Salmond fuels salmon demand

FLAT whites are so last year – those on the cutting edge of beverages will be quaffing green vegetable drinks in 2014, according to the consumer clairvoyants at Mintel. The research firm said yesterday that new EU rules on caffeine labelling will push drinkers away from coffee and energy drinks and into natural alternatives.

Its report also predicts that Brits will take a break from patriotic-themed goods next year, having endured royal weddings and the Olympics. However, Mintel reckons the World Cup will boost demand for Brazilian cuisine, while the Scottish independence debate will spur interest in Caledonian products. The Capitalist suddenly has a hankering for some smoked Salmond.

■Competition is back in the banking sector – as Lloyds and the TSB take each other on over Christmas party season. When the TSB split off from Lloyds a few months back, industry watchers were not convinced the new lender was really a separate organisation. The pair share the same IT platform, for instance, and bosses at TSB come from Lloyds. But proof was provided yesterday when Lloyds invited the press to Christmas drinks next Wednesday – clashing with the TSB’s festive bash. Lost touch with each other so soon?