Mentions of digitalisation within the filings of companies in the beverage industry were 28% higher in the first quarter than in the same period a year ago, data shows.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to digitalisation between April 2021 and March 2022 was 480% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When drinks manufacturers 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 excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether digitalisation is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of food manufacturing companies, GlobalData calculates two measures. It looks at the percentage of companies that have mentioned big data at least once in filings during the past twelve months – this was 96% compared to 61% in 2016. Secondly, GlobalData calculates the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to digitalisation.

Of the 20 biggest employers in the beverages industry, Pernod Ricard was the company which referred to digitalisation the most between April 2021 and March 2022. GlobalData identified 74 digitalisation-related sentences in the France-based company's filings – 3.5% of all sentences. Nestle mentioned digitalisation the second most – the issue was referred to in 2.1% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high mention rates included Anheuser-Busch InBev, Coca-Cola European Partners and Asahi.

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By GlobalData

Across all drinks manufacturing companies, the filing published in the first quarter of 2022 that exhibited the greatest focus on digitalisation came from Anheuser-Busch InBev. Of the document's 1,294 sentences, 33 (2.6%) referred to digitalization.

In the last quarter, drinks manufacturing companies based in western Europe were most likely to mention digitalisation with 0.93% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in Asia mentioned digitalisation in just 0.45% of sentences.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on digitalisation and how important the issue is considered within the beverages industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, 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.