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October 15, 2014

Wal-Mart and Wild Oats in Partnership to Provide Organic Food to the Masses

Raphael_MoreauAnalyst Insight by Raphael Moreau - Retailing Analyst

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With the relaunch of the Wild Oats range of organic products sold almost exclusively at its US stores, Wal-Mart intends to benefit from the marked recovery of organic food sales in the market but also give its brand image a boost, as it is confronted with stagnating sales and footfall.

As leading competitors, including Kroger, Target and Whole Foods, cite strong rises in organic food sales, Wal-Mart sees potential to satisfy this rising demand while differentiating its offer by undercutting its rivals on price and remaining faithful to its EDLP (everyday low price) ethos. However, Wal-Mart’s sheer size may cause supply chain challenges in the organic food industry and could threaten its ability to achieve its claimed price advantage.

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Apple Pay to Open New Era for Digital Payments in the UAE

Kinda ChebibAnalyst Insight by Kinda Chebib - Senior Research Analyst

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While American consumers will get their first taste of Apple's new e-wallet service in October 2014, SMEs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be keeping a close watch as Apple Pay heads towards the US market. Leading Middle East and North Africa in e-commerce, the UAE Government is implementing Smart Initiatives and reorganising its banking and mobile sectors’ strategies in order to maximise opportunities offered by contactless technology. More recently, the eBay-PayPal split is expected to benefit further Apple’s new digital wallet as eBay is likely to start accepting Apple Pay as a possible replacement for PayPal.


Source: Apple Inc

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The Underlying Potential of the MENA Region in Fragrances

Nicholas MicallefAnalyst Insight by Nicholas Micallef - Beauty and Personal Care Analyst

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The MENA remains a region facing political and macroeconomic hurdles; however, one area where local consumers do not seem to compromise is on fragrances. The use of scent in this region is prolific and is deeply ingrained within society’s traditions and lifestyle. In light of this, despite the region’s challenges, there are promising opportunities for fragrances in terms of olfactory creations and market prospects that are based on shared cultural heritage.

The MENA region is home to over 438 million consumers with 40% of the population aged below 20, whereas 60% live in urban zones. In 2013, fragrances’ sales in MENA amounted to US$2.9 billion, whilst over 2013-2018, fragrances is expected to increase by US$1.3 billion, thus raising the region’s proportion of the global market from 6% in 2013 to 9% in 2018. The top contributors in 2013 were Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel and Iran, representing 78% of MENA sales rising to 80% in 2018. The fragrance per capita spend is projected to reach US$8.8 in 2018, higher than the global average of US$6.8.

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October 14, 2014

Global Urbanisation Trend Boosting Apartment Dwelling

Carrie_LennardAnalyst Insight by Carrie Lennard - Business Environment Manager

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The world’s urban population is rapidly rising in both developed and emerging markets. 52.7% of the world’s population in 2013 lived in urban areas, up from 50.4% in 2008. This is having a direct influence on the types of dwelling that populations live in, boosting the numbers of inhabitants of apartments. It also decreases the average size of dwellings. This is shaping trends in the consumer goods industry and creating a preference for goods to meet the need for the reduced space.


Global Urban/ Rural Households: 2008-2013

Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics

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Cork Manufacturers Looking to Close the Gap on Metal Screw Caps in Wine

James MaddockAnalyst Insight by James Maddock - Packaging Analyst

With global volumes growing year on year from an already sizeable base, wine is an attention-grabbing category for closure manufacturers. The traditional glass bottle remains the clearly dominant pack type in still light grape wine, with over 85% of the product retailed in this pack type globally. Cork is unsurprisingly positioned as the leading closure type for still wine bottled in glass, although metal screw caps are becoming increasingly prevalent. Despite the fact that some cork manufacturers are looking to address the rise of metal, they are unlikely to be able to disrupt the rise of the rival option.

Caps turn the screw

Combined, corks and metal screw closures account for over 99% of all retail still wine sold in glass bottles. While the dominance of these two closure types remained unchallenged over 2008-2013, the  preference among consumers and wine producers alike for the benefits offered by the metal screw cap saw its performance outdo that of cork.

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October 13, 2014

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Brazil’s 5 Big Challenges


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Brazil entered technical recession in the second quarter of this year but with Aécio Neves, seen as the more business-friendly of the candidates, coming an unexpected second in the first round of Brazil’s presidential election; hopes are high that the country can regain its mojo if he builds on his success into the second round. Yet whoever wins, Brazil’s challenges should not be underestimated – a programme of structural reform is necessary to turn the economy around.


1. Shifting from consumer driven growth

Brazil’s recent economic growth has been driven by a consumption boom. Consumer expenditure increased by 28.7% between 2008 and 2013 in real terms – twice the increase in overall economic growth, driven in large part by a corresponding increase in credit. With high inflation and a tighter monetary policy, consumers are feeling increasingly squeezed. This model of growth is not sustainable in the long term; rather the economy needs to see an increase in investment. Gross fixed capital formation, a measure of investment, was just 18.2% of GDP in 2013 – very low compared to other major emerging markets including China, India, Mexico and Turkey. 

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October 12, 2014

Consumer Lifestyles in Pakistan: Consumers Clamour for US-Style Fast Food

Jennifer ElsterAnalyst Insight by Jennifer Elster - Consumer Lifestyles Manager

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It is safe to say that, in recent years, political relations between the governments of the United States and Pakistan have been characterised by mutual feelings of mistrust, fuelled by numerous incendiary statements and high-tension incidents. Despite this, however, it appears that hungry diners in both countries have put aside whatever differences and doubts the politicians may have and have instead forged a bilateral approach to consuming American-style burgers and chicken. Indeed, Pakistani consumers have crowned US branded fast food king in major cities from Karachi to Lahore.

In a recent report on dawn.com, Samiullah Mohabbat, who recently brought the US franchise Fatburger to Karachi, said that when it comes to fast food, “American is best,” adding that his US$5.50 burger is the “perfect antidote” to the country’s troubles. “Food is the only entertainment in Pakistan,” he said. “People are certainly frightened because of the law and order situation, so they don't go anywhere except food outlets”.

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The Most International Western European Cities

Kasparas AdomaitisAnalyst Insight by Kasparas Adomaitis - Senior City Analyst

Western European cities are gradually becoming melting pots. The foreign population in most European urban areas grew strongly during 2008-2013 and in 2013 at least every seventh inhabitant in the 10 most international European cities was a foreigner. For businesses in Western Europe, growing foreign populations imply that ethnic marketing is increasingly important to successful sales growth. For politicians, it means they need to take into account the voices of discontent local citizens that fear being outnumbered by foreign nationals.

Cities with the Largest Proportion of Foreign Citizens in Western Europe: 2008/2013

Source: Euromonitor International

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October 11, 2014

Is Fast Fashion Heading for a Slowdown?

Rob WalkerAnalyst Insight by Rob Walker - Contributing Analyst

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There is speculation brewing in the apparel industry that consumers are getting tired of fast fashion, especially in the US, preferring instead to pay a premium for garments made from better quality fabrics that last longer. “People are not buying just to buy anymore”, said Nate Herman, vice president of the American Apparel and Footwear Association in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Euromonitor International’s sales data for the US does not entirely support this argument, though. Indeed, last year, retail volume sales of apparel and footwear grew faster than retail value sales for the first time since 2007. This would suggest that US consumers are spending less, not more, on their garments.

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