Opinion from global food and drink experts, Zenith Global

On the night of Wednesday 21 October, the 2015 Global Bottled Water Awards were presented during a gala dinner at the iconic Myriad Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Awards were a highlight of Zenith’s 12th Global Bottled Water Congress, organised in conjunction with media partners BeverageDaily.com, Beverfood and the International Bottled Water Association.

There were over 100 entries from 22 countries, demonstrating novelty in 11 categories including packaging and design, marketing, sustainability and community initiatives.

The international judging panel recognised products and concepts that push the boundaries of innovation and offer measurable benefits to consumers and the environment, setting high standards for the global packaged water industry.

What the Award winners had to say…

“I was delighted that Nestlé Waters won two awards in such an important contest, which rewards the best achievements in the bottled water industry. That was a clear recognition of the success of our work to create value for the whole category.”

Paolo Sangiorgi, Senior Vice President- European Markets, Nestlé Waters

“It is always nice to learn that other people, especially experts in the field, believe that your product has potential. I am glad that I decided to enter the awards.”

Staffan Palsson, Managing Director, CapAble

“I am grateful to the people at Zenith for scouring the globe and finding us. To have an international panel select our effort, out of the many very worthy initiatives that have been nominated, honours both the Philippines and the work we do at Hope.”

Nanette Medved-Po, Founder, Friends of Hope

“This is a great reward for all the effort that has gone into this project. It is an honour to be distinguished among so many good initiatives for our sustainability focus. Congratulations also to the organisers for an amazing Awards night and a great Congress. A big thank you from Coca-Cola HBC Greece and Natural Mineral Water AVRA.”

Panagiota Tempelopoulou, Senior Brand Manager-Avra, Coca-Cola 3E

“We are happy to receive great recognition for our unique and precious water with this award!”

Karline Scheer, Brand Concept Manager, Iceberg Water

“For us the award is very important as it adds credit to our plans and distribution ambitions in 2016 onwards.”

Edward Woolner, Founder and Managing Director, Powerful Water Company


 What the judges had to say…

“The program was well run and there were lots of very creative marketing efforts and products.”

Joseph Doss, President and CEO, International Bottled Water Association

“I was truly fascinated by the level of innovation in the industry. It was great to see all contributions, from long-established companies and newcomers across the world.”

Esther Renfrew, Market Intelligence Director, Zenith International

“The awards were a great showcase of the ideas and innovations in the bottled water category, from natural mineral and spring water brands to functional and flavoured products.”

Rachel Arthur, Reporter, Beverage Daily


For the full list of finalists and winners please click here.


2015 Global Bottled Water Awards

2015 Global Bottled Water Awards

On 20-22 October 2015, Zenith International held the 12th Global Bottled Water Congress in Lisbon, Portugal. This year’s theme was Added Value and the Congress saw some fantastic speakers discussing a range of market developments, issues and innovation. Each presentation and panel discussion was packed with ideas and insights.

The overall message was highly positive. The sector’s growth observed in recent years remains strong and this is forecast to continue. The emerging economies will help drive volume increases, but the sector needs to lead in innovation, technology, packaging and social and environmental responsibility to ensure it provides a product that fits with the opportunity. As one speaker noted, “it is imperative to get occasion, brand, pack, price and channel correct to succeed in each market.”

It would be impossible to discuss all of the topics covered in one post, but below are some of my highlights:

• Bottled water continues to see excellent worldwide growth. It is the largest soft drink sector (excluding tea) and is expected to grow by 7% in 2015.
• South East Asia now consumes one third of the world’s soft drinks. It has a growing middle class (estimated to be 400m) with increasing spending power.
• The industry has to continue to lead on social and environmental responsibility, especially in emerging markets.
• Branding is key. Consumers across all markets, no matter their spending power, want to purchase great brands.
• Social media are making the world more connected and millennials want to discover brands rather than being told what to buy. They look for authentic, local stories.

The Congress finished with an entrepreneur shoot-out, which confirmed that innovation is well and truly alive in the sector. We saw water with the addition of spirulina, water with added vitamins, a new type of sports water as well as improved closure technology. As always, these new concepts sparked debate about how the sector continues to move forward and push boundaries.

Another undeniable highlight of the Congress was the presentation of the 2015 Global Bottled Water Awards at a Gala Dinner, with more than 100 entries from 22 countries. It was fantastic to see such an array of products that continue to innovate and my congratulations go out to all the finalists and winners.

Overall, another fantastic event packed with new ideas and insights. Hope to see you next year!

Simon Johnson- Senior Consultant at Zenith International

For more information on the event, click here


12th Global Bottled Water Congress

12th Global Bottled Water Congress

Parts of the UK are now officially in a state of drought and the EA is warning that more regions will follow, with the situation being potentially worse than in 1976 (although I can’t really remember that…). I’ve been asked a few times recently whether this will impact the food manufacturing sector. So, what are the implications for industry? There are a series of steps water companies can take, depending on the seriousness of the situation.

Initially, water companies can apply for drought permits, which can allow normal abstraction restrictions to be relaxed to ensure continuity of supply – so environmental protection rules are relaxed in times of need.

Second come ordinary drought orders, which restrict use of water for certain activities specified in the Drought Direction 2011. This includes, for example, washing vehicles, using hosepipes and dust supression. In addition, the EA can restrict abstraction from rivers and groundwater where deemed necessary.

Finally, emergency drought orders can be enforced. These allows water companies to restrict water use for any use that they consider to be inappropriate. This is where they could legally stop businesses using water, but it is highly unlikely to happen, particularly for food and beverage manufacturers.

Of course, if you have your own supply, there may be practical limitations to what you can supply should groundwater or river levels fall considerably.

You can get more information on this from Defra here: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/water/resources/drought/

At Zenith, we collect data on the soft drinks market from all over the world. The data in our 2011 reports got me thinking: what does the predicted growth over the next five years mean in terms of the number of production facilities required to deliver that growth?

We’re predicting that total ready to drink soft drink consumption will increase from 530 billion litres in 2010 to 608 billion litres in 2015, an increase of 78 billion litres, or nearly 15%.

The first point to make is that the growth is not evenly spread across the globe; the high growth rates are in the developing markets of India, China, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa, but even this is not the full picture. We expect Europe to remain flat or decrease slightly, but predict some growth in North America, probably equivalent in terms of volume to India or China, but from a much higher level of current consumption.

Now, there is spare production capacity in Europe, so new factories are unlikely there. I suspect we’ll see replacement and upgrading in that part of the world. It’s the developing market where the new factories are likely to be built. To give an idea of the scale of development needed to supply an additional 78 billion litres, I did a quick back of the envelope calculation and came up with the following: 78 billion litres over five years is an additional 16 billion litres every year; a big factory might produce more than 500 million litres in a year, a small plant less than 50 million litres.

I guess the average is about 150 million litres. Even allowing for some current spare capacity and new lines installed in existing facilities, this still suggests that something like 50 new beverage factories will be built, globally, every year, for each of the next five years. That’s got to be good news for the equipment suppliers!

When I was writing my recent blog on ‘Fat taxes to follow soda taxes’ (21 June), I almost concluded it with the words ‘Whatever next ?  Salt taxes ?’ Then I thought, surely not, and drafted a different ending.

But, just weeks later, in this world where fact is often stranger than fiction, I see Hungary has included taxation on salt alongside sugar in new proposals being put before its Parliament.

The range of products liable includes everything from savoury snacks and ice cream to energy drinks and iced tea.  The cynical amongst you will not be surprised to discover that the new tax is expected to raise over $100 million in revenue.

Meanwhile, the rescue package agreed between the Greek Government, European Union and International Monetary Fund includes a new excise duty on non-alcoholic beverages, designed to raise 300 million euros.

Both sets of measures are due to come into effect within months.


June 9th, 2011 | Posted by Richard Hall in Soft drinks - (0 Comments)

Coca-Cola’s ten year vision of doubling sales by 2020 is based on six global trends reshaping society.

  • A growing middle class – between 800 million and a billion people will enter the middle class from 2010 to 2020 … 60% coming from emerging nations.
  • Mass urbanisation – an urban population the size of New York will be created every 90 to 100 days.
  • Economic rebalancing – the world defined not by one or two economic superpowers but by a massive rebalancing of economic might towards countries such as Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey.
  • The new generation – the rise of the most sophisticated and engaged youth generation, empowered by incredible new communications.
  • Rising prices – because of a constant scarcity of resources, leading to volatility in prices.
  • New consumer – with a new focus on the meaning of the world value.

Hard targets for soft drinks.


June 7th, 2011 | Posted by Richard Hall in Soft drinks - (0 Comments)

Reading through reviews on Coca-Cola’s 125th anniversary, formally celebrated on 8th May, I’ve come across several quotes that bear repeating:

“A brand is a promise.  A good brand is a promise kept.” Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“A billion hours ago, human life appeared on earth.  A billion seconds ago, the Beatles changed music forever.  A billion Coca-Colas ago was yesterday morning.” Roberto Goizueta, former Chief Executive Officer in 1996.

“There are a billion teens in the world.  That represents 18% of Coke’s total volume.  We know that 47% of them have not had a Coca-Cola in the past month.” Joe Tripodi, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer.

“Advocacy has replaced loyalty at the top of the pyramid of marketing.” Joe Tripodi again.


April 26th, 2011 | Posted by Richard Hall in Events | Soft drinks - (0 Comments)

When Zenith’s UK Soft Drinks Industry Conference delegates were kindly invited to visit Coca-Cola’s biggest soft drinks bottling operation in Europe at Wakefield earlier in April, I was greatly impressed by a range of best practice insights:

  • It achieves day 2 delivery, meaning an order today can be on the road tomorrow.
  • Part of its operations are so automated that it can run with the ‘lights out.’
  • Water usage in 2010 was as low as 1.31 litres for every litre of finished product.  The figure for 2011 is already down to 1.25 litres and the ultimate target is 1.1 litres.
  • Together, the three canning lines fill 100 cans every second, 6,000 per minute and 360,000 per hour.
  • Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to run a television for 3 hours.
  • Recycling one PET bottle saves enough energy to run a 60 watt light bulb for 6 hours.

 Most impressive of all were two other features – total commitment to sustainability including zero waste to landfill already achieved and total workforce ownership of efficiency and sustainability goals.