During the onset of the novel coronavirus outbreak, most states eventually responded to the crisis with shelter-in-place orders. Not surprisingly, the resultant boredom saw an increase in coping behaviors, including knocking down a few cold ones. On the surface, that would seem to benefit Boston Beer Company (NYSE:SAM), best known for its Samuel Adams brand. And it did, with SAM stock soaring since the second half of March.
But the success of Boston Beer to avoid the volatility seen in other names, such as Anheuser Busch (NYSE:BUD), isn’t all about making a great product. Though millennials tend to enjoy the finer things in life when it comes to their culinary experiences, Boston Beer isn’t just reliant on retail purchases. Instead, a good chunk of their revenue and profitability comes from the restaurant industry.
Well, that’s a bit of a problem. One of the first sectors to experience a near-total shutdown were restaurants. As a result, service workers in this segment accounted for a large share of the 20.5 million jobs lost in April. Despite the obvious headwind, SAM stock continues to outperform.
Rather than a bull trap, there are many things to like about Boston Beer. Here are three factors that I’m paying attention to.
Smart Management Underlines SAM Stock
Often, great leaders don’t emerge when times are good. Instead, a person’s leadership capabilities – or lack thereof — is most pronounced when the going gets tough. Then, you have firm confirmation that conflation with outside factors didn’t distort your assessment.
As I mentioned above, the restaurant industry was among the hardest-hit sectors of this crisis. Subsequently, this caused many craft brew kegs to expire. Obviously, it would be highly unethical and probably illegal to serve that for patrons (not that they would be coming). Thus, many business operators would have simply written the situation off as a loss.
Not Boston Beer. According to founder and Jim Koch, Boston Beer has a frequent practice of taking unused, expired beer and converting it into ethanol, which can then be blended into gasoline. But with the present crisis, the company has also shifted toward converting expired product into hand sanitizers.
That’s doing the public a solid. Not only that, this generation of investors is likely to respond positively to such stories. According to a study from EY, “Millennial investors are nearly twice as likely to invest in companies or funds that target specific social or environmental outcomes.”
Truly Seltzers Are Truly a Hit
Speaking of millennials, no business can survive nowadays without having a strong focus on this key demographic. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Whether you like them or not, they will determine the trajectory of the broader retail market for years to come.
This falls in line with my emphasis on megatrends, with demographics being one of the most powerful. Without a clear pathway toward converting this demo into revenues, you’re dead in the water. Fortunately, Boston Beer’s management team understands this point and have responded brilliantly.
Diversifying away from their core craft beer business, Boston Beer has recently dedicated efforts toward building their Truly brand of hard seltzers. Featuring crisp flavors with an adult kick, Truly satisfies millennial taste buds while giving them an alternative to the typical beer or wine dichotomy. Better yet, evidence indicates that Generation Z is following suit.
Therefore, Boston Beer could be sitting on a long-term goldmine, which would only benefit SAM stock.
Quarantines Provided Free Marketing
We can argue all day about the effectiveness and the necessity of stay-at-home orders. But I think I speak for everyone that it is boredom personified. Sure, binging Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) was fun, but there’s only so much TV a human being can watch.
But during this time, outdoor activities were mostly limited to essential functions. For most of us, that meant grocery shopping. And as you might expect, a large portion of those grocery bills involved ringing up alcoholic beverages.
Undoubtedly, SAM stock benefited from consumer loyalty toward the underlying company’s Samuel Adams brand. However, the quarantines were also an opportunity to market Truly, which utilizes attractive, relevant packaging that appeal to millennial shoppers. And since this demo is less likely to contract Covid-19, they are more likely to be found out and about.
This opportunity would allow Boston Beer to gain a larger foothold in the burgeoning hard seltzer market. Hence, no one should be surprised if SAM stock continues to march higher throughout this year.
Matthew McCall left Wall Street to actually help investors — by getting them into the world’s biggest, most revolutionary trends BEFORE anyone else. The power of being “first” gave Matt’s readers the chance to bank +2,438% in Stamps.com (STMP), +1,523% in Ulta Beauty (ULTA) and +1,044% in Tesla (TSLA), just to name a few. Click here to see what Matt has up his sleeve now. Matt does not directly own the aforementioned securities.