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EU Agri-food Exports Start 2017 at High Level

The monthly value of EU agri-food exports in January 2017 reached a level of €10.3 billion, which is almost €1 billion higher than in January 2016, according to the latest agri-food trade report. USA remains the most important destination for EU agri-food exports with the highest increases in monthly export values (January 2017 compared to January 2016) being recorded for that country (€+206 million) followed by China(€+120 million).

The highest increases in monthly export values were achieved for wine (€+127 million), pork (€+112 million) and spirits and liqueurs (€+83 million). EU agri-food exports to Russia increased in value by 3.6%. Thus, Russia remains on rank number 5 of EU export destinations for agri-food products, behind the USA, China, Switzerland and Japan.

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Opportunities For Healthy Soft Drinks

As global consumers’ attitudes towards soft drinks grow increasingly negative due to their high levels of sugar, calories, and ‘artificial’ ingredients, new opportunities are arising for companies to diversify their portfolios, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report states that healthy, ‘clean’ and functional soft drinks are in demand, with 89% of global consumers finding general health and wellbeing claims appealing in food and drink products. These consumers are seeking convenient ways to improve their personal wellbeing and live a more holistic lifestyle, without cutting soft drinks completely out of their diet. In this way, manufacturers must reduce sugar and calorie content, use plant-based sugar alternatives, and enrich products with essential vitamins and minerals to appeal to modern consumers.

Melanie Felgate, Senior Consumer Analyst for GlobalData, explains: “The sugar backlash, concerns around artificial ingredients, and a desire for a ’cleaner’ lifestyle are driving demand for beverages that are deemed ’better for you’ than regular soft drinks. Consequently, manufacturers must reduce sugar content and offer products with functional benefits, such as promoting gut and digestive health, to appeal to consumers seeking healthier products that are still similar to traditional soft drinks.”

One such example is Karma Probiotics Wellness Water, a product developed in the US which claims to contain a patented ingredient providing up to 10 times as much digestive health-promoting live culture than probiotic yoghurt.

Additionally, on-pack credentials such as logos and certificates, and popular health claims like ‘pure’ and ‘clean’ will further appeal to the 66% of global consumers interested in food and drink products with ‘natural claims’, which should be supported by the inclusion of health-enhancing natural ingredients and flavorings such as ginger, turmeric and cinnamon.

Felgate concludes: “It is imperative that soft drinks manufacturers better utilize health trends in order to compete in the market. Effective targeting will help brands to remain relevant to consumers’ changing preferences and shopping habits in this highly competitive space. This is highlighted by the 59% of global consumers who believe that they are often or always influenced by how soft drinks impact their health when choosing products.

“The sugar backlash and rising health-consciousness have hit a critical point where ’better for you’ has transitioned from desirable to necessity.”

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A Third of All British Drinkers Have Reduced or Limited Their Alcohol Intake

While the majority of British adults enjoy a tipple, it seems today’s consumers are taking a more conservative approach towards their alcohol consumption. Indeed, new research from Mintel reveals that as many as one third (32%) of all Brits have reduced or limited their alcohol intake over the past 12 months* in comparison to what they would usually consume. What is more, half (51%) of the nation’s beer, wine and cider drinkers say they are drinking less alcohol than a few years ago, confirming Brits are actively moderating their drinking habits.

While many glasses may now be half empty, it is economical factors which are encouraging consumers to cut back. Over two in four (44%) Brits who have reduced their alcohol have done so in order to save money, while 41% of those choosing to limit alcohol intake have done so to lose or avoid gaining weight. Improving personal health (39%) is also a notable trigger for cutting down and a further 30% have cut-back to reduce the risk of disease. Additionally, some 14% of all those who have cut back on alcohol have done so because they are worried about becoming dependent on alcohol and the same proportion (14%) have cut back to stay within current NHS and government guidelines.

The consumers most likely to have cut back at some point are those aged 25-34 (35%) and 35-44 (36%); meanwhile, geographically this peaks at 41% in the North East and dips to 27% in the South East/East Anglia.

Today, one fifth (19%) of adults report they do not drink alcohol, with a slightly higher proportion of women (22%) than men (17%) being teetotal.

Richard Caines, Senior Food & Drink Analyst at Mintel, comments: “As many as a third of all Brits have limited or reduced their alcohol consumption at some point in the last year. While this includes consumers cutting back for shorter and longer periods of time, it is a strong indicator that steps to moderate alcohol consumption are now widespread. Reducing alcohol consumption to save money reflects the discretionary nature of drinks and how they can add significantly to outgoings.”

The fact that Brits are reducing the amount of alcohol they drink presents a significant opportunity for low-alcohol and alcohol-free beers, ciders and wines. Today, lower-alcohol beer, cider or wine is drunk by around one quarter (23%) of alcohol drinkers, while overall, just 14% of Brits drink non-alcoholic or alcohol-free beer, cider or wine. Usage of lower-alcohol drinks is higher among men (26%) and significantly above average for 18-34-year-olds (41%).

Pubs and bars are proving popular venues for low alcohol brands, as a night out (26%) and a casual drink at the pub (22%) are when low-alcohol drinks most appeal to consumers if they are limiting or reducing their alcohol intake.

A taste more like standard-strength equivalents would sway nearly three in 10 drinkers (28%) to consume low-alcohol or alcohol-free versions of alcoholic drinks. However, overall, soft drinks are more popular than low-alcohol, alcohol-free versions of alcoholic drinks for all occasions. For current alcohol drinkers, 41% say that if they were limiting the amount of alcohol they were drinking when having a casual drink at the pub then they’d pick a soft drink, compared to 29% who would pick a low-alcohol or non-alcoholic version of an alcoholic drink.

“Replicating the taste of standard-strength alcoholic drinks and changing perceptions remains a key challenge for low-alcohol and alcohol-free manufacturers. Alcohol-free versions of alcoholic drink brands also need to look at the reasons why consumers are limiting or reducing their alcohol intake in order to increase their appeal as an alternative to standard-strength alcoholic drinks. This includes offering bigger savings to those looking to save money, as well as prominently highlighting lower calorie content compared to standard-strength equivalents to those looking to better manage their weight and improve their health,” Richard Caines adds.

Finally, Mintel research reveals that weekly alcohol limits are a mystery for most Brits. Introduced in January, new guidelines on alcohol advise men and women to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week on a regular basis. However, when asked how many units of alcohol per week the current NHS and government guidelines advise for men and women, Mintel research indicates that only one in 10 (10%) adults correctly stated the 14 units a week recommended and more than four in 10 (42%) admitted that they didn’t know.

“While consumers are aware of the health dangers from drinking too much alcohol, few are clear on the limits advised in the new guidelines to keep health risks low. Low-alcohol drinks brands could benefit from driving awareness of these limits and what the number of units in individual drinks means in terms of their contribution to that weekly guidance. Doing so could help to encourage more switching over to low-alcohol products from higher-alcohol drinks,” Richard Caines concludes.

*12 months to November 2016

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Spirit Drinkers Keen to Experiment With Novel Flavours But Crave Authenticity

As global spirit drinkers become more experimental, with at least 39% of them actively trying new varieties within each category, craft distillers are presented with an opportunity to diversify their product portfolio. This can be done by adding unique ingredients, trying unusual ingredient combinations, and using innovative processes, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s latest report states that consumers are moving away from mass-produced brands towards spirits made with craftsmanship, and optimistic distillers are looking to emulate the success of established craft breweries, with innovative and quirky flavors being one way to do this.

Emma Wright, Consumer Analyst for GlobalData, explains: “Out of all the spirits, consumers are most likely to try new or different varieties of whiskey, followed by vodka and liqueurs, so craft distillers should look to increase the number of products within these categories. Some unique flavors are already being seen in the craft spirits industry, including savory combinations such as chipotle whiskey and ibérico ham mezcal.”

In order attract potential consumers to such unusual flavors, manufacturers should introduce offers such as taster packs by subscription, to facilitate experimentation at an affordable price. Indeed, spirits tend to be the most expensive alcoholic beverages, so consumers tend to be cautious in their purchasing decisions. Not only are craft spirit brands relatively unheard of, but they also come at a premium, which may deter custom from risk-averse consumers. GlobalData believes that tasting samples may help mitigate this risk.

Emma Wright continues: “Another risk manufacturers should bear in mind is that words such as ‘craft’ and ‘artisan’ can be construed as gimmicks, with 41% of global consumers agreeing that such buzzwords are merely an excuse for manufacturers to charge extra. This is largely down to the fact that manufacturers can use words such as ‘craft’ without actually being a craft distillery, undermining the term. In this way, craft companies should emphasize their authenticity in order to gain consumer trust. This might include events, tasting rooms, and distillery tours help to distinguish ‘craft’ from mass-produced brands.”

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Child Obesity – Technical Guidance on Procurement For Healthy Food in Schools

The European Commission Joint Research Centre and Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety have presented a report to help authorities implement healthy food standards ensuring that they procure healthy school food. The report provides technical guidance on, among others, drafting clear specifications on foods and food services to be procured to make the healthy food the default choice.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, says: “Healthy food is essential for the well-being and development of children and young people and schools are an excellent place to make the healthy food choice, the easy choice. This EU research tool will help schools to do exactly that – provide kids with food that enables them to grow and develop in the best way possible.”

Policy makers, educators and researchers already benefit from a comprehensive overview of European school food policies produced by the Commission’s Science and Knowledge Service, the Joint Research Centre in 2014. Building on this overview the technical guidance in the present new report covers key food groups such as fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products, cakes and sweets and nutrients such as salt, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugars, and micronutrients like iron, calcium and vitamin C. It also includes specifications for food preparation and catering services in general.

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Antimicrobial Resistance in Europe Remains High

Bacteria found in humans, animals and food continue to show resistance to widely used antimicrobials, says the latest report on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The findings underline that AMR poses a serious threat to public and animal health. Infections caused by bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobials lead to about 25,000 deaths in the EU every year.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, says: “Antimicrobial resistance is an alarming threat putting human and animal health in danger. We have put substantial efforts to stop its rise, but this is not enough. We must be quicker, stronger and act on several fronts. This is why the Commission will launch a new Action Plan this summer that will give a new framework for future coordinated actions to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance.”

The report shows that in general multi-drug resistance in Salmonella bacteria is high across the EU. However, experts note that resistance to critically important antimicrobials used to treat severe human cases of Salmonella infection remains low. Salmonellosis, the disease caused by these bacteria, is the second most commonly reported foodborne disease in the EU.

Mike Catchpole, Chief Scientist at ECDC, says: “It is of particular concern that some common types of Salmonella in humans, such as monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium, exhibit extremely high multi-drug resistance. Prudent use of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine is extremely important to address the challenge posed by antimicrobial resistance. We all have a responsibility to ensure that antibiotics keep working.”

The report also highlights that antimicrobial resistance levels in Europe continue to vary by geographical region, with countries in Northern and Western Europe generally having lower resistance levels than those in Southern and Eastern Europe. Marta Hugas, Head of EFSA’s Biological Hazards and Contaminants unit, says: “These geographic variations are most likely related to differences in antimicrobial use across the EU. For example, countries where actions have been taken to reduce, replace and re-think the use of antimicrobials in animals show lower levels of antimicrobial resistance and decreasing trends.”

This year, the publication of the report is accompanied by a data visualisation tool, which displays data by country on antimicrobial resistance levels of some bacteria found in foods, animals and humans.

Explore the data: Antimicrobial resistance in Europe

The report also includes the following findings that may have a public health impact:

* Resistance to carbapenem antibiotics has been detected for the first time as part of EU-wide annual monitoring in animals and food. Carbapenems are usually the last remaining treatment option for patients infected with multi-drug resistant bacteria to other available antibiotics. Very low levels of resistance were observed in E. coli bacteria found in pigs and meat from pigs.

* Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli has been detected in beef, pork, pigs and calves. Bacteria that produce ESBL enzymes show multi-drug resistance to β-lactam antibiotics, which include penicillin derivatives and cephalosporins. The prevalence of ESBL-producing E. coli varied across countries, from low to very high (find out more from our data visualisation tool).

* Resistance to colistin has been found at very low levels in Salmonella and E. coli in pigs and cattle. Colistin may be commonly used in some countries for the control of infections in animals, especially in pigs. In some circumstances it may be used as a last-resort antibiotic in humans.

* More than 10% of the tested Campylobacter coli bacteria in humans showed resistance to two critically important antimicrobials (fluoroquinolones and macrolides), which are used to treat severe cases of Campylobacter infections in humans. Campylobacteriosis is the most commonly reported foodborne disease in the EU.

Scientific Report: The European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2015

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A Positive Future for the UK Beet Sugar Industry

The lifting of European Union (EU) sugar quotas in October 2017 and leaving of the EU, offers exciting opportunities for great British businesses and industries, such as British Sugar and the wider UK beet sugar industry.

According to Paul Kenward, Managing Director of British Sugar: “We are one of Britain’s most globally competitive industries and we are ready to work with farmers, importers and government to design a UK sugar policy that allows our world-leading domestic sugar industry to continue to thrive.”

A new report ‘British Sugar: A homegrown success story’ outlines the significant contribution the UK beet sugar industry makes to the communities in which it operates. Currently, British Sugar partners with 3,500 growers, employs 1,400 people and supports a further 9,500 skilled jobs across the UK. This homegrown success story supplies 60% of the UK’s sugar market.

He continues: “Over the past 100 years we have built a world-class UK beet sugar industry, contributing to local economies and communities, and benefiting UK plc. Our investment of £250 million over the past five years has made our factories the most efficient in the world. Beet sugar yields in the UK have improved by more than 25% in the last ten years. Our focus on improving efficiency and reducing waste has led to a range of co-products. We generate enough electricity to power a city the size of Peterborough; we produce up to 70 million litres of Bioethanol annually; and used our topsoil to landscape the Olympic Park.”

William Martin, Chairman of NFU Sugar, says: “The dismantlement of the EU Sugar regime and Brexit will present opportunities for arable farmers in the beet growing areas of the UK, but the real opportunities will come from beet growers and British Sugar working in partnership to maximize the returns from the market place in a new commercial environment.”

The report, ‘British Sugar: A homegrown success story’ can be downloaded here

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The Changing Shape of Socialising

Diageo’s first ‘Future Series’ trend report reveals the shape of socialising in the year ahead. In the report, the team responsible for innovation and future-gazing at Diageo, the world leading drinks company behind brands like Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Baileys and Guinness, isolates three main social trends expected to accelerate into the mainstream in the year ahead.

Diageo worked with a team of cultural ethnographers to study social scenes from around the world and define three trends that will be influencing how we’ll spend our time in 2017:

  • ‘Exceptional becomes the rule’: socialising is becoming increasingly spontaneous and experimental.
  • ‘In with the ‘in’ crowd’: the home is turning into a place to create extraordinary experiences for friends and family.
  • ‘Optimise not compromise’: consumers want greater control and choice over what goes into their body, without compromising on excitement and experience.

Zoe Lazarus, Global Future and Culture Planning Director at Diageo, comments: “At Diageo, we are passionate about creating drinks of the future and helping people celebrate. We have been innovating for hundreds of years and have a strong history as industry pioneers in identifying and responding to trends. Innovation drives our company forward and for us it means staying ahead of trends, continually creating new products, categories and experiences for people to enjoy around the world. Our success relies not only on understating our consumers today, but also on tracking and responding to emerging socialising trends and behaviours that will become the mainstream of tomorrow.’’

Trend 1: ‘Exceptional becomes the rule’

  • Enhanced and enabled by digital technology, socialising is becoming increasingly spontaneous and experimental. The diary is dead. Fixed arrangements make way for spur-of-the-moment socialising that is dictated by the weather, a whim or what’s triggered an online buzz.
  • Our time is precious, and with increased and sporadic working hours, we desire more from our free time and crave unique experiences. 2017 will see immersive and shareable entertainment push the boundaries as people realise a growing desire to demonstrate their individuality through social media.
  • Virtual reality (VR) is also expected to become more prevalent with the number of active VR users forecasted to reach 171 million by 2018 and make immersive experiences more accessible to anyone, anytime. Diageo has already delved into this with an immersive VR adventure that allows whisky fans to discover and appreciate the flavours of its Singleton single malt Scotch whisky.

Trend 2: ‘In with the ‘in’ crowd’

  • In 2017, we will see the home become the place to create and curate extraordinary experiences for friends and family. It will become a destination to host events that previously we would have had to go out to enjoy: our personal theatre, pub and club all turned into one.
  • The huge proliferation of on-demand experiences and services is shaking things up and people can increasingly entertain at home with more and more products and experiences available the touch of a button.
  • Technology will continue to define at-home socialising. Tapping into this opportunity, Diageo recently launched its Johnnie Walker digital mentorship programme. Using their tablet, mobile or Amazon Echo devices, whisky fans are introduced to the brand’s heritage and blending expertise through a variety of unique experiences, heralding a new era of whisky education that can be enjoyed by adults from the comfort of their own home.

Trend 3: ‘Optimise not compromise’

  • However and whatever, 2017 will be the year of choice. Leading a balanced lifestyle is becoming increasingly achievable and aspirational. And it’s not just technology that’s driving this trend. The increasing prevalence of clear nutritional and calorie information on packaging makes it easier to manage our diets.
  • This year, people will continue to opt for products, experiences and attitudes that say something unique about them. Optimising through personalisation is a case in point at The Artesian bar at The Langham in London for example, where bartenders tap into customers’ personal experiences by creating cocktails that capture their mood and essence in a glass.
  • Diageo is offering consumers a wider range of options than ever before with products like Baileys Almande, a dairy and gluten-free version of the original, in North America; Guinness Zero, a non-alcoholic variant of the famous stout, in Indonesia or Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer, a low-carb, zero-sugar option, in the United States.

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Positive Economic Trends For EU Fishing Fleet

The economic performance of the EU fleet improved significantly again in 2014, according to the latest Annual Economic Report. Between 2008 and 2014, the EU fleet moved from a loss-making position in 2008 to registering record-high net profits of €770 million in 2014 – up from €500 million in 2013. The EU fleet’s gross value added, i.e. the contribution of the fish catching sector to the economy through wages and gross profit, amounted to €3.7 billion in 2014. This represents an 11% increase on the previous year. Forecasts for 2016 remain positive.

Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for fisheries and maritime affairs, says:The positive trend of the last years has resulted in higher salaries for fishermen, bigger profits for the fishing sector, and more value added for the EU’s fishing and coastal communities. And it shows that sustainable fishing pays off. As we have seen in last month’s Council on fishing opportunities, many quotas can grow if we fish sustainably – motivation for the future.”

Average salaries in the EU fleet also increased during the period 2008-2014. The improved economic situation is evident as more and more fish stocks are being fished sustainably. That is, in line with Maximum Sustainable Yield, allowing the fishing industry to take the highest amount of fish from the sea while keeping fish stocks healthy.

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The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Has Published its 2016 Impact Report

The RSPO has published its 2016 RSPO Impact Report, providing a detailed look at RSPO’s sustainability efforts and outcomes from the past year. Over the years, the RSPO’s focus has remained constant: transforming the market to make sustainable palm oil the norm. To ensure the vision is achieved, the RSPO vigilantly monitors the impact of RSPO on the 3 pillars of sustainability, People, Planet and Profit.

Here are a few highlights from the 2016 RSPO Impact Report:

●        High Conservation Area:  As of 30 June 2016, the total High Conservation Value area set aside within RSPO Certified concessions amounts to 157,115 ha, an increase of 9% from the last reporting period. That is an area of forest and indigenous communities lands equal to the size of more than 200,000 soccer fields now set aside for conservation.

●        Paraquat: At least 40 RSPO growers have phased out paraquat, and at least 33 also have a policy banning, or have already phased out, WHO category 1a and 1b pesticides.

●        Resolution of grievances: Out of the 63 complaint cases since 2009, 41 have either been closed or are closed for monitoring.

●     Support to smallholders: Since 2013, the RSPO has been running a Smallholder Support Fund (RSSF) aimed at improving access to RSPO certification, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and increasing production of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO).  RSPO has certified 109,415 smallholders (individual and schemed) in the last reporting period.

Together with monitoring the RSPO impacts, the report identifies areas of contribution and opportunity for support by the RSPO to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launched by United Nations in 2015. The RSPO, through its actions, is already working in supporting five of the SDGs: zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, and life on land. The RSPO continues to support and further integrate the other SDGs into RSPO standards and activities.

The report also includes data from several industries that have committed to 100% CSPO in many European countries, and as of the reporting period Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK have all made significant progress towards reaching their targets.

RSPO recognises that oil palm cultivation has been linked as one of the major causes of deforestation across the globe. However, with the mandatory assessment becoming part of the RSPO new planting procedure, our members have been able to increase the HCV certified areas. This practice hence eliminates the loss of forests with outstanding and critical importance due to their environmental, socio-economic, cultural, biodiversity and landscape value,” says Darrel Webber, CEO of the RSPO. He adds: “the most important priority in the sustainable palm oil sector is to continue to help shape government and global policy to strike the right balance between the need for development and environmental protection globally” 

To further strengthen its global engagement with the largest consumer and producer markets, the RSPO has in the last year set up additional offices in China and Latin America and now has representatives in India, Thailand and the USA.

 

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Irish Food and Drink Exports Increase by 2% to Reach Record High of €11.15 Billion

The value of Irish agri-food and drink exports exceeded €11 billion for the first time ever in 2016, according to Bord Bia’s Export Performance and Prospects 2016-2017 report. “2016 marked the 7th successive year of growth of Irish food and drink exports, with a further 2% increase recorded to reach a record high of €11.15 billion, an expansion of 41% or €3.3 billion since 2010,” points out Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD. “The strongest performing sectors last year were prepared foods (€1.92 billion, +9%), beverages (€1.4 billion, +4%) and dairy product and ingredients (€3.38 billion, +2%).”

He continues: “One of the notable features of this achievement is the impact of market diversification in the year in which the UK decided to leave the European Union. While trade with the UK fell by 8%, triggered by challenging exchange rates, uncertainty arising from Brexit and further competitive pressures, this was offset by increased exports to international and emerging markets such as North America (+€200 million to reach €1.1 billion), China (+35% to reach €845 million) and the rest of Asia (+6% to reach €330 million). An overall increase of 13% in shipments to international markets, to reach a value of approximately €3.5 billion, was particularly remarkable.”

Meanwhile a welcome recovery was also seen in continental EU markets (+3% to reach €3.53 billion) as improving economic conditions led to stronger demand in key categories. The Euro strengthened by 13% against sterling in 2016 while there was little change in exchange rates with the US dollar. According to Bord Bia estimates, the underlying weakness and volatility of sterling negatively affected the competitiveness of Irish exports reducing the value of trade by a potential €570 million.

Noting that the UK referendum on Brexit had led to currency volatility and uncertainty, the Minister says this challenge, together with weakness in some commodity prices, highlights the importance of market access, of identifying market opportunities for value added products and of continued investment in innovation and competitiveness. “The UK will continue to be a critically important market for Irish agri-food products. The triggering of Article 50 and the continued uncertainty around Brexit will present significant challenges for the sector. However, the 2016 export figures illustrate clearly the importance of collaborative action by Government, its agencies and the industry, and the potential for pro-active effort on international markets to mitigate the risks associated with these challenges.”

Increased volume in key sectors, and an improvement in market demand for key categories, helped boosted trade throughout 2016. Padraig Brennan (pictured above right), Director of Markets at Bord Bia, explains: “Some 80% of total export growth in 2016 was recorded in trade to international markets where higher demand, improved market positioning and relatively steady exchange rates helped improve the competitive position of Irish exports. Since 2010, international markets have accounted for half of the growth in total exports, which reflects the industry’s ability to identify and develop new business opportunities. Irish food and drink exports to China have increased six fold in six years, while exports to North America and the Rest of Asia have doubled in the same period.”

Bord Bia Chairman Michael Carey.

Bord Bia Chairman Michael Carey comments: “Despite difficult trading conditions, it is encouraging to see this industry continuing to grow business and extend its global footprint to more than 180 markets around the world. Increased export volumes were recorded across a number of key categories, with milk availability over 5% higher during the first 10 months of the year and beef export volumes up 5%. The combined impact of higher output in these sectors is estimated to be in the region of €250 million.”

The strongest performers in terms of export growth in 2016 were prepared foods, sheepmeat, beverages, pigmeat and to a lesser extent dairy. Weaker prices negatively affected the value of beef and edible horticulture exports while lower volumes affected seafood exports. Livestock exports declined in value terms largely due to a significant reduction in live cattle shipments, while poultry exports recorded a significant decrease due to both reduced prices and lower volumes.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD.

Looking Ahead to 2017

Export markets look set to remain challenging in 2017 amid ongoing market uncertainty. However, the pick-up in global dairy demand is expected to continue while further opportunities for growth are likely in beverages. Increased beef export availability may put some pressure on returns while prepared consumer foods exports are likely to face on-going competitive pressures, most notably the UK.

Noting the progress made in 2016 on improved market access for livestock and strengthening official relations with third countries through an ambitious programme of trade missions, Minister Creed adds that close working relationships of between his Department, the development agencies, producers and industry were a key strength of the Irish food, drinks and horticulture sectors.

“As an exporting country, we need to identify and act on market opportunities promptly. The continued efforts of my Department in international markets and the additional funding for Bord Bia’s marketing strategy, which I have made available in both 2016 and 2017, will assist Irish exporters in their efforts to retain and diversify export markets,” the Minister adds.

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Increasingly Health-conscious Consumers Present New Opportunities For Superfoods Beyond Conventional Sectors

Superfoods, typically of high demand in the food, drink and beauty sectors, will soon see a distinct shift towards more diverse categories, driven by increasing health-consciousness, according to consumer insight firm Canadean.

The company’s latest report finds that consumers are more conscious of their health than ever before and aim to improve it proactively through healthy living rather than reactively through the use of conventional medicines. This health-consciousness, in conjunction with consumer willingness to experiment, explains the development of superfoods into uncommon sectors, allowing products typically not associated with health to benefit from the inclusion of superfood ingredients.

Lia Neophytou, Associate Analyst at Canadean, explains: “Our research shows that 63% of consumers believe plant botanicals or extracts will have a positive impact on their health. The increasing trust that consumers have for formulations including superfood extracts is therefore widening the possibility for manufacturers to incorporate superfood ingredients within their products across several sectors.”

Additionally, as unprocessed goods hold an allure for health-conscious consumers, products formulated with the lowest possible number of ingredients are appealing. This drives the inclusion of superfoods across fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sectors, given that they are antioxidant-rich, high in nutrients, and capable of delivering multiple benefits using fewer ingredients.

Neophytou adds: “Though superfoods are mostly utilised by manufacturers within food and drink products, there is growing evidence of superfood products emerging within alternative sectors, according to Canadean’s research. Citing the e-cigarette industry as an example, consumers seeking to mitigate the perceived harmful effects associated with traditional tobacco products through engagement with e-cigarettes, no longer necessarily have to face a trade-off between flavor and health, with the potential to replace chemical flavoring with natural superfood flavorings an option.”

Canadean believes the desire for more functional products by consumers who aim to proactively manage their health will drive the proliferation of superfoods into an increasingly eclectic range of industry sectors. The advanced properties of superfoods will ultimately allow manufacturers to create products in a variety of sectors that consumers can purchase and feel satisfied will aid health management.

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2016 the Year of Gin in Britain

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s latest Market Report shows that Britain’s love for a gin and tonic is not restricted to the summer months as sales continue to fizz into the festive season. The report reveals gin sales in pubs, bars and restaurants (on trade) in 12 months (to 1/10/16) went up +19%, on the same period last year, worth £619 million.

The public’s unquenchable thirst for the quintessentially British spirit is also reflected in the amount of gin sold in our shops, supermarkets and off licences (off trade) which in 12 months (to 5/11/16) went up +13%, worth £437 million.

Gin broke the £1 billion sales mark in the on-and-off trade for the first time ever in the UK in 2016, 6 months ahead of forecasts, making it a record breaking year for gin. For six consecutive quarters, on trade sales of gin have seen double digit growth, outperforming every other spirits category.

Since the first WSTA Market Report released in 2012, gin sales in pubs, bars and restaurants have increased by £300 million – the equivalent of an annual boost of £3,750 extra to every UK pub.

Sales of gin in shops, supermarkets and off licences have also increased by 68% since 2012.

283,000 hectolitres, the equivalent of 40 million bottles, of gin have been sold in the on and off trade in UK in the last twelve months which works out as 1.12 billion gin and tonics.

This year’s volume sales of gin have gone up the equivalent of an extra 7 million bottles compared to 2012, which is the equivalent of around 200 million G&Ts.

Trends in government data show indisputably that the UK has been drinking ever more responsibly over the last ten years – with consumption dropping by a fifth.

With the market shrinking and gin sales booming it shows more and more customers are choosing premium products, like gin, as their chosen tipple.

Britain can also boast that 3 out of every 4 bottles of gin imported around the world are from the UK. British gin is now sold overseas in 139 countries around the world with America, Canada, Spain and Germany buying the most.

UK gin brands have benefited from America’s love for hit shows like Downton Abbey and the James Bond franchise helping to sell £159 million worth of British gin to the Americans in 2015. British gin exports to the USA have risen by a staggering 553% in the last decade.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

40 new distilleries have opened in 2016 (up to 1/12/16) – according to the HMRC – which, when added to the 56 opened in 2015, means there are close 100 new distilleries opening in the UK in two years. In 2010 there were only 116 distilleries in existence in the UK, according to HMRC.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, says: “There are many reasons why people may not feel like celebrating 2016 but the WSTA are pleased to give you something happy to reflect on – 2016 can now be remembered as the ‘Great British Gin Take Off’. We hope that government supports our innovative gin makers who have driven an extraordinary increase in UK exports, up 166% since 2000.”

He adds: “We would like to remind government that cutting excise duty boosts business and brings more money into the Treasury. Following the cut in spirits duty in the 2015 budget, spirits duty income increased on the previous year by £125m (+4.1%) from April 2015 to March 2016 inclusive.The UK spirit industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe with 76% of a bottle of spirits accounted for by tax, the 4th highest duty rate for spirits in the EU.”

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Low Incidence of TSEs in the EU, Says EFSA Report

EFSA has published its first EU summary report on the monitoring of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) in cattle, sheep and goats. Previously, the annual reports on TSEs were compiled by the European Commission.

TSEs are a group of diseases that affect the brain and nervous system of humans and animals.  With the exception of Classical BSE, there is no scientific evidence that other TSEs can be transmitted to humans.

A low number of BSE cases in cattle were detected in EU Member States, none of which entered the food chain.

Some of the main findings of the report are:

* Five cases of BSE in cattle have been reported in the EU, out of about 1.4 million animals tested.

* 641 cases of scrapie in sheep (out of 319,638 tested) and 1,052 in goats have been reported (out of 135,857 tested) in the EU.

This report provides results on data collected by all EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland for 2015 on the occurrence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and scrapie in sheep and goats – two forms of TSEs.

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Europe’s Brewers Keep Trade and the Economy Flowing

At their recent sixth annual Beer Serves Europe event, The Brewers of Europe emphasised how their 7,500 breweries not only underpin economic growth in Europe but also make a significant contribution to trade with the rest of the world. Two new publications, the 180-country study Beer Connects Europe with the World and the 2016 edition of Beer Statistics, highlight how beer is accompanying Europe’s economic recovery and flowing increasingly towards fast growing areas of the globe.

Total consumer spending on beer was over €110 billion in the EU in 2014, an indication that a recovery from the 2008 crisis was in place. The latest statistics confirm that the European brewing sector is now firmly on the path to prosperity. Consumption and production are not just stable, but improving with year-on-year rises in European Union countries from 2014 to 2015 of 1% in consumption and 1.4% in production. Meanwhile beer is growing at the fastest rate among the top 10 food and drinks products in the EU by export value. Next year, at current rates of growth, beer will be up from 10th place to 6th place.

“The Brewers of Europe are proud of the major part they play in the European economy, generating considerable employment and boosting trade both within the EU and beyond. Supportive policies will enable brewers to continue contributing to the overall competitiveness of the European economy and sustained growth,” says Pavlos Photiades, President of The Brewers of Europe.

Beer is Back For Good

The European brewing sector is a key actor for job creation and the economy and is playing its part in supporting the delivery of the Europe 2020 Growth Strategy. Beer adds the equivalent of the GDP of Luxembourg, or around €51 billion, annually to EU output and over €11 billion in excise revenues for governments. The sector provides over 120,000 direct jobs in the EU alone, but nearly 95% of beer-generated employment occurs outside the brewing companies themselves: every one of these jobs is the catalyst for further jobs across the entire value chain, creating over 17 jobs in the wider economy, making a total of 2.3 million.

BrewersofEurope2In addition to continued investment by Europe’s brewers in establishing European beer brands around the world, in 2015 European beer exports rose to 82 million hectolitres, an increase of 7% year-on-year. In 2008, exports beyond the EU accounted for 16% of the total. In 2015 the proportion has more than doubled to 35%.

Maximising Micro: The Brewers of Europe’s Inclusive Agenda

A sure sign of confidence and trust in the sector is the continuous rise in new breweries opening across the EU since 2008 and the total has almost doubled since 2010. There were 588 new microbreweries established in the year from 2014 to 2015, a rise of 13%. The trend attests to the high level of consumer interest in the diversity and variety of Europe’s many different beer cultures.

Pavlos Photiades explains: “Europe’s brewing sector is experiencing a Renaissance. Alongside the major global companies, medium-sized undertakings are demonstrating a tremendous capacity for innovation while smaller breweries are reaching out to new generations. The Brewers of Europe is home to all and we want all indeed to feel   at home. This is our roadmap for the next couple of years. Europe is the cradle of modern beer. I am greatly encouraged by the inventive ways European brewers are contributing to the vitality of the sector with the constant introduction of new styles and flavours.”

Beer is also unique amongst the main alcoholic beverage categories for its range of alcoholic strengths. Within the rich spectrum of choice the sector offers consumers, the market for non-alcoholic and low alcohol beers has doubled from 2000 to 2015. Beers below 3% ABV now represent around 6% of the overall European beer market, reaching 14% in some countries. They are proving ideal for occasions where people wish to a have a great tasting drink but either cannot, or do not wish to, consume more or any alcohol, for example before driving or when pregnant.

Sustainable Exports

According to the European Commission, beer is affirming its place among Europe’s top export products, with double digit growth (+18%) in beer exports from 2014 to 2015. The top destinations are US, China, Canada, but over  the  past 20 years EU brewers have extended trade to 123 countries around the world. EU brewers are also among the  top three import partners of 97 countries outside the EU.

Pavlos Photiades.

Pavlos Photiades.

Average annual growth over 20 years of 8% has tripled the annual quantity of beer traded globally and these flows  can only increase: the European Commission predicts that 90% of economic growth in the future will occur outside the EU. The global beer network can be a good indicator of the openness of countries in facilitating knowledge, people and investment flows. European brewers are powerful world players leading the way in investing into emerging markets, contributing to growth and prosperity for both Europe and the world.

However, beer trading is more than economic exchange: it is an exchange of culture and prestige and a force for sustainable development in emerging countries. By setting up production locally, contract farming schemes and investments by the brewing sector generate a high level of employment, improve supply chain management and  raise grain productivity – while enforcing solid standards and human rights.

The success of the EU brewing sector relies on the EU connecting its internal market to the rest of the world. Brewers are also often well placed to lead the charge for fairness in trade agreements, calling for equivalent treatment of products and pushing for elimination of the type of tax discrimination that particularly affects small businesses.

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Report Highlights Economic Importance of Scottish Red Meat Industry

The importance of red meat production to both the national economy of Scotland and the country’s rural areas, is very clearly highlighted in an independent new report commissioned by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). The report, ‘An Assessment of the Economic Contribution of Scotland’s Red Meat Supply Chain’, reveals that the red meat supply chain in Scotland contributes around £2.4 billion to total output.

This equates to a £733 million contribution to Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product and provides employment totalling 33,000 jobs. The report also clearly lays out the Scottish red meat industry’s very considerable importance in terms of employment in rural areas through jobs created by farming and meat processing.

The report accounts for production as far along the red meat chain as abattoirs and cutting plants. The figures would be significantly higher if the economic impact further downstream, including the wholesalers and multiple and independent retailers plus food outlets were also included.

The publication, compiled by Dr Andrew Moxey of Pareto Consulting, reveals that red meat production accounts for around 40% of total farming output in Scotland. Overall cattle, sheep and pigs are found on around 20,000 holdings in Scotland of which over 14,300 are LFA specialist cattle and sheep holdings, around 2300 are non-LFA cattle and sheep holdings and nearly 300 are specialist pig holdings.

In Scotland there are around 30 livestock markets which have a collective throughput of 2.7 million animals, with a turnover of £525 million in 2014.

The 23 licensed red meat abattoirs in Scotland generated a collective output in 2014 worth an estimated £876 million. Sixty-eight percent of their total production is sold out of Scotland to the rest of the UK, with a further nine percent sold to overseas export markets.

The important economic role of the other businesses which support the industry is also very clear in the report. Livestock haulage accounts for 108 haulage firms operating 275 vehicles registered for carrying livestock. Additionally, 201 veterinary practices are registered for treating farm animals and there are 113 feed suppliers.

“As well as clearly laying out the way in which red meat production underpins Scotland’s agricultural output, the report also highlights the role it plays in social sustainability and in the maintenance of Scotland’s landscape,” says Iain Macdonald, Senior Economics Analyst, QMS.

The report also clearly identifies there are opportunities to increase the contribution the industry makes to Scotland’s economy.

“The main routes identified for achieving this include the retention of more animals in Scotland and the wider adoption of best practice at farm level,” says Iain Macdonald. “The other key opportunities identified for driving growth in our industry are greater collaboration and information sharing across the supply chain.”

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Almonds are Number One Nut in New Product Introductions Across Europe

According to Innova Market Research’s latest Global New Product Introductions Report, almonds are now the number one nut in new introductions in Europe with a 48% regional share and a new record high of 42% globally. Germany, the UK and France follow the US as the top leading countries introducing new almond products. With 4,313 new almond products, Europe saw a double-digit growth of 16% increase in 2015.

This is the first time almonds have taken the top spot in Europe with the lead being particularly driven by increased consumer demand in the snacks and bars sectors as well as growing interest in lactose-free and gluten-free – the leading health claim in UK almond introductions. The demand for almonds can also be attributed to their role as natural, nutrient-rich ingredients with appealing taste and crunch and extensive versatility as well as their consistently safe, stable supply.

Country-specific increases include a 34% increase in snacking new product introductions in France, while Germany has seen a huge 107% increase in spreads. Almonds are the number one nut in the UK leading in 4 of the 5 leading categories for almonds, with particular increases of 33% in bakery introductions and 15% in bars.

almondseuropeno1Dariela Roffe-Rackind, Director for Europe for the Almond Board of California, says: “Across Europe, consumers are increasingly seeking convenient, healthy snacking solutions they can feel good about. Food manufacturers are recognising that this need for convenience and desire for natural, unprocessed foods can be met by the versatile and nutritious almond.”

Globally, almonds continue to lead new product introductions around the world and over multiple categories, widening the gap with other nuts. Almond product introductions grew 8% in 2015, despite a 4% decline in overall food introductions and a 7% decline in nut introductions. Compared to other tree nuts, almond introductions hold top spots across the categories of confectionery, bakery, snacks, bars and cereals, substantiating endless opportunity in new product innovation.

Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Research, explains: “More foods are considered a snack today and flavour innovations continue to deliver excitement in the industry. We are seeing almonds used in an even wider variety of snacking products, including protein snacks, fruit and vegetable products and yogurt snacks – catering for indulgent, convenient snacking for a multitude of occasions.”

California is the top producer of almonds with 83% of global production and Western Europe is the second largest shipment destination behind North America. Almonds are California’s largest agricultural export and second most valuable crop.

 

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UK Catering Firms to Overcome Brexit Uncertainty

The majority of UK catering companies are in surprisingly good shape to cope with any Brexit fallout, a new report from market analysts Plimsoll Publishing argues. Having carried out a financial health check on the UK’s 1477 top catering firms, the new report has found that 486 firms are performing well in current market conditions and are well prepared for any uncertainty in the sector.

Plimsoll’s senior analyst, David Pattison, says: “Much like how your doctor would check your health and recommend action, we have done the same with each of the UK’s top 1477 catering companies. Since the decision to leave the European Union, the market has been dogged with speculation and uncertainty. However our latest research suggests the majority of catering firms are surprisingly well placed. Having said that, however, that’s not to say there will not be an impact, but they are in good shape to cope and respond to any upheaval.”

The study has identified and analysed the vital areas of business performance that lead to success or failure. These factors have then been applied to the 1477 companies to highlight the fittest and those showing signs of serious financial weakness. Depending on the overall financial health, each company was given one of five health ratings:

  • 486 firms rated as Strong – these firms are the fittest in the industry and are showing strong financial health.
  • 129 firms rated as Good – these firms are improving financial health and can aspire to those rated Strong.
  • 174 firms rated as Mediocre –these firms could go either way, they need to fine-tune their business so they do not slip back and improve.
  • 174 firms rated as Caution – these firms are showing the early signs of weakness, early prevention measures need to be put in place.
  • 332 firms rated as Danger – These firms are showing a serious weakening in financial health, urgent plans are required to treat these weaknesses.

plimsolllogoDavid Pattison continues: “Nobody at this early stage will know the consequences of the Brexit vote, however companies who are rated as Danger have two options: they can hold their nerve and hope to trade their way out, or they can put a survival plan in place and look to consolidate their business. Once you take notice of the warning signs, then directors need to act.”

Copies of the report are available to buy by clicking here. Alternatively call Chris Glancey on 01642626419 or email chrisg@plimsoll.co.uk

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Mixed Growth For Private Label Soft Drinks Across East and West Europe

Private Label soft drinks have faced turbulent times in recent years, with periods of economic uncertainty boosting consumption, and periods of prosperity seeing volumes fall, according to consumer insight firm Canadean. The company’s latest Q2 beverage trackers for East Europe and West Europe state that Private Label soft drinks, a relatively new phenomenon in some East European countries in 2015, continued to perform well. Meanwhile in West Europe, Private Label returned to growth after two years of decline, although continuing to underperform versus branded products.

canadeansoftdrinksoctober2016resizedEmma Wright, Analyst for Canadean, explains: “The return to growth of the Private Label segment in West Europe can be partly attributed to more retailers introducing premium quality and value-added own-label lines that are lower in cost than branded products, but can rival their quality and, in many cases, packaging design. However, the slowing growth rates registered in East Europe Private Label soft drinks are the result of more consumers seeing a rise in disposable incomes, along with more branded items being sold at a discounted price.”

In West Europe, iced/ready-to-drink coffee was the category to see the highest increase, up 8%, as Private Label outperformed the market in countries such as Austria, where further gains were made in the discount channel. In East Europe, however, enhanced water, a relatively new category in the region, recorded the strongest growth at 23%, as it enticed consumers with its affordability over branded products.

Among the major categories, packaged water grew across both regions, while carbonates in West Europe fell back, due to the overall decline in consumption and aggressive price promotions for many key brands. Interestingly, carbonates did not drop in East Europe, instead rising by 2%. In countries such as Romania, where there is a degree of economic instability, low-end Private Label carbonates can often be three or four times less expensive than their branded counterparts; an important factor for low-income consumers.

Across both East and West Europe, in addition to the frequency of branded price promotions, Private Label soft drinks are coming under increasing pressure from the discounters’ strategy of listing growing numbers of branded products. This is expected to curb Private Label growth in 2016 overall, but in major own-label markets such as Germany and the UK, Canadean expects retailers’ premium Private Label lines to significantly outperform lower-end offerings.

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The Male Market Remains a Big Opportunity For Savory Snacks Manufacturers in Russia

Currently, the average Russian man consumes savory snacks less often than his female counterpart, presenting new opportunities for manufacturers to appeal to indulgence-seeking men, according to a new study published by consumer insight firm Canadean. The company’s latest report states that the Russian savory snacks market was valued at US$2.7 billion in 2015, and is forecast to grow at a rapid compound annual growth rate of 10.1% to reach US$4.3 billion by 2020.

In Russia, men account for 43% of total savory snack occasions, despite representing 46% of the population. On average, Russian men consume savory snacks on 93 occasions per year, compared to 105 for females. However, for Veronika Zhupanova, Analyst at Canadean, there is reason for optimism: “The numbers show that while women are considered a wider audience, men represent a substantial market with genuine growth potential.”

Canadean’s research reveals that while comfort food might traditionally be more associated with a female audience, it is men who are far more likely to turn to savory snacks as a means of relaxing. Indeed, nearly 30% of the volume of savory snacks eaten by men is driven by this, compared to 21% for women. Moreover, indulgence plays a more significant role for men compared to women, driving 39% of men’s consumption, and 28% of women’s consumption respectively. The implication is clear: snack manufacturers can appeal to males by engaging their pleasure-seeking side.

Veronika Zhupanova explains: “While we have seen a number of savory snack launches targeting men, current innovation is mostly unisex. In this way, indulgent snacks that are overtly masculine in design and positioning can stand out from the crowd.”

By targeting Russian men, manufacturers face a tricky dilemma. While the demographic reports being motivated by emotional cues like a desire for relaxation, men typically reject concepts that come across as being overtly emotive.

Veronika Zhupanova continues: “There are several options available to manufacturers, such as dark-colored packaging, larger “male” sizes, and claims such as “rich in protein”, which are all concepts that generally appeal to men more than women. Products such as nuts and seeds can more overtly target “masculine” occasions, such as restoring energy after a workout.”

One example for companies targeting the Russian savory snacks market is Just Brutal “manly” chips from Belarus. While the product does not target men explicitly, the product’s masculine design and flavors, such as Bloody Mary and Steak, are clearly designed to appeal to a male audience.

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Tetra Pak Sees Growth Opportunities For 100% Juice

The market for 100% juice should return to growth despite global economic slowdown and the recent debate around sugar, according to Tetra Pak’s 100% Juice Index report. According to the company, the combination of emerging growth hot-spots and slowing decline in established markets is stabilising 100% juice and bringing it back to growth going forward to 2018.

Insights from the report show that 100% juice remains a significant part of the average consumer diet, with more than 40% of people drinking it every day. Furthermore, consumers say that they are willing to pay a premium for juices that they associate with healthy choices.

These findings indicate great potential for 100% juice. Growth will come from products that meet consumer needs focused on health and out of home consumption, trends particularly strong with Millennials – the most influential generation of consumers yet. The industry has already responded with innovation in three key areas; vegetable nutrition, ‘all natural’, and speciality 100% juice.

* Vegetable nutrition: Vegetable blends, where vegetables and fruit are combined, lowering the natural sugar content and adding health benefits, are now the fourth most popular 100% juice flavour globally. New product launches using vegetables as an ingredient tripled in 2015 compared with 2012.

* All natural: Over the last six years, not from concentrate (NFC) juice has gained market share compared with reconstituted products, rising from 25% in 2009 to almost 30% in 2015. New launches for products that make ‘all natural’ claims have seen a compound annual growth rate of 25% between 2012 and 2015 – especially those with no additives and/or preservatives.

* Speciality 100% juice: More than 60% of consumers globally say they are interested in products with proven health benefits. As well as adding vegetables into the mix, producers are increasingly offering ‘fortified with’ or ‘vitamin-enriched’ 100% juice. For example, in 2015 fortified products with functional health benefits in immunity, heart health, digestion, bone health, brain health and beauty made up two thirds of new product launches.

tetrapakjuicereportoctober2016compressedDennis Jönsson, President and CEO of Tetra Pak, comments: “It is good to see that brands globally are turning the challenges presented by changing lifestyles and the sugar debate into opportunities. They are driving growth in the 100% juice category with new products that capture the imagination of consumers, stretching beyond traditional fruit juices such as orange and apple, to a range of inventive vegetable blends, and new fruit flavours, creating endless possibilities for new recipes. As ever, the key to success is innovation, offering the right product at the right time to meet the modern consumers’ needs, and, just as importantly, capturing their attention and making a connection with them.”

The Tetra Pak report also highlights great potential for 100% juice in emerging markets, with remarkable growth already taking place in China and Brazil, and other hotspots in countries such as Malaysia, India and Indonesia.

Marjan Skotnicki-Hoogland, President of AIJN, says: “The launch of the 2016 Tetra Pak 100% Juice Index, a category report packed with global insights, is a great way to help the industry understand the opportunities available to them, and position juice as part of a healthy and nutritious diet.”

The Tetra Pak 100% Juice Index report is based on market insights through the company’s partnership with customers around the globe, as well as recent research findings from 7,000 consumers in seven countries.

More information on 100% juice and the full report can be found at http://www.tetrapak.com/juiceindex.

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Global Savoury Snacks Market to Reach Over $138 Billion by 2020 as ‘Snackification’ Trend Grows

The global savoury snacks market will rise from US$94.5 billion in 2015 to US$138.2.billion by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9%, according to consumer insight firm Canadean. The company’s latest report states that such growth is expected to come mainly from developing countries in the Asia-Pacific and Eastern European regions, with CAGRs of 13.7% and 7.3%, respectively, while the Latin American region is expected to register a more moderate CAGR of 3.2%.

According to Rashmi Mahajan, Analyst for Canadean: “Rising urbanization levels and busier lifestyles are impacting the eating habits of consumers, who are increasingly replacing main meals with more flexible, light, and convenient snacking options. Changing consumer preferences and the growing trend of ‘snackification’, which represents a significant portion of everyday eating routines, is driving the demand for portable and on-the-go formats.”

Big opportunities exist in large, populous developing countries with low per capita consumption levels, such as China (0.8 kg of savoury snacks per person in 2015) and India (1 kg), compared to the high levels of consumption in developed countries such as the US (9.5 kg) and the UK (7 kg).

canadeancrispsCanadean’s analysis reveals that the health and wellness trend has impacted the eating habits of consumers in developed markets, who tend to base their snacking choices on nutritional value and quality. In this way, consumers are trading up and spending more on premium varieties of snacks. Consumers in emerging countries including Brazil, China and India, on the other hand, mostly base their snack choices on value and experimentation.

Rashmi Mahajan continues: “Despite the regional differences in snacks consumption, innovation in flavours remains an important differentiating factor globally, as consumers across all ages opt for products offering new and unusual consumption experiences. Examples include nacho chips in papdi chaat flavour in India, maize snacks in a tangy fruit chutney flavor in South Africa, popcorn in strawberry and cream flavour in the UK, and potato chips in chocolate chilli flavour in France.”

According to Canadean, the global savoury snacks market is highly fragmented, with the top five brands holding less than 16% market share. Lay’s, Doritos, Pringles, Cheetos, and Ruffles were the leading brands with the highest market share in 2015.

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The Impact of Sugar Tax on the UK Sports and Energy Drinks Market

With the tax on sugary soft drinks due to come into effect in April 2018, the majority of UK sports and energy drink users say they expect their purchasing of these products to be affected as a result of any price increases. Indeed, new Mintel research reveals that one in three (32%) British consumers who drink sports and energy drinks would cut back on the amount of sugary varieties they consume if the price were to increase, while one in five (20%) say they would stop drinking sugary varieties altogether. Meanwhile, almost two in five (37%) say they wouldn’t change their drinking habits at all.

Despite these reported spending changes, low-sugar and sugar-free variants of sports and energy drinks are set to benefit. Over one third (37%) of those who would reduce their consumption of sugary sports or energy drinks if the price were to increase say that they would switch to low-sugar or sugar-free versions as a result. Furthermore, almost half (48%) say that they would drink other drinks instead, such as juice, smoothies or milk, while 28% would switch to a less expensive brand.

Already the impending sugar tax has caused an uplift in product innovation. According to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), 28% of sports and energy drinks launched in the UK so far this year* have carried a low, no or reduced sugar claim, up from just 10% of sports and energy drink products launched in 2015.

Amy Price, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, says: “Sugar continues to be an issue in the market and the pending sugar tax is expected to have an adverse effect on consumption. Positively for the market, however, a strong minority of sports and energy drink users would not change their habits following the introduction of the sugar tax. This is likely owing to the infrequent usage within the category, meaning that the impact on total grocery budgets of the tax would, for most drinkers, be decidedly modest. Ongoing investment in low, no and reduced sugar formats will be essential to providing a different option for consumers, especially if these are at a lower cost to the consumer.”

Today, half (49%) of Brits drink sports or energy drinks, rising to 80% of men aged 16-24. Branded products are currently the most popular variety; however, frequency of usage is low as just 16% of Brits have drunk a branded sports drink, and 12% have drunk a branded energy drink, at least once a week in the past 12 months**.

MintelEnergyWhat’s more, despite the recent backlash against sugar, standard varieties of the drinks remain the most popular. Less than three in 10 (28%) Brits who drink energy drinks consume low, no or reduced sugar varieties, while 27% drink this low, no or reduced sugar variety of sports drinks.

Moving forward, however, Mintel research highlights significant consumer interest in new product innovation using more health-oriented ingredients. Indeed, over one quarter (28%) of those who drink sports and energy drinks say they’d be interested in seeing cold-pressed juice included in these drinks, 25% express interest in trying these products made with mineral water and 22% express interest in these products containing bits of fruit.

“Innovation in the non-alcoholic drinks market is blurring the lines between different categories. ‘Cold-pressed’ has become an increasingly popular label in the juice sector, with these ‘raw’ fruit juices and smoothies positioned by some operators as more nutritious than standard products due to not having been heat-processed. This health halo could be mined by sports and energy drinks brands to capitalise on the trend through products that look to cold-pressing techniques,” Amy Price adds.

Finally, Mintel research indicates that products made with more naturally-derived ingredients are likely to appeal to consumers. Approaching two in five (37%) consumers say that it would be good to know the origin of ingredients used in sports and energy drinks, for instance Sicilian lemons or Brazilian guarana, while another three in five (29%) would be interested in reduced sugar sports and energy drinks made with plant-derived sweeteners.

MintelLogoCroppedWhat’s more, one in five (20%) say that energy drinks made with superfood ingredients, for example ginseng, are worth paying more for.

“Information on origin of ingredients and reference to how they are sourced could bolster trial of a sports or energy drink. While tropical and ‘punch’ flavours have become popular as brands look to capitalise on sporting events such the Rio 2016 Olympics, more could be done to highlight the origin of exotic ingredients,” Amy Price concludes.

*January-August 2016

**12 months to June 2016

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Daypart-specific Targeting Can Unlock New Food Consumption Occasions

Over a quarter of global consumers (27%) consider food and drink to be appealing if products are advertised for consumption at a specific time of day, according to research by consumer insight firm Canadean. The company’s latest report states that while demographic segmentation is commonly used in food and drink marketing, brands are increasingly launching products for consumption at particular times of the day.

Tanvi Savara, Consumer Insight Analyst at Canadean, explains: “Habitual consumers respond well to daypart-specific launches from their preferred brands. Results from Canadean’s global consumer survey, conducted across 31 countries in Q4 2015, show that nearly a third of regular soft drink consumers find time-specific products appealing. Similarly, 34% of regular snackers find themselves tempted by products advertised for consumption at a specific time of the day.”

This trend aligns with consumers’ newfound readiness to experiment with food or drink products that posit themselves as specifically for consumption outside traditional eating hours.

CanadeanLogoTanvi Savara continues: “Brands such as Cadbury, with its Dairy Milk Medley, are redefining consumption occasions by incorporating ingredients that are reminiscent of meals or desserts in order to extend consumption into new times of the day. Others take inspiration from familiar flavor profiles and add an experimental twist to generate appeal. Alpina Café Selections yogurt, which hails from the US, is one such example, as it claims to have caffeine content equivalent to about half a cup of coffee and is positioned as the ‘perfect addition to anyone’s morning or afternoon routine.’”

Although time-specific products currently appeal very strongly to those who are brand loyal, opportunities do exist for manufacturers to target a wider consumer base.

Tanvi Savara concludes: “Brands seeking to leverage time-of-day positioning successfully should not just identify the daypart for which a product is formulated, but also address the purchase motivations that are most relevant for that daypart, through formulation and marketing. For example, consumers are more likely to snack on health-oriented choices such as fruit and yogurt earlier in the day, whereas indulgence is more likely to be an influence towards the end of the day, with chocolate or savory snacks preferred late at night.”

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Ireland’s Craft Brewers to Turnover €60 Million This Year

Ireland’s craft beer market is continuing to grow both domestically and internationally, according to a new Bord Bia report. The ‘Craft Beer and Microbreweries in Ireland Survey 2016’ found there are 62 microbreweries operating in Ireland, of which 48 are production microbreweries and 16 are contracting companies. In 2015, the total turnover of craft beer producers was estimated at €40 million, while the outlook remains very positive with a projected turnover of €59 million for 2016.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD comments: “This report provides a really useful profile of the sector year on year and over time. Food Wise 2025 identified huge growth opportunities for craft beer and the potential to increase the number of micro-breweries to 100. Already there is a micro-brewery in nearly every county, creating jobs at a very local level in towns and rural areas and niche opportunities for growers. Food Wise also noted the explosion of the craft beer market in the United States. I am pleased to see a number of microbreweries exploring export opportunities in close co-operation with Bord Bia.”

Denise Murphy, Beverages Manager, Bord Bia, says: “Some two-thirds of microbreweries are now exporting, albeit many of them on a small scale as yet. The category is rapidly developing its export capability and this will be reflected in export volumes reported going forward. On average, microbreweries are now targeting an export share of almost 50% of total production.”

Report Highlights

Between 2011 and 2015, the output of production microbreweries rose by more than 415% to reach 134,000 hl. Capacity expansion continues apace, and that coupled with the influx of new breweries, will provide output in 2016 in the region of 197,000 hl. Of the total microbrewery production in 2015, an estimated 24,000 hl (18%) was exported. This is 7% less than the figure reflected in 2014, however it is important to note that this is percentage is based on a larger production volume from the industry as a whole. Meanwhile closer to home, the report found that last year ‘craft beer’ represented 2.5% of total beer consumption in Ireland and this is projected to rise to 3.4% in 2016.

CAPTION:

Pictured at the launch of Bord Bia’s new report on the craft beer market in Ireland, were (l-r): Denise Murphy, Beverages Manager at Bord Bia; Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed; and Seamus O’Hara of Carlow Brewing Company.

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Bord Bia Study Reveals Ireland’s Home Baking Trends

Weekend baking and smaller portion sizes are among the top global trends identified in a new Bord Bia bakery study. The home baking market in Ireland is valued at almost €120 million per year and the Bord Bia report shows the sector is continuing to remain a favourite with Irish consumers.

Paula Donoghue, Consumer Insight Manager, Bord Bia, comments: “In 100 years, we’ve gone from baking being routine, necessary and laborious to something that is seen as exciting, gratifying and enjoyable. It is encouraging to see baking continues to be a key part of Irish households and an important way to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas.”

While traditional desserts are making a comeback among Irish bakers, such as shortbread and eclairs, the report highlights an interest in moving towards healthier baking, although behaviour isn’t mirroring that as of yet. Paula Donoghue adds:“Despite healthy eating remaining one of people’s main priorities, for Ireland’s bakers, home baking boils down to simple sweet treats (cakes, buns and bread) that focus on taste and moments of indulgence with family and friends.”

Ireland’s Great Bakers – key research highlights:

* Four in five Irish bakers are female (82%)

* 53% are baking at least once a week and 30% monthly

* Incidences of home-baking increase as we near the weekend, peaking on Saturday afternoon

* 65% of those surveyed bake alone, while 14% like to bake with their kids

* 76% surveyed bake for immediate family with only 5% baking for work colleagues

* Key reasons for baking include providing home baked goods for family (60%), just for fun (55%) and seasonal occasions e.g. Christmas, Easter and birthdays (41%)

* Baking is perceived to require a high skill level, only 1 in 8 (13%) of bakers consider themselves highly competent. Some 41% admit to having a limited skill set but enjoy baking from recipes they know and trust

* Additional barriers including concerns around food waste, lack of utensils and the cost of ingredients

* Despite ever changing tastes, core baking ingredients have remained the same for decades –  flour, eggs, butter, sugar and milk

* The top three barriers to baking were the fear of making a mess (32%), time (29%) and health concerns (29%).

* 45% of Irish bakers prefer to make sweet things, compared to 21% regularly opting for savoury

* Although 8 in 10 report that they bake from scratch, the use of pre-mixes is also common, in particular in households with children. The use of premixes may go unreported as it is considered cheating by some consumers

* Premixes are also considered to have a number of benefits including a good way to introduce children to baking (66%), convenient and time saving (61%) and reduces mess (54%)

* Taste is the most important factor for every-day family baking, however presentation is key for special occasions and treats to be shared outside of the home

* Online is the greatest source of inspiration for home-baking (37%), followed by reliable cook books (19%)

* 14% follow recipes that have been passed down through the generations

* Whilst TV chefs remain very popular, it is online bloggers and social media stars who are now amongst the most popular

* Bloggers with a healthy eating focus are increasingly popular and the best-selling cookbooks in Ireland of recent years have health as their premise.

The purpose of the Bord Bia baking research was to identify and understand macro trends that impact upon consumer behaviour within the baking category. Bord Bia works with home baking manufacturers to use the research findings to help with future innovation, branding and marketing opportunities.

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Busy Brits Present Major Opportunity For On-the-go Dairy Products

British consumers are increasingly looking for food and drink that saves time and allows them to feel they have a better work-life balance. Indeed, 50% of British people feel there are not enough hours in the day to fit in all their desired activities, while 56% report making attempts to reduce the time spent on necessary tasks and chores to free up time for more favorable activities, according to consumer insight firm Canadean.

According to the company’s latest report, it is crucial that dairy brands introduce products designed specifically with consumers’ tight schedules in mind, as highlighted by these survey results.

Ghina Romani, Analyst for Canadean, states: “Breakfast dairy products are most noticeably in demand, with the number of breakfast drinks, yogurts, and cereal pot launches increasing to capitalize on demand.”

A further opportunity, which time-poor consumers present, is the development of products in pouches. In Poland, for example, the Day Up brand launched a breakfast smoothie in a resealable pouch format that does not need refrigeration and is formulated with milk, fruits and ancient grains.

Ghina Romani explains: “Products such as this meet consumer demand for both convenient and healthy products, while also resembling the makeup of a more traditional breakfast, which resonates well with shoppers.”

CanadeanLogoConsumers’ attempts to save time often go beyond simply consuming dairy products on-the-go, as they endeavor to reduce the time spent on cooking and preparing meals. Canadean’s global survey revealed that 37% of consumers in the UK often do not have as much time as they would like to spend on preparing meals or cooking food.

An example of a product which successfully addresses this issue is an item launched by Nabisco in Singapore last year under the Nabisco Easy Cheese banner. The product is a cheddar cheese in an aerosol format that is quick and easy to apply on bread or crackers.

Ghina Romani concludes: “UK dairy companies looking to stay ahead of the competition need to design and innovate convenient products such as the Easy Cheese aerosol that meet demand for fast and easy cooking.”

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Global Juice Drink Consumption to Rise by 5% a Year

Global fruit juice and drink consumption exceeded 80 billion litres in 2015, representing 10% of overall soft drink volume, according to a new report from specialist food and drink consultancy Zenith International. Sales were up 4% during the year, with growth in Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America offsetting declines in the mature markets of North America and West Europe. The market is forecast to rise by an annual 5% over the next 5 years to 105 billion litres in 2020.

“The juice drink market is becoming increasingly diverse, with future advances, particularly in North America and West Europe, dependent on innovative and original products,” comments Zenith Market Intelligence Director Esther Renfrew. “Manufacturers now recognise innovation is imperative in order to gain or maintain success.”

The 2016 Zenith Report on Juice Innovation identifies 8 key areas of product development initiatives since 2014 – original flavours/ingredients, new textures, vegetable juices, cold-pressed juices, reduced/low/no sugar, functional offerings, premium positioning and child-oriented.

“In recent years, the main new product development trends have involved new processing methods, refined product positioning and ingredient emphasis on both flavour and function.  Our 2016 Juice Innovation report serves as an ideal reference for any company seeking to create or expand a presence in the market,” Esther Renfrew concludes.

The Zenith report covers 100% fruit juice, 25-99% juice content nectars and 5-24% juice content fruit drinks. 75 in-depth brand profiles offer product images as well as detailed information such as launch date, packaging type and size, pricing, ingredients, variants and marketing.

Among other points highlighted in the Zenith report:

* Fruit drinks are the leading segment, accounting for around 50% of consumption in 2015.

* 100% juice consumption per person is highest in North America and West Europe, whereas Asia Pacific is the biggest market, amounting to 40% of global sales.

The 2016 Zenith Report on Juice Innovation contains profiles on 75 brands launched between 2014 and 2016 across 5 regions under 8 categories. Contact Zenith International on +44 (0)1225 327900 or e-mail info@zenithinternational.com.

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Overall UK Tea Sales to Drop by 5% in 2016 As Cake Sales Rise

New research from Mintel reveals that over one in three (35%) tea drinkers aged between 55 and 64 drink five or more cups of standard black tea a day, compared to just 16% of those aged between 25 and 34. While a cuppa has been something of a national favourite in the British Isles throughout the centuries, it seems that younger consumers are less enthused about the tea-time favourite. Almost half (48%) of those aged between 25 and 34 say that too much standard black tea can stain your teeth, while 23% of this age group say that the beverage has too much caffeine for them to drink it in the afternoon or evening and one in five (21%) say black tea is not good for hydration. Indeed, it seems young Brits are keen for more extravagant options as two in five (32%) aged 25 to 34 say they prefer more indulgent hot drinks to tea.

What’s more, this age group are the most likely to shun the traditional tea bag for a more exotic tea-time drink. Brits aged 25 to 34 are almost twice as likely to drink speciality teas in comparison to Brits over the age of 55, with half (50%) of those aged 25 to 34 drinking speciality black tea, compared to 26% of consumers over the age of 55. Furthermore, 49% of Brits aged between 25 to 34 drink green tea, compared to less than one quarter (22%) of those aged over 55. They’re also more partial to fruit tea, with almost half (48%) of those aged between 25 to 34 drinking this variety, compared to just 28% of those aged over 55.

As a result, while Mintel research reveals that sales of ordinary tea bags are estimated to have dropped by 14% between 2013 and 2015, sales of green bags grew by 39%, speciality bags by 8% and fruit and herbal bags by 13%. Overall, tea sales in the UK are estimated to drop by 5% in 2016 to reach £614 million.

Richard Caines, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, says: “UK retail value sales of tea have been in decline in recent years, with growth in sales of green, fruit, herbal and speciality teas not enough to make up for a fall in sales of standard black tea which dominates the market. Tea brands need to increase the appeal of their products to 16 to 34 year olds who drink standard black tea less frequently. One way of encouraging more tea drinking among younger consumers is with more choice of flavours and indulgent varieties.”

Cake Sales Show No Sign of Crumbling

MintelCakeWhile tea sales may be in hot water, the latest research from Mintel indicates that cake sales show no sign of crumbling. Cake sales grew in 2015 at the fastest rate since 2011, with the market estimated to have grown by 3% to reach £1.22 billion. The rise in sales comes as cake buyers appear to have reason to celebrate. Sales of celebration cakes are estimated to have reached £204 million in 2015, up by 19% from sales of £172 million in 2013. What’s more, sales of large cakes rose by 5% from £267 million in 2013 to an estimated £280 million in 2015.

Four in five (80%) Brits eat cake and half (51%) of cake eaters say they eat it as a mid-afternoon snack. Eating cake is not limited to tea-time however, as 28% of this group say they eat cake after dinner and 25% have cake as a mid-morning snack. Furthermore, it seems a minority of cake enthusiasts are determined to get their fix first thing, with 6% saying they eat cake for breakfast, rising to 14% of those aged between 20 and 24.

Going forward, Brits are keen to see healthier options on the cake stand. Four in five (80%) cake buyers say they’d be interested in buying cakes made with alternatives to refined sugar, for instance made with honey, molasses or agave syrup. Additionally, 73% would be interested in cakes that use calorie-free natural sweeteners and 71% are interested in cakes made with coconut oil instead of butter.

MintelLogoEmma Clifford, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, comments: “The cake market has not floundered amid the heightened concerns about sugar. However, opportunities are, nonetheless, ripe for operators to explore healthier formulations, with significant unmet demand for such products. In this context, superfood ingredients, including ancient grains, coconut oil and vegetables, can play an important role. These can tap into the current focus on positive nutrition. Alternatives to refined white sugar can also boost perceived health credentials. This offers an alternative to moving to low-sugar formulations, which pose significant challenges for cakes.”

Afternoon Tea Trade a Key Growth Area For Pubs

Finally, while tea-rooms have for a long time been the home of afternoon tea, it seems that there could soon be a rebirth of tradition in Britain’s pubs. While 29% of pub diners have visited a pub or bar for a hot drink only (eg tea, coffee) just one in 10 (9%) Brits have visited pubs for afternoon tea/coffee and cakes. However, Mintel pinpoints the afternoon tea trade as a key growth area for UK pubs.

“That few pubs have made a point of developing or marketing an ‘afternoon tea’ offering is no doubt a key factor in low usage of afternoon teas compared with hot drinks only. This nonetheless suggests scope for more pubs to build revenues by encouraging people to have something with their hot drink. Making items like cakes, biscuits or sweet pastries visible at the bar during the quieter afternoon period should offer a very tangible reminder and proof of the quality of their offering.” Richard Caines concludes.

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Irish Beverage Council Highlights Costs of Proposed Sugar Tax

The Irish Beverage Council (IBC), the Ibec group that represents companies that produce, distribute and market soft drinks, juices, bottled waters and sports and energy drinks in Ireland, has published a new analysis of the impact of a possible sugar tax, which sets out the economic damage to consumers, business and the Irish economy that would result. It also examines the international evidence, which points to no resulting health benefits.

In ‘Sugar Tax: all cost, no benefit’, a detailed report for the Finance Minister in advance of Budget 2017, IBC points out that despite being introduced in a number of countries, sugar taxes have never achieved public health objectives of reducing the consumption of sugar or decreasing levels of obesity, overweight and related diseases.

However, the consequences of such additional discriminatory charges have instead increased grocery bills for families, spurred cross-border trade and smuggling, increased costs on businesses and threatened jobs.

IBC Director, Kevin McPartlan says: “Industry has a crucial role to play in tackling the serious obesity problem in Ireland. However, it is vital that the focus is on interventions that make a genuine and sustained positive impact. A sugar tax may be populist, but it is simply not supported by evidence. International experience proves beyond any doubt that sugar tax is singularly ineffective.

The report finds that a 10c sugar tax on a can of soft drink would result in:

* The average Irish household’s annual grocery bill will increase by €60

* Irish soft drinks companies will lose sales worth approximately €60 million per year

* The Irish exchequer will lose revenue of €35 million per year.

According to the report, if a soft drinks tax is introduced in the Republic then manufacturers, importers and distributors of soft drinks will not be alone in losing significant income due to cross border trade. The VAT which would otherwise be payable on those sales will be lost to the Irish Exchequer. This would have the effect of replacing a stable form of tax income with an extremely unstable one.

Based on the same industry modelling which revealed the level of loss to industry, it has been calculated that tax returns are likely to be reduced by €35 million. IBC urges the Minister for Finance to protect the level of VAT raised in Ireland by discouraging illicit cross border trade in soft drinks.

Kevin McPartlan continues: “Some say a sugar tax should be introduced even if it does nothing to reduce levels of obesity as it would create revenue to fund public health initiatives. Even if we ignore the fact that Department of Finance officials have ruled out such an approach, the revenue lost to cross border trade and the potential cost of lost jobs in the Irish soft drinks sector would greatly reduce and possibly even eliminate the net gain to the exchequer.”

A comprehensive recent report conducted by Food Drink Industry Ireland found that through reformulating existing drinks and introducing new products, IBC members removed over 2500 tonnes of sugar and 10 billion calories from the Irish diet in the seven years to 2012. This was at no cost to consumers. Imposition of a sugar tax would threaten soft drinks companies’ capacity to continue investment in such initiatives.

As Budget 2017 approaches, IBC urges the Minister for Finance not to introduce an additional charge on soft drinks that would achieve no public health benefit but will cost consumers, business and the Irish economy.

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Kvass, East Europe’s Traditional Fermented Soft Drink, Ticks Health Trend Boxes

Kvass, traditional to markets such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic States, accounts for 6% of the East European carbonates market, and has evolved over the years, according to consumer insight company Canadean.

The company’s report states that there are two distinct types of kvass, with overall volumes of around one billion liters in East Europe. Traditionally, kvass was made at home by fermenting bread with water and sugar to produce a naturally fizzy, mild-tasting drink with a malt/cereal flavor.

Naturally-brewed kvass is typically produced by brewers and consumed as a non-alcoholic alternative to beer. Old-style fermented bulk/barrel kvass made from bread waste or malted cereal is still often dispensed in barrels in the street during April to September, and has a shelf-life of 1-2 days.

Antonella Reda, Product Development Manager at Canadean, explains: “Rich in B vitamins and containing beneficial bacteria due to its fermentation, kvass is still widely consumed in countries such as Russia not only for its thirst-quenching properties, but for its healthy digestive benefits.”

Ochakovskiy Kvass (Ochakovo).

Ochakovskiy Kvass (Ochakovo).

The kvass market was revolutionized by the brewer Ochakovo in 2001 with the launch of the first premium-priced kvass product under its Ochakovskiy brand. This product had a long shelf life of 3-6 months and was packed in 150cl PET. Many local brewers and multinational soft drinks producers, such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, followed suit, while multinational brewers, such as Heineken and Carlsberg, also include kvass in their portfolios by virtue of their acquisition activities and local market focus.

Flavored kvass drinks, under legislation specifically in Russia and Belarus, must be labelled as ‘kvass-flavored’ to differentiate them from the naturally brewed product. Flavored kvass sales have, however, been consistently falling since reaching a peak of 622 million liters in 2007 in East Europe.

Antonella Reda continues: “Fermented kvass has benefited from consumer preference shifting towards naturally-derived and perceived healthier, less artificially-processed beverages. However, with Russia being the key consumption market in East Europe, overall kvass volumes contracted in 2015 as consumers cut back on their spending in a climate of recession.”

Interestingly, in China, where the probiotic benefits of fermentation have long been understood, two companies launched kvass with some success in 2013, namely Hangzhou Wahaha Group and Harbin Qinlin Libaosi Food Co. While Wahaha’s volumes have contracted after shifting focus to its core categories, Qinlin and smaller companies showed robust growth in 2015.

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Drinks and Hospitality Industry Vital For Ireland’s Tourism Offer in Wake of Brexit

A new report by DCU economist Tony Foley, commissioned by the Support Your Local campaign, ‘The Contribution of the Drinks Industry to Tourism’, has highlighted the massive and far-reaching role of the drinks and hospitality sector in supporting Ireland’s tourism offer. The report states that the UK vote to leave the EU will impact on the Government’s ambitious targets for the tourism industry, outlined in its 2015 Tourism Policy. Therefore, the drinks and hospitality industry should be supported appropriately as it can contribute to the realisation of these ambitious tourism growth targets. The Support Your Local campaign is calling for a 15% reduction in alcohol excise in the next Budget to support the sector.

The report highlights the significant role of the hospitality sector, with 7193 pubs, 631 hotel bars and 2406 licenced restaurants across Ireland, offering visitors a world-renowned Irish welcome and experience. The pub was mentioned by almost a third of visitors as a positive distinguishing feature of Ireland in 2015, while the pub ranked as the number one potential experience influencing a visit to Ireland in a 2013 Failte Ireland survey. Meanwhile, ‘listening to Irish music in the pub’ was the number one experience visitors enjoyed when they were here.

The report also states that the network of pubs, hotel bars and licenced restaurants across Ireland supports the regional spread of tourism. This is particularly significant as the Government seeks to promote tourism outside of Dublin, through initiatives such as the Wild Atlantic Way. These organisations make a substantial contribution to the positive visitor experience and despite notable struggles in recent years, these small businesses exist in every town and village across Ireland.

The drinks industry also contributes significantly to tourism through the direct provision of major tourism attractions, such as the Guinness Storehouse, Old Jameson Distillery and other visitor centres, like the Kilbeggan Distillery and Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre.  The Guinness Storehouse is the biggest fee-charging tourism attraction in the country. It achieved a record number of visitors of almost 1.5 million in 2015. The Old Jameson Distillery was also in the top 20 of fee-charging attractions with 282,000 visitors in 2015. With the Irish whiskey renaissance in full-swing and Ireland’s beer industry more popular than ever, there are a number of newer visitor centres opening up, and like the hospitality sector, these centres are located all across Ireland, promoting regional tourism.

Tony Foley, Economist at DCU, says: “The tourism industry is expected to be a major source of economic development and employment growth over the coming years, although Brexit will make it much harder to realise the growth potential. To achieve this desirable and demanding growth the tourism industry will need widespread support, including the ongoing substantial direct and indirect support provided by the drinks industry.”

Michael Storan, Campaign Manager for Support Your Local, says: “The report confirms the importance of the drinks and hospitality industry to domestic and international tourism. We are calling on the Government to show support for this industry with a 15% reduction in alcohol excise in the next Budget. This will foster growth in the drinks and hospitality sector and allow it to contribute to the Government’s tourism targets. This is particularly significant in the wake of the Brexit vote.”

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Fibre and speciality carbohydrates market to rise

fb-breadAccording to a new report from Grand View Research, the global market for fibres and speciality carbohydrates is expected to reach $9.84 billion by 2024.

Increasing awareness of gut health among consumers in the US, Germany and China is expected to upscale the requirement of fibres over the next eight years, the insights company said. Furthermore, rising concerns over obesity and gastrointestinal disorders are projected to promote the use of nutritionally enriched foods with reduced cholesterol levels, which, in turn, will drive market growth over the forecast period.

Revenue across the entire fibres and speciality carbohydrates market was $1.42 billion in 2014, according to Grand View Research. Rising consumption of food items with a high level of nutrition content, including breakfast cereals and fortified bread, are expected to have a substantial impact on the market.

Furthermore, an increasing awareness towards the nutritional advantages associated with fibres in the food and beverage is expected to expand the market’s size over the next eight years.

Other key findings from the report include that dietary supplements are forecast for volume growth at a compound annual rate of 8.4% between 2016 and 2024, demand for fibres and speciality carbohydrates are expected to witness growth in light of increasing use of dairy-based derivatives in the UK and France, and the Asia-Pacific market is projected to see revenue growth at a compound annual rate of 9.2% between 2016 and 2024.

Grand View Research, Inc. is a U.S. based market research and consulting company, registered in the State of California and headquartered in San Francisco. The company provides syndicated research reports, customized research reports, and consulting services.

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Chocolate Flavour Scoops Top Spot in UK Ice Cream Innovation

New research from Mintel reveals that there were more chocolate flavoured ice cream products launched in the UK in the past year than vanilla for the first time in eight years. According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) as many as 22% of all new ice cream products launched in the UK in the past 12 months were chocolate flavoured, compared to vanilla at 18%, caramel or caramelised flavours at 13% and strawberry at 12%.

While chocolate is top of the ice cream flavours this year, since 2007/2008 vanilla has been the number one flavour in innovation. After peaking in popularity in 2013/14, when as many as 34% of all products were vanilla flavoured, the popularity of vanilla has been declining steadily with less than one in five (18%) new products launched with a vanilla flavour in 2015/16. Meanwhile, the popularity of chocolate as a flavour in new product development has been rising steadily over the past three years increasing from just 15% of all UK new ice cream products in 2013/2014 to a sublime 22% in 2015/2016.

But it’s not just chocolate that is stirring innovators, as Brits are also sweet on caramel and caramelised flavours. Indeed, the number of new ice cream products with a caramel or caramelised flavour has risen from 6% of all UK new ice cream products in 2011/2012, doubling to a delicious 13% in 2015/16.

MintelIceCream2Alex Beckett, Global Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, comments: “The ongoing popularity of ice cream bars is inspiring ice cream innovators, prompting the rise in chocolate flavours. Also, while health is a booming innovation trend in ice cream, with dairy- and sugar-free launches taking up more freezer space, some brands are going the opposite route and ramping up the indulgent factor. Hence more chocolate and caramel. This is further proof that British ice cream trends eventually emulate those of the US, where chocolate has been the top ice cream launch flavour for years.”

Although chocolate has become prevalent in ice cream, it appears that Brits still want to see more of it – especially the posher stuff. Half (48%) of all Brits are interested in seeing a wide variety of ice cream made with high-quality chocolate from premium chocolatiers and cocoa from a specific region, with the popularity of premium quality products peaking among 16-24 year olds (57%).

MintelIceCream3When it comes to who screams for ice cream, it seems it’s the UK’s young men who are the biggest fans of this frozen treat. Almost three in five (58%) UK men aged 16-24 say they typically eat ice cream once a week or more in the spring and summer months, compared to just 46% of women aged 16-24.

Overall, Mintel research reveals that most Brits are hot for ice cream as just 5% of UK consumers say they don’t typically eat ice cream in the spring and summer months and less than one in five (17%) say they don’t tend to eat the treat in autumn and winter. As a result of their hunger for ice cream, UK consumers are predicted to purchase 337 million litres of the treat in 2016 from retail channels, well over that of Italian consumers who are forecast to scoop up just 284 million litres.

As well as appealing to a nation of chocolate lovers, introducing a hot element to ice cream could help to overcome any aversion to cold food in colder weather. Two in five (41%) UK consumers have expressed an interest in ice cream that comes with a sauce to be heated.

“The ice cream market is notoriously weather dependent and, accordingly, seasonal, with usage dropping during lacklustre summers and in the colder autumn and winter months. Ice cream that comes with a separate sauce to be heated attracts considerable interest among users, potentially offering a means of boosting sales in the chillier months,” Alex Beckett adds.

MintelLogoFinally, Mintel research reveals the popularity gelato enjoys in the US is now making its way across Europe. Having long been a favourite in parlours and scoop shops, gelato has now become much easier to find in US retailers over the past couple of years with as many as 43% of US consumers buying gelato. Consumption of gelato in Europe remains relatively low with under three in 10 German (29%) and Spanish (27%) consumers eating gelato in 2015, falling to fewer than one in five (19%) French consumers. However, Mintel research indicates that the popularity of gelato is spreading globally, and there is strong demand in European markets for gelato to be made more widely available at retail. Mintel GNPD shows a 95% increase in global gelato introductions over the past 5 years. Meanwhile, one in five (20%) Brits believe gelato tastes better than other ice cream, peaking at 31% of 16-24s.

Although it’s widely found in high street gelaterias, in Italy, half (49%) of consumers want to see more gelato in stores. For gelato makers, France also offers huge sales potential as, despite low consumption, French consumers are keen to see more of it: two in five (41%) French ice cream consumers would like to see more gelato available in supermarkets, and 46% of under-34s want to see a wider choice of gelatos in retail.

“While the rest of the world is taking longer to develop a taste for gelato,  there are signs that it could one day boast a global appeal as consumer tastes are becoming more sophisticated. In the UK, consumer appetite for gelato has grown in line with increased new product development activity in supermarkets. A number of supermarkets now have a private label gelato range, and branded offerings are slowly emerging. Gelato is well-placed to continue benefiting from a consumer mind-set that reasons ‘If I’m going to buy ice cream, I want the good stuff’,” Alex Beckett concludes.

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Changing Lifestyles Grow Turkish Desire For Packaged Food and Drink

Turkey is experiencing a number of big shifts in its demographics which is having a positive effect on the packaged food market. Since the 1950s, the urban population has expanded. 75% of Turkey’s total population now live in urban areas. Over 20 cities across the country are home to a million or more inhabitants.

Turkey’s population is relatively young, too. Over 60% of population is aged 35 or under.

A busier, urban lifestyle amongst the population is shaping food consumption habits. Traditionally, Turkish consumers enjoyed food bought, prepared and eaten on the day. Things have changed. Now, Turkey’s young population seems to prefer convenience over freshness, which has seen a rise in demand for frozen and pre-packaged offerings. A rise in the number of women in the workplace, who have less subsequent time for cooking, is further fuelling growth in this sector.

Indeed, urbanisation is playing a major role in changing how Turks consume food. A report from Euromonitor revealed that, between 2009-2011, the packaged food market grew 11% alongside urbanisation rates. Demand for packaged food is only likely to increase, providing exporters to Turkish markets an almost future-proof sector to explore.

Frozen Food Gains Prominence

Frozen food is perhaps benefitting the most from Turkey’s shifting consumer patterns. Not only does this open the door for food producers to enter Turkey but also for chilled logistics companies to make their presence known.

Revenues generated by the Turkish frozen food market totalled $1 billion in 2014; the results of a particularly fertile period for the sector. Between 2010-2014 a compound annual growth rate of 4.7% was observed – demonstrating the growing taste for readily available options amongst Turks.

Key food suppliers of frozen food have also seen their revenues grow across comparable periods. Kerevitas, Turkey’s oldest and largest frozen food producers, enjoyed a 14.7% increase in its sales during 2009-2012. Through its brand Superfresh, Kerevitas controls nearly half of Turkey’s frozen market. Kerevitas’ successes are a good indicator of the burgeoning demand for ready-made products amongst Turkish consumers.

Supermarkets Gain Prominence

As Turkey’s population increasingly focusses on convenience, supermarkets based on Western layouts and business models are expanding their food retail market share. Packaged food, and its increased consumption, is helping fuel this trend.

Food is traditionally bought fresh from smaller grocers, known as bakkals, in Turkey. However, as consumers demand greater choice and cheaper prices, supermarket chains such as BİM, Migros Ticaret and A101, are seeing their revenues increase.

The food retail sector in Turkey is worth close to $726 million. Mass grocery sales are expected to increase by 8% year-on-year by 2018.

It is likely that supermarkets will become the pre-eminent way shoppers buy food in Turkey. In effect, this means exporters should be looking to supermarkets to distribute their pre-packaged foodstuffs across Turkey.

Purchasing Power is on the Rise

Young Turks aren’t just convenience-minded. They’re looking for more luxurious products to complement a rise in spending power. McKinsey predicts that in 2016 23% of Turkish households will enjoy annual incomes of $50,000 or higher.

What does this mean for packaged food? It means the consumer class has more spending power and wants diversified, internationally sourced offerings to satiate its demands. Euromonitor identified in February 2016, that Turkey’s population is buying more artisanal breads and cheeses, alongside other pricier products. Turkish imports of mineral water, for example, have increased in value from $34.3 million in 2010 to the current figure of $67.2 million.

Exporters of packaged food to Turkey should therefore be aware of a growing desire for luxury, high end products. Expect this to rise alongside growth in household incomes.

The above trends are just some of the factors powering Turkey’s expanding packaged food market. As the nation progress economically, it will be interesting to see how consumers’ tastes fluctuate. At present, the onus is very much on international and domestic companies alike to offer Turkish consumers a wide range of conveniently packaged options.

If you’re interested in the Turkish food market, why not attend WorldFood Istanbul in September? Find out more at http://www.food-exhibitions.com/WorldFood-Istanbul or to request more information, e-mail marketing@ite-exhibitions.com.

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Consumer Goods M&A Quadrupled in 2015 With Deal Value Topping $226 Billion

M&A has become the primary source of revenue growth among the top 50 global consumer goods companies as sales growth in the sector slumped to 3.4%, half what it was just five years ago in 2011 (6.7%). This is according to OC&C Strategy Consultants’ 14th annual Global 50 report, in collaboration with the Grocer, which analyses the financial performance of the world’s largest consumer goods companies – the likes of Nestle, P&G and Pepsico.

The report reveals that M&A deal value quadrupled from $56 billion in 2014 to $226 billion in 2015, with a flurry of large deals making 2015 the biggest year of M&A in the sector since 2008.

Two mega mergers – ABInbev-SABMiller and Kraft-Heinz – accounted for $175 billion or three quarters of the total, but the increase in M&A activity was also driven by: further consolidation in cash rich but low growth tobacco; Brazil’s JBS expanding into Europe with its acquisition of Moy Park; and Heineken purchasing four mid-sized businesses in emerging markets.

This comes in response to a further decline in underlying organic year-on-year sales growth of 0.4% for the top 50 – equating to $4 billion in lost revenue.

The slowdown in BRIC markets, particularly China, has hit FMCG companies hard. The growth rate of China’s FMCG markets fell by more than half from 7.4% in 2013 to 3.5% in 2015 – a far steeper decline than the country’s GDP growth rate decline (7.7% in 2013 to 6.9% in 2015).

But macroeconomic factors are only partly to blame for the growth problems faced by the Global 50.

Will Hayllar, Partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants.

Will Hayllar, Partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants.

Will Hayllar, Partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants, comments: “The Global 50 consumer goods giants are finding their very business model under siege from all sides. Smaller local competitors continue to gain share in not just BRIC but also Western markets, and private equity firms like 3G Capital have been demonstrating a different, more efficient way to run an FMCG giant. 3G Capital has increased the profit margins of ABInbev, Kraft and Heinz by between 8 and 10 percentage points. Shareholders are now challenging the cost structures of other Global 50 giants in search of similar boosts to profitability.”

He continues: “Meanwhile, nimble local players have been stealing share across the board. In Western markets, their success has been fuelled by exploiting fragmenting customer demand and savvy use of digital.”

The research shows that the Global 50 are working hard to find a way out of these doldrums, however, with mergers and acquisitions just one of the levers being pulled to find growth.

Marketing spend was up by 0.7% of sales, R&D by 0.1%, together contributing an $8 billion boost in investment and leaders in the industry have been embracing digital across the value chain in a further bid to drive growth.

OC&CLogoWill Hayllar adds: “Greater investment in R&D and marketing, and the surge in M&A activity show that the Global 50 aren’t taking tough market conditions and aggressive competition lying down. But there’s an additional growth lever that certain FMCG businesses are embracing better than others, and that’s digital innovation.”

He elaborates: “Consumer goods companies need to be thinking about how digital can bring value across their whole business: from supply chain optimisation and digitally facilitated new product development, to marketing and direct to customer sales. The digital revolution has also heightened the war for talent, with FMCG businesses increasingly losing out to tech players in the race to attract the top graduates. Those who embrace digital ways of working and a more entrepreneurial culture will be better placed to attract and harness the talents of the digital native generation.”

OC&C and The Grocer’s Global 50 Top-10 2016

  1. Nestle AG (1)
  2. Procter & Gamble (2)
  3. Pepsico (3)
  4. Unilever (4)
  5. JBS (5)
  6. Coca Cola Company (7)
  7. AB Inbev (6)
  8. Tyson Foods (8)
  9. Mondelez (9)
  10. L’Oreal (11)

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British Attitudes Towards Cooking in the Home

New research from Mintel reveals three in five (60%) 16-34s like experimenting with new cooking trends and ingredients, compared to 51% of UK consumers overall. However, whilst young consumers show a passion for experimental cooking, they appear to be in hot water in the kitchen as many struggle to master the basics.

Two in five (39%) Brits aged 16-34 say it’s hard to know when meat is cooked to a safe temperature, compared to one quarter (26%) of consumers overall, and over one third (37%) of young cooks say they prefer not to handle raw meat when cooking, compared to an average of 27%. What’s more, one third (34%) say it’s hard to get the seasoning right when cooking compared to just 22% overall.

Although the majority of young consumers love to cook, it is deemed too difficult by almost half (46%) of 16-34s who agree that cooking from scratch produces too much washing up, compared to one third (33%) of Brits overall. What’s more, 44% think preparing raw ingredients is a hassle, for example peeling and chopping, up from a national average of 32%.

Anita Winther, Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, comments: “Brits are, on the whole, confident in the kitchen. Most who cook are happy to put meals together using whatever ingredients they have at home and to modify recipes based on whatever is available in the kitchen. However, Britain’s young cooks are lagging behind. Tutorials, as well as products that provide guidance, should appeal to these less confident cooks and help boost brands’ relevance among this group.”

MintelFoodWhilst there is a generational divide in kitchen skills, Mintel research reveals that there is also a split in how the nation seeks recipe ideas. When looking for inspiration, cooks aged 16-34s are more likely to look online (53%), than to look in a cookbook (37%), while one quarter (24%) of young consumers look for inspiration using recipe apps. Cooks over the age of 55, however, are more likely to look in cookbooks (49%) than search online (22%) or use an app (11%).

Overall, in the UK friends and family are the biggest source of cooking inspiration. Some 44% of those who cook from scratch or partly from scratch turn to their friends and family for ideas.

“Friends and family are the most common source of recipe and meal ideas for home cooks. This underscores the importance of word of mouth when it comes to new foods, with cooks relying on the experience of people they know to build trust in new products,” Anita Winther continues.

Today, cooking from scratch features on the weekly menu for over nine in 10 (93%) Brits who prepare meals at home, with as many as three in 10 (28%) doing so five times or more per week.

But rather than a chore, it seems for many, cooking is a labour of love. Half (50%) of Brits who cook meals from scratch or partly from scratch say that they do so because they enjoy it, followed by the fact that they have control of what goes into the food (49%) and to save money (47%).

“The majority of Brits find pleasure in cooking. Focusing marketing messages on the enjoyment found in cooking should provide ingredient and meal component brands with a means to tap into this emotional aspect of cooking,” Anita Winther concludes.

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Over 40% of Young Consumers Snack Regularly

Over a third of consumers globally say they snack regularly, with the figure rising to just over 40% for young people aged 18-34, as the practice of modular eating becomes more accepted as an alternative to eating three main meals a day, according to consumer insight firm Canadean.

The company’s latest report finds that consumers snack for a variety of reasons such as the functional need for an energy or nutritional boost, the psychological need to de-stress or indulge, and needs dictated by occasion, such as watching a movie, attending a sporting event, or socializing with friends.

As more consumers turn to snacks to fulfil a wide range of needs and occasions every day, the potential opportunities for snacking brands are enormous right across the health-indulgence and sweet-savory spectrums.

Katrina Diamonon, Principal Consumer Insight at Canadean, explains: “While it is important for brands to acknowledge and address the snacking needs of all consumers, it is particularly crucial to understand the motivations of younger consumers. Not only are they more frequent snackers, but their purchase behaviours and preferences will strongly influence other current consumers and also subsequent generations as they pass on these traits to their children.”

Canadean finds that a range of rational and emotional needs beside hunger can be addressed through snacking, and these reasons differ according to age. As millennials tend to prioritize meat in their diets more highly than their older counterparts due to its perceived health benefits, manufacturers should capitalize on the meat snack segment and explore new opportunities.

Katrina Diamonon continues: “Manufacturers are increasingly experimenting with a range of proteins, formats, and gourmet flavors to elevate consumption from convenience-store snacks to an exciting taste experience and even credible meal replacement. Improved sourcing transparency and ethical production of such offerings is also enhancing premium credentials.”

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Developing Economies Set to Drive 4.6% Growth in Global Dairy and Soy Food Market by 2020

The global dairy and soy food market will rise from US$617.9 billion in 2015 to US$773.4 billion by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of 4.6%, according to consumer insight firm Canadean.

The company’s latest report states that this cautious growth will be driven primarily by emerging and developing markets in Asia-Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa (MEA) and East European regions, in contrast to West Europe and North America, whose economic fragility has resulted in risks of weaker market growth.

According to Kiran Akkineni, Analyst for Canadean: “Changing consumer preferences and purchase patterns due to socio-economic and demographic changes have created new market dynamics. While the key markets of Western Europe and North America have witnessed stagnancy in liquid milk consumption paired with fast growth in processed and soy products, developing countries have recorded steep growth in demand for dairy products owing to their fairly low per capita consumption.”

Consumption of milk in North America is currently declining as consumers opt for alternative beverages such as juices and vitamin-infused water. By contrast, the rise in per capita consumption of dairy by the growing middle-class population in developing markets in the APAC, MEA and Eastern Europe regions will drive growth in the dairy and soy foods market.

Canadean’s analysis reveals that consumers in developed markets tend to base their beverage choices on their level of personalization, whether they can be consumed on-the-go, and whether they can provide a novel experience. Consumers in emerging countries including Brazil, China and India, on the other hand, place a greater emphasis on nutritional value, following health and wellness trends.

Kiran Akkineni continues: “Despite these regional differences in beverage consumption, value-for-money remains an important differentiating factor globally, as consumers opt for products perceived to provide this. Consequently, there is considerable rise in demand for discount brands and private label products. The global dairy and soy food market is highly fragmented with the top 5 brands holding less than 6% market share. Mengniu, Activia, Amul, Kraft and Yili were the leading brands by market share in 2015.”

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UK Sports Nutrition Market Bulks Up

Muscle milks, protein bars and energy gels, while once sports nutrition products were solely used by bodybuilders and Olympic athletes, it seems today the appeal of these products has stretched out to the UK’s everyday exercisers. New research from Mintel finds that as many as one in four (24%) Brits have consumed a sports nutrition product* in the past 3 months**, rising to 42% of men aged 16-24.

With many consumers fuelling up on sports nutrition, there has been a sprint in sales of the products. UK consumers spent £66 million on sports nutrition food and drink products in 2015, up by 27% from 2013 when sales stood at £52 million. And it seems that rather than an occasional added extra, these products are now store-cupboard staples. Almost half (47%) of consumers who use the products say these are part of their everyday diet.

Setting the pace for consumption, Mintel research finds that young consumers and high-earners are the core users of these products. Over two in five (42%) UK consumers aged 16-24 have consumed sports nutrition products in the past three months, as have three in 10 (31%) of those with a household income of over £50,000. These groups are also the most likely to be keen exercisers – while 50% of Brits say they exercise for 30 minutes more than once a week, this rises to 64% of UK consumers aged 16-24 and 63% of those with a household income of over £50,000.

Emma Clifford, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, comments: “Used by one in four people, sports nutrition food and drink enjoys surprisingly widespread use despite its specific function as supporting sports and fitness. As a result, sales are booming and at the heart of this strong performance is that the appeal of these products is expanding beyond the small pool of the most elite sportspeople and gym fans. The category is increasingly attracting ‘lifestyle’ users who see these products fitting in with a healthy, active lifestyle. Fuelling the shift towards the mainstream use is the growing availability and visibility of accessible snacks and drinks from sports nutrition brands.”

Protein Based Products

In terms of today’s usage, the top two sports nutrition products used are protein based. Over the last 3 months around one in ten (9%) Brits have eaten protein bars while the same number (9%) have used protein powders. However, it’s not only sports nutrition products that are bulking up with protein. According to Mintel GNPD (Global New Products Database), the number of food and drink products launched in the UK with a high-protein claim rose by 97% between 2014 and 2015 and 498% between 2010 and 2015.

MintelLogoOutside of sports nutrition products, 25% of UK consumers have consumed any high-protein food and drink in the past three months, rising to 35% of people who exercise at least once a week. And many consumers are in agreement in terms of the benefits of these products, over a third (36%) of adults believe there are at least three separate advantages to eating or drinking high-protein products. The leading factors among those who use high-protein products is to make sure you’re getting enough protein (41%), to generally support a healthy lifestyle (37%) and to keep fuller for longer (36%). What’s more, a quarter (25%) of consumers who use these products say they do so to lose or maintain weight.

“High-profile activity from big-hitting brands has given the high-protein trend mainstream visibility in recent years. The wide-ranging benefits linked to protein have been responsible for pushing it into the spotlight in the context of healthy eating. These multiple positive associations mean that usage of high-protein products is not limited to consumers with a single dietary want or need,” Emma Clifford adds.

While consumers who don’t see any benefit of high-protein products are in the minority at just 29%, it seems not all consumers are agreed on the power of protein. Over a third (37%) of Brits say the current focus on high-protein diets is just a fad.

On the other hand, many consumers are hungry for further high-protein product innovation. Over a quarter (28%) say there aren’t enough high-protein prepared meals, while 24% would be interested in adding protein powder to meals to increase their protein intake.

“Despite a rise in high-protein new product development in prepared meals, these options remain few and far between, suggesting ripe opportunities for further development in this area,” Emma Clifford concludes.

*Any food or drink product tailored for sports of exercise

**3 months to May 2016

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Record Value For the EU Agri-food Trade Balance in April 2016

The EU agri-food trade balance stood at the record value of €1.5 billion in April 2016, compared to €1 billion in April 2015, according to the latest monthly statistical report. In the same month, exports were worth almost €11 billion.

For the past 12 months, EU agri-food exports reached a value of almost €129 billion, representing an increase of 2.8% compared to the same period one year ago. The increase of EU agri-food exports to China was particularly significant with +29% over the last 12 months. This month’s report focuses on pigmeat, one of the EU agri-food flagship products accounting for around 5% of the total agri-food value. Since the Russian sanitary ban was implemented in 2014, pork formerly exported to Russia has been mainly reoriented towards certain Asian countries such as China and the Philippines, which were already growing destinations before 2014. For April 2016, pork was the agri-food product that witnessed the highest increase in monthly export values.

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Teagasc Technology Foresight Report

The Teagasc Technology Foresight 2035 report has been presented to the European Commission. The Technology Foresight Project involved consultation with over 200 experts and industry stakeholders to identify the technologies which will transform the Irish agri-food and bioeconomy sector over the next twenty years.

According to Dr Noel Cawley, chairman of Teagasc: “The Teagasc foresight report has identified the technologies that will shape the farms and food companies of 2035 as farmers embrace the scientific understanding and knowledge that is continuously emerging from research. Farming and food processing is becoming smarter as more data emerges.”

One of the central focuses of the conference is the Teagasc Foresight Poster Exhibition. Five technology themes were identified as being the priorities for Irish research and innovation in the coming years and each one is depicted on a single poster:

* Plant and Animal Genomics and Related Technologies

* Human, Animal and Soil Microbiota

* Digital Technologies

* New Technologies for Food Processing

* Transformation in the Food Value Chain System.

The full report is available at http://www.teagasc.ie/publications/view_publication.aspx?PublicationID=3897

Teagasc director, Professor Gerry Boyle, says: “New technical developments are emerging at an increasingly fast pace and progress is happening across a broad spectrum of technologies. These developments will allow the European agricultural sector to tackle the challenges of climate change, wider sustainability concerns, on farm productivity, living standards in rural areas and the quality of the food produced.”

Teagasc director of research, Dr Frank O’Mara says that one of the features of the technologies is the need for partnership to ensure their implementation. “New partnerships will be necessary at industry level, for instance between food and ICT businesses, and new research partnerships that bring about a convergence of disciplines will be needed to ensure the needed transformations of the agri-food sector can happen.”

CAPTION:

Pictured from (left to right): Professor Gerry Boyle, director of Teagasc; Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development; Dr Noel Cawley, chairman of Teagasc; and Dr Frank O’Mara, Teagasc director of research.

 

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West Europe Water Coolers Up 2%

64,000 extra water coolers were installed across West Europe in 2015, marking a 2.3% increase and taking the total to 2.9 million, according to a new report from the sector’s leading specialist consultancy Zenith International.

The number of bottled water coolers edged up by 0.1%, their first growth since 2006.  The figure for point of use mains water coolers units rose by a further 5.1%, continuing their advance towards gaining a majority share. They now account for 44.9% of the market, compared with 43.8% in 2014.

The United Kingdom retains the lead for water cooler installations at 22.4% of the total. Italy and France also saw modest gains, at 17.5% and 16.0% shares respectively. The growth in bottled water coolers was driven mainly by Italy (+3.8%) and Spain (+3.3%). Mains water coolers achieved double digit growth in Austria, Portugal, Switzerland and France, closely followed by Germany and Spain with growth of over 9%.

“The water cooler industries in many of the bigger European markets have returned to a stable growth path, fuelled by a positive economic climate, greater business confidence and stronger perceptions of water as a healthy means of hydration,” comments Zenith International Market Analyst Iuliana Boda.

In a third consecutive year of growth, the volume of water sold through bottled water coolers in West Europe rose by 1.6% in 2015 to 1,247 million litres, with significant gains in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Portugal. A hot summer had a major influence on this.

Zenith forecasts that, by 2020 the total West European market will advance a further 11% to 3.2 million units, with mains water coolers accounting for 49% of the total.

The 2016 Zenith Report on West Europe Water Coolers contains over 500 pages of market commentary, charts and tables including 16 country profiles and over 150 company profiles. Contact Zenith International on tel +44 (0)1225 327900 or e-mail info@zenithinternational.com.

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Well-off British Consumers Bankroll the Good Life

Jet-setting, gourmet dining and sparkling wine – new research from Mintel finds that certain markets are flourishing as a result of the UK’s two-track recovery. Indeed, as higher earners are feeling better-off, they’re indulging themselves by spending on experiences and enjoying themselves. Holidays, leisure and entertainment are all doing well, while the recession-era ‘lipstick effect’ is fading.

Indeed, Mintel research finds that the two-track recovery is still very much alive and kicking. Almost four in 10 (38%) of those with a household income of £50,000 or over say they feel better off compared to a year ago, compared to just 16% of those with an income of under £9,500.

Ina Mitskavets, Senior Consumer and Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel, says: “Britain’s economic growth over the last few years has outstripped many other major economies, and wages have been rising above inflation. Whilst there has not been a big improvement in overall consumer confidence, better-off Britons are clearly pulling away from the rest. Higher earners feel more confident about their finances and show more willingness to spend across more indulgent categories, such as leisure, holidays and foodservice. The term ‘lipstick index’ refers to people’s tendency to buy smaller ‘feelgood’ treats instead of spending on larger-ticket items. However, as people’s incomes have picked up, there is less need to spend in this fashion.”

The findings come as Mintel launches its flagship ‘British Lifestyles’ report, which tracks spending across all major consumer markets. Overall, the research found that total consumer expenditure in the UK reached £1,126 billion in 2015, representing an increase of 1.7% on 2014. The uplift in spending comes as some are feeling more prosperous: one in four (26%) Brits say they are better off compared to a year ago. Meanwhile, over half (53%) say they’re about the same, whilst one in five (20%) say they are worse off.

Highlights from the 2016 report include:

Rise in scratch cooking whips up sales of groceries, whilst sales of milk are soured by supermarket price wars

Value sales in the in-home food market edged up 1.5% year on year in 2015 to reach £77.1 billion. With close to a fifth (18%) of consumers saying they’ve increased their spending on in-home food over the past year, Mintel research shows that the rise of cooking from scratch and emphasis on healthy eating is having a fruitful effect on the market. Three in 10 (29%) consumers are cooking at home from scratch more than they were a year ago, and sales of herbs, spices and seasonings grew by 3% in 2015 to reach £344 million. Meanwhile, sales of stocks have also benefitted, growing by 9% in the same time period to reach £139 million.

On the other hand, the supermarket price wars, Mintel estimates, wiped more than £200 million off the value of the dairy drinks, milk and cream market in 2015. Despite the falling milk prices, half (51%) of those who drink standard cow’s milk say they’d be prepared to pay over £1.00 for a four-pint bottle of milk.

MintelFoodThe rise of the ‘everyday foodie’ plates up success for gourmet foodservice venues

The UK is still very much a culinary nation, with the foodservice market reaching an estimated £36 billion in 2015, serving up a rise of nearly 3.5%. And Mintel research finds that restaurant critics should be watching their backs, as one in three (34%) diners today considers themselves to be a ‘foodie’, while over half (57%) of diners say that they like to experience new flavours.

As a result, gourmet offerings helped sizzle up success in burger and chicken restaurants in 2015. Whilst 7% of fast-food visitors say they have switched from fast food restaurants to gourmet burger restaurants, this helped grow spending in the overall chicken and burger bar market by 5% in 2015 to reach £4.7 billion.

Juice market squeezed as the war on sugar rages

Along with cordials and squashes, fruit juices and smoothies appear to have been hit by consumer concerns over sugar, with the non-alcoholic drinks market seeing growth of just 1% in 2015. One in nine (11%) UK adults are buying less fruit juice or smoothies compared to six months before, 34% of those buying less/not buying are doing so because of concerns over sugar, compared to 24% who have done so to save money.

It’s plain sailing as a result, however, for sales of bottled water, which are estimated to have grown by 5% in 2015. Overall, bottled water sales grew by 29% in value and 25% in volume terms between 2010-15.

MintelCraftBeerQuality over quantity mindset causes sales of sparkling wine and craft beer to fizz

With 28% spending less on alcoholic drinks out of home and 22% doing so in-home, it seems that when Brits do decide to spend, they prefer to treat themselves. This is reflected in the market’s performance in recent years – while volume growth has largely stagnated, value sales continued to rise, reaching £43 billion in 2015.

Notably, volume sales of sparkling wine grew by 14% in 2015 to reach 107 million litres (£1.3 billion). What’s more, ‘craft’ labels are continuing to boost sales of beer, with the beer market worth £16.7 billion in 2015. Around one in six (16%) Brits bought craft lager in the three months to November 2015, whilst 18% purchased a craft ale/bitter.

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Gourmet Teas in Pouches Will Appeal to Busy Consumers Craving Quality Hot Drinks

Hot drinks such as tea and coffee are a staple of busy consumers’ lives. However, an apparent lack of time means consumers often turn to “quick” options such as microwaveable products, which are often perceived to compromise on taste. To target those looking for a higher quality on-the-go beverage, brands have started devising novel packaging solutions in order to break the stereotype of convenience-quality trade-off.

14.5% of the total volume of Hot Drinks consumed worldwide are selected because they’re the most convenient product, according to consumer insight firm Canadean.

The company’s report, which features research into convenience hot drinks, finds that the increasing demand for time-saving versions of these products presents an exciting opportunity to benefit from the enduring lack of time consumers face.

Veronika Zhupanova, Analyst for Canadean, says: “A number of on-the-go solutions have already been rolled out to cater to these consumers, such as microwaveable ready-to-drink cups, or sealed cups that simply require hot water, and solid chocolate on a stick that allows consumers to brew their own hot chocolate without the need for a spoon. While consumers are on the lookout for more convenient solutions, they often consider them as of a lower quality than their less convenient counterparts. To offset this, manufacturers must market products as of a premium class through top-quality packaging materials, designs, and packaging claims.”

CanadeanLiquidIntelligenceLogoVeronika Zhupanova continues: “Packaging innovation should be used to enable on-the-go occasions for hot beverage connoisseurs. Manufacturers have to find ways to cater to tea-loving busy consumers either by highlighting quality of tea bags, a technique which has been practiced for a while now, or by coming up with solutions that allow them to enjoy loose tea on-the-go.”

Recently, Grower’s Cup Tea Brewer rolled out a drink in a pouch, described by the manufacturer as offering the freedom “to enjoy a gourmet tea experience regardless of place and situation”. The product is packaged as a stand-up pouch allowing consumers to brew loose tea on-the-go. Additionally, the pouch can be refilled with consumers’ own loose tea, enabling them to save costs without compromising convenience or product taste.

Veronika Zhupanova adds: “This product represents genuine innovation within the hot drinks market due to its refusal to compromise on quality despite being a convenience product, and its cost-saving, refillable design.”

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McCormick predicts grilling trends

grilled_meatThe annual McCormick Flavor Forecast has been released and this year is GRILLING EDITION. This grilling-specific report reveals the flavours and techniques that McCormick believes will be firing up grills and inspiring backyard bashes all season long — from bold Brazilian sauces to brazen burger rubs and elevated Japanese marinades.

“The summer of 2016 will be all about incorporating smoky, spicy, tangy flavours in new ways we’ve never seen before,” said McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. “For instance, cabbage goes way beyond coleslaw – flavour thick-cut cabbage steaks with a smoky sweet marinade, grill then top with bacon and blue cheese for the ultimate grilled side.”

The trends include: 

  • Bold Brazilian Sauces – With all eyes on Brazil this summer, it’s time to discover the country’s range of vibrant signature sauces – from fruity to fiery – that jack up skewered meats.

TRY IT NOW: Red Chimichurri Sauce – This red hot version of the classic chimichurri sauce gets big flavour from cumin, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper — the perfect finish for skewered meats flavoured with a Brazilian Steakhouse Marinade.

  • Brazen Burger Rubs – Take rubs beyond steaks and ribs. Over-the-top burgers get a knockout punch from flavourful spice rubs that create a caramelized outer layer.

TRY IT NOW: Smoky Maple & Sage Breakfast Pork Burger – Rubbed with a smoky, herb and pepper blend, this ground pork burger is then sandwiched between two Belgian waffles drizzled with syrup and topped with melty cheddar, crispy bacon and a fried egg.

  • Savoury “Steaks” – Prove your grill game with seasoned fruit and veggie “steaks.” Marinate them, grill and load with bacon, toasted coconut, cheese, nuts and more for surprising sides, shared apps and meatless mains.

TRY IT NOW: Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Bacon & Blue Cheese – Cabbage goes from bland to bold when soaked with a Smoky Applewood Marinade then “beefed” up with crispy, crumbled bacon and blue cheese.

  • Heat + Tang + Smoke – Fresh chilies paired with tangy vinegars and mustards offer a daring flavour contrast when fired up with smoke.

TRY IT NOW: Grilled Chicken Po Boy Sandwich with Spicy Creole Mustard Sauce – A twist on the iconic sandwich, this grilled version combines Creole mustard, charred orange vinegar and hot blackened pepper for a mouth-watering sandwich that will get your taste buds tappin’.

  • East Meets Grill – Create zesty Asian marinades and sauces on the fly with a simple equation: Sweet + Soy + Spice. Just swap spices for next-level Japanese, Malaysian, Thai or Korean flavours.

TRY IT NOW: 7 Spice Teriyaki Shrimp with Spicy Citrus Yum Yum Sauce – Marinate shrimp in an amped up Japanese 7 Spice version of the classic teriyaki, then dunk in a creamy Yum Yum sauce for a grilled shrimp dish that’s the real deal.

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Report analyses sports drink opportunity

DohlerSportsA new report from beverage development consulting company MyDrink Beverages notes that functional sports drinks have been used by athletes for decades – but now, an increasing number of non-athletes are turning to them as a low-calorie way to stay energised. The report suggests that as more people become health-conscious and seek an active lifestyle, the sports drinks category will continue to expand.

MyDrink Beverages says the report aims to explore the marketing strategies that have made businesses in this category successful. To this end, the company has looked at ten successful products all launched in the United States or Europe in the past few years.

These functional drinks are increasingly sought out for their health benefits.

“Sports drinks are becoming multi-functional, incorporating rehydration, nutrition and recovery to benefit the body before, during or after sports,” said Juste Akmenskyte, Partner Marketing Consultant at MyDrink Beverages. “It used to be that most sports drinks contained electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride, and a high percentage of sugar. But now an increasing number are being made with natural ingredients, which appeals more to health-conscious consumers.”

The report finds that choosing the right consumer segments is a vital element in soft drinks marketing. The companies that were most successful targeted niche consumer segments, rather than the mass market.

The report suggests that the under-34s are a key consumer segment for functional sports drinks.

“With high production and marketing costs, these beverages are usually expensive,” said Akmenskyte. “However, as practice shows, an increasing number of Generation Z and Millenials are health-aware and willing to pay the premium for products that are better for them.”

The MyDrink Beverages report also finds that it’s increasingly viable to market these drinks as suitable for children. Previously, sports drinks were unsuitable for children due to the inclusion of artificial ingredients like colour and flavour additives. However, now with beverages that contain natural and organic ingredients, drinks companies can benefit from the involvement of this rather new consumer segment.

Since functional sports drinks contain numerous health benefits, companies have found success in promoting their brand by educating consumers en masse.

“The consumers need to be collectively educated (via TV shows, various health blogs, social media, product packaging, etc.) in order to understand the benefits of new functional sports drinks for their health and sports performance,” said Akmenskyte. “To achieve the best results, it’s also useful for different means of communication and media to be interrelated and support each other. Local sampling event can be engaging through social media, video advertising can then lead to social media engagement and so on”.

MyDrink Beverages says that the report is grounded in qualitative research. It presents the findings of extensive market studies, consumer surveys, research in social media and specialised blogs, and interviews with the business people behind the ten successful products used as case studies.

“By looking at these recent successes in our report rather than focusing on long established players,” said CEO Adomas Pranevicius, “we intend our report to show entrepreneurs in the drinks industry what it takes to build a successful brand from scratch. It presents the marketing strategies which helped drive results and build the brand image of the 10 sports drinks used as case studies, while providing insights about opportunities for new sports drinks.”

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Report: organic contains 50% more omega-3

meatA new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than non-organic. In addition to organic milk and meat, the nutritional differences also apply to organic dairy like butter, cream, cheese and yoghurt. The study is said to be the largest systematic reviews of its kind and led by Newcastle University and an international team of experts.

Key findings included

  • both organic milk (dairy) and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products
  • organic meat had slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats linked to heart disease
  • organic milk and dairy contains 40% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – CLA has been linked to a range of health benefits including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and obesity, but evidence is mainly from animal studies
  • organic milk and dairy contains slightly higher concentrations of iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids
  • organic milk contains less iodine than non-organic milk

“This research confirms what many people have always thought was true -what you feed farm animals and how you treat them affects the quality of the food – whether it’s milk, cheese or a cut of meat,” said Helen Browning, chief executive of the Soil Association. “These scientists have shown that all the hard work organic farmers put into caring for their animals pays off in the quality of the food they produce – giving real value for money.”

“Organic farming methods require all organic farmers to adopt techniques that guarantee nutritionally different foods. Following research in 2014 confirming nutritional differences between organic and non-organic crops like fruit and vegetables – we can now say for certain that organic farming makes organic food different.”

According to the Soil Association, the difference in omega 3 is because organic animals have to eat a more natural grass-based diet containing high levels of clover. Clover is used in organic farming to fix nitrogen so that crops and grass grow (instead of manufactured/chemical fertilisers), and this research has found that clover also increases the omega 3 concentrations in meat and milk. Under organic standards, organic cows must eat a 60% fresh grass based diet or hay/silage (conserved grass).

Historic research highlighted that organic milk contained less iodine. However, the industry has taken steps to address this. OMSCo (the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative) representing over 65% of the UK’s organic milk supply, announced that in 2015 organic milk had achieved comparable levels of iodine to conventional and in 2016, following recent testing of bottled milk, they announced these levels of iodine have been maintained.

“We initiated projects to boost iodine levels and applied these to our farmer members’ enterprises, and by early 2015 we announced that we’d achieved comparable levels with those in the conventional market,” said Richard Hampton, managing director at OMSCo. “Our latest results have shown that one year on from the initial milestone we’re maintaining those levels.”

“We farm organic red meat on a grass-based, home-grown forage diet which delivers a superb quality,” said Richard Smith, senior farms manager from organic meat producers Daylesford Organic. “In addition to other benefits of producing food in an organic system, this land-mark paper now also confirms what we’ve always known; there is also a significant nutritional difference between organic and non-organic.”

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UK Sales of Crisps Lose Their Crunch

Healthy lifestyles and the rise of the discounter appear to be chipping away at sales of crisps. Indeed, new research from Mintel reveals that sales of potato-based and other snacks, such as tortilla chips and popped chips, overtook sales of potato crisps in 2015. Whilst sales of potato crisps are estimated to have declined to £1.34 billion in 2015, sales of potato-based and other snacks are estimated to have reached £1.39 billion.

Mintel research shows that whilst sales of potato-based and other snacks have been making a packet over the past five years, rising by 25% between 2010 and 2015, sales of potato crisps rose by just 8% over the same time period. Indeed, Mintel research shows that sales of potato crisps have been in decline for the past two years, falling from a high of £1.39 billion in 2013.

MintelLogoDespite falling sales, it seems British consumers still have a hunger for snacks. Over nine in 10 (92%) Brits have eaten any crisp or crisp-style snack in the past three months, with more than three quarters (78%) having eaten standard potato crisps, whilst 48% have eaten other types of crisp-style snacks, such as cheese puffs, and 45% have eaten tortilla chips.

Furthermore, despite their notoriously unhealthy status, over four in five (82%) Brits who eat crisps and crisp-style snacks say that eating crisps is fine as an occasional treat, with just 4% disagreeing. What’s more, over one third (37%) of Brits say that a sandwich isn’t the same without crisps on the side.

Amy Price, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, comments: “The crisps market is experiencing deflation, with manufacturers and retailers turning to discounting to drive volumes as part of the supermarket price wars, and the category is losing out to healthier alternatives, such as potato-based snacks. Despite this, the majority of consumers have a relaxed attitude to crisps, agreeing they’re fine to eat as a treat.”

PepsiCoWalkersProductionCompressedAlongside falling sales, Mintel research shows that there is a decline in potato-based snack product innovation. Whilst one in five (20%) snacks launched in 2010 were potato snacks, this fell to just one in eight (12%) snack launches in 2015. On the other hand, popcorn has seen a burst in product innovation as 7% of snack products launched in the UK were popcorn products in 2015, up from just 3% in 2010.

As a result, sales of popcorn are popping, rising by 169% over the past five years to reach an estimated £129 million in 2015. Over one third (35%) of Brits have eaten popcorn in the three month period, rising to half (49%) of those aged 16-34.

And it seems there is further scope for innovation as nearly half (49%) of consumers say they’d be interested in trying new popcorn flavours. Furthermore, one in four (24%) say that popcorn is healthy even if it’s flavoured, for example with caramel.

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Lager Struggles to Retain its Fizz as Consumption Drops in Britain

It seems that Britain’s lager segment is struggling to retain its fizz, as it faces particularly strong competition from the rising popularity of ales and bitters, whose success has been fuelled by the craft beer boom. Indeed, new research from market intelligence agency Mintel reveals that 49% of British consumers drank lager in 2015, down from 54% in 2014.

Furthermore, Mintel research shows that consumers’ waning thirst for lager is affecting sales, with volume sales falling from 3.18 billion litres in 2014 to an estimated 3.15 billion litres in 2015. Overall, sales of lager have dropped by 8% over the past 5 years alone, down from 3.44 billion litres in 2010.

Yet whilst Brits are losing their love of lager it seems ‘hop-portunity’ knocks at ale’s door, helped along by the rise of craft beer and styles such as IPAs (Indian pale ales) in particular. Brits are expected to have drank 913 million litres of ale and bitter in 2015, up from 895 million litres in 2014. Today, more than one quarter (27%) of Brits drink ale or bitter, whilst one in five (20%) drink any type of craft beer.

MintelCraftBeerWhat’s more, Mintel research indicates that lager’s falling fortunes are having a detrimental effect on overall sales of beer. Brits are estimated to have consumed 4.25 billion litres of beer in 2015, down from 4.27 billion litres in 2014. Meanwhile, value sales growth has slowed, rising only slightly from £16.61 billion in 2014, to an estimated £16.68 billion in 2015. There are however signs of growth in 2016 and Mintel forecasts value sales to reach £18.1 billion by 2020.

Chris Wisson, Senior Drinks Analyst at Mintel, says: “Lager sales have plateaued in recent years, however it could enhance its chances of growth by tapping into the craft beer movement more effectively. With the majority of craft beers available in both the on- and off-trade falling into the ale and bitter segment, these beers have garnered considerable coverage in recent years. Many craft brewers have prioritised ales, brewing variants such as pale ale, for example IPA and golden ale, in turn driving the popularity of premium bottled ales. Overall, the beer market should benefit from greater craft innovation, as well as sales uplifts from events such as the Olympic Games and UEFA Euro 2016.”

Additionally, it seems that cost is having an effect on the nation’s appetite for beer, with as many as one fifth (20%) of UK beer drinkers saying they are not willing to pay more than £2.99 for a pint. While three in 10 (29%) beer drinkers overall are prepared to pay more than £4 per pint, it’s Londoners who are more willing to open their wallets, with 27% willing to pay over £4.50.

Chris Wisson continues: “The steady rise in price over the past decade has given rise to notable consumer resistance in having to spend more on beer, particularly when it comes to breaking the £4, and even £5 barriers. Brands asking consumers to pay more for beer need to provide clear reasons for doing so, for example via packaging or branded glassware, as well as delivering a discernibly superior taste to cheaper mainstream alternatives.”

MintelLogoFinally, Mintel research finds that for some consumers it’s not just the type of beer that’s important. Today, the top three glassware preferences for out of home beer drinkers are the nonic (27%), the tulip (16%) and the tankard (14%) style of beer glasses.

Indeed, whilst once traditionally a favourite of the more mature male drinker, the tankard now garners the most interest among younger men. One quarter (26%) of 18-24 year old male out-of-home beer drinkers state that their favourite type of glassware to drink pints from is the tankard. The half pint, on the other hand, is more preferred by women, with one fifth (19%) of out-of-home female beer drinkers saying they most like to drink beer from this type of glass, compared to just 6% of men.

“Tankards used to be a highly popular glass but fell out of favour in recent decades, largely due to their high production costs. However, there are significant advantages of this glass type, notably the handle which means that drinkers do not have to hold the body of the glass, warming their beer in the process. There are signs that the tankard is seeing a return in popularity as the favourite of younger male drinkers, most of whom were not drinking during the tankard’s previous period in the spotlight, buoyed by the craft ale movement,” Chris Wisson concludes.

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Africa Beer Growth Predicted to Outperform Asia

A new report by Canadean expects Asia to account for the highest consumption level of beer while Africa will show the fastest growth rates across the globe.  Asia continues to record the highest consumption level according to Canadean’s latest Gobal Beer Trends report. Asia is set to grow at an average rate of 3% until 2020 reaching nearly 900 thousand hectolitres, while Africa is forecast to register an average growth rate of 5% from 2015 to 2020. This is in strong contrast to the more mature markets in East and West Europe and North America where 1% or even less is predicted from 2015 to 2020.
CanadianAfricanBeerJanuary2016

Emerging Africa Markets Will Drive Growth

The Africa region is anticipated to see an incremental volume increase of over 37 thousand hectolitres by 2020. “This notable growth will be fostered by the flourishing economic parameters such as increasing GDP growth rates, fast growing urbanization and above all the rising population with a working age demographic set to surpass that of China and India” says Piyumika Jayasena, analyst at Canadean.

South Africa is by far the biggest volume contributor for the region, followed by Nigeria and Angola, while in terms of the per capita consumption Seychelles, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon will take the lead with more than 100 litres by 2020 respectively.

However, as depicted in the following ranking table, it is evident that Zambia is rapidly increasing its consumption volume surpassing Mozambique, Congo (Brazzaville), Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe and Burundi by 2020. Kenya and Ethiopia are also climbing the volume ladder. “The consumption growth in these markets will be stimulated by the consumer migration from home brewed to more commercially brewed beers and consequently towards premium brands. It will further be backed by the booming population in these markets”, adds Piyumika Jayasena. It has been an interesting fact to note that brewers are increasingly engaged in producing more innovative non-malt based products to further enhance the consumer base of the regular beer.

On the other hand this lucrative market is challenged by lack of infrastructure, political unrest in certain countries like Nigeria and Kenya, the outbreak of epidemics such as Ebola virus in 2014, heavy excise duties and so forth. “Yet the region is set to linger its alluring untapped resources, both natural and human, in to becoming the fastest growing beer consumption region in the arena” adds Piyumika Jayasena.

CanadeanAfricanBeerJanuary2016

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Just 15% of British Consumers Regard Themselves as Unhealthy

New research from market intelligence agency Mintel reveals that just one in six (15%) British consumer say they are either somewhat or very unhealthy, with half of the nation (50%) describing their general health as either very or somewhat healthy.

But when it comes to the amount of effort people put into staying healthy, very few put the ‘no pain no gain’ mantra into action. Indeed, around one in 20 (6%) say they are strict with themselves to ensure that they are as healthy as possible, with almost half (46%) saying they follow healthy habits most of the time. And whilst one third (33%) go through phases of being healthy and getting into bad habits, one in seven (14%) say they don’t put in much effort or thought into staying healthy.

What’s more, Mintel research highlights there is a gender gap in how much effort is put into staying healthy. Just one in 10 (10%) women say they don’t put much effort or thought into staying healthy, compared to one in five (19%) men.

Ina Mitskavets, Senior Consumer and Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel, says: “Most Britons take a balanced approach to their health. Very few people admit to being strict with themselves when it comes to their health, with the majority of adults allowing themselves to get into bad habits at least some of the time. Furthermore our research shows that women are more likely than men to follow healthy habits most of the time. Some of this can be explained by the greater caretaking and nurturing role women tend to assume in their families and a bigger focus on their appearance.”

MintelLogoIndeed when it comes to what drives healthy lifestyles, it seems for women appearance in everything. The top reason women indicate as the most likely to prompt them to make changes to their current lifestyles is wanting to improve their appearance, with over half (54%) citing this reason, followed by feeling generally unfit (53%) and after advice from a GP or health professional (43%).

In comparison, men cite wanting to improve their appearance as the fourth reason that would prompt them to change their lifestyle (36%), behind feeling generally unfit (43%), after advice from GP or other health professional (41%) and serious illness (38%).

Despite this, overall men and women are agreed in attitudes towards leading healthy lifestyles. Indeed, two thirds (66%) of Brits agree exercise and healthy eating are equally important for staying in shape, whilst over half (55%) say that well-balanced meals are better for you than following a fad diet.

“Men are still, for the most part, considered to be the breadwinners, and being in a stable financial position rather than health is priority number one for today’s men. Perhaps one way of selling health to men is for health and fitness brands to put more focus on illustrating the positive impact regular exercise and balanced diet have on work productivity and mental focus, leading to higher earnings and a more satisfying career.”

Moreover, whilst the top three habits considered important for staying healthy are the same for both genders – with getting regular exercise (64%), limiting or not smoking (61%) and eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day (54%) topping the charts – it seems many don’t take there own advice. Just 47% said they actually got regular exercise over a year, whilst 52% limited or did not smoke, and 43% said they ate at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

What’s more, it seems that health priorities differ amongst different age groups. Approaching two in five (37%) 16-24s say that having an active social life or a good circle of friends is important to staying healthy and feeling well compared to 19% of those aged 45-54. What’s more, over half (57%) of those aged 45-54 say that limiting of not drinking alcohol is important, compared to 45% of those aged 25-34.

“Even though people know what they need to do to stay healthy, many struggle achieving their healthy goals, owing to a lack of time and/or money. The biggest deficit is evident in the amount of exercise people think they should be doing and that they actually do. To address people’s lack of time, fitness brands and operators could focus on the benefits of intense, short bursts of exercise that can more easily fit into busy routines,” Ina Mitskavets concludes.

Finally, Mintel research shows that the health of the nation actually shifted between 2014 and 2015. In August 2015, just over one third (36%) of consumers in the UK said they were somewhat healthy, down from 42% in April 2014. However, the proportion of consumers citing themselves as very healthy has risen from 11% to 14% in the same time period.

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New Dawn For British Gin-naissance

New research from Mintel reveals that although over half (56%) of white spirit and RTD (ready-to-drink) drinkers think that gin is an older person’s drink, it is younger consumers who are the most likely to drink gin. Over two in five (42%) Brits aged 18-34 have drunk gin in the past 12 months, compared to just over a quarter (27%) of over-45s.

Indeed, Mintel research shows that these younger drinkers in particular should help to boost sales of gin to more than £1 billion for the first time in 2015 (£1.04 billion), up by 25% since 2012 when sales stood at £829 million. Brits are expected to drink 29 million litres of gin in 2015, with one third (33%) having drunk it within the past year. Mintel forecasts that gin sales will continue to rise and reach £1.31 billion by 2020.

And it seems that sales of gin could be just the tonic for the white spirits sector overall. While 60% of Brits drink white spirits, and 17% drink four or more types, volume sales of white spirits and RTDs have stagnated in the past four years and are estimated to stand at 217 million litres in 2015.

Chris Wisson, Senior Drinks Analyst at Mintel, comments: “The strong performance of gin continues to stand out within the spirits market, and is widely seen as the most sophisticated type of white spirit by category users. One of gin’s sobriquets is ‘Mother’s Ruin’ and the drink still has certain associations with older drinkers, contributing to it being likely to be seen as an older person’s drink and the least likely as a young person’s drink. However, our research indicates that gin is in fact now most likely to be drunk by younger consumers, suggesting that it has a chance to forge a dynamic image and move into even more innovative areas.”

While gin has helped to raise the spirits of the category in recent years, white rum is in the midst of stormy waters. Over the past year, sales are expected to have declined by 6% to £411 million in 2015, and are forecast to sink further to £378 million in 2020. One third (34%) of Brits have drunk white rum in the past 12 months, with Mintel research finding that just 11% of white spirit/RTD drinkers see white rum as value for money.

MintelLogoElsewhere in the drinks cabinet, vodka sales have shot up by 8% over the past five years to reach £3.46 billion in 2015. Indeed, vodka is still the most popular white spirit sold, with its sales  accounting for 61% of the total white spirit market’s value. Almost half (48%) of Brits have drunk vodka over the past year, with two in five (39%) white spirit/RTD drinkers seeing vodka as good value for money and half (47%) agreeing that it is ideal for using in cocktails. Mintel research shows that white spirit/RTD drinkers are most likely to say that vodka is their favourite type (30%), followed by gin and white rum (20% and 17% respectively).

“Vodka continues to dominate sales within the category and the beverage enjoys a number of favourable associations, namely its mixability, unisex appeal and value for money. While vodka and gin have thrived, white rum has found recent years altogether more challenging. Our research shows that white rum fails to stand out in a competitive spirits market and this is one of the likely reasons why it has struggled in recent years.” Chris Wisson adds.

Meanwhile, with the season for gift-giving now upon us, drinks such as spirits are well placed to capitalise. While only 15% of white spirit/RTD drinkers state that they would not buy any types of white spirits as a gift, budgets appear to be tight among those who are willing to do so, as half (49%) of white spirit/RTD drinkers say that they are not willing to spend over £20 on a white spirit bottle as a gift.

More encouragingly for the sector, Mintel research shows that there is a willingness among consumers to trade up when purchasing white spirits. A third (32%) of those who drink white spirits/RTDs agree that they would be prepared to pay more for craft white spirits, such as those made by smaller producers, rising to 45% of men aged 25-44.

“Gifting is a good way of encouraging consumers to trade up within the market. However, gifting is leveraged less effectively within the white spirits category than it is in markets such as whisky, which sees a significant spike in volume sales for occasions such as Father’s Day and Christmas. There are opportunities for brands to stand out from the pack and tap into this opportunity, for example via eye-catching packaging, limited editions or small batches and interesting flavour innovation.” Chris Wisson concludes.

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British Consumers Cheesed Off With Cheddar

In kitchens across the UK cheddar is a refrigerator staple, but according to new research from Mintel purchase of this traditional British cheese is crumbling. Indeed, in the three months to July 2015, 82% of UK consumers had bought cheddar cheese, down from 87% in 2014.

Just as purchase of this British favourite has fallen, so too have sales, with the cheddar market declining 3% over the past two years, from 187 million kg in 2013 to an estimated 181 million kg in 2015. Despite this decline in volume sales, cheddar remains the nation’s most widely bought type of cheese and is estimated to make up 48% of UK cheese value sales in 2015, down from 51% in 2013.

While Brits still recognise cheddar’s versatility as an ingredient, with 70% seeing this type of cheese as well suited for many dishes they cook, it seems they’re reluctant to turn to it in times of celebration. Just one in eight (13%) say that cheddar is good for special occasions, compared to over a third (36%) who say the same of soft continental cheese such as Brie or Camembert.

Richard Ford, Senior Food Analyst at Mintel, says: “Cheddar, as the nation’s go-to cheese, is the most exposed to changes in wider consumer trends such as shifts in usage of carrier products like bread. What’s more, cheddar’s popularity as by far the most widely bought cheese in UK retail also looks like its downfall, as most consumers fail to see it as good for special occasions. This could hamper cheddar’s ability to capitalise on Brits’ increased spending power as real incomes grow in 2015.”

MintelLogoToday, demand for cheddar cheese seems to be strongest among older consumers. The vast majority (90%) of consumers aged 65 and over bought cheddar in the three months to July 2015, compared to 74% of those aged under 35.

Whilst British tastes for cheese are changing it seems so too is the way consumers are eating it. One in eight (14%) cheese buyers say they are buying less block cheese than they did a year ago, whilst more than one in 10 (12%) cheese buyers say they are buying more sliced or grated varieties.

“Across the board, the cheese market is witnessing a period of change. For example, our research indicates that a number of consumers are switching from block cheese to sliced and grated formats. To encourage younger consumers to buy more cheddar, operators need to bring more excitement to the table.” Richard Ford adds.

Whilst sales of cheddar have been dwindling, as a result the overall cheese market in the UK has seen growth slow. Mintel’s research shows that cheese sales are estimated to have risen by just 0.5% in the past year to reach £2.59 billion in 2015.

Although whilst cheddar has taken a knock, recipe cheeses such as feta and territorial cheeses, such as Red Leicester, have seen a hearty rise in volume sales over the past two years, increasing by 10% and 6% respectively.

MintelCheese2“On the whole, the cheese category is expected to see only slight volume growth in 2015, largely due to the largest segment – cheddar’s – lacklustre performance. In contrast, strong sales from recipe and territorial cheeses suggests consumers may be seeking greater variety in their cheese purchases.” Richard Ford adds.

Finally, Mintel research reveals consumers have a strong interest in product innovation. A promising half (53%) of Brits agree they would be interested in seeing recipes that use cheese in unusual ways. What’s more, 31% say they’d be interested in trying block cheddar flavoured with premium ingredients such as truffle and one in four (25%) agree that mayonnaise flavoured with cheese would appeal to them.

“There is a marked openness among consumers for using cheese in unusual ways. That suggestion of lesser-known pairings would be widely welcomed, points to scope for operators to build additional usage occasions for cheese.” Richard Ford concludes.

Mintel’s Cheese UK 2015 report is available to purchase priced £1750.

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