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September 1, 2014

Danone Sets its Sights on Becoming Number One in Milk Formula as it is Rumoured to be Selling its Medical Nutrition Business

Diana.cowlandAnalyst Insight by Diana Cowland - Senior Health and Wellness Analyst

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Danone is predominantly known for its dairy products and in particular for yoghurt. It is the number one yoghurt manufacturer with a 20% share of global sales in 2014, some 12% greater than its nearest rival Yakult Honsha Co Ltd. Danone’s activities go beyond dairy to bottled water, early life nutrition and medical nutrition – although it is rumoured to be divesting its medical nutrition business, apparently to boost its performance in milk formula. Its medical nutrition business is the smallest of its business units with reported sales of €1.34 billion in 2013, in comparison to its fresh dairy unit with reported sales of €11.8 billion, Danone’s largest. This move could ultimately boost its presence in the milk formula arena in Asia Pacific, the largest and fastest-growing market globally.

Danone’s medical nutrition business includes Nutricia medical, which itself contains a wide number of products including Souvenaid and Neocate, among others. A few months ago it was rumoured that Nestlé Health Sciences could acquire the business, but now Hospira is said to be in talks with Danone. It has been reported that this sale would include all brands that fall under its medical nutrition business. Hospira states that it is the world’s leading provider of injectable drugs and infusion technologies and so operates in a different space to Danone and one more clearly in line with Nutricia’s tube nutrition and medical device product portfolio.

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August 31, 2014

Examining The Impact of Air Quality on City Life

Kasparas AdomaitisAnalyst Insight by Kasparas Adomaitis - Senior City Analyst

While cities offer economic opportunities, this often comes at a cost of significant hazards, such as downgraded air quality. Low-income cities, as can be seen from the graph, suffer the most from poor air quality. Most low-income and high-pollution cities are located in Southeast Asia and Western Pacific. High population density, poor handling of city waste, old vehicle fleets and household burning of fossil fuels for heating and cooking are among the reasons for the poor air quality in these cities. Some low-income cities do manage to keep their air quality in check: most of them are located in Eastern Europe where infrastructure is in place to provide central heating and ensure handling of city waste.

Air Quality and Average Income per Household in 89 Major Cities of the World, 2010

Source: Euromonitor International

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Alibaba: Ready to Conquer the Far West?

Filippo BattainiAnalyst Insight by Filippo Battaini - Retailing Analyst

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Alibaba has been featuring quite frequently in business news of late as the company piques investors’ interest with the issuing of its prospects for the planned IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Notably with the opening of 11Mail.com, the Chinese e-commerce giant made clear that its presence in the US market will not only be limited to Wall Street or to Silicon Valley with investments in tech start-ups and that, with this move, Alibaba will attempt to compete against its fiercest global rivals, Amazon and eBay, in their domestic territory.

Global E-Commerce Competitive Environment

At present, and despite being mainly a regional player, Alibaba is the world’s second largest e-commerce company, with total B2C value sales of US$44.3 billion in 2013, according to Euromonitor International. However, when considering other indicators, in 2013 Alibaba was already the biggest online retailer in the world. For example, in terms of Gross Merchandise Volume, the Chinese company is bigger than Amazon and eBay combined, and also appears ahead of its two main competitions in terms of profits. So how do Alibaba’s operations compare with those of its main competitors?

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August 30, 2014

Lessons from Japan’s Lost Decade

Tokyo-banner

Japan deserves special attention on a number of counts: it has experienced the longest post-bubble stagnation among the developed countries; it has suffered from the most persistent deflationary pressures and some of the most adverse demographic changes; it has world’s largest and still fast-growing public debt; and it recently launched a quantitative easing programme unparalleled in its intensity. In this five-article series we will take a deeper look at Japan’s economy and finances.

Figure 1: Japan's GDP (Nominal Terms)

Source: Euromonitor International

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Shrinking Phone Sales Bring Familiar Problems to the Forefront at Samsung Corp

MykolaGolovkoAnalyst Insight by Mykola Golovko - Senior Consumer Electronics Analyst

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Along with Apple Inc, Samsung Corp has long been the envy of the consumer electronics industry. The company’s success with its Galaxy line of Android smartphones has eaten into the fortunes of once dominant players like HTC Corp. But the latest quarterly earnings confirmed that Samsung Corp’s reliance on mobile revenue and profit is a significant risk. Revenue declined 8.9% and profit fell 24% year on year in the second quarter of 2014. The fall was largely due to deteriorating operating conditions in the smartphone market, which was the focal point of my discussion of the company’s earnings forecast on CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange. Samsung’s main challenge is that outside of smartphones it has few other sources of profitability. 

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August 28, 2014

The Internet of Things: What Does it Mean for Businesses and Consumers?

Pavel_MarceuxAnalyst Insight by Pavel Marceux - Technology, Communications and Media Specialist

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Driven by the rising interconnectivity of digital devices and access to fast broadband, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to transform traditional relationships between consumers and their environment. In essence, IoT signifies the capability to connect everyday devices and appliances, such as fridges, toothbrushes, thermostats and watches, to web-based networks. This integration opens up a number of new segments, ranging from data-analysis instruments for both businesses and consumers, to small-screen advertising, digital device updates and a variety of communications add-ons. However, IoT is only at present applicable to advanced markets, which have strong IT infrastructure, while infringes to consumer privacy are also a potential concern.

Global Internet Penetration and Consumer Spending on Household Durables: 2008-2013

Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics/Eurostat/UN/OECD/ITU

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August 27, 2014

Lessons Learned from the Mobile Innovation Summit

Michelle EvansAnalyst Insight by Michelle Evans - Senior Consumer Finance Analyst

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The CONNECT: Mobile Innovation Summit took place in mid-August in Chicago. The emergence of the connected mobile consumer was the conference’s overall theme. Throughout the event, speakers talked about the impact of mobility on various aspects of the commerce experience, including payments, marketing, loyalty, security and privacy. The conference explored many of the opportunities that retailers and restaurants have for leveraging mobile and digital channels to build their brands, increase sales and improve customer engagement.

CONNECT_logo_square_final - small.jpg 

 

 

 

 

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August 26, 2014

Fresh Food Producer Bodies Need to Get More Involved in Children’s Education

Simone_BarokeAnalyst Insight by Simone Baroke

Children know less and less about food. Urbanisation and the demise of smallholder farming are the key culprits. The classroom has to take over from educational summers spent at grandparents’ farms. And, although the industry is already making a rash of commendable efforts, more could be done to move fresh foods to the forefront of children’s minds, by making it, for example, an integral part of history, social science, languages and, of course, science subjects.

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?

Surveys highlighting schoolchildren’s woeful lack of knowledge in the area of food provenance surface at regular intervals. The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), a multi-stakeholder, partly industry-funded, not-for-profit organisation that disseminates nutrition information to health professionals and the general public, conducts one of these annually, and its May 2014 findings were pretty much in line with those of previous years: one quarter of 5-8-year-olds believed that bread came from animals and cheese from plants. In older children, such misconceptions, although less prevalent, were still surprisingly common. Also, 17% of primary school children in the BNF survey thought that fish fingers were made from chicken, while one in 10 believed bacon to be derived from sheep.

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Plant Resistance Breakthrough Could Have Implications for Western European Gardening Market

Damian ShoreAnalyst Insight by Damian Shore - Contributing Analyst

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Dutch researchers have found a way to identify plant genes that are involved in resistance to certain insects. While this development has some potential to undermine pest control sales, it may boost the horticulture segment if consumers can be convinced to pay more for pest-resistant seeds.

In Search of the Right Stuff

Researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands have developed a video tracking system that is capable of following the paths taken by insects around plant samples under standardised conditions. These paths can then be analysed to provide a measure of the attraction or aversion of these insects to each plant sample. Researcher Dr Maarten Jongsma said, "We can very quickly test a large number of plants for possible resistance … our goal [is] to make the method suitable for many specific insect-plant combinations.”

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August 25, 2014

The Death of Sweet? Making a Case For A More Refreshing, More Varied Beverage Menu

ElizabethFriendAnalyst Insight by Elizabeth Friend - Consumer Foodservice Analyst

A slow shift has been happening in the world of beverages, the culmination of years of smaller trends that together have helped guide the evolution of global consumer preferences. The tyranny of sweet once spearheaded by carbonates has given way to a more democratic landscape populated by a diverse range of more nuanced, more refreshing, and more complex flavour profiles.

While this trend has been evident in foodservice for a while, especially among taste-making independents, it has manifested particularly clearly in off-trade soft drinks consumption. A look at what types and flavours of beverages have been seeing the most growth across all channels can offer valuable insight to foodservice operators who are looking for ways to fine-tune their specialty beverage offerings, helping them to craft a more varied, higher-value beverage menu that maximises appeal.

2013 Soft Drinks Growth by Major Category (Total Volume)

Source: Euromonitor International

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Recent Posts

Danone Sets its Sights on Becoming Number One in Milk Formula as it is Rumoured to be Selling its Medical Nutrition Business

Examining The Impact of Air Quality on City Life

Alibaba: Ready to Conquer the Far West?

Lessons from Japan’s Lost Decade

Shrinking Phone Sales Bring Familiar Problems to the Forefront at Samsung Corp

The Internet of Things: What Does it Mean for Businesses and Consumers?

Lessons Learned from the Mobile Innovation Summit

Fresh Food Producer Bodies Need to Get More Involved in Children’s Education

Plant Resistance Breakthrough Could Have Implications for Western European Gardening Market

The Death of Sweet? Making a Case For A More Refreshing, More Varied Beverage Menu