What Our Analysts Are Reading: August 2021

Businesswoman sitting at her desk navigating the internet on a laptop computer using the trackpad, over the shoulder view of the blank screenOur industry analysts are voracious readers who are naturally curious and deeply analytical. They are constantly sharing and discussing articles with each other about mergers and acquisitions, pricing volatility, supply chain mishaps, and disruptive technologies.

They track the big news stories that make the front pages, as well as the less well-known trends that could have a significant impact on where markets are headed next.

In this post, we draw back the curtain to highlight a few noteworthy articles our analysts have been reading lately and provide brief commentary on what these news stories could mean from an industry perspective.

Jennifer Christ on “PepsiCo to Sell Tropicana, Naked Juice Brands to Private-Equity Firm

Jennifer Christ Freedonia“Juice is not a strong area for big beverage makers lately. People have drifted away from juice because of the sugar content and have moved toward seltzers and other low-sugar hydration options instead. Juice received a COVID boost because of people having more breakfast at home and looking to improve their immune system, but it's not likely to hold at these levels so it's a good time for companies like PepsiCo to divest and pay attention to their other lines they see as having better prospects.”

About the analyst: With over 22 years of experience developing industry research for Fortune 500 companies, Jennifer Christ is Manager of Food & Beverage Research for Packaged Facts and the Manager of the Consumer and Commercial Products Group at The Freedonia Group.

Gleb Mytko on “Why Drivers Are Zoning Out Behind the Wheel

Gleb Mytko“As companies and institutions developing self-driving cars have made progress in recent years, the need for regulatory oversight has become apparent, heightened by the appearance of multiple new challenges. In an effort to ensure the safe operations of these vehicles, the US government announced plans for increased scrutiny of self-driving cars. In addition to the numerous smaller concerns, regulators will examine the ability of drivers to pay attention as more and more aspects of operating the vehicle are automated. These early initiatives will likely serve as the basis for a more comprehensive, regulatory framework in the future.”

About the analyst: Gleb Mytko has served as a Global Industry Analyst at The Freedonia Group for more than 10 years. His insights have appeared in Marketplace, Forbes, Intelligent Transport, Modern Materials Handling, and Eurotransport.  

Emily Park on "Bayer to Reformulate Some Gardening Products Containing Glyphosate"

emilypark2013_250"Bayer's decision to reformulate their Roundup lawn and garden products in the US to exclude glyphosate by 2023 has a lot of implications for the wider consumer pesticide market. Bayer's reformulation is not mandated by regulatory changes in the US, and the company has explicitly stated that the changes are to mitigate litigation risks. To many consumers, this will imply — correctly or not — that Bayer is concerned that some lawsuits regarding glyphosate use may have merit, and as such, they may choose to avoid glyphosate in all products, not just Bayer's. In response to consumer demands, it's likely that other consumer herbicide manufacturers will also expand their non-glyphosate product offerings, or possibly follow Bayer’s lead in dropping glyphosate-based products altogether. However, because there are still numerous consumers who swear by glyphosate's safety and efficacy, it's likely that Bayer will lose some market share as these customers seek out glyphosate from other suppliers."

About the analyst: Emily Park is an Industry Analyst at The Freedonia Group. Her areas of expertise include pesticides, fertilizers, water treatment equipment and chemicals, and agriculture supplies.

Chris Dyer on "49% of Lumber Dealers Are Now Reporting Excess Stock as Prices Cool After a Wild Run"

"Lumber producers ramped up production as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, leading to heavy oversupply issues in August. Compounded with the stockpiling behavior displayed by lumber dealers facing uncertainty in recent months, the price of lumber has plummeted from pandemic highs seen when supplies were tight. Expect prices to continue to fall slightly as both producers and suppliers adjust, exacerbated by the slowdown in new home construction in the short term."

About the analyst: Chris Dyer is a Research Analyst at The Freedonia Group. He attended the University of Akron, where he earned a B.A. in Comparative Politics with a minor in International Business and a Master of Arts in International Relations and National Security Studies.

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Topics: Industry Insights