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September 14, 2014

Competition between Expedia and Priceline Heats Up - Part 1

Angelo RossiniAnlayst Insight by Angelo Rossini - Contributing Online Travel Analyst

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While online travel retail sales are continuing their steady growth globally, consolidation is increasing among online travel agencies, with Expedia and Priceline strengthening their positions as the most successful and innovative companies and constantly gaining share in the category.

Priceline managed to record the sharpest growth over the 2004-2013 period, which allowed the company to stand beside Expedia at the top of the global online travel agency (OTA) and travel intermediary ranking in 2013. Competition between the two OTA giants is getting tougher in 2014, with Priceline continuing its sharp rise and Expedia also achieving a remarkable performance.

Continue reading "Competition between Expedia and Priceline Heats Up - Part 1" »

September 12, 2014

Examining Monster’s Newest Energy Brands

Howard TelfordAnalyst Insight by Howard Telford - Beverages Analyst

Last week, Coca-Cola Co and Monster Beverage Corp formalised a landmark partnership for the two companies, with the cola giant purchasing an equity stake in the energy drinks maker and transferring ownership of its own global energy brand portfolio to Monster. The distributional advantages of the deal for Monster brand energy are paramount, with the Coca-Cola system giving the company an excellent international growth platform for its eponymous, flagship brand. Yet Monster Beverages also adds upwards of 10 former Coca-Cola energy drinks brands to its portfolio as part of the deal. Which are worth keeping, and where could Monster benefit the most from this new stable of brands?

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IFA 2014: Flagship Smartphones Aplenty but is Anyone Buying?

Weeteck_looAnalyst Insight by Loo Wee Teck - Head of Consumer Electronics Research

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Manufacturers were rushing to showcase their flagship smartphones at the IFA trade show in Berlin, ahead of Apple Inc’s event on 9 September. Samsung Corp showed the fourth generation of its mammoth Note family and Sony Corp introduced the Xperia Z3 (third generation) of its waterproof smartphone range. Almost all flagship smartphones are supporting the following

  1. 64-bit architecture
  2. LTE-Advanced
  3. Quad HD screens 

Continue reading "IFA 2014: Flagship Smartphones Aplenty but is Anyone Buying?" »

September 11, 2014

Russian Roulette, Legislative Bullets and the US$2 billion Hangover

Spiros_MalandrakisAnalyst Insight by Spiros Malandrakis - Senior Alcoholic Drinks Analyst

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All is not quiet on the Eastern Front. The Russian alcoholic drinks market- once upon a time lauded as a lynchpin of a BRIC narrative now in tatters- is already reeling under the pressure of excise tax hikes, maturity induced headwinds, advertising bans and relentlessly tightening legislation. Somewhat perversely, these are the good news- largely priced in, discussed and doused in litres of high proof optimism by key international industry players operating in Russia.

The bad news is that there is a very real danger that the country’s Mexican stand-off with the west alongside the rising spectre of Cold War sanctions, embargos and paranoia could derail international trade and agreements, undermine evolving drinking patterns and ultimately provide a fatal blow to imported beer, wine and spirits brands . With the total value of alcoholic drinks imported to Russia from countries adopting opposing squares in the global geopolitical chessboard reaching $US 2 billion in 2012, the unfolding crisis has the potential to produce the mother of all hangovers for alcoholic drinks companies putting down most of the proverbial chips on that market.

Continue reading "Russian Roulette, Legislative Bullets and the US$2 billion Hangover" »

Apple Inc Unveils its Most Significant Product Refresh Since the iPad

MykolaGolovkoAnalyst Insight by Mykola Golovko - Senior Consumer Electronics Analyst

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After months of speculation, fuelled by an unusually high number of leaks, Apple Inc has lifted the curtain on the 2014 refresh of its iPhone line, as well as the highly-anticipated Apple Watch and the Apple Pay mobile payment platform. Apple Pay and its prospects are discussed in detail in a separate piece by Michelle Evans, Consumer Finance Senior Analyst. The refresh comes at a crucial time for the company as it is facing a difficult operating environment, with slowing growth in smartphones and tablets, along with intensifying competition. These factors are proving troublesome, even for some of Apple’s largest competitors, but with a strong portfolio of integrated products, backed by an enviable amount of brand equity, Apple Inc looks poised to remain successful, despite diminishing growth prospects in key categories.

Global Retail Volume Sales Growth in Key Categories 2014-2018

Source: Euromonitor International

Continue reading "Apple Inc Unveils its Most Significant Product Refresh Since the iPad" »

September 9, 2014

With Apple Pay, Mobile Payments Have Arrived in the US

Michelle EvansAnalyst Insight by Michelle Evans - Senior Consumer Finance Analyst

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The vision that Apple’s founder Steve Jobs once had of a new type of mobile phone that could become so instrumental and integrated into people’s lives that consumers would rather leave their wallet at home than their iPhone is starting to take shape.

After years of speculation and numerous rumors, Apple officially made its entry into the US mobile payments’ ecosystem as it unveiled Apple Pay at its recent product launch event. Mobile payments, which has long been promised for its potential to revolutionize the entire consumer shopping experience has so far struggled to gain much traction from retailers and consumers. Now a brand with a proven track record of changing consumer behavior has joined the movement.

“As it turns out, most people who have worked on this have started by focusing on creating a business model that was centered around their self-interest rather than focusing on the user experience,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the Apple Pay announcement. “We love this kind of problem. This is exactly what Apple does best.”

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Travel and the Sharing Economy

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

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I am delighted to announce the launch of a new series of Thought Leadership global reports, with the first in the series focusing on Travel and the Sharing Economy.

The sharing economy has taken the travel and tourism industry by storm, tapping into the consumer zeitgeist for sustainable, authentic and local services when it comes to lodging, transport, activities, dining and finance, amongst others. We take a look at the key drivers behind the dynamic growth in the travel sharing economy, benefiting from technological disruption, rapid urbanisation, Generation Y’s influence and smartphone proliferation.





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September 8, 2014

Dry Shampoos Succeed through a Beauty Positioning

Anaïs_MirvalAnalyst Insight by Anais Mirval - Ingredients Analyst

Convenience is an underlying trend in most beauty and personal care categories. In hair care, consumers are looking for products that are easy to use and can help them save time. The recent success of products that have been around for a long time like dry shampoos and the development of practical mousse colourants is proof of the enduring popularity of the convenience trend in hair care. But, as hair care continues its alignment with beauty, manufacturers will have to focus their message on the glamorous side of the business.

Saving time with dry shampoos

Global Growth of Propellants in Hair Care

Source: Euromonitor International

Continue reading "Dry Shampoos Succeed through a Beauty Positioning" »

William Grant Acquires Drambuie

Jeremy_Cunnington0Analyst Insight by Jeremy Cunnington - Senior Alcoholic Drinks Analyst

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William Grant’s acquisition of Drambuie- the Scotch based liqueur- for an undisclosed price, is strategically sound, giving the company entry into the burgeoning flavoured whisky/whisky flavoured liqueurs arena through a brand of uniquely strong heritage in the category. It also fits in with the company’s increased focus on the resurgent segment underscored with the recent appointment of a Head of Whisky Innovation.

With only 0.7% of global sales in other liqueurs in 2013, Drambuie is a small brand, but has huge potential due to the rise in popularity of flavoured whiskies and whisky based liqueurs, led by the bourbon category. The brand’s small size and the fact that it is essentially an one brand company with small resources limits that potential even in its biggest markets the US, Canada and the UK.

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Dealing with the Infrastructure Deficit in Emerging Markets


View Sarah Boumphrey's profile on LinkedIn

Inadequate infrastructure adds significant costs to doing business in many emerging markets. Roads, ports, railways, airports, telecoms and electricity supply help businesses and the economy run efficiently. Yet poor infrastructure can and is being overcome, and can also offer opportunities for business.

The road to nowhere

The quality of infrastructure is not always aligned with the size of the consumer market. Major emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia and India suffer from poor infrastructure.

Quality of Overall Infrastructure in Selected Major Emerging Markets: 2012/2013


Source: World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014

Note: How would you assess general infrastructure (e.g., transport, telephony, and energy) in your country? Scores: 1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = well developed and efficient by international standards. Mean refers to the average score of 148 developed and emerging and developing countries.

Continue reading "Dealing with the Infrastructure Deficit in Emerging Markets" »


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