What's going on?
Coca-Cola posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings on Monday, and it’s refreshing to see that demand for the soda – if nothing else – is back to normal.
What does this mean?
With the vaccination rollout in overdrive and restaurant reopenings underway, the world’s finally started emerging – parched and bleary-eyed – from their homes. And Coke’s been waiting for them with an ice-cold beverage in hand: the giant sold the same number of drinks last quarter as it did the same time last year, making it the first time since the coronavirus outbreak that sales didn’t drop. By March, in fact, those sales were back to 2019 levels. Investors had a pretty good feeling about Coke’s chances, but they’d still steeled themselves for some drop-off – and when it didn’t arrive, they sent the company’s share price higher.
Why should I care?
Zooming out: Do you prefer Pepsi or Coke?
Arch-rival Pepsi reported better-than-expected results of its own last week, but it’s had an easier time of it than Coke: the company’s big snacks business has benefited from homebound comfort eaters, and it sells more of its drinks in grocery stores than Coke does. Those roles, then, should reverse once going out replaces staying in – so much so that analysts think Coke’s sales will grow 1.5 times faster than Pepsi’s this year.
The bigger picture: A savings boom could unleash a spending boom.
Household incomes have, generally speaking, been protected from the worst of the pandemic-driven slump by canny government schemes. Combine that with fewer spending options recently, and it’s no surprise that folks around the world have stockpiled an extra $5.4 trillion in savings since March last year. Even if they only spend a third of that now businesses are reopening, it could boost global growth by 2% both this year and next (tweet this).