: Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s stocks fall after Walmart says weight-loss drugs have customers cutting back on calories

by | Oct 6, 2023 | Stock Market

Shares of Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. were slammed on Thursday, after Walmart Inc.’s U.S. chief executive said the new class of weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy were causing customers to buy fewer groceries and cut back on those that are high in calories. Walmart’s
John Furner told Bloomberg in an interview that the company can track which of its customers are taking the drugs and see they are causing a “slight pullback in overall basket” and “less units, slightly less calories.”

The comments sent Coca-Cola’s shares
down 4.8% and PepsiCo’s shares
down 5.2%. Both were slightly higher early Friday. Analysts have already expressed concerns that the growing popularity and use of anti-obesity medications would have far-reaching implications for the food and beverage industry and that companies may have to adapt their product choices to address changing consumer behavior. In August, Morgan Stanley analysts wrote that packaged-food and beverage makers, restaurants, grocery stores and weight-loss programs would all be affected as the pool of patients is expected to grow to 24 million people, or nearly 7% of the overall U.S. population in the next decade. Some 45% of the U.S. population is currently deemed to be obese and 70% to be overweight. Read now: As Ozempic/Wegovy frenzy continues, Morgan Stanley lifts forecasts for weight-loss drugs to $77 billion “Given the drugs’ direct impact on reducing appetite and calorie intake, AOM uptake could drive a broad and lasting be …

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