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January 18, 2022

Digitalisation remains key for beverage brand owners – data

By Andrew Hillman

References to the term ‘digitalisation’ in filings from beverage companies jumped by 22% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the prior three-month period, according to recent research.

In total, the frequency of digitalisation appearances in the 12 months to the end of September was 419% higher than in the same period in 2015-2016 when GlobalData first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.


To assess whether digitalisation is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of drinks manufacturing companies, two measures were calculated. Firstly, there's the percentage of companies that have referenced digitalisation at least once in filings during the past 12 months - this was 96% compared to 62% in 2016. Secondly, GlobalData calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to digitalisation.

Of the 20 biggest employers in beverages, Pernod Ricard referred to digitalisation the most between October 2020 and September 2021. GlobalData identified 63 digitalisation-related sentences in the France-based company's filings, representing 3.1% of all sentences.

Nestle referenced digitalisation the second-most, in 2.5% of sentences in its filings. Other top employers with high digitalisation mentions included Diageo, PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Across all drinks manufacturing companies, the Q3 filing that featured the strongest focus on digitalisation came from Asahi Group. Of the document's 1,519 sentences, 32 (2.1%) referred to the term.

In the quarter, beverage companies based in Western Europe were most likely to mention digitalisation, with 0.93% of sentences in filings from companies in the region referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in Asia mentioned digitalisation in just 0.35% of sentences.


When drinks manufacturing companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Digitalisation is one of these topics - companies that invest in these areas are expected to be better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on digitalisation and how important the issue is considered within the beverages industry. However, a company mentioning digitalisation more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into digitalisation have been successes or failures.

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