👂 Apple’s new iGoodies

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 by Snacks
Found an AirPod and an earplug [JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images]

Found an AirPod and an earplug [JGI/Jamie Grill via Getty Images]

Yesterday’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
35,457 (+0.56%)
S&P 500
4,520 (+0.74%)
15,129 (+0.71%)
$64,215 (+3.59%)

Hey Snackers,

You’ve heard of bull and bear markets, but have you heard of a gorilla market? A 7-foot statue of Harambe has appeared in front of Wall Street’s famous “Charging Bull,” which is now covered in 10K bananas.

Stocks closed just below record highs today, as corporate earnings continued to come in strong across industries. The S&P 500 index notched its sixth straight trading day of gains.


1. Domino’s 10-year hot streak is over, but its digital strategy is extra crispy

Goodbye, my couch pizza... A loyal pandemic friend. Domino's, the Earth's largest pizza company, just broke its 10-year hot streak: Its US same-store sales fell for the first time in over a decade, ending 41 straight quarters of cheesy growth.

  • Supply is chained: Supply and labor shortages forced Dom's to reduce hours as it hunted for more drivers. FYI: Fast-food prices are up nearly 7% from last year.
  • Date night's back: And it doesn't involve a box of BBQ cheesy bread. With IRL eateries back open, the pizza-delivery surge has cooled.
  • Americans = unstimulated: Dom’s partly blamed its US sales slump on reductions in stimulus payments, which boosted spending last year.

Not as stale as it sounds... Compared to last year's pandemic pizza boom, Dom's US store sales were down 2%. But compared to the same quarter in 2019, US sales were up nearly 16%. Meanwhile, international sales growth boomed 20% — Dom's 111th straight quarter of non-US growth. Here's how Dom's is keeping its strategy crispy:

  • Tech focus: Dom's intro'd online ordering for carryout and a delivery app with real-time order tracking.
  • Speed central: It launched designated lanes to cut carryout wait times, and a two-minute guarantee for car-side delivery.
  • Surprise "frees," not fees: Instead of surprise fees, Dom's launched a $50M campaign to give one in every 14 digital delivery orders a surprise free item, like lava cake.

Direct competition isn't always correct competition... Dom's direct competitors are chains like Pizza Hut and Papa John's. Its real competitors: online-ordering apps like Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats. Dom's is one of the few big chains that refuse to work with outside delivery apps, so it has full control over its service. Dom's said consumers were irritated about all the fees charged by delivery apps. That's why it focused on tech, speed, and delivery freebies last quarter.


2. Apple’s holiday iGoodies: Goodbye touch bar, hello health-monitoring AirPods

The AirPod doesn’t fall far from the iPhone… And we still can’t find it. Apple unveiled a bushel of redesigned classics at its second product event in two months — including updated AirPods, revamped MacBooks, and new HomePods.

  • Gone by popular demand: Apple listened to buyers and ditched unliked features such as the MacBook’s touch bar (sorry, emojis) and AirPods’ rubber tips.
  • Homemade chips: The new MacBooks feature improved Apple-made M1 chips, which were first intro’d to the Mac lineup last year. The new Macs are said to be 70% faster.
  • Colorful colors: Apple rolled out blue, yellow, and orange HomePod Mini speakers, which previously came in only white and gray.

iPad or hardcover book?... Unwrap to find out. Apple’s updated gadgets hit shelves next week, meaning new iPhones, Watches, Macs, and AirPods will be out in time for the profitable holidays. Case in point: Apple’s $29B in profits last holiday quarter were the highest of any company — ever. But this year, Apple and other retailers are sweating over production due to shipping delays and chip shortages. So Apple’s new iProducts could serve another purpose: Push shoppers to buy older-but-in-stock iPhones and AirPods, whose prices have just been reduced.


Essential tech = profitable tech… Apple crammed iPhones full of features that make customers feel they need pricey phones to navigate, take good pics, and stay connected. AirPods are the next luxe product Apple wants to make indispensable. Apple plans to stuff AirPods with health-focused features — like hearing enhancement, body-temperature reading, and posture monitoring — that conveniently integrate with its expanding fitness and health platforms.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Countdown: GE and Union Pacific mandated Covid vaccinations for employees as the deadline for all US federal workers approaches.
  • Honeycomb: Netflix added a higher-than-expected 4.4M subscribers last quarter, boosted by foreign hits like “Squid Game.”
  • Vaxy: Johnson & Johnson sold $502M worth of Covid vaccines last quarter, and stuck to its forecast of $2.5B in full-year vax sales.
  • Hike: P&G stock sank 2% yesterday after the consumer-goods giant announced plans to raise prices of skin and bathroom products because of higher costs.
  • Filter: Snap announced plans to launch an augmented-reality studio to help brands create AR ads and experiences (think: mascara try-on lenses).
  • Smart: NBCUniversal owner Comcast rolled out its own smart TV to help grow its Peacock streaming service and compete with Roku and Amazon.


  • Earnings expected from: IBM, Tesla, Verizon, Abbott Labs, NextEra Energy, Anthem, and Biogen

Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Apple, Netflix, Snap, Comcast, and Uber

ID: 1884251

Subscribe to Snacks