Blog: Olly WehringTimes are a-changing

Olly Wehring | 4 April 2006

Well, it’s the end of week one of the new-look, and – bar a few technical glitches – the rebirth has gone startlingly smoothly. Many thanks to all of you who gave me your feedback on the new design and layout – the majority gave us a resounding thumbs-up, and the glitches brought to our attention should be ironed out within the next few days.

A couple of interesting issues caught my eye last week, meanwhile. The first were the results of a UK consumer survey, which concluded that less than half of the UK population trusts the nutritional claims made by food and drinks companies.

The survey drew similar conclusions about European and US consumers, so no-one appears safe in the trust-stakes. Naturally, this situation should worry everyone in the drinks industry – consumer perception is something that takes years to cultivate, and just as long to get back. And, more’s the point – if consumers don’t trust nutritional claims, does that not stretch to all other claims made by companies?

Secondly, I was in London last Tuesday (28 March) for a briefing by premium soft drinks brand Shloer. The company, bought by the SHS Group last year, has spent time looking at its target consumers and how best to get more of them drinking its product (sound familiar to any of you, by any chance?).

Recent research told Shloer that the use of celebrity to market a product was no longer believable. This could have worrying repercussions for some drinks companies out there, who pour millions of dollars in the direction of the famous and fabulous.
Are the times a-changing? Or has our new look just made me obsessed with change?

For more info on the ‘sceptic’ survey, click here:
For more info on the Shloer event, click here:

A quick shout out too for our Hot Topics this week, which have looked at the Britvic Soft Drinks Report (, the perils, pitfalls and potential of trading in China ( and what lies ahead for Foster’s in Asia (

Now, you’ll forgive me for leaving you in the capable hands of news editor Dean Best, while I nip to Argentina to see how they make wine. Updates as and when I can get away.


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