☕ What is Pink Sauce?

Plus, a California trucker protest...
July 23, 2022 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

Morning Brew

Facet Wealth

Good morning. Grateful to have been kept in the group chat with that one high school friend who has a lake house. Stay cool out there this weekend.

Matty Merritt, Jamie Wilde, Neal Freyman, Joe Abrams, Max Knoblauch














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 11:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Stocks closed out a winning week, despite a bummer day yesterday. That drop had a lot with Snap's stinker of an earnings report Thursday evening, which warned of a slowdown in digital ad spending. Social media stocks collectively lost more than $130 billion in value yesterday after Snap sounded the siren.


Protest brings Port of Oakland to a near-standstill

Truckers protest AB5 at Oakland Port. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Trucker protests: not just for Canadians.

Hundreds of truckers have effectively shut down California's Port of Oakland after a week of protests, which could throw an improving supply chain into reverse.

The truckers are planning to keep cutting off access to the third-busiest port on the West Coast until Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom agrees to sit down and hear their qualms with AB5, the controversial gig worker bill that's expected to go into effect later this year.

AB5 refresher

AB5 forces large companies to classify more workers as employees instead of independent contractors, giving them access to benefits like health insurance.

You probably remember this bill drew a lot of criticism from companies like Uber and Lyft, which publicly fought against it and lobbied for an exemption.

But there were other industries besides the gig apps that were angry about AB5. California's trucking sector filed a lawsuit to also be exempt from reclassifying workers. However, when the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the case last month, California was allowed to move forward with AB5. So truckers are taking a more hands-on-the-steering-wheel approach to being heard.

  • What the truckers are saying: While the bill is meant to give more protections to workers, truck drivers who work as independent owners and operators in California are worried that AB5 would mean less flexibility, while forcing them to become full-time employees or face higher costs to remain independent. AB5 would affect roughly 70,000 truckers in the state who currently work independently.
  • But union organizations disagree: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which is hoping to unionize truck drivers in California, say trucking companies have misclassified drivers for years, and this law would increase wages and benefits.

Looking ahead…Newsom isn't budging, urging truckers to get on board with AB5 and end their protest, which shippers say is already harming their business. The truckers, meanwhile, say they're in this for the long haul. We'll see who blinks first.—MM



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Tour de headlines

Harvesting combines in the fields of Novovodolazhsky district of Kharkiv region, Ukraine. Pavlo Pakhomenko/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Ukraine and Russia make it grain. Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement yesterday that would allow Ukrainian grain exports to start flowing again through the Black Sea—a major diplomatic breakthrough that could help lower-income countries avoid a hunger crisis. Right now, about 20 million metric tons of grain have piled up at Black Sea ports due to a Russian blockade. But with that blockade lifted, 5 million could get shipped out per month, about equivalent to prewar levels. "Today, there is a beacon on the Black Sea," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said.

Bannon found guilty. Steve Bannon, former political advisor to President Trump and right-wing media personality, was convicted on contempt charges for refusing to comply with subpoenas issued by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. He'll be sentenced on October 21, and the minimum sentence is 30 days in jail for each count. It's unclear how the conviction will affect Bannon's podcasting career. His pod, Bannon's War Room, is among the top 10 news podcasts on Apple's platform.

Vince McMahon taps out. The longtime CEO and face of WWE announced his retirement yesterday. While McMahon said the retirement had to do with his age, the move comes following a WSJ report that he paid more than $12 million to four women affiliated with the company to cover up allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity. McMahon still owns 32% of the company's stock, making him WWE's biggest shareholder.


The internet is very angry about…a condiment

A collage of Pink Sauce Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photo: Cheff Pii via TikTok/The Pink Sauce

This weekend, there's a chance you'll be asked one question: "What's your opinion on Pink Sauce?" Videos about Pink Sauce have racked up hundreds of millions of views on social media after a TikToker started selling $20 bottles of the mysterious condiment this month.

And whether the product tastes good or is even safe to eat is being debated with a fervor we haven't seen since the great white dress/blue dress controversy of 2015.

Negative reviews have flooded social media

Pink Sauce's creator, who goes by Chef Pii on TikTok, legitimized some of the concerns, admitting that "about 50" packages were damaged in the first shipment and the ingredients label incorrectly stated there were 444 servings per bottle (it should've said grams).

But Chef Pii has dismissed the rest of the bad reviewers as "clear blatant trolls." She says her ingredients list—which includes pitaya aka dragonfruit (what makes it pink), sunflower seed oil, garlic, honey, milk, and distilled "vinger"—is accurate, despite TikTokers claiming it must secretly include mayo or another binding agent.

Chef Pii also claims Pink Sauce abides by FDA standards, but some have raised eyebrows over the combo of milk and zero preservatives packed into unrefrigerated boxes in the summer. Let's just say it could have the opposite effect on consumers than the Pepto Bismol it resembles.

Parting shot: Heinz—this is your sign to bring back EZ Squirt.—JW



Let's look at people biking in beautiful scenery

The Tour de France riders have overcome hamstring-crushing hills, searing heat, and unfathomable butt soreness over the past several weeks—but it all ends tomorrow. Barring a stunning collapse, Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard will be the final bearer of the yellow jersey.

Here's a quick photo tour of the Tour de France, which always provides us with gorgeous scenes.

Good spot for a selfie

Two cyclists against the backdrop of a mountainTim de Waele/Getty Images

Fans provide Halloween inspo

Fans cheer on the Tour de France cyclistsMarco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images

No thanks

Cyclists in Tour de FranceClimbing the Lacets de Montvernier on July 13. Alex Broadway/Getty Images.

Looking ahead…on the same day the Tour de France finishes, another one will begin: The Tour de France Femmes. It's the first time in 33 years that women will compete in an official Tour de France stage race.


Key performance indicators

Lake Mead over time NASA Earth Observatory

Stat: NASA released three new images of Lake Mead taken in 2000 (left), 2021 (middle), and 2022 (right). Due to an ongoing drought, water levels at the country's largest reservoir have dropped to their lowest point since 1937…when Lake Mead was first being filled.

Quote: "Hard seltzer's lost its novelty."

The CEO of Boston Beer Co., which makes Truly hard seltzer, has concluded the seltzer fad that began during the pandemic is over as millennials return to the cold embrace of light beer. Truly sales declined 17% annually last quarter, while total hard seltzer sales at retail stores fell 18% last month, per Bump Williams Consulting. (Side note: Seems like seltzer is still very popular in our circles…anyone seeing this shift actually play out?)

Read: Retirement House is on a mission to change people's ideas about aging through TikTok. (BuzzFeed News)


Saturday sketch

A guy browsing on his phone while stranded on a desert island Max Knoblauch



Weekend conversation starters:

The Museum of Failure: It's a real place, and here are 10 objects in it you may have forgotten about.

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  • Twitter said it spent $33 million between April and June 2022 dealing with Elon Musk's chaotic bid to buy the company.
  • Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess was forced out of the company in a surprise move.
  • Jay Carney, Amazon's top spokesperson and former WH press secretary under President Obama, is joining Airbnb as its head of policy and communications.
  • Speaking of Airbnb, it's jacking up its maximum fee for hosts who make late-stage cancellations on their guests from $100 to $1,000.


The puzzle section

Brew Crossword: Netflix released The Gray Man yesterday, so if you spent your Friday night watching the film with your face in the A/C, you might have an advantage in today's 15x15 Crossword. Play it here.

Open house

Welcome to Open House, the only newsletter section that's feeling a little bloated. We'll give you a few facts about a listing and you try to guess the price.

South Carolina home that is extremely round, like a bulb.Zillow

Today's bulbus home is located in Inman, South Carolina, a small town at the very tip-top of the state. This 1,960 square foot lake house is a fixer-upper with an original builder who wanted a more realistic James and the Giant Peach. Amenities include:

  • 3 beds, 3 baths
  • Jealous neighbors
  • Your own private dock
  • No sharp corners

How much to renovate the round house?

Why Alexis Ohanian left Reddit to build an impact-focused VC firm

Why Alexis Ohanian left Reddit to build an impact-focused VC firm

On Imposters, we dig into why the Reddit co-founder left his own company to start Seven Seven Six, and how his baby daughter influenced him to become an impact-focused investor. Listen or watch now.

For more from the Brew:

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✢ A Note From Facet Wealth

Disclosure: Facet Wealth is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. This is not an offer to sell securities or the solicitation of an offer to purchase securities. This is not investment, financial, legal, or tax advice. 

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Written by Neal Freyman, Matty Merritt, Jamie Wilde, Max Knoblauch, and Joseph Abrams

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