Always great to get a cameo from Toby Johnson! I want to address your final question; yes consumers absolutely will have a problem with a Mexican beer made in the US. It seems as if the business is taking all the right steps to prepare themselves for NAFTA negotiations. However, and without trying to sound naive, is it possible that Trump’s bark is louder than his bite? From what I can infer, yes the administration has made extremely concentrated efforts at reducing, if not eliminating, manufacturing of US goods abroad and indeed make US goods more attractive than foreign ones but is it possible that consumers (especially in today’s craft-crazed world) willingness to pay for foreign goods is higher for alcohol?
I think that this is an excellent company to use as an example in the UK/EU events. As the UK moves towards a more isolationist economy, the question remaining on everybody’s mind will be how much more expensive has this made things and what will happen to our talent? Interestingly with GB based consumer goods companies, right after the vote to leave was announced, the stock price climbed significantly. Reason being that Unilever’s revenues are substantially received from outside the UK. With that being said, the higher valuation can likely be attributed to the foreign exchange benefit that Unilever will receive in lieu of the weak sterling. How then can Unilever take further advantage of the foreign exchange movement to hedge against these escalating trade costs?
Fascinating to learn about this company which seemingly is at the dependence of many of these international trade policies. In reply to the first question posed, yes, I believe that there is great cause for concern with the ongoing increase of protectionist trade policies. What has certainly been made clear in Europe is that as the pressure rises on the middle class, governments will seek to force companies to invest locally and therefore hire locally. The most effective way to do so is through the the trade agreements, or indeed monetary policies, it does or does not adhere to.
This was a strong overview of the efforts towards digitalization that Walmart has pursued over the past years. I believe that the greatest demonstration of these efforts, as you astutely pointed out, was the acquisition of Jet.com for $3.3billion. Jet.com acts as a standalone entity with Walmart but is able to leverage their data and online expertise with the wealth of product and consumer information that Walmart has amassed. Further, they have acquired several businesses since the induction of Jet.com raising the question of what is their goal in the ecommerce space and at what point might we see Jet.com simply turn into Walmart.com?
I feel that ABInbev has a very strong role to play in the reduction of water usage across CPG companies. As this case notes, ABI is one of the world’s largest consumer good companies and therefore has the responsibility to set the standard across their competitors. Though this effort can quickly be misconstrued as a form of “green washing”, when one considers the actual investment that the company has made on behalf of these efforts, I believe it is clear that they have put their money where the mouth is, so to say. Given their Brazilian roots, it seems like both a cultural as well and corporate social responsibility effort to further this movement. My only question remains to the company, what are they doing to work with governments to enact water sustainability efforts in order to standardize the practice across large corporations?