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Inflation doesn't seem to be stopping the Budweiser drinker, AB InBev CEO says

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2 min read

Inflation-ravaged households appear to still have a few bucks left over each week to reach for a 12-pack of Budweiser.

"Consumer demand in the U.S. has proven to be quite resilient," Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) CEO Michel Doukeris said at a fireside chat with Evercore ISI analysts on Wednesday. Doukeris's comments were shared by Evercore ISI in a new note to clients on Thursday.

The note detailed how Doukeris citied a strong Memorial Day weekend of sales, with lagers such as Busch, Busch Light, and Michelob Ultra performing notably well in addition to explaining that the company is seeing a normalization of demand trends as consumers return to work and on-premise channels such as bars and restaurants.

The Espinoza, Vazquez and Romero families of Fallbrook grill tacos on the beach beneath their giant American flag as they await the fireworks over the ocean Sunday, July 4, 2021 in Huntington Beach, CA.  (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
The Espinoza, Vazquez and Romero families of Fallbrook grill tacos on the beach beneath their giant American flag as they await the fireworks over the ocean Sunday, July 4, 2021 in Huntington Beach, CA. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Inflation is “higher everywhere,” Doukeris acknowledged, but went onto say that consumer purchasing power remains robust.

AB Inbev stock fell 1% in today's session and the shares are down 10.7% so far this year compared to a 14% drop for the S&P 500.

Budweiser isn't alone in the Big Food sector showing resilience during an apparent consumer spending slowdown.

Enter Campbell Soup.

The iconic soup company reported better-than-expected Q1 earnings on Wednesday, detailing that organic sales increased 9% from a year ago on the back of momentum in condensed soup, Goldfish crackers, and Snyder's-Lance pretzels. Sales of U.S. soup, specifically, rose a hearty 15% from a year ago.

"We are experiencing some elasticities," Campbell Soup CEO Mark Clouse said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above), referring to consumer demand decreasing when faced with price increases, "but significantly lower than historical levels."

Clouse noted that Campbell recently revealed a "third wave" of price increases as inflation remains among commodities prices such as wheat and cooking oils.

"When you think about our portfolio, we have performed very well in a variety of difficult economic environments," the CEO said. "We tend to have categories even in a world where people are experiencing economic pressure or maybe trading down and making some comprises in what they are purchasing, our categories tend to be good destinations for those value."

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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