Mentions of robotics within the filings of companies in the drinks industry were 25% lower in the first quarter of 2022 than a year earlier, data shows.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to robotics between April 2021 and March 2022 was 160% 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. Robotics 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 robotics 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 31% compared to 8% in 2016. Secondly, GlobalData calculates the percentage of analysed sentences that referred to digitalisation.

Of the 20 biggest employers in the beverages industry, Coca-Cola European Partners was the company that referred to robotics the most between April 2021 and March 2022. GlobalData identified three robotics-related sentences in the bottler's filings – but still only 0.1% of all sentences.

In the last quarter, drinks manufacturing companies based in Asia were most likely to mention robotics, with 0.02% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in western Europe mentioned robotics in just 0.01% of sentences.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on robotics 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 robotics 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 robotics have been successes or failures.