BEER SALES IN BRITISH PUBS HAVE FALLEN BY 35 MILLION PINTS

Sales of beer in Britain’s pubs suffered a worrying, 3.6 per cent drop in the third quarter, the worst Q3 performance for five years. The news has prompted urgent calls for a halt to yet more beer tax rises in the Budget on 22nd November. The figures are released today in the Quarterly ‘Beer Barometer’, from the British Beer & Pub Association.

The 3.6 per cent drop in on-trade sales from July to September, represents an astonishing 35 million fewer pints sold in Britain’s pubs, bars and restaurants. when compared with the same period in 2016. Beer sales have been hit by a substantial, 3.9 per cent tax rise in the March Budget, yet the Chancellor plans yet another increase in his second Budget, in November.

Coupled with pressure from sky-high business rates, the move would see many more pubs closing, says Brigid Simmonds Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, who is instead calling for a one penny cut in duty in the Budget:

Brigid Simmonds comments:

“When the Government was cutting or freezing beer duty from 2013-15, sales of British beer stabilised, after years of steep decline. With sales down this quarter, following the Budget tax hike, urgent action from the Chancellor is needed.

“Beer has had a 39 per cent tax rise in the past decade. With tax rates 14 times higher than in Germany, these levels are unsustainable.

“We need fair taxes for British beer, so that brewers and pub operators can invest in thriving pubs, and take advantage of new opportunities to export more beer around the world as we leave the EU.”

Fazer acquires leading Nordic smoothie brand Froosh

As part of its growth and internationalisation strategy, Fazer Group acquires the leading Nordic smoothie brand Froosh. Froosh is the leading smoothie brand in Finland and Sweden and a strong number two in Denmark and Norway. By acquiring Froosh, Fazer will enter a new category and expand its presence in retail. Froosh will serve as a platform for Fazer Lifestyle Foods Business Area’s offering for healthy fruit-based products. Brendan Harris, CEO of Froosh, has been appointed Managing Director of Fazer Lifestyle Foods.

The acquisition of Froosh is a perfect strategic fit for Fazer’s future growth and internationalisation plans, supporting its expansion by providing a larger product range to offer retail in current and new markets. Froosh will be part of the Fazer Lifestyle Foods Business Area, being a platform for the offering for healthy fruit-based products. Fazer Lifestyle Foods focuses on non-dairy products, plant-based meals and on-the-go food and drinks.

“Health and well-being as well as sustainable lifestyles are strong global consumer trends, and we see great potential in this area. Fazer is transforming into a modern sustainable food company. Our new mission, ‘Food with a purpose’, supports our strategic goals and opens up new opportunities to grow our current businesses and enables international expansion. We aim to be a top 3 plant-based business with a 300 M€ revenue in selected Northern European countries by 2022. Acquiring Froosh is part of the growth plan, especially as the smoothie market is expected to grow at 10+% per year”, says Christoph Vitzthum, CEO and President, Fazer Group.

Froosh – the leader in the Nordic smoothie market

Froosh is a Swedish company with offices throughout the Nordic region and a fast growing export business.  Froosh is being acquired from Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of Unilever, which has been the majority owner of Froosh since its original investment in Froosh in 2008. Froosh has a range of unique, award-winning smoothies created in-house with high quality fruit ingredients, all 100% natural with no added sugar or preservatives. Froosh responds perfectly to the growing consumer demand for healthy options, especially on-the-go. The company has over 50 employees across the Nordic region and it is with its 35-per-cent market share the clear market leader in the Nordic smoothie market. In addition to its strong position in the Nordics, Froosh exports to Iceland, the Baltics, Germany, France, Ireland and elsewhere and has a recently established presence in Japan.

Fazer and Froosh share the same interests in the impact of global value chains and in promoting the development of origin countries. Through working visits to tropical fruit farms, Froosh has gained substantial insight of the impact of trade, and is greatly acknowledged by its campaign for trading with developing countries.

Froosh CEO Brendan Harris, announced today as Managing Director of Fazer Lifestyle Foods and a member of Fazer’s Group Management Team, commented: “Froosh has enjoyed great success over the past 9 years by providing simple, healthy, delicious fruit drinks to busy, health-conscious consumers. We are an ambitious company and the time is now right to further expand our aspirations. We are delighted to become part of Fazer. Together, Fazer and Froosh will grow, utilising the strengths of both companies. It’s an exciting step for Froosh and our employees who do so much to make Froosh special.”

Fazer Lifestyle Foods captures emerging consumer needs

Fazer Lifestyle Foods was established in the spring of 2017 to further boost Fazer’s response to emerging consumer needs within the areas of health, well-being and sustainable lifestyles. In addition to Froosh, the Fazer Lifestyle Foods Business Area comprises Fazer Mills (incl. breakfast products e.g. porridges and mueslis) and Bioferme (Yosa products). Fazer Lifestyle Foods’ development team is currently creating a strong, innovative and international concept, brand and product portfolio for the health-conscious consumer.

Brits consume 1,460 cups of coffee every year

Caffeine loving Britons consume 1,460 cups of coffee a year on average (that’s 93,440 cups in an adult lifetime), according to new research.

Researchers took an in-depth look into the hot beverage habits of the nation and discovered £676 is the average amount Brits now spend each year on coffee from shops and cafes – that amounts to £43,264 over a lifetime.

According to the poll, we now drink an average of four cups a day – with the latte the most popular coffee of choice (41 percent said it was their favourite).

And according to the data, people from Cardiff are the biggest fans of the black stuff – with folk from the Welsh capital downing a staggering 1,825 cups a year, more than any other City in the U.K.

The poll shows a staggering 61 percent of us prefer drinking coffee to tea, with a separate report by retail research consultancy Allegra, revealing there are now 22,845 coffee shops in the UK, a six percent increase year on year – with 2.3 billion coffees a year being bought and consumed out of home.

The first coffee shop, The Angel, was opened in Oxford in 1652, with the second opening in London in the same year.

The survey by syrup makers MONIN shows the nation’s favourite coffee is by far and away the Latte, with 41 percent saying it is now their coffee of choice.

Cappuccino came second to latte in terms of the nation’s favourite, with 38 percent, followed by Americano (26 percent) and Mocha (16 percent).

Asked why people switched from tea to coffee, 46 percent said they needed the caffeine boost they get from coffee to wake up in the morning and 39 percent said they needed it as a pick me up during the day.

However, the majority – 65 percent – said they simply preferred the taste to tea.

Surprisingly a further 62 percent of Brits would even go as far to say that we now know more about coffee than we do wine.

And 65 percent of health-conscious Brits say going out for coffee to catch up with friends has now replaced heading out for a boozy night.

Lee Hyde – Beverage Innovation Manager at MONIN commented “We are seeing a rise in coffee shops and coffee culture across the country, and this trend is being replicated in the home too.

“Over a third of Brits confirmed they know more about coffee than they did five years ago and coffee drinkers are finding new ways to personalise their drinks, reaching for flavours from popular vanilla to more adventurous flavours like salted caramel.

“With coffee, the menu options are endless and with seasonal flavours on the rise and iced coffees during summer, coffees aren’t only functional they’re also the perfect fit for socialising too.”

The survey revealed the average Brit has their first cup of coffee at 8am, with 51 percent of us now owning our own coffee machine at home.

And it would seem Brits are more adventurous than ever, with 76 percent claiming they regularly experiment with different styles and flavours of coffee.

Over half of those who own a machine have a capsule machine, while 25 percent have a filter system and 15 percent own an espresso machine.

Almost four in ten (39 percent) say coffee drinkers are cooler than those who prefer a nice cup of tea.

25 percent of us admit to still having a jar of instant in the kitchen cupboard to give to friends when we can’t be bothered to make a proper cup.

A further three in ten (30 percent) claim they have their own signature coffee – “make mine a skinny, caramel macchiato with an extra shot”.

And when it comes to added extras, 18 percent of us like caramel syrup in our coffee, while 14 percent ask for vanilla and 10 percent want a touch of hazelnut.

Lee Hyde – Beverage Innovation Manager at MONIN added: “There are so many ways to enjoy coffee now with different machines and gadgets its even easier to recreate that coffee shop experience in the comfort of your own home.

“What this study shows is there is a real thirst for coffee and people are keen to experiment and develop their signature brew.”

Britain’s Favourite Coffee
1. Latte
2. Cappuccino
3. Americano
4. Mocha
5. Espresso
6. Flat White
7. Iced Coffee
8. Frappe
9. Ground
10. Double Espresso

Britain’s Top 5 Favourite Coffee Flavours
1. Caramel
2. Vanilla
3. Hazelnut
4. Cinnamon
5. Salted Caramel

Extreme weather pushes EU wine harvest to historical low in 2017

Adverse climatic conditions in 2017, including heavy hailstorms and hard frosts in the spring as well as drought in the summer, caused considerable damage to vineyards all over Europe. As a result, most of the wine-growing regions in Europe are expecting a very low harvest for 2017.

The major wine producing countries in the European Union are predicting significant drops in the size of their harvests: Spain expects the harvest to be 16% lower compared to the previous year, France 17% and Italy 21%. Some regions within these countries are expecting reductions even greater than these national averages. For instance Castilla-la-Mancha, a Spanish region, expects the harvest to be 19% lower than last year, whilst Sicilia in Italy expects a decline of 35%.

The situation is not the same across the whole of the EU, with some countries expecting an improvement compared to the previous year. Portugal, for example, is predicting a 10% increase from 2016, while Austria, which suffered also from frost last year, is expecting a 23% improvement. Romania expects 60% growth, a return to the level of 2013 and an increase of 35% compared to the fiveyear average production.

Across the whole of the EU, the 2017-2018 wine harvest is currently estimated to reach around 145 million hectolitres, some 22 million hectolitres (-14%) lower than the previous year and 5.5 million hectolitres lower than the 2012-2013 campaign, the previous record low harvest of recent years. These initial estimates of harvest size could change as the situation becomes clearer following the actual harvest; EU member states have to provide final figures to the European Commission by 15 March 2018.

Lingonberry drinks and marshmallows from natural ingredients in the Arctic Circle

Marshmallows Made By Wild From Arctic

Demand for natural products is growing – in Finland and internationally. This is due to the strong trend related to well-being.  Well-being is being studied and researched from various angles.  Companies are increasingly interested in the link between well-being and productivity. Individuals too are interested in their own well-being, but in an even wider sense. For example, what role does nutrition and closeness to nature play in our long-term well-being?  In terms of tourism, Finland and Lapland have the potential to keep becoming more important as well-being tourist destinations, due to our natural attractions and cooperation and development between sectors.  The development of the bioeconomy in the north is a key means of meeting our current and future ecological and economic challenges.  The potential of the natural product sector ranges from using natural berries as a food in the manner familiar to all Finns, to the pharmaceuticals of the future.

The aforementioned changes will strongly support business development in this sector. People are increasingly interested in nutrition and their own well-being in general. Interest is also growing in the origin and content of products. Much remains to be done in terms of marketing and selling products and services in the natural product sector.  Responding to demand for – and the use of – such products within the tourism sector is a challenge throughout Lapland.  Tourism has a wide range of needs: in well-being services, as ingredients and garnishing on food, in interior decoration and in various kinds of programme services. Berry-picking excursions in natural settings and the use of natural products as ingredients and garnishing in food are becoming more popular.

Sparkling lingonberry drink Made by OSK AapaLappi

Companies in the natural product sector still tend to be small, with just a few larger ones. The lack of suitable facilities is a barrier to business development. Facilities require relatively large financial investments and risk-taking capacity from small entrepreneurs. The City of Kemijärvi wanted to be the first to meet this challenge in Lapland. The training of producers of natural ingredients began a few years ago and incubator-type facilities have been in continuous demand.  Functioning production facilities were provided for the natural product sector in the spring of 2017, through close cooperation between small entrepreneurs and the City of  Kemijärvi’s Business Development Unit. The city’s own development company, Kemijärvi kehitys Oy, is acting as the agent. Support for the related survey has been provided by the Luonnosta liiketoiminta  (Luoli-hanke) ‘Business from nature (Luoli project) funded by the regional ELY Centre.

Sanna Jämsä , who moved from Rovaniemi to Kemijärvi, is one of the tenants. Her firm, Wild from Arctic, makes products such as marshmallows from various natural ingredients.  She operates as a tenant of Kemijärvi kehitys Oy’s  facilities.  “I think that the basic ingredient is the key factor. Here, Lapland’s natural environment provides winning elements that can’t be found elsewhere: the world’s cleanest air, the long bright nights. Wild, northern ingredients that have grown in the Arctic region are clean and their fragrance and levels of prized contents are special features that make them highly appreciated on the international market,” says Jämsä.  The lingonberry drink produced by the cooperative Aapa Lappi is a particular favourite among international tourists.

“Enterprises from outside the region are just as interested in the natural product sector as those in the Kemijärvi area.  The change in consumer behaviour and clear and growing demand in the markets are the reason why they are approaching us,” says Jari Polvi , CEO of Kemijärven kehitys Oy.

Barry Callebaut reveals the fourth type in chocolate: Ruby

80 years after the introduction of White chocolate

  • Barry Callebaut presents the fourth type in chocolate ‘Ruby’ next to Dark, Milk and White chocolate
  • Ruby chocolate is an intense sensorial delight. A tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness
  • Ruby chocolate is made from the Ruby cocoa bean; through a unique processing Barry Callebaut unlocks the flavor and color tone naturally present in the Ruby bean. No berries or berry flavor is added. No color is added

Today,  80 years after the launch of White chocolate as the third type after Dark and Milk, Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, reveals the fourth type in chocolate ‘Ruby’ which is made from the Ruby cocoa bean. Ruby chocolate has an intense taste and characteristic reddish color.

The Ruby bean is unique because the fresh berry-fruitiness and color precursors are naturally present. The cocoa beans are sourced from different regions of the world. The bean has a specific set of attributes, which Barry Callebaut managed to unlock through an innovative process that took many years to develop.

According to quantitative research performed by independent international market and consumer agency Haystack, Ruby chocolate meets a consumer need no chocolate ever did before. It’s expected that Ruby, like Dark, Milk and White chocolates will be introduced in different product categories.

The invention of Ruby chocolate is the work of global R&D centers of Barry Callebaut, based in France and Belgium – part of a global network of 28 R&D centers- , the Jacobs University, and over 175 years of expertise in sourcing and manufacturing.

The fourth type in chocolate offers a totally new taste experience, which is not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness. To create Ruby chocolate no berries or berry flavor, nor color, is added.

Ruby chocolate has been tested and validated through extensive consumer research run by independent global research agencies Haystack and Ipsos in the UK, US, China and Japan.

As part of these studies, Ruby’s consumer appeal and purchase intent have been tested, indicating consumers would buy Ruby chocolate at different price points.

Peter Boone, Barry Callebaut’s Chief Innovation & Quality Officer, said: “Barry Callebaut has established itself as a pioneer and innovator in chocolate and cocoa, globally. Consumer research in very different markets confirms that Ruby chocolate not only satisfies a new consumer need found among Millennials – Hedonistic Indulgence – but also high purchase intent at different price points. We’re looking forward to working with our partners on introducing this innovative breakthrough to the market and making the new Ruby chocolate category available to chocolate manufacturers and consumers around the world as the fourth reference next to Dark, Milk and White chocolate.”

Ruby chocolate was revealed at an exclusive launch event in Shanghai, China, on September 5, 2017.