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Aug 15, 2019 / Richard Hall

World’s top 10 dairy brands

Brand Finance’s new global ranking of the top 10 dairy brands includes just 3 from Europe, with 2 from China, 2 from North America, 2 from Asia and 1 from the Middle East.

The 10 most valuable dairy brands in 2019 are:

In contrast to the soft drinks chart, many of these brands are predominantly in a single country. The globalisation of dairy companies is well advanced, but branding has yet to follow.

Aug 14, 2019 / Richard Hall

World’s top 10 soft drinks brands

The world’s top 3 soft drinks brands are worth more than the top 3 food brands, according to Brand Finance’s new 2019 rankings.

The 10 most valuable soft drinks brands are:

I would highlight 4 insights from this.

• Coca-Cola is reported to be worth more than twice Pepsi.

• 3 functional drinks feature strongly in the top 10.

• Fanta and Sprite have seen substantial uplifts.

• Hot drinks brands lag soft drinks brands.

Aug 13, 2019 / Richard Hall

World’s top 10 food brands

Brand Finance recently produced its annual global ranking of food and drink brands.

Over the next 3 days, I shall look at the top 10 in 3 categories. First, food.

The most valuable food brands in 2019 were:

These include some dramatic changes, with China’s Yili and Mengniu performing particularly strongly alongside Lay’s, McCain and Kellogg’s. Nestlé remains at number 1, with more than twice the value of second ranked Danone.

Nestlé also has the most valuable food and drink portfolio, followed by PepsiCo and Coca-Cola.

Aug 8, 2019 / Richard Hall

Rehabilitating dairy fat

For 40 years, the advice has been clear. Avoid saturated fat. Now, a major new study says this was wrong. Saturated fat in dairy products is good, after all. Milk makes it ok.

The advice comes from a notable team led by Professor Arne Astrup from the University of Copenhagen in a report entitled “WHO draft guidelines on dietary saturated and trans fatty acids: time for a new approach,” published in the British Medical Journal.

The report looks at dark chocolate, eggs and meat as well as butter, cheese and yogurt.

• For butter, it finds butter was: ‘weakly associated with all-cause mortality; not associated with CVD, CHD or stroke; and inversely associated with diabetes.’

• For cheese and yogurt, it concludes they are ‘inversely associated with CVD risk; a high intake of cheese is associated with an 8% lower risk of CHD and a 13% lower risk of stroke.’

• For dairy generally, it notes dairy is a ‘major source of protein, calcium and other nutrients’, finding association ‘with lower risk of mortality and major cardiovascular disease events’ as well as ‘significantly lower incidence of diabetes.’

So the 2018 WHO draft guidelines, which recommend reducing saturated fat intake and are currently open for consultation, “fail to take account considerable evidence that the health effects of saturated fat varies depending on the specific fatty acid and on the specific food source.”

“A focus on total saturated fat might have the unintended consequence of misleading governments, consumers and industry towards promoting foods low in saturated fat but rich in refined starch and sugar.”

This is so critical because non-communicable diseases accounted for 72% of all deaths worldwide in 2016. Cardiovascular disease was responsible for 45% of these. The draft WHO guidelines rely heavily on 84 studies that focus on total saturated fat and ignore food sources.

My thanks to Global Dairy Platform for pointing all this out.

Aug 6, 2019 / Richard Hall

73 acquisitions in July

July was not only a big month for the number of food and drink company transactions, with 73 deals recorded on the mergers and acquisitions database, it was also a month of big numbers.

There were 7 over $500 million, including 5 over $1,000 million:

• $11,300 million in beer for Japan’s Asahi to buy Carlton & United Breweries in Australia from Anheuser-Busch InBev.

• $2,500 million in packaging for Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to combine with Luxembourg’s Ardagh in creating Trivium Packaging in Netherlands.

• $2,200 million in biscuits for US-based private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to purchase Arnott’s in Australia from US-based Campbell Soup.

• $2,000 million in foodservice for Performance Food Group to gain Reinhart Foodservice from Reyes Holdings in the United States.

• $1,700 million in food for US-based PepsiCo to take over Pioneer Foods in South Africa.

Among the 73 total, 12 were in alcohol, 8 in soft drinks, 6 in packaging, 5 in dairy, 5 in snacks and 4 in ingredients.

39 were within national borders, 24 of these in the United States and 10 in the United Kingdom. 34 were international.

Overall, 22 countries were represented. The United States featured in 36 and the United Kingdom in 15, followed by Germany on 8, France on 7, then Belgium and Spain each on 4.

Jul 25, 2019 / Richard Hall

Alcohol minimum pricing impact

The world’s first experiment with minimum unit pricing for alcohol started in Scotland on 1 May 2018 and initial results have now been reported.

The main reason for the scheme was to curb the availability of very low priced beer, cider and spirits in shops encouraging consumption, especially by problem drinkers, leading to illness and early death – an average of 22 deaths per week.

The minimum price was set at £0.50 per unit, so a 2 unit 50cl can of lager at 4% alcohol by volume cannot be sold below £1 and a 28 unit 70cl bottle of whisky at 40% alcohol by volume must be priced at £14 or more.

A 3 litre bottle of high strength 7.5% alcohol by volume cider used to cost as little as £4 but cannot now be sold less than £11.25.

So, what was the impact ? Actually, not that much, it seems.

• Pure alcohol consumption has fallen 3% since 2017.

• This is faster than an average decline of 1% a year through supermarkets and off-licences since 2010.

• There has been “no real change in what we are choosing to drink”.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that smaller shops are now more competitive, but there has also been an increase in product theft.

Jul 23, 2019 / Richard Hall

Latest world population forecasts

Forecasts by the United Nations on 17 June project that the world’s population of 7.7 billion today will rise by 26% to 9.7 billion by 2050 and by a further 12% to 10.9 billion by 2100.

India will become the world’s most populous country by 2030, increasing to 1.6 billion in 2050, with China rising then falling back to the current level of 1.4 billion.

Nigeria is on course to take third place in 2050, having jumped from 95 million in 1990 to 201 million in 2019 and reaching 401 million in 2050.

Indeed, Sub-Saharan Africa will account for more than half of global population growth up to 2050, doubling over the next 30 years to 2.1 billion. With a current birth rate of 7 children per family, Niger’s population could even triple.

In contrast, 27 countries have had declining populations since 2010 and 55 countries are predicted to experience declines up to 2050. Some of the biggest reductions have been in East Europe.

Syria, Bangladesh and Venezuela have lost the highest numbers due to emigration, with the United States and Germany seeing the greatest immigration.

Average life expectancy is expected to continue increasing. In 1990 it was 64.2 years. For 2019 it has increased to 72.6 years. By 2050, it is expected to reach 77.1 years.

I’m hoping for more years, too. Along with quality and sustainability.

Jul 18, 2019 / Richard Hall

Decomposition quiz

Well, it’s summer and the holiday season is upon many of us.

So here is a quiz about how long it takes for a range of commonly used materials to decompose.

There figures are taken from a recent article in The 10 materials are listed below. The answers follow.

It would, however, be so much better to collect and re-use as much as possible.