Our confectionery buyer is getting weighed down by the volume of new product launches, brand extensions, special editions, new pack sizes, special promotions and marketing campaigns in his sector.

Yes, the market thrives on innovation, but given the number of product failures recently, we will be more selective from now on. He has my sympathy, especially since he also manages the soft drinks category which is also proving very challenging. The downturn in sales of carbonates, increasing demand for energy drinks, the growth of healthier natural fruit options, expansion of the school lunch box market and the launch of Coca-Cola Zero all leave us guessing which direction we must turn to satisfy our customers and the marketplace. Britvic and CCE, we need some fresh guidance – and soon.

Anheuser Busch’s timely launch of Bud Silver 4.1% abv lager in cans will maximise its FIFA World Cup sponsorship in the UK. Branding it ‘Bud’ makes good sense given AB’s Formula One sponsorship signage. The acquisition of Rolling Rock also adds significantly to their market presence, particularly in the on trade.

The proposed move of HP Sauce production to Holland is a further blow for British made food. So, off comes The Houses of Parliament picture, to be replaced with what – a windmill and a pair of klompen?

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