Besha Rodell, former Creative Loafing critic and current perspicacious food writer, now of LA Weekly, sends us a fine pizza piece via internet pigeon. One particular passage stoked an inquiry I recently pondered.
Besha writes -
There’s a theory about this: The economy sucks, the country is divided along the most preposterous lines, Europe is falling apart. Nothing is certain. Thus, we reject fine dining. We look to food to give us identity and solace, even as the first generation raised on delivery and drive-thru has the buying power. We turn to noodles and tacos and burgers. Pizza is at the exact nexus of the post-9/11 craving for comfort food, Gen X nostalgia and the artisan food-nerd revolution. We turn to pizza. And, taken to its extreme, our love of pizza can even lead us to $150 pizza classes.
It wasn’t the point of the article, but it made me wonder – how has pizza done during the downturn?
For comparison, my 401k, with a mix of five mutual funds, has averaged a 2% return over the last five years.
Pizza has fared slightly better.
Yum Brands (Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, etc)
I ran the numbers, and if at the time the recession nailed the market in November 2008, I were to have redirected the money I put into my 401k into these three stocks equally, my average annual return would be 48%. If I sold them today I would have roughly quadrupled my money.
Today, so shall it be declared, and may it ring from the top of mozzarella mountains and pepperoni valleys – next recession, I’m going short on fine dining, and long on sweet, greasy pizza.