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Feb 21, 2017 / Richard Hall

No sense in blocking no calories

Can this really be true ? France is rightly concerned about obesity.

But its latest reported action makes no sense to me.

• It has singled out one product group of soft drinks
• in one limited group of foodservice outlets such as canteens and schools
• and banned unlimited free refills.

When you read the small print, you find that this applies to drinks with sweeteners as well as added sugar. So, that includes no calorie drinks too.

The ban also extends to milk, nectars and flavoured waters.

Zut alors.

Feb 16, 2017 / Richard Hall

70% plastics recycling by 2025

Another initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month was the launch of The New Plastics Economy by 40 world leading companies including Coca-Cola, Danone, Mars and Unilever.

This will focus on:

• Planning for recycling in packaging design
• Improving sorting and recycling systems
• Adding extra recycling infrastructure.

Coca-Cola has pledged to increase its plastic recycling rate to 70% by 2025. That’s a big target to make a big difference.

Feb 14, 2017 / Richard Hall

Fresh thinking on sustainability

2017 has kicked off with encouraging news on nutrition and the environment.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, 25 world leading companies including Arla, Danone, FrieslandCampina, Nestlé. PepsiCo and Unilever announced the launch of FReSH, the Food Reform for Sustainability and Health programme.

The target is to unlock US$2.3 trillion of business opportunities and create 80 million jobs in meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Planned actions include:

• Guidelines on healthy and sustainable diets
• Production and formulation improvements
• Publicity to shift consumer behaviour
• Better sourcing and lower waste
• Stronger measurement and reporting.

Could this be the beginning of an integrated global policy for agriculture, food and nutrition ? Let’s hope so.

Feb 9, 2017 / Richard Hall

47 acquisitions in January

2017 doesn’t seem very different to other years so far in terms of food and drink transactions recorded on the bevblog.net database. 47 were reported in January, with 2 over $1 billion:

• $2,280 million in packaging for WestRock to buy Multi Packaging Solutions in the United States

• $1,067 million in dairy for Mengniu to gain control of China Modern Dairy.

Of the 47 total, 8 were in alcohol, 7 in dairy, 7 in nutrition, 7 in packaging and 3 each in bakery, snacks and ingredients.

26 were within individual countries and 21 between different countries. The United States featured in 21, the United Kingdom in 11, Switzerland in 5, India in 3 and Spain in 3.

Feb 7, 2017 / Richard Hall

58% of Latin America overweight

360 million people in Latin America are overweight, according to a new report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Pan American Health Organisation. 140 million of these are classified as obese.

• The highest rates were found in Bahamas at 69%, Mexico at 64% and Chile at 63%.
• The only countries below 50% were Nicaragua, Paraguay and Haiti, the poorest and lowest at 38.5%.

Among other findings:

• In more than 20 countries, female obesity is 10% higher than for men.
• 4 million children up to the age of 5 are overweight, in excess of 7%.
• 5.5% of the population are undernourished.

Feb 2, 2017 / Richard Hall

Coke puts heads together

Many fascinating insights from Beverage Digest’s interview with current and future Coca-Cola Chief Executives Muhtar Kent and James Quincey last week.

• On strategy – “We don’t want to be distracted by food. Our business is hydration.” MK

• On acquisitions – “We’re generally in the half-billion to billion-dollar range, and we do one to three of those a year.” JQ

• On health – “We know we need to help shape choice and be part of the solution, with smaller packages, reformulations, innovation and the way we go to market.” JQ

• On taxes – “You can look around the world at beverage taxes and see they haven’t really made any difference.” JQ

• On market change – “A decade ago stills were around 10% and sparkling was about 90%. Now, that mix is 70% sparkling, 30% stills. … Glaceau, Fairlife, Smartwater, Jugos Del Valle, Innocent, Honest Tea and Gold Peak were not around and now they are. Fairlife is not a billion-dollar brand yet, but it’s on its way.” MK

Do ask if you’d like to know more as I’m now the publisher of Beverage Digest.

Jan 31, 2017 / Richard Hall

US innovation success rates

It is often said that 9 out of 10 new products fail. Or some other frighteningly high proportion.

A survey by BNP Media for the January 2017 issue of Beverage Industry throws some extra light on recent company success across all US beverage sectors.

US-Innovation-Success-Rates

• Of the 32% that launched 10 or more new products, 9% had 10 or more successes, indicating a success rate of under 1 in 3.

• Of the 95% that launched at least 1 new product, 14% had no success at all.

The main attributes identified by companies as most sought after by consumers were natural (72%), healthy (60%) and organic (58%). No others scored above 40%.

Jan 26, 2017 / Richard Hall

Prosecco up 24% in europe

European prosecco sales jumped 24% in 2016 to 789 million euros, according to IRI.

Three quarters of this came from the United Kingdom, where consumption per person is 2.5 times that of Italy despite prices being twice as high.