmers to reduce their need for water by, for example, encouraging them to place irrigation sprinklers closer to the ground.

“It’s definitely an incremental process but we have many varieties in the pipeline,” Newman said when asked how close the company was to breeding a drought-resistant barley in the United States. For several years, Anheuser-Busch has used a winter barley in Idaho that gets moisture from melting snow, cutting the need for irrigation.

Research contact: Dabo.Guan@uea.ac.uk