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“At the end of the day, you can eat less calories. You cannot have less liquid,” is something Coca-Cola chief executive James Quincey (2022 comp: $22.8mn) said about GLP-1 drugs at Davos.
The Borg reports:
In a Bloomberg Television interview in Davos, Switzerland, Quincey said that in almost every category, the maker of sodas, juices and sports drinks has products without calories and sugar. “We already have the products” to respond to shifts in behavior, he added.
There’s a kind of folksy wisdom to this, which — like most folksy wisdom — is bunkum. Obviously, the vast majority of humans (ie those who aren’t crossing the desert, on a hunger strike or trapped in their basement under a pile of newspapers) can definitely have less liquid.
Citi have done a survey into the at-home consumption habits of people using GLP-1 drugs for weight loss, comparing them with a group using other diet-based weight-loss methods. Here’s a chart:
While there’s no way of telling without volume data whether the GLP-1 cohort is actually drinking less at home, they’re certainly drinking, uh, fewer? Citi’s analysts add:
Interesting[ly], user[s] of GLP-1 drugs indicated they were consuming less sports drinks, while those on other diet methods noted they were consuming more. The same results were seen regarding hot tea and plant-based drinks, while users of other weight-loss methods indicated higher consumption, GLP-1 participants showed cuts in theirs. However, both groups indicated similar decreases in their preferences towards ready to drink coffee and energy drinks.
Citi finds that the economic impact in terms of absolute spending will be heavier for food, rather than drinks, as demonstrated by these two charts that should really have been one chart:
That’s cold comfort, of course, if you run a drinks company rather than a food company.
Like so many things about
AI shifting geopolitical relations Liverpool’s post-Klopp prospects GLP-1s, everything’s still theoretical to the point of absurdity. But in the spirit of hypothetical thinking, the apparent switch from everything else —> bottled water in the US seems OK if you’re a company that sells bottled water (as Coca-Cola does), but less good once GLP-1s start getting adopted in countries that have managed to do basic things like keep their tap water clean.
Anyway, Citi says “the impact on soft drinks consumption could theoretically also prove significant” if GLP-1s saw widespread pickup in Europe, which is such a unforgivably vague conclusion that we don’t feel the need to do any better.
— Can weight-loss drugs save the aviation industry (some money)?