just-drinks authors and correspondents

Ben Cooper

Ben CooperBiography

Ben Cooper is just-drinks' sustainable business editor and specialises in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, policy issues and sustainability. He holds MAs from Cambridge University and the University of London, respectively in Social and Political Sciences and Social Policy.

He joined the just-drinks editorial team in 2000 and today works across both just-drinks and just-food, while also writing occasionally for just-style.

In addition to his regular features, Ben has written numerous in-depth management briefings on issues such as alcohol policy, sponsorship, the Fairtrade market, the use of food colourings and environmental issues facing the clothing industry. He also writes regularly for Ethical Corporation magazine which specialises in the corporate social responsibility field.

He lives in London where he also works as a professional singer.

Columns by Ben Cooper

Sustainability in DrinksSustainability in Drinks

Every month, Ben Cooper casts his eye over sustainability efforts in the global drinks industry.

Articles by Ben Cooper

The soft drinks category is viewed by consumers as the biggest plastic waste culprit Why the soft drinks category is trapped in a plastic corner - Sustainability Spotlight 29 November 2018

Faced with relentless campaigning and mounting public concern about plastic pollution, soft drinks companies have no choice but to act to mitigate the environmental impact of their packaging. As new research is published underlining the increasing importance of sustainable packaging to consumers, Ben Cooper assesses the soft drinks sector's engagement with a recently-launched global initiative on plastic use.


The sugar tax took effect in the UK in AprilSugar - Which works best? Doing it yourself or being told what to do? - Sustainability Spotlight 13 July 2018

This year saw the launch of the first non-stop passenger service from Australia to the UK, reducing a journey that once took 42 days to a little over 17 hours. Soft drinks companies Down Under may be glad Australia's lawmakers appear so far to have resisted the chance of a quick trip back to the land of their forebears. Had they done so they might have heard their UK government counterparts waxing lyrical about the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) on full-sugar soft drinks.


They may not look it, but research suggests Millennial consumers are less happy than previous generationsThe Millennials are taking over. But, why are they so miserable? – Consumer Trends 25 June 2018

This year sees the last of the Millennial cohort reach adulthood. The economic prospects for the generation differ widely between mature and emerging markets, Ben Cooper writes, but the world over they punch above their weight in terms of their influence and the interest they receive from brands.


Anheuser-Busch InBev unveiled the renewable symbol for Budweiser in JanuaryWhy consumers don't yet know about your sustainability efforts - Sustainability Spotlight 30 May 2018

A recently-published study suggests consumers may not be as drawn to Anheuser-Busch InBev's new 100% renewable electricity icon as the brewer might hope for. But, Ben Cooper writes, there are factors other than consumer sentiment driving the beverage sector's investment in renewable energy.


Why the drinks industry is falling behind food on sustainability matters - Sustainability Spotlight 14 May 2018

A new report from US-based sustainability non-profit Ceres, which assesses the performance of 613 US-based publicly-traded corporations on a comprehensive range of sustainability criteria, reveals food and drinks to be among the most progressive and highest-achieving sectors. However, the research does not reflect well on the drinks sector specifically.


Consumers have grown more wary of social media marketing since the Cambridge Analytica scandal brokeHow to collect data without alienating your consumer - Consumer Trends 1 May 2018

The Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data scandal may have been played out largely in the political arena but the implications for branded companies are arguably as serious as they are for politicians. Ben Cooper investigates.


More than most other industries, water plays a major role in drinksWater – Why drinks companies must think global but act local - Sustainability Spotlight 6 April 2018

When it comes to sustainability, water is always near the top of the list for drinks companies. This month, sustainability commentator Ben Cooper considers recent efforts in this area by several sizeable drinks groups.


Will Keurig Dr Pepper merger prompt change in sustainability strategy? – Sustainability Spotlight 1 March 2018

In his latest look at sustainability efforts across the drinks industry, sustainability expert Ben Cooper digs behind last month's headlines of the 'merger' of Keurig Green Mountain and Dr Pepper Snapple Group. What he discovers, from a sustainability perspective, makes for some challenging reading.


Consumers have more powerful research tools than ever beforeHow will brands connect with consumers in the post-trust era? - Consumer Trends 21 February 2018

The latest Edelman Trust Barometer found levels of trust in the US general population have declined by the largest margin the survey has ever recorded, while classifying 20 of the 28 countries surveyed as "distrusters". Ben Cooper asks Tonia Ries, executive director of Edelman Square, the intellectual property unit of the global PR giant, what declining trust means for brands and their relationship with consumers.


Plastic packaging is all the talk among consumers in many marketsWill 2018 be the year we solve the plastic problem? – Sustainability Spotlight 13 February 2018

Earlier this month, just-drinks talked to Evian global brand director Patricia Oliva about the water brand's recent commitment to make all its bottles from recycled plastic by 2025. Here, sustainability editor Ben Cooper considers how Evian's move underlines the increased attention being focused on plastics recycling. Ben also flags up some other sustainability hotspots for the coming year.




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