Skip to content
Jun 13, 2019 / Richard Hall

US organic up except dairy

US organic food sales rose 5.9% to $47.9 billion in 2018 and now account for almost 6% of all food sales, which grew by 2.3%.

Reasons highlighted by the Organic Trade Association include “clean, transparent, fresh, sustainable … environmentally friendly, animal humane, high quality, social activism.”

Fruit and vegetables were the biggest segment at $17.8 billion, up 5.6% compared with a 1.7% increase for all fruit and vegetables.

Dairy and egg sales were $6.5 billion, a rise of 0.8%. Organic eggs jumped 9.3% to $858 million, meaning organic dairy fell back.

The Association emphasised the need for continuing dairy innovation to combat the advance of plant-based products, acknowledging 2018 successes for “milk beverages with increased protein, more full-fat dairy products, new flavours and grass-fed products.”

Jun 11, 2019 / Richard Hall

Bottled water not replacing tap

New analysis from the US-based International Bottled Water Association finds that: “Since 2006, approximately 69% of the growth in bottled water consumption has come from people switching from carbonated soft drinks and fruit drinks.”

An IBWA survey of consumer views shows:

• 93% want bottled water available where other drinks are sold

• 89% drink bottled water on the go

• 82% of employed Americans drink bottled water at work

• 75% drink bottled water at home.

These figures speak volumes.

Jun 6, 2019 / Richard Hall

55 acquisitions in May

55 food and drink transactions were added to the mergers and acquisitions database in May. 4 were over $500 million:

• $1,500 million for the initial public offering of meat-free Beyond Meat in the United States

• $1,000 million for Japan’s SoftBank private equity arm to purchase Colombia’s Rappi food delivery business

• $575 million for Amazon and others to buy into the UK-based Deliveroo food delivery service

• $510 million for Sealed Air to take over Automated Packaging Systems in the United States.

Among the 55 total, 9 were in alcohol, 5 in ingredients and soft drinks, 4 in CBD and packaging, and 3 each in dairy, food delivery and meat-free.

A substantial 13 fell into new categories that had not been significant 5 years ago – 4 in CBD, 3 in food delivery, 3 in meat-free, 2 in plant-based and 1 in meal kits.

An even higher 15 were funding rounds of some kind.

Out of 21 countries affected, the United States had stakes in 25, the United Kingdom in 14, Canada in 7 and France in 4. 33 were inside national borders, 19 of these in the United States, 9 in the United Kingdom and 3 in Canada.

Jun 4, 2019 / Richard Hall

European plastic targets set in stone

After much debate, the European Union formally adopted its single-use plastic directive on 21 May, with 3 key areas of action mandated:

• 2021 ban on single-use plastic balloon sticks, cotton buds, cutlery, plates and straws

• plastic bottle collection of 77% by 2025 and 90% by 2029

• PET bottle and cap recycled content of 25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030 for sizes up to 3 litres.

Many industry groups and individual companies have already made pledges about collection and recycled content, but these targets will require concerted effort and investment.

It’s unfortunate that PET bottles are included as a single-use item, when they can be re-used as well as fully and repeatedly recycled.

Nevertheless, the European Council’s argument is powerfully put. “Beverage bottles that are single-use plastic products are one of the marine litter items that are found most on beaches … This is due to ineffective separate collection systems and low participation in those systems by consumers.”

May 30, 2019 / Richard Hall

Global Beverage Insights poll

Immediately after the UK Soft Drinks Industry Conference, Zenith Global held a day of briefings and discussion on Global Beverage Insights with the theme of ‘Charting the future.’

The delegate polling came to many more fascinating conclusions …

• China and the United States were predicted to have the biggest influence on global beverage market development over the next 5 years, each receiving 47% of votes.

• For the technology development likely to have the biggest impact, 56% replied new ingredients/packaging, compared with 24% for e-commerce and 16% for direct delivery.

• 50% believed established companies will lose 5-9.9% of market share to innovative start-ups, with 30% saying more and 20% saying less.

• For the emerging market with the greatest growth potential, selected because they are the subject of new Zenith Global reports, 57% went for zero alcohol, 18% cannabis, 14% alkaline and 11% fermented.

• By 2030, 65% anticipated more fragmentation, 27% more consolidation and 8% more confusion.

• The biggest difference by 2030 was expected to be in packaging and distribution, scoring 35% each, then products on 26%, with very low scoring for communication, payment and taxation.

• As to who will be held most responsible for beverage impact by 2030, 43% identified consumers, 39% brands, 9% government and 4% retailers.

May 29, 2019 / Richard Hall

UK Soft Drinks Industry poll

This year’s UK Soft Drinks Industry Conference, organised by Zenith Global in conjunction with the British Soft Drinks Association, attracted a record number of delegates to focus on its theme of ‘Crafting the future.’ Among a variety of delegate polls …

• 46% expected 2019 UK soft drinks volume growth of 2-3.9%, with 31% saying more than 23% saying less.

• 66% believed plastic/sustainability/waste is the biggest issue facing the industry today, compared with 20% for sugar/obesity/health.

• 47% felt functionality/added benefit is the biggest opportunity, with 27% opting for craft/personal/premium and 20% for wellness/natural.

• On packaging sustainability, 40% selected consumer education as the first priority, followed by 24% for collection consistency and 19% for recycling capacity.

• On the Soft Drinks Industry Levy’s effect, 60% viewed it as positive, 30% negligible and 10% negative.

• For the best future impact on sugar concerns, 33% chose sweetener naturalness, 26% sweetener taste and 15% a wider sugar tax.

• The greatest adult soft drink opportunity was perceived to be alcohol free beer/wine/spirits with 39% support, followed by herbal/botanical with 29% and mixers with 17%.

May 14, 2019 / Richard Hall

64 acquisitions in April

A total of 64 food and drink industry transactions were recorded in the mergers and acquisitions database during April.

5 amounted to more than $500 million, with 3 of them over $1,000 million:

• $3,400 million in cannabis products for Canada’s Canopy Growth to buy US-based Acreage Holdings

• $1,700 million in wine for US-based E&J Gallo to purchase 30 brands from Constellation Brands

• $1,300 million in snacks for Italy’s Ferrero to take on selected North Amercian brands and facilities from Kellogg

• €885 million in food for PAI private equity and Charles Jobson to acquire Dutch-based Wessanen

• $510 million in soft drinks for Butterfly private equity to win Bolthouse Farms from Campbell Soup in United States

Among the 64, 11 were in alcohol, 10 in dairy, 7 in snacks, 6 in soft drinks, 4 in services and 3 each in ingredients, packaging and plant-based.

32 took place within national borders, 18 of these in the United States. 32 were international, involving 22 different countries.

The United States featured in 36 of the 64, the United Kingdom in 9, France in 7, Canada in 6, Netherlands in 6, Spain in 4, Germany in 3 and Norway in 3.

May 9, 2019 / Richard Hall

World wine rankings – 3

Growing trade

International trade in wine has grown strongly since 2000, except for a noticeable dip in 2009, but this slowed in 2018, with volume up 0.8% to 108 million hectolitres and value up 1.2% to 31.3 billion euros.

Spain was the biggest volume exporter in 2018 at 19% of the global total and France was the biggest value exporter with a 30% share.

5 countries accounted for more than half of global imports.

In terms of wine types and packs traded internationally in 2018:

• Bottled still wine fell to 53% of volume and 70% of value.

• Sparkling wine rose to 9% of volume and 20% of value.

• Bag-in-box wine advanced strongly to 4% of volume and 2% of value.

• Bulk wine over 10 litres lost volume to 34% but gained value to 8%.