We may have made a lot of noses of wine snobs wrinkle last week when we published our latest research on the wine market in the UK – which shows how wine boxes and pouches are being seen as increasingly credible options among Britain’s wine users. Today, as many as four in ten (39%) wine drinkers agree that wine in a box or a pouch is equally as good quality as bottled wine. Moreover, wine traditionalists may also have given a small whine at hearing that screw tops are seen as even less of an issue for consumers, with just 17% claiming not to trust “screw cap” quality wine.

The story proved to be a real headline grabber and coverage included: The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Talking Retail, AOL Money and Harpers in the UK. Moreover, it was covered in the European trade publication Food Manufacturers, in 24 News in Russia, Yahoo! News,  The Times of India, New Kerala and India Vision in India and China News Wine in China.

In other big stories last week, the expertise of our Director of Retail Research, Richard Perks, was in high demand and he was requested to comment on a number of different market issues. Firstly, he was in studio for Sky News and then the Jeff Randall Show to comment on the Indian government’s decision to allow international supermarket chains, such as Tesco and Wal-Mart, to open their stores in the country. In addition, Richard also provided analysis to the Huffington Post on HMV’s sales slump. “Last year the business made an operating profit of £1.8m; if the current rate of decline continues then with unchanged costs you’d be looking at an operating loss of over £30m. There would certainly be some cost cutting through the year – but how much? My own feeling is that I can’t see how the business could be profitable this year on a sales decline like that.” And again in the Huffington Post, Richard offered his opinion on the latest – controversial – campaign of clothing giant Benetton, the Unemployee Of The Year Competition.

Next, the announcement from Sarah Lee Corp. on entering the coffee market with its debut coffee machine ‘Sarista’ broke last week. When asked to comment on the story for Bloomberg our Global Drinks Analyst, Jonny Forsyth, said that while Sarista is a good idea and makes quality coffee, Master Blenders needs much more than a new machine to meet its ambitious growth targets. “I’d say there’s a less than 50 per cent chance to become the world’s no.2 coffee maker, overtaking KFT.” said Jonny. “The market share differential is massive. I’m a little bit skeptical.” Meanwhile, our Senior Food Analyst, Amy Price, was quoted by The Daily Telegraph on the supposed decline of table sauce usage in the UK: “Changing consumer habits are key.” said Amy. “There’s been a shift away from the types of food people have traditionally eaten sauces with.”

The Daily Telegraph (Your Money) used our data again last week in a piece titled “Can Google get you a better car insurance?”. And proving that Mintel is one of the most authoritative market intelligence companies, The Daily Telegraph mentioned our figures a third time in one week, this occasion in a piece on women’s joy and sorrow: hair colouring. “Are women ever glad to be grey?” questioned the piece. Probably not, as the desire to enhance their natural colour or to cover the first grey hair has fuelled a market estimated at £321 million in 2011, a year-on-year increase of 12 per cent. The same story then appeared in the Scotsman. Again about the hair colouring industry, the Washingtonian highlighted our insight into the women’s hair colouring market for a story about the new rules of hair colour. It seems the 38% of US women who coloured their hair at home in the last year did so to save time and money, since a visit to the salon can be not only costly, but time-consuming as well.

On to food business, China Daily quoted our Director of Insight Food and Drink, Marcia Mogelonsky, on Chinese companies investing in Europe. “It’s quite hard to get shelf space in Europe at the moment, but if they own Weetabix, they can say, ‘let’s squeeze a bit of space from Weetabix products and put in one of our own products to see how it works’.” Said Marcia about the recent aquisition of UK cereal brand Weetabix by Chinese Bright Food. More on food, great coverage for Mintel in the French national Le Figaro on the Stevia market in France. While Today Online in Singapore used our data on single serve frozen food, now bought by 68% of US households, and the Australian Food Processing covered our latest findings on the hot topic of salt reduction in food. In addition, analysis from Mintel’s Global Food Science Analyst Pam Yates featured in Food Australia in a double page insight article. Also of note, last week we were mentioned by Club Darwin in Spain on ice-cream and Capita.gr in Greece on the Chinese salty snack market.

Moreover, Mintel’s research on British consumers’ attitudes towards debts, which shows that more than a third of those aged between 18 and 24 have increased the amount they save, made it into AOL Money and the Scotsman. Deborah Osguthorpe, Head of UK Financial Services Research said: “This latest research highlights a significant shift in the nation’s attitude towards credit – and a shift in generational attitudes.” And Mintel’s financial research also appeared in other high profile European papers last week, such as Agefi Ebdo in France in a piece titled “Britanniques et Allemandes ignorent l’epargne reglementee”, and in Finanz Nachrichten in Germany.

The US press office kicked things off this week with some amazing coverage in Time Magazine. They covered foodservice analyst Kathy Hayden’s comments about ‘boozy milkshakes’ that she made to Reuters last week.

Next up, the New York Times used our seasonings intelligence for a profile of a new ad campaign by spice maker McCormick & Company. Mintel found that 64% of spice users usually purchase the same brand, and “growing interest in gourmet cooking and ethnic cuisines, which often requires an investment in new varieties of seasonings,” has helped buoy the market in recent years.

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post covered a story about the proliferation of the word premium on restaurant menus that originally appeared on BurgerBusiness.com. The piece included Mintel Menu Insights data that revealed that the term “premium” on quick service restaurant menus doubled in the past two years.

In addition, Yahoo! Finance referenced some Mintel Comperemedia direct mail figures for an article that informed consumers about trimming fuel costs with gas rewards cards. That’s a topic we can all relate to, as Chicago consistently has the highest gas prices in the country. Closing out the week, Mintel’s data and insight appeared in Convenience Store News for a story about the energy drinks and energy shots market, Supermarket News utilized our low/no/reduced sodium product launch figures, Prepared Foods referenced our granola bar sales numbers and Natural Products Insider quoted from our latest yogurt and yogurt drinks report to inform readers about yogurt consumption habits.

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