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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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January 8, 2015

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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December 19, 2014

Olam to Become One of Top Three Global Cocoa Processors

John MaddenAnalyst Insight by John Madden - Head of Ingredients Research

As the year ends on a major acquisition in ingredients, we ask what is driving this and does it make good business sense? Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM) announced plans to dispose of its cocoa business in July 2013 – a decision driven by volatility in the cocoa market. Cargill purchased the chocolate business in September 2014 but steered clear of cocoa processing due to potential competition issues. This week Olam broke the news of a US$1.3 billion purchase of ADM’s cocoa business – a deal that will catapult Olam to become one of the top three global cocoa processors.

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Cuba Libre: Latin America’s Final Consumer Frontier?


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With the thaw in relations between Cuba and the USA, multinationals are likely to be planning their strategies in the new year to boost business in this frontier market. Even before the thaw, we identified Cuba as a Consumer Market of the Future. In 2013, consumer expenditure totalled Tweet-ThisUS$38.6 billion, and with a population of 11.3 million, albeit in slow decline, the market offers real promise for multinationals. Although the US embargo has not yet been lifted, the time might be right to re-evaluate Cuba’s potential as a consumer market.

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December 18, 2014

Diplomatic Normalisation Promises Cuban Evolution for US Cigar Market

Shane_MacGuillAnalyst Insight by Shane MacGuill - Tobacco Analyst

The almost total thawing out of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, announced yesterday, 17th December by President Barack Obama, could lead to the smouldering of Cuban cigars from coast to coast in the US$8 billion dollar US cigar market. The biggest winners from the relaxing of the trade embargo with Cuba are likely to be Imperial Tobacco plc, the world’s 4th largest international tobacco company and part owner, with the Cuban government of the state cigar company Corporacion Habanos and the US tobacco specialist stores which currently supply around 40% of the country’s cigars and through which high price point Cuban offerings will largely be distributed.

Imperial Tobacco inherited  a 50% holding in the Cuban state cigar company Corporacion Habanos through its purchase of the French-Spanish tobacco giant Altadis in 2007. It is thought that the company, which distributes the Cohiba and Montecristo premium cigar brands outside the US and non-Cuban brands such as Romeo y Julieta within it, has been anticipating the relaxation of the trade embargo for some time and has plans to ramp up production by 50% to meet increased demand. However, in an analyst briefing in November 2014, Imperial CEO Alison Cooper made reference to some supply issues in Cuba which may or may not impact this target:

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December 9, 2014

McDonald’s Expands Customisable Burger Concept – But Should They?

ElizabethFriendAnalyst Insight by Elizabeth Friend - Senior Foodservice Analyst

McDonald’s has been quietly testing a customisable burger and chicken sandwich concept for months, but this week announced a plan to aggressively expand the program, rolling out to thirty US outlets immediately and as many as 2,000 outlets in 2015. Called “Create Your Taste,” the program allows customers to bypass ordering lines and instead place their order via touchscreen kiosks, choosing from a variety of buns, toppings and sauces, many of which have never previously been available at McDonald’s.

Customisable sandwiches cost more and take longer to make, but McDonald’s is betting that customers won’t mind—especially those highly desirable fast casual customers whom have already grown used to high quality food and customisable orders at chains like Chipotle. Svati Kirsten Narula at Quartz writes:

McDonald’s hopes to win consumers back by offering build-your-own sandwich options, betting that customers won’t mind waiting longer or paying more for made-to-order meals…At Chipotle, customers interact with burrito-makers and watch as their orders are crafted, which makes highly specific customization possible…Selecting sandwich buns and toppings via touch-screen isn’t exactly the same thing, but if the resulting food is perceived to be higher-quality, that’s a win. Test customers interviewed by Bloomberg and USA Today have given favorable reviews to their “Create Your Taste” experiences, although they couched their compliments with nods to too-high pricing and comparisons to In-N-Out Burger.– Quartz

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December 5, 2014

E-Residency: Online Gimmick or a Smart-ID for the Future?

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

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As Estonia unveiled the world’s first e-residency in December 2014, the first steps were taken to creating a regulated and organised identification process purely for Internet users. The scheme, designed to provide willing participants with an online identity that is recognised by the Estonian state and embedded in a physical chipped card, does not give participants any actual legal citizenship. However, the e-residency can act like a legitimate proof of identity online, thereby potentially streamlining legal, bureaucratic and financial procedures. With the Internet economy becoming a vast pool of resources and information, there is certainly demand to bring greater regulation and personification to online interactions. However, there are also valid concerns if additional online checks would encroach on the freedom of the Internet as well as expose consumers to additional avenues of digital fraud.

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November 25, 2014

Global Foodservice Sales Reach US$2.6 Trillion in 2013

NRN-2014_Top-25-CoverOur new list, compiled in collaboration with Nation's Restaurant News, focuses on the top 25 international foodservice operators of outside North America.  This list and corresponding regional analysis is prominently featured in Nation’s Restaurant News latest issue.   

Asia Pacific leads the way in foodservice sales with US$1 trillion dollars, followed by North America with US$544 billion and Western Europe at US$535 billion respectively. However, Eastern Europe experienced the most fixed year-on-year growth in 2012-2013with 10.8% sales growth, while Latin America also experienced strong growth with 9.7% expansion.  

In Latin America, Brazilian chain Habib’s still leads the way in sales, reflecting the continuing importance of value-priced local brands and in Western Europe, UK-based Costa Coffee has expanded with an additional 25 markets in the region, increasing their rivalry with Starbucks.

Michael Schaefer, Head of Consumer Foodservice Research, says, “Utilizing our extensive global research helps us formulate the top 25 list and provides unique insights to not only what is going on in foodservice globally, but what is trending regionally. This in turn offers operators an opportunity to better understand their own markets, as well as markets they may wish to expand into in the future.”

Download the Top 25 International Restaurant Chains List

To read the rest of the analysis provided by Euromonitor and Nation’s Restaurant News please visit: http://nrn.com/

November 10, 2014

Perrigo Co Plc Wins Race to Acquire Omega Pharma NV

ChrisSchmidtAnalyst Insight by Chris Schmidt - Consumer Health Analyst

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As the curtains close on a year of unprecedented consolidation in the consumer health industry, another prized asset has been snatched up. Belgium’s Omega Pharma NV, which itself was taken private just two years previously, has agreed to be acquired by the Irish-American private label powerhouse Perrigo Co Plc. While the deal’s US$4.5 billion valuation pales in comparison to the GlaxoSmithKline-Novartis joint venture (scheduled for early 2015 completion) or Bayer’s US$14.2 billion acquisition of Merck & Co Inc’s consumer division in October, it nevertheless testifies to the ongoing attractiveness of the industry and the need to diversify portfolios across geographies and categories. While Perrigo’s purchase may mark the last significant deal of 2014, consolidation in consumer health is expected to continue well beyond the New Year.

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November 4, 2014

Yildiz Holding becomes World’s Third Largest Biscuit Manufacturer following United Biscuits Acquisition

Pinar HosafciAnalyst Insight by Pinar Hosafci - Packaged Food Analyst

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The news is finally out. Yildiz Holding is the new owner of United Biscuits, UK’s leading biscuit player, which was in the middle of a fierce battle with the US-cereal giant Kellogg, its British rival Burton’s and Turkish food group Yildiz for the last two months. Following the acquisition, Yildiz is now the world’s third largest biscuit player, behind Mondelez and Kellogg, leapfrogging both Nestlé and PepsiCo. The merger also brings Yildiz one step closer to its pledge of becoming a truly global company, building on its recent buyouts of the Belgian gourmet chocolatier Godiva and US premium confectionery player DeMet’s. While many food companies are busy seeking growth in the emerging world, Yildiz has chosen to invest in a mature market. Euromonitor International investigates why.

Top Six Biscuits Companies by Retail Value

Source: Euromonitor International

Continue reading "Yildiz Holding becomes World’s Third Largest Biscuit Manufacturer following United Biscuits Acquisition" »


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