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Jun 20, 2017 / Richard Hall

59 acquisitions in May

An active month. 59 food and drink transactions were recorded on the mergers and acquisitions database during May, including a record 11 on a single day – the 24th.

Exceptionally, however, there were none over $1 billion or even $500 million. The biggest in May was the $446 million US private equity purchase of Nutraceutical International by HGGC.

Of the 59, 10 were in alcohol, 10 in soft drinks, 5 in dairy, 5 in nutrition and 3 each in bakery, equipment, frozen food, ingredients, meat and packaging.

The deals took place across 24 countries. 35 were within national boundaries, including 19 in the United States and 8 in the United Kingdom. 24 were international.

Overall, the United States featured in 28, the United Kingdom in 14 and Germany in 4, then China, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands and Spain each in 3.

Jun 15, 2017 / Richard Hall

Brain fuel launch by Nestle

Last month, Nestlé launched a milk powder in China for people over the age of 50, to help their brains stay fitter for longer.

It’s a remarkable ambition. The Yiyang brand already offers an array of protein and nutrition powders for adult nutrition.

This goes further in seeking to improve brain response and memory, thereby delaying the effects of ageing.

The market could be huge as the proportion of the Chinese population over 50 is expected to rise from the current 28% to around 50% by 2050.

“As an old Chinese saying goes, ‘diet cures more than the doctors’,” a Nestlé representative commented.

Jun 13, 2017 / Richard Hall

Truth about action on obesity

“You can’t just pull 1 or 2 policy levers, you need to pull 50.” This was the conclusion of Richard Dobbs, Senior Partner at McKinsey and author of a major study on obesity in 2014, commenting recently on its $2 trillion global economic impact.

He made 3 other observations, which also chimed with my own thinking.

• ‘Politicians are distracted by single policies’, such as soda taxes, because it is easier to target a single sector than a coalition of resistance.

• ‘Industry lacks the level playing field that regulation can create’, such as common international nutrient profile standards for claims.

• “Everyone from retailers and manufacturers to the drug companies … were all united in wanting to fix the problem. “

It’s time for policy makers to focus on ingestion not gesture.

Jun 9, 2017 / Richard Hall

UK diet – what else ?

Concluding my selection of highlights from the latest British Government Family Food survey, I note:

• Meat consumption has generally been falling, while fish consumption has tended to rise.

• Bread purchases, excluding pre-packed sandwiches, have dropped by 50% in 50 years.

• Potato purchases have fallen 20% since 2005, with fresh potatoes declining most.

• Sodium intake is in long term decline, but still 11% above the recommended maximum 2.4 grams per day, at 2.65 grams in 2015.

• Eating out accounted for 11% of total energy intake and 22% of sodium intake in 2015.

• All vitamin and mineral intakes reached 100% or more of the minimum Reference Nutrient Intake where set, except for potassium.

• Fibre intake at 14.5 grams per person per day is 3.5 grams below the recommended 18 grams.

• Between 2007 and 2015, households saved 4.8% on unit prices by trading down to cheaper products. Poorer households traded down less.

Jun 8, 2017 / Richard Hall

UK diet – fruit and vegetables

Today I turn to trends in British fruit and vegetable consumption.

• “Households purchased 3.9 portions of fruit and vegetables per person per day in 2015.” This is more positive than some other sources, especially as it excludes purchases out of home as well as fruit and vegetables in composite meals, but it is based on purchases rather than consumption with no allowance for waste.

• Lowest income households purchased 11.2% more fruit and 8.2% more vegetables than in 2008, in contrast to wider general declines.

• Household purchases of fruit including fruit juice have fallen 17% since peaking in 2006. Fruit juice purchases have fallen 17% since 2012.

• Household purchases of fresh green vegetables have fallen 25% since 2005.

Jun 7, 2017 / Richard Hall

UK diet – dairy

Today’s focus is on some notable dairy trends in the British diet.

• Household consumption of skimmed milks accelerated in 1983, overtook whole milk in 1992 and now outpaces whole milk by almost 4:1.

• Butter purchases have increased steadily since 2005.

• Saturated fatty acids accounted for 14.4% of food and drink energy intake excluding alcohol in 2015, exceeding “the recommended maximum in all age groups.”

Jun 6, 2017 / Richard Hall

UK diet – beverages and sugar

Following on from yesterday’s blog about general British dietary trends, today I have extracted some more detailed findings on beverages and sugar.

• Household consumption of low calorie soft drinks overtook regular soft drinks in 2015.

• Non-milk extrinsic sugars fell from 14.8% of total food energy intake in 2001/02 to 12.8% in 2015, but remain substantially above recommendations.

• Soft drinks accounted for 15% of household non-milk extrinsic sugars in 2015.

• Alcohol accounted for 15.3% of weekly household spending on all food and drink.

• Self reported alcohol consumption “could be 40 per cent or more lower than actual consumption.”

Jun 5, 2017 / Richard Hall

What do UK families really eat ?

I’ve now had a chance to digest Family Food 2015, published by the British Government in April and based on a survey of 5,000 households, with comparisons going back as far as 1942.

What did I discover ?

• Average calories consumed have fallen 32% since 1974 on a comparable basis to 2,173 calories per day in 2015, with 11% of these coming from eating out.

• The key 2015 contributors to household energy intake, excluding eating out, were:

BLOG-What do uk families really eat

More tomorrow.