A Tech Revolution 43 Years in the Making

It’s been 182 days since President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Polling now shows that “virus fatigue” is setting in, as Americans increasingly view COVID-19 as an economic crisis (47% of pollsters) rather than a health crisis (52% of pollsters).

As the nation moves forward, we’re gaining clarity on certain COVID-related events.

Today, I’ll offer critical insights into one such COVID event.

You’ll recall at the height of the panic — 47 days after Trump’s national emergency decree — the president signed an executive order under the Defense Production Act urging meat-processing plants to continue running amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

At the time of Trump’s order, more than 4,400 plant workers had contracted the virus.

Sadly, 18 of those hardworking folk lost their lives.

“It is important that processors of beef, pork and poultry in the food supply chain continue operating and fulfilling orders to ensure a continued supply of protein for Americans… Given the high volume of meat and poultry processed by many facilities, any unnecessary closures can quickly have a large effect on the food supply chain. For example, closure of a single large beef processing facility can result in the loss of over 10 million individual servings of beef in a single day,” said Trump in his executive order.

Yet despite Trump’s order, meatpackers threatened to walk off the job, which triggered a hoarding mindset among consumers. Worse yet, as news spread that ranchers would have to cull their herds, meat inventories vanished from grocery stores.

Supply shocks always mean higher prices.

Right on cue, from April to May, beef and veal prices increased by 10.8%… uncooked beef steak prices shot 11.6% higher… pork chops prices saw an 8.4% spike… and even hot dogs got 1.6% pricier.

But then a funny thing happened…

Not only did meat prices quickly normalize in July and August, but on a year-over-year basis… meat prices are way down! In fact, August’s FAO Meat Price Index nosedived 9.1 points — or nearly 10% — from prices in August 2019.

chart

Here, see for yourself…

How’s it even possible that meat prices — having experienced a supply shock a mere three months ago — can be down on an annual basis?

The answer is simple…

Demand for meat is in a precipitous decline.

Per capita meat consumption is set to fall by almost 3% in 2020 to its lowest level in decades, according to data from the United Nations. The shift away from meat is sweeping across every major global market, too — not just here in the United States.

While experts universally blame meat’s decline on the pandemic, they’re completely blind to the larger macro trend — consumers want healthier alternatives to meat, and the demand for such alternatives is searing hot.

As I reported last week, plant-based meat sales have rocketed by more than 200% since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic… to the point where they’re outpacing traditional meat sales, which peaked in 1977.

For investors, the radical shift in consumption patterns warrants urgent attention.

Alternative protein stocks have already seen an influx of over a billion dollars in capital so far in 2020, and those investments are just a slice of the booming FoodTech industry.

To be clear, the emergence of FoodTech isn’t a COVID-19 story that’ll soon pass…

It’s a revolution in every sense of the word.

I’m devoting the next entire issue of my flagship newsletter, Future Wealth, to the FoodTech industry.

For more information about Future Wealth, including the next company I believe will join the trillion-dollar club, click the link below.

Click here for the details.

Onward and upward,

Robert

Robert Williams

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Robert Williams

After nearly 20 years in the trenches of high finance, Robert has joined St. Paul Research to assume the role of Chief Futurist. Robert cut his teeth as an analyst for one of the most revered and prestigious medical institutions on Earth, whose endowment is valued at $4.3 billion. From there, Robert became the lead...

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