Lifestyle beverages? Is that the catalyst that I called out for in my opening argument? Let's hope not, if you're a Coca-Cola
Tim is all for Coke's innovative streak. Is he actually proud that Coke has introduced a thousand different beverages over the past year? Quick: Name a Coke hit since Diet Coke was introduced in 1983. Yes, Coke's new products start out with a bang, but like Vanilla Coke here or Raspberry Coke in New Zealand, consumers tire, and Coke retires the tired concoction with little fanfare. Coke C2, you're on notice.
I can't blast Coca-Cola for this. PepsiCo
Coke may be armed with state-of-the-art trend-spotting software. It won't matter much if soft drink consumption is peaking. Through the first six months of this year, North Americans are consuming 2% more Coca-Cola products by case unit volume. That's barely keeping pace with population growth, isn't it? The writing is on the wall, and if Mary Minnick wants to ride into town in a Coca-Cola wagon and peddle weight-loss elixir or beauty drinks, it's only indicative of the sorry state the company is in. You're not Starbucks
Are big investors buying up shares of Coke? You bet. Who are they buying them from, though? Institutional investors who thought they were getting a bargain at higher prices, I assume. That's a trend that will likely continue, and the same can be said about the Coke brand itself. Did Tim wow you when he pointed out how Interbrand values the Coke brand at $67 billion? I'll tell you what he forgot to mention. Back in 1999, Interbrand pegged Coke's brand value at $84 billion. Yes, even the Coke brand has diminished in value by 20% over the past several years. I guess that's what happens when you slip overseas and your flagship product is tied to childhood obesity and diabetes closer to home.
Shrinking brand value. Tumbling share price. Deteriorating growth prospects.
Ouch. Talk about living up to your ticker symbol.
Even after all this, if you still disagree with the bearish case on Coke, you may want to check the Inside Value newsletter service to see what Philip is thinking about Coke and explore dozens of other low-priced stock opportunities.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does drink Diet Coke but is likely to drink less this year than he did last year. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. Starbucks is a Stock Advisor pick. The Fool has adisclosure policy. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.