READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
From Sunny D and Pizza to Bread and Water
Another bad week in a bad month for the food and drink industry. Sunny Delight, formerly the UK's third largest-selling drink, is to be taken off the shelves by Asda after plummeting sales, the supermarket said at the weekend. Yesterday it was the turn of Northern Foods, makers of biscuits, pies, pizzas and ready meals, to admit that the trend to healthier food was causing it problems. The company's chief executive, Pat O'Driscoll, issued its second profits warning in two months as its biscuit sales slumped by 12% year on year in January and February, and pastry sales by 11%. Shares felt 17% to a five-year low of ￡1.08p.
The National Consumer Council's food expert, Sue Dibb, said the news showed companies would have to change to survive. "It looks as though we've reached the tipping point on food. Our research showed that two-thirds of consumers have made changes to what they eat in the last year. Supermarkets are getting competitive about health. Companies are having to wake up or lose their customers." Foods analyst Clive Black, of Shore Capital, said that a "sea-change" in eating habits was behind the industry's problems. "Anyone who hasn't reatised over recent years that fruit and veg are good and doughnuts and cream cakes are bad must have been living on the moon," he said. "But over the past year or so the penny really seems to have dropped."
Like other supermarket groups, Asda said it had seen a marked change in buying patterns in the past year. "Customers want more natural and authentic products," Jon Bett, the trading manager for chilled drinks, said. "The market for carbonated drinks has declined 7 to 8% in the last year, white the juice market has doubled and water sales have grown phenomenally." The trend had been driven by media coverage and the "Jamie Oliver effect", he added.
The decline of Sunny Delight is matched by the fall of other soft drinks--two weeks ago Britvic admitted a "severe decline" in sates of its carbonated drinks, which include Tango, 7UP and Pepsi--although the fate of the Sunny D brand has attracted particular schadenfreude. Sunny Delight burst on to the market in 1998 and reached the league table of top brands in 1999 by setting itself as a healthy drink, although its original recipe was only 5% juice with plenty of sugar and water as well as vegetable oil, thickeners, added vitamins, flavourings and colourings.
The health watchdog the Food Commission accused then owners Proctor and Gamble of a con for setting it from fridge cabinets. In 1999 paediatrician Duncan Cameron reported a new and alarming condition in the medical journals: Sunny Delight syndrome. A girt of five had turned blight yellow after drinking five litres a day. She was overdosing on betacarotene, the additive used to give the drink its orange cutout, and the pigment was being deposited in her skin. The marketing dream turned to a nightmare: by coincidence television adverts at the time showed two white snowmen raiding the fridge for Sunny D and turning bright orange. Its collapse was as dramatic as its rise to fame, and Gerber Foods Soft Drinks, which bought distribution rights to the brand in 2005, has been unable to reverse its fortunes despite efforts to reduce the sugar content, change the recipe and introduce new variations, including a bright green apple and kiwi flavour.
Kath Dalmeny, the food commission's senior policy adviser, greeted the news of Sunny D's delisting with satisfaction. "There is no appetite any more for products that claim to be healthy but have no real nutritional value. Sunny Delight didn't live up to its claims and parents have seen through that kind of ma