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June 2018

ROBOTICS IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY

FDF looks at an industry set to reach $3.35bn by 2025

Bringing authenticity back to the F&B market

www.FDFworld.com

BEYOND LIP SERVICE

The secrets behind the rapid growth at EATFIRST

The rise and rise of

GRAND HYATT HOTEL & VILLAS Bringing five-star luxury to the Middle Eastern market

TOP 10

COFFEE COMPANIES IN THE WORLD


Bosgraaf Group offers a total package

Bosgraaf Group’s state-of-the-art systems and service for the production of semihard and hard cheeses, is a result of the company’s extensive experience and innovative technical solutions. With an unrelenting focus on performance, hygiene and sustainability, Bosgraaf’s bespoke production facilities ensure that an optimal solution is found across the organisation to suit the clients’ needs, including the use of robotics in mould handling and treatment lines. Bosgraaf specialises in cheese moulding, handling and pressing systems as well as rack brining, treatment and maturation installations.

info@bosgraaf-group.nl www

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HELLO AND WELCOME to the June edition of FDF World magazine. Our cover story this month is an exclusive interview with Hyatt Hotels, discussing how the company is delivering true luxury to the Middle Eastern hospitality market. For our leadership feature this month, Gustaf Pilebjer, Marriott International’s Director of Food and Beverage, Europe, talks us through how the hospitality giant is carving out its own path in the F&B sector with bespoke, culturallyrelevant restaurants and bars. Next, turning our attention to the Asian market, we ask Henson Sy, Director of Information Technology at Mondelēz International, how the confectionary powerhouse is utilising new technologies in order to cater to the continent’s diverse tastes. Consuming up to 10 litres of alcohol per person per annum, Uganda has become a country of significant growth for the adult beverage industry.

To find out more about the promising market, we speak to Joshua Muwema, Head of Procurement at Uganda Breweries, to learn how the firm procures raw materials from local communities to improve the lives of citizens. Not only that, but we also have in-depth interviews with the industry leaders at Naked Wines and Talash Hotel Group for you to enjoy. At FDF World, we’re also investigating the top ten coffee companies in the industry today and rounding up the industry’s leading events that you need to know about. We sincerely hope you enjoy the issue, and as always, please tweet your feedback to @FDFWorld

Enjoy the issue!

www.fdfworld.com www.bizclikmedia.com

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GRAND HYATT MIDDLE EAST

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Marriott International EUROPE

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Headline for PA C K A G I N G the article Headline for the article

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Not ( just ) for profit

Beyon d LIP S U P P LY C H A I N

SERVICE

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coffee companies in the world

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Events


C O M PA N Y PROFILES

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Mondelēz International ASIA

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Naked Wines ANZ


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Talash Hotels Group EUROPE

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Uganda Breweries LTD AFRICA

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BRINGING FIVE

TO THE MIDDLE E


E-STAR LUXURY

EASTERN MARKET Written by DALE BENTON | Produced by ALAIN RIZK 9


G R A N D H YAT T H O T E L

As HYATT HOTEL continues to go above and beyond expectation to provide the ultimate five-star experience, the customer has and will always be the key component in defining the direction of the company

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T

HE MODERN WORLD of luxury hotels has changed. Gone are the days where a hotel can be defined by its star rating alone. The luxury hotel guest and the investor into luxury hotels has very different expectations. To succeed in this space, a company must look at providing additional services. In the Middle East, a key driver of this changing landscape occurred around 15 years ago as a number of countries across the Gulf changed their visa regulations, thus opening its doors to international tourism. Running alongside this was a significant growth in the airline industry. Major global players such as Gulf Air, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have contributed immensely to the growth of travel and tourism across the region. For Christoph K Franzen, Area Vice President for the State of Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman for Hyatt Hotels, the influx of different cultures and nationalities over the last decade has created a more active market than ever before.

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Nabil Zacca Tel : 4468 6363 Mobile : 66852363 / 55837427 Fax : 4468 5757 Email : nabil@ffq.qa


MIDDLE EAST

Spa lobby “It’s a very active market when it comes to opening hotels,” he says. “And there has been a notable shift in terms of what people and investors are looking for. Whereas before it would be a five-star hotel, now people are looking at hotels with select-service plans. Investors are looking for a vehicle that they can invest their money into.” The company’s Middle Eastern footprint encompasses the GCC, of which Franzen is General Manager at the Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel & Villas, but also oversees operations of the hotels in Qatar and Oman where the

company continues to grow and seek out further opportunities to operate. “There are a lot of things happening in the pipeline at the moment,” he says. “It’s a large company, so we are looking to add properties in primary and secondary cities in various GCC countries. As I said before, it’s a very active market right now.” Franzen was born into the industry, growing up in Zermatt, Switzerland, a town defined by its tourism market in the Swiss Alps at the foot of mount Matterhorn. Fast forward to 2018, by way of working as a chef for freestanding

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hotels and restaurants as well as for Hilton Hotels and then joining Hyatt Hotels just over 20 years ago, Franzen has seen first-hand this change towards additional services and how the Hyatt Group can stand tall against other hotel operators. “Anyone can open a hotel with the same marble, same furniture and the same look and feel,” he says. “But for me, the difference has always been in the personalised service that we extend to guests.” “Every hotel can offer a clean room, quick internet and a good breakfast. So, it’s about what you do after that, that makes a difference.” In the quest to go above and beyond expectation and provide the ultimate experience for guests, so that they ultimately continue to use the Hyatt Group as the preferred hotel group of choice, the customer has and will always be the key component in defining the direction of the company. Franzen notes that, as the industry has changed, it has created a different kind of guest than the one of five years ago.

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“People travel much more these days and in turn their expectations are completely different,” he says. “And the biggest game changers behind this are technology and not wanting to break routine.” Franzen believes that as technology has transformed the demands and expectations of the guest, Hyatt Hotels has had to change its room design to fit around this new level of expectation. “When people travel, each traveller has at least three things he or she has to plug in. Hotel room designs have to consider this. It may be an obvious example, but it’s an example none the less as to how the room design must change as guests change, in order to provide the service that they expect and demand.” As Franzen noted, travellers are also heavily influenced by routine and not wanting to break that routine. From technology habits to healthy eating, hotel providers must be in tune with what makes up the modern guest’s routine. Hyatt Hotels offer state of the art fitness and recreation centres as well


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“There has been a notable shift in terms of what people and investors are looking for. Whereas before it would be a five-star hotel, now people are looking at hotels with experiences; be it in a full service hotel or in a select-service operation. Investors are looking for a vehicle that they can invest their money into� CHRISTOPH K FRANZEN, Area Vice President for the State of Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman

Grand Executive Suite Terrace

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Grand Club

as a much more defined healthier food selection, which Franzen believes ties into the wider service offering that the hotel can provide. “It’s about looking at your offering and understanding what it is to be innovative,” he says. “Innovation doesn’t just have to be technology oriented, it extends into what you offer to your guest as a whole.” In order to provide a unique guest experience like no other company

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can provide, Franzen is all too aware of the importance of listening to guests and understanding what it is they look for in a hotel service. To this end, Franzen recognises that as a company such as Hyatt achieves success, it is easy to fall into a trap of believing that you should not fix what isn’t broken. “In this industry there is a habit of thinking that we know better than anyone else, including guests,” says


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Franzen. “But the truth is there is only ever one way to find out and that is by sitting down and talking to guests, listening and taking on board what they have to say.” Franzen adopts a technical, analytical approach to capturing this information, but stresses the importance of remembering the human element to this approach. In speaking to the guests and gathering as much personal feedback as

possible, this allows him and the company to use that information to seek out new opportunities to grow and become better. It also allows the company to take more risks. “The next step is of course, test it,” he says. “It won’t always be a roaring success, but you take on the feedback and you re-engineer what you’ve done through that feedback. That’s how you achieve

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Employees participating in beach clean up

success, because success is defined by what your guests want.” A hotel and a service provider can only succeed and deliver on its promise through the people it employees. The staff represent the face of the organisation and are the connective tissue between talking the talk and walking it. Recruitment is just another facet of the changing scope of the hotel and hospitality industry,

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and Franzen recognises that as the industry has boomed, so too has the competition for staff. “In the good old days, it was very easy to recruit a lot of our colleagues through one or two source markets, with one or two nationalities,” he says. “Now, because there are so many hotels operating in our region there’s a much higher demand for employees. We have over 52 nationalities in our hotel alone.”


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“We believe in people and so we make a strong effort to nurture them, talk to them and provide the tools to better develop their skills. We want them to grow and to be successful and it shows in the way they approach their day to day work” CHRISTOPH K FRANZEN, Area Vice President for the State of Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman

Employees planting trees as part of the company’s green initiatives

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Royal suite bedroom

“What that means is that we have to reach out much further to find the right talent to fill the positions but also to cater to the wide variety of nationalities that work at our hotels.” Much like the way in which the company speaks to and listens to its guests, Hyatt works closely with its employees and invests significant amounts of time on training and developing them. Not only does this prove to be a cheaper option, in some cases grooming talent in house to become the next wave of management, it creates a culture throughout the organisation that the employees and staff feel valued. “We believe in people and so we make a strong effort to nurture them, talk to them and provide the tools to better develop their skills. We want them to grow and to be successful and it shows in the way they approach their day to day work.” As Franzen noted previously, the hotel industry is booming in a way that is unlike anything that’s come before it. With a large focus on the

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select-service space in addition to the full-service brands, this will continue to define the future direction for Hyatt and its expansion plans. While Hyatt will continue to build four-star and five-star luxury hotels, Franzen recognises that it’s

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about understanding the market dynamic first and foremost. “The big key gateway cities already have plenty of five-star hotels so, when you look towards those secondary cities you will see that there just isn’t a market for all brands there to operate,” he says.

“If you want to expand then you have to have a healthy mix; with the right product and brand fitting the location, be it full service or select service. But whatever way we look to expand we want to be the preferred brand of choice, for investors, travellers and colleagues who work in the industry.”

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MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL BRINGING AUTHENTICITY BACK TO THE F&B MARKET Written by LAURA MULLAN Produced by BROGAN BAGGOTT


Championing bespoke, authentic and locally-relevant restaurants and bars, Marriott International is leading the way in the food and beverage space

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THE BIG DOG MARRIOTT BERLIN

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hether you want to chow down on a spaghetti carbonara in Rome or sip a wheat beer in Belgium, today’s consumers are searching for a true taste of their locality. Embarking on a major overhaul of its restaurant and bar offerings, Marriott International is serving up an authentic slice of European cuisine and it seems that both hotels guests and locals alike are eating it up. At the age of 15, Gustaf Pilebjer worked as a kitchen porter and since then worked his way through every single position within the restaurant and bar Food & Drink. Most recently having spent the past decade as a consultant developing F&B concepts for the hotel industry and independent operators. PICTURES: LUTZ VORDERWĂœLBECKE

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MONACO

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DUBAÏ

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MEXICO

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HONG KONG

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BEAUTY AND THE BEEF “Nothing short of spectacular” H o n g K o n g Ta t l e r

R E S TA U R A N T C R E AT I O N S

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“Star studded”

T h e N e w Yo r k T i m e s

R E TA I L & F O O D S E R V I C E S C O N C E P T S w w w. r i c c a r d o g i r a u d i . c o m w w w. b e e f b a r. c o m

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In doing so, he has gained a wealth of experience and insight into the mechanics of a successful restaurant and bar operation and has risen up the ranks to become the Director of Food and Beverage, Europe, for the world’s largest hotel chain.

BESPOKE RESTAURANTS AND BARS Whilst Marriott may be better-known for its hotel offerings, Pilebjer says

that food and beverage sits front and centre in its strategic plan. “The hotel Industry as a whole has really awakened to the importance of the food and beverage market,” he says. “Food and beverage are at the heart of Marriott’s strategic thinking. It’s one of our key priorities to be able to stay relevant and lead the way in the restaurant and bar market.” With stringent competition and a global brand to uphold, creating a ground-breaking restaurant or

FISKE BAR

THE RITZ- CARLTON GENEVA

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bar concept is no easy feat. But Pilebjer believes Marriott has a meticulous plan for success. “I think our key differentiator is that we appreciate there is no cookie-cutter solution for food and beverage, particularly when we look at a continent like Europe where we’re looking to be present in over 30 countries and where every single outlet needs to be relevant to that space,” he says.

“If you try to use a uniform mould of what a restaurant or bar should look like you’re not going to create something that’s attractive to the local crowd,” he continues. “We don’t create food and beverage outlets solely for our hotel. We also position them so that they are relevant to the local market so that local guests will want to come to these outlets. “This is at the heart of the strategy: we want to be locally relevant and


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we aim to attract 80% of the locals and 20% of the hotel guests. I think it’s very important that we open up the space for the local community to utilise it. We want to honour the local traditions, local cuisines, and the local concepts that are in that market. It’s about being mindful of what the local community desires.”

AN AUTHENTIC, CULTURALLY-RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

FOOD and

BEVERAGE

are at the heart of Marriott’s strategic thinking ” GUSTAF PILEBJER, Director of Food and Beverage, Europe

For Pilebjer, the importance of a locally relevant, authentic cuisine experience cannot be overstated and it is a trend which has swept right across the food and beverage landscape. The experience movement is certainly more prevalent than ever, with three in four millennial consumers saying that they would rather pay for an experience than a product, according to a study by Eventbrite. “Today there is a great amount of pride in what the local cuisine is,” notes Pilebjer. “Whether it’s in

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Budapest, whether it’s in Stuttgart, whether it’s in London or elsewhere, we’re seeing a trend whereby people want to taste the local cuisine. “It’s also about experience,” he adds. “Diners today are seeking out culinary experiences. When our travellers fly to Istanbul, they don’t want to sit down and have a slice of pizza. They want to have an authentic taste of where they are.

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“We know that the millennial generation is already now, the largest segment of the travel industry and that’s only going to be increasing in the coming years. This overarching food and beverage strategy which we have ensures that we are able to cater to this curious generation, to make sure that we not only stay relevant but that we also try and lead in this millennial space.”


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THE PICKLED HEN MARRIOTT PARK LANE

REMARKABLE GROWTH Since its acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts two years ago, Marriott International has gone from strength to strength. It’s an exciting time for the company – it has doubled in size and has expanded its restaurant and bar offering – and with a range of new builds and refurbishments underway, Pilebjer says it’s only

the beginning of things to come. “My team I have worked on over 100 different types of renovations, repositions, and new build F&B projects,” Pilebjer says. “Food and beverage is a very individual market, and it’s also always a little bit of a gamble, in terms of whether an outlet is going to be successful or not. Whether the local market will be susceptible to it or not is

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THE PERCEPTION BAR W LONDON

DINERS TODAY

are seeking out

CULINARY EXPERIENCES.

When our travellers f ly to Istanbul, they don’t want to sit down and have a slice of pizza. They want to have an authentic taste of where they are” GUSTAF PILEBJER, Director of Food and Beverage, Europe

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always a little bit of an unknown. “But the one thing you can control is the way that you go about researching, brainstorming, developing, designing, and deciding if this is something that is appropriate to the market and designing it accordingly.”

METICULOUS PLANNING AND RESEARCH Tapping into his experience as a restaurant and bar concept consultant, Pilebjer takes a collaborative approach when designing both brand and concept.

By working with a roster of some of the industry’s leading food and beverage consultants, interior designers, property owners, and more, Marriott International strives to create a bespoke restaurant and bar concept which adds something different to the current marketplace. Although such scrupulous research and planning may seem time-consuming, it’s a critical aspect of Marriott’s strategy. “I think that the one thing which I’m very, very passionate about, very strict about, is the fact that

MOKKI

THE RITZ- CARLTON ASTANA

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we go through the feasibility and the concept ideation phase before going into design,” says Pilebjer. “It can be a bit of a battle sometimes but it’s important to see the process through and stay consistent with the original concept which has undergone the sound process of market feasibility studies. If you get all these things right, then you can create a locally relevant and beautiful food and beverage outlet.” As high streets become saturated with food and beverage outlets, Marriott has ensured that it cuts through the noise with its unique attention to detail which puts the guests at the forefront of everything it does.

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MULTI-PURPOSE SPACES Whether guests are working over brunch or going to a romantic dinner in the evening, Marriott understands that different guests will use the space for different reasons. Therefore, Pilebjer and his team have worked diligently to ensure that Marriott’s offerings are multipurpose and transition throughout the day. This thought process impacts how the company designs its spaces and even the type of service that guests may need. “That’s the difference between accessible and non-accessible F&B outlets: it’s having that attention to the detail and following the right steps in


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DEAK STREET KITCHEN

THE RITZ- CARLTON BUDAPEST

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order to be able to develop something that is compelling and authentic through the day,” Pilebjer notes. “It’s about ensuring that the space transitions throughout the day; that the music, the lights, and the service stay true to each time period,” he continues. “Depending on whether you’re having a coffee, sitting and working on a laptop by yourself for a couple of hours, or if you’re sitting down and having a dinner, there’s a different type of attentiveness that you want from your service staff to deliver also.”

INDUSTRY-LEADING SERVICE Casual, attentive and knowledgeable: this is how Pilebjer defines the service that Marriott International provides and it is this which has helped to differentiate the firm as a major player in the Food & Drink. With around 700 restaurants in

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its portfolio, Marriott International has become a platform for some of the industry’s leading talent and expertise. Explaining the appeal of Marriott, Pilebjer says: “On a more global and strategic level, we have worked to make Marriott attractive to the artisan – those people who care and dedicate their lives to a certain field, whether it’s being a bartender or a chef or even a front of house manager. We’re working very hard to identify this talent, showcase them and tell their story in that way. In Marriott’s hands, they are an employee for the future.” Standing as the largest hotel company in the world, Marriott International has gained a glowing reputation for its hospitality offerings and now, as it champions local, culturally-relevant cuisines and concepts, it seems its restaurant and bar offerings are gaining the spotlight also.


CAELUM BAR

EUROPE

ST REGIS ROME

BERNERS TAVERN

LONDON EDITION

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ROBOTICS IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY IS SET TO

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DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY

After a recent study estimated that the food robotics industry is set to reach $3.35bn by 2025, FDF World spoke to experts to find out what all the noise is about Written by STUART HODGE


P I C T U R E S C R E D I T: M I S O R O B O T I C S

FLIPPY THE BURGER robot was fired from his job earlier this year soon after making a less-thansuccessful debut at a CaliBurger restaurant in Pasadena, California. But Miso Robotics announced that plans to install autonomous burger makers like Flippy at more than 50 locations before the end of next year will still be going ahead. As well as a publicity stunt by CaliBurger, the move to use Flippy, albeit for a short period of time, is yet another indicator of the pervasion of robotics and AI within the food industry. 44

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ResearchAndMarkets.com released a report at the beginning of 2018 which estimates that the global food robotics market is anticipated to reach $3.35bn by 2025. Authors of the report claim that “the growing demand for packaged food, need for automation, increasing food safety regulations, and high labour costs are expected to drive the food robotics market�, and most industry experts agree that we are at the beginning of a huge upward curve in this regard. There is huge scope and potential for robotics technologies to positively impact the food industry


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Flippy the robot working at CaliBurger at any level, be it in procurement, production, quality monitoring or distribution. Additionally, a variety of economic and socio-demographic factors will also serve to drive an increase in practical applications of the available technology. Scott Amyx, managing partner with Amex Ventures, says that although it varies by region, a pattern of increased use of robotics within the food industry is noticeable around the globe and he is confident that will continue to be the case – but will it increase as much as the report suggests?

“Because of sheer necessity we are going to see a significant rise in the use of robotics,” says Amyx. “Generally, in terms of food packaging, overall productivity, increasing output, decreasing cost, automation will reach that scale if not greater. From a macroeconomic perspective, population growth and the kinds of food supply we need, then it’s pretty massive – and to get that level of efficiency and scale there is really no choice but to get closer towards full automation.” That idea was brought more fully into the public consciousness a 45


DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY couple of years ago when former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi claimed that increases in the US minimum wage would make it cheaper for food retailers to use robotic arms instead of humans. Amyx suggests there is a lot more going on in this area than most of the general public might think. “It’s actually very pervasive,” he says, when considering the penetration of robotics and AI. “More pervasive than the mainstream realises. For example, one of the cruise lines (Royal Caribbean Cruises) actually has a fully automated bar mixer, so the robotic arms are able to make any type of cocktail, and it’s amazing to watch. “There are robotics chefs in production, actually able to make a hamburger from beginning to end, and there are even startups that are providing home robotics – machines able to make an incredible number of recipes, and handle the ingredients and the whole cooking process. Instead of meticulous programming, the robot uses computer vision to watch hours and hours of the master chefs cooking and simply follows that movement. “Even fast food chains are 46

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recognising that in the long run it just makes more sense to have these robotic arms – more refined than you would think of on factory floors – and the ability for them to work very small scale, with incredible accuracy and speed, is absolutely amazing.” Amyx feels that the advancements we are seeing in robotics, which are greater than ever before, dovetail perfectly with the food industry’s


"BECAUSE OF SHEER NECESSITY WE ARE GOING TO SEE A SIGNIFICANT RISE IN THE USE OF ROBOTICS" SCOTT AMYX, PARTNER, AMEX VENTURES need to cut costs and increase efficiency, and it can apply at either end of the industry spectrum. In November of last year, at Harper Adams University in the UK, in a project called the ‘Hands Free Hectare’, around five tonnes of barley was successfully planted, tended and harvested by autonomous vehicles and drones. No people were involved in the

tending of the crops, with the purpose of the project being to show that we are very much at a point of technological maturity where robots can handle the full food production process from seed to harvest. Another area which is seeing hefty disruption is the food delivery space, with cities around the world now beginning to see the usage of delivery robots. Starship Technologies, market 47


leader in the robotic commercial food deliveries space, is now using machines in countries around the world to deliver food with international partners including Domino’s, Wolt, Foodora, Just Eat, DoorDash and Postmates. The company’s robots have covered over 100,000 miles in 100 cities and 20 countries, including during testing, and they’ve met over 10mn pedestrians on sidewalks and pavements around the world. Starship’s VP of Marketing Henry HarrisBurland says the reason for the rise of robotics in the industry is simple. “I would put it down

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to increasing efficiency, which is another way of saying decreasing costs,” he explains. “As the cost of robotics comes down and once it starts getting lower than humans, then as long as these robots can offer the same service level, if not better, it becomes less of a speculative decision and more of a common-sense decision. That’s why I think we are going to see explosive growth when robotics in the food industry can start decreasing costs, and matching or doing better than human costs.”


DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Starships Self-Driving Delivery Robot In terms of the ResearchAndMarkets. com report, Harris-Burland points to 2025 as “a very good time horizon on when we will start seeing genuinely, truly ultra-low cost delivery robots and other types of robotics. “Take our robots (in the UK) for example, we’re aiming for £1 on-demand deliveries in say 15 to 30 minutes. When we can get to those drastic reductions I think we will see explosive growth, as that report says.” Starship’s robots currently go at 4mph and they are working on increasing that speed as

the lack of it limits the radius the machines can cover. Harris-Burland is in no doubt that the robotics food delivery industry is about to explode, citing the fact that 20 other companies have now started up to compete against Starship in the last couple of years or so. “I think delivery robots will become more of a common sight on more pavements and sidewalks around the world. I think as a trend, and that will be potentially a number of companies, not just Starship. People may start seeing different types of delivery robots as a 49


DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY common sight on the pavement, and it will become less of a talking point in areas where we’re already operating. “E-commerce, and I feel you could easily replace the word e-commerce with food delivery, is growing at 10% every year. More and more people are ordering food and other things online, and that is creating a huge amount of pressure in the delivery industry. It’s creating more congestion, more pollution, and this is because of

delivery drivers in cars and vans delivering food and other parcels and things like that. It’s becoming a big problem for cities and suburbs, especially at the time when they are trying to do the exact opposite and reduce congestion and pollution. “It’s a complete waste of time, energy, petrol and road space,” he adds. “If I order a pizza right now, it’s likely that person will turn up in a car which has four seats for humans,

"I THINK DELIVERY ROBOTS WILL BECOME MORE OF A COMMON SIGHT ON MORE PAVEMENTS AND SIDEWALKS AROUND THE WORLD" HENRY HARRIS-BURLAND, VP MARKETING, STARSHIP 50

June 2018


four wheels, is either gas guzzling or partly-hybrid or electric, taking up road space for a 10-inch pizza. That’s insane. We are seeing regulators seeking solutions from this growing of car traffic by last mile delivery errands and us doing our own deliveries. That’s another reason why we’re seeing huge growth in this industry.” Is it possible we could see robots like Flippy merging or working in tandem with the delivery robots? “You

may see in the future an ecosystem where a pizza making robot is actually handing off the pizza to the delivery robot which is outside,” Harris-Burland adds. “Or you may even see sort of totally autonomous delivery system, and the only human in the mix is the end consumer who has made the order and then has got the food, which I think is quite exciting. However, I don’t see that happening in the immediate future.”

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In four years, EATFIRST has grown from a tiny food delivery startup to a UK-wide superpower for gourmet ready meals, catering for consumers, businesses and now online supermarkets. FDF investigates the company’s recipe for success W r i t t e n b y SAM ROWE


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THE STORY OF EatFirst is as improbable as it is extraordinary. In 2014, Rahul Parekh was trading equity derivatives for Goldman Sachs – the ‘city job’ he’d dreamt of since childhood. Yet somewhere amid his eight years working for the investment bank – most likely the collision of long hours with unhealthy takeaway options that demolished any hope for a balanced diet – Parekh had a culinary epiphany. “I felt there was a better way of doing it,” he says. Four years on, and EatFirst has graduated from deskbound daydream to the UK’s leading purveyor of gourmet ready meals. Following various trials during its 2014 launch (including superfast delivery, hot food options and a subscription service), the company settled on a business model that sees expertly made meals arrive chilled, for optimum freshness. Each dish comes with a five-day fridge guarantee, and is ready to heat and eat in five minutes or less. Working in tandem with Benn Hodges – EatFirst’s Culinary Director, who lists The Ivy, Century Club and Roka among his past employers – Parekh has grown the online food brand from a staff of five to 35, with 54

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“We figured out that delivering chilled or ambient temperature is far better quality than delivering hot, because the taste and nutrients degrade over time whilst in delivery” RAHUL PAREKH, founder and CEO, EatFirst

separate B2C and B2B divisions, as well as a freshly launched retail arm, making EatFirst meals available for purchase on Ocado. With EatFirst’s HQ and kitchen alike in London, diners in the capital can expect same day delivery, with households in England and Scotland (bar the Scottish Highlands) able to receive their meals the following day, via chilled courier.


EatF co-fo irst Rah under ul Pa rekh

Although Parekh stresses EatFirst’s “actual launch” was September 2015, he admits the startup’s trial-anderror beta phase has been key to its subsequent success. “We figured out that delivering chilled or ambient temperature is far better quality than delivering hot, because the taste and nutrients degrade over time whilst in delivery,” Parekh says. “It’s why

takeaways never taste as good as restaurant food, because everything becomes overcooked or gets soggy on the way. That’s why we decided to only deliver chilled or ambient food, with the option of heating at home.” As for that success, it has been notably swift. EatFirst has enjoyed month-on-month growth since launching, as well as a slew of 55


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awards. Hodges was crowned Best Takeaway Chef in Britain in 2017, the same year two EatFirst dishes were victorious at the Great Taste Awards. Previously, in 2016, the company was named the Best Takeaway in North London. But with it looking to scale, many new challenges are presenting themselves. These range from reliable distribution channels to managing a growing team. While it might be dismissed as insignificant by some, Parekh and Hodges are steadfast in their commitment to skills and training, for their gradually increasing staff. For them, it’s critical that all new hires possess the requisite energy and, unsurprisingly, hunger. “I think it’s about having the right culture,” says Parekh. “My inspiration on this is David Buttress, who used to be the CEO of Just Eat. Why did Just Eat succeed – becoming a multibillion dollar company, and one of the first UK tech companies to file a

successful IPO in recent times – while all the others failed? He created this culture that was really strongly customer facing, of actually just nice people, in his team. “Every time I speak to David, one of the things he emphasises to me is that it is all about attitude. He ended up with a team of thousands of people, but if you create a culture where people are hired based on attitude and nothing else, then you can still retain that, even if you are a massive company.” Such a tactic is not without its glitches – Parekh concedes that staff members displaying the wrong

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attitude “need to be out ASAP, before they start affecting the rest of the team” – but for those employees that embody the EatFirst modus operandi, the opportunities come without limits. “If someone has the right attitude but they don’t have the right skillset we’re very happy to train and upskill them,” says Parekh proudly. “In Ben’s team we’ve got fantastic examples of that. Xander started as a kitchen porter, cleaning floors and cleaning 58

June 2018

dishes, and is now running a section of the kitchen as a chef de partie – all within three years. Arabella, who started as an intern, is now running our whole B2B division, which makes up 50% of our business.” Another aspect that ensures a consistent, company-wide mindset is EatFirst’s performance appraisal system. Whether kitchen assistant, culinary director or CEO, all staff members are assessed in the exact


“If someone has the right attitude but they don't have the right skillset we're very happy to train and upskill them” RAHUL PAREKH, founder and CEO, EatFirst

same way. “It provides transparency – everyone is on the same playing field,” says Hodges. “It also sets a real tone, so when people come into our business, they can see how positive and dynamic of a workplace it is.” Moreover, Parekh is keen to point out such an approach ensures that every employee is constantly reminded to consider the EatFirst customer. “In everything we do, we basically take the customer and work

backwards,” he says. “So we try to hire people that are specifically customer-focused, and then we make sure that all of our goals regarding training, performance feedback and everything else is focused around how we’re doing with the customer experience we’re delivering.” Given that EatFirst is essentially looking to reinvent the very meaning of ‘takeaway’ – whether through raising the ceiling on quality, supplying 59


chilled, fridge-friendly meals, or partnering with an online supermarket – this customer-first mandate is proving to be particularly shrewd. Perhaps influenced by the learnings from its soft launch, EatFirst effectively gives its customer base the keys to its menu. Each dish is available to be rated and, in the event of a sub-par score, is quickly taken out of rotation and improved. Alternatively, clear favourites will feature on the rotating menu more often. Added to EatFirst’s high level of order feedback (30%), incentivised

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customer surveys and invitations for its “best customers” to road-test new dishes at tasting sessions, it’s abundantly clear that EatFirst’s ‘customer is always right’ directive goes far beyond simple lip service. “We’ve been on a great journey together for the past three years,” Parekh says. “While there are a lot of food companies out there, I don’t feel there is anyone doing what we’re doing – creating innovative food experiences of a really, really high quality.”

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Not ( just ) for profit COMPANIES LARGE AND SMALL ARE LAUNCHING PHILANTHROPIC, SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE SCHEMES, BUILT TO LAST AND PLEDGING TO HELP THE MASSES. WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM? Written by

SAM ROWE


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y A N D C S R Until not too long ago, charity initiatives in the food and drink industry were, for the most part, the preserve of mega-sized companies. Or, in essence, the firms that could afford it. Think Pret A Manger, with its nightly unsold food drop-offs to homeless shelters. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, which dates as far back as 1985 and contributes 7.5% of pre-tax profits to myriad philanthropic causes. Or, more recently, BrewDog’s ‘Unicorn Fund’, which vows to split 20% of the brand’s profits between its team members and their chosen charities, forever. There are countless more – each one as inspirational as it is altruistic – although sparing a few pounds is admittedly far simpler when your profits are in the hundreds of millions. However, in recent years there has been a notable shift. In an industry where capitalism is – or at least was – king, food and drink brands are now behaving like social enterprises. Non-profits, even. Community or cause-driven campaigns are all the rage, stemming from organisations sized tiny and gargantuan. A meshing of CSR and straight-up philanthropy, such schemes go far 64

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beyond mere donations to an affiliated charity. These initiatives are more often focused on empowerment and sustainability, with a lasting social good at their core. In the UK, for example, rather than pledge a small amount to The Passage, Bristol-based Extract Coffee Roasters has instead partnered with the homeless charity (and The Goring Hotel) to provide free barista training to homeless and vulnerable adults in London, as part of ‘Hotel School’.

"COMMUNITY IS ONE OF OUR KEY VALUES – ON A DAILY BASIS WE SEE THE POWER OF COFFEE IN CONNECTING PEOPLE” GEMMA SCREEN, MARKETING MANAGER, EXTRACT COFFEE ROASTERS


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“It’s a hugely enriching experience,” says Gemma Screen, Marketing Manager at Extract Coffee Roasters. “Community is one of our key values – on a daily basis we see the power of coffee in connecting people. We were looking for ways to give back to the London community when we were approached by The Goring, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to really give something back.” More than supply a warm bed or hot food for a rough sleeper, Extract’s altruism goes deeper. By combining a wide range of training – from cooking, bar and housekeeping right through to nutrition and finance management – Hotel School graduates leave equipped with the skills required to reintegrate into the working world. With no ‘hand-out’ necessary, nor making beneficiaries feel like charity cases, they emerge feeling empowered. Many go on to full-time employment in kitchens and cafés.

SPENDING POWER What sparked the trend? The answer, as is often the case nowadays, could be 66

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millennials. Ignore the tabloid scorn that alleges all millennials (loosely defined as those born between 1980 and the end of 1994) have spurned the cash they should have saved for a house on avocados, and this group has a global spending power of nearly $2.5trn. If you then consider that 70% of millennials are shown to spend more with brands that support


S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y A N D C S R

a cause, any organisation looking to ‘give back’ is making a decision based on shrewd business sense. Good karma? Call it a welcome bonus. “This is a huge group of people who have come into the mainstream market, who are looking to change the world for the better,” says Asanka De Silva, Founder of Liver Health UK. “Consumers are increasingly looking for brands that actually have a role in their lives. They’re not necessarily interested in companies

that just make money and maybe give a tiny bit to charity or do a bit of corporate social responsibility… we’re moving into a world where consumers want to see companies do good, and are driving that change.” Fittingly, Liver Health UK is a gleaming example of this very type of enterprising, socially-conscious company, yet that remains ostensibly commercial. After his teetotal mother was diagnosed with cirrhosis, De Silva – whose career previously 67


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“[MILLENNIALS ARE] A HUGE GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME INTO THE MAINSTREAM MARKET, WHO ARE LOOKING TO CHANGE THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER” ASANKA DE SILVA, FOUNDER, LIVER HEALTH UK

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saw him manage the likes of CocaCola, John West and The Famous Grouse – committed himself to raising awareness, and funds, for liver disease research. But instead of establishing a charity, he founded a limited company. The resulting product, LivOn!, is an antioxidant coffee drink that combats the problem, while also investing in finding a cure. “Very simply, we set up the company to transform liver health,” says De Silva. “6% of every sale goes into non-profits, which is actually about 11% of our turnover. It’s often quite difficult for consumers to put their finger on exactly what they pay that goes into supporting a cause, whereas for us they can buy a bottle and calculate for themselves how much of it goes directly into supporting liver health.”

SOCIALISM MEETS CAPITALISM Any brand tempted to tear up their existing business plan to reposition as a quasi-non-profit should likely exercise a little caution. If you can successfully withstand the argument that altruism should be motivated by an authentic desire to do good, or the

danger that consumers can quickly sniff out cynical opportunism (though not philanthropic, Pepsi attempting to co-opt a global protest movement with an advertisement is a recent cautionary tale), there is no guarantee that backing charity boosts a brand. “I mean, ‘the easy way’ would be to not give 11% of our turnover away,” admits De Silva. “That is hard-earned cash that we could keep and reinvest back into the business. But I think that’s a shorter-term view. We know there is consumer empathy for brands like us and, therefore, carry a longterm goodwill, rather than just the short-term gain that we could have.” That is, unless we are in fact witnessing a bright new dawn for business on a wider scale. A world in which consumers and companies unite to change things for the better, under the banner of commercial altruism. Sounds like a fanciful pipedream, but… “I’m a 100% believer in that world,” says De Silva, with a smile. “I actually think that is ultimately the role of a business – to do good for society, but at a profit, because, if you take a political view, that’s where the socialism and the capitalism meet, isn’t it?” 69


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TOP 10


coffee companies in the world Coffee is increasingly becoming known as ‘black gold’. Judging by the piles of cash made by the below organisations which we have ranked by revenue, it is easy to see why W r i t t e n b y S A M ROW E


TOP 10

DUTCH BROS $415MN The United States’ largest ‘drivethru’ coffee chain, Dutch Bros boasts 284 stores across seven Western states and made an estimated $415mn in revenue last year. Founded by two dairy farmers in Oregon in 1992 (the company’s name explains their descent and relationship alike), they swapped cow manure for coffee beans and never looked back. Nowadays, the firm donates more than $2mn each year to non-profits, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, in honour of one of the ‘bros’, Dane Boersma, who passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2009.

HTTPS://WWW.DUTCHBROS.COM

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THE COFFEE BEAN & TEA LEAF $485MN What started life as a coffee service for offices in 1963 is now, more than half a century later, a chain that spans 1,000-plus stores in 32 countries; as far afield as Paraguay, Egypt, Brunei and Saudi Arabia. A staple of popular culture, Coffee Bean was a regular fixture on HBO’s ‘Entourage’, while the first branch in Brentwood, Los Angeles, counted the likes of Lee Marvin, Jacques Cousteau and Ronald Reagan as patrons. The company boasts an estimated revenue of $485mn.

HTTPS://WWW.COFFEEBEAN.COM

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CARIBOU COFFEE $500MN A Minnesota-based company that was launched in 1992 when its founder, John Puckett, quit his career as a management consultant to become a coffee entrepreneur. Since 2012, Caribou has been owned by German conglomerate, JAB Holding Company (prepare yourself for a great deal of JAB jabber on this list), with 80 US stores promptly converted to branches of another JAB vehicle, Peet’s (see no.6). Today, Caribou Coffee brings in $500mn in revenue.

HTTPS://WWW.CARIBOUCOFFEE.COM

DUNKIN’ DONUTS $662.5MN “America runs on Dunkin’,” goes the famous slogan, yet with more than 12,000 stores in 36 countries, you could certainly argue a whole slew of nations do. Though the company name makes no mention of coffee, a cup has formed part of the Dunkin’ logo since the early 1960s and the black stuff represents more than 60% of its annual revenue, which last year totalled $662.5mn.

HTTPS://WWW.DUNKINDONUTS.COM

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COSTA COFFEE $1.7BN PEET’S COFFEE $800MN Originally a coffee bean – not finalcup – vendor, the first branch of what was then Peet’s Coffee, Tea & Spices opened in Berkley, California in 1966. The original owner, Alfred Peet, sold up in 1979, and the business changed hands a few times before being subsumed by JAB Holding Company in 2012. Since then, under the JAB umbrella Peet’s has acquired Mighty Leaf Tea, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia, growing to a revenue of $800mn.

HTTPS://WWW.PEETS.COM

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The UK’s answer to Starbucks (if you don’t count Starbucks, that is) boasts $1.7bn in revenue. Costa has more than 2,200 stores throughout the United Kingdom, with a further 1,280 overseas. Costa Express vending machines are also a common fixture in British shops and petrol stations. In 2017, it became the first global coffee chain to deliver coffee by drone – to customers sunning themselves on beaches in Dubai.

HTTPS://WWW.COSTA.CO.UK

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LAVAZZA $2.4BN The oldest company to grace this list – and by a fair stretch, too – Lavazza was founded as a family business in Turin in 1895 and is now run by third and fourth generations of the Lavazza clan. With a revenue reaching $2.4bn, the company has a fleet of coffee shops and storesold coffee beans in 90 countries. The brand is championed as “Italy’s Favourite Coffee”, with 16mn out of 20mn families in Italy choosing the brand – according to Lazada.

HTTP://WWW.LAVAZZA.COM

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PANERA BREAD $2.8BN Founded in Missouri as St. Louis Bread in 1987, the firm was bought by Au Bon Pain Co. in 1993, transforming it to Panera (Latin for ‘bread basket’) in 1997. Au Bon Pain Co. sold its other chains (including its eponymous coffeehouse, Au Bon Pain), and Panera went stratospheric. In an odd twist, the company was acquired by JAB Holding in April 2017, and late last year Panera struck a deal to buy Au Bon Pain, with the amount of dough involved in the deal remaining undisclosed – we do know, however, that Panera boasts a revenue of $2.8bn.

HTTPS://WWW.PANERABREAD.COM

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TOP 10 PICTURE: DIANE LABOMBARBE/THINKSTOCK

TIM HORTONS $3BN The brainchild of ice hockey player, Miles Gilbert ‘Tim’ Horton, is now Canada’s largest quick-service restaurant chain, with 4,600-plus outposts in nine countries. Having partnered with Horton three years after launch in 1967, investor Ron Joyce took the helm following the hockey star’s untimely death in 1974, expanding the chain into a multimillion dollar franchise which reports $3bn in revenue. In 2014, Tim Hortons was acquired by Burger King for a whopping $11.4bn.

HTTPS://WWW.TIMHORTONS.COM

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PICTURE: ROBTEK/THINKSTOCK

STARBUCKS 22.38BN An unsurprising top competitor owing to its $22.38bn revenue figure which is almost 7.5 times that of the nearest competitor, to many around the world Starbucks simply is coffee. Founded in Seattle in 1971, Starbucks led the charge of ‘second wave coffee’, and today has over 27,000 stores worldwide; with a third of these located overseas. Between 1987 and 2007, the coffee conglomerate opened an average of two stores every day.

HTTPS://WWW.STARBUCKS.COM

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7 June 2018 | Bangkok, Thailand


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E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

Events

FDF World casts an eye at the key food and beverage and industry events across the globe for this calendar year‌ Writ ten by STUART HODG E


NAFS18 - North American Food Safety & Quality 2018 5-6 June | The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, Chicago, USA

Now in its second year, the North American Food Safety & Quality series has already carved out a place for itself as one of the premier food safety events happening anywhere in North America. Based on an ever-growing network of referrals and recommendations, North American Food Safety & Quality 2018 is designed and built by Executive Platforms to bring together the right people from across a number of different food industry verticals to network, benchmark, learn, and share with one another. The content of the agenda revolves around universal challenges and opportunities relevant to the entire audience as identified by an advisory board drawn from regular attendees. Additional opportunities to engage and connect both formally and informally with peers is facilitated across both days through themed lunchand-learn roundtable discussions, prescheduled one-to-one meetings, sector-specific focus groups, drinks receptions, executive dinners, and more. https://foodsafetyna.com/

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E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

Hotel Management Thailand Summit 2018

7 June | JW Marriott Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand 2017 was another banner year for tourism in Thailand. One of the world’s most visited countries, Thailand welcomed a record breaking thirty-five million visitors. With no disruptive events anticipated for 2018, hoteliers in Thailand are expecting a relatively smoother year. Yet, fierce competition from the additional supply, ever-changing distribution landscape, and challenging talent recruitments continue to plague the industry. The growth in relative room rates is expected to be constrained by the incoming new supply. Competition amongst various distribution channels has also intensified; requiring increased efforts for hoteliers to maintain rate parity. On the F&B front, the first Michelin Guide in Thailand has been published, making its mark on the fiercely competitive restaurant and bar scene. Together with the increasing distribution costs and labour costs, hoteliers will have to innovate in revenue creation and improve operational efficiency in order to drive profitability. Hotel Management Thailand Summit (HMT), a neutral one-stop strategy platform, will return to Bangkok on 7 June this year to directly address all key management, operational, commercial and financial challenges that impact corporate and property P&L. https://www.questexevent.com/ HotelManagementSummit/2018/thailand

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Food Safety & Regulatory Measures 2018 11–12 June | Barcelona, Spain

With a theme of ‘Healthier the Food, Merrier the World’, the Food and Safety Regulatory Measures conference 2018 is very much headlined by three fascinating keynote speeches. Susana SanchezGomez, University of Navarra, will present on ‘Food Quality Analysis Based in Multi-target Rapid Detection Techniques’; Dina Salman, from New Mexico State University, will discuss ‘Water Trading To Maximise Food Security Production Levels’; and American legal expert and food safety activist Bill Marler will talk through ‘Food Safety Lawsuits in the United States – A 25 Year Perspective’. https://foodsafety-hygiene.conferenceseries.com/

ACHEMA 2018

11–15 June | Frankfurt, Germany Over 170,000 attendees are expected at ACHEMA, a world-renowned forum for chemical engineering, process engineering and biotechnology held every three years. There will be more than 4,000 from over 50 different countries presenting new products, processes and services ranging from laboratory equipment, pumps and analytical devices to packaging machinery, boilers and stirrers through to safety technology, materials and software, essentially covering the multiplicity of needs in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food production industries. One of the things which makes ACHEMA unique is the accompanying congress across the event, featuring 800 scientific lectures and numerous guest and partner events, complementing the wide range of themes covered. Link: http://www.achema.de/en/home.html 88

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ProPak Asia

13–16 June | Bangkok After celebrating its 25th anniversary last year, ProPak Asia is now very much a fixture on the annual conference calendar. ProPak is the international processing and packaging technology event for Asia, with over 40,000 attendees from more than 60 countries who gather to witness the latest in automation and technological advances for packaging in processing for both the food and beverage and other sectors. http://www.propakasia.com/ppka/2018/en/index.asp

IFT Food Expo

15–18 July | Chicago, USA With 1,200 exhibitors and 23,000 attendees, the IFT Food Expo is showing strong annual growth in its quest to create a community that explores food science and technology together over the space of the four days. Learning is also of paramount importance at the event, which has more than a hundred educational sessions developed by industry leaders at the cutting-edge of food science technology. https://www.iftevent.org/

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@ServAptNews #SASEU

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PA R K P LA Z A , V I C TO R I A

D ISCOVER T H E ‘H OT TEST’ SECTOR OF HOSP ITAL I TY The Serviced Apartment Summit Europe offers unbelievable content without the corporate fuss. Hear from leading industry speakers and panellists on topics everyone is talking about whilst meeting great new contacts, in a relaxed environment. This year’s event will see: London’s hottest serviced apartment venues in our neighbourhood tour Optional Yoga workout (flexibility not required) Prosecco workshop sessions Topical debates eg. Brexit: London v other gateway cities International suppliers who advise, not sell Prize draw including international stays

DON’T MISS OUT on the largest gathering of serviced apartment, extended stay / aparthotel and short term rental leaders in Europe. Grab one of our remaining tickets online at servicedapartmentsummit.com.

WE LIKE TO DO THINGS DIFFERENT, CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO. S PO N S O RS AND M EDIA PARTNERS

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The 2018 Serviced Apartment Summit Europe is set to be the biggest and best in the event's six year history. Taking place at the Park Plaza Victoria in London on July 10 and 11, the Summit has quickly established itself as the premier gathering for networking and educational opportunities in the serviced apartment and extended stay sectors. The 350+ international attendees will enjoy all of the elements which have gone to make the Summit such a success, including a tour of local serviced apartment, hospitality and F&B concepts; a speed business card swap; networking cocktail reception; and a packed conference agenda with an international cast of industry leading speakers. Sessions will cover subjects including a market performance review and outlook, distribution, investment and technology. A busy exhibition area will see nearly 30 leading operators and suppliers on hand to demonstrate their latest goods and services, generating a real buzz and facilitating plenty of new business. But not content to rest on our laurels, we have added a range of fresh innovations to the Summit. New for 2018, we have teamed up with Buying Business Travel to offer a bespoke half-day Travel Buyer Forum, with a debate-style agenda for corporate travel bookers, buyers and executive assistants. The new content stream has been introduced to help travel buyers who are looking to to understand and introduce serviced apartments, extended stay hotels, aparthotels and short-term rentals into their travel programme, as well as providing further insights for those who have already incorporated serviced

apartments and are keen to learn more. Topics for the travel buyer forum will include distribution, guest experience and how to extract best value from a regional, national and global apartment programme. Another new addition for 2018 is a series of interactive round tables, which will see the audience broken down in to smaller groups, led by experts in their field, to share their knowledge and experience of a range of topics including preparing your business for a sale, marketing to Chinese guests, energy savings, driving awareness of the industry, short-term rentals, branded residences and more. Oh, and did we mention we are kicking the conference off with a 30-minute yoga session? Speakers at the Summit include leading representatives from BridgeStreet, StayCity, Cheval Residences, Oakwood Worldwide, Brera, Nomad Aparthotels, Adagio Aparthotels, Staybridge Suites, Forenom, Yays, STR, RMS, Maxxton, Expedia, Katten Law, Cotels, AIG, Severnside Consulting, PwC, Brookfield, YourWelcome, Cuckooz, GBI AG and Vision Apartments. For sponsorship, exhibtion and speaker information about Serviced Apartment Summit Europe 2018 please email info@servicedapartmentsummit. com or call +44 (0)208 340 7989. To see the full agenda and to buy tickets visit www.servicedapartmentsummit.com


E V E N T S & A S S O C I AT I O N S

28th World Nutrition Congress 9-10 August | Manila, Philippines

Promulgating Improved Innovations in Nutrition. Conference Series LLC warmly welcomes all the participants and contributors from worldwide to attend the “28th World Nutrition Congress”. World Nutrition 2018 includes keynote presentations, plenary sessions, young researcher talks, poster presentations, nutrition workshops and public health care session and the exhibition of dietary supplements. https://worldnutrition.conferenceseries.com/abstract-submission.php

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22nd International Conference on Food Processing & Analysis 11–13 October | Moscow, Russia

The 22nd annual conference on Food Processing and Analysis is centred around ‘Reinforcement on Modernisation Capability in Food Processing’. Topics covered, at what is sure to be a popular event, include innovation in food processing, nutrification, functional foods, nutrigenomics, industrial equipment, food safety and quality, preservation techniques, intelligent packaging, food waste management.

Food Brexit Conference 2018 1 November | tba

Food Brexit 2018 is the second in a series of three events, providing the food & beverage industry with a platform to share strategy, in- sight and knowledge. The agenda is designed around the key issues that are critical to the industry, these include… • Update on negotiations and forecasts • Building new European and international partnerships • Voice of the regions: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Ireland •Mitigating and managing risk – business resilience and the potential for a ‘Black Swan’ scenario • Brexit, the threat to food safety and security • Brexit’s global impact 93


THE CONFECTIONARY CATALYST TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION INSID

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Responsible for Mondelēz International’s Global Innovation, Director of IT Henson Sy discusses how the company continues to disrupt the Asian snacking market

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ncreasingly busy lifestyles and an evolving global demographic are influencing consumer eating habits like never before. Demand for products which consumers can eat on the go, that are easy, healthy and accessible from a cost perspective, are all important factors which are reshaping the development of new products across the food and beverage industry. Amassing a net revenue of $9.7bn in 2016, and with 30,000 employees worldwide, confectionary juggernaut Mondelēz International houses a number of renowned snack brands. From Cadbury, Côte d’Or, Oreo and BelVita, to Babbaloo and Philadelphia, the company remains committed to driving business growth and fulfilling its ambition to ‘create delicious moments of joy’ for consumers.

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“When you receive a snack, the feeling you get is a sense of happiness- a moment of joy. We put a lot of that passion into the way we work, and the way we make and market our products,” Director of Information Technology Henson Sy explains. “We have gone through a number of transformations, but at the end of the day we remain focused on wanting to be the best snacking company in the world, by delivering moments of joy.” Responsible for managing global innovation at Mondelēz and furthering its technological capabilities, Henson has streamlined the company’s


ASIA

Henson Sy

Director of Information Technology

Henson started his career in Technology. Having studied, implemented and created technology, his passion has always been to make technology work- to find that intersection where technology enhances lives. Combining his experiences in the large technology companies like Oracle and Apple with large consumer goods companies like Johnson & Johnson and Mondelez, Henson now leads Global Innovation at Mondelez

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Meranet is a platform that drives the automation of sales and distribution functions. MeraNet specifically caters to companies with operations in markets Mr. Radhesham Dhoot where vast distribution channels are required to make products available to consumers.

COMPANIES TO PUT IN PLACE MANY ADDITIONAL PROCESSES WHICH SAVES TIME, RESOURCES AND MONEY.

MeraNet is especially purposeful in markets where companies are supplying their products to consumers through distributors or wholesalers.

Heera’s backend team is highly responsive to handle such customization – AGILITY

MERANET IS MUCH MORE THAN JUST A SIMPLE DISTRIBUTOR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. In countries where traditional trade is dominant and modern trade is just making its ground, business models can appear complex. In such markets, products reach retailers through multiple sources like distributors, wholesalers and sub-stockists. Distributors are separate legal entities and retailers are not the direct customers of the company, hence acquiring sales data from retailers is difficult and inaccurate. In traditional trade dominant markets, most of the retailers are not even using computerized billing systems and in some cases lack willingness to share data. It is thus imperative to rely on secondary sales data i.e. distributor to retailer sales information, in order to allow sales and marketing teams to make quick decisions.

MERANET HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR COMPANIES TO HANDLE SUCH COMPLEX ECOSYSTEMS WITH EASE AND HAS ALLOWED

Heera offers the MeraNet solution as a platform and the customers can choose required modules.Customization may be needed in such markets where business processes are different and evolving.

WITH SPEED is Heera’s USP, along with deep domain knowledge of such markets, business models and ecosystems. With a complete focus on SUPPLYING

AUTOMATION SOLUTIONS FOR DOWNSTREAM SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT FOR THE LAST 20PLUS YEARS, Heera developed many

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MONDELEZ ACKNOWLEDGED HEERA’S EFFORTS BY WAY OF GIVING THE BEST SERVICE PROVIDER AWARD CONSECUTIVELY FOR 4 YEARS. MONDELEZ CONSIDERS HEERA AS A PARTNER AND NOT JUST A VENDOR. Heera has always strived for learning new technologies so that it can be used for enhancing existing solutions as well as for creating new possibilities for customer’s business automation needs. With best talent and expertise Heera will always be at customer’s service and customer satisfaction is Heera’s motto.


M O N D E L E Z I N T E R N AT I O N A L

EMBRACING THE FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY IN ASIA PACIFIC IS SET TO BE WORTH $2.6TRN IN 2018

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sales and marketing operations and partnered with manufacturers, global leaders, and in some cases, region and sub-region presidents to look at new ways to drive business growth by utilising new digital tools. “We are telling them, ‘if you want to increase, for example, salesman productivity and improve in-store executions or net revenue management, there are certain technologies that you should be investing in,’ he says.


ASIA

“For example, with sales force automation (SFA), we show what it will look like in the next few years. If I’m bringing in this thinking, it can then be built into their roadmap. When I first joined in 2014, Mondelēz’s sales force were selling via pen and paper. In some rare instances, they may have had Netbooks,” he continues. “We made a big bet for our sales force to use mobile devices. It was a necessary first step. The full deployment of mobile devices has become more cost effective and ubiquitous. It makes data available to us almost instantaneously. We use app stores which are freely available to mass deliver the app. Looking at what’s next, I asked instead of giving sales reps the app, why don’t we give the retail stores the app, where they can have this service on their mobile devices in the store.” “Beyond this, we looked at chatbots via Facebook Messenger and so on. We have different technologies, bringing intelligence behind it as well. Machines can figure out what to sell best in that store based on

“We remain focused on wanting to be the best snacking company in the world, by delivering moments of joy” Henson Sy, Director of Information Technology history and location trends, and let the sales staff just monitor or manage relationships,” he adds. In the area of net revenue management, which is one of the hardest capabilities to introduce to any FMCG company, we implemented a regional tool from Retail Insights. In this space, it is extremely rare to find one tool implemented in a whole region but we did that so every market now views and measures trade numbers the same way. Upon implementing SFA for

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M O N D E L E Z I N T E R N AT I O N A L

THE COMPANY HOUSES BRANDS SUCH AS CADBURY, CÔTE D’OR, OREO AND BELVITA

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sales reps, Henson also worked to implement cloud technology to support its mobile app platform to strengthen its security mechanisms, minimising potential risks or delays in service. “Last year, we were hit by a malware which took down most of our systems. The only thing that did not go down was the sales apps because they were all on the cloud,” comments Henson. “Using this as an important lesson, cloud technology is now being extended to other functions. We are now bringing technological innovation into our operations, not


ASIA

“We are now bringing technological innovation into our operations, not just in sales and marketing, e-orders, digital marketing or ecommerce, but into supply chains as well, finance and HR” Henson Sy, Director of Information Technology

just in sales and marketing, e-orders, digital marketing or ecommerce, but we’re putting it into supply chains as well, finance and HR.” Innovation culture With the introduction of the Hub for Innovation team, which Henson is a part of, Mondelez is seriously investing into innovations. The team’s focus is to think big, innovate fast and disrupt at scale. It has rolled out proof of concepts around the world that have positively impacted business as well as drive a culture of innovation.

Additionally, the launch of Mondelez University will encourage employees to look at new ways of working and learning. “We partner with Accenture amongst others, in the innovations space, where they have provided a framework to how we set up an innovation culture, how we set up innovation immersion sessions so that we drive the whole culture, from top to bottom,” says Sy. “We also harness best of breed technologies from SAP and distributor management system by Infosys Edgeverve. We have a

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MONDELEZ AND RETAIL INSIGHT: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION DRIVING THE ORGANISATION’S CAPABILITY JOURNEY Retail Insight have been a part of Mondelēz digital transformation journey for many years. Throughout this relationship, we have always focused on two core outcomes: securing improved business results, and building sustained organisational capability. Picking up results along the way ensures that, despite the enormous scale and complexity of a programme such as the Navigator Revenue Management implementation, we maintain momentum in the right direction on this transformation path. Our focus on organisation capability growth is critical, so that the organisation possesses the skills and knowledge to sustain and drive better results using the new tools and technology at their disposal.

form a best-in class Revenue Management eco system. A true Digital Transformation indeed, and we are excited to continue to jointly build capability through the live Navigator platform.

Our journey together therefore goes far beyond simply implementing and deploying new technology solutions. A strong joint governance team is in place to maintain a relentless focus on the vision that Mondelēz are pursuing on the Net Revenue Management space through Navigator. Facilitating a low barrier environment between the steering team, corporate functions, and the hundreds of end-users across multiple demanding markets, has created a culture where all stakeholders not just feel ownership for achieving a best-in-class Revenue Management function, but also know that their feedback and input is directly influencing the implementation and adoption plan. Digital transformation is not complete until the organisation has embraced and adopted the desired ways of working and supporting technology. A step-bystep capability journey has been key to our adoption success. By mapping strategic business priorities to improved ways of working, supported through intuitive and easy to understand Navigator UX, the organisation has built capability and could point to immediate and sustained results, before progressing to the next level on this journey. This transparent and collaborative set-up has driven organisational adoption, as markets share results and learnings across the region, to

London

Singapore

About Retail Insight We are a global people and technology company, who understand our industries and their trading challenges first hand. But we don’t rest on our experience. We blend this domain knowledge with a curiosity and desire to find new analytic approaches and techniques. This is how we design the most appropriate data driven, analytics solutions to help our clients trade more effectively. We do not believe that one size fits all, so we’ve created dynamically modular and scalable products to meet the needs of our unique clients in over 50 countries. We believe the future of analytics is democratisation; creating and sharing relevant and accessible insight across organisations, top to bottom, left to right. The solutions may be complex, but the output should always be easy to understand for anyone to take beneficial action. Insight should be for the many, not the few.

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info@ri-team.com

Bentonville


ASIA

“We partner with Accenture amongst others, in the innovations space, where they have provided a framework to how we set up an innovation culture” Henson Sy, Director of Information Technology

MONDELĒZ AMASSED A NET REVENUE OF $9.7BN IN 2016

product, which is scalable and just works. When we implemented it in the Philippines, we just replaced all of our legacy client-server tools with this cloud-based solution.” Personalisation The food and beverage industry across Asia-Pacific is predicted to amass $2.6trn in value this year, and is expected to steadily rise, with China being the main country responsible for this rise, according to Statista. Consequently, the company is striving to expand its renowned wellbeing brands, improve the nutrition and ingredients of its snacks, and develop further products which each market will savour. “We know consumers are looking for healthier snacks and meals, paying particular attention to the ingredients used,” observes Sy. “In the US and Europe, we have BelVita, which is an early breakfast snack. When we launched it in China, it was a surprise that consumers didn’t like it. We heavily marketed it as a healthy alternative, but the take-up

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was not where we want it to be. “Chinese people and Asians in general do not like to bite into hard stuff in the morning. They eat buns, breads, porridge, something which is easy to bite and digest. Giving them a hard snack such as BelVita wasn’t going to work,” he says. “Another product was Oreo. Although it is quite popular in the US, when we took this to China or elsewhere in Asia, like India, we’ve had to either reduce sugar content or increase it. The twist, lick and dunk ritual is also an American concept that required being accustomed to at first.” “To them, you just eat the biscuit. To make it more exciting, we introduced different flavors that used different ingredients. Take for example, Oreo Green Tea Ice Cream and Oreo Strawberry.” “With the health food segment in China growing substantially in the recent years, we introduced Oreo Thins as a snack with lesser calories. This is an innovation coming out of China. Because it’s thinner, psychologically people think that it’s an

“With the health food segment in China growing in recent years, we introduced Oreo Thins as a snack with lesser calories. This is an innovation coming out of China” Henson Sy, Director of Information Technology acceptable indulgence, and rightfully so because of the lower calories. So, we’ve now exported that thinking to the rest of the world,” he adds. With a number of renowned, powerful brands, Mondelēz is also looking to remain competitive by catering to the growing trend of gifting and the personalisation of its snack products. “It used to be that if you bought a bar of Cadbury, it would be the


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M O N D E L E Z I N T E R N AT I O N A L

same anywhere. Nowadays, if you tried a Cadbury’s bar in Australia, versus one in India and Malaysia, Malaysia’s version is much sweeter whereas in India it is milkier. It’s almost personalised to the market. We’re undergoing mass customisation,” explains Sy. “Technology grows from mass customisation to mass personalisation. If I want give you a bar of chocolate for your birthday, for example, I would like the ability, as a consumer, to personalise this for you. “Being a healthier choice is another consideration for us. We’re cutting down on sugar, as most markets are introducing sugar taxes.” Such decisions will create further appeal for consumers to engage in purchasing snacks long-term, yet the company will continue to face challenges, ironically as a result of digital innovation. Evolving consumer buying behaviours and the rise in online shopping will continue to impact the company, as Sy acknowledges that snacks are something of an impulse purchase for many.

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“This is where our challenge is in Asia. A lot more consumers are going online, so we are working hard to be part of that basket size. We have set ourselves up for a $1bn target by 2020 in ecommerce,” he adds. Manufacturing capabilities The establishment of nine technical centres at Mondelez will consequently work to ensure the company remains ahead of the competition. Its most

THE COMPANY ESTABLISHED A CENTRE IN JURON WHICH WILL W RESEARCH, DEVE QUALITY MANAG


ASIA

recent launch of its facility in Jurong, Singapore, will be responsible for its work across research, development and quality management (RDQ) and strengthen the company’s position on the global stage. “We will look at innovations in terms of manufacturing and packaging at our technical centres. Take for example how we create the next generation of chewing gum. Sale of chewing gum is banned in Singapore, but the RDQ of

HAS RECENTLY A TECHNICAL NG, SINGAPORE, WORK ACROSS ELOPMENT AND GEMENT (RDQ)

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“A lot more consumers are going online, so we are working hard to be part of that basket size. We have set ourselves up for a $1bn target by 2020 in ecommerce� Henson Sy, Director of Information Technology

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our gums is based here,” chuckles Sy. “We test how much can you chew on a gum, the force and pressure, how long the taste will last, all at our RDQ centre in Singapore. We also look at how certain packaging compares to other types of packaging and utilise 3D printing.” The facilities will also feed into Mondelēz’s sustainability goals, where it looks into using sustainable ingredients like palm oil and cocoa (in conjunction with Cocoa Life Program). Mondelēz’s strong brands, its creativity and focus on developing wellbeing snacks in alignment with consumer preferences will secure its position within such a competitive space. Utilising digital tools to promote innovation ensure speed to market and provide increased transparency will see it remain a leader and a source of inspiration across the industry.

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Taking on

the wine industry

heavyweights


Naked Wines Managing Director Greg Banbury reveals how the ground-breaking business is like ‘a dating agency’ for winemakers and wine drinkers Written by Niki Waldegrave Produced by Andy Turner


NAKED WINES

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espite owning no taxis, Uber is the biggest public transportation company in the world. Likewise Airbnb, which despite being the largest provider of accommodation, doesn’t own any hotels. Now, the sharing economy is spreading to the vineyards, and Naked Wines Managing Director, Greg Banbury, reveals how the Australian arm of the online startup he founded with eight others 10 years ago, including Richard Branson’s former right-hand man Rowan Gormley, is bridging the gap between its 45 winemakers and consumers in a unique business model. “We’ve got a very specific purpose – and that purpose is to revolutionise the wine industry,” he says. “One of the ways we describe Naked Wines is, ‘it’s a dating agency for winemakers and wine drinkers’ – we’re connecting someone who loves the product, our angels, with someone

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Customers enjoy one of Naked Wines’ tasting events

who loves making the product.” Naked Wines’ consumers are called ‘Angels’ – after the rich New Yorkers who used to fund Broadway shows by fledgling writers – directly support independent winemakers by paying $40 a month in return for exclusive access to delicious hand-crafted wines at low prices. Banbury was a co-founder of Naked Wines in the UK, along with eight of the old Virgin Wines team lead by Gormley. The business launched in Australia in 2012 and he took the role of Australian Managing Director in April 2016. “In Australia, we’re putting the power back into the hands of the two most important people, the wine drinker and the winemaker,” he says. “There’s a bunch of dead costs in the production of wine that the consumer ends up paying for.” The idea of a ‘naked’ wine is one where the all the things you pay for but can’t taste are stipped away. The winemaker is freed from all the things they might not be good at, like spreadsheets, selling, attending trade shows, hiring sales people

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– all of which go into the cost of the wine but don’t add to the flavour. Banbury explains how they knew that if they did a good job from the outset – facilitating that winemaking process by funding the winemaker, and taking over the “boring stuff in the middle, like building a website, doing the logistics, shipping it to the customer’s door, handling the customer service” – and they did it well, they’d have a booming business, with loyal, returning customers. “The great thing about the model is that it’s very authentic,” he says. “You genuinely can make wine for a lower price if you work with winemakers the way that we do. There’s no one clipping the ticket on the way through and there’s no risk – you’re only really paying for the juice and the winemaking talent. “It’s a ground-breaking new model and only possible because of the internet. Up until now, the wine industry has just made wine, put it in boxes, stuck it in a warehouse, and then tries to sell it later. “We’re going straight to the winemaker and selling it all before the

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“In Australia, we’re putting the power back into the hands of the two most important people, the wine drinker and the winemaker” – Greg Banbury, Managing Director, Naked Wines Australia


ANZ

winemaker has even made it. So, by the time it hits the site, the customer is excited about the wine because they’ve been part of the process.” Banbury claims the main benefit on the winemakers side is that they’re guaranteed orders, are paid on time, and have ongoing communication with their customers. “Naked is completely different to traditional retailers,” he insists. “When winemakers work with us, not only does the money turn up on time, the wine is delivered on time, and thousands of our customers talk to them directly through our website on a monthly basis. “When you have loyal customers, it can grow very quickly, and when you talk to our winemakers, they say, ‘this Naked thing is what I dreamed the wine industry

would be like, but it never actually turned out to be that way’.” In 2015, Naked Wines was acquired by Majestic Wine – which Gormley is now CEO of – for $98mn. The last 18 months have been all about growth for the Australian arm of Naked Wines, which is based in Sydney’s stunning Northern Beaches. The business shipped more than 300,000 cases of wine last year – that’s close to four million bottles – and revenue is on track for $47mn in the latest financial year. “That’s a lot of wine,” Banbury laughs, “and it’s growing. We’re growing at a rate of about 30% year-on-year.” Banbury states the focus over the next few years is proving Naked can grow, explaining if it was to stop investing in growth, it could be

Introducing Naked Wines to Partners

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more profitable in the short term, “but that that’s a fool’s game”. “We get a great return on our investment, so if we keep investing into growth, then we can fund even more winemakers.” Liberating winemakers is something Banbury is passionate about, and Naked works with three different types of winemakers – those who currently work, or have worked, for other small or big name wineries, including award-winning Caroline Dunn, who is probably the most awarded female winemaker in Australia, and used to make Wolf Blass. It also works with fledgling wineries, those “rags to riches kind of winemaker who had raw talent, but didn’t have the money to produce any kind of quantity of wine,” as Banbury explains. “But now they’re making a really good living, with tens of thousands of cases every year, and that’s all because of Naked Wines’ angels.” While Naked doesn’t put restrictions on winemakers to say they can’t work for anyone else, it ensures the particular wines it funds are only

available to its Angels who fund it. “Hitting 70,000 angels has been a pretty exciting milestone for us,” he adds. “We don’t sit here going ‘we want to be a $1bn dollar business’, instead we focus on liberating as many winemakers as we possibly can.” “We’re at 45 – if we can get to 100, we’ve made a good start. But there are probably 1,000 to 2,000 winemakers in Australia we could potentially either help or enable them to make wine the way that they want to make it – and that’s a good thing for the consumer who wants to drink wine made by a real person, not a supermarket.” Banbury says Naked’s best customers come from referrals, usually from other customers because they’ve been to an Angel’s house for dinner, and the host has handed them a bottle of wine and said, ‘I know the winemaker’ or ‘I helped make this wine possible’. “They get the full story,” he explains, “and those people then, in turn, become our best customers.”

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“Everyone loves the fact we’ve built a really viable business and are going up against the likes of Coles and Woolworths, and that’s really a lot of fun” – Greg Banbury, Managing Director, Naked Wines Australia

Naked Wines’ website currently boasts approximately 200 wines ranging from $8-$30 dollars, with most of them in what it calls the ‘sweet spot’, costing $12-15 a bottle, which Banbury claims is comparable to $30-35 bottles of wine in the bottle shop. “We believe there’s not a bottle of wine in the world that costs more than $20 to physically make when

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you take in fruit, winemaking, oak, glass, label, screw cap etc,” he says. “20 bucks really is the max, and that’s with really top quality fruit. “There’s no reason that any bottle of wine should cost more than $30– anything over $30 and you’re paying for a name or a brand, or scarcity or stuff that you can’t taste.” While delivery logistics within Australia is obviously difficult due


ANZ

to its size, Naked decentralises its supply chain, with warehouses in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, meaning Angels in major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth all get next day delivery. With customer experience at the forefront, the website has just launched a tastebud matching algorithm, and it’s also about to launch live chat in the mobile app. “We love innovating and pushing the envelope,” adds Banbury. “Once you become an Angel, the

loyalty factor is very important and we’re always looking for ways to improve the customer experience. “We also put a lot of effort into the culture and the ethos of Naked, and I think people like working for a business with a purpose. We’re trying to stick it to the big guys. Everyone loves the fact we’ve built a really viable business and are going up against the likes of Coles and Woolworths, and that’s really a lot of fun. “We want to revolutionise the wine industry – and we’ve only just started.”

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BROTHERS IN BUSINESS


The rise and rise of Talash Hotels Group Written by Ben Mouncer

Produced by Brogan Baggott 127


Sanjay and Ravi Kathuria, brothers and Directors of the UK-based Talash Hotels Group, on their journey from being humble waiters to awardwinning hoteliers Determination. Resilience. Passion. It’s these qualities and more that have enabled brothers Sanjay and Ravi Kathuria to make a mark on the British hotel industry over the last decade with Talash Hotels Group. Driven by a burning ambition to replicate their uncle’s success in the trade, the pair are proud to have overcome a series of challenges to establish their position in a highly-saturated market, growing their business to boast a portfolio of 13 individual character hotels across the country. “Our parents have offered great support from the start and we were really inspired by our uncle, who used to be a hotelier,” recalls Sanjay. “When we were growing up as children we used to sit on fire-exit stairs in his hotels and have the dream of owning one ourselves. “Our uncle and his family lived in a mansion with a swimming pool and we were the poor relations, growing up in a two-up, two-down terrace. The motivation was there, knowing you could make all of

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The number of the Group’s hotels located in the United Kingdom

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Stoke Rochford Hall Hotel & Golf Resort

this out of hotels, thinking that the way to succeed in life was to buy a hotel.”

The Talash Group tale Both waiters in their early careers, the brothers took their first plunge into ownership in 2005 – but suffered a setback when the property they had lined up to purchase was suddenly

swept up by a corporate bidder as part of a wider sale agreed by its owners. It was a blow to Sanjay and Ravi, who saw an opportunity to follow their dream cruelly snatched away. It took 18 months to uncover another suitable project, but the development of the Falstaff Hotel in Leamington Spa didn’t reap

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DISCOVER A BRAND THAT DELIVERS MORE‌

...and a brand that is investing for the future and changing for the better. We are proud that in the last 12 months, more investors and operators than ever before are choosing to partner with Best Western Great Britain; groups like the entrepreneurial Talash Hotels. That is because we have listened to the investment sector, strengthened and diversified our brand offering, improved our guest experience and, in case you have missed it, we have also changed our logo. The new bigger and better Best Western has 11 unique brands, which means we can mean more to more people. We have a brand

for every hotel from economy to upscale and, because we are a membership organisation not a franchise everything is reinvested back into making our hotels busier and our guests happier. With short minimum membership contracts starting at just 5 years, we are a brand that likes to work in partnership with operators on a short or long-term basis. We are investing for the future too. In the last three years our member hotels have spent ÂŁ214m upgrading properties and improving guest experiences with a further ÂŁ100m planned for investment in 2018 and 2019. The improvements we have

been making have resulted in a record increase in hotel applications in 2017 and we are confident about breaking that recruitment record in 2018. In short, Best Western has been busy getting better and expanding its range of brilliantly different stays. New by Best Western: This year we launched four brands including our first in the economy sector, Sure Hotel by Best Western. Other new brands include Sure Hotel Plus by Best Western, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western and BW Signature Collection by Best Western.


All attractive options for travellers wanting independent places to stay but attractive too for investors and groups looking for a brand that allows them to keep their identities. Loyalty scheme with global reach: Joining Best Western gives you access to an award-winning global loyalty scheme with over 27 million members. Business friendly stays: We have a selection of rewarding accounts for businesses and business travellers covering worldwide, Europe and Great Britain. All providing brilliant benefits wherever you are in the world.

Coming soon to Best Western: We are looking to innovate as a brand and expand our brand offering, providing more reasons to make Best Western the first choice for investors and hotel operators and the first choice for guests wanting unique stays. We are passionate about working in partnership with independent hotel operators and investors, and have ambitious plans to build on our recent success. If you would like to know more about the new, bigger, better Best Western family we are happy to answer your questions.

You can start that conversation if you are a hotel operator or investor by emailing us at hoteldevelopment@ bestwestern.co.uk, or, if you are looking to book your next stay, you can discover our 250 distinctive hotels at www.bestwestern.co.uk. Now more than ever, there is more to explore with Best Western Great Britain. Rob Paterson Chief Executive, Best Western Great Britain


TA L A S H H O T E L S G R O U P

Sanjay Kathuria

immediate rewards for the duo. The location opened its doors in 2007, but recession hit business hard and by 2009 the Kathurias had conceded 60% of the property’s value. “We were then forced into business support with the bank, and it was only through our negotiation and our determination that we continued to drive the business through the recession,” reveals Sanjay. “We had to cut costs, we did a number of shifts ourselves, we did kitchen work – we did everything basically. We learned everything there is to learn about running a hotel.”

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“Everybody talks about the fact that how, as owners, we go and engage with every single person, whether that be guests or our staff members. Then they feed off each other” Sanjay Kathuria Director, Talash Hotels Group


EUROPE

Ravi Kathuria

These experiences proved invaluable to Sanjay and Ravi, who today own a wide range of unique accommodation but each of which are ran in line with the clear management philosophies the pair have established over the last 11 years. Talash Group’s flagship hotel is at Stoke Rochford Hall Hotel & Golf Resort in Lincolnshire, an historic location with close to 100 guestrooms, two restaurants and an indoor swimming pool. As well as the

still flourishing Falstaff Hotel, other desirable premises include the 11th century Risley Hall Hotel in Derbyshire and the stunning Tudor-design Chimney House Hotel in Cheshire. In order to maintain a keen eye over their portfolio, Talash has an important relationship with its staff at all levels, as the brothers outline. “Our General Managers (GMs) come in for a monthly meeting with ourselves, but we also work on a one-to-one connection with them,” says Ravi. “We

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Sector focus yields results for Allied Irish Bank (GB) customers With a 25-year track record of supporting growing businesses in the hospitality sector, Allied Irish Bank (GB) (AIB (GB)), is putting its money where its mouth is. Earlier this year the bank launched a dedicated £500m lending fund targeted at owners of established businesses looking for growth finance, be it for acquisitions, capital expenditure programmes or re-financing packages. AIB (GB)’s sector focused approach is one which the bank believes in whole-heartedly, as Emma Young, Head of Hotels, explains: “The hospitality sector is one of four areas of business focus for AIB (GB) and one with enormous significance to the UK economy. It’s an ambitious group, too. In a recent survey*, which we conducted among hotel and leisure business owners, the majority had experienced turnover growth of between 11% and 20% in the last two years and 65% believed they had an ambitious approach to growth”. “Concentrating on key sectors means we really get under the skin of the industry, understand what the drivers and challenges are, as well as the market forces at work. Crucially, it also means we can work more flexibly with clients. In the case of hospitality, we understand the seasonality of the industry, how currency changes and exports can suddenly

AIBGB.CO.UK/ HOSPITALITYFUND

L/R Mark Duggan, AIB (GB) Birmingham; Ravi and Sanjay Kathuria, Talash Hotels Group; Morgan Keating, AIB (GB) Birmingham.

affect cash flow and costs, and what investments are required to future-proof businesses.” Steve Sisson, Relationship Manager at AIB (GB), whose team has worked with Talash Hotels Group on three of its most recent acquisitions, adds: “Ravi and Sanjay are typical of the successful management teams AIB (GB) works with. They are highly motivated entrepreneurs with a clearly defined strategy of buying well-located properties with significant potential for growth. They combine their extensive experience with a philosophy of offering genuine hospitality to their guests and this combination is clearly bearing fruit for the brothers.” Talash Group’s emphasis on top quality customer service chimes with AIB (GB). The hospitality industry is a people business and the same is true of relationship banking - something which AIB (GB) holds as a central tenet to everything it does. Young concludes: “Customers continue to tell us how important this aspect of our work is to them. Our sector expertise, coupled with empowered teams and short reporting lines, means we’re able to provide them with a very responsive service. Feedback from customers and professional contacts supports this, pointing to our knowledge, professionalism and accessibility. We know how much these things matter.” *Source: AIB (GB)’s 2017 Steps to Growth survey

Steve Sisson, Relationship Manager – Corporate Business 0121 483 6934 | 07917 413349 | steve.a.sisson@aib.ie Allied Irish Bank (GB), 61 Temple Row, Birmingham, B2 5LS Emma Young, Head of Hotels – Corporate Banking 0207 090 7169 | 07824 820013 | emma.j.young@aib.ie Allied Irish Bank (GB), Podium Floor, St Helens 1 Undershaft, London, EC3A 8AB


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have created a head office with the key people being a regional business development manager, an area manager, a group operations manager and a group financial manager. But what we tend to do is we try and give our input directly to the GMs so that everyone understands our thinking.” Sanjay adds: “One thing we don’t do, we don’t differentiate between a senior manager or a toilet cleaner. Everybody talks about the fact that how, as owners, we go and engage with every single person, whether that be guests or our staff members. Then they feed off each other. “I always say to every single one of my staff members, ‘please don’t come in thinking to yourself your name is Joe and I just work on reception. When you park the car, when you walk in, think to yourself that you’ve booked into this hotel tonight, that you’re staying here. What do you see?’”

Investing in technology For every business in the sector, customer service remains by far and away the number one priority. Talash Group has recently invested

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a six-figure sum to overhaul its web platform, which will become a onestop-shop for potential visitors to explore the company’s choice of hotels and utilise an innovative booking solution to easily reserve rooms and book restaurant tables. The new site will also have video content at its forefront, a deliberate strategy to engage the modern consumer. “In today’s market the consumer is buying with their eyes,” comments Ravi. “They’re not buying by reading anymore. It’s so important to make sure you’ve got video websites, which a lot of hotel groups in the UK still haven’t got smart to. It’s started in the United States, but it hasn’t started properly here yet. We’re going to be one of the first hotel groups in the UK to have a video-led site.” Talash Group’s commitment to innovation doesn’t stop there, with the firm currently working on two pieces of pilot technology that would greatly improve the customer’s experience on-site; a direct marketing tool to send key hotel information

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straight to guests’ devices when they arrive at the property, and also an automated check-in system that hugely simplifies the process for both the visitor and members of staff.

Giving something back In February, Talash Group picked up the ‘Excellence in Business’ award at the 4th Signature Awards at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, and Sanjay and Ravi each admit that the surprise at receiving this recognition led them to reflect on the journey they’ve been on since 2005. As a gesture last Christmas, the brothers helped with providing food for the homeless community and both are determined to inspire other young business people in the West Midlands and beyond to follow through with their aspirations, as Ravi explains. “We feel a lot of young people can benefit from our experience. What we’ve now started to do is work with some of the local entrepreneurs to create a community. It’s about engaging them with how we did it – we know how to continue the growth in our business but some


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“We feel a lot of young people can benefit from our experience. What we’ve now started to do is work with some of the local entrepreneurs to create a community” Ravi Kathuria Director, Talash Hotels Group

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‘Talash Group has recently invested a six-figure sum to overhaul its web platform, which will become a one-stopshop for potential visitors to explore the company’s choice of hotels and utilise an innovative booking solution to easily reserve rooms and book restaurant tables’ 138

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Talash Hotels Group picked up the ‘Excellence in Business’ award at the recent 4th Signature Awards

people don’t get that opportunity. “There are some amazing entrepreneurs out there but they don’t know how to take it forward. This is about bringing awareness to younger entrepreneurs of how to do just that.” Would entering into business with your sibling be one piece of advice? “We get questioned on this every day by so many people because sometimes two brothers in business just does not work,” Ravi laughs. “The beauty with me and Sanjay is that we’ll have an argument if we need to for 15 minutes, but we know by 25

minutes we will make up and that’s key to making the business a success. Sanjay goes further, revealing: “We have an amazing working relationship to be honest with you. We normally come to decisions quite quickly and sometimes it’s scary because I’m saying something and he’s already thought it, it’s strange the way our minds work. We’re like two peas in a pod.”

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PROCURING LOCALLY AND SUSTAINABLY TO DRIVE CHANGE IN UGANDA Written by Catherine Sturman Produced by Justin Brand


A farmer in his sorghum garden in eastern Uganda donning a senator branded T-shirt. Senator is a sorghum based beer


Head of Procurement at Uganda Breweries, Joshua Muwema, on the company’s work to give back to local communities

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onsuming up to 10 litres of alcohol per person per annum, Uganda has become a country of significant growth for the adult beverage industry. Each year, up to a million Ugandans reach legal purchase age, fueling a market full of untapped potential for new and developing businesses. Focused on delivering highquality products, from international brands such as Guinness and Tusker to popular local products Bell Lager, Uganda Waragi, Senator, Ngule and much more, Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) strives to tap into the tastes and demands of its consumers. The company seeks to become

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one of the best performing, respected and, more importantly, most trusted consumer goods company in Uganda. “Whilst spirits continue to grow, the informal beer sector represents 60% of alcohol consumption in Uganda. There’s a huge opportunity for us to recruit consumers into our product segments,” explains Joshua Muwema, Head of Procurement. Local raw materials agenda In spearheading the implementation of sustainable, domestic value creation across UBL’s supply chain, UBL has sought to transform its business through placing increased emphasis on procuring raw materials from local communities to improve


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“WE’VE SEEN A LOT OF GROWTH ON THE SPIRITS SIDE OF THE BUSINESS AND ARE INVESTING WHERE WE SEE A FUTURE” - Joshua Muwema, Head of Procurement w w w. f d f w o r l d . c o m

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OFFERING BETTER SERVICES THAN EVER BEFORE

Savannah Commodities is an agricultural commodities trading company mainly dealing in coffee and grains. We are one of the most reliable suppliers of quality Ugandan coffees. We are currently expanding our processing, silo storage & value addition infrastructure to avail to the farmersĘź grain & pulse handling throughout the year. Savannah has chosen to go green and has installed high energy efďŹ cient agro processing, handling & storage complex driven by motors & drier systems. Vision: To provide Agro processing infrastructure, agro value addition & Soft commodities trading solutions company in East Africa. Mission: One Stop for value addition on agro-products where the agrocommodities are exported or traded to other manufacturing industries.

www.savannah.co.ug savannah@infocom.co.ug | Tel: +256 (41) 4252 541 | Fax: +256 (41) 4252 542 Plot 6/8 Nyondo Close, Industrial Area Bugolobi, P.O Box 6217 Kampala, Uganda


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the lives of Ugandan citizens. Through UBL’s local raw materials sourcing agenda (LRM), the company has sought to nurture partnerships with local suppliers and farmers. UBL provides farmers with the necessary seeds to grow the grain for its processes and educates them on how to achieve the right quality and subsequently provide the market once the crop is harvested. This remains an area of immense pride for Muwema, and in 2015 the company reached a total of approximately 17,000 farmers under its LRM agenda, benefiting over 25,000 households countrywide. ‘Our collaboration with Kakira Sugar (part of The Madhvani Group), for example, has enhanced our ability to avail our consumers with affordable quality beverages resulting from a tax benefit from the government,’’ explains Muwema. UBL’s decision to also appoint Savannah Commodities as a single aggregator for sourcing its local raw materials is projected to bring immense benefits to both company and farmers. The farmers have a

UGANDA HAS BECOME A COUNTRY OF SIGNIFICANT GROWTH FOR THE ADULT BEVERAGE INDUSTRY

UBL PLANS TO INVEST IN ITS BEER PACKAGING AND STORAGE CAPACITY TO INCREASE PRODUCTION BY 50%

UBL’S WORK WITH SAVANNAH COMMODITIES AND LOCAL FARMERS HAS ENHANCED THE LIVELIHOODS OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES

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one stop centre where all produce is received, processed and stored hence guaranteeing quality. The agro processing facility sits beside a fertiliser blending plant that provides cheap affordable fertiliser to the farmers hence boosting productivity on their land. “With Savannah being our partner in extension delivery, we have seen more demo farms established while an opportunity arose out of this marriage for us to expand barley growing areas to the south western frontier of Kigezi region which adds to the communities that benefit from working with UBL,” comments Muwema. As the business thrives, its engagement with the communities doesn’t stop at commercial activity only, where UBL continually engages in impactful corporate social responsibility activities. Whilst many communities in Uganda lack access to clean water, UBL’s Water for Life Programme has worked to deliver essential access to clean water facilities, improved sanitation levels and provided a

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significant long-term impact. Additionally, UBL’s involvement in environment conservation has seen its staff undertake the E Green Initiative to contribute to the restoration of Uganda’s forest cover through tree planting. Most recently, UBL, in partnership with National Forestry Authority (NFA) and Wild Wide Fund (WWF), restored 109 hectares of forest cover to the Navugulu Forest Reserve, allowing for the forest to serve its purpose as a catchment for Lake Victoria thus contributing to less pollution upstream. Driving productivity Throughout its ambitious fiveyear plan, UBL has witnessed a significant improvement in the rollout of various Capex projects as its brewery continues to expand. “Productivity is an engine for growth for us because, for every penny that we save, we look at how much we can plough back into the business,” says Muwema. “We are currently installing a stateof-the-art bottling line at the distillery.


UBL E-green team @ Navugulu Forest where they restored 109 hectares of degenerated forest cover UBL board launching Ugx 800 million scholarship fund and Water projects for 2018 in northern Uganda farming communities.


DHL SUPPLY CHAIN INTERNATIONAL LTD What DHL offers :

• Outbound Warehousing - Beer and spirits • Inbound Warehousing • Warehouse management solution and inventory management Aila Aliongo Director: Business Development E-mail: Aila.Aliongo@dhl.com

www.dhl.com/logistics

• In plant logistics Line feeding and evacuation • Inventory Management • VAS (Sortation and Conversion of new glass bottles from cartons to cases) • Distribution of beer and Spirits to Customer

distributors countrywide • Reverse Logistics ( Empty glass and returns) • Site Health and Safety Management • A multi-skilled and flexible workforce to accommodate peaks of activity

Zachary Mukwaya - Head of Business, Uganda E-mail:Zachary.Mukwaya@dhl.com +256 772 671 592


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UBL Management Team i.e MD, SCD & HOP visiting the Savannah processing & storage facility in Mukono

This line is fully automated and will be deployed along with associated utilities and civil works which include a brand-new warehouse and other amenities. This will be launched in June this year and will help us roll out products that will meet ever growing customer demands. “We’ve seen a lot of growth on the spirits side of the business and are now investing where we see a future,” he adds. “On the beer side of the business,

we have currently maxed out the production capacity of 1.2mn h/ litres. The limiting factor being the packaging line and storage. “Our plan is to invest in packaging and storage capacity to increase production by 50%. This is a work in progress and is planned for the next financial year.” To further support its ongoing expansion, UBL has developed strategic partnerships with logistics suppliers to drive efficiencies while

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bringing down cost. “Efficiencies in transport, inventory management and warehousing are key in maintaining positive COGS which in turn drives the product pricing to an affordable price point for the consumer,” says Muwema. Partnering with DHL East Africa has seen UBL outsource its distribution, inventory management and warehousing operations, thus unlocking increased value and ensuring the products are at the right place, the right time and at the right price. “DHL shares in our vision and in 2018 has embarked on an expansion program at its Luzira warehouse facilities in order to meet UBL’s growing warehouse capacity demands. Additionally, DHL is aggressively looking at their existing fleet with a plan to refresh and expand the existing fleet and forklifts as well, to improve efficiency and manage UBL’s increased production volumes,” Muwema says. “We did something similar with Mansons, who is also a major transporter but on longer routes.

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We have structured a performance contract with them that gives us more, without necessarily driving up costs. Within this 3PL contract, we have included bonus malice clause, wherein we discuss gain share opportunities. “All of this helps us to run the business efficiently and drive down costs which in turn allows us to price our products competitively to the consumer,” he continues. “Nonetheless, we continue to face challenges in sourcing especially when dealing with importation of raw materials through trade barriers which include import levies and cross border charges, longer lead times and foreign exchange disruptions. “By sourcing materials locally, UBL has therefore worked to reduce and mitigate such barriers to trade, importation and transit times, whilst improving the planning of materials which are sourced from overseas.” Inspiring others Housing a number of category managers across its procurement team, in areas such as agri-business,


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“PRODUCTIVITY IS AN ENGINE FOR GROWTH FOR US BECAUSE, FOR EVERY PENNY THAT WE SAVE, WE LOOK AT HOW MUCH WE CAN PLOUGH BACK INTO THE BUSINESS” - Joshua Muwema, Head of Procurement

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EXPEDITED SOLUTIONS FOR OUR CUSTOMERS Expediters International Ltd was established in 1984 primarily as a sourcing and procurement company, to support the various regional refugee efforts. Through deliveries of essential supplies, vehicles and distribution of large volumes of food aid in Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda, the ethos of the company developed to offer multimodal logistics solutions that provide a competitive and reliable market edge to local manufactures to export their products. The company has continue to grow on this platform of service integrity and hands on management to offer their clientele an increasingly viable export option.

info@expediters.co.ke Tel: +253 722206353 | +253 733699001

Quality & Freshness Uncompromising CAPACITY 350,000 bottles a day; 3 IS bottle making machines; Inspection machines on line; An updated quality and analytical lab CUSTOMERS We service the top spirit packers and distillers in Kenya/Uganda and Tanzania and we are authorized and approved by major multinationals, in Food / Beverages and Spirit Segments to produce bottles for them, we produce Jars / Beverages / Water bottles. SERVICE We own a logistics fleet to ensure clients get bottles in shortest possible time DESIGN We have an in-house design team to ensure the client gets the bottle as per his type. We also have 3D printing and design facility.

www.millyglass.com gm@millyglass.com | sales2@millyglass.com +254 41 2224401/2/4 | +254 41 222 2449

An ISO 9001 and FSSC 22000 certified company


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raw materials and packaging, indirects, demand, and capex/ MRO, Muwema’s passion for seeing his team thrive is clearly illustrated throughout our conversation. By growing the fundamental structure of UBL’s nine-person strong procurement team through rotation, the team has gained a diverse skill sets and raised morale across the division. “If we are to be the best performing and most trusted company in the country, we should be investing in our people,” explains Muwema. “We inspire through purpose,” he adds enthusiastically. “What we’ve really brought to the table is integrity, which is something that the company takes pride in. I think my love for people and mentoring has also rubbed off on my team members, colleagues and peers, so it is something that I’m really proud of.”

So, what does the future then hold for Uganda Breweries? With future investment in large infrastructure projects in Uganda, such as dams for electricity generation, the country will continue to witness a boost in economic growth and industrialisation. The country will also undergo oil exploration in 2022, which Muwema notes, “will further change the landscape”. “The future is bright for us,” Muwema confidently concludes. “I see us remaining a major player in the market because we are a very dynamic company. Year on year we’ve put the right plans in place and take advantage of opportunities which arise. We also have a great portfolio of products as we keep innovating. “There is a bright future for the country and for the business as we remain a major player in the market.”

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