Sometimes, investment opportunities arise in the most unexpected places. In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Oct. 6, 2021, Fool contributors Brian Withers, Rachel Warren, and Demitri Kalogeropoulus share their all-time favorite snacks and the household name stocks that make them.
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Brian Withers: I saw this article and it just had to be part of the show today. Goldfish, it's all about Goldfish crackers. Yes, Goldfish Crackers are having a moment. Piper Sandler, investment research firm surveyed 10,000 teens with a variety of questions, including stuff about their favorite snack foods.
Piper Sandler said that 12% of teens surveyed listed Goldfish as their favorite snack, and this was the No. 1. It's gone up considerably since its previous survey in the spring of 9%.
It's gaining ground, it's taking market share among the teens market. I don't know if this is news enough for me to go buy Campbell Soup (CPB 0.99%) stock, ticker symbol [laughs] CPB.
But it's a great way to wrap up the hour. What's a favorite snack of yours? We're going to do some stock research by looking at our stomachs. [laughs] What's a favorite snack food of yours? Who's the manufacturer and are they a public company? We're going backwards, we're starting with the snack food. Rachel, you're up first.
Rachel Warren: First off, I have to say, I loved Goldfish crackers as a kid. I'm so happy that [laughs] a new generation is eating them. [laughs] This just filled me with joy. Anyway, so good. I need to go find some, I wonder if I can find any here in Italy. I'm not the biggest snacker in the world, but I will say, if I'm going to be snacking, I'm probably having mixed nuts and dried fruits.
But if I'm just not feeling like being incredibly healthy, I will be eating chocolate, and often dark chocolate. Of course when I chocolate, there's just really nothing that's better than a massive bar of special dark Hershey's chocolate. [laughs]
Which leads me to, there's a stock that's publicly traded here. The Hershey Company (HSY 0.79%) has been publicly traded since 1978. Ticker symbol, HSY. This is a company that I feel like everyone knows at least a little bit about because we all buy their chocolates.
The company actually had a really great second-quarter earnings report. I personally have not written about this stock before. As a consumer, I was interested to see how are their finances doing. Consolidated net sales were up 17% year over year in the most recent quarter, and net income rose 12% year over year.
I think it also just goes to show, people know and love Hershey's products. There is definitely a big uptick in people snacking, I think at home a lot during the [laughs] pandemic, I know I was, and being locked indoors for so long.
But I think also it's just that general brand appeal that people know and love. Yeah, an interesting company for sure.
Withers: Question here. I guess, since Teladoc went public, was Hershey's a better investment or was Teladoc?
It's Hershey's, barely. [laughs] Hershey's got 79% return, Teladoc's got 67% return. I think Hershey's has a tiny dividend. There you go.
Withers: Skip the Teladoc appointment, [laughs] go buy a chocolate bar.
Warren: Go get chocolate. [laughs]
Withers: Demitri, what's your snack?
Demitri Kalogeropoulos: Let's see. I like nuts, I like snacking on nuts, too, myself. Pistachios, cashews, almonds, I love crunchy things. That's always in my house and in my pantry. I've got all these things right now in my house and they all have the same brand on it and that's Kirkland. There absolutely is a manufacturer of Kirkland that you can buy, that's a publicly traded company, and that's Costco (COST -1.65%). Ticker, COST.
It's a fantastic business. I know most Motley Fool members know about it, it's a great operating model. They are the price leader, it's their approach to be the price leader in consumer staples products through amazing efficiency, amazing turnover of inventory, and uses subscription retailing model to allow you to sell the lowest prices that competitors can't touch.
They seem to have a Kirkland version of just about every super popular product that they sell sitting right next to whatever you might be buying. In many cases, the product I find is as good if not sometimes better than the name brand.
Withers: Definitely, they have high-quality snacks when you go to Costco and there's plenty to choose from for sure. That's a great pick. We don't have it in the house all that often because I would eat way too much of it, but Ruffles potato chips are absolutely a favorite.
It's a product from Frito-Lay, the snack subsidiary of PepsiCo (PEP -0.50%). Ticker symbol PEP. If I look at the last 12 months for these three companies, they are all soundly beating Teladoc's [laughs] 12-month returns.
Warren: [laughs] Oh fine.
Withers: Hey, I'm a shareholder, too, but it's interesting. Who would have thought that coming out of the coronavirus, snack foods would've been a great way to invest.