Opinion from global food and drink experts, Zenith Global

More accurately opinions rather than facts, but here are some of the learnings I gleaned from my visit to the Vitafoods exhibition in Geneva last week.

  • Why haven’t I seen a milk with added vitamin K2 ? It seems the problem with calcium for many people is not lack of availability, but lack of bio-availability.  Apparently, vitamin K2 can help us absorb calcium better.


  • Are old style flavour houses a thing of the past ?  I heard that taste and colour are no longer sufficient without considerations of nutrition or function for an increasingly broad range of products.  That suggests further structural change in the ingredients sector.


  • On selecting functional winners, the three leading themes I picked up were cognitive, energy and immunity – which made great sense to me.  In our ever more demanding world, we want to use our capabilities better, with extra enthusiasm and without setbacks.  It’s all about living life to the full.


  • On the difference between energy shots and energy drinks, it was put to me that energy shots have to be more edgy and experimental than energy drinks.  This might help explain why some energy drinks have not transferred so well without translation.


  • Body fat contains only 20% water and lean tissue 70%, so a thin person’s body has a higher percentage of water than a fat person.


  •  75% of our fluid intake occurs while eating.


  • Drinks provide 10% of the energy intake of adults in the UK – mainly from alcohol.


  • Sweat loss in team and endurance sports can be 1-2 litres per hour.  1.4 litres equates to a 2% loss for an average 70kg male and this is the established level for decreased performance.  One should drink 50% more than this to rehydrate properly.


  • A mug of tea contains more caffeine than a can of cola, both having less than a can of energy drink or a mug of coffee.


  • Apart from very strong coffees, the fluid in drinks containing caffeine compensates for their short term diuretic effect.


  • Wines and spirits have a net diuretic effect, whereas beer and cider do not.


For the final time, I must  acknowledge “Hydration and health : a review” in the British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin of March 2010.


May 4th, 2011 | Posted by Richard Hall in Health - (0 Comments)

Which contains more calories – milk, smoothies, lager or wine ?  It’s quite revealing to check.

  Portion ml kcal
Water Glass 200 0
Black tea/coffee Mug 260 neg
Diet cola/lemonade Can 330 2
Tea/coffee with milk, sugar* Mug 260 34
Orange juice Glass 200 72
Semi-skimmed milk Glass 200 92
Gin and tonic Glass 183 92
Red/white wine Glass 175 119
Whole milk Glass 200 132
Energy drink Can 250 133
Regular cola/lemonade Can 330 139
Fruit smoothie Bottle 250 143
Latte coffee with whole milk Regular 354 176
Premium lager Pint 568 227


*semi-skimmed milk, one teaspoon of sugar

A large hot chocolate made with whole milk and whipped cream can add up to over 500 calories.  The figures are all from the UK Food Standards Agency in 2002.

There’s more in “Hydration and health : a review” in the British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin of March 2010.


May 3rd, 2011 | Posted by Richard Hall in Health - (0 Comments)

I’ve always wondered why we feel hungry before we actually are, but don’t feel thirsty until we’re already slightly dehydrated.

Here’s what “Hydration and health : a review” says in the British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin of March 2010.

“The body’s first response … is to conserve water by signalling the kidney to concentrate the urine … The initiation of the thirst response then occurs after this, when loss of body mass is 1% to 2%.”


April 27th, 2011 | Posted by Richard Hall in Health - (0 Comments)

It was published in March 2010.  I’ve been carrying it around with me for months and finally read it over the Easter weekend.  It’s the best summary I’ve seen so far on research into hydration and health.

It’s called “Hydration and health : a review” by B Benelam and L Wyness and can be found in the March 2010 edition of the British Nutrition Foundation’s Nutrition Bulletin.

Everything is covered here – why we need water, how our bodies process water, the benefits of water in different foods and drinks, what water we currently consume and how much water is best.

I’ll highlight some key points in future blogs.


February 16th, 2011 | Posted by Richard Hall in Health - (0 Comments)

You might have thought that health and well-being would be at the heart of most consumer goods company strategies.  Not Procter & Gamble, perhaps.

P & G is slimming down its corporate structure from three business units to two.  It’s keeping beauty and grooming as well as household care.  What’s going ?  Health and well-being !


January 11th, 2011 | Posted by Richard Hall in Food | Health - (0 Comments)

Some interesting survey results appeared in the latest issue of Rayon Boissons.

The first was about eating habits. A study of 503 French adults in May 2010 found:
30% wish to avoid ‘light’ products.

  • 50% aim to eat five fruit and vegetable portions a day
  • 60% are unaware of the European organic label.
  • 75% prefer local products.

The second was about product loyalty. 38,000 were asked by Symphony IRI what would they do today if the product they had just bought was not available. Cola fared best, water worst – though the figures don’t always add up.

What French People Want


December 1st, 2010 | Posted by Richard Hall in Dairy | Health - (0 Comments)

Consumer instincts are generally very strong, but factual knowledge is sometimes extremely weak.

A recent survey of 3,000 UK consumers found that 86% could not estimate the correct fat content of semi-skimmed milk, even as far as a band of 0-10%.

As many as one in ten people thought semi-skimmed milk contained more than 50% fat.

The research was conducted for the Make Mine Milk campaign. It certainly gives them one clear objective.