Strategic Movements: August 2020
Nikola Green Garbage Trucks Pricing
Republic Services is said to be buying 2,500 garbage trucks from Nikola, an electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle maker. The price? Slightly under $500,000 per truck and reportedly around the same of other electric garbage trucks. The normal price for gasoline-powered garbage trucks is $200,000 to $300,000. Why the big uptick in price for electric garbage trucks? Economic Value to Customer. The business case for electric garbage trucks considering fuel savings, electric charging, and maintenance issues alone would make this a clear choice for a garbage truck that spends its days driving the same urban roads and averaging 2 miles per hour while generating lots of power to lift garbage containers into its belly. Nice development.
Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash
UPS and FedEx Raise Prices in Parallel Again
Online ordering is up and package delivery firms are enjoying high demand. What to do? Raise prices of course. United Parcel Service (UPS) raised prices on some large shipping customers by more than 10%. FedEx followed suit. Buyer power has shifted from shippers to shipping companies, and they are making hay. Logistics matters during COVID times. Note: package delivery companies have been facing increased costs and increased supplier power due to COVID.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
CPG Rising Demand Does Not Raise All Sectors, but Some Sectors Soar
Proctor & Gamble reported 6% growth in organic sales last year (year ending June 30th). Fabric and home-care companies (such as Tide, Mr. Clean, Dawn, Cascade, etc.) posted 14% gains. Even better, customers seem willing to pay higher prices with fewer promotional discounts. Kimberly-Clark and Clorox are also reported to be currently reducing promotional discounts. During COVID driven demand and channel shifting, lower prices are generally not the key driver of sales. Rather, delivering supplies that customers need and want to the right distribution outlets is. Logistics matters.
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People Want Eggs
Cal-Maine Foods said sales rose 62% in the last quarter as consumers purchased more eggs – and more expensive eggs at that. Net average selling price per dozen eggs was $1.575 last quarter, up from $1.062 the year prior. Demand for specialty eggs (organic and brown) accounted for 30% of sales. Conjectures: Are people who are not used to cooking finding eggs an easy option? Are eggs the new comfort home-cooked food? Are people buying eggs as a low-cost protein during economic uncertainty? Are people considering expensive eggs as a substitute for dinning out for brunch? I don’t know. All of the above?
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People Want Tuna
During COVID times, Bumble Bee Foods’ sales of canned and pouched tuna doubled. Average wholesale prices increased 41% for same period last year. Other seafood prices have dropped while tuna prices have increased. Why Tuna? Conjectures: Do people not know how to cook fish? Is canned tuna the new comfort food? Are people buying canned tuna as a low-cost protein during economic uncertainty? I don’t know. All of the above?
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Zoom for Home-DTEN ME $599
Perhaps this will sell: $599 for a 27-inch touch screen developed for making Zoom calls and conducting video conferences from home offices. Seems like some will buy it, but it won’t be the dominant profit maker for Zoom. Investors shrugged on the offering. Speculative question: is Zoom trying to make itself into a lifestyle brand? Maybe Zoom should enter the TikTok acquisition game.