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Nov 1, 2018 / Richard Hall

Click and collect for soft drinks

It’s time I updated you on what may be the world’s most developed market for click and collect – France’s ‘drives’.

The growth has slowed, but remains strong, and the weight of purchase is steadily advancing towards a 10% share.
Click and Collect for Soft Drinks

These Nielsen figures, published in the October issue of Rayon Boissons, show considerable variations, which are explained by:

• drives favouring planned and repeat purchases by families with children

• carbonated/still drinks being more of an impulse purchase.

Oct 30, 2018 / Richard Hall

Alcohol consumption declining

A new study remarks on an increase in binge drinking in Canada, while overall alcohol consumption by young people has been falling in Europe and North America.

The report focuses on the Health Survey for England in 2015, covering 9,699 participants aged 16-24, with comparisons going back to 2005.

The findings show a striking increase in non-drinking.
Alcohol Consumption 1

In particular, young people are starting to drink at a later age. Women are less likely to drink than men and abstention among non-white ethnic groups has increased to 68%.

It also appears that young people are drinking less frequently and less in excess.

Alcohol Consumptio2

It is hardly surprising that this trend is generating extra interest in adult soft drinks as well as zero proof drinks. It is no coincidence that this wider market opportunity will be a key feature of Zenith Global’s next UK Soft Drinks Conference on 15th May 2019 in central London under the theme of ‘Crafting the Future.’

Oct 25, 2018 / Richard Hall


I am always pleased when The Economist magazine updates my all-time favourite chart on the state of the world economy, because this picture paints many more than a thousand words.

World GDP

It shows that global economic production has grown at a rate of more than 3% a year in 15 out of the last 18 quarters, rising to 3.56% in the second quarter of 2018 after reaching 3.57% in the first quarter of 2018.

This is despite all the extra uncertainty of trade restrictions and Brexit, financial risk and political volatility.

Growth rates are rising in the United States and India, while levelling out in China and Europe. China remains the largest contributor to overall global economic growth.

Oct 18, 2018 / Richard Hall

Online grocery outlook

The latest Tetra Pak Index provides another set of superb insights into the future of online grocery.

For all fast moving consumer goods, online sales increased by 30% worldwide in the year to March 2017, taking a 4.6% share.

In grocery alone, online sales have risen from $21 billion in 2012 to $41 billion in 2017, with projected growth of 17% a year to $94 billion in 2022.

Forecasts by country and key city show massive variations.


Consumers are reported to be loyal to their initial online retailer choice and to preferred brands, but they are searching increasingly by product rather than brand.

Convenience seems to be decisive. More attention is being devoted to ‘super fast delivery’, voice ordering, auto-replenishment and the unpacking experience. Sustainability is at last rising up the agenda.

Oct 16, 2018 / Richard Hall

What American children drink

You might expect that soft drinks would be the most consumed beverage group by American children, but the latest US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 2013 to 2016 shows this is not so.

For children of all age groups – 2 to 5, 6 to 11 and 12-19 – water tops the table, followed by milk until the age of 12.

In fact, water builds to an almost 50% share for teenagers, while milk drops from 32% for the youngest to 14% for teenagers.

Soft drinks rise to 22% for teenagers, less than half the share of water.

Girls depend on water more than boys, who drink a higher share of everything else.

The overall figures for all age groups are:

BLOG-16Oct2018-What American Children Drink

In terms of children’s nutrition, it is significant that: “ For all Americans aged two years and older, milk is the number one food source of three of the four under-consumed nutrients of public health concern identified by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, namely calcium, vitamin D and potassium.”

Oct 4, 2018 / Richard Hall

49 acquisitions in September

September brought fewer mergers and acquisitions than normal, with under 50 food and drink transactions recorded on the database.

3 topped the $500 million mark:

• $2,000 million in ingredients for Univar to buy Nexeo Solutions in the United States

• 740 million euros for France’s Lactalis to acquire the nutrition business of South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare.

• $525 million in soft drinks for the newly formed Keurig Dr Pepper to gain Core Nutrition in the United States

Of the 49 total, 7 were in ingredients, 6 in soft drinks and 5 in snacks, with 3 each in alcohol, bakery, confectionery and dairy.

20 countries were involved. 28 deals were within national borders, 17 of these in the United States and 4 in the United Kingdom.

Overall, the United States featured in 26, the United Kingdom in 8 and the Netherlands in 5, followed by France, Germany and Switzerland on 4 apiece.

Sep 27, 2018 / Richard Hall

World water recognition

With World Water Day firmly established each year on 22 March, World Water Week is now gaining attention at the end of August.

This is because the water agenda is progressing from management to stewardship, as the perspective broadens from water cost to water value.

Water stewardship goes beyond operational issues to include economic, ecological and social implications as well as balancing competing uses. Good stewardship should provide a basis for social licence. Bad stewardship could jeopardise it.

Zenith is a member of the global Alliance for Water Stewardship and has a team of water specialists uniquely qualified to support the implementation of stewardship programmes. We shall be presenting a workshop on stewardship best practice during the next Global Bottled Water Congress at Evian on 22-24 October.

Water is moving up the ranking of corporate priorities to become a key element of business strategy.

Those businesses with a dependence on access to good quality water, but without a corporate water strategy, are at greater risk of missing out on future opportunities for growth.

Sep 25, 2018 / Richard Hall

Robot coffee barista ?

I never expected this, but it could just work.

While I was in Singapore earlier in the summer, I met Ella, who introduced herself and conversed with me, but was in fact a ‘Mobile Robotic Barista’.

This robotic arm took my coffee order and duly dispensed it, ending with the equivalent of a flirtatious wink by twisting its hand/head to one side. Here’s the photo I took.


My first reaction was to doubt how a ‘machine’ could ‘personalise’ a premium service.

A conversation with Keith Tan, founder and CEO of Crown Coffee, quickly put me straight.

How do you ensure consistent quality in a 24 hour operation when there are staff shortages ? A robot guarantees this, increasing productivity and saving on cost. It could even anticipate your order as a regular customer by face recognition.

Then I smelled the coffee.