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Warren Buffett’s Big Consumer Bets Bite Back

  • Berkshire feels pain of Kraft falling to a record low
  • Coca-Cola also coping with changes to consumer preferences
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Kraft Heinz Bull Says 'We Got Egg on Our Face'

Warren Buffett has warned investors to stay in their circle of competence when it comes to bets. But now, more than 30 years after Buffett started plowing money into Coca-Cola Co., the rules of the consumer-product game have changed.

Both Coca-Cola and Kraft Heinz Co., companies that claim Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. as their largest shareholder, have shown in the past two weeks just how hard it is to navigate shifting consumer tastes. Coca-Cola shares slumped last week amid a lackluster profit forecast. On Friday, Kraft Heinz fell to a record low after announcing a $15.4 billion writedown of the goodwill value of assets including the Kraft and Oscar Mayer trademarks.