MarketLine Blog

Posts written by Goska Kafel

New Zealand: Halt to offshore drilling

MarketLine

New Zealand pumped an average of just 31,000 barrels of crude oil a day in 2017, according to data from the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), a fraction of the 913,000 barrels produced daily in the North Sea. The country’s annual oil production makes up just 1.4% of the country’s economy. The industry is already in decline after a downturn in the global market from 2014 took a heavy toll on its earnings. Crude oil production declined in 2016 to the lowest level in a decade, and spending on production… Read more

Saudi Arabia – Wind of change in the desert kingdom will create new business opportunities

MarketLine

Saudi Arabia has for decades been one of the world’s most culturally austere and restrictive countries, not allowing gender mixing, concerts, and cinemas, amongst others. However, the government’s Vision 2030 reform program is set to return the country to a more moderate Islam, diversify the economy and reduce the country’s dependence on oil by growing sectors like entertainment, arts, tourism and culture. This liberalizing reform drive has already opened the door to concerts, comedy shows and women drivers over the past year. From June 2018 women will be allowed to… Read more

Australian bookmakers under pressure as new legislation hits hard

MarketLine

Online gambling is incredibly popular in Australia with around 80% of Australians gambling at least once a year. Adults in Australia gamble more per capita than any other nation in the world, an average of $976.50 per adult. That is 40% higher than Singapore, the runner-up, and around double the average in other Western countries. The existing loopholes in the gambling law created a gray area allowing almost every form of online gambling. This has attracted many of the world’s top online gambling sites, as well as illegal operators to… Read more

UK sugar tax – Attempts to curb rising levels of obesity

MarketLine

The UK is the most obese country in Western Europe, and the sixth most obese country in the world. Around 26.9% of the British population has a body mass index of 30 and above, according to the OECD report and the cost of treating ill health caused by obesity and related issues is rising fast, threatening the NHS budget. The government, long criticized for taking no action to tackle this issue, decided to introduce a Soft Drinks Industry Levy, in the hope that the increased cost will stop people from… Read more

Chinese ban on waste imports: End to off-shoring dirt

MarketLine

Introduction of the ban on imported solid waste, coming to force in China as of January 1, 2018, means the country will be importing a lot less of foreign waste material, and replacing it with recycled material collected in its own domestic market instead. China’s dominance in manufacturing means that for years it has been the world’s largest importer of recyclable materials. The country’s hunger for plastic, the most difficult waste material to dispose of, has spawned a lucrative industry where plastic waste was purchased from the international market and… Read more

AeroFarms: High-Rise Greens

MarketLine

AeroFarms’ food growing method, called aeroponics, requires no dirt, no sun and needs about 95% less water than traditional farming. It also applies 40% less fertilizer, and no pesticides. The company uses rehabilitated buildings, such as warehouses or old industrial plants, instead of constructing sophisticated massive, modern facilities from scratch, which dramatically reduces the property costs. While about ten years ago, indoor farming was associated with high costs and visions of people in lab coats walking around plants in soil many stories up in the air, the reality today is… Read more

Kindred AI – Putting robots in human shoes

MarketLine

Teaching computers to learn on their own has been the core aim of AI research, with the world’s largest tech companies, including Facebook, Google and Baidu, all racing to develop the best techniques. Although there have been breakthroughs in speech and image recognition, the machines still struggle to handle basic physical tasks. Kindred AI, a Canadian start up, decided to tackle these issues applying a new, innovative approach based on the technique of immersive teleoperation. According to its founders, the best way to make robots as smart as humans, is… Read more

Blue Apron – Changing the way of eating and buying food

MarketLine

The US meal-kit delivery service is projected to be a $5bn market over the next three years. Though space is already crowded, a start-up company, Blue Apron, managed to carve a niche out for itself. By recognizing the educational void for the multitude of home cooks and building a wildly successful business around feeding them, while sharpening their kitchen prowess, the company managed to build a $2bn recipe-delivery business with 2,500 employees, in 36 months. By designing its business model around supply chain efficiencies, the company managed to get fresher… Read more

Ginkgo Bioworks: Quest to disrupt the biotech space

MarketLine

Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston-based DNA writer and designer company, launched in 2008, is already one of the largest DNA writers in the world. It is expected to make over $20m in revenue in 2017. Ginkgo’s success is based on an innovative technology that uses yeast as a base to make all kinds of substances, including perfumes, cosmetics and sweeteners, from microbugs. This technology can be used across a whole host of consumer and industrial products, enabling customers to grow rather than manufacture better products. The company is currently working on… Read more

Beyond the pill: Pharma gets digital push

MarketLine

The global pharmaceutical market was worth $946.1bn in 2016, growing with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1% between 2012 and 2016. Healthy market growth and big margins in the traditional pharma industry are attracting a new generation of startup companies, who are using big data, sensors and artificial intelligence to revolutionize the way healthcare is delivered and they are not afraid to compete with the incumbent Big Pharma companies. Emerging digital technologies from the new generation start-ups are reshaping the traditional pharma landscape. By collecting enough data, directly… Read more

Ezetap Quest to democratize India’s digital payments industry

MarketLine

India has recently been going through a digitalization of almost everything, and this revolution has now reached the traditional banking and finance sectors. As even large banks have realized that using time tested technology means always staying a generation behind, there is now much acceptance and demand in terms of implementing financial startup products and services in the country. Additionally, the recent and largest ever government demonetization caused a cash-crunch, hitting the remote, rural areas most, and left citizens with no choice but to go digital. With nearly 1 billion… Read more

Takata: Exploding end to a scandalous journey

MarketLine

Takata started out as a textile manufacturer more than 80 years ago and in 1960 expanded into the car parts manufacturing business, riding the wave of industrial expansion in Japan. After teaming up with Honda it became a leader in auto safety systems that also served overseas clients. In the late 80s, the company became the subject of an official investigation due to a reported failure of its seatbelts installed in many Takata-equipped Honda vehicles. The investigation led to the second largest safety recall in US history, affecting 8.9 million… Read more

Gene Editing: Bring your genome home

MarketLine

In recent years, two new genetic technologies have started a scientific and medical revolution. One is the ability to easily decode the information in our genes and it is relatively well known. It began with the development of tests for genetic diseases. They have proven they can be quite successful, leading to a reduction of human suffering. The other, not yet clearly understood by the general public, is the newfound capacity to modify genes at will. New editing tools to create genetically defined human cell lines have come to the… Read more

Behind the Digital Iron Curtain: Rise of Chinese Silicon Valley

MarketLine

After a long period of rapid, double digit growth, the Chinese economy entered a more sustainable phase of development, based on innovation and consumption. Given the large population of 1.3 billion in China, the explosive growth of smartphone users, e-commerce, and online content consumption and creation led to a digital revolution in almost all industries and business sectors. While the Chinese Communist Party is trying to match its social control in the real world with the virtual world, which becomes more and more restrictive, the country’s internet is thriving and… Read more

Selfie generation: Refashioning make-up market

MarketLine

The global make-up industry grew by a record 8.4% in 2016 and was the main growth driver for the cosmetics market worldwide. The range of make-up products is endless, and some product categories, in particular those highly popular with the generation of Millennials, (i.e. concealers, illuminating highlighters, lipsticks) are booming. These hyper-connected customers are young, have a strong purchasing power, new ideas about beauty, and are also very keen to spend money on beauty products. While clothing and department stores are increasingly closing their physical locations, not being able to… Read more

Tesco’s deal with Booker: Attempt to control the UK food supply chain?

MarketLine

The deal, announced in January 2017, grants several benefits to Tesco. It means that the incumbent retailer can expand even faster in the UK food convenience sector, the fastest growing part of the grocery market for a number of years. The merger with Booker will also give the retail giant the access to a new territory – the “out-of-home” eating market, as it will be taking over the supplier to a string of restaurants and cinemas. This is a new area for Tesco, but one that accounts for around a… Read more

Russian agriculture: Sanctions to create an agricultural superpower?

MarketLine

Following the Western penalties imposed on Russian companies in 2014, the Russian government responded with countersanctions, banning imports of many western food products. This encouraged import substitution and made Russian exports more competitive, thus showing that despite the poor state of east-west relations, there are plenty opportunities to be found in the Russian market. The Russian government, with an already set goal to diversify its economy which is heavily dependent on energy exports, has provided RUB215bn ($3.2bn) for the development of the agricultural sector, resulting in sudden and significant growth…. Read more

East meets West. The battle for supremacy in India’s e-commerce market

MarketLine

While China and the US currently dominate in terms of e-commerce spending, India is one of the world’s fastest growing internet markets. It is also the fastest growing country in the Asia Pacific region in the retail e-commerce space. The rapid pace of growth of e-commerce in India creates a huge potential opportunity and attracts not only local players but foreign e-commerce giants, like Amazon and Alibaba. The largest local players, Flipcart and Snapdeal, initially seen as the dark horses in this race and attracting serious investment, are now losing… Read more

LiDAR self-driving technology. A case of calculated theft?

MarketLine

Google and Uber started off as friends with Google parent Alphabet investing $258m in Uber in 2013. They then became competitors, as Uber started experimenting with its fleet of self-driving cars in 2016. Finally, in 2017, both companies ended as adversaries in court, engaging in a bitter legal fight to control the future of transportation. The suit details the lengths Waymo goes to in order to protect its trade secrets, including purchasing LiDAR components from numerous vendors and completing assembly in-house to prevent any single vendor from knowing everything about… Read more

Big retail takes control of Russian food market

MarketLine

The Russian food market is amongst the largest and most populated globally. As the population of 146 million people continues to grow, they are also buying more food. There are a lot of opportunities for further development, especially in the convenience segment, as the grocery retail market is significantly less saturated than in Western Europe. Changes in tastes and technology have opened up the sector to new suppliers and new ideas. However, after almost a decade of double digit growth, this over $300bn market has seen a significant deceleration recently… Read more

Pet business of the future: A whole different breed

MarketLine

The pet industry in the US is booming, approaching $60bn in revenue. Growth in the market is derived both from increasing pet ownership as well as from increased spending per pet. If people have been willing to buy something for themselves, they are likely to now buy it for pets. There are plenty of opportunities across various segments of the industry, especially in the pet-related services segment which is growing at nearly twice the rate of the overall pet market. People increasingly view their pets as part of the family… Read more

Self-driving to the future

MarketLine

The line between the auto and tech industries is rapidly blurring, with the pursuit of autonomous driving and a shift from car ownership towards car sharing and ride sharing. China is widely viewed as the next frontier for growth and many market players are looking to establish a foothold in this country, which requires significant investment. To keep up with changing market trends, most major auto makers are investing in their own driverless-car technology, which is less costly if done in cooperation with high-tech companies, like Google or Apple. The… Read more

Global Haircare Market – Data Infographic

MarketLine

An infographic with summary information on the global haircare market

Halal: The new organic

MarketLine

The global halal market, which includes products and services complying with Islamic laws and regulations, was valued at $1.7tn in 2012, growing faster than other consumer markets despite the recent global recession. At a time when many Western markets are reaching their saturation point, Muslim consumers are becoming a target audience, and the halal market is emerging as one of the fastest growing consumer segments in the world. Despite the common belief that the term “halal” is limited to meat and poultry, opportunities in the halal market go way beyond… Read more

Russian e-commerce market presents significant business opportunities for those able to overcome its challenges

MarketLine

With 84.4 million internet users and 27 million online shoppers Russia is already the largest online community in Europe and growing rapidly. With a skyrocketing number of Internet users, but a still underdeveloped commercial environment, the opportunity to build a successful online selling business in Russia is huge. The biggest growth areas are mostly in the remote regions, where growth is 50% higher than in central cities. Even amid a slowing economy, the country’s online shopping kept increasing at a double digit rate in 2013, making it the fastest expanding… Read more

Whole Foods: A victim of its own success?

MarketLine

Whole Foods, the US-based organic food retailer, is not now nor will it ever be a cheap shopping experience. Despite its high prices, the company has seen its revenues rise in recent years, as demand for healthy, natural foods has constantly increased. However, despite a whole paycheck being needed to shop at this organic food giant, recently only a fraction of one has been needed to buy the company’s stock. The company has seen its shares fall almost 35% in 2014. The main reason for the stock’s poor performance is… Read more

Semiconductor industry back on track

MarketLine

The global semiconductor industry recovered in 2013, growing by 5.4%, after a contraction recorded the year before. Regionally, the Americas showed the largest increase (11.4%), while Asia Pacific grew by 4.3% and Europe recorded a 3 % growth. At the same time sales fell sharply in Japan, contracting by -15%, mostly due to the devaluation of the Japanese Yen. The United States has rebounded to once again become one of the largest and fastest growing regions for semiconductor manufacturing globally. The US semiconductor industry grew nearly three times faster than… Read more

Inglot refuses to play by the rules and wins a share of global make-up market

MarketLine

Founded over 30 years ago, in the small Polish town of Przemysl, Inglot Cosmetics started as a chemical manufacturer, producing cleaning fluid for cassette players and cheap eye shadows. Within only a few years, taking advantage of the changing political situation in the country, the company became a large cosmetics manufacturer with a presence at all major beauty gatherings and events around the globe, from the runways of Fashion Week to the stages and sets of TV and Broadway musicals. As examined in the MarketLine Case Study ‘Inglot Cosmetics –… Read more

Luxottica to make nerdy Google Glass look cool

MarketLine

Luxottica Group S.p.A. (Luxottica or ‘the group’), the world’s largest producer of eyewear, which offers a range of premium, luxury, sport and performance glasses, has signed a strategic partnership with Google over its Glass eyewear. According to the agreement, the two groups will work together to create innovative wearable devices for the Glass brand. Luxottica will put Google’s geeky device through the designer’s laboratory in an attempt to make it cool. The eyewear giant is expected to take care of the design, development and distribution of Google Glass. The company’s… Read more