Milk dairy consumer shopping choice

We’ve not been listening

Sir, I completely agree with your Leader of 9 July. Brexit is the topic in every meeting I walk into, but regardless of where you stand politically, Brexit is a statement from the people who buy our products and our brands that we are not listening to them.

We live in a world where claiming to put ‘consumers at the heart of everything’ is the best way of furthering your career, but in my experience this couldn’t be further from the truth. Ask a marketer or someone from your creative agency to get involved with normal people outside the M25 and they run a mile. Yuk.

In 2012 the ASA claimed 87% of all UK marketing was not remembered. So we aren’t creating products or brands that are really talking to people. We fall over ourselves considering how we want to be positioned, considered or understood. When was the last time any of us really took the time to ask consumers whether they wanted any of it in the first place?

Tash Walker, founder, The Mix

Food safety opportunity

Sir, While I agree wholeheartedly with Chris Elliott’s comments (‘Brexit is body blow for food controls,’ 16 July, p21), I also think the nightmare Brexit decision can also be turned into an opportunity for GB food. Those very tough rules that the UK has had to put in place because of BSE and other food safety crises can be turned to our advantage in terms of export opportunities. What is clear is that there can be no dumbing down of our food safety regulations. Indeed if we want to export to the rest of the EU in the future we will have to ensure that our regulations are as good if not better than what is required in the EU otherwise we will not get entry to that market - maintenance of the single market or no maintenance of the single market.

Philip Hudson, via

Seedlip is inspirational

Sir, The lack of choice and abundance of sugar in the soft drinks category will be unthinkable in the future. And we will look back wistfully at the missed opportunities. Soft drinks brands should take inspiration from non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip (‘Diageo invests in no-alcohol Seedlip spirit,’ 9 July, p36). Designed as beautifully as any gin, and with natural and authentic ingredients, it could easily become the hipster’s go-to non-alcoholic drink.

There is currently a huge gap in the market for adult soft drinks that boast upmarket, botanical and healthy credentials. Where are the beautifully designed containers, the interesting ingredients and the compelling backstories we see in gin? If brands turn away from childish flavours and promote tastes that are complex and adult, they will see the benefits.

Christian Cook, strategist, Hornall Anderson