Horizon scanning: a tool to anticipate regulatory change

Anticipating regulatory change is a critical capability for multinational food and beverage brands in the today’s market. Not only does it provide the organisation with time to understand and quantify the opportunities or risks associated with any change, it creates opportunities to influence regulation such that it delivers greater operational efficiency and agility, for example, via enabling multinational product launches of a single product.

The ability to stay ahead of the ever-shifting regulatory landscape is becoming increasingly difficult as the conventional pathways for change are being disrupted by the increasing influence of the consumer and more spontaneous implementation of policy in niche markets.

The global landscape

The global regulatory landscape is poorly aligned and whilst regulation and policy between markets may share sentiment and/or intent, the implementation mechanisms, pace of these, and enforcement thereafter, will likely be very different depending on the market. Factors such as political climate, interaction with other trading bodies, transparency, and speed of transformation, all have a role to play.
Consider the sugar tax for example; Hungary opted to introduce a €0.02 per litre sugar tax on soft drinks in 2011 and the United Arab Emirates introduced a 50% tax on soft drinks and a 100% tax on energy drinks in 2017.