Analyst Insight by Jonas Feliciano - Senior Beverages Analyst
Amidst the much-publicised decline of both regular and reduced sugar carbonates, The Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo have plans to launch stevia-based cola carbonates (Coca Cola Life and Pepsi True) in the US. Both companies have had mixed results with similar launches in other markets, but they hope US consumers will be drawn back to cola carbonates via the use of this low-calorie natural sweetener. While these products address consumer concerns about the usage of artificial sweeteners, the issue for mid-calorie carbonates remains the same: why should consumers choose this reduced calorie product when it does not taste the same as the original and contains more calories than their zero calorie counterparts? By continuing to promote these mid-calorie carbonates as having the same taste as full caloric cola carbonates, both companies risk damaging the value of stevia-based drinks by failing to live up to this promise. Instead of focusing on like-for-like comparisons, using stevia in new non-cola carbonates or other beverages could help consumers become more acclimated to its taste as well as discover new flavours amidst the ever broadening soft drinks industry.
Continue reading "The Stevia Dilemma: Will Coca-Cola Life and Pepsi True Damage Perceptions of the Natural Sweetener?" »
Analyst Insight by Elizabeth Friend - Senior Consumer Foodservice Analyst
The US restaurant world has been rumbling about better pizza for a few years now, but the trend is nearing a tipping point. With better burgers speeding toward its apex, forward-looking fast casual consumers are looking toward the next big culinary trend, and better pizza seems poised to take up the mantle. These chains aren’t just fast casual pizza chains, they’re artisanal, usually wood-fired and Neopolitan-style pizza concepts that emphasise a fresher, healthier positioning and a whole new kind of pizza dining occasion. They’re customisable and flexible, with strong branding and a focus on ingredients, and they’re spreading quickly across the US with high potential for international expansion over the long-term.
Quick, customisable, and premium
800 Degrees' assembly line ordering system is paired with a gourmet, wood-fired pizza preparation
Image by Flickr user LWYang
Continue reading "Move Over, Better Burgers: Better Pizza is Here, and It's About to Take Off" »
Analyst Insight by An Hodgson - Income and Expenditure Manager
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
Continue reading "Top 5 Manufacturing Economies: What Challenges Are They Facing?" »
Analyst Insight by Michelle Evans - Senior Consumer Finance Analyst
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.”
Continue reading "With Apple Pay, Mobile Payments Have Arrived in the US" »
Analyst Insight by Amin Alkhatib - Alcoholic Drinks Analyst
Are consumers looking for less alcohol in their beers or is it just the influence of marketing by the big brewers? If we were to observe the current situation in the UK and the US there are different dynamics that suggest an answer to this question. In the former market legislative action influenced the development of a lower-ABV flavoured/mixed lagers market, while, in the latter, the performance of low-ABV beers reflects consumers’ indifference to such products.
In the UK, in October 2011, a reduced rate of general beer duty for lower-strength beer was applied to beers between 1.2% and 2.8% ABV, for both domestic and imported products. This new rate lowered the tax burden on at least 1% of the UK beer market volume sales in 2012 and 2013. However, the performance of low-ABV beers in the UK following this tax change seems somewhat reactionary.
Continue reading "Low-alcohol Beers: Reactionary or a Solution to Volume Decline in Standard Lager?" »
Analyst Insight by Media Eghbal - Head of Countries Analysis
The global economy is picking up pace in the second half of 2014. One of the key characteristics is that growth is being driven by advanced economies as risks are on the increase in emerging markets. The outlook for the five largest developed markets is mixed with the best performance expected in the UK while France, Europe’s second largest economy, battles economic stagnation which is acting as a drag on eurozone potential. Developed economies face key challenges including low inflation, a threat of deflation and persistent unemployment in some countries. Furthermore, rising geopolitical tensions around the world could throw the global recovery off course. However, the positive signs are robust including a pickup in trade, rising domestic demand and an easing of fiscal tightening measures, which were deployed to deal with unsustainable government debt levels. These factors have resulted in renewed investor interest in major advanced economies. The second half of 2014 will be dominated by debates about when interest rates will rise in these economies from their record low rates.
Continue reading "Top 5 Largest Advanced Economies: What is the Mid-Year Outlook in 2014?" »
Hassle-Free Travel Arrangements
Smartphones often serve as ‘digital assistants’, managing schedules, booking reservations and otherwise assisting with day-to-day plans. In theory, smartphones should play a similar role in travel planning. But do consumers actually use mobile technology to arrange travel logistics? If not, what is preventing them from doing so? To further explore this topic, Euromonitor turned to its global network of analysts in over 80 countries, uncovering the trends they see among consumers in their local area.
Most Use Computers Rather than Mobiles to Book Travel
Mobile technology may be proliferating across the globe, but laptops and desktops are still the go-to channel for booking travel, especially when it comes to flights and hotels. In both cases, well over 90% of analysts report that consumers in their country typically use a computer to make reservations. By contrast, slightly over 20% agree that smartphone apps or mobile websites via smartphones are mainstream booking methods. Most consumers also rely on a laptop or desktop to book a rental car, though booking in person is also a common option for many. In-person reservations are even more popular when it comes to arranging activities at a destination. Meanwhile, one third of analysts report that consumers in their country book hotels and rental cars over the phone - evidence that hearing a human voice remains important to many consumers.
Continue reading "Analyst Pulse: Trends in Mobile Travel Bookings" »