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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 10, 2014

Annie's Poised for even more Success with General Mill's Acquisition

General Mills recently announced that it will acquire Annie's Homegrown Inc, a manufacturer of natural and organic packaged food such as macaroni and cheese mixes and cookies. This acquisition is in line with General Mill's recent strategy of buying up natural and organic food companies such as Larabar, which it purchased in 2008. With many US consumers looking for natural and healthy food alternatives, this strategy will likely prove successful for General Mills. Annie's is already outperforming its peers and the brand will enjoy even more success paired with General Mill's vast distribution network and marketing budget.

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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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September 5, 2014

Low-alcohol Beers: Reactionary or a Solution to Volume Decline in Standard Lager?

Amin AlkhatibAnalyst 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.

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September 4, 2014

Top 5 Largest Advanced Economies: What is the Mid-Year Outlook in 2014?

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Analyst Insight by Media Eghbal - Head of Countries Analysis

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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.

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September 2, 2014

Analyst Pulse: Trends in Mobile Travel Bookings

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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. 

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September 1, 2014

Regional Snack Food Players Achieving Growth in the US

Many regional snack food players are growing in the US using both traditional and unconventional methods. TastyKake, a Philadelphia-based pastry manufacturer expanded its distribution network in 2011 by being acquired by Flower Foods. As a result, TastyKake is now available in the southern US and is rapidly growing sales. Chicago-based SkinnyPop, other other hand, is growing without acquisition. The company sells to convince stores, mass merchandisers and drugstores in the US where low-calorie options can be limited.

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August 27, 2014

The Risks and Rewards of the Burger King and Tim Hortons Deal

6a01310f54565d970c01b8d05c9866970c-800wiWith Elizabeth Friend - Consumer Foodservice Analyst

Burger King recently announced they will purchase Tim Hortons for eleven billion dollars and move its headquarters to Canada. The new company will own about 23.5 billion in terms of annual revenue, putting them behind McDonald’s and Yum! Brands as the third largest consumer foodservice operator in the world. This merger gives Tim Hortons an opportunity to aggressively expand in new markets and gives Burger King a way to compete in the breakfast and coffee segments.

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Strategy Briefing: Opportunities and Challenges in Global Participatory Sport

250_particSport-v1.1According to our new report, health and vanity have been the two largest influencers on consumer exercise.  Obesity has been identified largely as a public health issue due to excessive amounts of media coverage. Therefore, governments around the world have started many initiatives to encourage consumers to exercise more.  Some have even increased funding for public sports facilities or provided tax incentives. 

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Physical attractiveness has also been an important aspect of exercise, as mass media applies much pressure on the consumer to appear perfect, with many ads featuring airbrushed models.  This aspirational perfectionism has not only fuelled interest in exercise but has also increased body disorders, which have also risen over the past decade.

Some of the latest popular exercises include extreme sports such as rock climbing and adventure sports such as triathlons. Many health clubs continued to see growth in developed countries as well, even in spite of the recession.

The increased participation in exercise has led to marketing opportunities and product success in many industries, particularly apparel.  Sportswear sales have consistently outperformed the wide apparel market over recent years, with outdoor clothing becoming popular. 

“There are many market opportunities within apparel, health and supplements, sports and energy drinks, and electronics to cater to the exercise and health conscious consumer,” says Editorial Director, Gina Westbrook.  “Our report really highlights opportunities and challenges globally within exercise and sports consumption.”

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August 26, 2014

Shake Shack IPO Rumors and the Better Burgers Trend

6a01310f54565d970c01b8d05c9866970c-800wiWith Elizabeth Friend - Consumer Foodservice Analyst

US-based burger chain Shake Shack is reportedly seeking an IPO, which would make it one of the first ‘better burger’ chains behind Five Guys to pursue a national expansion. Typically, many major restaurant trends have a well-defined boom and bust lifecycle, but the better burgers trend is extending far beyond the normal lifestyle-driven trend. Although Shake Shack is a regional chain with a long road ahead to becoming national, its design and appeal give it a good chance to come out on top among the competition.

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Recent Posts

Top 5 Manufacturing Economies: What Challenges Are They Facing?

Annie's Poised for even more Success with General Mill's Acquisition

With Apple Pay, Mobile Payments Have Arrived in the US

Low-alcohol Beers: Reactionary or a Solution to Volume Decline in Standard Lager?

Top 5 Largest Advanced Economies: What is the Mid-Year Outlook in 2014?

Analyst Pulse: Trends in Mobile Travel Bookings

Regional Snack Food Players Achieving Growth in the US

The Risks and Rewards of the Burger King and Tim Hortons Deal

Strategy Briefing: Opportunities and Challenges in Global Participatory Sport

Shake Shack IPO Rumors and the Better Burgers Trend