From SunnyD and Pizza to Bread and Water
A 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 sates by 11%. Shares fell 17% to a five-year low of £1.08p.
B 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 realised 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.”
C 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, while 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.
D The decline of Sunny Delight is matched by the fall of other soft drinks – two weeks ago, Britvic admitted a “severe decline” in sales of its carbonated drinks, which include Tango, 7UP and Pepsi – although the fate of the SunnyD 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 selling 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.
E The health watchdog the Food Commission accused then owners Procter and Gamble of a con for selling it from fridge cabinets. In 1999, paediatrician Duncan Cameron reported a new and alarming condition in the medical journals: Sunny Delight Syndrome. A girl of five had turned bright yellow after drinking five litres a day. She was overdosing on beta-carotene, the additive used to give the drink its orange colour, 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 SunnyD 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.
F Kath Dalmeny, the Food Commission’s senior policy adviser, greeted the news of SunnyD’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 marketing.” Gerber Funds Suit Drinks said SunnyD was suffering from an inherited and unjustified image problem. The marketing director, Rob Spencer, told The Grocer magazine: “In Asda, two thirds of our sales come from no added sugar versions, which are up by 1% year on year.”
G But market research figures from the company AC Nielsen show that the pressure on Sunny Delight and Northern Foods is part of a wider trend. Sales of pizzas and frozen foods fell by 9.2% last year. Most products seen as unhealthy declined – confectionery by 3.1%/bagged snacks by 1.2%, and carbonated soft drinks by 1.7% – while those seen as healthy boomed. Drinking yoghurts were up 51%, juices 15.6%, and water 9.4%. Ethical investment analysts EIRIS recently listed leading food manufacturers according to the percentage of turnover derived from products which fall into the unhealthy category. It said Unilever, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Cadbury Schweppes had the highest risk of suffering a backlash.
The text has 7 paragraphs (A – G).
Which paragraph contains each of the following pieces of information?
1. Most consumers have changed their eating habits over the last year.
2. The suggestion that parents are more aware of how advertisers try to sell products
3. The ingredients of a once-popular drink
4. A description of an advertisement
Complete the following sentences using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each gap.
Shops are becoming more (5)…………………..about stocking healthy food and drink products.
Sunny Delight was originally marketed as a (6)…………………….
Gerber Foods Soft Drinks has the (7)………………………..for Sunny Delight.
The most dramatic change in consumption has been for (8)……………………..
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1? In boxes 9 -13 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN If there is no information on this
9. Most of the foods produced by Northern Foods are healthy.
10. Duncan Cameron is a doctor.
11. Rob Spencer works for Asda.
12. Sales of Coca-Cola are declining in Britain.
13. Fast food companies are looking to developing countries to increase their profits.
No Growing Pains for Daniel Radcliffe
A You know those tales of lost youth that spring from actors who are too successful too soon? You will probably not hear any about Daniel Radcliffe, who conjures up his alter ego Harry Potter for the fourth boy-wizard film saga, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, opening Nov. 18 (after its premiere Saturday in New York City). “If childhood is being surrounded by people who you love being around and being incredibly happy, then I absolutely have had that,” he says. “It’s been a bizarre childhood. It’s been strange, but it’s been great.”
B Radcliffe, now an articulate 16-year-old, has not been arrested, has not warred with his parents over his millions now tucked away, or thrown hissy fits on the set. What in the name of Macaulay Culkin is going on? “They all know exactly what they’re worth,” “Goblet” director Mike Newell says of Radcliffe and co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, “but they have not become impossible.” Radcliffe became a global icon as a 10-year-old when he won a worldwide casting call to breathe life into the hero from J. K. Rowling’s best-selling fantasy books. Despite endless adoration, he seems to be avoiding that notorious fraternity of thespian lads who turn rotten.
C In a one-to-one conversation at a London hotel, the 5-foot-7 Radcliffe, without those H. P. spectacles, emerges as very much a boy, but with a showman’s polish that no abracadabra could evoke when he first wielded a magic wand. He makes small talk before the first question is popped and, later, in a press conference, works the room like a professional comedian. He has never been stung by a bad review or an unflattering portrait. That is because he has never read any of his press. His parents, Alan Radcliffe and Marcia Gresham, have provided a magic carpet ride into puberty by protecting him from both the adulation and the evisceration.
D Radcliffe remains blissfully ignorant of his riches as well – reported to be next in line behind fellow young Brits Charlotte Church and Prince Harry. “To be honest, I don’t actually know how much at this point,” Radcliffe says. “I don’t, really. In a way, I think that’s right. It’s not something that affects the way I think about things.” Radcliffe’s Groucho-eyebrow-draped blue eyes lock in without trepidation. Although he gives relatively few interviews, he does not flinch at potentially awkward questions, either. He is the land of millionaire action-figure boy-next-door with whom you’d like to take your teen daughter out for a soda. Radcliffe wears a green striped dress shirt, and his only accessory is his publicist and long-time family friend Vanessa Davies.
E Except for premieres, Radcliffe’s family employs no bodyguards, according to the actor. At school, the hubbub over his presence dies down after a few weeks. Fan interest “never got too aggressive”, he says. “I know there are people who are slightly obsessed, but it doesn’t really worry me too much. As long as it stays at the pitch it is now. Occasionally you meet someone slightly worrying, but I never really feel in danger.” The security issue that absorbs him at the moment is longevity as an actor. For the first time since he began the “Harry Potter” installments, Radcliffe is set to work on another feature, “December Boys”, a coming-of-age tale in which he plays an orphan. It begins shooting in Australia in December.
F Taking a cue from one of his idols, Gary Oldman, who plays Harry’s godfather Sirius Black in the Potter movies, Radcliffe wants to forge various on-screen personas. “If I was to complete the series without having done anything else during that time, it would be harder to be seen as anything else,” he says. “It’s just showing people I can do other things.” At the moment, Radcliffe is preparing for the fifth Potter edition, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”. It requires him to take tutoring at the Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire. Although he has aged out of many of the restrictions of England’s child labour laws, he is determined to stick to his old schedule. Each film typically takes 11 months to finish.
G “It would be too intense if I did that much school and that much filming at the same time,” he says. “Both my performance and schoolwork would suffer.” Radcliffe is prepared to work the same routine if called upon to do No. 6, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”. (Rowling is at work on a seventh.) “Ultimately it comes down to whether I feel like doing it,” he says. “If it’s a great script, a great director and it will challenge me, there’s no reason for me not to do it. I’ve read the sixth book. It’s such an amazing part for me if I was to do it. That would definitely be something that would challenge me. However, it’s a long way away.”
H No. 5 puts Radcliffe through his paces in a hormonally charged setting. Newell says he crafted it first as a thriller, pitting the budding sorcery prodigy against Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), who has not appeared since he killed Harry’s parents 13 years earlier. Although he is a poor swimmer, Radcliffe immersed himself in an extended underwater scene. “He won’t turn into a stuntman, but he’s a responsible boy,” producer David Heyman says. Radcliffe seems to enjoy the spotlight more than his co-stars, piping in with glib comments as Grint, 17, stumbled through the afternoon news conference.
I All the while, Radcliffe’s parents sat in the back row, watching with thin smiles and arms folded. “I might be arrogant and big-headed, but they kept me really grounded, and I can’t thank them enough for that,” Radcliffe says. He is still just a teenager, more an on-screen dragon slayer than ladykiller. Radcliffe spoke frankly about his less-than-magical ways with girls, saying their expectations of him as Harry dissolves into a “grimmer reality”. He knows the Potter experience will long outlive his awkwardness. After all, millions of moviegoers have fallen under his spell. “This has given me a feeling of confidence,” says Radcliffe, “which I might not have had otherwise.”
The text has 9 paragraphs (A -I).
Which paragraph does each of the following headings best fit?
15. Underwater scene
16. Balancing filming and studies
17. Not a bad star
According to the text, FIVE of the following statements are true.
Write the corresponding letters in answer boxes 18-22 in any order.
A The first showing of Harry potter and goblet of fire was in New York
B Daniel Radcliffe started acting when he was ten years old
C Daniel Radcliffe does not talk to reporters often
D Daniel Radcliffe is treated specially at school
E When filming Daniel Radcliffe is tutored at the film studio
F Daniel Radcliffe gets on with the Harry Potter director
G Daniel Radcliffe seems to be better at dealing with reporters than Rupert Grint
H Daniel Radcliffe’s parents were unhappy with the press conference
According to the information given in the text, choose the correct answer or answers from the choices given.
23. The writer says that Daniel Radcliffe
A looks taller without his glasses
B behaves very professionally
C does not read reviews of his acting
24. Daniel Radcliffe says that he
A has less money than Prince Harry
B does not know how much money he has made
C does not care how much money he has made
25. Daniel Radcliffe wants to play roles other than Harry Potter because
A his idol Gary Oldman did that
B his idol Gary Oldman suggested it
C he does not want people to think he can only play Harry Potter
26. Daniel Radcliffe says that he has not been successful with girls because
A he is still a teenager
B they expect him to be like Harry Potter
C his parents won’t let him go dating
The Fame Machine
Fascination is universal for what Aaron Spelling, a prolific producer of American soap operas, once called “rich people having problems that money can’t solve”. The fascinated in star-struck Britain have no equal. The country has a profusion of titles devoted to chronicling even the smallest doings of celebrities. Britons buy almost half as many celebrity magazines as Americans do, despite having a population that is only one fifth the size. Celebrity news often makes the front page of British tabloid newspapers, providing a formidable distribution channel for stories about celebrities. New figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations show that the ten best-selling celebrity publications and ten most popular tabloids have a combined circulation of 23 million.
Satisfying this voracious demand has turned what was once a shoddy, amateurish business into an entertainment industry in its own right. Its business model has two distinguishing features. First, celebrity has become the product – rather than just a device for marketing films or music. The “talent” (if that is the word) owes its standing chiefly to the celebrity machine and not to any particular gift. It, therefore, depends on the attentions of the press to make money. Second, celebrities, agents, photographers, and picture desks have found that the most efficient way to create an endless supply of celebrity news is to work together. A business that used to be based on intrusion has discovered a preference for collaboration.
It is also expanding abroad. In the past few weeks, Northern & Shell has launched an American edition of OK!, a celebrity magazine that already has Australian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern editions. EMAP recently launched Closer in France and already published a South African edition of Heat, a best-seller in Britain. Celebrity hounds who cut their teeth in Britain’s competitive market are in demand abroad. The National Enquirer, a hard-nosed American scandal sheet famed for pushing back the boundaries of taste – and of free speech – was relaunched earlier in the year by a team led by Paul Field, formerly of The Sun, and stuffed with alumni of British tabloids and magazines.
Celebrity magazines were not a British invention. Hello!, which is still widely read but which has been waning of late, originated in Spain, where Hola! provided a hint of glamour to women under Franco’s drab reign. Before that, magazines grew up around the film industry in America. Some reported what the studios wanted them to say; others, such as Confidential – which became the biggest-selling magazine in America in the 1950s – aimed to dish the dirt on the stars. In Britain, celebrity news has been used to sell newspapers for more than a century. The News of the World, which gleefully reported aristocratic scandals in the 19th century, first appeared in the same year as Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol”.
Modern Britain has given the gossip a new sophistication. Part of the secret has been to separate celebrity revenue streams. Julian Henry of Henry’s House, an agency for celebrities, distinguishes between a celebrity’s craft (such as singing, stripping, or kicking footballs) and their celebrity rating, which has a trajectory of its own, and often has an inverse relationship to the talent a famous person has, or once had. This second stream can often be more valuable than the first, and Britain’s celebrity industry has become adept at creating and selling it.
Take Peter Andre and Katie Price, who are to marry later this month. The pop singer and the model better known as Jordan, met when their careers were flagging, on a reality TV show – that essential new cog in the celebrity machine. They have sold rights to the wedding, built around a Cinderella theme, as an exclusive to OK! for a small fortune (a price, the gossip press says, that has irked Victoria Beckham, whose marriage to her footballer husband was covered by a million-pound contract). In the past, such sums have been reserved for authentic stars such as Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The deal included more than wedding snaps: over a year of the couple’s life – from prenuptial nerves to the first birthday of the expected offspring – was bundled together and sold as a commodity. Ms. Price, who once said the only book she had read was the story of the Yorkshire Ripper, has now signed a three-book deal with Random House.
Paul Ashford of Northern & Shell, the company that owns OK!, calls this stuff “relationship journalism”, and it is pretty easy to spot. The process has become so effective that the three celebrities who insiders say shift most copies of OK! have all been manufactured in this way. With celebrity stories able to have such a powerful effect on sales, it is unsurprising that their manufacture is not left to chance. Modern celebrity in Britain is also more egalitarian. Tittle-tattle about dukes and duchesses is worth less than stories on ordinary folk, partly because ordinary folk make for more colourful copy. The News of the World boosted circulation by 250,000 when it put the Beckhams on its cover last year after David Beckham was alleged to have had a love affair. Such cases show how celebrities’ willing participation can come back to haunt them if they transgress. This is less common than you might think: many of the celebrity pictures that look like plain intrusion into private lives are staged.
This is partly thanks to the profit motive. Many celebrities don’t see why they should give away their image when they could make money from it. Darren Lyons runs a photography agency called Big Pictures that specialises in shooting celebrities through long lenses as if for a paparazzi picture. The profits from the picture sales are then split between the subject, the agency, and the photographer. “We’re almost known as the friendly paparazzi,” grins Mr. Lyons from the high-backed, red leather judicial chair in his office, a lion-skin rug spread across the floor. Collaboration allows celebrities to retain some control over choosing the pictures that appear.
For each question, only ONE of the choices is correct.
27. British people buy
A as many celebrity magazines as Americans do.
B more celebrity magazines per head of population than Americans.
C a grand total of 23 million celebrity magazines each year.
28. The National Enquirer is
A a tasteful magazine.
B now owned by British people.
C now employing many British journalists.
29. The News of the World
A is an American newspaper.
B has been published for over a hundred years.
C published extracts from “A Christmas Carol”.
30. Darren Lyons
A works with celebrities.
B is disliked by many celebrities.
C doesn’t co-operate with newspapers and magazines.
Complete the following sentences using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the text for each gap.
Britain’s celebrity industry is good at (31)………………………a celebrity rating.
Peter Andre and Katie Price’s wedding will have a (32)………………………..
According to some, the three stars that can increase sales of OK! most all participate in (33)…………………..
(34)………………………make more interesting subjects for stories.
If celebrities co-operate with agencies and photographers, they (35)…………………….with regard to which photographs of them are published.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 36 – 40 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN If there is no information on this
36. Aaron Spelling has produced many American soap operas.
37. The “talent” (paragraph 2) refers to the celebrity.
38. Confidential was first published in the 1950s.
39. At Henry’s House, the celebrity’s ability is linked to their celebrity rating.
40. Peter Andre and Katie Price were becoming more successful when they met.
Academic Reading Practice Tests
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