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We unpick how Prime Hydration has become the ‘must-have’ health drink of the year and explore where the brand goes from here.

What is Prime Hydration?

Trendbite: How does a sports drink reach such meteoric success that gets the whole world talking?
Prime Hydration (Photo: SW Group)

Congo Brands partnered with rapper Olajide Olayinka Williams Olatunji (KSI) and YouTuber/media personality Logal Paul to produce Prime, a new sports drink that first launched in the US in January 2022. More than half a million people watched the pair announce their beverage collaboration on YouTube.

Positioned with multiple health benefits, the drink appeals to those looking to make ‘better-for-you’ choices across a range of lifestyles – not just athletes.

It is an electrolyte- and antioxidant-fortified beverage with 10 % coconut water, with natural flavours. Its product range includes Ice Pop, Orange, Blue Raspberry, Tropical Punch, Lemon Lime, Grape, and a limited-edition flavour, Meta Moon, flavours. Its launch line-up is a ‘who’s who’ in classic, well-known flavours with broad accessibility and appeal.

Why is it so popular?

The founders have a combined social media following of over 125million across Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube – giving them an enormous ‘ready-made’ customer base.

The brand has secured exclusivity agreements with select retail partners, limiting the ways in which people can purchase the product. This has driven enormous hype around the product’s availability, which only adds to the appeal.

The drink was released in stores and online in the US on the 8th January and strength of demand led to it selling out within hours. In the UK, it was a similar story, with national media adding to the demand with increasing coverage and frenzy around the brand’s limited availability.

This exclusivity has certainly been a key driver behind the drink’s success. According to GlobalData’s Q3 2022 global consumer survey, about 52 % of consumers say that they are often or always influenced by the fact the product they are purchasing is novel or unique.

The Q2 survey highlighted how 43 % of global consumers see food and beverages being endorsed by a celebrity as an essential or nice to have feature, which will have certainly boosted the success of Prime – particularly with the younger generations.

How important are the ingredients?

Quantifying just how important isn’t an exact science, but history tells us that ultimately the taste, and quality, of the flavour are what matter long-term. The draw of celebrity endorsements, fueled by the products’ limited availability are sure to drive huge interest around initial purchase. One must question the longevity of that as a standalone strategy as, without a great tasting formulation behind the brand, appetite will inevitably fizzle out.

The quality of the drinking experience is a big part of what keeps people coming back to a product – making it integral to the brand’s success in the long term.

What’s next?

The brand is preparing to expand to India, Australia, South Africa, and the UAE this year. Logan Paul has been quoted as saying: “We want to be a global brand, and we believe that because the audience JJ and I have built online is extensive – the internet is available in most parts of the world, and we’re finding that our silly mugs are popping up on people’s phones across the world – it would be foolish not to capitalise on it.”

Other brands will surely look to emulate Prime’s success, with influencer-based marketing becoming increasingly prevalent in the beverage industry. We’re also seeing what can be achieved when consumer-aligned ingredients, the right health and wellbeing claims, and a sense of excitement around a product’s exclusivity collide.

A bold new era of “Healthy Hedonism” is inspiring a radical rethink of what is possible with natural colours, according to trend analysis by GNT.

GNT, the global supplier of plant-based EXBERRY® colours, explored how today’s consumers see colour in the world of food and drink and beyond. The research revealed a powerful new trend shaped by Generation Z’s desire to embrace joy and creativity while staying true to core values.

The new generation of consumers is radical, diverse, and digitally native – and it is rapidly changing global attitudes toward food and drink. Gen Z shoppers are committed to holistic wellness and are actively promoting environmental and social agendas through their purchases. At the same time, their devotion to social media means visual impact is more important than ever before.

This consumer behavior can be described as Healthy Hedonism. This ethos is now set to spark a global surge in demand for eye-catching products that are good for people and planet. From seductive healthy snacks to kaleidoscopic TikTok treats, the trend showcases a lifestyle that is playful, considered, and nourishing.

GNT’s analysis found that it is already generating new directions in natural colour. For example, cute soft-play pastel shades are being used to redefine what “healthy and sustainable” looks like. Psychedelic colour schemes now work in harmony with mind-boosting ingredients to tap into new-age wellbeing. Bright, clashing colour combinations can also enable brands to create virtuous products that satisfy the desire for creativity and self-expression.

Maartje Hendrickx, Market Development Manager at GNT Group, said: “Healthy Hedonism resonates with the new generation of conscious consumers who are determined to rewrite the rules. To tap into the trend, brands need to celebrate disruption and adopt a new visual language for products that are both healthy and environmentally sound. Earthy colours are no longer a necessity – it’s time to be bold, be creative, and make people smile.”

Available in shades spanning the full spectrum, EXBERRY® colours are plant-based concentrates created from non-GMO fruit, vegetables, and plants using traditional physical processing methods. GNT has also set out a commitment to become the leader in its field on sustainability by 2030.

To access GNT’s exclusive colour trend analysis on how Gen Z is changing perceptions of color, click here:

Fi Global’s in-person events and digital platforms will bring together over 250,000 ingredient buyers and suppliers throughout 2022

This year, Fi Global will once again be taking centre stage to bring together international ingredient buyers and suppliers, and connecting the food and beverage community through a series of online and in-person events.

During the year, there will be 11 live events throughout the Americas, Asia and EMEA, and all featuring exhibitors from around the world. These events will cover the industry’s hottest topics, including the ever-growing global trend for plant-based products. Hi and Fi China, for example, is set to launch a plant-based Expo, and Fi Asia is shining the spotlight on plant-based ingredients with a sensory tasting bar and start-up competition, along with other meat-alternative initiatives and opportunities.

Meanwhile, Fi & Hi Europe will once again take place as a digitally enabled event this year. The online show will be delivered in conjunction with the in-person event, offering attendees the best of both worlds, and numerous opportunities to source, connect and innovate. The in-person event will be held for the first time at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles in the city centre of Paris. This impressive venue is within walking distance of many hotels, restaurants and bars – bringing back a touch of Parisian panache and making the event more convenient than ever before.

Deep dive webinar series

In terms of online content, this year’s new Fi Webinar Series focusses on increasingly popular market segments, from Protein, Dairy & Dairy Alternatives, to Snacks & Bakery, Plant-based and Beverages. These free sessions are complemented by Fi Global Insights, a digital platform hosting new and exciting content, from latest trends and insights, to industry reports, interviews with thought leaders and much more.

Another key feature of the Fi Global portfolio is its marketplace solution, Ingredients Network – the leading food ingredients marketplace and directory in the global food ingredients industry, where F&B buyers can find suppliers and do business online.

The Fi Global portfolio is supported by global partners including Innova Market Insights, Mintel and FMCG Gurus, all of whom have unrivalled industry expertise and analysis, and their finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to current and future trends.

Marketing services

Fi Global’s marketing services help ingredients suppliers boost their online performance though effective digital marketing solutions with measurable ROI. They help suppliers of food ingredients to reach their specific business objectives such as lead generation, brand awareness and thought leadership, through specific tailor-made digital solutions.

“More than ever before, the Fi Global portfolio connects the ingredient industry through a number of physical and online offerings, with supporting digital platforms and solutions,” says Julien Bonvallet, Fi Global Brand Director. “All of our offerings allow buyers and sellers of food ingredients to come together to connect, learn and do better business. We believe that close cooperation within the global food ingredients community has the power to positively impact wellbeing, health and the environment.”

2021 was another record year for food and drink industry transactions, with 1,116 registered on the Zenith Global mergers and acquisitions database, an average of 21 each week.

The total is 34 % more than in 2020 and 79 % higher than 5 years ago. The number has risen every year since a dip in 2013. Funding rounds for early stage businesses have become an increasingly important element.

Over 1,100 food and drink acquisitions in 2021

The most active sectors were ingredients on 97, packaging on 96, soft drinks on 56 and dairy on 54.

Over 1,100 food and drink acquisitions in 2021

The top 15 sectors saw some significant changes in 2021. Packaging, plant-based and vertical farming deals more than doubled, with plant-based rising 9 places to the top 5. Meat-free entered the top 10, outpacing meat.

Vertical farming, food delivery and CBD moved up to the top 15, while services, water drinks and beer dropped out.

The combination of plant-based (48), meat-free (41), cell-based (24), dairy-free (20), alcohol-free (10) and plant-based seafood (5) would make free-from by far the biggest category overall on 148, 13 % of the total. Water drinks (23) and water dispense (18), when taken together at 41, would come 8th.

5 categories had declared transaction values in excess of $10 billion. These were packaging, food delivery, ingredients, plant-based and dairy.

8 more categories exceeded $5 billion – fresh produce, nutrition, meat, soft drinks, snacks, equipment, water drinks and tea.

Meat-free surpassed USD2 billion, while vertical farming and cell-based both exceeded USD1 billion.

Lithuanian design agency FOLK gave a holiday makeover to a beloved Christmas drink—kissel. The agency ditched the traditional powder mix and created a brand new product “Slippery Business” in tin packaging, specifically designed for a revamped drink formula.

FOLK, one of the most recognized design agencies in the Baltic region, reintroduced the nation’s Christmas favorite, a cranberry kissel, in unique packaging. Generally sold as a powder mix, the newly-formulated product, called “Slippery Business,” is packaged in a tin casing to shake and liven up the traditional festive table.

A Lithuanian beloved kissel is a non-alcoholic drink where cranberries, the star of the flavor palette, shine through a slightly gooey and slippery texture. It is served almost exclusively on Christmas and is usually the one drink no Lithuanian family forgoes.

However, the design agency felt the conventional drink packaging lacked some festive charm and should be given the justice it deserves in a specially-made tin casing. The product name, design, and font were inspired by the drink’s unique texture, while the colors represent the acidity of cranberries. The new drink formula also has less sugar, is vegan and gluten-free to suit everyone’s dietary requirements.

The freshly repackaged kissel was a Christmas gift to FOLK’s clients, friends, and partners. According to Ignas Kozlovas, creative director at FOLK, business gifts present a great opportunity to showcase the ingenuity and challenge oneself in non-conventional tasks. Therefore each year FOLK, which has a passion for Lithuanian folklore, aims to surprise their clients with knock-your-socks-off gifts.

“Traditions have a tendency to change over time, even during the biggest holidays of the year. Several past years have shown us that you can join everyone for a festive dinner through a smart device, or order international dishes instead of traditional ones,” said Kozlovas. “Not many things stay the same in these changing times, but kissel remains a national treasure every single Christmas. However, the drink is too good to be enjoyed only once a year, and we believe the new tin packaging might give it a chance to make an after-holiday come-back.”

“Slippery Business” also allowed the agency to experience the manufacturing process hands-on. The agency was involved in formulating the modern yet well-known flavor and adapting tin casing to the drink’s unique texture—the tin, filled with non-fizzy drink, is softer than usual, therefore allowing to feel the kissel’s texture without even tasting it.

“We created the product having in mind that Christmas itself is a slippery business with unexpected topics at festive dinners or unusual office parties. The entire process—from design to manufacturing—allowed us to also understand the challenges that our clients face every day and be better prepared to tackle the new unique tasks next year,” added Kozlovas.

About FOLK
FOLK is a Lithuanian brand creation and design agency with the main focus on consumer needs. The agency provides brand strategy, packaging, and logo design services, and collaborates with their clients to best serve the consumers and produce unique, Lithuanian folklore-inspired designs.

The pandemic has shifted consumer views towards their health across the globe. New research results show that this pursuit for health will have an influence on the energy product market, as consumers demand healthier alternatives to boost their struggling energy levels. The survey was conducted on behalf of BENEO with 5,000 consumers across Spain, France, Germany, Poland and the UK.

Improving mental wellbeing, overall mood and physical energy levels were some of the most important health aspects that gained momentum as a result of the pandemic. According to BENEO’s research, almost 1 in 3 consumers in Europe have been juggling with feeling tired and a lack of energy during the pandemic. In order to improve energy levels, half of those surveyed said that they have been looking to food and drink products to help them make it through the day. This figure rises even more amongst younger adults (18 – 34-year-olds), with 8 out of 10 young European consumers seeking out energy-boosting products (increasing to 85 % in the UK). The demands of parenting during a pandemic have also left their mark, with 7 out of 10 European consumers with children saying they have turned to food and drink to boost their energy levels (growing to 82 % in the UK).

As well as fatigue being an increasing issue, the pandemic has also made people more aware of the fragility of health and the need to look after themselves. More than ever before, consumers are making the link between their diet and their health, with 63 % making an increased effort to eat and drink healthier in the future because of the pandemic. Also, staying fit and active and having a balanced diet have been major concerns during the pandemic and 2 in 3 consumers now see a healthy diet as key to controlling their future health.

A common way of boosting energy is via energy drinks, which have a wide appeal – being consumed by parents, young adults and gamers to name but a few. However, in light of the current trends, many consumers are looking for products in these categories with healthier attributes, more natural ingredients or benefits of sustained energy. At the same time, awareness is growing amongst consumers that some types of sugar are healthier than others. Today, 1 in 2 consumers see sugars or carbohydrates that have a lower impact on blood sugar levels as enticing. Additionally, 2 in 3 consumers find BENEO’s Palatinose balanced sugar appealing because it supports a healthier lifestyle and provides sustained energy. This makes a compelling argument for the continued development of healthy alternative energy boosting products.

Myriam Snaet, Head of Market Intelligence and Consumer Insights at BENEO commented: “This survey quantifies the trend we have been seeing played out throughout the pandemic. The safeguarding of mental health and physical energy has now become key to European consumers. This higher interest in health and nutrition also links itself to an increased focus on preventative health, where blood sugar management can play a role. What is particularly interesting about this study is the significant size and diversity of the target group that is more interested in claims relating to balanced blood sugar levels. With such a broad appeal for healthy lifestyles, manufacturers who incorporate the balanced sugar, Palatinose, into their products will be well set to make the most of this trend both today and in a post-pandemic world.”

Palatinose, BENEO’s alternative sugar, is fully yet slowly digested and provides full carbohydrate energy but in a balanced and sustained manner, keeping blood glucose response under control. It occurs naturally in honey and is derived from sugar that is naturally extracted from sugar beets. Being low glycaemic, Palatinose enables manufacturers to create products that deliver energy in a more balanced way, while improving blood sugar management.

‘No added sugar’ claims are growing in Europe, with the UK leading the charge as it has the highest proportion (15 %) of European food and drink launches carrying this claim in the past five years, followed by Germany (13 %) and France (10 %). In Poland, ‘no added sugar’ claims have doubled since 2016, reaching 9 % of food and drink launches in 2021.

According to Mintel’s latest consumer research, almost three out of five (59 %) French and German consumers are trying to limit their sugar intake, rising to 65 % of respondents in Poland and 67 % in Spain. However, over half of German (54 %) and (53 %) French* consumers simply prefer eating less indulgent products instead of consuming more ‘light/diet’ alternatives. This is especially true for carbonated soft drinks, with Polish (38 %)** and German (37 %)** consumers being the most likely to agree that ‘better-for-you’ carbonated soft drinks do not feel like a treat.

Neha Srivastava, Food and Drink Patent Analyst at Mintel, said:

“The pandemic has amplified the need for indulgence, influencing consumers’ choice of food and drink. At the same time, the pandemic has seen people place a higher priority on their health by, for example, reducing their sugar intake – but they don’t want to compromise on taste.

“Food and drink companies are starting to pay more attention to cutting sugar from their products. Based on the percentage of granted patents currently active in Europe, France and Germany are among the top five leading countries with the majority of patent grants related to sugar reduction, each accounting for 5 % of all global patent grants. Recent patent activity related to sugar reduction varies from improving the taste of sweeteners to innovating new techniques to reduce the production cost of rare sugars.”

Functional fibre and next-gen stevia could appeal as natural alternatives

Functional fibres in low/reduced sugar food and drink launches are on the rise, increasing globally from 11 % in 2015 to 19 % in 2020. Inulin is the most common functional fibre in low/reduced sugar products, with product launches containing inulin having tripled in the past five years, rising to 9 % in 2020 from 3 % in 2015.

With 63 %*** of Germans concerned about how sugar reduction in food and drink is achieved, combining fibres with sugar to reduce overall sugar content could be an option worth exploring as an alternative. This could also appeal to the 29 %**** of Brits that are interested in more fruit juices, juice drinks and smoothies with high fibre content.

Alternatively, stevia as a plant-based sweetener has the potential to appeal to European consumers as a sugar substitute. In fact, 63 %*** of Germans have no concerns about the amount of plant-based sweeteners (such as stevia) used in food and drink.

Neha Srivastava, Food and Drink Patent Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Consumers are aware of the importance of fibres in maintaining gut health. Brands can leverage this awareness by repositioning them as a multifunctional health ingredient that helps reduce sugar content in food and drink whilst improving gut health.

“Stevia continues to gain traction in food and drink launches because of its naturalness and zero calorific value, but its bitter and lingering aftertaste remains a significant barrier. Recent patent innovations to improve taste issues and physicochemical properties, like purity and solubility, to produce next-generation stevia may help overcome the challenge.

“Innovators are looking for alternative approaches, such as the use of sweet flavouring agents and aromas as a promising option to reduce sugar content in new food and drink products – especially in dairy desserts. This can be a promising option to reduce sugar content by providing sweet perception in brain cells.”

*987 internet users aged 16+ who try to eat/drink healthily, France; 1,955 internet users aged 16+ who try to eat/drink healthily, Germany; 997 internet users aged 16+ who try to eat/drink healthily, Spain; 988 internet users aged 16+ who try to eat/drink healthily, Poland; March 2021
**1,000 internet users aged 16+ in Poland and 2,000 internet users aged 16+ in Germany, December 2020
***2,000 internet users aged 16+, Germany, June 2020
****2,000 internet users aged 16+, UK, October 2020
*****1,000 internet users aged 16+, Italy and Spain, September 2020

Natural energy and performance recovery brand, Resync, announced the newest Resync beverage, the first vegan ready-to-drink multisystem support drink on the market. The Resync beverage offers a convenient and delicious way to support the heart, immune and digestive system all in one eleven-ounce sparkling beverage.

The Resync beverage brings together the most critical ingredients to support the primary functional systems of the body, including immunity-boosting vitamin C that provides 555 % of daily value; seven grams of plant fiber and prebiotics to strengthen gut health; 200 mg of phenolic antioxidants to aid proper heart and immune system function; and a plant-based nitric oxide blend to support the heart and provide natural energy.

“Although the idea for the Resync beverage predated Covid-19, the pandemic became both my motivation and demand-based rationale to create the first vegan- and one of the healthiest overall-ready-to-drink beverages on the market,” said Resync, LLC founder and CEO Barbara Depta. “It is important to me that my premium line of natural energy and recovery improvement products support a moderately-active senior just as much it does my pro-athlete clients. The Resync beverage, as well as the entire line of Resync products, are both suitable for and accessible to everyone, anywhere, anytime.”

The functional support provided in one eleven-ounce can of Resync beverage brings together what would normally require three separate and distinct consumable products for the heart, immune and digestive systems. The aronia citrus flavour of the Resync beverage was born of the combination of natural ingredients: aronia berries, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants; red beets, which are packed with fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C for improved blood flow; and high-quality red spinach, which supplies nitric oxide, a critical molecule in our bodies that aids in increased blood flow and energy.

In the creation of her product line, Depta discovered that nitric oxide, delivered on the cellular level through the vascular system, could help provide nutrients to the entire body to support energy, heart health, and brain functionality, while supporting healthy inflammatory response due to exercise. It supports many essential reactions underneath the skin and has the potential to relax and widen blood vessels, allowing for more effective and efficient blood flow, nutrient delivery throughout the body. The plant-based nitric oxide blend is the primary element of every product in the Resync line.

Resync RTD can be purchased on Resync’s website at The eleven-ounce cans are sold in packs of 12 for $69.99, or $59.49 with a monthly subscription.

The Resync beverage joins a full line of natural energy and performance support drinks and blends developed on the basis of scientific research, with registered dietitians, and performance testing. Resync uses third party testing certification for their supplement line, including NSF Certified for Sport and BSCG, to ensure all products are safe and free of banned substances. The full line, which offers Resync Recovery Blend and Resync Premium Collagen Peptides, is non-GMO, gluten free, sugar free, contains no artificial sweeteners, and is keto friendly. Resync is the trusted brand of registered dietitians, doctors, coaches and athletes around the world.

About Resync
Barbara Depta created Resync in 2017 while she was traveling as a structural balance coach with one of the top NFL teams. Her goal was to develop products that didn’t exist for professional athletes and anyone who wants clinically tested, plant-based blends to sustain their energy, recover better post physical activity -products to help people feel their best, refuel their bodies, and support every layer of their connective tissue health.

The now, next, and future of the global food and drink industry

The events of 2020 caused a fundamental reset in human behaviour. Recognising this transformation, Mintel’s 2021 Global Food and Drink Trends are inspired by recent shifts in consumer purchases and attitudes across industries. Through collaboration with consumer analysts and insights from Mintel Trends, a global team of food and drink experts have identified new opportunities in line with three of the Mintel Trend Drivers: Wellbeing, Value, and Identity.

In 2021 and beyond, expect food and drink companies to create mental and emotional wellbeing solutions, deliver on new value needs, and use brands to celebrate people’s identities.

Feed The Mind

Innovative food and drink formulations will offer solutions for mental and emotional wellbeing that will create a new foundation for healthy eating.

Quality Redefined

Brands will be challenged to respond to new definitions of trust, quality, and ‘essential’.

United By Food

Food and drink brands can balance a person’s need to feel unique and special with the desire to be part of communities of like-minded individuals.

Please download the free 2021 Global Food and Drink Trends here.

South Korea’s Ministry of Environment has recognised the recyclability of Ecolean’s aseptic packages, which rank higher than most other food and drink packaging solutions in the country’s new recyclability grading system.

The absence of aluminium, which is often used for aseptic cartons and other liquid food packaging, means Ecolean’s portfolio ranked ‘good’ in a four-grade scale to determine how easily packages can be recycled.

The announcement follows South Korea’s introduction last December of the Act on the Promotion of Saving and Recycling of Resources, requiring food and beverage packaging to contain labels that show a material’s recyclability grade, thereby encouraging resource efficiency and the use of easy-to-recycle packages.

A nine-month grace period for businesses to comply with the new regulations ends this September.

“The South Korean Ministry of Environment’s grade of the Ecolean packages’ recyclability only confirms that we are on the right path – developing and manufacturing unique packaging solutions that make a difference in the long run,” said Paul Mellbin, Senior Advisor, Ambient Technology at Ecolean.

“As a global producer of lightweight packaging, Ecolean makes it easier for consumers, liquid food brands as well as the environment.”

Aluminium-free packaging

Ecolean’s lightweight portfolio consists of aseptic, flexible packaging made from polyolefins and up to 35 % chalk, which gives the packages their strength, stiffness and smooth surface.

The printed, shaped and fully sealed packages are sterilised using electron beam treatment before shipping to the filling machine at the customer’s site. Prior to opening, filling and sealing in the filling machines, the outer surfaces of the packages are desterilised using a system of 1 % peroxide spray and UV light.

“The fact that our type of sterilisation process is separated from the filling machines and performed at the Ecolean manufacturing plants is quite unique in the industry and something we are very proud of. It makes the process easier for our customers, and that as well as having sustainability in mind when designing our lightweight packaging solutions is key. The confirmed recyclability of our packages in Korea just further adds to the fact that our unique approach is crucial for the beverage, dairy and liquid food industry” Paul Mellbin said.

Ecolean increased its footprint in South Korea last year with Yakult selecting its Air Aseptic range for two new launches in the country.

“The Ecolean package is the perfect fit for us, since it is lightweight and flexible, yet extremely durable. We have already seen a huge interest from consumers,” Jeonghyeon Hong, Marketing Manager, Yakult Korea, said.

With mousesports and Prime League Rockstar Energy goes all in on e-sports in 2020

Rockstar Energy will intensify on being “Louder. Harder. Drüber.” in 2020: for years the energy drink brand has been very active in the gaming scene and this year Rockstar Energy is stirring up the strongly growing e-sports sector with the global team sponsoring of mousesports and the league sponsoring of Prime League. Gaming-affine fans can count on energetic activations in the style of Rockstar Energy.

As of now Rockstar Energy kicks off the premium partnership with the German #1 e-sports team mousesports (“mouz”). mousesports are internationally successful and currently #2 in the Counter-Strike world ranking. The team stands for top performances in Counter-Strike, League of Legends and many other games.

Just as exciting is the cooperation of Rockstar Energy as official advertising partner with the #1 e-sports Liga Prime League for “League of Legends” in the DACH region. Prime League is the official circuit of the American computer game developer Riot Games for Germany, Austria and Switzerland and the largest tournament platform for the #1 gaming title “League of Legends”1 in this region. mousesports also performs in the Prime League and could celebrate its triumph in 2019.

With these powerful partnerships in the e-sports sector, Rockstar Energy is taking its gaming activation to new dimensions and is focusing especially on areas relevant to energy. “The partnerships with mousesports and the Prime League provide a real added value for our target group, as they meet their interests exactly”, says Carl Windfuhr, Commercial Director Beverages PepsiCo. “Therefore we are taking Rockstar Energy’s success story to a new level that our retail partners will also benefit from”.

Rockstar Energy will be represented as jersey sponsor for all the teams of mousesports as well as through instream placements. At Prime League, Rockstar Energy will be involved in instream and in the Top 5 Plays, providing players and fans alike with the necessary Rockstar Energy kick for a legendary performance. In addition to multi-packs and on-pack promotions with great prizes Rockstar Energy is taking it up to the max: e-sports fans can expect meet & greets with mouz, cool raffles and exciting content. Another highlight is the Prime League final during Gamescom 2020, taking place in Cologne at the end of August.

Striking communication measures support the new cooperations with mousesports and the Prime League. With social media activities in particular – such as on the live gaming platform Twitch – the brand is addressing the young and gaming-affine target group in its unique “Louder. Harder. Drüber.” style. Other digital measures and PoS campaigns are also being carried out to position Rockstar Energy even more strongly as the brand for the gaming scene.


Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., the agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 farmer families, introduced Ocean Spray® Brew, a first-of-its kind hybrid drink made with real fruit juice and cold brew coffee. With its nearly 90-year old, iconic Ocean Spray® brand, the cooperative is relentlessly driving innovation to accelerate Ocean Spray’s evolution toward health and wellness.  The launch of Brew builds on a pipeline of innovation coming from the cooperative, bolstering its mission of connecting farms to families for a better life by delivering a new beverage that is both nutritious and provides natural energy.  Brew marks yet another expansion for Ocean Spray into a new category of coffee, and Ocean Spray will continue to drive future growth opportunities for the cooperative this year.

Ocean Spray® Brew will be available in two flavors, Cranberry Lemonade with Cold Brew Coffee and Cranberry Blueberry with Cold Brew Coffee. Brew features 100 % Colombian Coffee, with each 8 oz serving containing 40 milligrams of naturally sourced caffeine from green coffee beans, which is equal to a 1/2 cup of coffee. In addition, Brew contains antioxidant vitamin C, as well as vitamin B and real fruit juice, with no added sugar, no preservatives, and no artificial flavors or colors.

Ocean Spray® Brew will be on-shelf in the USA this month in Target, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, Albertsons, Vons, and Safeway, and will continue to expand to more stores throughout the year.

2019 broke records again for the number of food and drink transactions around the world, with 789 registered on the Zenith Global mergers and acquisitions database, an average of 15 each week.

The total is 12 more than in 2018 and 41 % higher than 5 years ago. The number has increased every year since a dip in 2013.

The most active sectors were ingredients on 65, dairy on 63, soft drinks on 57 and packaging on 49. Beer on 38 was ahead of spirits on 35 and wine on 28.

789 food and drink acquisitions in 2019
Global food and drink acquisitions by sector 2018-2019 (Photo: Zenith Global)

The top 15 sectors were the same as 2018, with the exception of CBD replacing confectionery. The combination of plant-based (15) with dairy-free (14) and meat-free (11) totalled 40. Bottled water and water coolers added up to 23. Vertical farming was a newcomer with 8.

The biggest increases were for CBD (+19) and beer (+15). Many of the main categories saw declines, led by services (-19), confectionery (-18) and wine (-9).

9,925 visitors, 201 exhibitors and a total floorspace of 11,400 square meters (gross) – these are the figures achieved by drink technology India (Messe München), co-located with pacprocess and food pex India (Messe Düsseldorf). The growth of drink technology India remains strong. The trade fair that is taking place in a yearly rotation between Mumbai and New Delhi is now well established in the Indian Capital. The supporting program was expanded and addressed all segments and topics of the beverage, dairy and liquid food industry in conferences and seminars. Together with its partners, drink technology India underlines its status as India’s leading knowledge platform.

Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Messe München, is very pleased with how the trade fair went: “The event’s sizable growth demonstrates the fact that the trade fair has also become the most important industry event for solutions, networking and knowledge sharing at its location in New Delhi.” “This confirms our strategic decision of organizing drink technology India every year at alternating locations—Mumbai and New Delhi—to cover the Indian market,” adds Petra Westphal, Exhibition Group Director at Messe München. Bhupinder Singh, CEO of Messe München India, comments: “The 30 percent increase in exhibition floorspace is proof that companies are responding to the continued high demand in India for machinery for producing, processing and packaging beverages, dairy and liquid food products.”

Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the VDMA’s Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association, also confirms the importance of the event: “Demand amongst Indian consumers is growing across all segments of the beverage and liquid food industry and is expected to have risen by around 89 percent by 2022 according to market researchers. Indian suppliers are therefore importing systems and machinery in order to be able to meet this demand. This represents a great opportunity for international companies wishing to gain a foothold in the Indian market.”

At drink technology India, international exhibitors accounted for 12 percent, with China being the most represented country, followed by other international exhibitors from Germany, Italy, Spain and Turkey.

Supporting program – A 360 degree view oft he industry’s topics

Avisha Desai, Group Project Director of Messe München India, is pleased with the new value added for customers: “drink technology India has been successful in setting up valuable partnerships with associations from all the industry’s segments. All the areas from the beverage, dairy and liquid food industry were covered by exhibitors as well as by the trade fair’s supporting program.”

The Packaging Design Innovation & Technology Conference was held for the first time at the trade fair. Companies operating in the consumer goods industry presented interesting solutions and thought-provoking impulses relating to packaging design, sustainability, food safety and smart packaging. The supporting program also included the Indian Dairy Association’s Conference, which showcased packaging solutions for the dairy industry, as well as the FSSAI seminar, which highlighted regulations and initiatives as part of India’s “Eat Right Movement”. The Oil Technologists’ Association of India (OTAI) hosted a seminar on oils and fats. Special focus was given to food and non-food-related uses of palm oil. The place2beer and the Buyer Seller Meetings, which were with more than 400 business talks extremely popular again, are now firm fixtures of drink technology India.

drink technology India, pacprocess and food pex India

drink technology India is staged yearly in conjunction with the pacprocess and food pex India trade fairs of Messe Düsseldorf. Exhibitors and visitors can benefit from the advantages given by this unique combination of three trade fairs as this means they can leverage synergies given by the co-location. The three trade fairs cover the entire bandwidth of the beverage, dairy and liquid food technology (drink technology India), packaging and related processes (pacprocess India) as well as food and confectionery processing and packaging (food pex India) all under one roof and is unrivaled in the region.

drink technology India alternates every year between Mumbai and New Delhi. The next drink technology India will take place in Mumbai from December 9 to 11, 2020.

Coca-Cola has rolled out a new energy drink – Coca-Cola Energy – in Vietnam as part of the company’s larger focus to evolve into a complete beverage company and offer the Vietnamese consumers a wide range of drinks to cater the different lifestyles and occasions, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s 2018 Q4 Consumer Survey, around 41 % of Asia-Pacific (APAC) consumers prefer to experiment with new kind of soft drinks and around 40 % of them are willing to pay more for better quality soft drinks.

Shagun Sachdeva, Consumer Insights Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Soft drinks brands have been coming across increased competition amidst intensifying scrutiny of sugar-sweetened beverages and corresponding consumer efforts to make healthier choices. Against this backdrop, they are mapping out the wellness considerations for the products they are offering to attract a niche market of specialists such as sports enthusiast and athletes, whilst also appealing to the mainstream of active lifestylers.”

An analysis of GlobalData’s Market Analyzer reveals that APAC energy drinks market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9 % from US$24.7bn in 2018 to US$36.2m in 2023. The Vietnamese energy drinks market is expected to reach US$1.46bn by 2023 from US$1.34bn in 2019.

Sachdeva adds: “Energy drinks have become a key thrust for Coca-Cola to rejuvenate growth in the APAC soft drinks market. The company is quick to understand that soft drinks category needs an image makeover. As a result, it is breaking the long-standing lead in Carbonated Soft Drinks (CSDs) by expanding its range of drinks portfolio to tap the correct set of active and time-scarce consumers and embracing innovation to sustain a highly competitive marketing profile.”

The other factors contributing to the emerging growth of the Vietnam energy drinks’ market are improving economic climate, socio-political stability and likelihood of stringent regulations as the Ministry of Finance has proposed a new sugar tax of 10% on sugary drinks from 2019.

Sachdeva concludes: “The launch comes at a time when most of the beverage companies are going beyond soda and there is growing competition in the carbonated market following the influx of countless other carbonated brands. Even though, Coca-Cola is already offering energy drinks under the brand name Monster, the company’s decision to launch energy drinks under its trademark will reinforce local identity, foster reassurance, create emotional resonance among the consumers and further deepen brand’s equity in Vietnam.”

Together with the Paper Straw Co, BillerudKorsnäs has developed the first functional 180° U-Bend straw, made out of paper. The straw is made to be used for individual drink cartons such as juice, milk and water. The long term market potential as well as positive sustainability impact is extensive.

BillerudKorsnäs has just filed a patent of the U-Bend paper straw in cooperation with The Paper Straw Company, who will produce the straw in Manchester, England and in the US. The end-users will be consumers buying individual drink cartons filled with juice, milk or water. Made out of FibreForm, a uniquely shapable paper patented by BillerudKorsnäs, the U-Bend paper straw is durable and recyclable. The straw based on materials from sustainably sourced forests is also biodegradable, resulting in a positive impact on pollution and littering compared to plastic straws.

”The U-Bend straw is the first paper straw that is 180° bendable. It can be used together with existing drink packaging. Today many billion bendable straws are produced in a year which means that the potential for our business and our contribution to a more sustainable packaging world is, to say the least, considerable.” says Emma Hellqvist, Formable Solutions at BillerudKorsnäs.

At this moment, we are ready to go into industrial trials with the goal to be able to commercialise by the end of this year. The key to success lies in the efforts of innovation, collaboration and strong partnerships – in this case with The Paper Straw Co owned by Hoffmaster Group. Aardvark® Straws is part of Hoffmaster Group and will enable the production of the U-Bend paper straw for the US-market.

“We are excited to expand our line of paper straw offerings with the patent pending U-Bend paper straw.” Says Geert Pijper, Co-Founder The Paper Straw Co.

Free From Functional & Health Ingredients (FFF&HI) broke records when it welcomed more than 7,800 key buyers and decision makers from the free from food, drink and sustainable packaging industries through its doors in Barcelona from 28 – 29 May. Now in its seventh year, this staggering 52 % increase on visitor numbers reflects the dynamic growth and development of the global free from market and cements the show as Europe’s leading platform for the free from industries.

Visitors took advantage of the unique platform the show provides, informing and inspiring decision makers from the world of retail, ingredients, wholesale, distribution and foodservice with a packed schedule of conference sessions, pioneering brands and products plus multiple networking opportunities.

Leading the field

Five core areas of the free from market; free from, vegan, natural and organic, functional and health ingredients were represented across four conference stages with insights from key speakers.

Highlights from the packed conference schedule revealed the latest data covering key areas including the 11.5 % increase in sales of free from foods across Europe in the past year1 and the 133 % growth of the UK free from market since FFF&HI began in 2013.2

Show partners, ProVeg International hosted a dedicated vegan area and a series of seminars at the vegan conference stage. Verena Wiederkehr, International Head of Food Industry and Retail at ProVeg International revealed the most prominent trends driving the sector including sensory experiences, clean-label products and raw materials, explaining the opportunities for businesses who tap into this buoyant sector.

Pioneering exhibitors

FFF&HI was the platform for new brands and product launches from those shaping the organic, vegan, functional foods and ingredients markets.

On the first day, FFF&HI unveiled the winner of its Product of the Year Awards – a celebration of the most cutting-edge free from food and drink products launched in the past year. Manufacturers and producers put their best innovations for contention to be crowned winner and runner up across three categories, Product of the Year, Best New Brand, Free From Plastics.
Product of the Year Award

  • Winner: Qwrkee Foods – Pea M’LK
  • Runner-up: Ambrosiae
  • Runner-up: Pizza Mi – gluten free pizza bases

Best New Brand

  • Winner: I am Bart’s – Vegan Nutrition Bites
  • Runner-up: Juustoportti – Organic and Gluten free Oat Drinks made from Finnish Premium Oats

Free From Plastics Packaging

Winner: EncajaBio – Packaging system and cellulose film which sustainably reduces the carbon footprint

The lifetime achievement award was given to Molino Nicoli, European leaders in gluten free cereal-based production, who have exhibited at FFF&HI since the first show in 2013.

I Am Bart’s launched a range organic snack bars made with vegetables, fruit and seeds without preservatives and added sugars. Commenting on winning Best New Brand, Founder, Bart Veldkamp said: “We are delighted to have won an award, especially as it’s our first time exhibiting at a trade show. We’ve been impressed with this dynamic show and the high quality of the visitors. The team has worked very hard and we are very proud of this win. It’s great to be recognised as we’re in the company of such interesting brands showcasing fantastic products – I’m very proud to be surrounded by such great innovators!”

FFF&HI Exhibition Director, Ronald Holman commented: “It was fantastic to return to Barcelona and we are absolutely delighted with the number of visitors that came to discover what’s happening at the forefront of the free from industry. It’s great to see returning exhibitors and new ones coming to showcase such a diverse range of products and the industry leading experts who drive the market forward.

We’ve received a fantastic response from show visitors and exhibitors alike. We’re looking forward to hearing about the outcomes for our exhibitors this year and seeing what the show will bring in 2020.”

FFF&HI will return for its eighth edition in Amsterdam from 23-24 June, 2020.

2Mintel UK Free From Food Market Report – UK – December 2018

drink technology India South (dti-South), which took place for the first time in Bengaluru from April 10 to 12, has established a strong position on the South Indian market. With more than 90 brands, 6,481 visitors and an extensive supporting program, the dti family further expands its footprint to the southern region of India.

“We are delighted that the first edition of dti-South in Bengaluru was so compelling. With it we have created an especially customized platform best suited to address the needs of our participants with even better networking opportunities with relevant buyers of the region.,” says Petra Westphal, Exhibition Group Director of Messe München. The local approach is intended in particular to address those sectors that are represented locally. Bhupinder Singh, CEO of Messe Muenchen India, explains: “In this region of India, non alcoholic beverages as well as beer are predominant segments. Key exhibitors addressing these sectors, such as Ambicon Breweries, DVKSP, Goma Engineering and Hilden Packaging, presented their solutions and were able to get the most out of the visitor potential in the metropolitan region.” This is also reflected by the positive response of the exhibitors as expressed by Mr. Jeetendra C Rane, Aquapuro Equipment Pvt. Ltd.: “For the first time we are targeting the South Region and the idea behind participating in dti-South was to target the Bengaluru and South Market: We are not only happy with the number but also with the quality of visitors. We will be participating in all the upcoming editions of drink technology India.”

Supporting program: Buyer-Seller Meetings and beer trends

With over 500 meetings, the Buyer-Seller forum was very well received. Prior to the trade fair, potential customers were able to register for the meetings in order to meet specific exhibitors and initiate new business relationships. These included Amrut Distilleries, Hindustan Coca Cola, John Distilleries, Kaveri Industries,Marico Limited, Mondelez International, Mother Dairy, Pepsi, Pernod Ricard, and United Breweries, to name a few. Vijaya Kumar, Team Leader- Quality Assurance, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. one of the key buyer quoted: “The purpose of our visit to drink technology India-South was to understand the new technologies in the market. This event was organized very well. We were able to sense some of the new technologies which we can engage in our organization and we would like to thank the organizers for this beautiful event. The quality of the meetings were very good at the buyer seller forum.”

From trends and ingredients for brewing to craft beer variations: In addition to the Buyer-Seller Meetings, the place2beer and the Brewer World Seminars provided insights into future topics of the industry. Representatives of microbreweries, medium-sized and industrial breweries as well as suppliers for the brewing industry used the place2beer for networking and knowledge exchange. In addition to this platform, where even Indian beer was tasted, the Brewer World Seminars took place on the first and second days of the trade fair. There, experts discussed topics such as quality assurance of raw materials and ingredients and global trends in beer brewing.


dti-North will take place in New Delhi in December of this year in conjunction with pacprocess and food pex India from Messe Düsseldorf India. “We are pleased to host the trade fairs at Pragati Maidan from December 12 to 14, 2019,” says Mr. Singh. In North India, the focus is on dairy, soft drinks and beer.

drink technology India continues to be the international hub for beverages, dairy and liquid food industry in India. The next event will take place from December 9 to 11, 2020 in Mumbai.

The first energy drink under the Coca-Cola brand will launch in Europe in April, the company announced.

Coca-Cola Energy, which will debut in Spain and Hungary, features caffeine from naturally-derived sources, guarana extracts, B vitamins and no taurine – all with a great Coca-Cola taste and feeling that people know and love. A no-sugar, no-calorie option also will be available. Both will be offered in 250-ml cans.

As a total beverage company, Coca-Cola continues to evolve its portfolio to bring people more of the drinks they want – from organic teas, to juices, to enhanced waters, to ready-to-drink coffees, to new variants of Coca-Cola. The launch of Coca-Cola Energy is the latest articulation of this strategy.

A visual identity and marketing campaign will support the launch of Coca-Cola Energy, which is designed primarily for young adults, age 18 to 35. The new brand will be promoted in line with The Coca-Cola Company’s responsible marketing guidelines. These include, in line with UNESDA (European Soft Drink Association) guidelines, no sampling in proximity to primary and secondary schools and never promoting mixing with alcohol.

GlobalData’s Q4-2018 Quarterly Beverage Forecast reported a remarkable 6 % volume increase in consumption for UK Squash and Syrups in 2018*, the first time the category has seen growth since 2011.

Roisin Vulcheva, UK & Ireland Research Manager for Consumer at GlobalData, says, “This was an impressive result, particularly as Squash and Syrups have experienced several years of consecutive decline. The strong performance was driven by an array of factors including good weather, growth in adult soft drinks and new product development. Throughout 2018, there was a raft of premium launches helping Squash and Syrups to stage a turnaround and inject value growth back into the category.”

Throughout the year, growth was positive across all quarters, however summer was the key period of trading for the category, with the UK recording one of the hottest summers on record which helped to boost consumption.

Britvic was also instrumental in driving growth throughout the year. It invested heavily in Squash and Syrups, expanding its offering to appeal to a more mature demographic, in what is typically a category largely geared towards children. Britvic launched several new products targeted towards the adult segment under its Robinsons brand in 2018.

Interestingly, still ready-to-drink drinks, which include brands such as Capri Sun and Robinsons Fruit Shoot that also cater to the children’s demographic, declined by 10 % in volume terms for the year*, largely impacted by concerns around sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Vulcheva concludes, “Clearly the introduction of new flavours, packaging and more premium propositions helped to drive growth in the category which was further boosted by a hot summer. Looking ahead to 2019, the Squash and Syrups category is one to watch as it ticks the box in relation to several current key trends in the UK soft drinks market. More innovation is expected from branded players throughout 2019, with private label brands expected to emulate the efforts of branded players.”

*UK Quarterly Beverage Forecast Q4-18

Out of a record 777 food and drink transactions covered by the mergers and acquisitions database for 2018, 28 involved sums over USD 1,000 million. This was below the 33 recorded in 2017, but higher than the numbers for 2015 and 2016.

The USD 104 billion combined value of the top 10 was 36 % higher than the USD 77 billion for the top 10 of 2017, but 39 % lower than the USD 171 billion for the top 10 of 2016 and little more than a quarter of the USD 365 billion for the top 10 of 2015.

The 28 over USD 1 billion totalled USD 141 billion, compared with USD 115 billion for the 33 over USD 1 billion in 2017, USD 190 billion for the 22 over USD 1 billion in 2016 and USD 403 billion for the 27 over USD 1 billion in 2015.

Link to database

Coca-Cola, Cavu, Kerry, Waterlogic, Archer Daniels Midland, FrieslandCampina, Heineken, JAB and Lactalis were the most acquisitive companies of 2018, according to the food and drink transactions database, with each responsible for 5 or more takeovers.  Diageo, Krones, Nestlé, Oetker and Unilever all made 4 purchases.

Nestlé was only company to agree 5 or more sales, followed by Real Good Food and Tyson Foods on 4, then BRF on 3.

A total of 1,281 companies were involved across 66 countries, with the United States and United Kingdom most prominent overall.

France was again the biggest net buyer (+ 15), followed by Luxembourg (+ 10) and Denmark (+ 9).

The United Kingdom was the main net seller (- 22), followed by the United States (- 17) and Germany (- 16).

As National Coffee Day (September 29) approaches this weekend, consumers are looking for options beyond their typical cup of joe in favor of ready-to-drink (RTD) varieties offering functional benefits. When asked what their ideal bottled/canned cold coffee drink would include, new research from Mintel reveals that US RTD coffee consumers want options that include antioxidants (47 %), promote brain health (40 %), are anti-inflammatory (35 %) or have added probiotics (30 %).

Aside from functional benefits, there is also potential for coffee that encourages consumption beyond the usual morning or afternoon pick-me-up. More than two in five (42 %) RTD coffee consumers say their ideal bottled/canned cold coffee drink would help them relax, while over one third (35 %) are interested in products with added protein.

Innovation in the RTD coffee segment has contributed to its strong growth. In fact, while roasted coffee is the largest segment of the coffee category (39.2 % market share), RTD coffee continues to drive the category as the fastest growing segment, growing 31 % in the last two years. Overall, total coffee retail sales in the US are estimated to grow 4 % in 2018 to reach $14.4 billion, with steady growth expected to continue through 2023.

“Innovation is vibrant and diverse in the RTD coffee segment and includes new products that are carving out sometimes surprising territory and often taking inspiration from unconventional beverage categories. What’s more, our research shows that iGeneration* consumers are more likely to drink RTD coffee than brewed coffee, indicating this is how they are entering the market. Consumer interest in better-for-you beverages is also shaping the market as demand for organic and non-GMO coffee or functional formulations enhanced with all-natural flavors, protein and vitamins grows. The broader trend of beverage blurring is also opening up opportunity for innovation and brand extension, especially in the RTD segment,” said Caleb Bryant, Senior Beverage Analyst at Mintel.

Non-dairy milk makes a splash

The better-for-you beverage movement extends to consumers’ coffee preferences both at-home and away. As non-dairy milk sales continue to rise, consumers are increasingly looking for it in their coffee, too: more than one third (36 %) of RTD coffee consumers say their ideal RTD coffee would contain non-dairy milk. What’s more, Mintel research shows that just as many dairy milk consumers add dairy milk to their coffee/tea as non-dairy milk consumers add non-dairy milk to their coffee/tea (32 % respectively). Dairy alternatives are making a splash on-premise, as well. According to Mintel Menu Insights, the use of non-dairy milk as an ingredient in coffee drinks on US menus grew 107 % in the last two years**, with almond milk as the standout star, growing 198 % in the same time period.

“Non-dairy milk is a fast-growing segment of the non-alcoholic beverage market, with many consumers, especially iGens and Millennials***, switching from using dairy milk to non-dairy milk on an everyday basis and as an addition to their coffee. While soy milk is the most common non-dairy milk used in both coffee and tea drinks, it is falling out of favor. Meanwhile, almond milk has experienced strong growth on menus across the US, indicating that we can expect to see operators swap soy milk for other non-dairy milks, with oat milk emerging as another rising star to watch,” continued Bryant.

Generation X drives third wave coffee movement

Innovation within the on-premise coffee market is spurring increased consumption among consumers as Mintel research reveals that one quarter (25 %) of those who drink coffee away from home (AFH) say they are buying coffee drinks AFH more often in 2018 compared to a year ago. Those who are ordering coffee AFH more often are not only trying out new drinks (39 %), but are also buying more premium and cold coffee beverages (32 % respectively).

While younger consumers are driving consumption of cold coffee drinks, with 28 % of iGens who drink coffee AFH saying that they most often order flavored iced coffee, Generation X consumers**** are driving the third wave coffee movement. In fact, Generation X consumers who drink AFH are the most likely generation to say they enjoy treating themselves to expensive coffee (38 % vs 33 % overall) and that they would be motivated to visit a new coffee shop for premium coffee beans (31 % vs 21 % overall)—staples of third wave coffee.

“The third wave coffee movement demonstrates that a sizable population of coffee drinkers view coffee as something that should be celebrated. Gen Xers, while a smaller segment of the US population compared to Baby Boomers***** and Millennials, are a prime target for shops offering third wave drinks as they are most likely to treat themselves to drinks made with premium coffee beans. Further, the growing presence of third wave coffee drinks means younger iGens will likely enter the third wave coffee market at a relatively young age. While iGens love flavored and iced coffee drinks now, operators must follow this generation throughout their ‘coffee career’ as many will ‘age out of’ these drinks and eventually join their older counterparts in the third wave coffee movement,” concluded Bryant.

*Aged 11-23 in 2018; in this report, only adult iGens aged 18-23 were surveyed.
**Between Q1 2015-Q1 2018.
***Aged 24-41 in 2018.
****Aged 42-53 in 2018.
*****Aged 54-72 in 2018.

Cargill has the intention to invest $150 million to construct an HM pectin production facility in South America. HM pectin is a versatile, citrus fruit-based texturizer used for jams, beverages/juices, acid dairy drinks and confectionery.

Bruce McGoogan, strategy and innovation leader for Cargill starches, sweeteners and texturizers business said, “The pectin market has seen a strong growth for several years, primarily driven by the acid dairy drink market, as well as the growing global consumer demand for label-friendly ingredients. HM pectin plays a significant role in delivering on both trends—as it is a plant-based texturizer designed for acid dairy drinks as well as for jams, beverages and confectionery products. The intention to invest in a plant in Brazil, which has an abundant citrus fruit supply, allows Cargill to deliver the pectin our customers need and consumers demand.”

The intended project is part of a comprehensive plan to strengthen Cargill’s full pectin footprint, including improvements to its existing three plants in Europe (Germany, France and Italy) and adding a new plant in Brazil to take advantage of local resources.

“Adding an industry-leading pectin asset in Brazil will complement Cargill’s existing European network and create the capacity to serve our customers around the globe with premium pectin ingredients,” said Laerte Moraes, managing director of Cargill’s starches, sweeteners and texturizers business in South America. “The intended investments also illustrate Cargill’s commitment to its employees and the economies in both Europe and Brazil through job growth and financial contributions. The intention is to start construction early 2019.”

Consumers usually prefer food and drink formats over pills or tablets for the delivery of health enhancing ingredients. However, this preference for formats is not consistent across all age groups. Therefore, functional food and drink brands should carefully study the differences between the generations of consumers in more detail for their successful product launches, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

An analysis of the company’s Q4 2017 global consumer survey reveals that even though food is the most preferred format among all formats across all age groups, the majority of the Silent Generation chooses food as the preferred consumption format (89 %) compared to Millennials (85 %).

The gap between generations is conspicuous when it comes to drink format. According to the survey, younger consumers are more likely to opt for drinkable formats over pills or tablets for the delivery of health enhancing ingredients. The survey showed that drinks are favored by 60 % of Millennials and 58 % of Generation X consumers but only 52 % of Boomers and 48 % of Silent Generation consumers.

On the other hand, preferences for food and supplements (in the form of pills or tablets) that deliver health enhancing ingredients are relatively consistent across all age groups.

Aleksandrina Yotova, Consumer Markets Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Functional drinks brands should therefore target Millennials and Gen X-ers specifically with innovative launches that respond to younger generations’ requirements for convenience, simplicity and effectiveness.”

Millennials have had their time in the spotlight; now, companies are looking to the next generation to see how they will impact the future of the food and drink industry. Generation Z*, who are also known as the iGeneration, has the potential to reset expectations for health and wellness, increase the reach of international cuisine and heighten creativity in the kitchen, according to the latest research from Mintel. Mintel reveals how the diverse and tech-savvy Generation Z is set to transform food and beverage formulation in the coming years.

Head start on a healthy lifestyle

Regardless of age, sugar is at the top of parents’ watchlists when it comes to what their kids eat and drink. In fact, 60 % of parents with kids aged 12-17 and 55 % of parents with kids aged 18+ in the household report saying “no” to their kids’ food and drink choices based on sugar content. But while sugar is a key concern for parents, just 11 % of US food and drink launches aimed at children (ages 5-12) from June 2017-May 2018 had low, no or reduced sugar claims, according to Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD).

With parents on the lookout, America’s youngest consumers are increasingly growing health-conscious themselves. In fact, one quarter (25 %) of teens aged 15-17 say they worry about staying healthy, with another 49 % agreeing that they think drinking soda is unhealthy.

“Generation Z has come of age at a time when health and wellness is a major consideration. Many younger members of Generation Z follow their parents’ healthy ways and it seems health-consciousness only gets stronger as they approach adulthood. However, health is multi-faceted for this group, suggesting that better-for-you formulations, such as craveable fruits and vegetables, can be expanded to give this generation options that fit with their ever-changing diet priorities,” said Dana Macke, Associate Director, Lifestyles and Leisure Reports, at Mintel.

Gen Z goes international

Today’s younger generations are the most diverse in US history and in addition to their varied racial and ethnic backgrounds, parents are raising their children to have broader palates. Gen Z seems to be cultivating an appreciation for international cuisine from a young age as 36 % of US parents of children under age 18 agree that their kids enjoy eating international foods.

Interest in international cuisine goes well beyond the more commonplace varieties such as Italian, Mexican and Chinese as Gen Z consumers are driving consumption of more emerging international food and drink. In addition to interest in eating at international restaurants such as Indian (36 %), Middle Eastern (38 %) or African (27 %), adult Gen Z consumers are also much more likely than other generations to find culinary inspiration from social media: 62 % of young adults aged 18-22 say they cook international cuisines at home from social media, compared to 46 % of Millennials (aged 23-40) and 23 % of Generation X consumers (aged 41-52) who cook at home.

“Generation Z is America’s most diverse generation yet. With exposure to international foods starting at an early age, whether in restaurants or at home, Generation Z is more likely to be open to the latest international food trend or innovative fusion creation. These adventurous habits are creating opportunities across categories, presenting potential for products such as tikka masala meal kits or Chinese Peking duck-flavored potato chips. While restaurants remain the most common points of discovery for international cuisine, younger consumers’ exposure to a range of cuisine types creates opportunities for brands to offer more authentic and hybrid flavors,” said Jenny Zegler, Associate Director, Mintel Food & Drink.

Digitally native upbringing leads to DIY mentality

Raised in an era where consumers have access to information at their fingertips 24/7, younger generations have grown up with the ability to thoroughly research their hobbies and interests, resulting in 80 % of Gen Z consumers under age 18 saying their hobbies/interests are just as important as their school work. What’s more, 36 % of consumers aged 10-17 and 31 % of those aged 18-22 believe that being creative is an important factor to being successful as an adult. This highlights an opportunity for food and drink brands to offer do-it-yourself experiences that help tweens, teens and young adults be creative and, eventually, confident in the kitchen.

“The wide range of food media, whether MasterChef Junior or YouTube videos, has piqued an interest in food and drink among some members of Generation Z. This younger generation’s easy access to technology and interest in being creative presents an opening for interactive products that encourage Gen Z to safely experiment and extend their passion for food and drink, such as chips that allow consumers to make their own flavor or kits to make more complex recipes or international meals at home,” concluded Zegler.

*Aged 11-23 in 2018

Frutarom, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken, Orkla and Unilever were the most acquisitive companies of 2017, according to the food and drink transactions database, with each responsible for 6 or more takeovers. Lactalis, Nestlé and US Foods all made 5 purchases.

Coca-Cola was only company to agree 5 or more sales, followed by Treasury Wine Estates on 4, then Asahi, Coke Consolidated, Kraft Heinz, Murray Goulburn, Nestlé and Unilever on 3 each. Coca-Cola undertook 14 separate divestments as it concluded its franchise restructuring.

A total of 1,161 companies were involved across 64 countries, with the United States and United Kingdom most prominent overall.

France was the biggest net buyer (+19), followed by Belgium (+16), Switzerland (+15) and Israel (+11).

The United Sates was the main net seller (-42), followed by the United Kingdom (-22), Australia (-10) and Brazil (-10).

Link to database