Shortly after our next Global Soft Drinks Congress on 7-9 April in Lisbon, Zenith is holding a UK Soft Drinks Conference on 7 May in London. This must be one of our most action-packed events ever… and we’ve organised well over 100. We have:
• supermarket buyers from Asda, Co-op and Tesco
• the founder of Action on Sugar and the Shadow Public Health Minister
• an entrepreneur shoot out with three newly launched brands
• lots of other innovations from water enhancers to coffee with fruit
• market briefings including multi-channel retailing
• plus the Managing Director of Coca-Cola Enterprises and the Founder of Fever-Tree.
All this is being run in conjunction with the British Soft Drinks Association and should make an exhilarating day. Full details are at www.zenithinternational.com/events.
The dream of organising conferences is to pack the maximum value into their short timeframe. Zenith’s next Global Soft Drinks Congress does just that. In 51 hours, where else could you…
• Hear from global leaders such as Coca-Cola and Unilever?
• Learn about notable challengers such as Ajegroup and Tata?
• Debate society concerns with Oxfam and WWF?
• Discover developments from more than a dozen top innovators?
• Benefit from four market briefings including functionality and crowd sourcing?
• And meet local market leaders, visit a major factory, catch up with the latest thinking on health and sustainability, attend an industry dinner and network extensively with the rest of your world?
The dates are 7-9 April and we’d be delighted if you could join us. Full details are at www.zenithinternational.com/events.
It’s the industry’s only truly global event.
Almost every topic has its own conference. In food and drink, you could attend multiple events around the world every single day of the year. But not on infant nutrition.
Infant nutrition is a substantial and growing international market with many multinational players. Yet it’s also a sensitive subject, with many critics of the sector.
So Zenith is holding a dedicated conference to debate the opportunities as well as concerns on 20 March in Paris. We already have speakers and delegates from Abbott, Arla, Danone, DSM, DuPont, Emmi, Hero Baby, Humana, Meiji and Meggle among others, so we hope for an important and stimulating dialogue.
Our theme is Growth with confidence. Both for the market and, so vitally, for children.
Do attend. Full details are at www.zenithinternational.com/events
The race for lightweighting and new packaging materials is pushing at every boundary. Two recent news items highlight the advances still available.
Ardagh has achieved a 21% weight reduction for Coca-Cola’s 33cl glass bottles since 2005, cutting 50 grams per bottle to 190 grams.
Avantium has put a date on commercial production of fully plant-based and improved performance PET. Roll on 2019.
Sugar is everywhere, it seems. Certainly in the news.
Is it more like salt and fat ? Alcohol and tobacco ? Or climate change ?
Common sense requires more action on sugar, as on all these issues, though they are clearly not the same.
The latest guidance is that no more than 10% of the calories in our diet should come from added sugars, instead of the current 12-15%. That feels like a good target.
The World Health Organisation now wants this to be backed up by regulation, including taxation.
I’ve argued against taxation in the past, as it highlights only part of the picture and selective taxes often have unintended wider consequences.
But industry has to act more comprehensively alongside government, education, the media, parents and society at large – and be seen to do so.
Zenith’s annual UK soft drinks industry conference in London on 7th May will be addressing this.
As there’s now a new campaign group called Action on Sugar, we’ve invited its founder Professor Graham MacGregor to speak. I’m delighted he’s accepted. Let’s hear from him directly.
Amidst all the recent coverage on sugar in the media, I’ve been trying to work out what are the key numbers.
The most important single figure appears to be a recommendation by the World Health Organisation that consumers should ensure added sugars account for no more than 10% of the calories in their diet.
In the United States, the average was 15.7% from 1988 to 1994, rising to 16.8% from 1999 to 2004 and dropping to 14.9% between 2005 and 2010. That requires a further 33% reduction to meet the WHO target.
In the United Kingdom, the average has fallen some 12% in ten years to 12.3%. That means a further 19% reduction is required.
Of course: these are averages; added sugars are not the same as total sugars; calories are only one element of healthy diets; and healthier lifestyles would make a difference too. But the figures are all from public authorities and they deserve our attention.
Two recent US consumer surveys, summarised in the latest Beverage Digest newsletter, could hold clues to future trends for the European industry.
The first, by Bernstein Research and conducted in November 2013, sought to understand why diet carbonates sales are falling faster than regular carbonates. The main reason, cited by 32%, was that ‘other drinks taste better’ and the next, raised by 26%, was ‘non-natural ingredients’. Non-natural ingredients were the principal concern for those aged 25-34.
The second, for Morgan Stanley, compared views in 2010 and 2013. Among concerns about soda, artificial additives ranked highest at 27% and high fructose corn syrup followed closely behind at 26%. 36% said they would prefer ‘natural zero calorie sweeteners’, up substantially from 23% in 2010.
No wonder companies are working so hard to find solutions for this conundrum.
Two huge transactions dominated the 47 recorded for the food and beverage sector in January on the bevblog.net acquisitions database.
Both were in alcohol and together they were worth almost $22,000 million.
On 13th January, Japan’s Suntory agreed to pay $16,000 million for the US based spirits specialist Beam. A week later, Anheuser-Busch InBev bid $5,800 million for South Korea’s Oriental Brewery.
Of the 47 total, 10 were in dairy, 8 in alcohol, 8 in soft drinks and 5 in packaging.
30 countries were active, with the United States leading on 20 deals, followed by the United Kingdom on 8, Canada on 5, China on 4, France on 4 and Germany on 3.
Several countries saw 2 takeovers in January, most notably Myanmar and Vietnam, but also Belgium, India, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.