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January 20, 2015

A New Year's Resolution to Give Something Back

Cat Dixby Cat Dix - Corporate Social Responsibility Manager

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On Friday 9th January staff members in our Sydney office took some time out of their work day to contribute to the local community through a volunteering day with The Salvation Army's Streetlevel Mission. 

On average 790 people sleep rough or in shelters in Sydney every night.  Streetlevel Mission is working to support those people most in need through the provision of a cafe, foodmarket, laundry, legal advice programme and emergency assistance.

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January 19, 2015

Sportswear Stores in 2015: Battle of the Sexes

Emily PottsAnalyst Insight by Emily Potts - Contributing Analyst

There’s no doubting that the apparel success story of 2014 was sportswear, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing in 2015. As with every pocket of opportunity in apparel, competition has intensified, and the category’s major players are constantly revising their strategies to keep consumers coming back for more. The closing weeks of 2014 saw a fresh focus on gender-specific stores.

In late November, Lululemon opened its first store targeting male consumers, in Manhattan. Meanwhile, Nike opened its first store catering just for women in California a few weeks earlier. Is this the start of a battle of the sexes in sportswear?

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January 14, 2015

Consumer Health in 2015 - Trends and Prospects for a Healthier World

Monica feldmanAnalyst Insight by Monica Feldman - Head of Consumer Health Research

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The year 2014 set up the stage for new market dynamics that will influence consumer health in 2015. Our newest preliminary findings for the full year 2014 will be formally published on 19 January 2015. In the meantime, we provide a snapshot preview of how Euromonitor International compares its previous estimates with our most recent research. Overall, the industry grew at a healthy pace of 2.4% in constant terms in 2014 from 2013 (5.6% current/nominal terms) at fixed exchange rates. Surprisingly, this growth is more than one percentage point lower from our previous estimates. The year 2014 brought some growth difficulties in the United States, the largest consumer health market accounting for an estimated 28% of global retail value in 2013. Tweet-ThisA weaker than usual cold/flu and allergy seasons earlier in the year dampened the high prospects of sales. At the same time US consumers shied a bit away from their high consumption of vitamins and dietary supplements in favour of functional/fortified food and beverages, and fresh healthy foods in general. The new global estimates of growth seem a little bit lower due to a slowing down in the economies of Brazil, China and Russia, and also to the fact that the US$ dollar gained strength in the second half of 2014 – Euromonitor International typically reports figures in US$. This is not to say that consumer health is no longer a bright spot since the industry continues to grow at a healthy pace. Rather this is a wake-up call for the industry to work on priorities, focus on relevant therapies, manage competitive threats, and selectively invest in geographies that will lead to the next stage of growth.

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January 13, 2015

Uber and Out? What Might the Future Hold for the Controversial Car-Sharing App?

Caroline BremnerAnalyst Insight by Caroline Bremner - Head of Travel and Tourism Research

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Uber is one of the most divisive and controversial brands to emerge from the sharing economy and the aftermath of the global economic crisis, causing disruption to urban transportation, including taxi firms and car rental players. The question is can the brand survive the ride-share storm and transform itself into a business that local governments want to actively promote and nurture, rather than stamp out completely?

Riding fast and furious

Despite the controversy it causes, Uber – a taxi and ride share app, founded in San Francisco in 2009 – has gone from strength to strength. By the end of 2014, the company was valued at US$40 billion, following a new round of fundraising, with it doubling its worth in just six months. Uber now has a value several times higher than that of traditional car rental players, such as Hertz and Avis, and even that of some airlines, according to the Financial Times.

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January 12, 2015

Lavazza Could Strengthen Coffee Pod Presence with L’Or Acquisition

JonasFelicianoAnalyst Insight by Jonas Feliciano - Senior Beverages Analyst

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On the heels of the monster merger of Mondelez and DE Master Blender’s coffee businesses into Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), European competition laws have forced the new company to sell off its L’Or and Grand’Mère brands. After months of interest from private equity firms, as well as Israel based coffee company Strauss Group, Italian manufacturer Lavazza is rumoured to be the company most likely to acquire both brands. This purchase would quickly make L’Or a vital part of Lavazaa’s continued growth into coffee markets outside of Italy – and give the company a true player in the fast growing fresh ground coffee pod category.

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Global Soft Drink Market Grows 3.3% as Key Markets Bounce Back

BottledWater7Global soft drinks volumes expanded just over three percent in 2014, while value sales grew by more than six percent to reach US $867.4 billion dollars.  While the US remains the world’s largest market in both value and volume terms, markets such as China, Brazil and Mexico are fast closing the gap with continued strong growth. While global volume expansion has remained steady for several years, value growth accelerated in 2014, thanks to an improving outlook in key markets like Brazil.

On a regional level, Asia Pacific and Middle East Africa were the runaway leaders in terms of volume expansion, up 6.9% and 8.7%, respectively, in 2014. Going forward, these two regions will continue to drive overall volume growth, yet vast investments will be necessary to take meaningful share in markets like India, Nigeria, or Indonesia.

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January 9, 2015

Halting the Tide of Decline in the UK’s Beer Market

Amin AlkhatibAnalyst Insight by Amin Alkhatib - Alcoholic Drinks Analyst

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The UK beer industry is looking for a way out of its gloomy performance in volume sales. According to Euromonitor International, there was a 2% decline in 2013 in total volume sales, and that is reflecting a continuing impact upon the on-trade channel of various dynamics, such as an ageing demography and aggressive price competition from supermarkets. So, the industry keeps trying to increase beer consumption via marketing campaigns that widen drinking occasions at home and outside.

ThatbeerIn the context of all of this, the industry is indicating a need for the repositioning of the role of beer in UK consumers’ shopping baskets and cuisines in order to boost volume sales. This is illustrated by the launch of a £10 million integrated marketing campaign in 2014 to encourage people to drink beer. The campaign is a food-pairing promotion called “There’s a beer for that”, which aims to encourage people to perceive beer differently with regard to the occasion by positioning it in a similar manner to wine.

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January 8, 2015

Ryanair: Expanding East Requires Different Strategy

Nadejda_PopovaAnalyst Insight by Nadejda Popova - Senior Travel and Tourism Analyst

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With the European airline market increasingly competitive and economic conditions still in flux in the region, Ryanair is rumoured to be contemplating expansion in the Middle East and Russia, attracted by populous markets and rising demand for low-cost travel, which is hoped to boost passengers numbers.  

Ryanair is believed to be interested in growing, initially in several markets such as Russia, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Egypt. The airline is hoping to achieve this through the establishment of a potential base in Cyprus, which could allow easy reach to the Middle East and Russia through the establishment of Ryanair Cyprus.

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Expert Predictions for 2015: What’s in Store?

Carrie_LennardAnalyst Insight by Carrie Lennard - Business Environment Manager

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Wondering what 2015 has in store for your business? Well fear not, the Countries & Consumers team at Euromonitor have compiled a list of their expert predictions for regions and individual countries for 2015. We’ll revisit these in another article at the end of 2015 to check which of them proved correct. 

  • A greater number of countries will see rising income inequality in 2015.

  • China’s consumer spending growth is set to slow in 2015, despite the government’s efforts to promote a consumer-led economy.

  • Nevertheless, Chinese consumers will reach a new level of sophistication and maturity, increasingly selecting products that satisfy their individual needs rather than simply 'keeping up with the Wangs'.

  • In the US, tech-savvy Hispennials (Hispanic Millennials) are set to become the market's most active and influential digital consumers.

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Marks & Spencer’s Christmas 2014 Trading Results: Yet More Bad News

Philip BentonAnalyst Insight by Philip Benton - Retailing Analyst

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The 2014 Christmas trading results for Marks & Spencer were more disappointing than anticipated, with general merchandise sales falling 5.8% in Q3 (analysts predicted a 3% fall). Although M&S have consistently performed well in food as sales rose 2.8%, their UK performance (1.1% like-for-like decline) is not reflective of the UK retail environment. M&S have struggled to compete with the robust omni-channel strategies of Next and John Lewis, with the latter in particular having posted an impressive state of results thanks to the enormous success of their ‘click and collect’ policy which accounted for over half of its online sales. Marks &Spencer’s failure to utilise its new hi-tech distribution centre in Castle Donington has had disastrous effects with the retailer having to pull the ‘next day delivery’ service before Christmas and many consumers having to wait up to two weeks for deliveries. Word quickly spread on social media and consumers seem to have lost confidence in M&S’ ability to deliver online purchases quickly and it is highly doubtful the retailer will be able to turnaround its dwindling performance in Q4.

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