Pepsi Eyes Beverage Growth

Seemingly everyone from global conglomerates to content creators is getting in on the beverage space. That’s because beverage products tend to have much higher margins than food products. And if you can market your way through the competitive space, you can make a pretty penny. 🧃

If you need evidence of that, just look at one of the best-performing stocks in the market, Monster Beverage. Since going public about thirty years ago, it has returned nearly 270,000%. It’s almost as if its stock price drank a lot of monster energy. 🤩

Or check out Celsius Holdings continuing the epic run that began when it went public. 🗓️

Or the many creator or celebrity-driven drink brands like Logan Paul’s Prime and Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin. The point is that the beverage space can be a very profitable one. 🍸

And with pricing power on its current products diminishing, Pepsi is looking to beverages to help drive growth. Its newest idea is an expansion to the Gatorade brand, with a new “Gatorade Water.” It’ll launch early next year as an electrolyte-infused, unflavored water product that’s filtered with a seven-step inflation process and contains alkaline and enhanced pH levels. 🌊

The company says roughly 30 million consumers do not buy enhanced water at all. But it’s making the bet that the primary reason is because it’s not from a brand they know and trust. Thus, offering the product under the Gatorade name and packaging could pull new customers into the market.

The brand remains the recovery drink category leader, but Gatorade sales haven’t experienced as strong growth as some competitors. That led to the company expanding its portfolio into energy beverages, protein powders, capsules, and more aimed at those looking to improve their health.

We’ll have to wait and see if this bet pays off. But with the popularity of water brands like “Liquid Death,” anything is possible. 🤷

Blue Apron’s Final Delivery

Meal-kit delivery service Blue Apron is finally ending its six-year run on the public markets, making one final delivery to investors today. 📦

In that delivery was news that the company is selling to Wonder Group, the food-delivery startup led by former Walmart executive Marc Lore. In return, shareholders will receive $13 in cash per share, representing a whopping 130% premium to Thursday’s closing price and valuing the company at $103 million. 💵

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GM Throws A Bone To Shareholders

Just weeks after securing a deal with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union that brought its employees back to work, General Motors is making a big move to appease investors.

The automaker announced today that it’s initiating a $10 billion buyback, increasing its dividend by 33%, and reinstating its full-year guidance. That’s despite a roughly $1.1 billion in EBITDA-related impact from the six weeks of labor strikes. 💰

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McDonald’s Outlines Its Big Bet

McDonald’s has been meandering near all-time highs for most of the last year, bucking the trend of other restaurant chains pinched by inflation. Despite its strong performance, some investors are concerned about how the company plans to continue its run into the future. 🤔

Today, the company revealed its big plans at its investor day. 

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News You Auto Know

While the focus was elsewhere, some auto industry news flew under the radar. Let’s recap. 📰

First up, General Motors union workers ratified their record deal with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. It looked dicey there for several days after seven of GM’s eleven U.S. assembly plants rejected the terms. However, today, it was confirmed the deal passed with roughly 54.7% of the 36,000 autoworkers who voted supporting it. With GM’s vote out of the way, investors await results from Ford and Stellantis workers, who are expected to approve the deal by a 2:1 margin.

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