Mel Lagomasino on CNBC: An Inside Look at the State of the Consumer

With her unique perspective as a board member of The Walt Disney Company and The Coca-Cola Company, CNBC’s Squawk Box turned to WE Family Offices CEO and Managing Partner Mel Lagomasino for an inside look at the current state of the consumer, inflation and how supply chain issues could impact some of the biggest companies in the U.S.

Since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer-facing companies have been facing the challenge of getting into the mind of consumers to figure out their goals, which is arguably more important and difficult than in years past.

“I think the key is to be consumer-centric and be really keen to want they want and have the flexibility to change your business model and change your offering to deliver what the consumer is looking for,” says Lagomasino. “The question is, how do you really stay in touch with where the consumer is going and how do you change your offering to deliver that to the consumer?”

However, with supply chain issues added to the mix, Lagomasino also says that is crucial for companies to remain disciplined yet flexible when it comes to their approach. “I think a lot of what we’re going to see with supply chains is going to have to do with reliability and flexibility,” she explains. “It’s going to be a major change and, over the short-term, it’s going to increase the cost for companies.”

As a result, Lagomasino believes that it will take some time for consumer prices to go down and for the supply chain crisis to resolve. “Margins are going to be affected and we are going to have to be very innovative to try to keep our margins.”

For investors, while opportunities in this type of landscape may seem difficult to find, Lagomasino thinks there is still hope for attractive returns within companies that drive productivity, particularly with technologies like cloud, AI and clean energy, and companies in the private markets.

“I think the private markets are going to be more interesting than the public markets,” Lagomasino explains. “I think for investors, the ability to invest in the private markets with great managers who are really looking at all these technologies that are going to help productivity and fix some of the problems we have today, I think that’s where the major opportunity lies.”

Click here to watch the entire segment on CNBC.