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Food & Beverage Companies’ Input to Global Food Consumption


The objective of the article was to show that without the participation of small and medium enterprises in the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA), the impact by major multinational companies, through their pledges, would remain insignificant. Their share of the global packaged food sales is only 3.3 percent. Therefore, they do not command the necessary threshold to enable them to have an impact on the industry (Alexander, Yach, & Mensah, 2011).

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Limitations of the Article

The article leaves out non-taxed (informal) products from its data collection and analysis. Therefore, its validity will be affected by how significant the market share for informal packaged food and beverages is; a low percentage will have no impact on the validity of the research. The dependence of the retail value of products in the encased food segment of the research exposes its findings to errors. Companies might have intentionally lowered their retail selling prices to compete effectively. The research would be more credible if it incorporated additional factors to monitor. Furthermore, the paper could have a pretest and a posttest analysis to remove any validity issues that may have arisen during the survey period.

The researchers acknowledge the gap in describing nutrition intake because they did not collect the relevant data, in a particular area. The data used in the research comes from an independent-data institution. If there are any errors made in the data collection process by Euromonitor International, they extend to and affect the findings of the article. However, the standardization of the data reduces the margin of error during analysis. The results tabulated in the article show soft drinks companies commanding the highest sales percentage in the global market. They hold the greatest potential of reinforcing the IFBA pledges. The share commanded by soft drink companies is significant because the research left out off-trade data, which would have tremendously increased the figures reported (Alexander, Yach, & Mensah, 2011).

The usefulness of the Article

The reported data is used for the analysis of the industry dominance and structure of both the packaged foods and beverages. Currently, IFBA needs additional members to have a substantial influence on the global food industry. Member companies have less than 25 percent, for the packaged food industry, in their average strength of operations in the countries surveyed. The research findings offer a preliminary account of the composition of IFBA, and its total command in the countries surveyed. It does not provide additional information about the plans and strategies of IFBA, which would assist in reviewing the findings of the study. Additionally, the article does not indicate the criteria for joining IFBA. Moreover, it is not showing whether there are stringent rules that prevent small and medium enterprises from becoming part of the institution.

The lack of standardization for the informal food sector is responsible for their higher than normal levels of health risks. The IFBA is not as effective as it should be because it has no enforcement powers for its pledges. In reference to the UN meeting on non-communicable diseases, the paper suggests that the private sector has to reformulate foods and beverages. Therefore, emphasis on pledges should extend beyond IFBA to all firms in the food and beverage industry. The research has pointed out various limitations for future replications to fill to increase the literature available on the subject. It is important to have onboard, national health, and wellness pledges. An international body, which leaves out single nation companies, will not sustain the global movement towards the healthiest food system.


Alexander, E., Yach, D., & Mensah, G. A. (2011). Major multinational food and beverage companies and informal sector contributions to global food consumption: implication for nutrition policy. Globalization and Health, 7(26), 1-8. Web.

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