Proprietary Data Insights
Top Fast-Food Stock Searches This Month
There’s an ETF for That
The 10 fast-food tickers investors search for most via our proprietary Trackstar database are such interesting names.
Sort of like a solid appetizer menu at a restaurant. Works out well when they combine a few of the most appealing and offer a sampler.
Consider ETFs (exchange-traded funds) samplers of the stock market.
The Juice covered ETF basics here. And dug deeper into sector-specific ETFs here.
Today, we’re taking the sector-specific focus a step further.
Imagine you want exposure to fast food, but you don’t want to or don’t have the funds to buy ample amounts of, say, each of the 10 Trackstar names.
You search for “fast-food ETFs.” You narrow down the list to two that keep coming up:
While both ETFs share kickass ticker symbols, and both come up in your “fast-food ETFs” search and articles summarizing “restaurant ETFs,” they have very different holdings.
PBJ has 30 holdings. Not one is from the Trackstar top 10. Most of the stocks in PBJ’s portfolio are consumer staples names such as General Mills (GIS), PepsiCo (PEP), and grocery stores, including Albertsons (ACI).
EATZ owns 27 stocks, including all the names in the Trackstar top 10.
The main points from this comparison:
In terms of performance over the last year, the broader-focus ETFs outshine EATZ significantly.
Source: Google Finance
Makes sense given that investors often seek safety in core consumer staples stocks during times of economic uncertainty.
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10 Most Searched Fast-Food Stocks This Month
MoneyGeek researched how much it costs to get your fast-food fix – a burger, fries, and a soda – across America.
Privately held Five Guys ranks most expensive at $19.95 for a meal in 2022, up 13.5% from a year ago. Twenty bucks for a fast-food meal. Looks and feels outrageous.
We mean, right down the street from The Juice’s LA office, you can snag a solid bowl of cacio e pepe (the classic Roman pasta dish with black pepper and pecorino cheese) and a beer for about $20 from a local Italian restaurant.
That pro money tip aside, Restaurant Brands International (QSR)’s Burger King takes the cake (we refuse to use a Whopper play on words) on inflation.
The cost of a meal at BK increased 21% year over year.
But this is still a relative bargain. You’ll pay an average of $8.18 for a meal at Burger King, which is sandwiched between #3 Jack in the Box (JACK) ($10.20) and #5 McDonald’s (MCD) ($6.19) for the most expensive fast food.
One other factor: location.
Across all chains, you’ll pay the most for the average fast-food meal in San Francisco ($15.30), Los Angeles ($14.59), and New York ($14.22).
You’ll pay the least in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a typical fast-food meal sets you back just $6.55.
Initially, we thought Tulsa’s average was so low because Five Guys wasn’t there. But the chain has 11 Oklahoma locations, including two in Tulsa.
Still curious, The Juice dug deeper.
We hit up the website of one of the Tulsa Five Guys stores. We didn’t find pricing, but we did find this heart attack waiting to happen:
Source: Five Guys
Still curious, we called this Five Guys location. The fine sir who answered the phone told us a standard burger runs $9.89, with the bacon cheeseburger just over $12. However, these burgers contain two patties and unlimited toppings, which helps account for the lofty prices.
The Bottom Line: Fast food isn’t always cheap, especially if you live in a major city or prefer Five Guys.
Nationally, a burger, fries, and soda costs 9% more this year than it did last year across fast-food chains. Inflation spares nothing and nobody!
Instead of spending your money on – let’s face it – unhealthy food, invest in the companies’ stocks.
If you go the ETF route, scrutinize the holdings to ensure you’re getting the exposure you think you are.
If you take the single-stock path, McDonald’s wins, hands down. We made our case for the company and stock here.
Longish story short, McDonald’s has a loyal following, enormous scale, and a strong and evolving digital strategy. And it’s a dividend aristocrat, having increased its dividend payment for 46 consecutive years.
MCD is also a top stock and favorite brand among Generation Z.
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