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Aug 30, 2018 / Richard Hall

Beer for health

And wine. But without alcohol.

There’s a huge amount of innovation these days in low alcohol and non-alcoholic beers and wines.

Strong growth is predicted too.

I had thought the primary reasons were centred around:

• general concern about excess alcohol intake
• cultural and social constraints, from religion to drink driving
• improved product taste.

I hadn’t realised there was such a direct correlation with health and obesity:

• not only significantly lower calories
• also lower potential risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and stress
• even suitability for pregnant women.

The global market for non-alcoholic beer and wine has been estimated at $16 billion in 2017, with forecast growth of over 7% a year. That’s a lot higher than most beverage markets.

Aug 28, 2018 / Richard Hall

Functional Beer

There is no doubt in my mind that more of the food we consume in the coming years will offer functional benefits.

It is unlikely, however, that taste and pleasure will diminish in importance.

So, where are the boundaries between food and medicine ?

There are many products testing the limits in dairy especially. But not in beer. Until now.

A Czech brewer Zatec has developed an unusual beer for the Mamma Help breast cancer group.

Mamma Beer is designed to help women combat the side effects of chemotherapy. It is fortified with nutrients such as potassium and vitamin B. It also helps tackle dysgeusia, which affects the taste buds after treatment.

And it’s non-alcoholic.

That seems a degree of innovation worth acknowledging.

Aug 22, 2018 / Richard Hall

65 acquisitions in July

July was another busy month for deals, with 65 transactions and funding rounds recorded on the food and drink mergers and acquisitions database.

Most were relatively small, but two amounted to more than $500 million:

• $1,800 million in foodservice for US Foods to buy Service Group of America’s Food Group

• $695 million in condiments for Huabao to purchase Jiahao Foodstuff in China.

Of the 65 total, 8 were in ingredients, 7 in soft drinks, 5 in dairy and 4 each in alcohol, confectionery, meat, nutrition and services.

Among newcomer categories, 2 were in meat-free, 2 in plant-based, 2 in recycling and 1 in meal kits.

32 were inside individual countries, 22 of these in the United States. 33 were international, led by the United States on 13 including 9 sales, followed by France and the United Kingdom on 8, then the Netherlands on 5, Switzerland on 4 and Australia on 3.

10 of the 65 were funding rounds.

Aug 7, 2018 / Richard Hall

Who’s responsible for our health ?

Another new UK report – there has been a flurry this summer – shows who the public think is responsible for our health.

The report was issued to mark the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service and included the findings from a survey of 2,083 adults aged 15 or over in May 2018.

This is significant because the United Kingdom has the highest obesity levels in West Europe and the report described healthy lifestyles as “the most important influence on people’s health.”

In answer to the question “How much responsibility, if any, do you think that each of the following have for ensuring that people generally stay healthy?”

• 97% said the individual
• 68% said the National Health Service
• 61% said the national government
• 55% said local government and
• 75% said the food and drinks industry.

Yes … food and drink companies are being held more accountable than government.

Aug 2, 2018 / Richard Hall

Obesity rising again

The second noteworthy report of the past two weeks was from Ofsted, the English Office for Standards in Education, on “Obesity, Healthy Eating And Physical Activity In Primary Schools”, which are for children aged from 5 to 11.

This found some quite healthy aspects of what children consume at school:

• 72% of lunches packed by parents included fruit, 49% yogurt and 48% a sandwich or wrap with meat, though 60% included crisps.

• 42% of accompanying drinks were water, 34% fruit juice, 22% dilutables and just 2% carbonated soft drinks.

• 68% of schools surveyed had policies on acceptable drinks.

And yet … And yet the number of severely obese children aged 10 to 11 had risen from 3.17% in 2006/07 to 4.07% in 2016/17, the highest level on record.

Jul 31, 2018 / Richard Hall

Shortcomings of sugar taxes

Two revealing reports on obesity have just been published in Britain.

One is from the much respected, independent Institute of Economic Affairs under the provocative title “Of Course Sin Taxes Are Regressive.”

It doesn’t pull its punches and concludes, as I have already perhaps too often opined myself:

• ‘Taxes on sugary drinks have never been shown to reduce overall calorie intake or obesity in any of the places they have been tried.’

• ‘The impact on overall calorie consumption is usually trivial and trends to be weaker among low income groups.’

• ‘Sugar taxes cost low income households up to 10 times as much as they cost high income groups (as a share of income).’

Jul 12, 2018 / Richard Hall

Dairy brands high in global rankings

Out of 43 countries assessed by Kantar Worldpanel for brand strength of consumer preference, dairy brands came top overall in 10:


This was in spite of global brands having a lower share in dairy than any other sector. Local brands accounted for 80% of dairy spending, with global brands making up the remaining 20%.

Jul 10, 2018 / Richard Hall

Top global food and drink brands

Kantar Worldpanel’s latest ranking of consumer brands has amazing coverage and contrasts.

The analysis encompasses 18,000 brands across 43 countries that account for 75% of the world’s economy. The 5 chosen sectors include beverages, dairy and food but exclude alcohol. To be considered, a brand has to be available in 2 continents. The measure used is active consumer choice during 2016/17.

Among beverages and dairy, the top brands are:
Blog-10JULY2018-Top Global Food and drink brands

In online reach, Yoplait, Wall’s and Tropicana score more highly than any of these, with President also in the top 25.

Global brands account for just 20% of dairy spending, compared to 38% for beverages.

Local brands increased their overall share slightly in 2017 to 64.6%, up from 63.8% in 2015.