Opinion from global food and drink experts, Zenith Global

5 highlights from BrauBeviale

November 20th, 2018 | Posted by Richard Hall in Richard Hall - (0 Comments)

I spent much of last week at the huge and always rewarding BrauBeviale beverage processing trade fair in Nürnberg. Here is a small selection of the many highlights I noted:

  • PET bottles with glass inside
    KHS has developed a way to line the inside of PET bottles with a very thin coating of glass, which substantially boosts the shelf life of carbonated drinks in smaller bottle sizes and has no adverse impact on recyclability.
  • Embossing glass with ink
    Owens-Illinois displayed its Expressions technique, which can customise glass bottles with endless variations of printing that include the effect of clear cut glass embossing.
  • PET recycling leadership
    Krones has now designed and helped build 10 PET recycling plants around the world from California to Bangladesh.
  • Tethered caps under development
    Although industry representatives believe the European Commission is mistaken in seeking to require that caps are redesigned to remain attached to the neck of bottles, I saw prototypes from both Aptar and Bericap that show how this might be made to work.
  • World Beverage Innovation Awards
    I was particularly pleased to present this year’s Awards, because there were 241 worthy entries that bear witness to a thriving and imaginative industry. Full details of the finalists and winners are available at www.foodbev.com/news/world-beverage-innovation-awards-2018-winners-braubeviale.

Word of the year – single-use

November 13th, 2018 | Posted by Richard Hall in Richard Hall - (0 Comments)

Single-use has been declared ‘Word of the Year’ for 2018 by Collins Dictionary.

It certainly wasn’t much in use before this year. Yet it’s now come into multi-use by legislators including the European Parliament and the UK Government.

Unfortunately, its meaning is subject to repeated misuse.

Single-use, by definition, means ‘made to be used a single time’. But it has also become synonymous with waste and negligence.

This has led to proposed bans on single-use packaging.

However, most packaging can be recycled and given another life, even many lives.

Single-use plastic bottles may be lighter, cheaper, safer and better for the environment by requiring less energy and producing less emissions than other materials.

Even single-use plastic straws may be more appropriate on certain occasions, such as for disabled people, who might have difficulty with metal or paper straws for hot drinks.

We live in an increasingly knee-jerk, fake news, populist politics world where balanced judgement often escapes us.

Let’s not follow that path on single-use as a form of abuse.

We should focus on the far bigger goals of better design for re-use where possible and end-use where not. Bans may well be appropriate in some cases, but they should be targeted and proportionate.

69 acquisitions in October

November 6th, 2018 | Posted by Richard Hall in Richard Hall - (0 Comments)

69 food and drink transactions were recorded in the bevblog.net mergers and acquisitions database for October.

5 involved sums of more than $500 million, of which 2 reached $1 billion:

• €1,000 million in combined sales for the Irish merger of Lakeland Dairies and LacPatrick Dairies

• $1,080 million for Hearthside Food Solutions to buy Irish Greencore’s US business

• $650 million for Italy’s Lavazza to purchase Mars Drinks

• $628 million for India’s Zydus Wellness to take on selected Indian assets from Kraft Heinz

• $600 million for D1 private equity and others to provide funding to Instacart’s online delivery service in the United States.

Of the 69 total, 9 were in ingredients, 8 in soft drinks, 6 in snacks, 5 in general food, 5 in hot drinks, 5 in services, 4 in alcohol and 4 in confectionery.

30 were within individual countries, 21 of these in United States, 3 in the United Kingdom and 2 in Germany. 39 were international.

Of the 27 countries affected, the United States featured in 36 overall, the United Kingdom in 13, Germany in 7, Ireland in 5, Switzerland in 5, followed by Australia, Canada and Italy on 4 each.

It’s time I updated you on what may be the world’s most developed market for click and collect – France’s ‘drives’.

The growth has slowed, but remains strong, and the weight of purchase is steadily advancing towards a 10% share.
Click and Collect for Soft Drinks

These Nielsen figures, published in the October issue of Rayon Boissons, show considerable variations, which are explained by:

• drives favouring planned and repeat purchases by families with children

• carbonated/still drinks being more of an impulse purchase.

Alcohol consumption declining

October 30th, 2018 | Posted by Richard Hall in Richard Hall - (0 Comments)

A new study remarks on an increase in binge drinking in Canada, while overall alcohol consumption by young people has been falling in Europe and North America.

The report focuses on the Health Survey for England in 2015, covering 9,699 participants aged 16-24, with comparisons going back to 2005.

The findings show a striking increase in non-drinking.
Alcohol Consumption 1

In particular, young people are starting to drink at a later age. Women are less likely to drink than men and abstention among non-white ethnic groups has increased to 68%.

It also appears that young people are drinking less frequently and less in excess.

Alcohol Consumptio2

It is hardly surprising that this trend is generating extra interest in adult soft drinks as well as zero proof drinks. It is no coincidence that this wider market opportunity will be a key feature of Zenith Global’s next UK Soft Drinks Conference on 15th May 2019 in central London under the theme of ‘Crafting the Future.’

I am always pleased when The Economist magazine updates my all-time favourite chart on the state of the world economy, because this picture paints many more than a thousand words.

World GDP

It shows that global economic production has grown at a rate of more than 3% a year in 15 out of the last 18 quarters, rising to 3.56% in the second quarter of 2018 after reaching 3.57% in the first quarter of 2018.

This is despite all the extra uncertainty of trade restrictions and Brexit, financial risk and political volatility.

Growth rates are rising in the United States and India, while levelling out in China and Europe. China remains the largest contributor to overall global economic growth.

Online grocery outlook

October 18th, 2018 | Posted by Richard Hall in Richard Hall - (0 Comments)

The latest Tetra Pak Index provides another set of superb insights into the future of online grocery.

For all fast moving consumer goods, online sales increased by 30% worldwide in the year to March 2017, taking at 4.6% share.

In grocery alone, online sales have risen from $21 billion in 2012 to $41 billion in 2017, with projected growth of 17% a year to $94 billion in 2022.

Forecasts by country and key city show massive variations.


Consumers are reported to be loyal to their initial online retailer choice and to preferred brands, but they are searching increasingly by product rather than brand.

Convenience seems to be decisive. More attention is being devoted to ‘super fast delivery’, voice ordering, auto-replenishment and the unpacking experience. Sustainability is at last rising up the agenda.

What American children drink

October 16th, 2018 | Posted by Richard Hall in Richard Hall - (0 Comments)

You might expect that soft drinks would be the most consumed beverage group by American children, but the latest US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 2013 to 2016 shows this is not so.

For children of all age groups – 2 to 5, 6 to 11 and 12-19 – water tops the table, followed by milk until the age of 12.

In fact, water builds to an almost 50% share for teenagers, while milk drops from 32% for the youngest to 14% for teenagers.

Soft drinks rise to 22% for teenagers, less than half the share of water.

Girls depend on water more than boys, who drink a higher share of everything else.

The overall figures for all age groups are:

BLOG-16Oct2018-What American Children Drink

In terms of children’s nutrition, it is significant that: “ For all Americans aged two years and older, milk is the number one food source of three of the four under-consumed nutrients of public health concern identified by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, namely calcium, vitamin D and potassium.”