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September 20, 2014

Veal: Evolving from “Cruel Meat” to Ethical Choice

Simone_BarokeAnalyst Insight by Simone Baroke - Contributing Analyst

The veal market is undergoing a slow but unstoppable revolution. There is a move away from age-old clashing viewpoints, which saw an unquestioning consumer acceptance of outdated animal rearing practices in traditional veal consuming countries on the one hand, and the outright rejection of veal as “cruel meat” in others. In line with rising animal welfare concerns, traditional veal eaters are starting to modify their expectations, while former veal rejecters are gradually getting used to the idea that veal can be produced humanely, and also that choosing veal represents a step towards sustainability.

Of crates and anaemia

Not all that long ago, from the standpoint of animal welfare watchers, eating veal was regarded just as abominable a culinary habit as the consumption of foie gras. However, unlike the latter, good-quality veal can indeed be produced without undue animal suffering. Great strides have been made in that direction over the last decade, and efforts are still ongoing.

A major milestone was achieved in 2007, when the EU finally outlawed the infamous veal crates, originally designed to restrict the animals’ movement in order to keep their muscles soft. In the US, although still legal, veal crates are used less and less, and the American Veal Association plans to phase them out by 2017.

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September 19, 2014

Going Green Unlikely to Significantly Boost Western Europe’s Bottled Water Market

James MaddockAnalyst Insight by James Maddock - Packaging Analyst

Western Europeans love bottled water: in 2013 they drank over 45 billion litres of it. However, while it may be a valuable product to producers and packagers alike, the truth is that growth in per capita consumption rates are expected to slow over the forecast period. Packagers and/or brand owners will be hoping that breakthroughs in eco-friendly packaging will help to arrest this slowdown in demand, but successfully accelerating growth is likely to take more than this.

Growth in demand to slow in Western Europe

In 2013, Western Europe had the highest per capita bottled water consumption of any region, with only North America coming close. This high level of average annual consumption, which stood at approximately 93 litres in 2013, drives demand in the region, a sharp contrast with Asia Pacific. Asia represents a bigger overall market, but demand comes from a far greater number of individuals consuming at about one fifth of the levels that their Western European equivalents do. The bad news for packagers and producers alike is that growth in per capita consumption is expected to slow over 2013-2018, with North America set to overtake Western Europe as the region with the highest consumption rate by the end of the forecast period.

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September 18, 2014

Top 5 Manufacturing Economies: What Challenges Are They Facing?

An HodgsonAnalyst Insight by An Hodgson - Income and Expenditure Manager

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Four of the top five countries in terms of total manufacturing production are developed economies, with the exception of China whose impressive manufacturing might was built upon a pool of low-cost labour. Altogether the top five manufacturing countries accounted for 66.0% of global manufacturing output in 2013. Despite their dominance, each of the top five manufacturing powerhouses is facing a set of unique challenges that could change the future global manufacturing landscape. Understanding the challenges facing these top manufacturing economies can help businesses plan strategically as well as identifying long-term opportunities.

Top 5 Countries in Total Manufacturing Production: 2013

Source: Euromonitor International from national statistics/UN/OECD

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September 16, 2014

Big Data, Unique IDs and Prescriptive Analytics: Revolutionising Online Travel Marketing

Angelo RossiniAnalyst Insight by Angleo Rossini - Contributing Online Travel and Tourism Analyst

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Some of the most interesting recent developments in travel technology concern big data and prescriptive analytics. The convergence of these technological developments and the possibility of identifying online consumers through unique IDs are going to be some of the most significant factors affecting the online travel competitive environment in the next few years.

Big data analytics will increasingly enable companies to target consumers in a more personalised and effective way through the whole marketing mix. This will mean higher conversion rates for companies and a better consumer experience for customers. But these developments will also see some companies gain ground in the online travel competitive environment thanks to their superior ability to collect and analyse consumer data, and other companies to become less competitive, not being able to target consumers in a more customised way. 

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September 15, 2014

Heineken NV rebuffs the SABMiller Plc bid

Amin AlkhatibAnalyst Insight by Amin Alkhatib - Alcoholic Drinks Analyst

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SABMiller Plc’s move to buy the majority family-owned Heineken NV was a surprise to the global beer industry, but it being rebuffed was not. This seems to be a defensive move by SABMiller and a reactionary one to speculation of an Anheuser-Busch NV take-over at a time when the latter is accumulating capital in preparation for the biggest ever buy-out in the beer market. Heineken’s decision to rebuff the offer is of no surprise due to the majority ownership by the de Carvalho-Heineken family.

According to Euromonitor, the consequences of this buyout would significantly reshape the competitive landscape for the global beer market as the second and third largest brewers would bring together over 37 billion liters of beer sales at around a 19% share of global market volume sales in 2014. The combined companies would reassert their dominance on the beer market in Western and Eastern Europe, and Middle East and Africa (MEA) placing them on the heels of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV in second place on a global level with less than 1% volume share separating the top two brewers. A-B InBev’s chances to buy out SABMiller, as speculated by the industry, would weaken as the capital required for the buy-out significantly expands. Furthermore, A-B InBev would have to deal with a major competitor in future consolidation moves, beyond those that would already exist.

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Latest Research: Packaged Food 2015 Edition Now Live

Lamine_LahouasniaAnalyst Insight by Lamine Lahouasnia - Head of Packaged Food Research

We’re pleased to announce that the new 2015 Packaged Food 2015 Edition is now live and available to access on Passport. The updated research provides the latest data and insights on the food industry and identifies the key prospects through to 2019.

We have continued to strengthen and refine coverage of all 80 country markets tracked across 19 food categories and their respective constituent sections (298 category product levels in total). This latest edition adds tremendous extra value to our already comprehensive industry coverage.

Against the backdrop of rising commodity prices and greater political instability, 2014 has been a challenging year for the food industry and yet 2013 and 2014 have delivered some of the highest growth rates in retail value terms in the last decade. This marks a departure from the historically volume-driven nature of the industry and this is perhaps the most telling story from the new data: How the food industry is seeking to increase profitability through higher prices.

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September 13, 2014

Cocoa Prices Hit Three-Year High

Cocoa prices hit a three-year high in June of 2014 due to a global deficit. There are many reasons for this deficit including supply issues and price hikes, but the main reason is that demand for cocoa in emerging markets is higher than ever. Consumers in markets such as India see chocolate as an affordable luxury and a gift option. Most chocolate manufacturers have absorbed the high prices so far, but companies such as Mondelez are producing smaller versions of their chocolate products and selling them for the same prices.

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September 12, 2014

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

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

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September 10, 2014

The Positives and Negatives of Social Media for Packaged Food Companies

Packaged food companies are using social media as a means to monitor what consumers are saying about their brands and to engage with their customers through suggestions. For example, PepsiCo's Lays brand holds a yearly contest where consumers suggest new flavors for their chips/crisps and contest voting is done via social media. However social media can also cause backlash for companies as well; for example, word spread on Twitter in 2013 about the CEO of Barilla Group's anti-gay remarks, leading to a public apology by the executive.

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Recent Posts

Veal: Evolving from “Cruel Meat” to Ethical Choice

Going Green Unlikely to Significantly Boost Western Europe’s Bottled Water Market

Top 5 Manufacturing Economies: What Challenges Are They Facing?

Big Data, Unique IDs and Prescriptive Analytics: Revolutionising Online Travel Marketing

Heineken NV rebuffs the SABMiller Plc bid

Latest Research: Packaged Food 2015 Edition Now Live

Cocoa Prices Hit Three-Year High

IFA 2014: Flagship Smartphones Aplenty but is Anyone Buying?

Apple Inc Unveils its Most Significant Product Refresh Since the iPad

The Positives and Negatives of Social Media for Packaged Food Companies