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Today in the Market (10/6/2023)

Good Evening! The first trading week of October concluded with a notable turn of events, as Wall Street saw a reversal of previous losses on Friday and exhibited a significant increase until the conclusion of the trading session.

The three major Indexes had a slow start but all saw great gains to end the week off with the Dow Jones increasing by 0.87%, the S&P 500 rising by 1.18%, and the Nasdaq Composite surging by 1.60%.

LESS FROZEN FOOD!

The stock of Conagra Brands (CAG) reached its lowest point since March 2020, concluding at a value of $26 following the release of its fiscal first quarter outcomes. The famous frozen food corporation responsible for renowned brands including Birds Eye and Marie Callender’s has seen a decline in shares exceeding 31% since the beginning of the year.

So what is hurting the company? During the first quarter, Conagra achieved higher-than-expected profitability but fell short of revenue expectations due to a decline in sales of refrigerated and frozen products, which decreased by 4.6% compared to the previous year. The volume within the category had a decline of 10.5%; however, this was largely mitigated by a rise in pricing.

Why are consumers moving away from frozen food? During a conference call with investors, Sean Connolly, the CEO of Conagra, highlighted the shifting consumer behaviors characterized by a decreased reliance on convenience products and a growing preference for engaging in hands-on food preparation. This change in consumer behavior is driven by the desire to maximize the value of their purchases by extending the utility of food items.

A STAR AND NOW A KEY?

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The renowned French tire business, known for its Michelin stars awarded to restaurants, has just declared its intention to introduce a new award called “keys” for hotels worldwide. Starting in 2024, this initiative will include the company’s judges conducting undercover stays at various hotels to assess and identify establishments that match the firm’s rigorous criteria for exceptional accommodations.

The reasoning? The important initiative represents Michelin’s most recent endeavor to get a larger share of the swiftly expanding travel and hospitality sector. In 2018, Michelin completed the acquisition of Tablet, a prominent hotel booking platform. This strategic move has empowered users to conveniently make their lodging reservations directly via the Michelin website. The introduction of an awarding system for keys would provide the organization with a competitive edge over its counterparts, namely World’s 50 Best and La Liste, both of which have recently started the practice of rating hotels.

The awards have more power than you think! The award of a Michelin star has the potential to significantly impact a chef’s professional trajectory, while the publication of a Michelin Guide can profoundly influence the economic landscape of a local region. This influence is so substantial that tourist boards have been known to allocate substantial financial resources, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars, to secure the publication of a Michelin Guide for their respective towns.

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