Mentions of industrial automation within the filings of companies in the beverages industry were 2% lower between July 2021 and June 2022 than in 2016, according to the latest analysis from GlobalData.

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. Industrial automation 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 industrial automation 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 63% compared to 45% in 2016. It also calculates the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to the topic.

Of the 20 biggest employers in the beverages industry, PepsiCo was the company that referred to industrial automation the most between July 2021 and June 2022. GlobalData identified 13 industrial automation-related sentences in the US-based company's filings - 0.2% of all sentences. Coca-Cola HBC mentioned industrial automation the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.12% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high industrial automation mentions included Heineken, Nestle and Diageo.

Across all drinks manufacturing companies the filing published in the second quarter of 2022 that exhibited the greatest focus on industrial automation came from Lucas Bols. Of the document's 2,154 sentences, six (0.3%) referred to industrial automation.

In the last quarter, drinks manufacturing companies based in Asia were most likely to mention industrial automation with 0.06% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in the US mentioned industrial automation in just 0.04% of sentences.

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