Category Archives: Fattening of the Population

Is Diet Coke diluting and deluding itself with its latest move?

Given falling sales of soda, both the regular “sugary” kind as well as diet, Coca-Cola is once again trying to entice consumers with a new round of Diet Coke-branded beverages that will be available in the coming weeks. We’ve not tried them, and while we’re somewhat skeptical our preference for first-hand research means giving them a go.

Our concern is the potential risk to the Diet Coke-brand, which to date has focused on cola beverages. And while we understand the argument to be had with brand extension and consumer choice, we’ve also seen too much choice dilute a brand resulting in a company that needs to bring a brand “back to its core.”

At the same time, creating a new brand is no easy task. To us, it says Coca-Cola could have a tough time ahead as it tries to keep consumers coming back for its products as they look for healthier alternatives.

 

Starting in two weeks, you can buy Diet Coke in Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange and Twisted Mango.

They will come in a skinnier silver can, reminiscent of Red Bull’s. And the company may have had another drink in mind when it mixed up the flavors — LaCroix seltzer, which has attracted exactly the audience Coke is after.

Coke wasn’t shy about which customers it’s targeting.”Millennials are now thirstier than ever for adventures and new experiences, and we want to be right by their side,” said Rafael Acevedo, the group director for Diet Coke in North America. “We’re making the brand more relatable and more authentic.”

The company is not changing the classic Diet Coke formula, which will still be available in the traditional, squatter 12-ounce cans.

Coke has been paying special attention to its low- and zero-calorie drinks.Over the summer, the company replaced Coke Zero with a drink called Coca-Cola Zero Sugar.

But in general, consumer appetite for soda, both regular and diet, is shrinking. People are turning away from the artificial sweeteners used to flavor diet sodas — including the new Diet Coke flavors.

In a note published on Tuesday, the research group Cowen reported that diet soda sales fell 2% in the last three months of 2017. In that period, Diet Coke sales fell by 4% and Diet Pepsi (PEP) by 8%.

Source: Diet Coke’s new cans and flavors are Millennial-friendly – Jan. 10, 2018

There is how much sugar in the Christmas Tree Frappuccino from Starbucks?

A friend of mine once said if you don’t put on a few pounds during the holiday season, you’re probably not enjoying yourself. I’ve “suffered” from this most years, but in 2017 Starbucks is making it even easier to do so with its Christmas Frappuccino. The limited edition beverage packs a whopping 420 calories and 50 grams of sugar – that’s 1/4 cup of sugar in a 16 fluid ounce beverage. No wonder it goes down easy peasy, but then again “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips” means this holiday beverage and ones like it will keep our Fattening of the Population investing theme in vogue over the coming quarters.

The month of December is purely dedicated to holiday preparation. With all the tree-decorating, ugly-sweater-wearing, and carol-singing moments, it should come as no surprise that Starbucks jumped in on the holiday fun with the release of the new Christmas Tree Frappuccino. But before you spit out your almond-based eggnog for this delightful holiday drink, we’re here to present you with the nutrition facts.

The drink is unquestionably pretty, and we’re all about indulging during the holidays, but if you’re watching your sugar intake, the Christmas Tree Frappuccino might be on your naughty list. The frozen Winter drink starts with a Peppermint Mocha Crème Frappuccino base and is topped with matcha whipped cream, caramel drizzle, candied cranberries, and a festive strawberry tree topper.

A grande Christmas Tree Frappuccino made with whole milk has 420 calories and 50 grams of sugar.

But don’t write it off just yet! While the drink is only available from Dec. 7 through Dec. 11, a Starbucks spokesperson has clued in POPSUGAR on some ways to customize the festive drink for the calorie-conscious caffeine fiends out there.

Source: Calories in Starbucks Christmas Tree Frappuccino | POPSUGAR Fitness

Obesity, diabetes rises Africa thanks to fast food. — Quartz

Obesity, diabetes rises Africa thanks to fast food. — Quartz

As the incomes have risen in emerging economies, quick service restaurants ranging from KFC and Pizza Hut at Yum Brands to McDonald’s, and Burger King among others have looked to capitalize on this. What this means is our Fattening of the Population theme is global in nature and is expanding past China into India and taking root in the Africa, which is now home to the fastest growing middle-class.

Rapid urbanization, population growth and expanding economies which swell the ranks of middle-income families, are leading to more Africans indulging in fast foods.

And like seen in more advanced economies, this has led to an increasing overweight and obesity levels across Africa.

A new report from the Malabo Montpellier Panel, a group of international agriculture experts, says African children are increasingly exposed to high-sugar, energy-dense, processed foods that are cheap in cost but lower in nutrients. Obesity among 7- to 11-year-olds increased from 4% in 1990 to 7% in 2011 and is expected to reach 11% in 2025.The change in eating habits is also seen among older middle-class Africans, who are increasingly desk-bound and are not engage in much physical activity such as sports.

Africa now has the fastest growing middle class in the world with current trajectories showing they will grow to 1.1 billion by 2060. Over the last few years, big fast food brands like Burger King, McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Subway all set shop in the continent in the hope of taking advantage from the expanding middle class who have disposable income and a palate for processed food. Given that, an obesity epidemicis now unraveling in countries like Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, and Nigeria.

Source: Obesity, diabetes rises Africa thanks to fast food. — Quartz

CDC findings show 40% percent of cancers linked to Fattening of the Population

CDC findings show 40% percent of cancers linked to Fattening of the Population

We have shared many a data point on the hidden costs associated with our Fattening of the Population investing theme. Recently the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reminded that us the vast majority of people do not realize the degree to which obesity and being overweight leads to cancer and other healthcare issues. We see this as proof positive of the pain point created by our Fattening of the Population theme, one that screams for solutions as simple adopting our Food with Integrity theme to ones that fit with our Disruptive Technology theme and the fountain of youth aspect of our Aging of the Population theme. We expect our Fattening of the Population theme to come to the forefront of the healthcare debate as people look to wrangle costs lower and adopt a more preventative posture to health issues.

 

 

An unhealthy diet may affect more than just your waistband, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ‘Vital Signs’ report shows. In a press release on Tuesday, the CDC stated that 40 percent of all U.S. cancer diagnoses can now be linked to overweight and obesity.

The study presents daunting results, as nearly two-thirds of American adults are currently defined as overweight or obese.

“A majority of American adults weigh more than recommended – and being overweight or obese puts people at higher risk for a number of cancers – so these findings are a cause for concern,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, CDC director.

Many Americans are unaware of the connection between obesity and cancer, despite findings that link nearly 630,000 of the 2014 cancer diagnoses to obesity. And while these cancers increased by 7 percent from 2005 to 2014, the rates of non-obesity related cancers dropped.Out of all cancer diagnoses, nearly 55 percent of female cases and 24 percent of male cases were linked to overweight and obesity. These cases statistically affect older adults, mostly between the ages of 50 and 74-years-old.

Source: CDC: 40 percent of cancers linked to obesity, overweight | Fox News

The U.K. moves from fighting sugar to fat and calories 

The U.K. moves from fighting sugar to fat and calories 

We’ve known for some time the hidden costs of obesity here at Tematica as it’s one of the factors behind our Fattening of the Population investment theme. The fight to limit sugar has led beverage companies to change drink sizes as well as alter formulations, which has stoked demand at flavor companies given the need to preserve taste. We see this latest move to fight calories as having a similar impact, and it means we’ll continue to keep those flavor companies on the Tematica Select List.

The British government has a new enemy: calories.After cracking down on sugar and salt, Public Health England said Friday it now wanted companies to slash the calories in food to tackle an obesity epidemic among children.It plans to set calorie targets for fast food and other meals popular with kids by the start of 2018.”

Ready meals, pizzas, burgers, savory snacks and sandwiches are the kinds of foods likely to be included in the program,” the government’s health body said in a statement.Dominique Lemon, spokeswoman at Public Health England, said the program would cover food sold at all kinds of outlets, from grocery stores to coffee shops and fast food restaurants.

The government has already set similar targets for sugar and salt content.The initiative could force food manufacturers to slash the size of their products and use different ingredients.

It’s been down this road before, introducing a sugar tax on soda makers last year.The U.K. introduced the tax as part of an effort to reduce childhood obesity. Drinks with total sugar content above 5 grams per 100 milliliters are affected by the levy with a higher rate ($0.30 per liter) for drinks with over 8 grams. The measure appears to have worked. Rather than risk higher prices damaging sales, Coca-Cola (KO) and Pepsi (PEP) have already reduced the sugar content of many products.

Source: U.K. to food industry: Cut the calories in pizzas and burgers – Aug. 18, 2017

Fattening of the Population Isn’t Just in the US

Investors, especially those in the US, tend to have an in-country perspective, but the reality is our investment themes play out on the global stage even Fattening of the Population. As more countries recognize obesity as a disease, this will likely change the way it is treated, which could expand the universe of contenders for investment.

Experts at two recent endocrinology meetings are calling for more countries to formally recognize obesity as a disease in order to strengthen the fight against this epidemic of the 21st century.Speakers at the European Congress of Endocrinology (ECE) 2017 and the recent European Congress on Obesity (ECO) 2017 both stressed the fact that recognition of obesity as a disease in Europe remains a much–needed step forward.

Source: Call for More Countries to Recognize Obesity as Disease

Fattening of the Population takes to the skies

Fattening of the Population takes to the skies

A man in Australia is suing American Airlines after he was seated next to two obese people for a fourteen-hour flight – an ordeal which he claims caused permanent back and neck injuries.Michael Anthony Taylor, 67, said the airline refused to let him move seats, leaving him “crouching, kneeling, bracing or standing” for much of the flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.He said his uncomfortable position during the flight exacerbated his scoliosis and caused lower and upper back injuries as well as bruising to his neck. “I don’t hold any malice towards the people in the seats next to me – they’d paid for a ticket too,” he told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

Full Article: ‘Squashed’ Australian sues American Airlines after he was seated between obese passengers for 14 hours

 

We can’t say we agree with this man’s perspective that it wasn’t the passengers’ fault and their girth causing his pain and suffering — but as airlines shrink seat size and leg room at the same time that people are getting larger and larger, the buttons are going to burst.

It creates an interesting issue with airlines, many of which now have policies for obese customers, but the question remains what happens to the customer sitting in the middle that has to deal with overflow.

Cocktail Investing Ep. 7  – Crude Tumbles, Jobs, Inflation and the Fed as More People Stop Fighting Obesity? Say What?

Cocktail Investing Ep. 7  – Crude Tumbles, Jobs, Inflation and the Fed as More People Stop Fighting Obesity? Say What?

In this episode of Cocktail Investing, Tematica Research’s resident mixologists Chris Versace and Lenore Hawkins not only recap, but also scrutinize the rash of conflicting economic data that has put a pause in the stock market’s move higher. Some data points to an improving economy, while others have led the Atlanta Fed to dramatically cut its GDP forecast for the current quarter.

Chris and Lenore tackle the factors behind that as well as other impediments that are likely to keep the US economy rangebound over the coming quarters. They also share their views on the upcoming economic data points the Fed is likely to focus on as it decides if it should boost interest rates this month.

 

Some Thematic Signals You Might Wish to Forget

As we like to say here at Tematica, one needs to dig below the headline to see what is really going on. As one does that, context and perspective are key to put the data puzzle pieces together in a cohesive manner to get a clear signal lest one be even more confused by all the noise. In our view, there is no better way to do that than with our thematic perspective, which means we are not following the herd and using the same tired sector based approach. You’ll hear some examples when Chris and Lenore share some thematic signals for Tematica’s Fattening of the Consumer, Rise & Fall of the Middle Class and Disruptive Technologies investing themes. After you’re done, you may think twice about meatless protein and perhaps you’ll sign up for a virtual reality lesson on how to re-tile your shower.

 

Companies mentioned on the Podcast
  • ADP (ADP)
  • Amazon (AMZN)
  • Chevron  (CVX)
  • Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE)
  • Exxon Mobil (XOM)
  • Express Inc. (EXPR)
  • JC Penney (JCP)
  • J. Jill Group (JILL)
  • Lowe’s Companies (LOW)
  • Kohl’s (KSS)
  • Macy’s (M)
  • RadioShack Corp. (RSH)
  • Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A)
  • Snap Inc. (SNAP)
  • Swift Transportation (SWFT)
  • Tyson Foods (TSN)
  • Weight Watchers (WTW)

 

 

Chris Versace Tematica Research Founder and Chief Investment Officer
Lenore Hawkins Tematica Research Chief Macro Strategist
Can McDonald’s Digital Strategy Reverse It’s Sales and Traffic Woes?

Can McDonald’s Digital Strategy Reverse It’s Sales and Traffic Woes?

The last several years have been a dark time for McDonald’s as its domestic same-store sales fell 1.3 percent in 2016. Worse yet, the number of customers its been drawing has been dropping every year for the last four years. After tinkering and tinkering with its menu, what does McDonald’s management think will turn things around? Mobile ordering, curb side delivery and other delivery methods like GrubHub. Normally, we’d applaud a company adopting Connected Society strategies, but after seeing the buildup of orders that Starbucks has to contend with and the prospects of getting cool to cold McDonald’s food delivered, we’re going to say the Golden Archers needs to focus on the quality of its food to lure back diners.

Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s USA President, admitted that the chain has lost “hundreds of millions” of visits to competitors since 2012, a trend the company is trying hard to turn around with initiatives like the new mobile app.

Customers will be able to access their app profiles — which can include their preferred payment methods and a customized list of menu favorites — on the touch-screen ordering kiosks McDonald’s has introduced to some U.S. stores already, the company says.

And for those who don’t feel like going out in public to get their food at all, McDonald’s says it’s experimenting with different delivery models, including partnering with third parties like GrubHub.

Source: McDonald’s Banking On Mobile Ordering & Curbside Pickup To Win Back Customers – Consumerist