GIA Index Shows Western-Origin F&B Brands are More Innovative than Asian Competitors: Unilever, PepsiCo and Kraft Foods Have Most Impact on Asia Pacific F&B Industry

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Global Intelligence Alliance Group (GIA), an international strategic market intelligence and advisory company, released findings from its latest Asia-Pacific Food and Beverage (F&B) Business Vitality IndexTM. The GIA index looked closely at the overall performance of a selected group of 20 companies in the F&B industry focusing on three dimensions: innovation, regional presence and revenue performance. The Index aims to provide an indication of companies' presence in Asia as well as their relative performance within the industry. It is also an indication of a company's ability to impact its industry in the Asia Pacific region.

Global Intelligence Alliance Group (GIA), an international strategic market intelligence and advisory company, released findings from its latest Asia-Pacific Food and Beverage (F&B) Business Vitality IndexTM. The GIA index looked closely at the overall performance of a selected group of 20 companies in the F&B industry focusing on three dimensions: innovation, regional presence and revenue performance. The Index aims to provide an indication of companies' presence in Asia as well as their relative performance within the industry. It is also an indication of a company's ability to impact its industry in the Asia Pacific region.

Anglo-Dutch Unilever ranks as the overall leader in its ability to impact the food and beverage industry in the Asia-Pacific region. American giants PepsiCo and Kraft Foods came second and third, with a strong combination along all three dimensions. Among the Asian companies in the group, Taiwan's Uni-President Enterprises leads the pack and New Zealand based diary manufacturer Fonterra follows closely.

For the rankings table, please refer to http://www.globalintelligence.com/news/news/latest/gia-survey-shows-western-origin-f-b-brands-more-in/

In terms of innovation, a crucial play in the F&B industry, western-origin brands performed generally better than their Asian competitors. Unilever is best in class with an outstanding effort appointing chefs and food experts in 18 key markets to research and develop new products customized to the local needs and preferences. Switzerland's Nestlé comes second in innovation, with its research and development (R&D) centers in China. On the other hand, American cereal giants Kellogg Company and General Mills seem to struggle in this dimension. Japan's Nissin Food Products and Chinese Ting Hsin International came in most innovative among the Asian companies in the group.

For the Who's Who in The F&B Business Vitality Index table, please refer http://www.globalintelligence.com/news/news/latest/gia-survey-shows-western-origin-f-b-brands-more-in/

The Index also confirmed the trend among top performers in the F&B industry to customize their products to the local requirements, not only in terms of packaging but also in terms of taste and appearance. They have also been making strategic investments in the form of R&D centers and local manufacturing capabilities in the Asia Pacific region, particularly through the acquisition of local players.

"Strangely enough, Asian companies lack a strong record with regards to expansion in the region with the exception of Japanese Yakult Honsha. Despite a very strong presence in Asia, Yakult did not rank well in the index due to poor performance revenue-wise. A similar case was Coca-Cola, who shares the strongest geographic presence with other top players in the group, but only came fifth as revenue growth from its Asian business seems to be lagging. However, its diversification into the water and fruit juice business in China will boost revenue growth in the coming year. Another largely present player in Asia, Cadbury Schweppes, has yet to improve on innovation and will start coming higher on the list," said Angela Quintero, Asia Pacific Practice head for Retail, Consumer Goods and Services at Global Intelligence Alliance based in Hong Kong, and author of the report.

"Revenue performance forms the basis for healthy growth and expansion. Denmark-based Arla Foods ranks highest in revenue growth in the group. However, the scandal of melamine content found in its products will very likely hit its China business, affecting its overall performance in the region. With a better than average revenue performance in Asia, we have yet to see smaller companies like Japan's Kagome and America's Del Monte expanding into other Asian countries. Korean-Japanese Lotte Confectionery and Japan's Meiji Seika Kaisha seem to be struggling with their revenue performance and innovation, ranking last in the index," continued Ms. Quintero.

GIA predicts that Campbell Soup will rank high in the 2009 and the 2010 GIA Asia Pacific Business Vitality Index (F&B), thanks to its recent efforts in customizing its products to the local markets and geographical expansion. In a similar way, Danone should be able to leverage its recent investment activities in Japan, Thailand, China, India and Vietnam and come back as a strong performer in the region soon.

For further information, please visit http://www.globalintelligence.com or send an email to info(at)globalintelligence.com to request for a copy of the GIA Asia-Pacific Food and Beverage Business Vitality Index™ report.

About Global Intelligence Alliance
Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA, http://www.globalintelligence.com) provides clients with a single source for customized Market Intelligence services: market monitoring, business research and analysis projects, the Intelligence Plaza™ software, consulting and training. Through its full-range service offering, GIA helps customers set up and conduct Market Intelligence activities that serve both strategic and operational decision-making. The GIA network consists of GIA Group companies and independent Member and Research Partner organizations that operate in more than 100 countries. GIA Group was founded in 1995 and is owned by management and private investors. Venture capital funding to support international expansion was obtained in April 2007 from CapMan (http://www.capman.com).

About the Survey
The Asia-Pacific Business Vitality Index™ reports by Global Intelligence Alliance Asia-Pacific measure major companies' growth and expansion within the Asia-Pacific region for selected industry sectors, based on non-proprietary, public domain information that is comparable across sectors. The Index aims to provide an indication of companies' presence in Asia as well as their relative performance within the industry. The analysis is unique as it is multi-dimensional and takes "soft" factors into account as well as looking at financial performance.

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