Opinion from global food and drink experts, Zenith Global


July 21st, 2011 | Posted by Richard Hall in Energy drinks - (0 Comments)

In the United States (where else ?), doctors are now giving out energy shot coupons to older patients who aren’t ready to slow down.

Market leader Living Essentials had its 5-Hour Energy brand vetted by health consultants for the respected AARP, who “found nothing worrisome”.

The story comes from The Wall Street Journal and presents an intriguing new target consumer for other countries.


June 16th, 2011 | Posted by Richard Hall in Energy drinks - (0 Comments)

Bloomberg published some great insights on Red Bull, with comments from its owner Dietrich Mateschitz, last month.

First, some figures.  2010 sales were up 7.9% to 4.2 billion cans and up 15.8% to $5.2 billion, with 7,758 employees and a Formula 1 spend of $200 million.

Second, some choice remarks.  “Taste is of no importance whatsoever … It’s an efficiency product …  Is it a drug ?  Is it harmless ?  Is it dangerous ?  That ambivalence is so important.  The most dangerous thing for a product is low interest.”

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.


November 1st, 2010 | Posted by Richard Hall in Energy drinks | Health - (0 Comments)

Noticed at the bottom of a grocery magazine advertisement in France, for Burn Day refreshing energy drink:

“For your health, avoid eating too much fat, sugar or salt.”

More precisely “ Pour votre santé, évitez de manger trop gras, trop sucré, trop salé – http://www.mangerbouger.fr/ ” in the October edition of Rayon Boissons.

That’s quite a development. Refreshing indeed.

Danone has spent the past decade or two narrowing its beverage portfolio. Beer and energy drinks were both divested to concentrate on water.

Its water brands have stretched into fruit and tea flavours, but there didn’t seem to be a thirst for more. Until now.

So the new joint venture with Chiquita is significant. It revolves around fruit juice smoothies, but could be widened to other fruit drinks.

It starts with 20 million euros of sales and a brand presence in 12 countries. Danone has a 51 per cent share. This is one to watch.

Three world leaders are taking the stage for the first time at our next Global Soft Drinks Congress from 9th to 11th March in Istanbul.

  • One is the Chief Executive of Tata Beverage Group, which has declared its intentions of becoming a new global player.
  • Second is the President of the world’s leading energy shot 5 Hour Energy.
  • Third is the founder of the world’s top relaxation drink Drank.

If you need more reasons, there’s also Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Walmart, Eckes-Granini and a dozen other speakers plus a plant tour, industry dinner, great networking and so much besides.

We’re confident you won’t find a more complete global view of the industry, market, innovation, issues, prospects and contacts anywhere else.

It would be a pleasure to have you join us. For full details, please go to zenithinternational.com/events.


October 28th, 2009 | Posted by Richard Hall in Energy drinks - (0 Comments)

Two striking new products I’ve just read about in the latest issue of Faire Savoir Faire from France.

Don’t ! is a new praline spread from Urban Food. 35% nuts. Do.

Dark Dog has now licensed a range of male toiletries to accompany the energy drink. Biting irony ?


September 19th, 2008 | Posted by Richard Hall in Energy drinks - (0 Comments)

Everything we consume and everything we make requires water. Sometimes it’s easy to tell, more often not.

A litre of water is just that. A litre of milk or orange juice contains other nutrients.

But milk and juice take a lot more water to grow the grass or produce the fruit. As well as more water to rinse the processing machinery. And even more water to build the factories. So it goes on.

It is said to take an extra ½ to 1 litre of actual water* to produce 1 litre of bottled water and another 7 to 7½ litres of embedded water or virtual water for the processing, packaging and transport – adding up to 9 litres in all.

A fascinating new study from WWF shows that the average British citizen uses an amazing 4,645 litres of virtual water per day. Some of this is in clothing. Almost two thirds is in products sourced from other countries.

Yet the amount of actual water we use in a day is 150 litres – mainly through washing and toilets. Of that, we drink just 1.1 litres from taps.

Even if we drank our full daily requirement of 2 litres a day from bottles and multiply that by 9, it’s a mere 0.4% of our virtual water use. It would probably also be the most important 0.4%.

To me, that puts the whole debate about water into perspective.

Here’s a tiny healthy amount doing massive good. But some people are intent on condemning it.

I’ve read many other intriguing articles about water footprints. Here are some of the more extraordinary comparisons**:

Leather shoes 1 pair   8,000 litres
Beef 1 serving 4oz 1,500 litres
Milk 1 glass 200ml 200 litres
Orange juice 1 glass 200ml 170 litres
Coffee 1 cup 140ml 150 litres
Egg 1 40g 135 litres
Wine 1 glass 125ml 120 litres
Beer 1 glass 250ml 75 litres
Bottled water 1 glass 200ml 2 litres

Shouldn’t we all be more virtuous with the actuality ?

* 0.81 litres for Nestlé: The Nestlé Creating Shared Value Report, March 2008
** Bottled Water Reporter, February/March 2008