Opinion from global food and drink experts, Zenith Global

For years, alternatives to real milk have captured a greater proportion of media attention than deserved by their relative sales. Recent US figures, published in the November 2016 issue of Beverage Industry, show dairy alternatives are not insignificant, but there are declines as well as increases.

• All plant-based/alternative beverages up 5% to 242 million gallons and up 5.2% to $1.7 billion in supermarkets and convenience stores for the year to 4th September 2016, according to IRI.

• Almond milk up 8.5% to 165 million gallons and up 7.9% to $1.1 billion.

• Soy milk down 10.3% to 44 million gallons and down 9.5% to $300 million.

• Coconut milk up 11% to 16 million gallons and up 11% to $164 million.

• Cashew milk up 57% to 8 million gallons and up 58% to $54 million.

What’s coming next ? Look out for banana, flaxseed, hemp, quinoa, rice and sunflower.

20% of wine in France online

November 24th, 2016 | Posted by Richard Hall in Richard Hall - (0 Comments)

That’s what has been predicted within 5 years. In 2015, 10% of all wine sales in France were made online, compared with 12% for clothing and just 3% for food.

The value of wine sold on the internet in 2016 is forecast to be 1,600 million euros, almost 4 times the 410 million euros achieved 5 years ago in 2011.

The average basket of wine purchased online is a highly attractive 200 euros.

These current market figures came from Kedge Business School as reported in the November 2016 issue of Rayon Boissons.

Yes, apparently. Actual reality, not just virtual reality.

Algorithms have been created to adjust the flavour of 4 new beers on the UK market according to consumer feedback. The most recent answers can influence the next set of questions.

Codes to access the questions are printed on the bottles. A sample question would be to rate an aspect of taste out of 10.

The 4 beers are called Amber AI, Black AI, Golden AI and Pale AI. They are currently on sale by UBrew in London and will reportedly soon be available online.

The business behind them is IntelligentX Brewing, a joint venture between the 10x creative agency and machine learning experts Intelligent Layer.

Further details are to be found in the Financial Times of 2nd November.

Empty bottles that sell cars

November 15th, 2016 | Posted by Richard Hall in Richard Hall - (0 Comments)

Another enterprising use for PET bottles.

In Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, one way to advertise a car for sale is to put an empty water or soft drink bottle on its roof.

If you are interested in buying it, you honk your own car horn. Someone then comes out of a house or office to meet you. And off you go.

Ingeniously simple. But I’d never come across it before.

My thanks to Monica Ganley, who spoke at our Dairy Vision event in Brazil earlier this month.


Water crazes

November 10th, 2016 | Posted by Richard Hall in Richard Hall - (0 Comments)

Not so long ago we had the ice bucket challenge, which led otherwise normal people to have cold water poured over them for charity.

This followed tombstoning, where people stepped off ever higher cliffs into the sea.

Now it’s bottle flipping. You flip a nearly empty bottle of water into the air and see how many times it takes to land it upright.

In all cases, it doesn’t count if it hasn’t been filmed and put on the internet.

Bottle flipping has become so popular that a school has had to ban it.

52 acquisitions in October

November 8th, 2016 | Posted by Richard Hall in Richard Hall - (0 Comments)

Over 50 food and drink industry transactions were recorded on the bevblog.net mergers and acquisitions database for October.

Three were valued at more than $500 million:

• $780 million for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to buy the Canadian wine business of US-based Constellation Brands

• $680 million for Chinese dairy leader Yili to purchase a 37% stake in China Shengmu Organic Milk

• $600 million for Constellation Brands to gain the Obregon brewery in Mexico from Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev.

An unusually high 32 of the 52 total were within national borders, leaving just 20 across borders. 23 countries featured, led by the United States on 27, the United Kingdom on 12, Belgium on 4, France on 4 and Canada on 3.

16 were in alcoholic drinks and 8 in soft drinks, then 6 in dairy, 5 in packaging, 3 in bakery and 3 ingredients.

Will this French revolution spread, I wonder ?

Carrefour recently gave French consumers a chance to vote on the price farmers should be paid for their milk along with other quality criteria.

A majority chose 39 euro cents a litre, compared with just 3% opting for the world market price of 27 cents.

They also voted for milk produced in France, by cows allowed to graze on pasture for at least 3 months a year and fed with locally sourced GM-free feed.

The resulting UHT product rolled out nationally yesterday at 99 euro cents for a 1 litre carton, compared with 70-90 cents for other unbranded milk.

The design says it all.

Big, bold capital letters out of bright red or blue say “This milk gives producers a fair price.” Underneath, the question “Who’s the boss ?” is answered as “The consumer’s brand.”

Apparently, the revolution is coming to apple juice next.

Zenith rebrands today

November 1st, 2016 | Posted by Richard Hall in Richard Hall - (0 Comments)

It’s been 25 years. Time for a refresh. I hope you like the new approach as Zenith Global.


We want to be easily recognised as the preferred specialists because of the value we add.

We’re emphasising our four main activities under the headings of Insight, Advisory, Technical and Live!

We hope to serve you even better over the next 25 years.