Beer consumption suffered during lockdown

Across the globe, beer consumption suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic in the early stages of 2020. In some countries – such as South Africa – alcohol consumption was restricted, while others – like Mexico – classified brewing as a non-essential activity and ceased beer production.
“In most countries, consumers faced a lockdown and the on-premise channel was closed, creating varying degrees of pain for nearly all brewers,” according to Francois Sonneville, Senior Analyst – Beverages at Rabobank .
“In North America, the overall market has held up relatively well, helped by its reliance on off-trade sales and stellar e-commerce growth. Brewers large and small have proved surprisingly nimble and adaptable – which may lead to notable changes to the on-premise moving forward,” says Sonneville. Craft brewers, who are more dependent on the on-trade, have so far avoided closures, although the winter might impact those dependent on outdoor seating.
Read More: Food fraud being uncovered
In Europe, on-trade markets have been hit hard, especially in tourist areas, and beer
going stale in kegs has caused additional problems. As new Covid cases are on the
rise and the risk of a second lockdown increases, chain integration might help to
lower costs.
Despite a sharp recovery in China, the loss of summer sales will hang over 2020
Asian beer volumes. As China comprises 70% of total Asian beer consumption, it is
critical to recovery. Thailand and Japan have shown smart recoveries in Q3 2020. For
the rest of Asia, specifically, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam, there are mixed

Forget children, self-regulating ads only helps the food industry

The food industry’s commitment to actually reducing inappropriate food marketing to children is called into question by a paper published today in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Couple this with research published last week showing drinking soft drinks makes children aggressive, and you won’t be alone in thinking it’s time to do something about how junk food and kids mix.

But what about the measures already in place? And do these US studies actually have lessons for other countries like Australia?

Food advertising to children

The PLOS study examined television advertisements for fast-food restaurants broadcast on US national television between July 2009 and June 2010.

The bulk of the child-targeted advertisements (62 of the 95) were for McDonald’s, with 30 from Burger King, and three from Subway.

Compared to 92 matching adult-targeted advertisements, Burger King and McDonald’s child-targeted ads were more likely to show food packaging (88% versus 23%) and street views of the restaurants (41% versus 12%). This indicates the importance placed by marketers on conveying branding to children.

The massive power of branding was also clearly demonstrated in a 2007 study that found children preferred the taste of food and drinks when they were presented in McDonald’s wrappers.

Across the two chains, 69% of child-targeted advertisements featured a toy premium or giveaway (compared to 1% of adult-targeted ads); and 55% (compared to 14%) featured film tie-ins.

Not surprisingly, the authors concluded that fast food advertisements aimed at children did not emphasise food, focusing instead on toys, premiums and tie-ins. They also concluded that these companies had not followed through on the letter or the spirit of industry self-regulatory codes.

The picture in Australia

When Australian researchers examined the impact of self-regulation in a 2011 study, they found it didn’t reduce fast food advertising to children.

And in case you are persuaded by industry arguments that self-regulation is effective, a recent systematic review also concluded that scientific, peer-reviewed studies find self-regulation of food advertising has been ineffective. It also found that industry-sponsored reports find high compliance with these voluntary codes.

The use of film tie-ins and media characters in adverts is controversial, and there’s evidence that children rate food as more tasty when there is a licenced cartoon character on the packaging.

Following advocacy by parent groups and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) regarding the extensive use of premiums to sell fast food to Australian children, the mandatory Children’s Television Standards were revised in 2009 to clarify that an advertisement:

A review of food and beverage advertisements in five Australian cities over a two-month period in 2010 identified 619 breaches of the standards, including 120 breaches of this specific clause, and 332 breaches of the industry’s voluntary regulations.

Just like the images, advertising voice-overs in the PLOS ONE study focused on giveaways and film tie-ins. When those same chains targeted adults, they focused on taste, price, and portion size.

This concurrent targeting of children and adults with very different messages about a brand’s food products is not unique to fast food restaurants.

Our research into advertising for snack foods found that advertisements in children’s magazines focused on fun, games, “coolness” and inferences of popularity. Whereas concurrent advertisements in magazines for adults focused on nutrition and convenience.

We also found that adults perceived distinctly different messages in the two mediums and, importantly, that their intention to purchase the snack foods for their children varied depending on the version they were exposed to.

There’s more

Providing further angst for the marketers of unhealthy food and drinks, a study published last week in the Journal of Pediatrics found that children who consume soft drinks are more likely to experience behavioural problems.

Even after controlling for a range of possible confounders (socio-demographic factors, maternal depression and family violence), the researchers found children who regularly drank even one soft drink a day were more likely to display aggressive behaviour.

Children who drank more than four soft drinks a day were twice as likely to get into fights, physically attack people, and destroy other people’s property; and more likely to have attention problems.

This was not some small-scale research with a few children; it was a rigorous study conducted by experienced researchers who assessed soft drink consumption and behavioural outcomes among 2,929 five-year-olds in 20 US cities.

The authors recommended warning labels be included on soft drinks to alert parents of the risks associated with children’s consumption.

Not surprisingly, the Australian Beverages Council dismissed the study’s recommendations and argued that the study authors “failed to factor out other important considerations”.

As would be expected, the peak body argued that mandatory regulation is not needed as the industry has been voluntarily taking steps to enable consumers to make “informed choices”.

It remains to be seen whether these strategies will be any more effective than self-regulatory approaches to reducing marketing of other unhealthy food products to children. I won’t be holding my breath.

Sandra Jones holds a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council, and has received funding from the ARC and from NGOs including the Cancer Council and Asthma Foundation.

The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.


Fanta launches latest brand campaign

Coca-Cola South Pacific has today announced the launch of their 'Be More FANTA' brand campaign, aimed at inspiring youth to embrace the playful, fun and vibrant side of life.

The campaign will launch Fanta's 2016 strategy to 'bring the fun', designed to leverage a market growth opportunity and encourage product trial, fuelled by novelty and excitement.

Teens and mums have been identified as the two key audiences for the campaign which includes TV, cinema, online, mobile, radio partnerships with 2Day FM and Pandora, outdoor advertising and influencer activity.

It will be heroed by brand new 'Play Packs', a range of fun and spontaneous selfie-inspiring packaging options designed to encourage teens to get creative and post their efforts on their social media channels.

The concept ran in in France where it is enjoyed great success, reaching 6.5 million teens in the first two weeks. A multitude of designs will be incorporated across various pack options.     

The campaign will be fronted by a strong in-store presence, including the development of a full suite of point of sale merchandising to drive product visibility and maximise impact.

Ramona Spiteri, Brand Manager, Fanta, said, “Fanta is the perfect brand to run with this message due to its creative and playful history. It also has a proven track record of success, having delivered significant growth since 2009 and is continuing to flourish, something we expect to build on in 2016."

Overall poor industry performance on global food issues

A report ranking multinational companies for their performance in marketing, labelling and nutrition says the world’s biggest food companies are too slow in reacting to the double burdens of obesity and undernutrition.

Companies were put under the microscope for their performance on corporate strategy, management and governance related to nutrition; formulation and delivery of appropriate affordable and accessible products; and having a positive influence on consumer choice and behaviour, through nutrition information, food marketing and labelling.

In the index compiled by Dutch not-for profit organisation Access to Nutrition Foundation, no company scored higher than Unilever’s fairly modest 6.4 out of 10 and Nestlé’s 5.9 –and not a single other food and beverage firm scored above five for overall ranking.

According to ANF executive director Inge Kaur, industry should view the poor results as a new opportunity.

“Given the global reach of their products, food and beverage companies have a critical role to play in helping to tackle the growing global health crisis caused by poor nutrition. While companies have a social responsibility to tackle global nutrition challenges, doing so also presents a business opportunity as consumers worldwide demand healthier foods,” Kaur said.

Nestle scored especially high for governance with 8.7 and was praised by the foundation for extending its previous definition of a child audience to include new media.

Despite this, the report says that the company has failed to address other key issues raised in the 2013 index, such as raising the definition of the age of a child to 16. It also failed to improve its approach to developing independent consumer-orientated healthy eating programs. 

CCA launches new Sprite campaign

Coca-Cola South Pacific has launched the next phase of Sprite's 'Cut Through The Heat' brand campaign, dedicated to inspiring and empowering Aussies to deal with life's awkward moments. 

The campaign kicks will include the return of the brand's distinguished ambassador, Sprite Saver, who will amplify Sprite's 'cut through' message through a number of 'refreshing' environments.

There will be a heavy focus on social media, designed to build an active and engaged community of Sprite lovers and encourage younger consumers to build a connection and affinity with the brand. 

The company said that content will be geared towards sparking dialogue around cutting through heated moments, positioning Sprite as a tool to cut through them and demonstrating how it can give consumers the confidence to keep their cool.

Donna Mulholland, Group Marketing Manager, Coca-Cola South Pacific said: "We're looking to build brand equity and increase engagement amongst consumers by capturing their interest through a series of fun and engaging executions that will be rolled out in market in the coming months. Our refreshment message also remains at the heart of the campaign as we continue to educate consumers about the product benefits."

Campbell to lead the herd at Sanger

Sanger, a leading Australian meat sales and marketing business and subsidiary of the newly formed Bindaree Beef Group announced the appointment of James Campbell as Chief Executive Officer. 

Mr Campbell replaces Graham Greenhalgh who has successfully led the business for the last 2 years. Mr Greenhalgh will take on the new role of Director, Business Development for the Bindaree Beef Group.
Prior to joining ANZ, James held positions at KPMG in Audit and Corporate Recovery with primary work undertaken in restructuring and insolvency for corporate agricultural businesses. 

James is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (‘ICAA’), holds a double degree in Commerce (Accounting) and Business Administration from the University of Canberra. During his time in China he served two terms as a Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.
“James has a strong grasp of the key challenges and opportunities facing our customers and a clear vision that aligns with the Sanger executive team. James takes on the Chief Executive role at an exciting time for Sanger, with a number of major projects underway as the business looks to further specialise in supplying branded meat programs,” Bindaree Beef Group Chairman, JR McDonald said.

Australia’s most trusted food brands revealed

Reader’s Digest has once again completed its annual Trusted Brands competition, recognising and rewarding manufacturers that have earned the public’s nod of approval.

Through an independent survey conducted on a sample of 2,412 Australian adults by market research company Catalyst Marketing & Research, Reader’s Digest has recognised the most trusted brands in 46 categories of products and services across a wide range of industries.

“Many purchases are made with the heart and, even in this digital age, it’s the brands which continue to offer quality and substance that hold our trust,” said Sue Carney, Australian Reader’s Digest Editor-in-Chief.

Dettol claimed the number one spot with other top 10 finalists including Dulux, Colgate, Band-aid, Dyson, Twinings and Lipton. 

Rotary clothes line manufacturer Hills Hoist was again voted the country’s most iconic brand, followed by Arnott’s and SPC which both earned Highly Commended titles.

Australia’s most trusted food and beverage manufacturers include:
•    Beer – James Boag (Winner), Heineken, Corona and Crown Lager (Highly Commended)
•    Bread – Bakers Delight (Winner), Helga’s and Burgen (Highly Commended)
•    Breakfast Foods – Weet-Bix (Winner), Uncle Tobys and Kellogg’s (Highly Commended)
•    Confectionery – Lindt (Winner), Cadbury and Darrel Lea (Highly Commended)
•    Frozen Foods – Birds Eye (Winner), McCain and Ingham (Highly Commended)
•    Ice Cream – Peters (Winner), Streets and Bulla (Highly Commended)
•    Milk – Dairy Farmers (Winner), Devondale and Pauls (Highly Commended)
•    Pies – Four’n Twenty (Winner), Mrs Macs and Sargents (Highly Commended)
•    Sugar substitutes – equal (Winner), Splenda and natvia (Highly Commended)
•    Tea – Twinings (Winner), Lipton and Dilmah (Highly Commended)
•    Yoghurt – Yoplait (Winner), Dairy Farmers and Jalna (Highly Commended)

For the full list of winners, head to

Food branding specialist appoints new GM

SGK, a division of Matthews International and a leading global brand development, activation and deployment provider that drives brand performance, announced today that Simon Macdonald has been appointed Managing Director of SGK Australia and New Zealand.

Simon has six years’ experience in leading Marque Branding, a key development arm of SGK in Australia and has been part of the local leadership team from the outset. He will seamlessly replace current Managing Director, Adam Ransom who relocates to Singapore to head up the Asia Pacific region for the organisation. 

Simon will oversee the growth in ANZ of SGK’s brand development divisions Anthem and Marque Branding and deployment specialists, Schawk. Of his new appointment Simon Macdonald said, “My new role in heading up SGK Australia is an exciting opportunity for me to work even more closely with the other key divisions of the group and my colleagues of over the past six years. We have a great team here at the Sydney office of SGK and I look forward to working across our three arms in the effective development and deployment of our client’s vital brands.”

Adam Ransom, in commenting on his replacement, said “Simon has shown a significant passion for the growth of our development business locally, having been instrumental in seeing Marque business grow into a full service design agency delivering world class design in own label packaging for major retailers”.

Wrigley’s rebrands Extra

Wrigley's Extra will be rebranded as part of a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, which will focus on the gum’s “oral care credentials”.

The brand’s new look logo features a shield, with a “glint”, to signify that chewing sugar-free EXTRA helps keep teeth clean and healthy after eating and drinking. The refresh follows on from what has been a strong local performance year to date for EXTRA, with the first quarter of 2015 providing the highest value share since 2009.

Wrigley Marketing Director, Tami Cunningham, said: “Gum is one of the most impulsive categories in-store; therefore visibility is crucial to sales. Our new global visual identity will strengthen this, allowing shoppers to identify their favourite products immediately.”

To amplify visibility and unlock new display opportunities in-store, the roll-out will be supported with a television campaign featuring Ashton Kutcher, as well as secondary media activity, including outdoor, mobile, digital, social and path to purchase shopalites and in-store activations.


Clean Labels here to stay

Clean labelling has moved beyond being a trend and is regarded as standard in the food industry, according to Innova Market Insights.

Consumers are demanding shorter and more recognizable ingredients lists and manufacturers are responding by increasingly highlighting the naturalness and origins of their products.

With growing concerns over the lack of a definition of “natural,” however, there is a need for more clarity and specificity, with consumers, retailers, industry and regulators all driving the demand for more transparency in food labelling.

Over 20 per cent of US products tracked in 2014 featured a clean label positioning, up from 17 per cent in 2013, according to Innova Market Insights data. Significant rises in the use of clean label ingredients have also been tracked, with growing interest in natural sweeteners, such as stevia and monk fruit, natural colours such as those based on spirulina, elderberry and beetroot, and thickeners such as tragacanth and gellan gums.

“This demand for clean labelling has now brought the need for clear labelling equally to the fore,” reports Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, “resulting in a move to clearer and simpler claims and packaging for maximum transparency and necessitating an industry response in terms of reformulation and new communication strategies.”

“From Clean to Clear Label” was identified by Innova Market Insights as the number one in their top ten trends for 2015, recognizing that it is no longer a niche area for the food and drinks industry.


Regulatory concerns shifting digestive health focus

Digestive or gut health has been a key focus for product activity in functional and health foods for many years, but with the tightening up of claims legislation, particularly in Europe, there has been something of a setback in terms of product activity in more recent times

Over 3.2 percent of food and drinks launches recorded by Innova Market Insights carried digestive health claims of some kind in 2014, up from just 2.7 percent five years previously. This indicates that there is still ongoing interest in the sector, particularly in the USA, where the share rose from 3.3 percent to over 3.6 percent. EU launches using a digestive health positioning fell from 2.4 percent to 2.2 percent over the same period, however.

With the claims situation becoming more difficult, companies are also focusing on the use of specific ingredients, such as wholegrains and fibre, which may already be linked with digestive health in consumers’ minds. High-fibre or source-of-fibre claims were used on nearly 3.4 percent of food and drinks launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in 2014, rising to 4.6 percent in the USA. Wholegrain claims were used on 2 percent of global launches, rising to 3.4 percent in the USA.

Wholegrain claims were particularly in evidence in categories such as cereals and bakery products. Bakery products lead globally, accounting for 21 percent of food and drinks launches using this type of claim, although this is equivalent to less than 6 percent of total bakery introductions. In addition, 5.5 percent of bakery launches used wholegrain claims. The two claims combined featured on 9 percent of bakery launches, rising to 16 percent in the USA.

Within the bakery market, biscuits accounted for nearly half of launches using fibre-related claims (excluding wholegrains), ahead of bread. In terms of significance however, bread is a clear leader, with products featuring a high-fibre positioning accounting for 15 percent of bread launches, compared with just over 9 percent in savoury biscuits and just 5 percent in sweet biscuits.

In the biscuits market, probably the key area of activity in high-fibre products in recent years has been in breakfast biscuits, virtually all of which are promoted as high in fibre and/or whole grains, and many of which have variants such as fruit and fibre in their ranges. This started in the UK in 2010, creating a new breakfast biscuits sub-category featuring a raft of new brands. It also heralded a welter of activity in other countries, including Germany, the USA and Australia, as well as a revitalization of existing breakfast biscuit markets in countries such as France and Spain.

“There is clearly still interest in products for digestive or gut health,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights. “This is reflected in ongoing levels of product activity, despite some of the current regulatory issues affecting health claims, particularly in Europe.”

Companies are tending to move to a more general health and wellness positioning for their products, she said. “They are relying more on existing consumer awareness of ingredients such as probiotics and fibre, the health benefits that they offer and the kinds of food and drinks products that they can be found in.”


“Lesbian” banned by Nutella

A French Nutella marketing campaign, “Say It With Nutella” has banned the word “lesbian”, along with “Muslim” and “Jewish”.

“Say It With Nutella” allows users to create a custom jar of the famous chocolate spread with their own phrase, to share on social media, a news service for the gay community, Pink News reports.

The site says: “Here you can create your custom messages and share them with those you love.”

However, users have discovered a long list of words the site will not allow you to use. Along with swear words, drugs, and violent terms, the site does not allow “lesbian”, “Muslim” or “Jewish”.

The full list of banned words was found by viewing the site’s source code, RTL reports. Health-related words such as “obesity, “cancer” and “diabetes” as well as “palm oil”, the controversial ingredient in Nutella, are banned. Clearly anticipating that people would use the site to highlight the controversy surrounding the use of palm oil, which reportedly threatens orangutan habitats, words such as “boycott” and “orangutan” is not permitted.  While “gay” is fine, and “Christian” is allowed despite the ban on “Jewish” and “Muslim”.

Makers of Nutella, Ferrero, said in a statement: “The negative or insulting messages were directly removed from the field of possibilities, the idea being to use the jar of Nutella as a communication medium to share enthusiasm. Similarly, words of communities that are often subject to attacks by malicious people were removed from the proposals.”


Banrock Station reveals new packaging and rebrand

Wine brand, Banrock Station has undergone a re-brand inclusive of a modern pack design that focuses on the company’s commitment to the environment.

The brand refresh was a result of extensive consumer research that was designed to identify what messaging mattered most to the Banrock Station consumer. Using these findings, the brand created a new look across its range inclusive of a new circular logo, along with the tagline ‘Helping protect our beautiful planet since 1995’.

Banrock Station has reinvested more than $6 million in profits to support over 130 environmental projects in 13 countries and Banrock say that the new green neck tag at the top of the bottle solidifies its contribution to these projects.

"We are very excited to be able to invest in this leading brand. Our consumers love to know they can contribute to a good cause, especially the environment and eco projects. This message shines with the new labels, which showcase our commitment to not only producing quality Australian wine, but also to doing our part to protect the planet,” said Banrock Station senior Brand Manager, Suzanne Blake.

“The Banrock Station team is incredibly dedicated to the success of the brand, and with this new packaging we’re able to tell a strong story about our passion for quality wine and helping the earth, which is resonating with shoppers on the shelf. We’re very pleased with the result and positive consumer response we’ve received so far.”

Some of the company’s environmental commitments include; a 4 year project investing $750,000 in partnership with the WWF-Australia to conduct important research on the iconic Great Barrier Reef; research into polar bear populations in Canada; and population surveys of the red squirrel, and rehabilitation of orphaned, injured and ex-captive orang-utans in Malaysia in partnership with the UK National Trust.

The new packaging will be on shelf at major wine retailers from mid-November and will be rolled out across Banrock Station’s entire range of sweet and table wines, with 2L cask to follow.

Top ten food trends for 2015, Innova Market Insights

Market research company, Innova Market Insights has released its overview of the top ten trends for global food, beverage and nutrition in 2015.

Taking out the top spot was From Clean to Clear Label, which highlights the need for clearer definitions of the term ‘natural’. This was followed by Convenience for Foodies which came in second and emphasises the demand for fresh foods and ingredients, driven by the popularity of food blogs and cooking shows.

Innova will release an in-depth analysis and examples of such products in the Top Ten Trends for 2015 in detailed presentations and reports within the coming weeks.

Top Ten Trends for 2015

  1. From Clean to Clear Label: Innova say that clean label claims are tracked in its database on nearly a quarter of all food and beverage launches, and that manufacturers are increasingly highlighting the naturalness and origin of their products. Innova noted that growing concerns over the lack of a definition of the term ‘natural’ has furthered the need to provide more clarity and specific details on the term.


  1. Convenience for Foodies: Innova states that the popularity of food blogs and cooking shows has driven demand for a greater choice of fresh foods, ingredients and an increased interest in cooking from scratch. Innova say that bloggers are cooking shows are seen as fashionable, fun and social, as well as cost effective, and have resulted in a wider use of recipe suggestions by manufacturers and retailers.


  1. Marketing to Millennials: This refers to the ‘Millennial generation’ (those aged between 15 and 35) which accounts for about one-third of the global population and is tech savvy and socially engaged. These consumer are well informed, want to try something different and are generally less brand loyal than older consumers. They want to connect with products and brands and know the story behind them.


  1. Snacks Rise to the Occasion: Innova say that as formal mealtimes are continuing to decline in popularity, it has seen growing numbers of food and drinks are now considered to be snacks. Quick healthy foods are tending to replace traditional meal occasions, and more snacks are targeted at specific moments of consumption, with different demand influences at different times of day.


  1. Good Fats, Good Carbs: Innova says that concerns of obesity have led to a growing emphasis on unsaturated and natural fats and oils and rising interest in omega 3 fatty acid content as well as the return of butter to favour as a natural, tasty alternative to artificial margarines that may be high in trans fats. In the same way, naturally-occurring sugar is being favoured at the expense of added sugars and artificial sweeteners.


  1. More In Store for Protein: Ingredient suppliers, food producers and consumers are on the lookout for the next protein source. Soy protein is regarded as cheap and mainstream and therefore being less applied among NPLs tracked. Whey protein has been popular for some years and is still growing, while pulse protein is rapidly emerging. More algae protein applications are expected in the future. Further along insect protein may become big in various categories.


  1. New Routes for Fruit 7: Innova notes that more product launches are being tracked with real fruit and vegetables, as they can function as colouring foodstuffs and in that role meet the increased demand for natural colours and flavours. Fruit and vegetable inclusions can add to the “permissible indulgence” character of a product. Consumers perceive a product to be healthier when it contains a real fruit or vegetable ingredient.


  1. A Fresh Look at Frozen: Innova say that in order to compete with the healthy appeal of fresh aisles and the convenience of canned foods, established frozen foods (vegetables and seafood) are focusing on freshness in their marketing, stressing the superior nutritional content in frozen food. Brand extensions include larger varieties in vegetables and fruits. At the same time the frozen segment is witnessing new product launch activity in new categories (e.g. soups, fruit, drinks , finger foods, sauces, pastries, herbs).


  1. Private Label Powers On: Even though the worst of the economic recession is over private label is still gaining market share in terms of new product launches in Europe, North America and Australasia. Store brands are here to stay and are found in all product segments. Discounters Aldi and Lidl are by consumers no longer solely seen as budget stores, but are accepted by the general public and considered to have good quality products.


  1. Rich, chewy and Crunch: Texture is an important driver for taste perception of food and beverages and focus of many of today’s food innovations. Brands are creatively combining textures with for example crispy inclusions, soft centres and extra crunchy toppings. Texture claims are shown more prominently on front-of-pack. Also, brands are creative in describing texture or including a texture claim in a product name.


Anti Halal campaign is based on misinformation, AFGC

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has said its members have no intention of dropping their halal certifications despite a spate of anti-halal campaigns.

A number of Australian companies including The Byron Bay Cookie Company and Four’ N Twenty have been attacked on social media for certifying their products as Halal, with campaigners sighting that the certification funds terrorism.

South Australian dairy manufacturer, Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company were also targeted. The company made the decision to drop their certification to avoid negative publicity, which also meant that they had to end their $50,000 yoghurt supply deal with Middle-Eastern airline, Emirates.

James Mathews, a spokesperson for the AFGC told The Guardian that the anti-Halal campaign or ‘buy-cott’ is “a campaign of misinformation”.

Mathews said that despite pressure from anti-Islamic campaigners, members of the AFGC – which include Mondelez Australia – were not engaging in the movement against Halal certification, adding that the cost of the certification is negligible when compared to the value of the Islamic market.

He also added that many critics of Halal certification have a blinked view, and “are not interested in understanding the actual reality” behind the certification.


Indulgent products more popular than healthy FMCGs, Canadean

A recent study from market research company Canadean has found that food manufacturers may be placing too much emphasis on the health category and subsequently neglecting demand for indulgent products. 

Canadean surveyed 100 managers working in the FMCG industry, and asked them how important they believe the demand for products within the health and indulgence categories over the next three years will be. 79 percent of respondents stated that health would be the most important, compared to 63 percent who named indulgence as the category to concentrate on.

Analyst at Canadean, Joanne Hardman said that the findings differ to the market research company’s consumer data which shows that consumers’ demand for indulgence is significantly greater than health.

In 2012 consumers spent $US 600,167 million on fulfilling the desire for indulgence and luxury, whereas only $US 323,694 was spent in the same year on the desire for a healthy option.  

“Some brands are getting it wrong with their perception of what consumers will want over the next three years. The desire for an indulgent treat will always reign supreme over the need for a health kick,” says Hardman.

Hardman says that while consumers are expected to display a desire for healthier options over the next few years, Canadean’s data predicts that consumers will continue to favour indulgence over anything else over that period.

“If manufacturers are looking to target the health-conscious audience more over the next three years, extending product portfolios as opposed to adjusting current product formulation will be preferred by consumers, as it allows them to stay loyal to the brand when they are looking for both indulgent and healthy offerings.” 


SA yoghurt company drops Halal certification

Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company has decided to drop its Halal certification due to an aggressive anti-Halal social media campaign.

The South Australian company received a spate of calls, emails and social media posts from people suggesting that the fee that company paid to certify its products as halal were used to fund terrorism, ABC News reports.

Nick Hutchinson, sales and marketing manager of the company told ABC News that the decision to remove the certification meant that it would also have to end its $50,000 yoghurt supply deal with Middle-Eastern airline, Emirates.

"The publicity we were getting was quite negative and something we probably didn't need and we decided we would pull the pin and stop supplying Emirates Airlines," Hutchison told ABC News.

"Ninety per cent of it has been social media, but I have received calls from people that are quite unhappy, I guess, about our decisions and so forth, and [we have also received] a lot of emails."

The company which has been in operation since 2006, has been supplying Emirates for the past two years. A condition of securing the Emirates contract was that the Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company paid a $1,000 fee to become Halal certified.

"We thought this was a great coup for the company, it would bring great publicity, great advertising and we decided to go ahead with it," said Hutchinson.

"It's been quite successful for the company, but unfortunately over the last few days, a lot of negative publicity has come in about this Halal certification and where this money, where we are paying fees is being spent."

Hutchinson said that a significant proportion of the complaints came from interstate and overseas, however the company made the executive decision to pull the certification to avoid negative publicity locally.

Hutchinson admits that the move will impact on the company financially, however he remained hopeful that Fleurieu could save its supply contract with Emirates as yoghurt does not have to be Halal certified by law unless it contains gelatine.

"What we are going to try and do is get our products tested, get some certificates that prove that our products don't contain gelatine and try to continue to supply Emirates, if they'll give us permission without the certification, but I mean that is unlikely,” he said.

Hutchinson said that since the company announced that it would be dropping its Halal certification, it had received feedback from customers expressing their disappointment that the company had bowed to the anti-Halal campaign.

In addition to the Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt Company, another Australian manufacturer, The Byron Bay Cookie Company faced a spate of criticism via social media in October this year for having their Anzac biscuits certified as Halal.

Byron Bay Cookie Company is seeking legal advice and told SmartCompany it had been dealing with a “small but well-orchestrated anti-halal campaign” for the past six to eight months.


Coke’s new marketing campaign targets today’s youth

In a move to attract the next generation of soft drink consumers, Coca-Cola has developed a multi-million dollar campaign series  focusing on social, digital and content marketing.

The campaign is aiming to develop a similar connection between today’s youth and the beverage brand as previous generations have had. The campaign will effectively see the replacement of the classic Coke summer TV commercial with  strong push via digital and social channels. The campaign also features different coloured cans coming in at a volume of 250ml as opposed to the traditional 375ml.

“We realised we needed to up our game significantly in the innovation stakes,” Coca-Cola’s marketing manager Di Everett told The Australian.

“We usually spend 70 per cent of our budget on tried and true media, 20 per cent reapplying experiments and 10 per cent on true innovation.

“We really tried to tip that ratio. (Innovation) would be significantly higher than that in every medium.”

Coke hired three YouTube content creators to help execute the campaign, which is inclusive of seven online videos which aim to tap into teen culture through music, fashion and gaming and a masthead takeover which will unlock particular content once teens interact with it.

Coke will be employing photo image technology which in combination with smart phones, will be used to unlock content across several different media channels. In addition, signage in select shopping centres will be transformed into a game that can be played on a consumer’s smartphone once they photograph said signage.

In addition, select bus shelters will also be transformed to dispense cans of coke and graffiti artists have been employed to repaint billboards in Sydney and Melbourne on a daily basis.

Everett says that rather on focusing of sales volume, the campaign is more about the Coca-Cola brand forming a relationship with today's youth.

“We want teens to discover this world themselves,” Ms Everett said. “We wanted to be the group that has kept (being) iconic,” she said. “Otherwise we stop being what Coke has always been about.”

The new campaign has come about as part of Coca-Cola’s strategic review which was released late last month. The review highlighted a number of key strategies including.

  • A joint campaign between The Coca-Cola Company and CCA in Australia and New Zealand with the #colouryoursummer campaign;
  • The launching of Coke Life in Australia and New Zealand in April 2015;
  • A US$500 million investment to accelerate Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia’s (CCAI, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Amatil) growth strategy in return for ordinary equity ownership interest of 29.4 percent.


Ginger beer launch targets red heads

Buderim Ginger is unveiling its new boutique non-alcoholic ginger beer, with a marketing campaign celebrating “all things ranga”.

The ginger beer is a blend using crop from Aussie ginger farmers with no artificial flavours or colours and is available in a 250ml slimline can and glass bottle.

To date, Buderim Ginger has only made its ginger beer available for distribution locally on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland in its traditional glass bottle. However, the product will now be available nationally to distributors.

At the core of the campaign, is a website called ‘The Ginger Net’, which the company said “allows users to immerse themselves in the wild, wacky and entertaining world of the flame-haired.”

Buderim Ginger has also teamed up with Division Model Management to launch a national search for “Australia’s Hottest Ginger”. The winners: one red-haired female and one male winner be awarded the titles of ‘Buderim Ginger Australia’s Hottest Ginger’, and receive a 12-month modelling contract with Division Model Management.


Brownes enlists Boxer & Co. for packaging redesign

Western Australian dairy brand, Brownes has received a packaging makeover courtesy of Sydney-based packaging agency, Boxer & Co.

With a focus on provenance and purity, the new design features colourful Western Australian sunsets that flood the Tetra packs with variant colour, making navigating the full range incredibly simple.

Dairy cows are silhouetted in front of the setting sun evoking the connection between the paddock to plate nature of the product, however the design deliberately steered away from the typical green grass, blue sky and black and white cow that is so often displayed on milk packaging.

“It was important that we kept Brownes focused on their number one position, creating a pack that really connects with consumers by reminding them of the Brownes they have grown up with, but doing so with a fresh, modern approach,” said Mark Haygarth, creative director, Boxer & Co.

With increasing competition within the milk category, Brownes marketing director, Natalie Sarich-Dayton said that the company knew they needed to invest in a design that set their brand apart, while focussing on the products quality and WA credentials.

“We knew we needed to invest in refreshing the pack design of our entire milk portfolio. Our new packaging needed to achieve real impact on shelf and also tell the Brownes story, of an innovative, contemporary company with a deep passion and heritage in WA Dairy,” said Sarich-Dayton.

“We invested a lot in strategic research and wanted a specialist packaging agency that had the capability to translate the insights and understanding into something really creative and engaging. Boxer & Co. really hit the mark; their creative portfolio coupled with their proprietary strategic approach proved to us that they could deliver.”