The global beverage industry’s research and innovation in digitalisation has declined slightly in recent months, according to recently-released figures.

Research from GlobalData last week showed that the number of digitalisation-related patent applications from beverage companies in the three months to the end of February stood at 11, a fall on the 16 applications made in the prior quarter, to the end of November. Compared to the year-prior period, however, the rate rose.

Figures for patent grants related to digitalisation, meanwhile, dipped to three from four, year-on-year.

The figures have been compiled by GlobalData, which tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, then linked to key companies across various industries.

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Digitalisation, which is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData, has been identified as a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years.

The figures also provide an insight into the leading drinks companies in this area.

PepsiCo was the top digitalisation innovator in beverages in the quarter. The company filed 18 digitalisation-related patents in the period, up from the ten submitted by PepsiCo in the same period 12 months earlier.

The group was followed by Suntory Holdings with two digitalisation patent applications.

PepsiCo has ramped up its R&D in digitalisation in recent months, with a year-on-year list in related patent applications of 44.4%. The level represents the highest percentage growth of all beverage companies tracked by GlobalData.

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