November 2020 Food & Beverage Pulse

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GCG’s November 2020 Food & Beverage Pulse provides an overview on recent news topics and trends within the Food & Beverage sector.

Key findings include the following:

    • Six megatrends shaping the food industry. Major food companies are seeing increased competition from smaller brands and rising costs of production. Lux Research identified six megatrends that leading companies will need to adapt to in the food and beverage industry – food for health, sustainability, ubiquitous sensing, the microbiome, new industry structures, and future consumption habits. Of the most impactful are food for health and sustainability, as consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about both their overall health and wellbeing and preserving the environment. Protein and fiber are becoming increasingly essential in consumers’ daily diets, while decarbonization efforts are now considered crucial from a production standpoint.
    • Nestle joins US dairy industry’s goal to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Innovation Center for US dairy debuted its Net Zero Initiative in October 2020, a pledge to help dairy companies implement new technologies and more sustainable practices to work toward carbon neutrality by 2050. The center gained its first major partner in the initiative in Nestle, committing $10 million to help them achieve carbon neutrality. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the dairy sector contributes roughly 4% of total greenhouse gas emissions globally, and industry leaders have been criticized for their lack of addressing sustainability risks. The development of the Net Zero Initiative and the engagement from Nestle is expected to restore some consumer confidence in the industry.
    • Canopy Growth to bring cannabis beverages to US in 2021. Canopy Growth, a cannabis company based in Smiths Falls, Ontario, recently announced it will be launching cannabis-infused beverages in California and Illinois through its partnership with Acreage Holdings. In Canada, the company has sold more than 1.7 million cans and owns five of the top six SKUs in the cannabis category.
    • Nearly 200 companies pledge to halve food waste by 2030. A group of nearly 200 food suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers committed to the 10x20x30 initiative with one common goal: to cut food waste in half by 2030. General Mills was among those signed up and separately committed to reduce greenhouse gasses by 30% and reduce food waste by 50% over the next ten years. As consumers’ concerns grow, commitments to the environment by food and beverage companies have become seemingly mandatory.
    • Record $435M invested in fermentation this year, report says. Of the $1.5 billion that has been invested in alternative proteins over the past year, $435 million has been invested in the fermentation process. What was once a process principally conducted for yogurt beer, changed in 1985 when producers applied it to alternative proteins for the first time. The process is believed by some to be the next trend in the alternative proteins industry, serving to create animal-free dairy and bitter blockers used for sugar reduction and plant-based meat flavoring.
    • Recalculating at retail: Shoppers to seek more deals. According to Nielson, many Americans experiencing financial restraint due to COVID-19 will seek at-home meal options, deals, lower prices, and coupons. Attitudes have changed since March when consumers were disregarding prices and stocking up on essential items due to stay-at-home orders. Now, in-store promotions and sales on items will be essential to attract price-conscious consumers.
    • Front of package labels drive category-wide nutrition improvements. The adoption of nutritional data on front of package (FOP) labels is driving change toward healthier contents, according to a study from North Carolina State University. Manufacturers selected in the study listed calories, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium per serving size on the front of their food products. For all categories in which one product adopted FOP labeling, researchers evaluated differences on a before and after basis and compared with categories that did not adopt the labeling, FOP labeling is an emerging tool to change producer behavior on an industry level.
    • Hard seltzer market is big enough for multiple brands, says Molson Coors. Molson Coors CEO, Gavin Hattersly, says the seltzer market is large enough for multiple brands to be successful, as he defends the brand’s recent distribution deal with Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola recently announced its entrance into the hard seltzer market through their portfolio brand Topo Chico. Molson Coors will conduct the marketing, sales and distribution of Topo Chico hard seltzer in the US. Hattersly views the deal as complementary, adding differentiation to the company’s current portfolio of hard seltzer brands, which include Vizzy and Coors Seltzer.

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