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    05.02.2016   Lager struggles to retain its fizz as usage drops to a half of Brits    ( Company news )

    Company news It seems that Britain’s lager segment is struggling to retain its fizz, as it faces particularly strong competition from the rising popularity of ales and bitters, whose success has been fuelled by the craft beer boom. Indeed, new research from market intelligence agency Mintel reveals that 49% of Brits drank lager in 2015, down from 54% in 2014.

    Furthermore, Mintel research shows that consumers’ waning thirst for lager is affecting sales, with volume sales falling from 3.18 billion litres in 2014 to an estimated 3.15 billion litres in 2015. Overall, sales of lager have dropped by 8% over the past 5 years alone, down from 3.44 billion litres in 2010.

    Yet whilst Brits are losing their love of lager it seems ‘hop-portunity’ knocks at ale’s door, helped along by the rise of craft beer and styles such as IPAs (Indian pale ales) in particular. Brits are expected to have drank 913 million litres of ale and bitter in 2015, up from 895 million litres in 2014. Today, more than one quarter (27%) of Brits drink ale or bitter, whilst one in five (20%) drink any type of craft beer.

    What’s more, Mintel research indicates that lager’s falling fortunes are having a detrimental effect on overall sales of beer. Brits are estimated to have consumed 4.25 billion litres of beer in 2015, down from 4.27 billion litres in 2014. Meanwhile, value sales growth has slowed, rising only slightly from £16.61 billion in 2014, to an estimated £16.68 billion in 2015. There are however signs of growth in 2016 and Mintel forecasts value sales to reach £18.1 billion by 2020.

    Sales of lager have dropped by 8% over the past 5 years
    Chris Wisson, Senior Drinks Analyst at Mintel, said:
    “Lager sales have plateaued in recent years, however it could enhance its chances of growth by tapping into the craft beer movement more effectively. With the majority of craft beers available in both the on- and off-trade falling into the ale and bitter segment, these beers have garnered considerable coverage in recent years. Many craft brewers have prioritised ales, brewing variants such as pale ale, for example IPA and golden ale, in turn driving the popularity of premium bottled ales. Overall, the beer market should benefit from greater craft innovation, as well as sales uplifts from events such as the Olympic Games and UEFA Euro 2016.”

    Additionally, it seems that cost is having an effect on the nation’s appetite for beer, with as many as one fifth (20%) of UK beer drinkers saying they are not willing to pay more than £2.99 for a pint. While three in 10 (29%) beer drinkers overall are prepared to pay more than £4 per pint, it’s Londoners who are more willing to open their wallets, with 27% willing to pay over £4.50.

    “The steady rise in price over the past decade has given rise to notable consumer resistance in having to spend more on beer, particularly when it comes to breaking the £4, and even £5 barriers. Brands asking consumers to pay more for beer need to provide clear reasons for doing so, for example via packaging or branded glassware, as well as delivering a discernibly superior taste to cheaper mainstream alternatives.” Chris continues.

    Finally, Mintel research finds that for some consumers it’s not just the type of beer that’s important. Today, the top three glassware preferences for out of home beer drinkers are the nonic (27%), the tulip (16%) and the tankard (14%) style of beer glasses.

    Indeed, whilst once traditionally a favourite of the more mature male drinker, the tankard now garners the most interest among younger men. One quarter (26%) of 18-24 year old male out-of-home beer drinkers state that their favourite type of glassware to drink pints from is the tankard. The half pint, on the other hand, is more preferred by women, with one fifth (19%) of out-of-home female beer drinkers saying they most like to drink beer from this type of glass, compared to just 6% of men.

    “Tankards used to be a highly popular glass but fell out of favour in recent decades, largely due to their high production costs. However, there are significant advantages of this glass type, notably the handle which means that drinkers do not have to hold the body of the glass, warming their beer in the process. There are signs that the tankard is seeing a return in popularity as the favourite of younger male drinkers, most of whom were not drinking during the tankard’s previous period in the spotlight, buoyed by the craft ale movement.” Chris concludes.
    (Mintel Group Ltd)
     
    04.02.2016   Diageo arms consumers with comprehensive nutritional and alcohol information about its brands    ( Company news )

    Company news Revamped website - DRINKiQ.com - to support consumers in making informed choices

    With the launch of its newly revised DRINKiQ.com, Diageo is advancing its commitment to give consumers greater transparency and help them to make more informed choices about alcohol as part of a balanced lifestyle. To this end, the company has significantly enhanced the nutrition, calorie and alcohol content information available about all its brands. This includes a breakdown of calories, carbohydrates and protein as well as, for the first time, detailing saturated fat, sugar, caffeine and sodium content. This valuable new information is now available on its responsible drinking website DRINKiQ.com.

    DRINKIQ.com includes useful new tools such as a simple to use 'Drinks Calculator', to help people calculate and track their alcohol and calorie intake. It also provides responsible drinking tips and advice on how food, age, size and gender affects how the body processes alcohol, alongside the enhanced 'What's in your Drink' tool.

    This announcement builds on Diageo's global commitment in March 2015 to start voluntarily providing nutrition and alcohol content information per standardised serving on all its brands. In the first move to fulfil this commitment, the first shipment of Crown Royal labelled with macronutrient and calorie information was released in the US in October 2015.

    Carolyn Panzer, Alcohol in Society Director, Diageo said: "As people become more and more interested in their diet and lifestyle choices, we need to play our part. We know that consumers want nutritional information about what they drink - just as they do with the foods they eat; they also want a clear and easy way to know how much alcohol they are drinking. We believe passionately in helping people to understand what's in their drink and to make informed choices about drinking or not drinking. Alcohol is alcohol. There is no drink of moderation - only a practice of moderation."

    Key features of the new site include:
    -An enhanced What's In Your Drink section which details comprehensive nutritional, and alcohol content per serve information for all of Diageo's brands, alongside ingredient information. This includes a breakdown of calories, carbohydrates and protein as well as, for the first time, detailing saturated fat, sugar, caffeine and sodium content.
    -A new, simple to use, Drinks Calculator to help consumers easily calculate and track the amount of alcohol they are drinking per serving and how many calories they have consumed for a range of common drinks, instead of expecting them to do the maths.
    -Tips on responsible drinking - including the chance to explore how food, age, size and gender affects how the body processes alcohol.

    The site also includes the truth behind common myths around alcohol consumption - such as:
    -"Spirits contain more alcohol than beer and wine". In fact 25ml of distilled spirits (e.g. Smirnoff, Tanqueray) contains 8g alcohol, versus 16g in a pint of lager. Spirits also have fewer calories than wine or beer - 25ml of distilled spirits has approximately 55 calories compared to 125 calories in an average 175ml of wine or around 160 calories in a pint of lager.
    -"Eating food means I can drink more". In fact eating food only slows down how quickly alcohol is absorbed - it does not prevent it from having an effect on the body.
    -"Drinking coffee sobers people up faster." Coffee might make people feel more awake, but the alcohol still remains in the body and takes about one hour per one drink to process.

    Barbara J. Moore, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Shape Up America! said: "Anyone looking to watch their weight will find the reinvigorated DRINKiQ site helpful for tracking calories and other important facts about alcohol. We applaud Diageo for its commitment to greater transparency and for providing consumers with essential nutrient, calorie and alcohol information about their drinks. The new site is engaging as well, as helpful to people seeking to make informed choices for a balanced lifestyle."

    The new DRINKiQ.com is mobile-friendly and easy to use so that consumers can quickly access information about whats in their favourite cocktail on their phone whenever they want.

    The site is available in 24 countries and 12 languages, and has been designed to ensure content is tailored to the environment and regulation in the consumer's location, particularly legal purchase age.
    (Diageo plc)
     
    04.02.2016   ERNST & CIE AG secures business succession in the Mölle Group    ( Company news )

    Company news ERNST & CIE secures the business succession of Mölle GmbH, a leading provider in the packaging sector, by acquiring shares from Stefan Mölle.

    This has allowed ERNST & CIE to pursue long-term objectives with plans to continue developing the company on both a national and international level. Jürgen Brand, executive of ERNST & CIE AG, says: “The Mölle Group has a high level of expertise when it comes to the requirements of a highly specialised product. In our search for individual customised solutions we will continue on the path we have set out on. Innovative production processes, a modern fleet of inventory, and qualified employees will ensure our ability to compete in future.”

    Klaus Eckert will become Managing Director in Kastellaun. He has years of international experience in the industry and will be in charge of corporate management and development. Klaus Eckert explains: “Working with customers in the spirit of partnership will be the basis of continuing successful business development in the future. We will control target growth centrally from our production facilities in Kastellaun. Our qualified and motivated employees are vital to our success along with the high-performance production technology.”

    A financially sound partner, ERNST & CIE will support the company in its process of expansion, drawing on its many years of experience as a medium-sized company to provide new impetus for further development. The company will retain its independence in the process, as that is where the key lies to successful business development. Stefan Mölle explains: “Developing high quality individual solutions in a specialised sector of the packaging industry was the driving force behind my entrepreneurial activities. With ERNST & CIE AG I know that the company is in good hands for sustainable and successful development.” Close cooperation with Stefan Mölle will ensure a smooth transition. Stefan Mölle will keep ties with the company in a consulting capacity to continue the success story with the new management.
    (Mölle GmbH)
     
    03.02.2016   Canada, BC: Craft brewers unhappy by government setting the wholesale prices for their beer    ( E-Malt.com )

    Michael Kuzyk spends a lot of time on his feet. The owner of Category 12 beer is competing in one of British Columbia’s hottest industries, CBC.ca reported on January 23.

    Craft brewing is also a fast moving field. Dozens of breweries entered the industry in 2015, including Kuzyk's. As those new beer makers arrived, so did a major change from the provincial government.

    It used to be breweries could sell their product directly to private retailers or through their tasting rooms at a discount. But now the wholesale price is set by the government's own liquor distribution branch.

    Bottom line, prices have gone up.

    "We had this tectonic shift in the foundation of our business plan," Kuzyk said. "I don't think anyone really saw it coming. The direct impact — the cost of our bottles went up for the end user. Plain and simple."

    The government now has to come clean about its role in the inadvertent price hike. Otherwise, the province's legions of beer fans are likely to unfairly place the blame on people like Kuzyk.

    Before the changes came into effect on April 1, 2015, the government assured the public "to expect no significant change to product pricing." from the new rules.

    But an internal government briefing note released this week clearly shows the province knew three weeks after making the changes they had made a mistake.

    "For a majority of cases, the retail price for small-production breweries packaged beer sold through B.C. Liquor Store and private retailers has increased as part of the transition to the new wholesale pricing model," said the note.

    The province has painted a much different picture in public.

    "Government does not set liquor prices. It is up to the government and private liquor stores to set retail prices," said MLA John Yap. "In 93 per cent of the inventory of products in the B.C. Liquor Stores, they have seen no change of prices."

    Lovers of the other seven per cent of products might reasonably hope the government would right its wrong.

    Yap has been consulting with craft beer makers. Change is coming. But for the people who make the beer, it can't be soon enough.

    For Kuzyk, at Category 12, a change could mean another 15 cents per bottle in his pocket. Like many in the industry he has called for a reduction in the amount of tax per litre brewers pay.

    Right now, it is set at 55 cents a litre. One suggestion is to lower that to 45 cents a litre and allow for lower retail prices and wider margins for beer makers.

    This is something the province is in the midst of considering as they "crunch the numbers."

    "For a brewery of our size it could basically allow us to expand and grow our business," said Kuzyk. "It is a really significant business case for us. We are optimistic the change will come."

    Brewers have also complained that the wholesale pricing has made it harder for certain labels to get on B.C. liquor store shelves. The way the distribution works now is that older craft breweries often have an advantage getting in provincial stores. This needs to change to allow the industry to grow.

    There also needs to be better signage for B.C. craft beers. How about signs clearly stating a beer is made in British Columbia?

    It would allow both locals and tourists to understand what products are part of the province's growing craft beer scene.

    "Most of the retailers and the breweries have been in a wait-and-see. We have just told them we are working with the government and hoping to get a resolution," said Ken Beattie, the executive director of the B.C. Craft Brewers Guild. "Some of our members lost listings and maybe didn't get as many as they did in the past."

    There has been some movement behind the scenes on developing a B.C. craft beer designation. In the past the government has indicated that B.C. beers can't have their own designation because unlike VQA wines, a majority of the ingredients in a beer aren't made here.

    But with consultations the government seems to have had a change of heart on that position as well.

    "I think the designation has to be based on sale volumes. There is no other jurisdiction that base it on ingredients. Beer and wine are two completely different drinks," said Beattie.
     
    03.02.2016   China: China ships beer to Tibet by train for the first time    ( E-Malt.com )

    For the first time, a cargo train loaded with over 1,000 tonnes of beer of a major Chinese brand has left for Lhasa, capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region ahead of a major festival, the state media reported.

    The freight train departed the east China coastal city of Qingdao for the remote Lhasa city in southwest China on January 22, the Ji'nan Railway Bureau said.

    The train will spend seven days traveling more than 4,000 km, said Xing Fangmin, head of the Jiaozhou Railway Station, where the train started its journey.

    Traffic on the Qinghai-Tibet Highway has been suspended due to snow, making the railroad a good way to transport goods to the plateau region.

    It is also the first special cargo train to transport beer from Qingdao to Tibet, Xing was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

    The beer shipment is intended to fulfil demand during the Spring Festival in Tibet. All of the packages and bottles are printed in Tibetan characters, according to sources with the Tsingtao Brewery Co., Ltd., the manufacturer of the beer.
     
    03.02.2016   PSS Eurotech Micro Brewery    ( Company news )

    Company news EUROTECH Micro Brewery is a compact, universal stainless steel system for brewing all types of beer, from light to lager. The brewery assembly consists of six main vessels, frame, staircase, service platform, railing, control panel, wort cooler, as well as mash, wort, cold and hot water pumps. The different technological parts of the brewery are linked by stainless steel piping and all the necessary valves, servo drives, flow meters, safety valves, sight glasses, lighting, etc. are included. The system enables both infusion and decoction brewing methods; it is intended for demanding customers and for industrial beer making.

    Brewery – Mash tun. This is used for mash mixing and mashing processes by means of a special agitator.
    Brewery – Lauter tun. This is used for the gravitational separation of mash and wort extraction. The tun is equipped with rake arms with speed adjustment and reverse running features.
    Brewery – Kettle. This is used for the wort boiling process.
    Brewery – Whirling vat. This is used for the solids separation from wort.
    Brewery – Hot water tank. This is used for the preparation of hot water for the boiling process and collection of heated water from the wort cooler.
    Brewery – Cold water tank. This is used for the preparation of cold water for the wort cooling process preceding wort conveyance to fermentation tanks.
    (PSS Svidnik a.s.)
     
    03.02.2016   UK: AB InBev expands non-alcoholic beer offering with Beck’s Blue Lemon    ( E-Malt.com )

    AB InBev has expanded its non-alcoholic beer range in the UK with new flavour Beck’s Blue Lemon, The Grocer reported on January 27.

    With sales up 20% last year to £14.6 mln, Beck’s Blue is the UK’s bestselling non-alcoholic beer [Nielsen 52 w/e 10 October 2015].

    Heineken introduced a 0.0% abv version of its lemon flavour Foster’s Radler in 2014, while last February saw Carlsberg’s San Miguel enter the alcohol-free market, with both standard and Limon versions. Carlsberg followed this with an alcohol-free version of its flagship brand in June.

    Lemon flavours have also been popular in the lower abv beer segment, with popular products including Carling Zest, Foster’s Radler, and Carlsberg Citrus, all 2% - 2.8% abv.
     
    03.02.2016   World: Private equity firm KKR reportedly back in tender for Peroni, Grolsch beer brands    ( E-Malt.com )

    The line-up of bidders for SABMiller‘s Peroni and Grolsch beers has changed, with U.S. private equity firm KKR replacing Bain Capital, which was unwilling to engage in a bidding war with industry players, Thomson Reuters reported on January 27 citing three sources familiar with the matter.

    KKR was not initially shortlisted as one of the final bidders for the brands being unloaded by Anheuser-Busch InBev to smooth its $100 billion-plus takeover of SAB. However, it was later readmitted to the auction after sweetening its bid, said one of the sources.

    Other private equity funds including BC Partners backed away earlier in the process, which is expected to wrap up in March.

    “Price expectations were pure madness,” said one of the sources, who declined to be identified as the matter is confidential.

    AB InBev, the maker of Budweiser, values the brands at no less than 2.5 billion euros ($2.73 billion), said the source, noting that strategic players were well placed to outbid private equity firms, given possible synergies.

    Another bidder for the package, which also includes London craft beer Meantime, is Zurich-based investment firm Jacobs Holding, the sources said.

    Jacobs, which owns 50 percent of Swiss chocolate company Barry Callebaut, had no comment.

    Reuters reported on Jan. 21 that four other parties made it to the final stages of bidding, namely Japan’s Asahi Group, Fraser and Neave, which is part of Thai Beverage, and European private equity firms PAI Partners and EQT.

    The bidders are expected to hand in binding offers in mid-February.

    AB InBev, SABMiller, KKR and Bain declined to comment.
     
    02.02.2016   Bischof + Klein: Added impetus    ( Company news )

    Company news Under which prerequisites can used plastic packaging be transformed into new raw material in the recycling cycle? This was the topic of a workshop conducted at Bischof + Klein with Prof. Gilian Gerke, professor of resource management at Magdeburg-Stendal University.

    She discussed current trends in packaging development, modern sorting technologies, recycling requirements and recycling management opportunities with development engineers and employees from B+K's sales, production, environmental protection and regulatory affairs departments.

    99.5% of plastic packaging are utilised in Germany; 50.6% of the materials are recycled (GVM recycling balance 2014). According to Gerke, Germany is the leader in this. She viewed the significant increase in this rate, as demanded in the working draft of the new German recyclable material act, critically. However, there is a great deal of potential for improvement, particularly as regards the quality of recycled material. Today, highly sensitive sorting facilities are able to very efficiently identify different materials. However, the current trend towards black packaging, for example, is posing problems. This cannot be detected by near-infrared sensors. Intensive research is underway. The recycling expert is also not particularly enthralled by the addition of chalk in packaging film. This also leads to problems in the recycling process.

    The scientist clearly stated how important the exchange of information between the various agents in the value added chain is. "I was delighted to receive your invitation. We can only achieve progress in the material cycle together." Sustainability manager Angelika Kotscha agreed wholeheartedly. She wants more impetus for the recycling cycle. Handling plastic material differently contributes to the sparing use of resources and also helps to combat the global problem of "marine litter". If empty plastic packaging were essentially regarded as recyclable material, nobody would ever be so thoughtless as to throw it away again.
    (Bischof + Klein SE & Co. KG)
     
    01.02.2016   ICONIC CARIBBEAN BRAND OWNER TO ACHIEVE 40% INCREASE IN PLANT CAPACITY WITH...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... INTRODUCTION OF SIDEL COMPLETE LINE

    Blue Waters Products has selected a highly efficient Sidel complete line to bottle still water at its Trinidad plant. The new line from Sidel, the leading global provider of PET solutions for liquid packaging, will allow the Caribbean bottler to boost production by an anticipated 40%, as well as minimise total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase sustainability.

    Growing smart
    Blue Waters Products is the preferred brand of bottled purified drinking water in the Caribbean. Starting from small beginnings in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago, the company has grown at a fast pace over the last 16 years to become a dominant force in the marketplace.

    Currently, the company has more than 500 employees in the 23,200 square metre plant in Trinidad, with 100 employees in the 3,700 square metre St. Lucia plant, and continues to expand by making smart partnership choices. For example, earlier this year, Blue Waters Products collaborated with Sidel to add a highly efficient complete line to its modern Orange Grove facility in Trinidad, where purified artesian water is bottled for distribution throughout the Caribbean. By increasing operating capacity, Blue Waters Products aims to better serve existing customers, improve cost efficiencies, add new products, and enter additional markets.

    Partnering for the long run
    After collaborating successfully with Sidel in the past on a smaller project, Blue Waters Products decided to invest again in Sidel’s innovative technology by adding a dedicated line for still water. The new complete line reaches a speed of 48,000 bottles per hour (bph) - a high rate compared to local standards - and consists of a Sidel Matrix™ Combi, a Sidel Rollquattro Evolution labeller, as well as end of line equipment (shrink wrappers and palletiser).

    “During the due diligence process for this project, we thoroughly evaluated several equipment manufacturers’ offerings, and Sidel was the natural choice because of their PET expertise and their innovative solutions for water lines. The high-speed complete line solution we chose is simple, reliable, and economical, and it will allow us to increase our capacity and improve our sustainability while lowering our production costs,” said Dominic Hadeed, owner and Managing Director of the company. “Having already experienced Sidel’s outstanding customer service, I am also looking forward to continuing the collaboration with their talented and dedicated team of professionals. I never cease to be amazed by their staff’s responsiveness and personal commitment to a job well done.”

    Selecting the optimal solution
    Once the installation of the new Sidel water line is complete, Blue Waters Products estimates plant capacity will increase by 40%, allowing them to expand their presence in the Caribbean.

    “We chose to invest in Sidel’s complete line solution in order to keep abreast with a constantly evolving marketplace,“ said Hadeed. “Quick changeovers and minimal maintenance requirements are vital to maximising production uptime and efficiency when working with multiple beverage products on the same line. The technology is easy to learn compared to that of other suppliers, and the lower TCO will enable us to stay competitive in a challenging market.”

    Taking advantage of innovative technology
    The Sidel Matrix Combi brings together all the benefits of Sidel's blowing and filling innovations in a seamlessly integrated blow-fill-cap solution that is compact, flexible, efficient and sustainable. It also reduces total operational costs by up to 12% compared to traditional lines.

    The Sidel Matrix Combi also occupies up to 30% less floor space compared with traditional equipment and gives producers more design freedom to differentiate their beverages while enabling bottle lightweighting at high speeds. As it has one simple control interface, it requires only one operator. Due to faster changeovers and minimal maintenance needs, the Sidel Matrix Combi also significantly increases production uptime and reduces operating costs compared to traditional lines.

    Sidel’s Rollquattro Evolution labeller uses proven roll-fed technology to speed up accurate label application while reducing operating and maintenance costs, and increasing the sustainability of the labelling process. The Rollquattro Evolution has a compact footprint, offers easy access to the labelling station, and can be installed in various configurations. It can run up to 60,000 bph and it works mainly with wrap-around plastic labels on PET containers of up to 2.5 litres and diameters ranging from 53 mm to 110 mm.

    Headed for a more sustainable future
    Technological innovation and line efficiency were not the only considerations in choosing the supplier for this expansion project. Sidel’s PET expertise and commitment to sustainability were also important factors in selecting a partner for Blue Waters Products.

    “Although we already have one of the smallest environmental footprints in our marketplace, our company is looking to further improve its sustainability by optimising bottle design and lowering resource consumption,” said Hadeed. “Besides allowing us to use less raw materials by producing high-quality lightweight bottles, the Sidel Matrix Combi will also help us decrease our consumption of air, water, chemicals and energy, while the Sidel Rollquattro Evolution will allow us to use thinner labels and will help minimise our energy and glue consumption.”

    Sidel is dedicated to PET bottling solutions and its tailored production systems cater for beverage producers’ exact needs, are simple, sustainable, efficient, reliable and easily adaptable to future technology. For more information about Sidel’s complete line solutions, please visit www.sidel.com/equipment.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    29.01.2016   Australia: Lion decides to discontinue the production of its Tap King draft beer    ( E-Malt.com )

    In a land of beer drinkers, Tap King has failed to sell to Australians, Gold Coast Bulletin reported on January 22.

    Lion has decided to turn the tap off, blaming poor sales for ending its two-year experiment with its 3.2-litre take-home beer casks and the unique tap system it sold to punters who wanted to spear their own mini-kegs in the comfort of their lounge or in the kitchen.

    After launching the product in 2013 by using Lionel Richie in TV ads to croon “Is it me you’re looking for" whenever the fridge door opened, Lion has conceded that no, drinkers weren’t looking for the product.

    Lion issued a statement through Facebook and in emails to customers, saying: “The pleasure of draught beer in the comfort of your own castle was enjoyed by many, but unfortunately the time has come to discontinue Tap King and bid thee farewell.

    “However, ultimately sales have not met expectations and the Royal Council has had to make the most difficult of decisions and stop supplying stockists."

    When approached on January 21 for further comment, Lion said only: “Lion has decided to discontinue its in-home draught beer system, Tap King. Since launch, Tap King has recruited many loyal followers, with over 70,000 fans via social media.

    “However, ultimately sales have not met our expectations and we have chosen to focus our resources on our core portfolio and maintaining the most efficient supply chain possible.’’

    The decision was a bombshell for Murwillumbah’s Chris Leslight, whose plans for Australia Day were thrown into chaos by the news.

    “I’m shocked and utterly disappointed by this decision,’’ he said.

    “I think they should have brought out more interesting beers in the range."

    Tap King launched with XXXX, Hahn, James Squire, Tooheys and James Boag beers, but from mid-last year had ditched XXXX Gold, Tooheys and Hahn.

    “I use my Tap King regularly and was looking forward to stocking it for Australia Day and having a few quite draught beers out of the fridge," Mr Leslight said.

    “Now I’ll have to go out and get as many refills as possible before they run out. I don’t see why we Tap King owners should be punished for Lion missing the market."

    The Tap King shock follows reports late last year that Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed the average person was drinking fewer standard drinks of beer than they were in 2008, but wine consumption had grown. The ABS found the average person consumes 331 standard drinks of beer each year compared to 304 glasses of wine.

    Gold Coast Publications beer editor Bob Anthony, who attended the launch of the Tap King beer dispensing system in Sydney in 2013, said Lion was convinced at the time that it would revolutionise beer drinking, bringing the draught experience to the home.

    “I think the initial success was based largely on the novelty value of the system which always had a limited range of beers to choose from. However when beer drinkers started stacking up the cost of refills as against the cost of cartons of beer, the novelty soon wore off," he said.

    In the end, going to the fridge to grab a stubby was more convenient and easy.

    “Just like the French Revolution, the people turned against this and saw the demise of the King,’’ Anthony said. “The King is dead, long live the stubby!"
     
    29.01.2016   Beviale Moscow 2017 - Join the Russian market!    ( Company news )

    Company news Book your stand now!
    After a successful premiere of Beviale Moscow in 2015 the trade fair goes on with its second edition from 28 February - 2 March 2017 at Crocus Expo in Moscow.
    Beviale Moscow is the one and only show in Russia demonstrating the whole process chain for all segments of the beverage industry.
    Take your chance to choose a good location in the exhibition hall and book your stand now.
    Use the early bird option and save 10 % on stand space until 4 March 2016.

    What are the needs of the Russian drink technology market?
    As the Russian government clearly follows the aim to increase the domestic production of food and beverages, the demand for high quality products in this field is steady.
    International know-how, technology and solutions are of very high repute in Russia.
    Please send in your application form as soon as possible, since we allocate on a first come-first served basis.

    We as your project team will be happy to answer all your questions.
    We are looking forward to welcoming you at Beviale Moscow 2017!
    (NürnbergMesse GmbH)
     
    29.01.2016   China: Consumers swap mass-produced local beers for imports and local craft beers    ( E-Malt.com )

    When Jin Xin first started selling imported premium beer a decade ago, his bar manager predicted that it would take a month or two just to sell a single case. But within a few years business picked up, and soon customers started frequenting the bar for its India pale ales and other European beers, NDTV Food reported on January 16.

    Now, one of Jin’s bars, NBeerPub, tucked away in a laid-back part of Beijing’s old town, buzzes with young Chinese customers ordering imports like Delirium Tremens, Lindemans Framboise and Brewdog Punk IPA. Jin even sold a bottle of Brewmeister Snake Venom, a high-alcohol barleywine-style beer from Scotland, for about 2,700 renminbi, or more than $420.

    “Slowly, Chinese people have more money in their pocket,” Jin, 43, said in his apartment, where over 6,000 bottles from more than 60 countries filled the shelves. “After they have money, some want something better in terms of taste as well as lifestyle, especially young people.”

    As tastes rapidly change, Chinese consumers are swapping mass-produced local beers for imports and local craft beers.

    It is the type of opportunity that is at the heart of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s $106 billion deal to buy SABMiller, its rival global brewer. While major markets in Europe and the United States have been sluggish, developing markets like China offer a growing customer base and the potential for a stronger profit.

    The Chinese middle class is swelling with young, affluent professionals who are more willing to spend money on brands and who are experienced travelers looking for a taste of other countries back home. And in China, most beer is still considered affordable. So sales have held up relatively well even as wine, the Chinese spirit baijiu and other more expensive liquors have been hit by the country’s anti-corruption crackdown and the slowing economy.

    “It’s an escape route from maturity in the West,” said Spiros Malandrakis, a senior analyst of alcoholic drinks at the research firm Euromonitor International, referring to the established markets of the United States and Europe.

    In China, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller are betting on premium products.

    The two beer behemoths were among the first international entrants into China in the 1990s and initially teamed with local brewers. At the time, domestic breweries produced beer of inconsistent quality, but they were quickly multiplying, and consumption was soaring along with disposable incomes.

    SABMiller took a 49 percent stake in a joint venture that makes Snow, which is now China’s best-selling beer brand. Anheuser-Busch InBev has since bought Harbin and Sedrin, two other top domestic brands. Together, the international brewers account for about one-third of the overall beer market in China.

    As they pursue a merger, given their dominance, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller are expected to prune their portfolio in China to keep regulators happy, though it remains unclear where the trimming will be done. Some analysts think they would be able financially to justify the sale of a big domestic brand like Snow, since the market is moving toward premium offerings.

    “They might be forced to divest, but it might not be the end of the world for them, because Snow is not necessarily the price point for them,” said Shaun Rein, founder of China Market Research in Shanghai. “Consumers are looking for better quality.”

    When the deal was announced, Anheuser-Busch InBev said it would “promptly and proactively” resolve any regulatory issues in China.

    The focus follows the shift in the market in recent years.

    Imports have swiftly grown to 1.4 billion renminbi (around $220 million) in 2013, from 335 million renminbi in 2009. But the total volume of beer sales in China has dipped of late.

    Homegrown craft beers are gaining favor. Beijing is home to about half a dozen microbreweries, and others have popped up in cities across China.

    At the Jing-A Brewing Taproom in Beijing, the owners, transplants from Connecticut and Toronto, serve American-inspired beers with local flair, including Worker’s Pale Ale, Airpocalypse Double IPA and Mandarin Wheat.

    Ji Chen, a banker, developed a taste for fine beer as a student in Belgium. When he returned to China, Chen, now 28, started buying imported beer at the supermarket and hanging out at brew pubs.

    “I don’t think it’s expensive,” he said, sipping the Flying Fist IPA at Jing-A. “If you go out to drink at a bar, you would have to spend this much for any drink you get. And craft beers here are of good quality.”

    The high-end varieties can fatten a company’s bottom line.

    More than 30 percent of sales under the Snow brand are in the premium segment, including Snow Draft and Snow Brave the World, according to SABMiller’s annual report. The brands Anheuser-Busch InBev markets as premium in China, which include Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois and Hoegaarden, make up nearly a quarter of its sales by volume.

    “All of this premiumization and trading up is the biggest revenue driver of our industry,” Jean Jereissati, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s China president, said at an investor seminar in September. “And it is very relevant for our company.”

    Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller are digging deep into their cooler of longtime brands in the hope of attracting more discerning customers. In part, they are promoting the provenance of their brands.

    When Budweiser Supreme was introduced, the company projected a video detailing the recipe’s origins and ingredients onto a giant bottle in various Chinese cities. Against a striking soundtrack, the company described how the beer had the “rich aroma of wheat malt flavor and aristocratic bearing.”

    Lifestyle, too, is major selling point.

    Other advertisements featured Budweiser Supreme being poured in a restaurant by a waiter wearing white gloves. In the summer, women in their 20s, wearing dresses with Corona or Budweiser logos and sometimes long white boots, were often seen milling around the bars and chatting with customers in the upscale Sanlitun area of Beijing.

    “They put a lot of money into the marketing, the heritage — all those things make consumers pay more for it,” said Jonny Forsyth, a global drinks analyst at Mintel, a research firm. “That’s what’s been missing in China. Younger people are more receptive to it.”

    The message is getting through to consumers, who are increasingly willing to pay for beer.

    At Heaven Supermarket, a store and bar with a backpacker vibe, Chen Jing, 30, browsed through the imported beer with her boyfriend, both of them clutching beers that cost about 50 renminbi each, or nearly $8. A bottle of Snow from the grocery store next door cost just 1.9 renminbi, or about 30 cents.

    Most of the bottles going through the checkout at Heaven are overseas varieties like Hoegaarden, Corona and Budweiser, selling for 15 renminbi. And the store, across the road from a Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealership, is not short of people perusing more expensive beers, which can cost up to 100 renminbi, or about $15.

    Chen started drinking foreign beer after vacationing around China and Southeast Asia. She has taken such a liking to the beer culture that she is planning a holiday in Belgium.

    “I would rather be spending money on few quality beers than buying lots of cheap beers and feeling full and headachy,” she said. “It’s more about the lifestyle I choose than simply drinking.”
     
    29.01.2016   Citradelic fits in the New Belgium IPA family     ( Company news )

    Company news After much anticipation here at the brewery, we've finally launched our brand-new year-round beer Citradelic Tangerine IPA (it's actually brewed with tangerine and orange). In a word, it's incredible.

    Tune in and hop out with New Belgium Citradelic. Set adrift on a kaleidoscopic wave of hoppiness brought to you by a mystical marriage of Citra hops and tangerine peel, which elevates each sip onto a plane of pure tropical, fruity pleasure. Citradelic’s namesake hop and fruit combine to jam with visions of additional hops like citrusy Mandarina Bavaria, tropical Azzaca, and fruity Galaxy for a colorful explosion that’s grounded by just a touch of malty sweetness. Bored by the status quo? Expand your palate with a pour of Citradelic, launched January 2016.
    (New Belgium Brewing Co)
     
    29.01.2016   Japan: Beer companies shifting focus to regular beer    ( E-Malt.com )

    Beer companies in Japan are shifting the focus of their sales efforts from low-malt beer and “third-segment” quasi-beer to regular beer, in expectation of an upcoming tax reduction that would boost demand for regular beer, Toronto Star reported on January 15.

    The number of beer shipments in 2015, announced on January 14 by major beer companies, increased 0.1 per cent from the previous year, the first rise in 19 years.

    However, the total shipment volume of beer and beer-like drinks including low-malt beer fell for the 11th year in a row.

    “We concentrated our resources on Kirin Ichiban Shibori beer, and the efforts have begun to bear fruit,” Kirin Brewery President Takayuki Fuse said at a briefing session on the company’s business plan held on Jan. 8. The volume of beer shipped by the company in 2015 increased from the previous year for the first time in 21 years.

    Kirin Brewery had been strengthening its overseas business on the assumption that the domestic market was contracting. However, the company now attributes declining sales to a lack of focus on the domestic market. Last year, Kirin Brewery regained lost ground by, among other measures, investing about 100 billion yen (about $856,238,000) in advertising and promotions for its beer business.

    Suntory Beer’s The Malt’s regular beer, which the company introduced in September 2015, was a major success, with shipments exceeding forecasts by more than 60 per cent.

    In addition, when Sapporo Breweries improved the flavour and other aspects of its Kuro Raberu (black label) regular beer, its shipment volume increased from the previous year’s figure for the first time in 21 years.

    Since the late 1990s, beer companies have been emphasizing low-malt beer and third-segment beverages, which are cheaper than regular beer due to a lower tax rate on them, to appeal to budget-minded consumers. However, the government and the ruling parties are considering reducing the rate for regular beer and raising that of beer-like beverages to create a unified liquor tax rate.

    The demand for regular beer is thus expected to grow, and beer companies are beginning to see the regular beer market as an expanding avenue for competition.
     
    29.01.2016   Russia: New generation of craft beer geeks working to change Russia’s approach to beer    ( E-Malt.com )

    It is a drizzly Monday night, but Craft rePUBlic is boisterous with the chatter of brewers and beer aficionados. Those just walking in are greeted with a half pint of Red Nelson, a saison beer made with hibiscus tea and orange peel by local brewer Alexei Sazonov, who is celebrating his birthday at the craft beer bar, The Guardian reported on January 17.

    Sazonov works at Bottle Share, one of a growing number of microbreweries driving what has been dubbed the “craft revolution” in Russia, but he created Red Nelson at home under his nickname, Big Hedgehog. Sazonov says of the major Russian beer brands, whose bland lagers dominate store shelves and taps: “They boil it quickly, ferment it quickly and sell it quickly. A microbrewer brews beer he wants to drink himself.”

    Russia, of course, is known for vodka rather than beer, and a popular saying holds that “beer without vodka is throwing money to the wind”. According to the latest World Health Organisation data from 2010, 51% of alcohol consumed in Russia was spirits and only 38% was beer. This vodka culture has had deadly consequences for Russian men, whose average life expectancy of just 64 years lags behind that in European countries due mainly to heavy drinking and tobacco use.

    Now a new generation of “beer geeks”, as they dub themselves, is working to change Russians’ approach to beer – and to drinking in general. With a focus on savouring the taste rather than drinking to get drunk, at least two dozen craft bars have opened in Moscow since the summer of 2014, serving Russian and foreign microbrews. They’re getting so numerous that the cultural magazine Afisha declared in August that it was “refusing to write reviews of the craft beer bars that are opening every week”.

    Few expect beer to displace vodka as the national drink, especially after the government reduced the minimum price of the spirit in 2015 amid economic troubles. But there’s a long tradition of homebrewing in Russia, and the growth potential of craft beer is huge thanks to its relative affordability; local craft brews typically sell for between 200 and 300 roubles (£2-3) a pint.

    Moreover, it’s easy to start a craft bar: no liquor licence is required if an establishment serves only beer, and startup costs are minimal, since a large staff, kitchen and lavish interiors aren’t typically necessary. As a result, craft bars are spreading from Moscow and St Petersburg to the regions.

    Many trace the start of the trend, ironically enough, to Russia’s largest beermaker, Baltika in St Petersburg, which began brewing experimental batches with the foreign craft breweries BrewDog, Mikkeller and Jacobsen in 2010. Two Baltika employees, along with a third friend, began making their own beer under the name AF Brew in 2012. (The AF stands for “anti-factory”.) It has since become one of Russia’s most celebrated craft breweries, along with Saldens in Tula, Jaws in Yekaterinburg, Bakunin in St Petersburg and Victory Art Brew in Moscow.

    At the time, most bar owners didn’t even know what craft beer was. “We said it was brewed in Russia and people literally laughed at us,” says Denis Kovalyov of Victory Art Brew. “Good beer can’t be made in Russia, they said.” But when a friend’s bar finally bought two tuns of Victory’s celebration stout, it sold out in two weeks, rather than the two months they had expected.

    Back then, the closest thing Moscow had to a dedicated craft bar was GlavPivMag, a stand in a fish market that sold unusual beers. Finally, in the summer of 2014, the craft bars Beermarket and All Your Friends opened near Moscow’s famous Tverskaya Street, soon to be joined by Craft rePUBlic. They offered a low-key atmosphere, with no televisions or table service; like a speakeasy, All Your Friends is accessible only through a souvenir shop. The first time GlavPivMag owner Yevgeny Fedotov ordered in craft beer, two kegs of AF Brew’s Hop and Surf American Pale Ale, in 2013, it sparked a run on the store rarely seen since the times of Soviet-era deficits. “I had guys standing in line, saying the last time they stood in line for beer was years ago in the Soviet Union,” he says.

    This wasn’t always the land of bland lagers: for years, court breweries made beer for the tsars, and English ales and porters were reportedly popular with Catherine the Great. “Russian imperial stout” is believed to have been developed when British beermakers began adding extra alcohol to preserve export ales on their long voyage to her court. But when the Bolsheviks came to power, they kicked out Belgian and British ale brewers and replaced them with lager makers from friendlier countries like Germany and Czechoslovakia, says Fedotov.

    Many are now trying to resurrect Russia’s brewing traditions. While microbreweries here typically work with American hops and German malt, some are beginning to develop local flavours, like Saldens’ Pryanik Ale – meant to mimic a traditional fruit cookie – or experimental brews that use birch sap, buckwheat or kvas, a fermented bread drink.

    Alexander Gromov, who quit his job at a mainstream brewery to become one of Russia’s many “Gypsy brewers”, renting factory space to produce his own concoctions, says he hopes to revive a lost “national style”, such as Polish brewers did with Graetzer beer. He’s planning an “ethnographic expedition” to villages this summer to search for local recipes. “Russia is a beer country, but we forget this. If we don’t preserve our own traditions, we will lose them,” he says.

    Ultimately, Gromov and others hope that Russian craft brews will be able to compete abroad. “It’s only been two or three years since Russian craft beer got going,” says Craft rePUBlic owner Anton Pligin. “[The quality] isn’t stable, they lose to the American and European craft beers, but they’re not afraid to experiment, and they will eventually be very good.”
     
    28.01.2016   Building bridges between development and practice    ( Company news )

    Company news "inject – the injection moulding forum" from ENGEL AUSTRIA takes place for the first time on March 8th and 9th, 2016 in Schwertberg, Austria. The purpose of the German speaking two-day event is to make the latest research findings more accessible to injection moulders and to promote the sharing of experiences among them.

    Knowledge gives one an edge over competitors and is the basis for success. ENGEL's system philosophy has therefore always included an extensive array of training courses. "inject – the injection moulding forum" signifies a step in a new direction for the injection moulding machine manufacturer and system expert. Unlike the forum events focusing on applications and technologies that ENGEL regularly holds in Austria and at its subsidiaries around the world, the new injection moulding forum will connect the basic development of injection moulding technology with the practical challenges faced on a daily basis.

    "Progress is continuously being made even in standard thermoplastic injection moulding, but it is often a very long time before plastics processors learn about the latest findings and are able to use them to optimise their processes," as Robert Brandstetter, the manager of ENGEL AUSTRIA's training department in Schwertberg, Austria, points out. "In 'inject – the injection moulding forum', we are creating a platform that will enable us to present new developments much earlier and in a way that allows them to be used every day."

    Food for thought and sharing experiences
    The forum, which will take place regularly starting in 2016, is conceived for injection moulders, plastics technicians, process optimisers, quality managers, production managers and managing directors in the automotive, technical moulding, teletronics, packaging and medical industries. Among other things, the following topics will be covered at the premiere event in March:
    -Plastification – what really matters
    -Material decomposition and its consequences
    -Switching over correctly
    -Monitoring and adjusting process parameters
    -Interpreting injection pressure curves
    -Cooling water quality and temperature control technology
    -Industry 4.0 – challenges and opportunities

    The topics will be discussed in presentations and short talks with the objective being to provide attendees with food for thought and encourage them to exchange experiences and information. "We will be able to say the event has been a success if every attendee can take new ideas and tips for overcoming their specific challenges back to their respective company," says Brandstetter. Both experts from partner companies and ENGEL development and product managers will be giving talks and will be on hand for individual attendees to speak to.

    Close connections between industrial and university development
    ENGEL invests EUR 80 million in research and development every year, keeping an eye on challenges that are of fundamental nature as well that focus on applications. Many research projects involve partners such as raw material producers and injection moulders, and the Group also works very closely with Johannes Kepler University (JKU) in Linz, Austria, regarding all areas of the injection moulding technology spectrum. Prof. Dr. Georg Steinbichler, the Senior Vice President of Research and Development Technologies at ENGEL AUSTRIA, is also the head of the Institute of Polymer Injection Moulding and Process Automation at JKU. "Even in standard injection moulding processes, there is still plenty of potential for improvement, and with our developments, we are continuously trying to leverage this and make it accessible to injection moulders. Access to this knowledge is crucial to injection moulders if they are to remain competitive in the long term," as Prof. Dr. Georg Steinbichler emphasises. "That will be confirmed again by 'inject – the injection moulding forum'. Our networks also have the important effect of helping to make our industrial locations more competitive."

    "inject – the injection moulding forum" takes place on March 8th and 9th, 2016 at ENGEL's technology centre in Schwertberg, Austria. The event will be held in German and the attendance fee is EUR 490.
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
     
    27.01.2016   Constellation Brands Reports Third Quarter Fiscal 2016 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news -Achieves comparable basis EPS of $1.42 and reported basis EPS of $1.33 driven by beer business
    -Generates $578 million of free cash flow and $1.1 billion of operating cash flow
    -Increases fiscal 2016 outlook driven primarily by strong beer business results; expects comparable basis EPS of $5.30 - $5.40 and reported basis EPS of $5.05 - $5.15
    -Increases fiscal 2016 free cash flow projection to $475 - $525 million including operating cash flow target of at least $1.35 billion; total capital expenditures estimated to be $875 - $925 million for fiscal 2016
    -Finalizes plans for construction of new 10 million hectoliter brewery in Mexicali, Mexico
    -Completes Ballast Point craft beer acquisition in December 2015
    -Declares quarterly cash dividend

    Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a leading beverage alcohol company, reported its third quarter 2016 results.
    "The events of this quarter and the initiatives announced mark another dynamic chapter at Constellation. As our beer business continues to achieve remarkable results, I am pleased that we have finalized our capital investment plans to support our future growth through the addition of a new state-of-the-art brewery in Mexicali, Mexico. We have also reached a major expansion milestone at our Nava brewery as the first incremental 5 million hectoliters of production capacity becomes operational. Furthermore, the completion of the Ballast Point craft beer acquisition solidifies our position in the high-end segment of the U.S. beer market," said Rob Sands, president and chief executive officer, Constellation Brands. "In addition, our wine and spirits business significantly improved margins driven by the Meiomi wine acquisition, as well as favorable mix trends and COGS benefits, while the Canadian business posted solid results, gaining dollar share across major market segments."

    Net Sales Commentary
    For the quarter, the company generated consolidated net sales growth of six percent. This reflects organic net sales growth on a constant currency basis of six percent and Meiomi acquisition benefit, partially offset by unfavorable currency impact.

    Beer net sales increased eight percent, primarily due to volume growth. Beer depletions grew more than 16 percent, reflecting strong consumer demand for the beer portfolio. Net sales growth for third quarter 2016 was impacted by the overlap of a $37 million shift in net sales from second quarter 2015 to third quarter 2015 related to beer product recall activities.

    "The beer business posted outstanding depletion growth during the third quarter driven primarily by the accelerating momentum of Corona Extra and Modelo Especial, although nearly every brand in the portfolio experienced double digit depletion gains," said Sands. "Strong consumer demand continues to propel the portfolio and reflects the benefits of marketing and brand building efforts, as well as distribution gains for key products. Excellent marketplace execution helped Constellation win the Labor Day holiday and the fall sports season. These stellar results are driving the upward revision to our EPS target for the year."

    Wine and spirits net sales on an organic constant currency basis increased three percent. This primarily reflects favorable mix.

    "This is the first full quarter that we are seeing the benefits of the Meiomi wine acquisition, which has been fully integrated into our portfolio of premium wine brands. During the quarter, Meiomi grew more than 80% in IRI channels and its strong margin profile helped drive the quarterly margin improvement for our wine and spirits business. In addition, some of our other focus brands posted strong depletion growth including Kim Crawford, The Dreaming Tree, Mark West, Ruffino and Clos du Bois, as focus brand investments during the key holiday selling season are driving excellent results," said Sands.

    Operating Income and Net Income Commentary
    For the quarter, consolidated comparable basis operating income increased 15 percent.

    Beer operating income increased 20 percent, primarily due to volume growth, favorable pricing and lower cost of product sold for the beer portfolio, partially offset by increased marketing spend. The 12 percent increase in wine and spirits operating income primarily reflects the benefit from the Meiomi acquisition, favorable mix and lower cost of product sold, partially offset by higher marketing spend.

    For third quarter 2016, pre-tax comparable adjustments totaled $29 million as compared to $40 million for the same period last year.

    Interest expense for third quarter 2016 totaled $76 million, a decrease of 12 percent. The decrease was primarily due to lower average interest rates.

    The comparable basis effective tax rate for third quarter 2016 was 32.3 percent as compared to a 29.2 percent tax rate for the prior year third quarter, which reflected the benefit of certain tax credits. The company now expects the comparable basis effective tax rate to approximate 30 percent for fiscal year 2016.

    Free Cash Flow Commentary
    Free cash flow for the first nine months of fiscal 2016 totaled $578 million as compared to $209 million for the same period last year. The increase is primarily driven by higher operating cash flow.

    "We are increasing free cash flow guidance for fiscal 2016 to a range of $475 to $525 million. The anticipated increase is being primarily driven by higher earnings for the beer business, timing of capital expenditures and lower income tax payments," said David Klein, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Constellation Brands. "Earlier today, we announced plans to build a new brewery in Mexicali and further expand our Nava brewery as part of our efforts to support the significant growth opportunity we see for our beer business over the long term. Even with the incremental capital expenditures projected for this initiative, we are decreasing our total capital expenditure estimate to a range of $875 to $925 million for fiscal 2016. While the initial 10 million hectoliter expansion at Nava continues to progress as planned, payment timing for some of the capital expenditures associated with this activity has shifted into fiscal 2017."

    Quarterly Dividend
    On January 6, 2016, Constellation's board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.31 per share of Class A Common Stock and $0.28 per share of Class B Common Stock, payable on February 24, 2016, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on February 9, 2016.

     
    26.01.2016   SIDEL TO SUPPORT PEPSICO FRANCHISEE IN PAKISTAN TO KEEP UP WITH MARKET DEMAND    ( Company news )

    Company news Pakistan Beverage Limited (PBL) is one of the leading beverage producers in Pakistan and has once again selected Sidel, the leading global provider of PET solutions for liquid packaging, to boost its products’ quality and production efficiency to meet increased market demand. The Standalone SBO8 Universal2Eco blower for Carbonated Soft Drinks (CSD) is the second blower that PBL has purchased from Sidel in less than a year, with the aim of combining high output rates with exceptional reliability at the company’s production facility in Karachi, Pakistan.

    “At Pakistan Beverage Limited, we always strive to operate reliable equipment that can help us keep up with the market demand. We have worked with Sidel for almost two decades, and with the use of their machines and innovative solutions, we have seen our production capacity increase.” commented Ronnie Daruwalla, Group Director of Manufacturing Operations at PBL.

    Growing market demand, growing need for Sidel Services
    In Pakistan, the CSD category is second only to milk in terms of quantity consumed. According to industry estimates, the consumption of CSD was estimated at 825.9 million litres in 2015 and projected to exceed one billion litres by the end of 2019 through a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.4 per cent. With this growing consumer demand comes the need for greater production volume at an increased level of efficiency.

    That is why PBL renewed its confidence in Sidel following the success of its first SBO Universal2eco blower, which already performs in terms of bottle quality, sustainable and reliable production for multi-serve packages while optimising operating costs. After installing this second Sidel SBO8 Universal2Eco blower, PBL will be producing 16,000 bottles per hour for 500 ml, 1.5 litre and 2.25 litre bottles. Equipped with Ecoven technology, it reduces electricity consumption and offers a large heating reserve and fast heating to facilitate high output. It also delivers excellent heat treatment precision, which ensures identical PET bottle characteristics and quality. This technology, which has made this SBO range of blowers so successful, has been carried through in the development of the latest modular generation of Sidel Matrix™ blowers and Combis.

    “With the positive and long-standing partnership between us and Sidel, we were always confident that Sidel’s equipment and services would enable us to maintain our reputation and competitive advantage in the beverage industry in Pakistan and are happy to be collaborating with a trustworthy solutions provider once again,” added Yasin Kassam, PBL’s Managing Director.

    “Sidel has been operating in Pakistan since 1993, during which time we have built a solid presence in the market, working towards providing innovative packaging solutions to cater to the specific needs of our customers. Throughout these years, we have maintained and built many strong relationships with bottling companies. This success is mainly attributed to the exceptional after sales services we provide, and the quality of our machines that cater to every customer individually,” stated Talha Taha, Regional Commercial Manager for Sidel in Pakistan.

    PBL currently consists of five manufacturing sites which include the Karachi facility, Yasir Fruit Juice, Hyderabad Plant, Quetta Plant and the Aquafina site.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    25.01.2016   Domino Launches High-Reliability Ink For The Beverage Sector    ( Company news )

    Company news Domino Printing Sciences has reaffirmed its status as a leading provider of coding and marking solutions for the beverage sector with the introduction of a high-contrast, alkali-washable yellow ink. Compatible with the company’s A-Series i-Tech range of CIJ printers, the 2YL955i ink is designed for coding onto dark coloured, reusable glass bottles and has the ability to adhere to wet surfaces.

    “Printing legible codes onto certain bottles can prove to be a challenging task,” explains Greg Treanor, Product Marketing Manager – CIJ at Domino Printing Sciences. “Thanks to extensive research and development, we have created an advanced high-contrast opaque yellow ink that is visible on a dark surface. The ink is particularly suited for use in returnable glass beverage plants, as it can be readily removed when the bottles are ‘caustic wash’ cleaned for refilling.”

    Significantly, the 2YL955i has first-rate adhesion even in areas where surface condensation is present during the coding stage. Thanks to the ink’s fast dry properties (1-2 seconds), the printed code resists refrigerator storage and immersion in water, making it ideal for beer, soft drinks and assorted beverage applications.

    However, glass bottles are not the only surface the 2YL955i can be printed on. The yellow ink is also ideal for coding onto reusable rubber, black plastic kegs and even some PET bottles, which are increasingly employed in glass bottle filling factories.

    “We’ve listened to our customers in the beverage market to understand what products and services can help improve coding on their packaging lines,” concludes Greg. “The 2YL955i high definition ink is the result of our research and provides the market with a versatile solution that will considerably enhance their production efficiencies.”

    The 2YL955i ink runs in Domino’s A-Series i-Tech printers (A320i, A420i and A520i), including the XS and Duo variants.
    (Domino UK Ltd)
     
    22.01.2016   Protect your employees, equipment and the environment     ( Company news )

    Company news To complete the strongest safety valve portfolio in the market, we now introduce a true spring-loaded safety valve: The Alfa Laval Safety Valve.

    This new valve is designed to protect both equipment and people. In a potentially dangerous situation it will open at a predetermined set pressure. The compressed spring force, keeping the valve closed, is forced open when pressure builds up at the inlet of the safety valve. As these forces balance out, the valve will discharge and decrease pressure, ultimately reclosing as the system returns to normal.

    Key features for your safety
    - Dedicated and reliable protection against costly and devastating accidents
    - Calibrated to the desired pressure set point, sealed and delivered with a PED certificate
    - Hygienic design eliminates unsanitary leaks and overflow during and after pressure peaks

    Complements the Alfa Laval Scandi Brew range
    Recently, we introduced a range of Alfa Laval Scandi Brew anti vacuum and overpressure valves into our hygienic valve portfolio:
    • Alfa Laval SB Pressure Relief Valve
    • Alfa Laval SB Anti Vacuum Valve
    • Alfa Laval SB Anti Vacuum House

    These safety valves protect against overpressure in tanks and pipelines caused by e.g. overfilling or fermentation processes. They also protect against implosion due to e.g. vacuum caused by cold rinsing after hot cleaning or blocking of gas supply during emptying.

    The Alfa Laval Safety Valve can be combined with the Alfa Laval SB Anti Vacuum House into a combined safety valve, protecting against both vacuum and overpressure in one hygienic valve solution with a single tank connection.
    (Alfa Laval Kolding A/S)
     
    21.01.2016   Authorised 13.5 health claim with proprietary use for BENEO's inulin promoting digestive health    ( Company news )

    Company news Functional ingredients manufacturer, BENEO, is pleased to announce that the EU Commission hasauthorised a 13.5 health claim with proprietary use for its chicory root fibre inulin promoting digestive health. The official wording for the claim is "chicory inulin contributes to normal bowel function by increasing stool frequency". From 1st January 2016, this proprietary claim is available for use by BENEO’s customers. By incorporating the company’s inulin into any food and beverage applications in combination with the health claim, manufacturers can help consumers to understand and benefit from the positive effect chicory inulin has on bowel function.

    In addition to the authorised 13.5 proprietary health claim, general health-related well-being claims under article 10.3 are also possible. Amongst others, these include "chicory inulin promotes digestive health" or "chicory root fibre supports a healthy and balanced digestive system". Manufacturers that want to use the claim should consider that the beneficial effect is achieved with a daily intake of 12 gram chicory inulin and the consumer should be informed accordingly. The amount of 12 gram can be split up into several servings per day.

    The science behind this health claim has been positively evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and included six human intervention studies that have consistently proven that consumption of Orafti® Inulin increases stool frequency and thus supports digestive health. Significant results were demonstrated with a proprietary study of BENEO for a total intake of 12 gram per day. While the recommended daily intake of dietary fibre is 25 gram per day and actual intake is significantly lower, the authorisation shows that adding inulin to a formulation helps to improve stool frequency and at the same time to achieve the dietary goal of adequate fibre intake by the general population in an easy way.

    The authorisation confirms that BENEO’s prebiotic fibre inulin contributes to normal bowel function by increasing stool frequency without triggering diarrhoea. This is possible because inulin resists digestion in the small intestine and is fully fermented in the large intestine. For many people, enhanced bowel function resulting from a more optimal fibre intake means a noticeable improvement of gastrointestinal health and general well-being: Nearly 3 out of 4 European consumers eat products supporting digestive health because they feel it is good for their overall health.

    Anke Sentko, VP Regulatory Affairs and Nutrition Communication: "Improving regularity in a natural way is a growing health target of consumers. With the recent proprietary health claim for BENEO’s chicory inulin improving bowel function, our customers are well set to make the most of the ever growing consumer trend of digestive health. At the same time the approval shows once again that BENEO’s commitment to strong scientific evidence of its ingredients is the right approach to contribute to the long-term benefit of consumers."
    (BENEO)
     
    21.01.2016   SIDEL'S INLINE MAGAZINE DEDICATED TO PET FOR THE BEVERAGE INDUSTRY WINS...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... GOLD AWARD

    Inline, the Sidel customer-facing magazine which is fully dedicated to PET, has won yet another award with the announcement that it has achieved gold in the 2015 Stevie® International Business Awards.

    The magazine, which is published in seven languages and distributed worldwide to more than 10,000 stakeholders in the beverage industry, covers a wide range of current topics relating to PET as a sustainable liquid packaging solution. Receiving gold in the category ‘Best Marketing or Sales Brochure or Kit’ is the latest in a number of awards which include previous Gold and Silver Stevie Awards and a Silver Astrid Award.

    Sharing knowledge on beverage industry issues
    Nicholas Bloch, Executive Vice President for Group Communications at Sidel, said – “It is very rewarding to get recognition for the quality of the magazine’s content from the awards’ judges, adding to the positive feedback we receive from beverage producers who clearly see its value to them. The objective of Inline magazine has always been to address the current issues that we face in the beverage industry and we cover many subjects: from the latest innovations in PET bottling technology to the wider challenges such as improving sustainability in beverage packaging. We also publish case studies on beverage producers from all over the world to demonstrate how they are maximising the considerable potential that PET offers.”

    Inline magazine No. 7 was the issue submitted for the 2015 Stevie Awards, with articles including an interview with one of the world’s pioneers in PET recycling and a number of case studies, including one on Argentinian company Refres Now which has achieved a 17% reduction in energy consumption through Sidel’s biggest ever Combi solution for filling carbonated soft drinks. Inline magazine is published in both printed and interactive digital formats, with Issue No. 8 now available. Features in this issue include a cover story with Joanna Yarbrough, Head of Packaging Research & Development at Nestlé Waters and a look at the importance of innovation in staying ahead in the beverage industry with Isabelle Maillot, Vice President of Product Innovation at Sidel.
    Electronic interactive versions of all Inline magazine issues are available for tablets via the App store in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

    Truly international representation
    The annual Stevie Awards are now in their 12th year and reward businesses and individuals worldwide in different categories. The 2015 awards saw some 3,700 nominations from more than 60 countries, with more than 200 leading names from all areas of business participating in the judging process which involves four months of preliminary judging before two weeks of final judging at which the winners are decided.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    20.01.2016   CROWN DEMONSTRATES EXPANSION, INNOVATION AND PERPETUAL PROGRESS WITH ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... RELEASE OF THIRD SUSTAINABILITY REPORT


    Crown Holdings, Inc.
    (NYSE: CCK) (Crown) (www.crowncork.com), a leading supplier of metal packaging products worldwide, has published its third Sustainability Report. Titled ‘Perpetual Progress,’ the 2015 report documents Crown’s continued advancement in the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability. It also underlines Crown’s broad efforts in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 to improve its sustainability footprint, resource use and emissions per standard unit, even as the Company has seen global volume growth and expanded its geographic reach.

    “Our 2015 report highlights results from the innovative approaches we have taken to infuse sustainability into every aspect of our business,” said Timothy J. Donahue, President and Chief Operating Officer of Crown. “Some of our greatest achievements in this reporting cycle are in the areas of waste management, coatings reduction and employee safety. We are committed to continuous improvement in these areas and others as we increase global production capacity and build our presence in new markets.”

    Report contents include infographics, customer testimonials, profiles of contributions made by Crown’s facilities around the world and internal data measuring progress for the following key metrics: steel and aluminum consumption; use of coatings, inks and compounds; direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; VOC and NOx emissions; energy consumption and waste disposal, recycling and reuse. These metrics were first measured in Crown’s inaugural Sustainability Report issued in 2011 and covering fiscal years 2007 through 2010. The report again utilizes Crown’s validated methodology to represent resource usage and emissions from its diverse manufacturing assets per standard unit of production.

    The report also explores the many valuable contributions that metal packaging as a format makes to sustainability by preventing food waste, protecting contents for consumers and offering a cost-effective and efficient solution for brand owners and retailers.

    Highlights of the new report include:
    • In 2014, Crown’s global businesses produced nearly 9 billion more cans than in the Company’s first initial reporting period in 2007. Despite this increased production, Crown has made tremendous strides managing its waste.
    o 37% less waste send to landfill, a reduction of over 8,000 metric tons
    o 9% more waste recycled per billion cans, an increase of nearly 39,000 metric tons
    o More than 100% more waste converted to energy, an increase of nearly 3,000 metric tons
    o Crown also used 14% less coatings since 2007, representing a reduction of nearly 9,000 metric tons.
    • The Company’s commitment to building a Total Safety Culture is working.
    o There has been a 28% reduction in its days away case rate since 2007
    o Recordable injury cases have decreased by 39% since 2009
    o Crown had zero work-related fatalities during its entire reporting period (2007 – 2014).
    • Better than any other packaging format, cans preserve their contents and help products achieve long shelf lives, significantly reducing the risk of food spoiling before it is consumed.
    o If the entire fruit and vegetable supply in the United States was canned, rather than packaged for refrigeration or freezing, an estimated 7 million metric tons of food would be saved. That is equivalent to about 22 million metric tons of CO2.
    o Across the lifecycle of a product from farm to fork, including can manufacture, the overall energy used in canning is 20% less than refrigerated food and 50% less than frozen food.

    The 2015 report has been structured using the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G3.1 Guidelines at Application Level C. In 2016, Crown will participate in CDP and in 2017 our Sustainability Report will be structured using the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G4 Guidelines.
    (Crown Holdings Inc.)
     
    20.01.2016   Hong Kong: Beer drinkers eager to embrace local craft brands    ( E-Malt.com )

    Rohit Dugar is a humble man. So when he opened a bottle of Tàisuì and offhandedly said, "There’s almost no beer like this in the world," he wasn’t bragging about his creation. He was merely stating a fact, the Eater reported on January 12.

    Dugar passed a few glasses of Tàisuì around the table. A couple of beer geeks sniffed it, then sipped. It was something new. Moments later, one said, "It smells like fu yu, yeah!" He was referring to a type of fermented tofu that is pungent and salty, often used as a seasoning in Chinese dishes. A few seconds later he followed up to say, "It’s a sharp drink. You try it and you’re like, 'Wow, what is that?'" Tàisuì is a little dry, a little sour, with a little bit of funk. The beer geeks’ conversation veered away from chit-chat and they dug through the table’s collective gustatory vocabulary in search of the right words to describe what they just drank. Haam yu, salted fish? Not quite.

    Tàisuì isn’t a lambic, but it’s something imagined in that direction—cloudy, sour, with a thick mouthfeel. Drawing inspiration from spontaneous fermentation involving wild yeasts, Dugar and his crew at Young Master Ales, a craft brewery located on Aberdeen Island in southwest Hong Kong, utilized a sourdough starter that a local baker has been cultivating for years. Per Dugar, "This is a beer we only partially had a target flavor profile in mind. We used some rye because we were inspired by the idea of rye sourdough bread, and we fermented directly in a whisky barrel instead of in a steel vessel like we would normally do, so there’s a lot of barrel flavor. It’s a very wild and extreme way of fermenting, but that’s what we wanted to achieve." It was a gamble. "With this, it was about letting those organisms express themselves," Dugar explains. "It’s very rare to achieve two very divergent objectives in good beer—one is that it should appeal to real beer geeks and beer nerds, at the same time it’s so pleasing and can appeal to anybody."

    Dugar is one of a handful of trailblazers in Hong Kong that gave up a former career to make beer. In 2013, he quit his job at Hong Kong's branch of Goldman Sachs and turned a serious hobby into a small business. Dugar named his brewery Young Master Ales after a 1960s film titled Gong Chong Siu Yeh, which loosely translates to "Young Master of the Factory." Following that theme, he commissioned a logo design that evokes nostalgia for mid-century Hong Kong.

    Opening a brewery was an incredibly bold move. Dugar had only resided in Hong Kong for two and a half years after relocating from New York, so finding the right space in the right area to build a professional microbrewery proved especially challenging.

    Around 2013, the government’s licensing rules were shifting, and enterprising individuals were finally legally permitted to open microbreweries. In the past, only large breweries like San Miguel had existed (and still exist), and at that time laws concerning breweries were strictly written for large-scale businesses. Regulations for microbreweries did not exist.

    During the transition, navigating Hong Kong's newly minted brewing rules led to some confusion for both government officials and entrepreneurs—where could these microbreweries be located? What were the building codes and health inspection guidelines? Were there restrictions on canning and bottling? Juggling the administrative and creative sides of building a business is part of every startup's growing pains, but Dugar persevered and his diligence paid off.

    "Two years down the line, everything has changed," states Dugar. "I would say it’s easier for someone to set up a brewery now that there’s a path."

    Beer from all over the world flows into Hong Kong. Filipino San Miguel’s pilsner style is the bestseller, and is actually manufactured locally. Blue Girl, though originally German, is owned by a Hong Kong-based company, but made in Korea. Pabst Blue Ribbon and Budweiser somehow hold a premium place in the hearts of retailers. The jade green color scheme of Carlsberg and Heineken proliferate ad space, the former proclaiming itself as "probably the best beer in the world." When they peel away from their Bloomberg terminals, high finance types might be happy with the usual suspects—Stella Artois and Hoegaarden—as they ignore carefully curated small-batch finds.

    Indeed, locals and expats in Hong Kong have watched craft brewing take off overseas and want a piece of the action on their home turf. In the last couple of years, beer enthusiasts have opened home-brewing supply stores and craft beer bars to bring in new foreign flavors.

    Six months ago, Hong Kong counted only three craft brewers, including Young Master Ales. Today, there are 10. Beer drinkers in Hong Kong are eager to break the Carlsberg Curse—where the same handful of brands are offered in grocery stores and restaurants all over the city—so those with the technical know-how, a little capital, and the willingness to get their hands dirty, are diving into the professional craft brewing game.

    It isn’t difficult to understand why Hong Kong is a little late in joining the craft beer scene. As a successful trading post, it is easy to import and consume anything. With the abolition of a 40 percent tax on wine and beer in 2008, entering the food and beverage industry as an importer or distributor is a much easier, and arguably more lucrative path than setting up a local production facility. Real estate costs in Hong Kong are amongst the highest in the world, so the space to house a brewery requires significant initial investment. As Dugar experienced, governmental regulations can be tricky to navigate, especially when bureaucrats and inspection officers aren't sure of the rules they're expected to enforce. Even with a small-batch product, it’s difficult to face off with the industrial beer giants, which employ an ocean of marketing resources and six sigma supply chains to secure their logos on top of beer taps everywhere. Every front is an uphill battle, so why bother?

    Beer nuts retort with a single question: With so much good food here, why pair it with pedestrian supermarket brews that have been shipped halfway around the world?

    Dugar might not be born and raised in Hong Kong, but he and his partners at Young Master have managed to tap into the city’s cultural DNA. Their logo art evokes imagery from Hong Kong’s industrial 1950s; their beer is influenced by Hong Kong cinema and local culinary traditions. 'In the Mood for Spring' is an easy saison, inspired by one of Wong Kar-wai’s films, In the Mood for Love, and is infused with jasmine, chrysanthemum, and osmanthus to birth a refreshing seasonal potpourri. When summer came, so did 'Mo' Mo' Wit,' a Belgian witbier that, instead of sweet orange peel, was flavored with aged Mandarin orange peel called chen pei. Their 'Cha Chan Teng Gose' is brewed with salted lime, which is a key ingredient in the lemon sodas of Hong Kong’s blue collar diners. Employing locally sourced organic buckwheat and a gentle matcha infusion, Young Master created 'Cha Cha Soba Ale,' hitting the city as a matcha dessert craze swept through.

    Young Master's brewers take the craft even further. Aside from imparting local flavor to their beer, they imbue it with layers of meaning. Consider their Ryeø, a rye wine-styled beer aged in rye whisky barrels for nine months, then conditioned with bourbon yeast for a second fermentation, ultimately doubling down on rye flavor. Right now it carries the flavor of soy, or Marmite, or Vegemite, but it’s the type of thing that could age in a cellar to evolve for years. Aside from being a great, intense drink, Ryeø was also named after Dugar’s son. It was brewed when the boy was born, and released on his first birthday.

    Tucked in a nondescript industrial estate, Young Master's brewing facility is situated away from the ceaseless hustle and bustle for which the city is known. While its beers aren't available outside of Hong Kong, for those in the city, the brewery holds $20 tours and tastings on most Saturdays. Young Master rarely bottles its limited brews, instead they're sold by growler—around $20 for a two-liter refill. Production here is about 4,000 gallons a month, and new stock sells out within weeks. But, the brewery is expanding, and renovations for a second location are underway.

    Beyond their current premises, Young Master’s beer can be found in the bars of Hong Kong’s five-star hotels, hot restaurants, and taprooms that started opening within the last few years. Even with no marketing beyond social media posts, Young Master has managed to secure drafts all over the city.

    Hong Kong’s craft beer scene has experienced remarkable maturity in the past three years, with pioneers like those at Young Master carving out the space for all local brewers to grow, and figure out how to get grain to glass. Maybe the stars aligned. "What’s really good now is that all of these elements—local brewing, imports, home brewing, beer festivals, bars and restaurants changing their mindsets about beer, tap rooms opening—all happened at roughly the same time," says Dugar. "If only a couple of these elements have happened, I’m not sure the craft beer scene in Hong Kong could have grown so much. I guess I’m just lucky that all of this happened at the same time."
     
    20.01.2016   UK: Survey shows love for fizzy lager is falling in the UK    ( E-Malt.com )

    Britain's love for fizzy lager is falling as a frothy ale in a pint jug becomes more popular, Western Daily Press reported on January 14 a new survey.

    For the first time in generations just under half of Brits drank lager last year as sales have fallen year on year.

    And the numbers opting to sup from a jug is on the rise.

    While the nation may still has downed 5.54 billion pints of lager last year, the number of pints of ales and bitter increased to 1.6 bln.

    Today more than one quarter drink ale or bitter, whilst one in five drink any type of craft beer.

    And in which glass the beer is served in is also changing as the pint jug or tankard once seen as a relic from the 1970s makes a comeback.

    The top choice of glass preferred to sup from in a pub is the nonic or a straight glass with a bulge near the head with over a quarter of drinkers.

    The tulip which has a narrow base and wider mouth is next followed by the tankard with both popular with a sixth.

    The jug was often seen as an old man's vessel but was the favourite for over a quarter of young drinkers under 24.

    A fifth of women still prefer a half compared to less than six per cent of men.

    And when it comes to paying a fifth were not willing to pay more than £2.99 for a pint in the pub.

    While three in 10 were prepared to pay more than £4 per pint, a quarter of Londoners were more willing to open their wallets and pay over £4.50.

    Although sales of ales and bitter have increased, the amount of beer we drink as a nation is also falling.

    Brits are estimated to have consumed 7.47 bln pints in 2015, down from 7.51 bln in 2014.

    Meanwhile, value sales growth has slowed, rising only slightly from £16.61 billion in 2014, to an estimated £16.68 billion in 2015.

    But market researcher Mintel said there were signs of growth this year and by 2020 the beer market is forecast to be worth £18.1 billion by 2020.

    Senior drinks analyst Chris Wisson said: "Lager sales have plateaued in recent years, however it could enhance its chances of growth by tapping into the craft beer movement more effectively.

    "With the majority of craft beers available in both the on- and off-trade falling into the ale and bitter segment, these beers have garnered considerable coverage in recent years.

    "Many craft brewers have prioritised ales, brewing variants such as pale ale, for example IPA and golden ale, in turn driving the popularity of premium bottled ales.

    "Overall, the beer market should benefit from greater craft innovation, as well as sales uplifts from events such as the Olympic Games and UEFA Euro 2016.

    "The steady rise in price over the past decade has given rise to notable consumer resistance in having to spend more on beer, particularly when it comes to breaking the £4, and even £5 barriers.

    "Brands asking consumers to pay more for beer need to provide clear reasons for doing so, for example via packaging or branded glassware, as well as delivering a discernibly superior taste to cheaper mainstream alternatives.

    "Tankards used to be a highly popular glass but fell out of favour in recent decades, largely due to their high production costs.

    "However, there are significant advantages of this glass type, notably the handle which means that drinkers do not have to hold the body of the glass, warming their beer in the process.

    "There are signs that the tankard is seeing a return in popularity as the favourite of younger male drinkers, most of whom were not drinking during the tankard's previous period in the spotlight, buoyed by the craft ale movement."
     
    20.01.2016   UK: Three major brewers reveal wholesale beer price rises for 2016    ( E-Malt.com )

    Three major UK brewers have revealed their wholesale beer price rises for 2016 in a move likely to anger many licensees, MorningAdvertiser reported on January 14.

    Molson Coors will raise the wholesale selling price on the majority of its draught products by approximately 3.5p per pint and Heineken by an average of 2% or 2.5p. Diageo will increase the price of a 50L keg of Guinness by 4% from the end of this month.

    However, Greene King confirmed that it would freeze prices for the third year running on its own brewed products as part of an ongoing campaign to support the trade.

    Several leading operators have hit out against beer price hikes, arguing they are unnecessary as inflation is low and ingredients and delivery costs are falling.

    However, representatives from Molson Coors, Diageo and Heineken said that a need for investment was behind the higher prices and stressed that the increase had been kept to the ‘minimum level’.

    A Heineken spokesperson said the average increase was down on last year’s average of 4%, adding: “We always seek to absorb as much as we can before passing on increases to our trade customers. Our increase also reflects the very comprehensive investment programme we continue to undertake, bringing new and exciting premium drinks to the market and attracting new customers to the on-trade.”

    A Molson Coors spokesman added: “The price increase has been kept to the minimum level required to enable us to continue to invest in our business and customers. We are constantly working to manage the variety of different costs associated with production and supply of our beers and will continue to do so.”

    All Our Bars chief executive Paul Wigham commended Greene King for keeping prices flat but warned that customers were beginning to question rising prices after hearing about well-publicised beer duty cuts. “We are reaching a point where the price we have to charge for beer could be beyond the reach of average consumers. Just look at how midweek trade has deteriorated in the last 15 years for operators,” he told the PMA.
     
    20.01.2016   USA & Brazil: Ambev starts to distribute Craft Brew Alliance’s Hawaiian beers in Brazil    ( E-Malt.com )

    Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. (“CBA”), a leading US craft brewing company, announced on January 13 it is partnering with Ambev, the Brazilian subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, to expand distribution of Kona Brewing Co. beers to Brazil. Ambev began distributing Kona’s award-winning Longboard Island Lager and Big Wave Golden Ale in Brazil in December 2015.

    While Brazil is the third largest beer market in the world, both CBA and Ambev see a significant opportunity in tapping into the country’s fast-growing craft beer segment. As Brazil’s leading beverage company, Ambev is uniquely positioned to meet the increasing demand from Brazilian beer drinkers for the distinctive and authentic flavors of American craft beer. Kona Brewing Co. is a top 10 US craft beer brand and the first Hawaiian craft beer distributed in Brazil.

    “We’re excited to continue building on our long-standing partnership with AB InBev through forging this pioneering new relationship with Ambev,” said Andy Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Craft Brew Alliance. “We think the opportunity for Kona in Brazil is massive, especially with the great synergies between Hawaiian and Brazilian culture, with their amazing beaches and strong water lifestyles. This partnership brings together Ambev’s beer expertise with an internationally loved craft beer and brand to meet the increasing demand for distinctive, authentic American craft beers in Brazil.”

    “Beer consumers in Brazil are increasingly open to innovation and new palates,” said Ambev E-Commerce Director Guilherme Lebelson. “Ambev has been playing an important role in presenting new brands, flavors and styles through our e-commerce platform, Emporio da Cerveja. Kona Brewing Co. is a Hawaiian icon and a favorite U.S. special beer. Bringing Kona to Brazilian consumers shows our determination to expand the global beer culture.”

    As the popularity of American craft beer continues to grow around the world, CBA has increased distribution to key international beer markets across Asia and Europe. In 2014, the company’s international shipments grew by 91%. CBA currently exports to 26 countries through a partnership with craft export company CraftCanTravel (CCT), which distributes Kona Brewing Company, Omission Beer, Redhook Brewery and Widmer Brothers Brewing. Brazil represents CBA’s 27th international market and its first distribution partnership with Ambev.

    Founded in 1994 on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kona Brewing Co. has grown to be a Top 10 craft beer brand in the U.S. and one of the most recognized American craft beer brands in the world, largely based on the company’s strong connection to Hawaii as a top travel destination. The brewing company’s island-inspired craft beers combine distinctive Hawaiian ingredients with a strong emphasis on creating smooth, easy-drinking craft styles.
     
    19.01.2016   AB INBEV UK TO PROVIDE FULL NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION ON PACK AND ONLINE    ( Company news )

    Company news Pledge follows the leading brewer’s survey, revealing:
    -Millennials in the UK are more calorie conscious than older age groups and their European counterparts
    -35% of adults are actively reviewing the calorie content of their drinks – rising to nearly 50% among 18-29yr olds
    -Fewer than 1 in 5 adults in the UK are aware of the calories in beer, despite it being one of the nation’s most popular beverages

    AB InBev UK has announced the role it will play in AB InBev’s European pledge to provide consumers with full ingredient and nutritional information for its beers. The information will be available per 100ml as well as per portion size and will cover energy values, fat, saturated fats, carbohydrates, sugars, proteins and salt (the Big 7).

    The changes will begin this year and be in place on at least 80% of European volumes by the end of 2017 with full information on all AB InBev brands already available online via www.tapintoyourbeer.com.

    The pledge follows results from a recent survey conducted by IPSOS Mori for AB InBev that revealed UK consumers have limited knowledge of calorie levels in beer, with less than 1 in 5 claiming to be aware of them. The survey showed that providing more information on beer would be beneficial for consumers with over a third of respondents saying they pay close attention to their daily calorie consumption (36%), and 35% actively look at the calorie information of their drinks. This figure rises to nearly 50% (48%) among 18-29yr olds – the largest percentage among millennials across Europe.

    UK consumers identified packaging (67%), brand websites (54%) and other information available online (43%) as the most essential channels for communicating calorie levels, nutritional information and information about ingredients.

    The research informs wider commitments made by AB InBev as part of Brewers of Europe (BoE), the organisation representing the entire European brewing sector, who have pledged to make product nutritional information more readily available to consumers. BoE have committed to providing full information on ingredients, energy and nutritional values per 100ml either on label and/or online. AB InBev’s pledge goes above and beyond this minimum BoE commitment by:
    -Placing full ingredient and energy information on primary packs
    -Placing full ingredient and Big 7 nutrition information on non-returnable secondary packs
    -Providing not only the mandatory ‘per 100ml’ info but portion size as well
    -Providing a full list of ingredients, energy and other nutritional information online via Tapintoyourbeer.com

    Anna Tolley, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director UK, said: “Consumers are getting savvier about their daily calorie consumption and are actively looking at nutritional information. While the EU continues to discuss the best way forward for nutritional labelling in our industry, we want to give consumers the information they need at their fingertips to make well informed choices and enjoy our products responsibly.”
    (AB Inbev UK Ltd)
     
    19.01.2016   Discover the Foodarom Flavor Trends for 2016    ( Company news )

    Company news What new flavors will awaken your taste buds in 2016?

    Constantly on the lookout for the latest trends, Foodarom combines creativity and innovation to offer the most trendy flavors.

    Visit us to discover what will be the next flavors!
    www.foodarom.com
    (Foodarom GmbH)
     
    18.01.2016   PepsiCo's Hello Goodness™ Vending Initiative Offers Diverse Selection Of Good- And ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...Better-For-You Food And Beverage Products On-The-Go

    Reflecting the evolving needs of today's consumer and the increased desire for more good- and better-for-you choices on-the-go, PepsiCo announced the launch of a new, state-of-the-art food and beverage vending initiative called "Hello Goodness." The vending unit offers good- and better-for-you product choices from the company's diverse and highly complementary food and beverage portfolio. PepsiCo will place several thousand units throughout the U.S. in 2016 in a variety of locations, including select healthcare, recreational, transportation, governmental, workplace and educational facilities.

    The Hello Goodness vending machine -- which will also be available in a beverage-only version -- features a thoughtfully chosen selection of PepsiCo products such as such as Naked Juice, Smartfood Delight popcorn, Lay's Oven Baked potato chips, Quaker Real Medleys bars, Pure Leaf iced tea, Propel Electrolyte Water, Tropicana Pure Premium and Sabra Ready-to-Eat Hummus cups.

    The Hello Goodness vending machine also goes beyond traditional vending machines in the market and:
    -Features a digital point-of-sale touch screen with product nutritional information
    -Suggests food and beverage pairing ideas for different eating occasions throughout the day
    -Is smart equipment, giving PepsiCo real-time consumer preference insights to further inform future offerings
    -Contains dual climate-control shelving, allowing both perishable and non-perishable items to be easily vended together at the correct temperature
    -Allows for cashless and digital vending

    "Consumers want more choice when it comes to what they eat and drink on-the-go and we're providing the choices they want," said Kirk Tanner, chief operating officer, PepsiCo North America Beverages. "For years, PepsiCo has been transforming its portfolio to offer more and better food and beverages. We're continuing this journey with our new Hello Goodness vending initiative, which brings together the power of our brands and our expertise in design, category management and equipment innovation expertise."
    (PepsiCo Inc.)
     
    15.01.2016   Rexam supports Metalman, local Irish craft brewer, to launch first ever craft beer in cans    ( Company news )

    Company news Rexam has partnered with Irish craft brewer, Metalman, to launch the brand’s first ever range of canned beers; marking a move from traditional draught to single serve in can.

    The colourful and unique cans were created for the brand’s Pale Ale, Equinox and Heatsink beers. The stylish designs, heavily influenced by the brand’s passion for the Art Deco Movement, utilise the aluminium material of the can to neatly incorporate the Metalman logo.

    Gráinne Walsh, Managing Director for Metalman, comments, “We first met the Rexam team at Drinktec back in 2013 and were impressed with their approach to design and innovation. They visited our brewery shortly after and their proactive approach has continued. The support we receive at every step of the design and manufacturing process is invaluable.”

    Rogier Keukens, Sales Manager at Rexam, adds, “There has been huge growth in the craft beer category and this is predicted to rise by 18% by 2018. A large number of these craft breweries are selecting the beverage can over other packaging formats. We are delighted to be working with Metalman and even more delighted that they will join the ever growing number of brands incorporating the ‘Metal Recycles Forever’ logo on their cans.”

    Metalman Brewing is a microbrewery situated in Waterford city, Ireland. The brewery launched their flagship beer, Metalman Pale Ale, in 2011, following up with a diverse range of seasonal beers over subsequent years. Currently employing 8 people, the brewery has significant expansion plans for 2016 and beyond.
    (Rexam Beverage Can Europe)
     
    14.01.2016   More Brits Toasting to Alcohol-Free Beer    ( Company news )

    Company news -One in 10 women drink alcohol-free beer on a weekly basis
    -Nearly a third of Brits (31%) have now tried alcohol-free beer with 18% of Londoners drinking it whenever they go out
    -A fifth (21%) of millennials are likely to choose alcohol-free beer in January
    -Nearly a fifth (19%) of Brits are unable to taste the difference between alcohol and alcohol-free beer
    -A quarter of the UK (25%) not attending Christmas parties

    New research released by AB InBev UK reveals the growing popularity of alcohol-free beer amongst the British public. Nearly a third of Brits (31%) have now tried alcohol-free beer, one in ten women (10%) are enjoying it on a weekly basis and 18% of Londoners are drinking it whenever they go out, with Londoners being the most inclined to consume alcohol-free beer over any other UK city.

    Over a fifth of millennials (21%) – those aged 18 to 34 – are likely to choose alcohol-free beer in January, an increase of 10% on 2014. This supports a growing trend among millennials who are increasingly motivated by balanced and healthy lifestyles, with 41% of those aged 18 to 19 actively trying to moderate their drinking habits.

    The research coincides with the launch of AB InBev’s new set of Global Smart Drinking Goals that aim to empower consumers to make smart drinking choices and reduce the harmful use of alcohol by the end of 2025. The leading global beer company has committed to ensuring that at least 20% of its global beer volume will be alcohol-free or lower-alcohol by 2020.

    Across the UK, almost a fifth of consumers (19%) are unable to taste the difference between alcohol and alcohol-free beer, which may go some way to explaining why, among those looking to moderate their alcohol intake in January, 34% will be looking to consume alcohol-free beer. This is an increase of 16% from 2014.

    Daytime occasions and weekday evenings are key occasions for alcohol-free beer consumption, with almost a quarter (23%) of Brits happy to take it to a festive gathering. Whilst a quarter (25%) of consumers are forgoing festive parties this year, for those who are celebrating, the most common reason to choose alcohol-free beer is being the designated driver (29%), or not wanting to drink too much and feel unwell the next day (20%).

    Commenting on the research Anna Tolley, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, AB InBev UK & Ireland said:
    “It’s great to see the growing popularity of alcohol-free beer among the UK public – especially millennials. Offering consumers choice is an important part of our commitment to responsible drinking and we are proud to brew Beck’s Blue, the market leading alcohol-free beer”.

    The low and alcohol-free beer category is growing by 5% in the UK on-trade with AB InBev’s Beck’s Blue the market leader, contributing to 58% of the category, and increasing 15% year on year in retail, and 10% in outlets like pubs and bars.
    (AB Inbev UK Ltd)
     
    13.01.2016   Sale of land at the Tuborg area in Copenhagen     ( Company news )

    Company news The Carlsberg Group has signed an agreement regarding the sale of its remaining undeveloped land at the Tuborg site north of Copenhagen to the Danish pension fund, Danica. The transaction is in line with the Group’s ambitions of disposing of non-core assets, improving return on invested capital and reducing financial leverage.

    The Carlsberg Group will receive a cash payment in 2015 of DKK 600-700m (post tax) from the disposal. The transaction is subject to the registration of title of the land by the authorities.
    (Carlsberg Danmark A/S)
     
    12.01.2016   Gruppo Campari: Sale of another non-core business in Italy    ( Company news )

    Company news Gruppo Campari announced the signing of an agreement for the sale of the non-core business Casoni Fabbricazione Liquori S.p.A., an Italian company wholly owned by Fratelli Averna S.p.A.

    Casoni Fabbricazione Liquori S.p.A., specialized in the production of private label alcoholic beverages and co-packing activities, entered Gruppo Campari’s business in June 2014.
    Following the acquisition, the Group started a reorganisation process of the Averna Group business aiming at achieving synergies via the transfer of bottling and distribution activities relating to strategic brands in to Gruppo Campari’s existing platform as well as optimising the acquired portfolio via the sale of the non-core brand Limoncetta, finalized in January 2015. By the
    disposal of Casoni Fabbricazione Liquori S.p.A., the Group continues to implement successfully its divesture program involving non-core and low margin businesses in line with its announced strategy.
    The business, which will be sold to a pool of local entrepreneurs, mainly consists of production plants located in Modena, Italy, and Pribenìk, Slovak Republic.

    The overall deal value is € 5.3 million and includes a net financial position of approx. € 2.3 million.
    The deal closing is expected to be by the end of March 2016.
    This transaction underlines Gruppo Campari strategy of strengthening its focus on its core high-margin spirits business by streamlining its non-core businesses.
    (GRUPPO CAMPARI)
     
    11.01.2016   Australia: Craft beer industry showing no sign of slowing    ( E-Malt.com )

    Australia's beer tastes have been gradually shifting towards craft beers produced by small breweries, and with the industry showing no sign of slowing, the beer landscape is undergoing significant change, ABC Local reported on January 7.

    Wander into any big city pub or bottle-o and you will notice the range of beer is no longer a line-up of the usual suspects.

    Sometimes, the craft beer range is bigger than mainstream varieties.

    It is a sign Australia's beer tastes are changing, and just as consumers have become more aware of where their fresh produce comes from, so has their interest in the origins of their beer increased.

    "There is a keen interest in supporting local businesses and small industries to see it grow so we have something interesting and viable in Australia, and not just keep drinking the same beers over and over," Wollongong craft beer brewer Phil O'Shea said.

    "A lot of craft beers produced are only produced once, so seeking them out is a fun and interesting thing to do."

    According to a survey by mobile payment app Clipp, craft beer is a juggernaut for people in their 20s and 30s, but is not as popular among older drinkers.

    Their data found craft beer sales accounted for 45 per cent of beer sales in urban areas — a figure that did not surprise Mr O'Shea.

    "I've been drinking craft beer for a fair while and my friends enjoy it as well. We get to Sydney and other areas and Wollongong has been a bright spot in the last year or two for craft beer and supporting local beers," he said.

    The definition of craft beer is something that divides brewers, but Mr O'Shea believed it was more about philosophy than production size.

    "If you want to keep refining and producing good quality beer, that's more of what craft is about," he said.

    "It doesn't mean if you do 50,000 litres a year you can't be a craft brewer. It's more about the inspiration and the beer you produce."

    Like many industries, Australia often follows the lead of bigger countries, and beer is no different.

    The United States has seen an explosion in sales of craft beer in the past decade, and the United Kingdom is so full of microbreweries that many pubs will stock locally-brewed beer ahead of mainstream varieties.

    "The craft beer market has a small foothold, but it's definitely growing and what we're seeing is more and more establishments are putting on craft beer," Mr O'Shea said.

    "There's more demand from people, which will fuel growth in the industry, and we haven't seen a point where we've stagnated."

    Mr O'Shea said brewers were in turn inspired to create different beers to service the curious market.

    He is working on an Australia Day lamington beer, with hints of coconut and chocolate.

    It is this sort of small-scale brewing that will forever separate craft brewing from mass-produced beers.

    "People are more aware of where the product is coming from, and people come in asking about the raw ingredients and the process behind it," Mr O'Shea said.

    "People are more interested in everything they put into their mouths, and beer is no different to locally-grown produce."

    Just like wine, clothing and super foods, beer fashions come and go, and Mr O'Shea said 2016 was likely to continue some of the trends of 2015.

    He said the popularity of Indian pale ales — known for its strong hops flavour — was set to continue.

    "We'll also see a lot of breweries producing sour beers," Mr O'Shea said.

    "These have light acidity and are nice and clean and tart, but they can be challenging to produce, so I don't think they'll have a huge amount of traction, but it will definitely be a popular style of beer."
     
    11.01.2016   Booker's® Bourbon Awarded Top Bourbon Honor in 'Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2016'    ( Company news )

    Company news Beam Suntory, the world’s third largest premium spirits company, is proud to announce the prestigious accolade awarded to Booker’s® Bourbon in “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016.” Named winner of the “9 Years & Under” Bourbon category, Booker’s Bourbon was among thousands of whiskies that were tasted by Murray throughout the year for inclusion in his forthcoming “Whisky Bible 2016.”

    “This award is a true honor and testament to the innovation of my dad, Booker Noe, who created his namesake bourbon decades ago,” said Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s 7th Generation Master Distiller. “I’m sure Booker’s smiling down on us right now with a drink in his hand.”

    Booker’s Bourbon is one of the few bourbons available uncut and unfiltered1. Created by Booker Noe, Jim Beam’s 6th Generation Master Distiller, Booker’s Bourbon is aged between six and eight years and bottled at its natural proof, yielding a robust and full-bodied ultra-premium whiskey.

    This year, Booker’s Bourbon launched its first-ever limited-edition collection with labels that pay tribute to Booker Noe, his family and spirit of experimentation. Currently on shelves is Batch 2015-06, also called Noe Secret, which pays homage to Noe and his ever-honest approach to making his iconic bourbon. Created more than 25 years ago, the award-winning recipe for Booker’s Bourbon remains unchanged today.

    “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016” also awarded accolades to additional Beam Suntory whiskies, including:
    -Laphroaig® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, currently celebrating its bicentennial anniversary, received the honor of "Runner Up" in the No Age Statement Single Malt Scotch category for its An Cuan Mor expression.
    -Yamazaki® Japanese Whisky swept the Japanese Whisky category, earning one of five spots as “World Whisky of the Year” along with the title of “Japanese Whisky of the Year” and “Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Barrels)” for its Yamazaki Mizunara 2014 (Japan only).

    These acclaimed whiskies are among the 4,600 that Murray tasted in order to select those that would receive top honors and accolades for his 13th annual edition of “Whisky Bible.” All whiskies tasted were judged on nose, taste, finish and balance.
    (Beam Suntory Inc.)
     
    11.01.2016   The Czech Republic: Budejovicky Budvar’s production and exports reach record high in 2015    ( E-Malt.com )

    Czech state-owned brewery Budejovicky Budvar, which has been fighting a long legal battle with U.S. beer giant Anheuser-Busch over the use of the "Budweiser" brand, says its output and exports reached a record in 2015, WRAL.com reported on January 7.

    Budejovicky Budvar NP said its exports rose 10.5 percent to 898,000 hectolitres (23.72 million gallons) of beer, the best result in the brewer's 120-year history.

    Budvar exported to 73 countries last year, three more than the previous year. Overall output reached 1.6 million hectolitres (42.27 million gallons), up 10 percent from 2014.

    Profit figures from the brewery are due in late April.

    Both Budvar and Anheuser-Busch — which was taken over by Belgian brewer InBev in 2008 to form AB InBev — claim exclusive right to the Budweiser name.
     
    11.01.2016   UK: UK beer giants under fire over planned price rises    ( E-Malt.com )

    The death of the pint could be a step closer after the UK breweries came under fire over planned New Year price rises, BT reported on January 7.

    Two breweries - Molson Coors, makers of Carling, and Guinness giant Diageo - have revealed their intention to hike the price of a pint.

    Leading industry figures have attacked the new plans.

    “Grain and barley prices have halved since 2012, fuel is at its lowest price for years, meaning delivery costs must have been reduced,” Paul Wigham, chief executive of pub group All Out Bars, told The Publican’s Morning Advertiser.

    “There’s no wage inflation. I don’t understand how prices can be going up.”

    Tim Bird, who runs the Cheshire Cat Pub Company, warned in December that “savvy” customers were already questioning prices.

    “If brewers put their prices up - outside a duty increase - then where I can, I will stop selling those brands and move to more competitive alternatives - and I would ask other businesses to do the same,” he said.

    “These annual increases are becoming almost the norm.

    “Every year, there seems to be a reason for not holding prices or dropping them.”

    Defending their plans, Molson Coors said: “The increase is due to rising costs.”

    Diageo, makers of Guinness, added: “The price increase on Guinness has been kept to a minimum but is essential if we are to continue to invest strongly.”

    According to the Good Pub Guide 2016 the cheapest pint of beer in the UK can be bought for £3.10 in Herefordshire.

    While Londoners pay out £3.92 on average across the capital, some are faced with shelling out more than £4 a pint.
     
    11.01.2016   USA: Mexican beer sales growth expected to continue in 2016 and beyond    ( E-Malt.com )

    Given its relatively minuscule share of the $100 billion U.S. beer market, the craft beer industry gets outsize attention. That’s because craft is growing fast and has fueled rapid merger and acquisition action over the past few years, Fortune reported on December 30.

    Meanwhile, a different slice of the beer market is picking up more bar taps and retail shelf space. Mexican-produced beers like Corona, Tecate, and Dos Equis are notching consistent gains, with volume growth for those beers expected to continue in 2016 and beyond.

    “They get stronger and stronger by the day, as importers like Constellation Brands and Heineken get savvier,” Harry Schuhmacher, editor and publisher of industry publication Beer Business Daily, told Fortune in an interview. Those companies are spending more on marketing to help propel the growth of their Mexican imports business, he adds.

    Schuhmacher says that beers like Modelo Especial and Corona are easy to drink, much like many U.S.-made light lagers. But they don’t stir the same scorn that some beer drinkers have for domestic beers like Bud Light and Miller Lite. As so, they’ve been able to steal market share from competitors.

    The proof is in the sales data. Corona and Model Especial producer Constellation Brands posted a 14% jump in net beer sales in the U.S. for the first six months of the company’s current fiscal year. Meanwhile, total U.S. beer market sales have been flat in recent years.

    Constellation’s beer business represented 45% of total beer industry volume growth during the second quarter, boasted its CEO Rob Sands. That growth has helped lift Constellation’s stock by nearly 550% over the past five years and also helped the alcoholic-beverage producer land on Fortune‘s fastest-growing companies list for 2015.

    Heineken, maker of Dos Equis and Tecate, is also a big beneficiary of the trend toward Mexican beers. Strong demand from those beers have helped the Dutch brewer outperform the slow-growing U.S. beer industry.

    Marketers see even more opportunities to expand the audience for Mexican beers. Heineken Chief Marketing Officer Nuno Teles says his company will launch a national, English-language campaign for Tecate in 2016. And Constellation is planning Spanish-language TV ads for Victoria for the first time in the U.S. market.

    “The beer drinker in America is looking for something new to discover,” says Jim Sabia, CMO of Constellation Brands’ beer division.

    Teles and Sabia say their companies need to be careful about how they market their beers, as they need to appeal to a few key groups of consumers. On one end, they are marketing to Mexican-born Americans and multicultural millennials with higher awareness of the brands. But they are also trying to court non-Hispanics as well as Latinos from other countries who might not be able to tell the difference between a Tecate or Victoria.

    Marketing campaigns that introduce these beers on American television often start out as regional, Spanish-language ads in Arizona, Texas, and other Sunbelt states. They eventually progress to national, English-language ads when the brewers see greater sales potential.

    Beer executives say Mexican beers are winning over U.S.-produced rivals among some consumers for a few reasons. The Hispanic population has swelled by nearly 46 million over the last several decades. That group has helped fuel much of the growth.

    While consumers from Mexico are already aware of Modelo Especial, Corona, and other locally produced beers, there isn’t as much knowledge in the general population. Modelo is the second-largest importer in the U.S., though Constellation says it found that roughly one in four U.S. beer drinkers in the broader market didn’t know anything about the brand.

    “Modelo consumers for many years were from Mexico,” says Sabia. “We’ve been trying to cross over to other areas of Latin America.”

    Heineken is aiming to exploit the fact that consumers are willing to try more beers than ever.

    “Loyal consumers we don’t have any more because everyone is promiscuous,” says Teles, who estimates a typical beer drinker enjoys 14 different brands in their repertoire. “Every single month, you need to go out and recruit consumers.”
     
    08.01.2016   STAYING AHEAD IN THE BEVERAGE INDUSTRY THROUGH INNOVATION    ( Company news )

    Company news INTERVIEW WITH ISABELLE MAILLOT, VICE PRESIDENT OF PRODUCT INNOVATION AT SIDEL

    From developing complete beverage line processes to pioneering packaging technology and services, innovation is a driving force at Sidel. We talk to Isabelle Maillot, Vice President of Product Innovation, to find out how her team ensures Sidel continues to help beverage producers remain at the forefront of market developments.

    Photo: As part of reducing TCO, we’re working a great deal with machine intelligence … This is how the machine learns by itself from the data it receives. Over time this will lead to the machine making better choices than we humans can make – from adjustments to production processes to predictive maintenance when the machine itself knows it needs a spare part. – Isabelle Maillot

    Q: Where does your team get ideas for new innovations and developments?

    A: They come from everywhere! But mainly from what we hear from the front-line talks with our customers. When our people talk to customers on site they can see what their needs are and find out more about how our solutions can help. We also have regular innovation days with our customers and suppliers. All of this input goes into our work and the brainstorming sessions we use to get new ideas.

    My team closely follows new market, packaging and technology trends. We attend exhibitions and trade shows, such as pharmaceutical, automation and even military technology shows. This lets us see how innovation and ideas are used in other industries.

    Q: But how similar are these industries to the beverage industry?

    A: If we, for example, look at the aerospace and military industries, they are driven by research and are not as cost- focused as the beverage industry. They
    are often first with new materials and coatings. We keep track of the evolution of these trends and at a certain point when it is well integrated and proven, we can use it in our solutions.

    It’s a balance between finding the right time to be first to market and at the same time with a technology that has been proven, that is also cost-effective and reliable to offer to beverage producers.

    Q: It sounds like you get lots of proposals for innovation projects. How do you select which to work with?

    A: We have a process in place to help us decide which ideas to work with. We need to be sure that the project benefits our customers both today and tomorrow. Therefore, we work both with ideas that we can realise in the short- term, and we also have a pipeline of more long-term ideas with the potential to be game-changers.

    The product and account managers are important in this process as they have direct contact with our customers. They know whether an innovation development answers a real customer need. If it doesn’t it will just be a great technological idea with no real customer value – and not a project, we want to work on. Each month, we have a team meeting to discuss all the ideas we’ve received and we assess them using defined cri- teria and processes. However, there is still an element of instinct involved.

    Q: What role does instinct play?
    A: Innovation is something that disturbs the standard process. If you use too many processes and criteria, you tend to end up with the safest ideas. And the safest ideas are generally the ones that everyone else is also considering. This can result in a “me-too” solution. That’s where instinct comes in. And because we have people on the team who know the market, the customers and in- dustry, their instinct is highly valuable.

    Q: So when you decide to invest in an innovation project, are you sure that it will be a success?
    A: No, we can never be sure. We usually start with a business case and then we have targets that we need to meet on the way. We use risk analysis techniques and work using the Six Sigma process methodology that is widely used in the automotive industry. But if we have a lot of customers who are demanding and validating the project, then we can be more confident.

    Q: How involved are beverage producers in Sidel’s innovation process?
    A: It varies greatly. Some are very in- volved in our work and want to influence the development process, which allows us to take more of a long-term view in developing solutions for their needs. This collaboration is not always about the big breakthroughs but often about incremental innovation. For example, they might have the equipment and want to improve its performance. However, all of our customers are different and others prefer proven technology.

    Q: From the customer point-of- view, what are the big drivers for innovation?
    A: The packaging itself is the main driver. Any technology or innovation that helps manufacturers produce the packaging they want, in terms of performance, bottle weight, product safety, at the lowest cost is what they are looking for.

    Reducing total cost of ownership, or TCO, is without doubt a big part of this. This is a broad theme and covers the equipment, costs, maintenance, energy and resource consumption, and need for labour. By focusing on TCO, we can also impact sustainability, which is high on the agenda for most of our customers.

    As part of reducing TCO, we’re working a great deal with machine intelligence. This kind of artificial intelligence is a big theme right now. This is how the machine learns by itself from the data it receives. Over time this will lead to the machine making better choices than we humans can make – from adjustments to production processes to predictive maintenance when the machine itself knows it needs a spare part.

    Q: Which of Sidel’s innovations are you most proud of?
    A: Predis™ has been a real breakthrough and is a project we’re all proud of. It has improved sustainability, ease of use and product integrity for beverage producers. This dry preform decontamination solution works using no water and very few chemicals, which has challenged traditional assumptions that complex blowers with a high chemical consumption are the only way to produce aseptically.

    Our Intelliblower™ solution is another solution that I’m very proud to have been involved in. This solution takes a first step towards machine intelligence. It can analyse various parameters and auto-adjust its processes to ensure production quality.

    For customers, this means that their production lines can run within specifications without operator intervention in the blowing process. Even if the temperature varies during the day, the Intelliblower produces bottles that meet specifications. It can also identify a blowing station that is not performing optimally, which is a clear boost to improving production quality.

    Q: Which industry innovations do you expect to see in the next five years?
    A: I see packaging technology playing a larger role in consumer health. For example, your fridge could analyse the turnover of fruit and vegetables, if you drink more soda than water and so on, and transmit this information to products you buy. Then the product packaging could remind you about the shelf life of the product or encourage you to balance your diet, for example with the message “drink me now with an apple”.

    Q: Is there a certain type of person who is good at working with innovation?
    A: The short answer is no. For a good innovation team, you need different profiles. In my team, everyone is very different but we are all hugely passionate about what we do. That’s actually quite typical for Sidel. We are all driven by this passion for creating the best equipment and services for our cus- tomers. I believe that everyone at Sidel works with innovation at some level. We’re just the catalysts for getting it to market.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    07.01.2016   Boston Beer Appoints New Senior Vice President, Finance    ( Company news )

    Company news The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (NYSE: SAM) (the "Company"), brewers of Samuel Adams beers, announced that on January 4, 2016, Frank H. Smalla will be joining the Company as Senior Vice President, Finance and will be assuming the position of Chief Financial Officer when current Chief Financial Officer William F. Urich steps down from his role in 2016.

    Before accepting the offer to assume the position with the Company, Mr. Smalla had been Senior Vice President, Finance for Kraft Food Groups, Inc. of Northfield, Illinois since 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Smalla held a number of senior financial positions at Kraft from 1995-2012, including as Vice President of Finance from 2010-2012.

    Martin Roper, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, said, "Frank's experience in managing the finances of a diverse array of business units for a respected food and beverage company will be a great addition to the Company's leadership team. This is particularly important as our business continues to expand and becomes more complex."

    "I have long admired The Boston Beer Company for its innovation and commitment to brewing quality beers like Samuel Adams," said Mr. Smalla. "I am delighted that I will be part of the team that develops and implements the Company's strategies to support its current and future growth."
    (Boston Beer Company)
     
    06.01.2016   Mocktail solutions from Sensient ensure non-alcoholic indulgence     ( Company news )

    Company news Sensient’s new flavour range means a sophisticated soft drinks choice. It captures the taste profile of popular cocktails – without the alcohol but with outstanding flavour twists

    With its latest range, Sensient Flavors offers solutions for exceptional soft drink variants that especially appeal to adults. Its new line of flavours for cocktail-inspired soft drinks is based on comprehensive trend spotting in fashionable capitals such as Paris, Milan and London. Created for the production of carbonated soft drinks, the new portfolio comprises a “classic line” of well-known cocktail specialties, a “seasonal selection,” a medley of “fruit explosions” and, for those with a penchant for woody or smoky tasting drinks, there’s the “trip to the forest” varieties.

    Sensient’s new range is characterized by the cocktail’s familiar core elements, which are further refined with an innovative twist. So, instead of rum, peach was added to the traditional pineapple and coconut flavourings to create the Pina-Colada-inspired mocktail. Malt, tea and wood extracts have been used to replace the whiskey notes in the classic cocktail ‘Old Fashioned’. Peach, rhubarb and lime have been expertly blended to produce a sensorial explosion of fruit flavours: Seasonal taste sensations have been created by combining apples, dates and honey for winter, and orange flower, mango and tea extracts for spring and summer.

    “Soft drinks are a popular alternative to alcoholic beverages, especially during a night out. And, as demand for novel sensory experiences continues to rise, consumers are looking for something beyond the ordinary selection of soft drinks. Mocktails bridge this gap perfectly; they appeal to adults who are seeking outstanding and innovative taste sensations. In addition, owing to their sophisticated ingredient composition and flavour profiles, manufacturers can position these drinks in the premium segment”, says Stefano Asti, Technical Director at Sensient Flavors Beverage Europe.
    (Sensient Flavors Beverage Europe)
     
    06.01.2016   Spain & USA: Mahou San Miguel reportedly interested in minority stake in Anchor Brewers & Distillers    ( E-Malt.com )

    Spanish Mahou San Miguel is reportedly looking to up its presence in the U.S. craft beer market.

    The Spanish brewer, which took a 30% interest in Michigan’s Founders Brewing last year, is now eyeing a potential minority stake in San Francisco-based Anchor Brewers & Distillers, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources. The report added that Mahou San Miguel could invest up to $300 million in Anchor, which is known for its Anchor Steam beer brand. Anchor didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Led by former Skyy Spirits executives Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio, Anchor ranks as the 22nd-largest craft brewer in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association. Its distilling unit, which has a partnership with the U.K.’s Berry Bros. & Rudd, markets brands including The Glenrothes and BenRiach single malts, Nikka Japanese whisky and The King’s Ginger and Luxardo liqueurs, among others.
     
    06.01.2016   UK: AB InBev buys Camden Town Brewery in London    ( E-Malt.com )

    Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to buy Camden Town Brewery for an undisclosed price, the companies said on December 21, even as the world's biggest brewer seeks to sell rival London craft brewer Meantime Brewing.

    The acquisition is expected to close by 7 January.

    AB InBev, which is trying to buy its largest rival SABMiller, is in the process of selling three SAB brands to avoid regulatory scrutiny. The brands being sold are Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime.

    With the Camden Town deal, AB InBev gets a European craft brewer that started full production in 2010. It has grown to a team of 95 and sold 12 million pints this year, with the beers sold in over 1,000 pubs and bars.

    Camden Town’s owners essentially conceded that the deal made sense for the same reason many small craft brewers have decided to sell: an opportunity to increase distribution.

    “We can’t do this on our own,” wrote founder Jasper Cuppaidge in a blog post. “That’s why I’m proud to say I’ve signed a deal with AB InBev.” The deal comes several months after Camden Town launched and completed a funding round via crowdfunding to help build a second brewery in London.

    AB InBev has been busy buying smaller brewers like Camden Town, though the deal analysts and investors are most keenly watching is the potential acquisition of SABMiller. Assets like Camden Town can help augment AB InBev’s portfolio and give it greater access to the craft category. But with AB InBev reporting quarterly volume of 121.7 million hectolitres – deals for names like Camden Town won’t move the sales needle much.
     
    06.01.2016   UK: British public increasingly favouring alcohol-free beer    ( E-Malt.com )

    A new study by AB InBev UK has found that the British public is increasingly favouring alcohol-free beer products, KamCity reported on December 18.

    The study found that 31% of Brits have tried such drinks, with 10% of women enjoying it on a weekly basis and 18% of Londoners drinking it whenever they go out. Londoners were also found to be the most inclined to consume alcohol-free beer, compared to any other UK city.

    Additionally, 21% of millennials said they are likely to choose alcohol-free beer in January, an increase of 10% on 2014. Across the UK, 19% of consumers are unable to taste the difference between alcohol and alcohol-free beer, which may go some way to explaining why - among those looking to moderate their alcohol intake in January - 34% will be looking to consume alcohol-free beer. This is an increase of 16% from 2014.

    Daytime occasions and weekday evenings are key occasions for alcohol-free beer consumption, with 23% saying they were happy to take it to a festive gathering. For those who are celebrating this year, the most common reason to choose alcohol-free beer is being the designated driver (29%), or not wanting to drink too much and feel unwell the next day (20%).

    The low and alcohol-free beer category is growing by 5% in the UK on-trade with AB InBev’s Beck’s Blue the market leader, contributing to 58% of the category, and increasing 15% year on year in retail, and 10% in outlets like pubs and bars.
     
    06.01.2016   Ukraine: Government doubles excise duty on beer    ( E-Malt.com )

    Despite protests from local industry players, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has approved a bill raising excise rates on beer, hard spirits, wine, and sigarettes, zn.ua reported on December 24.

    As from January 1, the tax on beer will be doubled – to UAH2.48 per litre, while rates for hard spirits will be raised by 50%.

    Ukrainian brewers are already struggling. In January-November this year, the nation’s beer output declined by 20.2% versus the same period last year. In 2008-2015, Ukraine’s beer industry shrank by almost 40%, experts estimate.
     
    06.01.2016   USA: AB InBev announces acquisition of Colorado-based Breckenridge Brewery    ( E-Malt.com )

    Anheuser Busch-InBev is on a craft beer bender, announcing a third acquisition in a five-day span that shows just how important the fast-growing category is to the world’s largest brewer, the Fortune reported on December 22.

    On December 22, AB InBev said it agreed to buy Colorado-based Breckenridge Brewery, adding a seventh U.S. craft brewer to a portfolio that already includes Goose Island, Blue Point, and Elysian. AB InBev announced a deal with U.K.-based Camden Town Brewery on December 21 and scooped up Arizona’s Four Peaks Brewing on December 18.

    The recent deals are meant to add faster-growing beers to AB InBev’s massive portfolio, which already includes Budweiser and Stella Artois. Because the craft brands are tiny in comparison, they won’t move AB InBev’s sales needle much – though the deals give the craft brewers vast distribution potential.

    Breckenridge Brewery is one of the larger craft brands InBev has acquired. It ranked No. 50 on the Brewers Association’s 50 largest U.S. craft brewers in 2014, and sales are expected to reach about 70,000 barrels in 2015. With the deal with InBev, it will eventually be removed from that list – as only small, independent brewers can be included.

    Breckenridge will continue to produce its current portfolio of beers, ranging from Vanilla Porter to Agave Wheat. Notably, the deal with AB InBev – which is expected to close in the first quarter – includes the company’s new production brewery and Farm House restaurant in Littleton and original brewpub in the mountain town of Breckenridge. But other assets, including a location in Denver and the Wynkoop Brewing Company, will remain under the current Breckenridge-Wynkoop management group.

    Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
     
    06.01.2016   USA: Congress passes tax reforms benefiting small brewers and TTB expands ...    ( E-Malt.com )

    ... updates formula rule for breweries using spices and fruit in their beer

    This week in Washington, DC, a couple of different things happened that help small breweries. First up, Congress passed tax reforms that will provide substantial benefits for small breweries. Next, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) expanded and updated the formula rule, which previously encumbered breweries that use stuff like spices and fruit in their beers, seattlepi.com reported on December 22.

    Today, breweries file their federal taxes every two weeks. The reform allows them to do it quarterly. But that’s just the beginning. Below, the Brewers Association explains it in more details.

    The tax extenders package for small beverage alcohol producers includes favorable reforms related to bond requirements and extended filing periods. The plan makes the tax cuts for equipment permanent, while also significantly raising the qualifying threshold. Additionally, the bill includes language that would keep any of the funds made available by this or any other act to be used to implement or enforce any provision of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

    “These filing and bonding requirements are an important victory for small and independent brewers, and we are thrilled that these provisions have been included in the tax extenders bill,” said Bob Pease, chief executive officer, Brewers Association. “We are extremely grateful to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) for his leadership in bringing the entire beverage alcohol space behind well thought out proposals that benefit us all. We also appreciate Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) making this legislation a priority to help small alcohol producers across the country.”

    “Small brewers, vintners and distillers are fermenting economic growth in every corner of Oregon and across the United States,” Wyden said. “Passing this bill means less red tape for small business that are such an important economic multiplier. I hope this is only the first round of common sense legislation to cut taxes and unnecessary regulations for America’s craft beverage industry.”

    “As co-chairman of the Small Brewers Caucus, I’m pleased to have worked on this bipartisan legislation to simplify the paperwork that small brewers in Pennsylvania have to file with the IRS,” Kelly said. “Now they’ll be able to file their excise taxes quarterly instead of every two weeks, which means they’ll be able to spend less time filing out tax forms‎ and can get back to what they do best—brewing quality craft beverages in the Commonwealth.”

    “From cider to wine, beer and spirits, the craft beverage industry holds an important and growing role in Oregon’s and the nation’s economy,” said Blumenauer. “Passage of this bill will better target the rules governing these industries and will expand opportunities for small entrepreneurs across the country.”

    Separately, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) updated and expanded the formula rule, exempting ingredients and processes used in the production of beer from being subjected to formula requirements.

    “This is also a key win, given the revival and growing popularity of numerous beer styles, such as fruit and spice beers,” added Pease. “It takes a substantial burden off the brewer of having to specifically label ingredients that are already well known to the trade and consumers by their flavor designation.”

    The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.
     
    05.01.2016   The Coca-Cola Company Chief Administrative Officer Alexander B. Cummings to Retire    ( Company news )

    Company news The Coca-Cola Company announced that Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Alexander B. Cummings (photo) will retire March 31, 2016 after more than 18 years of distinguished service to the Company.

    A highly respected leader within the Coca-Cola system, Cummings joined The Coca-Cola Company in July 1997 as Deputy Region Manager for Nigeria and quickly advanced to become President of Coca-Cola’s Africa Group in 2001. A native of Liberia, West Africa, Cummings led a period of strong growth in Coca-Cola’s Africa business, overseeing critical investments in marketing and infrastructure across 56 African countries and territories from 2001-2008.

    In July 2008, Cummings was named to his current position of Chief Administrative Officer to consolidate oversight of key global corporate functions including Legal, People, Strategic Planning, Information Technology, Strategic Security, Sustainability and Technical. He has played a key role as an executive sponsor of efforts to imbed productivity throughout the Company, including current efforts to achieve $3 billion in annual cost savings by 2019.

    “We thank Alex for his tireless service to growing and advancing our business in key markets around the world,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company. “Alex’s legacy will be as a leader who focused on growth and made us more efficient and effective. He also has a passion for our people and a vision for building sustainable communities as part of our local business. We wish will him well on his retirement.”

    During Cummings’ time as Coca-Cola Africa’s President, he oversaw the creation of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation in response to the growth and impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In 2001, the Foundation established an extensive healthcare program for Coca-Cola workers affected by HIV/AIDS and related conditions across Africa in addition to supporting HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness throughout local communities. Today, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation is the largest regional foundation within Coca-Cola’s global network with a focus on clean water, health education and entrepreneurship. Since 2001, it has granted more than $100 million to support sustainable communities in Africa.

    Before joining Coca-Cola, Cummings served in a variety of roles for The Pillsbury Company.

    With Cummings’ retirement, the role of Chief Administrative Officer will not be filled and the reporting structure for the global administrative functions will be realigned within the existing senior leadership team.
    (The Coca-Cola Company)
     


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