Black Book presentation today (GO, ACI, SFM, KR)

Please join us at 2 PM today for our Grocery themes update. We lowered Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM) from a Best Idea Long to Long Bias and added Kroger (KR) as a Best Idea Short. Grocery Outlet (GO) and Albertsons (ACI) remain Best Idea Longs.

Consumer Staples Subscribers CLICK HERE for event details (includes video, dial-in, and materials link).

Kroger provides upbeat investor update, but it is a new Best Idea Short (KR)

Kroger reaffirmed its sales and EPS outlook for 2020 during its investor update yesterday. Management said sales trends since the last conference call on September 11 have remained consistent at +10%. Management deferred the difficult task of modeling 2021 to its spring investor day. We are adding Kroger to our Best Idea Short list; our summary is as follows:

Staples Insights | Black Book today, KR Best Idea Short, Hard seltzer off-premise benefit (SAM) - staples insights 102720

Hard seltzer benefiting from shift to off-premise (SAM)

According to Nielsen's survey, about half of all adults say they have no intention of returning to dining or drinking outside their homes soon. Nielsen’s latest survey was conducted on Oct. 16, and there has been little change over the past three months. Nielsen CGA wrote, “This suggests that those who are most comfortable with returning before a vaccine or significant change in circumstances have already done so.” 49% of the 1,600 respondents said they had been out for a meal, and just 14% had been out for a drink. People in the oldest age group, those over 55, had the highest percentage of being comfortable returning to on-premise dining at 52%. They had the lowest percentage of going out for drinks in the past two weeks at 6%. The youngest age group (21-34) had the lowest percentage of eating out at 46%, but the largest increase since July. The youngest age group had the highest percentage of going out for drinks at 21%.

When visiting bars and restaurants, consumers most often chose wine at 22%, followed by domestic beer at 21%, cocktails at 19%, and craft beer and imports at 18%. Only 9% of consumers ordered a hard seltzer at a bar or restaurant in the most recent two weeks. Hard seltzer has benefited from the shift towards off-premise buying.

In the four-week period ended Oct. 3, the beer category sales were up 14.3% in the off-premise channel. During that period, hard seltzer sales were up 104.6%, FMBs were up 53.1%, domestic super-premium beer was up 20.4%, domestic premium was up 4.6%, craft was up 17.8%, and imports were up 14.6%. In terms of packaging can sales were up 16.6%, bottles were up 10.5%, and kegs were down 13.7%.