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Food and beverage companies are targeting Asia’s lucrative electronic games (egames) market by rolling out customised functional products and sponsoring esports events in collaboration with leading game developers. Opportunities are rife for such products in China, which by itself is a $ 50 billion-plus market for mobile, personal computer, console, and cloud gaming software, as well as other booming Asian markets, such as Japan, and South Korea, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Tim Hill, Key Account Director at GlobalData Singapore, comments: “During extended gaming sessions, egamers are prone to consume snacks and drinks to quell hunger pangs, stay hydrated, and thereby play uninterrupted. Food and beverage makers are rolling out premium products targeting this high-spending cohort of avid gamers to cash in on the popularity of gaming. Companies are customising the recipes with ingredients that boost stamina and mental alertness to allow egamers to extend their sessions and improve their performance. Additionally, they are personalizing offerings for egamer cohorts of different genders, ages, and geographic regions. This personalisation feature can appeal to 57 % of Asian consumers whose product choices are often or always influenced by how well the product/service is tailored to my needs and personality**.”

Bobby Verghese, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, notes: “Among beverage categories, energy drinks presently dominate the gaming world. Recent product launches targeting avid gamers include Coca-Cola’s Thums Up Charged energy drink unveiled in Vietnam and Cambodia, and Beat The World’s G-Beat energy drink and computer manufacturer Acer’s PredatorShot in Thailand. Coca-Cola claims that Thums Up Charged is infused with vitamin B3, caffeine, and zinc to boost energy. According to the manufacturer, G-Beat is made with natural caffeine and without white sugar and fortified with vitamins A and B to support eyesight and brain functioning. Acer claims that PredatorShot is fortified with vitamin A to boost gamers’ eyesight.”

Hill continues: “Companies are also collaborating with top game developers to launch co-branded products and packaging. For instance, Coca-Cola unveiled a limited-edition Coca-Cola Ultimate Zero Sugar with a special flavour inspired by Riot Games’ hit game, League of Legends. Other recent examples include Mister Potato’s special edition pack for the game, Mobile Legends: Bang; and ZUS Coffee’s limited-edition drink, Velvet Crème Poring Latté, with the theme of the popular mobile game, Ragnarok Origin. Within the foodservice sector, notable examples of egames collaborations include Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza, Hut which rolled out special campaigns in Malaysia in collaboration with a popular mobile game, Genshin Impact.”

*GlobalData Technology Intelligence Center ­– Market Analyzers, accessed in September 2023
**GlobalData Q2 2023 Consumer Survey – Asia & Australasia, with 6,438 respondents, published in May 2023

Cutting edge start-ups, technology companies and universities join hands with Tetra Pak to tackle challenges and unlock new opportunities for the Food & Beverage industry.

Ahead of the United Nations World Food Safety Day Tetra Pak announced its new set of research collaborations and programmes to further accelerate efforts to address challenges facing food systems worldwide. The initiative is part of the company’s drive to nurture an innovation ecosystem to open new opportunities in the areas of food availability, safety and sustainability.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation UN FAO, the world is in a very different place compared to six years ago, when it committed to the goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and all forms of malnutrition by 2030. The current reality is that we have not been progressing fast enough towards ensuring access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food for all people. As an example, over 2 billion people did not have access to enough safe and nutritious food in 2020.

Laurence Mott, Executive VP Development and Technology at Tetra Pak says: “Tetra Pak has been an early advocate of forming and strengthening links between academia and the food industry. We have several long-standing relationships with universities and research institutions. We’ve also been working with game changing start-ups and tech companies to accelerate innovation. Now more than ever this is vital. The challenges of the global food industry are broad and varied. The only way we can meet these challenges is to pool our expertise. Only together will we secure a better future in the areas of sustainability, food safety and food availability. I’m very happy to see the progress so far and will take this opportunity to thank all our partners”.
In an attempt to address challenges around food and sustainability, Tetra Pak is teaming up with entities across countries such as France, US, Sweden and Italy, among others, to explore different innovations across the food system. These includes a range of development programmes – from exploring new food categories, such as plant based food, to using enzymes that reduce food waste to advancing the insect protein movement.

Rodrigo Godoi, VP Processing Portfolio Management at Tetra Pak, says: “To drive innovation, we need to question status quo and keep pushing our boundaries, working together with external partners who bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table. At Tetra Pak, we are continuously exploring new concepts, new food ingredients and new production methods that sit outside of our ‘core’ competencies. As an example, we have conducted over 300 screenings that resulted in more than 10 pilot projects to be researched. We encourage start-ups to come to us with their ideas as well as to join cross-industry teams to explore opportunities. We recognise the value in coming together with experts across an ecosystem in food, science and engineering to help identify new solutions and address challenges intensified by the changes in the food supply chain.

Dr Karim Engelmark Cassimjee, CEO at EnginZyme, said “The food industry faces many sustainability challenges, especially the ability to achieve efficient and sustainable production at the same time. The cell-free biomanufacturing that we have pioneered at EnginZyme can meet this need with its broad applicability, low cost of production, short development timelines and predictable scalability. Our collaboration with Tetra Pak is an incredibly exciting opportunity – in particular how we are exploring solutions to unlock the potential of by-products like acid whey”.

Some of the programmes announced include, France’s Paris&Co innovation platforms, Smart Food Paris and Urban Lab, technology start-ups EnginZyme, NuCaps and Tebrito and leading research universities in Italy and Sweden including University of Modena, Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) and Lund University.

In 2020 and continuing into 2021, COVID-19 has profoundly affected trading in the UK, with the cider market losing 16.3 %* volume in 2020, dropping to 7837.36 thousand hectolitres, according to GlobalData. However, the leading data and analytics company notes that, with restrictions being lifted and most businesses emerging from lockdown, the possibility of a successful trading year for many companies should not be ruled out, especially those heavily involved in beer and cider production.

Chloe Gbadero, Senior Beverages Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The lifting of restrictions is great news for companies such as C&C Group, a large cider producer in the UK, which saw a 56.1 %** revenue decline during 2020 due to lockdown measures and an overall downturn for the industry. In H2 2021, C&C Group, and many other companies, have potential to see volume uplifts compared to last year, now that bars and pubs have reopened. This, combined with the potential for warm and sunny weather during the summer months, will continue to encourage outdoor dining and companies would do well to take advantage of the remaining summer months to recoup sales losses during lockdown.”

In GlobalData’s most recent survey in the UK, 21 %*** of respondents demonstrated that when it comes to alcoholic beverages, including cider, fruity flavours are the most appealing. This is 4 % more than citrus flavoured alcoholic products, highlighting a gap in the market for unique flavoured fruit ciders – which producers could benefit from through innovation of products for the remainder of 2021, as usually UK consumers are not the most experimental, preferring sweet and fruity flavours over unique/novel.

Gbadero continues: “It would be interesting to see if alcohol companies will consider further promoting their pre-existing flavoured beverages or introduce new variants in order to encourage further growth. For instance, Old Mout has introduced a new watermelon and lime flavoured variant to its range, following the successful launch of its pineapple and raspberry flavor.

“After a less than favourable 2020, which has fueled long-term loss in the forecast period to 2026, there is still light at the end of the tunnel for this well-established and popular category, provided that producers continue to innovate in line with changing consumer behaviors, and collaborate with on-premise locations to promote cider consumption.”

*GlobalData’s Intelligence Centre – Quarterly Beverage Forecast
**C&C Group – Annual Report 2020
***GlobalData’s Consumer Survey – Q2 United Kingdom

Production in the citrus belt (São Paulo and Triângulo Mineiro) is higher in the 2019/20 season. The demand for fruits, in turn, was firm in 2019 because of low ending stocks of orange juice at processing companies from São Paulo. Therefore, higher demand and the record productivity in the field kept profitability positive. Moreover, the fact that most trades with the industry had been closed previously and at the same price levels observed on 2018/19 also favored profitability.

Fundecitrus (Citrus Defense Fund) released a report in December indicating that the orange production in the citrus belt may increase 34.7 % in 2019/20, totaling 385.31 million 40.8-kilo boxes. Productivity per hectare is likely to reach 1,041 boxes, a record. The good result is attributed to favorable weather during flower development (in the second semester of 2018) and to the fact that plants recovered after the previous lower production.

INDUSTRY – Prices for the industrial sector concerning the contracts closed in October and November 2018 ranged from 20.00 to 22.00 BRL per 40.8-kilo box, harvested and delivered at processors, similar to that in the previous crop, despite the current high supply. However, for the producers who trade with companies in the spot market, values were at 20.00 BRL per box – in the previous season, they reached 26.00 BRL per box.

However, quotes in the spot market increased in December, scenario that may be related to perspectives for lower production in the 2020/21 season. As a result, one of the major processing companies started to purchase fruits at 20.00 BRL per box from December onwards – the average price most part of the crop was 18.00 BRL per box, harvested and delivered. Another major company continued to bid 18.00 BRL per box in the last month of 2019, but the price was 16.00 BRL/box during the season.

INVENTORIES – In 2019/20, the industrial demand was firm, due to low stocks at processing companies in São Paulo, of 253.18 thousand tons of orange juice in June/19, according to CitrusBR. This volume is 26.2 % lower compared to that in the 2017/18 season.

IN NATURA MARKET – Higher orange supply pressed down quotes in the in natura market in 2019. Between July and November, the average price for pear oranges was 29 % below that in the same period of 2018, in nominal terms.

However, the 2018/19 harvest was small, pushing up quotes, which hit nominal records from July to December 2018, considering Cepea series (since 1994). Compared to quotes in the 2017/18 season, price averages between July and November 2019 were 20 % higher, in nominal terms.

EXPORTS – After a season with low shipments, orange juice trades to the international market have recovered in 2019/20. The good performance is linked to the higher production in São Paulo and the possible needs to build stocks from juice bottling companies. In the partial of the season (from June to November/19), 550.13 thousand tons of orange juice were exported to all destinations, 46 % more compared to the same period last crop.

TAHITI – The market behavior was atypical in 2019. Despite the higher production, values were high throughout the year, sustained by firm demands (domestic and international). The average from January to November was 34.58 BRL per 27-kilo box, harvested, only 4.3 % down compared to that in 2018, in nominal terms.

Brazilian exports of tahiti lime hit a record last year. The dry weather in Mexico, major competitor regarding shipments to the European Union, favored exports good performance.