Typically investors would choose a smaller regional-to-national story like Fresh Market over a larger company like Whole Foods because the smaller player would offer faster growth. But in today's competition, Whole Foods turns that logic on its head as the larger player is also the faster one. Cramer said that Whole Foods is on fire, delivering $878 per square foot of sales in its most recent quarter with a five-cent-a-share earnings beat and better same store sales. The company is also accelerating its new store rollout. Meanwhile, Fresh Market, while a solid competitor, is only delivering $500 per square foot of sales and is indeed growing slower than that of Whole Foods. That's why Cramer has long contended that Whole Foods is the best-of-breed player in the organic food space and will remain so again today.
Another Taste Comparison
Sometimes picking stocks isn't about the numbers, it's all about taste, Cramer said before his second head-to-head matchup, this time between McDonald's ( MCD), a stock which he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS , and the newly-minted Burger King Worldwide ( BKW). Cramer said that when he talks about taste, he's not talking about the taste of a Big Mac versus a Whopper, but rather the tastes of the investor who wants to own the stock. In the short term, he said, traders will likely go for Burger King, but for longer-term investors, McDonald's is the way to go. It's all about risk tolerance, said Cramer. Burger King is a brand new entity and is in the middle of a major turnaround. How long will that turnaround take? How much will it cost? No one knows. But in an environment where input costs are falling and consumers are trading down to lower-cost dining, there will likely be a lot of short-term catalysts for Burger King. Meanwhile, there aren't a lot of news items headed McDonald's way in the near future, which makes it a longer-term play, said Cramer. McDonald's is a consistent player with a juicy 3.1% dividend yield that makes it perfect for investors as opposed to traders. Shares of McDonald's are also well off their highs and trade at just 14 times earnings.