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    29.03.2017   Beviale Family planning offspring in Brazil    ( BrauBeviale 2018 )

    BrauBeviale 2018 -Contract signed: Beviale Family and Secretaria de Turismo de Blumenau/Parque Vila Germanica (PVG) conclude cooperation
    -International expertise in the beverage sector further confirmed

    At the beginning of March 2017, within the framework of the Feira Brasileira da Cerveja in Blumenau, the future cooperation between NürnbergMesse GmbH and the Secretaria de Turismo de Blumenau/Parque Vila Germanica (PVG) was officially declared. As a result, the Beviale Family is extending its international growth strategy to include a new market: Brazil.

    With the Parque Vila Germanica (PVG), Blumenau – the “Beer capital of Brazil” – not only has the largest event centre of Santa Catarina, Brazil, but is also the venue for the “Feira Brasileira da Cerveja” beer festival. There, on 8 March 2017, the future cooperation between NürnbergMesse GmbH and PVG was concluded within the framework of a press conference. The content of the cooperation is the mutual support through sales and marketing measures between the Beviale Family and PVG. The Feira Brasileira da Cerveja will therefore be “supported by BrauBeviale” from 2018.

    “We are delighted to also welcome Brazil in our global network through this cooperation”, says Rolf Keller, Member of the Management Board NürnbergMesse. “As a result, the Beviale Family is also growing in Brazil.”

    NürnbergMesse: international expertise in the beverage industry
    The NürnbergMesse Group is demonstrating its expertise with regards to the beverage industry on an international stage. In addition to the traditional parent trade fair BrauBeviale in Nuremberg (Germany), which will take place again in November 2018 with more than 1,100 exhibitors and about 38,000 trade visitors, the Group also organizes exhibitions in important growth markets around the world under the “Beviale Family” umbrella: In addition to Beviale Moscow, which successfully took place for the second time in 2017 from 28th February to 2nd March, the Group will also be hosting CRAFT BEER CHINA from 17th to 19th May 2017 in Shanghai as well as CRAFT BEER ITALY, which will celebrate its premiere from 22nd to 23rd November 2017 in Milan. Other projects are currently being planned.
    (NürnbergMesse GmbH)
    29.03.2017   Russia: Baltika Breweries expands capacity for production of non-alcoholic beer    ( )

    Russia-based Baltika Breweries, part of the Carlsberg Group, has expanded its capacity for production of non-alcoholic beer, the Drinks Business Review reported on March 16.

    The company increased the number of sites where innovative non-alcoholic brewery equipment is installed.

    Baltika-Samara brewery became the fourth brewery where the first edition of non-alcoholic beer Baltika 0 was produced.

    Baltika said in the recent years there has been a significant growth in the non-alcoholic beer industry in Russia.

    Non-alcoholic beer segment witnessed a growth of 12% in the country, while the total beer market saw a decline between 1-2%.

    To cater to the increasing demand for the segment, Baltika has invested in the equipment and is poised in bringing an alcohol-free beer to the market at an affordable price.

    Baltika Breweries Marketing vice president Maxim Lazarenko said: "Recently we noted strengthening trend of growth of alcohol-free beer category in our country. And this is to be expected: in Russia, the segment takes no more than 1% of market, while in Germany it amounts to 5% and to 15% in Spain.

    “With the development of beer consumption culture, the structure of Russians preferences is also gradually approaching the common European one. Therefore, we made a decision to extend the geography of production of Baltika 0 leading on the market of alcohol-free beer brands in 2017 and moved to the east of our country.”

    The company said the process of producing non-alcoholic beer is more expensive compared to alcoholic beer. It says the non-alcoholic beer should meet the requirements which are imposed on soft drinks.

    The calorific value of Baltika 0 is claimed to be lower than apple juice and the beer also has low glycemic index similar to fat-free kefir.

    One of the major reasons for the increase in demand for non-alcoholic beer has been the popularisation of healthy lifestyle in public. The company claims that it has been a pioneer in non-alcoholic beer in the country with a 60% market share.

    Presently, Baltika 0 is not only consumed in Russia, but is being exported to 47 countries.
    29.03.2017   Save up to 60% time and 70% water with this new powerful tank cleaning machine    ( Company news )

    Company news Fast and cost effective cleaning
    Saving time and water are some of the KPIs which have the most attention in the hygienic industries. The new Alfa Laval TJ40G rotary tank cleaning machine uses a high-impact jet stream to effectively clean tough tank residues and minimize the risk of product contamination. This four-nozzle rotary jet head also cleans tanks 60% faster than static spray ball technology, which increases production uptime. And because it cleans faster, this new device uses less water and less cleaning agents thereby reducing operating costs by up to 70%.

    The Alfa Laval TJ40G is capable of handling tough tank residues as well as solids up to 1mm in the cleaning fluid in tank sizes 50-1000 m³. This is particularly important for demanding process lines, such as applications within the brewhouse, where both the size and the amount of particles may be re-circulated in cleaning media before completing the cleaning cycle.

    Complete self-cleaning system
    Not only does the Alfa Laval TJ40G rotary tank cleaning machine provide spotless cleaning of the tank interior, it also cleans itself – inside and out.
    Its hygienic self-cleaning construction ensures that the flow of the cleaning fluid reaches the exterior surfaces of the rotary jet head, as well as the critical interior components such as all bushings, bearings and inner surfaces. This minimizes the risk of product contamination and ensures a high product quality.

    Alfa Laval's rotary tank cleaning machines are designed with numerous of features to ensure self-cleaning of the machine, such as directional flow from small jets in the hub that cleans the exterior of the machine. A low pressure loss over the machine provides increased cleaning efficiency compared with other tank cleaning machine running at same inlet pressure. This result in lower cleaning cost as the unit can run at lower pressure/flow compared to other tank cleaning machines.

    All Alfa Laval rotary tank cleaning devices comply with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
    (Alfa Laval Kolding A/S)
    29.03.2017   The Czech Republic: Budvar reports record beer output in 2016    ( )

    Production of Budvar beer, which has been embroiled in a lengthy legal dispute with U.S. giant Anheuser-Busch over the use of the "Budweiser" brand, reached a record in 2016, ABC News reported on March 17.

    Budejovicky Budvar NP, a Czech state-owned brewery, said its output rose 0.8 percent to 1.615 million hectolitres (42.66 million gallons) of beer, the highest volume in its 120-year history. It did not disclose exact export figures but said it sells about 60 percent of its production abroad.

    The brewery says it's been close to reaching its production capacity since 2015 and is investing 2 billion Czech crowns ($79.5 million) to expand output to up to 2 million hectolitres a year.
    29.03.2017   UK: Britain's largest supermarket scraps more than half of Heineken range in response to ...    ( )

    ... brewer’s plan to hike prices

    Tesco has scrapped more than half of its Heineken beer and cider range, after the brewing giant unveiled plans to hike prices in response to the pound's decline following the Brexit vote, the International Business Times reported on March 22.

    According to the Times, Britain's largest supermarket has reduced the number of Heineken products on its shelves from 53 at the start of the year to 22. Tiger, Amstel, Sol and Kingfisher are among the beers to have disappeared from Tesco's stores.

    A spokesman for the company was quoted as saying the decision was motivated by the intent to better match the range of beers and ciders to customers' needs.

    In January, Heineken said it would raise prices by an average of 6p per pint, blaming its decision on "prevailing economic conditions", chief among them being sterling's 16% drop in the months following Britain's vote in favour of leaving the European Union.

    A weaker pound makes imports more expensive and even though the majority of beers brewed in Britain are made with home-grown ingredients, brewers have been hit by higher transport and energy costs.

    It is not the first time Tesco and one of its major suppliers has become embroiled in a price row.

    In October last year, a squabble blew up between the retailer and Unilever, when the Anglo-Dutch firm raised wholesale prices by 10% forcing the supermarket to cover the rising costs of goods made abroad since June's Brexit vote.

    However, Tesco, which has a 28% share of the UK grocery market, refused to pay, pulling popular Unilever products such as Marmite, Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Persil detergents off its online shopping platforms.

    The corporate row, dubbed Marmitegate at the time, was soon resolved and Unilever products returned to all Tesco stores but only after the government was forced to intervene.
    28.03.2017   Rising Number of Microbrewers Propelling the Growth in Global Demand for Specialty Malts    ( Company news )

    Company news In parallel with the rise in global consumption of alcoholic beverages, local entrepreneurs from all corners of the world have begun treading the waters of brewing businesses. A considerable rise in the number of microbreweries being set up across the globe is stimulating the growth in consumption of specialty malts – a key ingredient for making alcoholic beverages such as beer. Innovations in brewing techniques has further consolidated the application of specialty malts in production of flavoured alcoholic beverages.

    A new research report from Future Market Insights reveals that the global market for specialty malts, which is currently valued at an estimated US$ 2.16 billion, is expected to soar at a steady CAGR of 6.4% and bring in revenues worth over US$ 4 billion by 2026 end.

    Since the growth in demand for specialty malts continues to remain contingent upon global alcoholic beverage consumption, more than one million tonnes of specialty malts are anticipated to be consumed through 2026. Incidentally, this will also shore up the global production of barley, wheat, corn, soybean and other grains used for deriving specialty malts. By lending a unique flavour, texture, and colour, the application of specialty malts continues to gain significance in production of beverages, revenues from which will impose nearly 90% share on global specialty malts market value throughout the forecast period. The research reveals that revenue share of alcoholic beverages in the global specialty malt market will remain consistent at nearly 82% through 2026. Meanwhile, about 130,000 tonnes of specialty malts were globally consumed for production of non-alcoholic drinks & beverages in 2016.

    Western Europe – Largest Consumer of Specialty Malts
    When it comes to consuming flavoured alcoholic beverages, consumers in Western European countries such as Germany, France or Belgium will certainly not shy away. By the end of the forecast period, more than 500,000 tonnes of specialty malts will be consumed across Western Europe, making it the largest consumer of specialty malts in the world. With respect to production, the demand for specialty malts will register stellar growth in the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region. The APEJ specialty malts market will register the highest value CAGR of 7.8%, and procure over US$ 1 billion revenues during the projected period. North America and Latin America are anticipated to account for a collective share of more than 24% in global specialty malts revenues through 2026.

    In the report, titled “Specialty Malts Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026,” Future Market Insights discloses that global demand for caramelised malts will incur a decline in 2017 and beyond. While their dominance on global market revenues will be retained through 2026, the rate at which caramelised specialty malts are consumed in the world will be outpaced by surging consumption of roasted malts. By the end of forecast period, more than US$ 1.5 billion worth of roasted specialty malts are being projected to be sold in the world. Over two-third of global specialty malts production will be sourced from barley grain produce. Although, advancing farming techniques will also increase the production of specialty malts from wheat and rye grains. Likewise, dry extracts of specialty malts will dominate the global specialty malts revenues by accounting for a steady share of 69%. On the other hand, liquid and malt flour extracts will lose market presence in the years to come, exhibiting a marginal dip in their global revenue share.
    (Future Market Insights)
    27.03.2017   Constantia Flexibles Partners with Coca-Cola for Launch of New ROYAL BLISS Product Line    ( Company news )

    Company news Coca-Cola Spain surprised top restauranteurs and bar owners with a presentation of Royal Bliss, a new product line exclusively for the HORECA industry. The 8-flavor line of premium mixers launched Feb 1, 2017. This is Coca-Cola’s first new local brand in Spain in 10 years and is backed by a 22 million Euro investment. Currently only planned for Spain’s HORECA sector, Royal Bliss gives the bartender a portfolio of flavors to create exciting new drinks.

    Jorge Garduño, CEO of Coca-Cola for Spain and Portugal, called Royal Bliss one of their “big bets for 2017”. To bring this product line to market, Coca-Cola partnered with Constantia Flexibles for the front labels. Constantia Flexibles created a wash-off pressure sensitive label. This label consists of a 45 micron clear shrinkable film that was gravure printed with 7 colors using their Thermowash technology. This technology ensures that the inks and adhesive are completely extracted in the bottle washing process. They also created a pressure sensitive label using screen/flexo print for non-returnable bottles.

    Coca-Cola Spain is very pleased with the look and efficiency of the label. “We are committed to HORECA and we want to give those thousands of customers a range of products with which they can continue to amaze their customers,” said Paloma Cruz Caridad, Sparkling SD Brand Director Iberia at The Coca-Cola Company.
    (Constantia Flexibles GmbH)
    24.03.2017   Henry's Hard Grape is Here - Henry's Hard Soda Welcomes 4th Flavor to the Family    ( Company news )

    Company news Henry’s Hard Soda gives fans the flavor they’ve been craving, Henry’s Hard Grape Soda. People have been asking for it, and now they can finally enjoy their favorite flavor with an adult kick. Hard Grape can be picked up along with the rest of the Henry’s family: Hard Ginger Ale, Hard Orange and Hard Cherry Cola.

    Henry’s Hard Grape Soda is 4.2 percent alcohol by volume and offers a refreshing grape taste with citrus undertones; the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

    It’s been a great first year for Henry’s Hard Soda, and we could not be more excited to welcome Hard Grape into to the family. It’s a flavor that our fans have been calling for, and one we are thrilled to give them,” said Josh Wexelbaum, MillerCoors marketing director of emerging brands. “We continue to stay on-top in the hard soda category because we are committed to bringing Generation-Xers an adult spin on flavors they know and love.”

    With the launch of Hard Grape, Henry’s Hard Soda continues to solidify its position as the No. 1 hard soda brand, showcasing its commitment to taste and flavor exploration as it continues to bring drinkers a modern and adult twist on their favorite flavors.

    Henry’s Hard Grape is not the only news for the Henry’s family of brands in 2017. In March, Henry’s launched an extension line of sparkling, low carb, under 95 calorie adult beverages to the mix.

    Henry’s Hard Soda is available nationwide at most grocery, liquor and convenience stores in 6-pack 12-ounce bottles. Select flavors are offered in 16-ounce single cans.
    (MillerCoors LLC)
    23.03.2017   Ball Intends to Cease Production at its Beverage Packaging Facilities in Recklinghausen, Germany    ( Company news )

    Company news Ball Corporation announced that it intends to cease production at the company’s Recklinghausen, Germany, facilities at the end of July 2017 and only after due negotiation and agreement with the Works Council. Customers currently supported by the Recklinghausen beverage container and end plants will be supplied by other Ball facilities in Europe.

    “Given the regional market environment, we need to ensure that we remain cost competitive for the long term,” said Colin Gillis, President, Ball Beverage Packaging Europe. “While closing plants is always difficult, our goal is safeguarding the long-term success of the business for all of our stakeholders, including our 3,900 employees in Europe.”

    The Recklinghausen site opened in 1968. The beverage can and end facilities employ approximately 360 people. Ball intends to carry out the proposed closure in a respectful and socially acceptable way, and to support employees through various measures.
    (Ball Corporation)
    22.03.2017   KEG barrel washing and filling machines    ( Company news )

    Company news KEG barrel washers and fillers are intended for internal washing and filling of KEG barrels. KEG washers and fillers are made according to customer´s wishes in different versions that are fit for washing and filling different keg barrel types or other small containers. Their separate functions enable KEG barrel washing and filling operations to be performed simultaneously.

    This device is equipped with a heated cleaning detergent reservoir that can be heated to 80°C by using a thermostatically controlled heating element. A manometer provides pressure control in the connected circle. A stainless steel pump is installed because of the aggressive environment. KEG barrel washers and fillers are also equipped with steam, CO2 and water connections and can fill 10-16 50L kegs in an hour. The washing process is comprised of removing all residual beer from the barrels, washing, discharging the waste water, circulation of the chemical cleaning solution, providing a final rinse, steam sterilization, cleaning and pressurization and final preparation of the kegs for filling. KEG barrels may only be released for filling once they have been washed and cooled to an appropriate temperature.

    -Simple and efficient use for washing and beer refilling of KEG barrels
    -Smooth barrel washing
    -Fabrication of the equipment according to customer´s requirements depending on the size and type of KEG barrels used
    -Supply of washing and filling heads according to customer´s request
    -Possibility of parallel washing and filling of KEG barrels
    -Design manufactured from high-quality stainless steel material
    -Providing sanitary use of the equipment and meeting the highest hygienic standards
    -Easy and simple operation
    (PSS Svidnik a.s.)
    22.03.2017   Leading competence through permanent research and development     ( Company news )

    Company news Vitafoods 2017, booth I12: Kaneka Pharma Europe presents Kaneka Ubiquinol™ and Glavonoid™ – two ingredients with scientifically proven functions for use in health-improving and sports supplements

    At this year’s Vitafoods, Kaneka Pharma Europe will showcase Kaneka Ubiquinol™, the most active form of coenzyme Q10. Used as a nutritional supplement, the ingredient helps to prevent several diseases associated with aging. Thanks to its confirmed benefits on muscle performance and recovery, a number of professional athletes have already adopted Kaneka Ubiquinol™ as part of their training schedule. The company will also highlight the visceral fat-reducing and Novel Food-approved licorice root extract Glavonoid™, which has great promise for sports and fitness applications.

    Besides Ubiquinol’s essential role in energy production, it is the only endogenously synthesised lipid-soluble antioxidant and therefore protects cell membranes from free radical damage. Its high bioavailability and bio accessibility enables Ubiquinol to be taken up by the body more quickly and efficiently than oxidized coenzyme Q10. Ubiquinol is scientifically proven to counteract several age-related ailments. Recently, in one of the largest ever studies, involving 1,911 subjects, Dr Frank Döring was able to demonstrate the function of Ubiquinol in gene expression: “People with low levels of Ubiquinol have higher levels of BNP and CRP, which are essential molecules of inflammatory processes and play an important role as risk factors for heart disease.” Ubiquinol is also vital for improving recovery in healthy individuals. The latest products target active “Best Agers” who want to stay healthy, as well as athletes who are keen to optimise their immune defences and muscular capabilities. Several European sports professionals have already started to use Kaneka Ubiquinol™, and its activity for athletes is backed by various scientific studies. Having thus far been mainly available in capsule form, Kaneka has now developed a stabilized Ubiquinol powder for use in powdered and liquid applications.

    Furthermore, Kaneka will present the Novel Food-approved plant extract Glavonoid™, which was originally developed to prevent metabolic syndrome. Derived from licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.), Glavonoid™ has been proven to be completely safe and is approved by the European authorities with Novel Food ingredient status. An advanced, patented extraction process ensures that the ingredient does not contain any glycyrrhizinic acid, making it free from the unwanted side-effects of licorice. Glavonoid™ is able to increase the body’s own fat burning ability, while at the same time decreasing fat synthesis by down-regulating genes that are involved in fatty acid development. Since 2015, Glavonoid™ has been approved for extended use in foods for medical purposes and energy-restricted diets for weight reduction. A food supplement containing Glavonoid™ was now submitted for the Nutraingredients Award for best new weight management supplement of the year.

    A recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted in 2016 verified that Glavonoid™ can also increase skeletal muscle mass in humans in combination with exercise. During the study, male American Football athletes ingested 300 mg Glavonoid™ per day over 8 weeks of training. Ultrasound imaging analysis revealed that the muscle thickness of the anterior thighs and anterior brachial regions in the Glavonoid™ group were both significantly increased by 2.5% at week 8 in comparison to baseline. There was no such increase in the placebo group. Abdominal muscle thickness increased in both groups, but the increase was 1.8 times greater in the Glavonoid group than in the placebo group (p<0.05). It can therefore be seen that Glavonoid™ is ideal for inclusion in products aimed at the sports and fitness market.
    (Kaneka Pharma Europe N.V.)
    21.03.2017   GLASS PACK 2017 awaits you on June 8th in Pordenone    ( Company news )

    Company news We are pleased to present GLASS PACK 2017, the first B2B event completely dedicated to glass container design and production management. The event covers every aspect of design, production, decoration, closures, labels, packing, storage, etc. The event will take place on June 8th, 2017 at Pordenone Exhibition Centre.

    The event provides a large exhibition space together with high-powered international seminar and workshop sessions.

    GLASS PACK 2017 will foster business meetings between glassworks, decorators, service providers, designers, glass bottle and container dealers accessory suppliers, specialist design studios, and their buyers.

    The seminars will focus on specific topics across the entire spectrum of the glass packaging industry for the beverage, spirits and food sectors.
    Because of its one-day light formula, GLASS PACK 2017 is a unique opportunity to develop and maximize business in this field through networking.

    GLASS PACK 2017 is a fair and conference organized by Smartenergy, the leading service company for communication and promotion in the container and flat glass sectors. Smartenergy publishes the magazine Glass Machinery Plants & Accessories, the annual directory World Glass Directory and, the leading global website dedicated to the glass industry, along with a daily news service.
    (Smartenergy S.r.l.)
    21.03.2017   Second Beviale Moscow a complete success    ( Company news )

    Company news -Growth in all three trade fair figures
    -Comprehensive supporting programme proved to be very popular
    -Premiere: ROSGLAVPIVO Russian Beer Prize awarded

    The second edition of Beviale Moscow was a complete success. Growth in all three trade fair figures, the very well-received supporting programme and the well-attended product presentations form the excellent summary that the trade fair for the beverage industry in Eastern Europe can take away from the three successful days. From 28th February to 2nd March 2017, 3,984 trade visitors came to the trade fair (2015: 2,667) to find out more about current issues along the beverage production value-added chain from the 130 exhibitors (2015: 112) and in the special trade fair areas. The segments of raw materials as well as technologies and machines in particular have grown significantly in comparison to last year’s trade fair and have made a contribution to ensuring that Beviale Moscow now covers a total exhibition area of 1,630m2 (2015: 1,248m2).

    “Beviale Moscow 2017 was a fantastic success and the second edition gave us some idea of the kind of potential which may be exploited in the Russian market”, reports Thimo Holst, Project Manager at NürnbergMesse. “We are thrilled with the growth of more than 30 percent in the exhibition area and 50 percent in the number of visitors”, Holst continues. “But even more impressive for me was the positive atmosphere and the intensive exchange of ideas and experiences between exhibitors and visitors across the three days of the event. Beviale Moscow is little by little becoming the central meeting point for the Russian beverage industry and we are already looking forward to taking our energy and momentum forward to the next Beviale Moscow in 2018.”

    The exhibitors agree – they could not be happier
    Tosner Brno, Commercial Manager, Destila s.r.o: “We really liked the organization – it was excellent. It is the well-known German feature that you come to your stand and everything is set up for you. The mood at the exhibition was very good as well.” Beviale Moscow serves as a door-opener to the growth markets in Russia and its neighboring countries, something which was affirmed by Jan Nevelos, Technical Sales Manager CEE, LALLEMAND UK LIMITED: “Beviale Moscow is a great event with plenty of visitors. We were busy all the time and are getting more and more contacts.” The exhibitors came from a total of 18 countries, mainly from Russia and its neighboring countries, but also from Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy in order to provide solutions for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Jean-Jacques Bourdallé, Sales Director Europe, Fermentis Lesaffre for Beverages was extremely satisfied with the number of visits to his stand: “Beviale Moscow is a great opportunity to meet our customers, to develop our market visibility and to promote products for the Russian market.”

    Interested trade visitors discussed individual solution approaches
    3,984 trade visitors showed great interest in directly exchanging ideas and experiences relating to specific trade questions. They traveled from 34 different countries, but primarily from Russia itself as well as Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Experts from breweries and malthouses, from the beverage trade, from the catering and restaurant trade, from the fields of wine, soft drinks, fruit juice, mineral water and milk, as well as from the tertiary sector and research institutes discussed individual solution approaches in all segments of the beverage industry with regional and international providers and suppliers.

    Supporting programme and special shows met with keen interest
    Alongside the intensive exchange of expertise, the focus of the second Beviale Moscow was also firmly on a significantly expanded supporting programme with thrilling product presentations. High profile speakers from academia and practice provided the interested visitors with input. The discussions not only revolved around beverage production itself; individual process steps, in particular, were also examined. The special areas dedicated to PET as well as refrigeration and heating technology celebrated their premieres and were met with keen public interest. Whilst beverage packaging took center stage at the new “PETarena powered by PETnology” special show, the topics of process refrigeration, cold chain and cold storage, in particular, were in the limelight at the “Refrigeration & Heating Pavilion”. Both mid-sized traders and global players certainly got their money’s worth.

    Craft Beer Movement arrived in Eastern Europe
    It has long since not been a secret that craft-brewed, aroma-rich beer is becoming more and more popular in Russia, too. It was thus no surprise that the Craft Beer Corner, which was part of Beviale Moscow for the first time, was also a complete success. Several hundred visitors took the opportunity to try the different beers produced by approximately 15 breweries and to learn about the specifics of the brewing process of these particular beers from the Russian beer sommeliers. For those who wanted to properly immerse themselves in the Craft Beer Scene, they were in good hands at the three-day “VLB Seminar for Brewers”. The continuing education event at which the technological and qualitative aspects of brewing were discussed and analyzed was organized by the long-established conference partner in Russia, the Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei in Berlin (VLB – Research and Teaching Institute for Brewing). Besides imparting pure factual knowledge, great emphasis was placed on establishing networks and exchanging ideas and expertise.

    Russian Beer Prize awarded for the first time
    Following the example of the acclaimed and successful European Beer Star Award, the ROSGLAVPIVO Russian Beer Prize was awarded at the trade fair for the first time. The beers were separated into 23 different categories – from “Pilsner German Style”, through “India Pale Ale”, to non-alcoholic and flavored beers. The ROSGLAVPIVO prize was supported by the Russian Ministry for the Food Industry and organized by the Barley, Malt & Beer Union together with the Private Brauerien e.V. (Association of Private Breweries e.V. in Germany).

    To be continued:
    The next Beviale Moscow will take place in spring 2018 in Moscow.
    (NürnbergMesse GmbH)
    21.03.2017   Walter Brambilla supports SCHÄFER Container Systems in Italy    ( Company news )

    Company news New Sales Representative for Italy

    On February 1st. 2017, Mr Walter Brambilla took up his post as SCHÄFER Container Systems’ new sales representative for Italy, thus reinforcing the sales activities of the well-know manufacturer of reusable container systems for beverages (KEGs) and IBCs and special containers in stainless steel.

    Brambilla, whose most recent position was Business Development Manager, can look back on over 25 years of sales experience. With his new position, SCHÄFER will be strengthening their local presence on the Italian market. “We are extremely pleased that we were able to fill this strategically important position with Mr Bramibilla and provide the growing Italian beverage industry, and in particular the beer and wine sector, with a strong and competent partner on the ground”, says Guido Klinkhammer, Business Unit Sales Director at SCHÄFER Container Systems. The company offers beverage producers a wide-ranging KEG portfolio that can be configured to accommodate specific customer wishes. In future, this is also expected to increasingly benefit the Italian craft brewing sector.
    20.03.2017   USA: Russian River Brewing Company opts for ZIEMANN HOLVRIEKA     ( Company news )

    Company news The Russian River Brewing Company has chosen ZIEMANN HOLVRIEKA GmbH to supply brewhouse and tank technology for its greenfield project in Windsor, California. Thus yet another leading American craft brewer has opted to go with the well-known Ludwigsburg company.

    Photo Front row (left to right): Klaus Gehrig, CEO and COO of ZIEMANN HOLVRIEKA, Natalie Cilurzo, Co-Owner and President, Vinnie Cilurzo, Co-Owner and brewer (both of Russian River Brewing Company), Ralph Gehlhar, CCO of ZIEMANN HOLVRIEKA. Back row (left to right): Floris Delee, Kathinka Engineering Inc., Nadine Vossler, Order Processing, Michael Kurzweil, Vice President Sales for Tanks, Hanspeter Geigle, Project Manager, Jürgen Rohrbach, Lead Engineer (all from ZIEMANN HOLVRIEKA).

    The brewhouse supplied by ZIEMANN HOLVRIEKA for the greenfield project will achieve a capacity of 88 hectoliters (75 bbl) per brew. Among other equipment, it will have a Colibri mash agitator, a Lotus lauter tun, a Shark boiler and a T-Rex milling unit. Another noteworthy feature is a special hopping system that will enable the brewery to produce a wide spectrum of aroma profiles. The brewhouse, which is a showpiece in every respect, will be a key element of the Russian River Brewing Company’s marketing strategy when completed. In addition to the brewhouse technology, ZIEMANN HOLVRIEKA will be delivering 17 cylindro-conical fermentation and storage tanks and six pressure tanks for the cold block, which is being built at the same time.

    Brewhouse and Tanks for Greenfield Project in Windsor
    “We are very happy that the Russian River Brewing Company, one of the most creative craft brewers in the USA, will be using our technologies and products,” says Ralph Gehlhar, CCO of ZIEMANN HOLVRIEKA GmbH. Russian River is known as the originator of famous brews like the strongly hopped Double and Triple IPAs (India Pale Ales), which are popular throughout the United States. One example is the Triple IPA called Pliny the Younger, which is available only for two weeks each year, and in pub draft only. This year more than 16,000 beer lovers came to the presentation. Another specialty of the company is its Belgian inspired sour beers, which are fermented with Brettanomyces yeasts. Ground breaking will be in March 2017, and the brewery will go into operation in June 2018.
    (Ziemann Holvrieka GmbH)
    17.03.2017   A breathe of folklore    ( Company news )

    Company news The Ukrainian company OLYMP has launched a new 0.375 litre bottle for Malinovka vodka. It is made from flint glass and produced by Vetropack Gostomel.

    If you want to turn your humdrum dinner into a celebration, then Malinovka vodka adds the perfect finishing touch. OLYMP distils this spirit according to a traditional recipe consisting of entirely natural ingredients: “Lux”-grade grain and flavoured alcohols, water and honey. The vodka is triple-distilled to give it a rich, full-bodied taste. “Lux” quality means that no more than 0.02 per cent of the pure alcohol can be methyl alcohol, a substance released in small amounts during the production of spirits.

    On the reverse of the 0.375 litre vodka bottle are engravings of traditional motifs and the slogan “Malinovka. Always holiday time”. The elegant embossed elements, the simple label and the screw-in stopper marry beautifully together and enhance the bottle’s celebratory appearance. Produced by Vetropack’s Ukrainian plant in Gostomel, the flint glass bottles were designed by the Allberry agency in Kiev, which is well-known for its work on wine and spirit bottles in Ukraine.
    (Vetropack Gostomel JSC)
    16.03.2017   Discover the benefits of a no-label look for your beverage bottles    ( Company news )

    Company news Transparent labels give packaging a premium look, as if the letters and images are printed directly on the bottle. UPM Raflatac is now launching a new, thinner film product for clear labeling in beverage applications, especially beer bottle labeling. RafBev Clear TC 40 offers a clear, no-label look for companies aiming to replace wet glue with a PSA solution.

    For the ultimate clear-on-clear look choose the RP76E adhesive and a PET23 HS liner. Because water resistance is paramount in these applications, the good water whitening performance of RP76E makes it the perfect choice. Additionally, the adhesive paired with the PET23 HS liner is ideal for the newest and fastest dispensing and beverage bottling lines due to its clean and stable performance.

    RafBev Clear TC 40 is also built thinner, meaning that less raw material is needed in the production, transportation costs are reduced from a lighter load, and less waste is produced. Additionally, in printing and dispensing there are fewer reel changes, which further reduces waste and increases productivity.

    A clearer choice at every step
    “Beverage bottles undergo many humidity and temperature challenges throughout their lifetime,” says Päivi Knihti, Segment Manager, Films, EMEIA. “RafBev Clear TC 40 is designed to maintain its appearance and performance throughout, giving a premium no-label look with more flexibility than printing directly on the bottle. The no-label look is a clear winner with consumers – and brands are finding it provides excellent shelf appeal.”
    (UPM Raflatac Oy)
    15.03.2017   drinktec cluster and fairtrade sign a marketing cooperation    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 The aims of this cooperation are clear: a broader range of products and services to offer exhibitors and visitors and more targeted acquisition of market participants—for the events in the drinktec cluster of Messe München, and for those of fairtrade, a German organizer of food and beverage technology trade fairs. Messe München´s drinktec cluster includes international subsidiary trade shows in South Africa, India and China, and fairtrade organizes specialist trade fairs in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Iran. With immediate effect, the two cooperation partners aim to mutually support their respective trade fairs through corresponding marketing and sales activities. With their combined expertise in beverage, food and packaging technology, the intention is to expand and strength the individual events of both partners.

    Both trade show organizers have excellent networks in the industry. This cooperation agreement draws together the offer of the individual exhibition platforms, which represent the entire process chain of the food, beverage and packaging industry. “We complement each other perfectly with regard to industries and country portfolios: the drinktec cluster can strengthen its presence on the African continent and further expand the range of fdt Africa with our partner's food technology and Africa expertise. In turn, fairtrade benefits from our global reputation and expertise in the beverage and liquid food industry. Together, we can combine the respective multipliers, partners and media into a global network for the food, beverage and packaging industries, thus guaranteeing our customers trade show platforms with even greater reach,” explains Petra Westphal, Exhibition Group Director of the drinktec cluster. “I am delighted that with this cooperation, we are offering further value to our exhibitors and visitors,” continues Westphal.

    Paul März, Exhibition Director at fairtrade, adds: “Having worked in Iran since 1994 and on the African continent since 1997, we have a solid knowledge of these markets. Combined with the expertise of the drinktec cluster, this results in valuable synergies in order to achieve joint growth opportunities in the food and beverage industry. We very much look forward to the cooperation.”

    Richard Clemens, Managing Director of VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association, sees significant benefits from the cooperation for exhibitors and visitors: “This partnership will ensure a positive development for all the events. Through this cooperation, we can sustainably expand the trade-fair platforms abroad, in particular on the African continent. This enhances the attractiveness of the events for both exhibitors and visitors.”

    The following events will be held this year: agrofood Nigeria, from March 28 to 30, 2017 in Lagos; iran food + bev tec from May 23 to 26, 2017 in Tehran; drinktec, from September 11 to 15, 2017 in Munich; agrofood West Afrcia, from December 5 to 7, 2017 in Accra; and drink technology India, from October 24 to 26, 2018 in Mumbai.
    (Messe München GmbH)
    15.03.2017   KATZ STARTS UP NEW PACKING LINE    ( Company news )

    Company news The KATZ Group has invested in a new 30-meter long packing line at its Weisenbach site. The line was symbolically started up by managing director Daniel Bitton and printing plant manager Ralf Korz on 19 January 2017.

    Much of the work of packing bundles of coasters onto pallets was previously carried out manually, but in the future this will all be handled by the automated packing line, which packs the finished beer mats onto pallets and then wraps each pallet in stretch film. The line is controlled via a touch panel which stores the arrangement of the coaster packs on the pallets. KATZ personnel control and monitor the whole system and can summon up the list of current orders at the touch of a button.

    The new packing line even has a name: “Konrad”. It is named after Konrad Merkel, the former head of electrical maintenance who took well-deserved retirement at the end of 2016 after 47 years working for KATZ. He was the one who encouraged the purchase of the new system back in 2013.

    It took around nine weeks to assemble the packing line, and now it is finally up and running at the Weisenbach plant.
    We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to everyone involved in the project, both at the plant and at the planning department in Oberkirch. The project could never have been completed so quickly without their tremendous commitment and support.
    (Katz GmbH & Co. KG)


    Picture: Polish Office Reception Area

    Sidel has opened a new office in Wrocław, Poland, to offer an improved service to customers in the Central and Eastern Europe area. Known for its global experience, the leading provider of production equipment and services for liquids in PET, can and glass is equally committed to ensuring genuine local sales and support as part of its continued efforts to build long-term business partnerships. The company’s Poland-based teams moved to the new office in December 2016 and this relocation is already proving a success with existing and potential customers within the area.

    Sidel understands the importance of working in close proximity with customers in the regions in which it operates and in having dedicated offices where the company’s local representatives are permanently located and can readily be contacted. This is part of Sidel’s commitment to better understanding its customers’ products and the markets and value chains in which they operate. It provides the opportunity for more tailored solutions, combining technology, services and expertise to help producers to meet the specific requirements of the local market and its consumer trends. Wrocław, the largest city in western Poland, is recognised as a growing business centre. It stands on the River Oder, with good road and motorway connections to the rest of the country and other parts of the region. The new facility covers approximately 500 square metres and houses 25 of the company’s sales, field services, IT and finance employees.

    Paweł Warszawski, Sales Director DACH, Central & Eastern Europe, Russia & CIS for Sidel says: “We are always looking to improve our offering to customers. This move to bigger premises will provide many benefits including the opportunity to offer an even better support service. We are looking forward to maintaining our high standards while accelerating our growth in Poland and throughout Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Europe and Central Asia proved to be one of several regions in which we over-achieved order intake growth in 2016 and the relocation to this new facility provides an excellent foundation to develop our capabilities even further.”

    In its search for additional growth in the CEE region, Sidel recognises Poland as one of the most dynamic prospects. The packaging market in the country is anticipating a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.4% for drinks bottled in PET over the four-year period from 2016 to 2020, with glass and can forecast to grow respectively by 2.7% and by 1.0% over the same period . In the food, home and personal care market (FHPC), a CAGR of 1.6% is forecast for PET packaging from 2016 to 2020 . From its transparency, which allows the consumer to see the bottle’s contents clearly, to the material’s design flexibility and its strength to survive the supply chain and still provide a great consumer’s experience, PET simply delivers a great, all-around performance. Making it possible to substantially reduce the amount of material needed to produce strong, efficient and innovative bottles, PET offers producers significant cost and sustainability benefits through its capacity for lightweighting. Light yet robust, flexible and easy to transport, it offers the producer several valuable benefits, from preventing beverage and food waste to high levels of sustainability through its complete material recyclability.

    Visitors to Sidel’s new premises in Wrocław, Poland, will also be able to learn more about the company’s latest available packaging innovations, equipment and services. This includes Sidel Services Online, a web interface which enables fast online ordering of Sidel original spare parts. Originally introduced in Europe and Central Asia - where it continues to increase its uptake – the tool will be rolled out soon to other regions. Additionally, Sidel acknowledges the many different, seemingly contradictory demands that producers face – for example, the need to increase the number of stock keeping units (SKUs) manufactured while keeping production simple, efficient and reliable. This is why the company is committed to help them reap the benefits of Industry 4.0, especially when it comes to improve line operations in terms of speed, efficiency, flexibility and versatility. This is leading to the increased use of smart machines, system and data intelligence, digital connectivity and powerful simulation tools, all within a philosophy of sustainable production.
    (Sidel International AG)
    14.03.2017   Ardagh Group Announces Investment in Rugby Plant    ( Company news )

    Company news Ardagh Group announced an important investment in its Rugby manufacturing plant for the purpose of converting its beverage can production capabilities from steel to aluminium. This venture will serve to support committed partnership agreements with some of the most well-established beverage brands in the world. The timeline for the conversion involves project commencement in Q4 2017 and with an anticipated completion in Q1 2018.

    The investment in the UK plant’s manufacturing capabilities signals a clear intent from Ardagh Group in the continued development of its recently acquired beverage can business. “We look at this conversion as a key move in furthering Ardagh’s overall footprint and are confident it will be welcomed by our customers, the Rugby plant and our other key stakeholders,” said Oliver Graham, CEO Ardagh Metal Beverage.

    The Rugby UK plant was first established in 1989 as a two-line aluminium plant. In 1996, the plant was converted to steel to support customer needs at that time. Processes within the plant are currently being optimised via Ardagh’s Wrexham plant and other locations across Europe to ensure that customer expectations continue to be met during the plant’s downtime.

    Metal is a permanent material meaning it can be infinitely recycled without loss of quality. Universally recognised for its protective qualities, versatility and environmental credentials, metal has the strongest recycling rates of all packaging materials in Europe, thus effectively contributing to the fundamental principles of a circular economy.
    (Ardagh Group)
    14.03.2017   Cambodia: Cambodia Brewery Limited expands and adds Heineken to its production line    ( )

    Cambodia Brewery Limited (CBL) on March 6 officially unveiled a $100 million major brewery expansion and announced the addition of Heineken to its production line, the Khmer Times reported.

    Frans Eusman, president of Heineken Asia-Pacific, said his company began operations in Cambodia in 1994 as a joint-venture between Asia Pacific Brewery Limited and Progress Import-Export Company, which is owned by the Vattanac Group, and invested about $56 million to build a brewery in Cambodia.

    Mr. Eusman said the decision to expand the brewery was due to an increasing demand for their products in Cambodia. He said the company invested more than $100 million into the expansion, which was completed by the end of 2016.

    He added that the brewery’s capacity to produce beer is from 80 million to 300 million litres per annum or about 27,000 to 100,000 cases of beer per day.

    Now Cambodia Brewery Limited has been granted authorization from Heineken Company to produce Heineken beer in Cambodia after CBL took up the rights as exclusive distributor of Heineken in Cambodia in 2015,” Mr. Eusman said.

    Industry and Handicraft Ministry secretary of state Sat Samy said that CBL and Asia Pacific Brewery had invested about $56 million on a brewery to produce, import and sell ABC Stout, Tiger, Anchor, Gold Crown and Gold Crown Stout for local consumption since 1994.

    He added that the stability of the economy and politics as well as a solid potential investment climate pushed CBL to expand its operations and start producing Heineken.

    “The expansion project took about two years and was completed by the end of 2016,” Mr. Samy said.

    “The site is about 10,964 square meters. The new production chain can produce about 20,000 bottles of beer per hour and 60,000 cans of beer per hour to supply the domestic market,” he added, saying that the new factory has added nearly 460 jobs.

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, who presided over the grand opening on March 6, welcomed the expansion. He said he was at the ceremony more than two decades ago when CBL invested $56 million to build its initial brewery.

    “The progress of CBL has contributed to strengthening the national economy and reducing poverty since this company has added more than 456 jobs and pays about $100 million in taxes to the state per year,” he said.
    14.03.2017   The Netherlands: Heineken to launch its first alcohol-free beer    ( )

    Amsterdam-based brewer Heineken is to launch its first alcohol-free beer, Heineken 0.0, in the Netherlands on March 7. The beer, which has a partly blue label, will be available in Dutch bars and retail outlets ahead of an international launch, reported on March 6.

    The new product marks a change of strategy for the company, the Telegraaf reported. Late director Freddy Heineken vowed no alcohol-free beer would ever appear under the Heineken brand name, saying he felt even a light beer would damage the Heineken brand.

    But the present Heineken chief Jean-François van Boxmeer is not afraid of change and he has expanded the company considerably, the Telegraaf said.

    The Heineken brand still accounts for 30% of group profit. ‘The new brand is exciting,’ said Heineken master brewer Willem van Waesberghe. ‘It is the biggest change Heineken has made in years because it is an update of our own brand,’ he told the paper.

    Van Waesberghe, who was formerly director of research at the brewer, said Heineken worked on the formula for two years and that Heineken 0.0 had to fit into the brand’s global offering. He said the market for alcohol-free beer is growing rapidly, already accounting for 10% of beer sales in Spain.
    14.03.2017   UK: Special business rates protection for pubs announced in the final Spring budget statement    ( )

    UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced special business rates protection for pubs in England in the final Spring budget statement, Imbibe reported on March 8.

    The measures will see all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 receive a £1,000 discount on their 2017 bill. The move is estimated to cover 90% of pubs in England.

    In the afternoon on March 8, Hammond made further business rates concessions as what he called a ‘reaction to concerns raised by businesses’. Local authorities are to receive a £300 mln fund to deliver discretionary relief to help ease the burden on individual hard cases. Furthermore, any business coming out of Small Business Rate Relief will benefit from an additional cap, that will mean their rates will not increase by more than £50 a month.

    Reacting to the news, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive Kate Nicholls welcomed the news but said that long term reform was still needed to protect the sector.

    ‘It is very encouraging to see the government acknowledge and back the valuable work being carried out by the UK’s hardworking pubs, bars and restaurants,’ she said. ‘Sector-specific relief will help those businesses hardest hit by the revaluation. This much-needed government support will save the sector over £24m and will help safeguard investment and jobs.

    ‘We are pleased to see the government acknowledge the issue and act positively to support a crucial growth champion and a sector with turnover of £60bn employing over 1.5 million. The next step is for the government to instigate the long term, root and branch reform that is needed for pubs and bars and the ALMR is keen to work closely with them to achieve this.’

    In talking about the state of the UK economy, Hammond said: ‘We are focused on keeping Britain at the forefront of the global economy. And our ambition is for the UK to be the best place in the world to start and grow a business.’

    He also conceded that there was ‘scope to reform’ the business rates system in general, with more frequent revaluations. The government will set out its ‘preferred approach’ in due course.
    14.03.2017   USA: Case and dollar sales of imported beers increase last year    ( )

    There has never been a better time for Federbräu’s in the Thai market with the premium beer segment witnessing brighter opportunities than ever, the Nation reported on March 10.

    Edmond Neo Kim Soon, CEO Beer product group, pointed out that a recent research work on premium products consumption in Southeast Asia conducted by international research company AC Nielsen shows that Southeast Asian consumers are now likely to spend more on consumer products, particularly in the premium food and beverage segment. The research ranked Indonesia first in the region for this trend, while Thailand came second with a 24 percent increase in consumption of premium foods and beverages last year. The increase is partly because consumers today are willing to pay more for better products.

    Although sales in the Thai premium beer segment currently represent only 5 percent of the entire beer market, considered a small proportion compared to other markets, the research findings clearly reflect the growth trend. Thailand has steadily seen an emergence of new imported premium beer brands. With a total economic value of Bt7.2 billion, Edmond believes Federbräu could succeed in penetrating the Thai premium beer market.

    “We decided to introduce Federbräu to the Thai premium beer market as we believe there is strong growth potential. New-generation consumers want products that help support their image, while favoring beverages with a unique and distinctive taste. Federbräu can fulfill their demands,” the CEO said.

    Toranin Kiatichai, brand director of Federbräu, said Federbräu is imbued with the art and craftsmanship of German brewing. It is produced from German Single Malt, directly imported from Germany, which provides unique flavor and aroma. The beer contains 5 percent alcohol, making it easy to drink. The primary packaging includes a 620-ml bottle, 320-ml small bottle and 320-ml sleek can.

    The word Federbräu comes from the German words of “Feder” meaning feather, and “Bräu” for brew. It reflects the ideals of the contemporary metropolitan male who is passionate about life, seeks perfection and is meticulous in every detail.

    Edmond added that another strength of Federbräu is its competitive price strategy, which he believed would drive sales.

    “Thailand and Southeast Asia are our key markets. We have distributed Federbräu across Thailand using various channels since February 2017. The product is also being distributed throughout Southeast Asia Edmond added.”


    Beverage producers are currently facing multiple challenges. Their packaging solutions need to be innovative and able to offer great consumer experiences. Also, they have to ensure product integrity to meet food safety standards. All of this, without compromising on cost effectiveness. Sidel has worked with liquid dairy products (LDP) and juices, nectars, soft drinks, isotonics and teas (JNSDIT) producers for over 50 years - developing extensive experience and expertise in aseptic packaging. This means that the company can offer all the proven benefits of reliable PET aseptic complete line solutions.

    The increasing consumption rates of JNSDIT and LDP products – growing respectively by 6% and 5% on a yearly basis - provides significant business development opportunities for producers. The use of PET in these market segments continues to increase, with an annual growth of 3% expected for the JNSDIT sector and 8% for LDP by 2020. Producers can enlarge their bottling capacity or diversify their production with more value-added products in PET to maximise this market potential.

    Whatever the industry business goals, one concern stands above all others: food safety. PET bottles offer great physical protection and food barrier benefits that maintain the product’s safety and integrity across the supply chain. Guillaume Rolland, Sensitive Products Category Director at Sidel, comments - “Worldwide, consumers are becoming increasingly health-conscious and moving towards drinks with a more natural taste. This has brought a focus from producers on filling methods that protect the quality, taste and vitamin content of the beverages. Hot fill and aseptic filling solutions maintain the properties of beverages.” Using PET in aseptic packaging solutions offers great business opportunities through bottling sensitive products to be distributed at ambient temperature, preserving organoleptic properties and keeping them free from bacteria. It gives products a shelf life without pasteurisation, hot filling or the use of preservatives or sterilising agents.

    By choosing a PET aseptic complete line solution from Sidel, beverage producers can protect sensitive drinks and differentiate brands, handling a broad variety of products while reducing environmental impact and costs.

    Optimised aseptic production
    By partnering with Sidel, producers work with a single, market-leading supplier and can leverage an extensive 40 years of aseptic packaging expertise. Meeting producers' needs via fully connected aseptic lines requires an approach that is both holistic and flexible. The company’s fully integrated and technically advanced solutions employ the processing equipment and capabilities of Tetra Pak Processing Systems (TPPS) - the original inventor of aseptic technology. Over the years, Sidel and TPPS have been combining competencies and expertise to define and execute almost 100 complete lines projects.

    Sidel’s extensive experience, innovative equipment and professional services, assist customers through the entire production process. This ranges from differentiating and customised bottle and complete line design to fast production ramp-up and beyond. Tackling the challenges of sensitive beverages while maintaining cost-efficiency, the company helps producers package their products with the correct PET solution. It ensures food safety, product integrity and longevity while providing the support to build and differentiate their brand.

    Beverage and packaging solutions qualified by in-house experts
    Sensitive drinks can be affected by various factors when they are packaged – micro-organisms, light, oxygen and temperature. As well as ensuring that these do not detract from the quality of the content, PET also presents real opportunities to enhance the finished product. If Sidel’s scientific expertise on beverage packaging and industrial production is involved early in a new product packaging project, producers will be able to optimise bottle performance while ensuring product safety and quality. They will also achieve faster time to market and bottle designs which stand out on the supermarket shelves.

    Sidel experts in chemistry, microbiology, food science, filling processes and packaging materials help customers to qualify specific packaging solutions. This can involve a number of processes, including evaluating bottle samples and performing physical, chemical and sensory analyses to determine how the liquid interacts with the package. Tests are carried out under supply chain conditions to determine the optimal solution for defined distribution methods and shelf life. Based on the results, Sidel experts then make recommendations on bottle barrier material, weight, shape and type of cap, in order to ensure the product’s desired shelf life.

    Creating value from concept to customer
    At five packaging centres and four in-house R&D laboratories around the world, Sidel aims to create value in every phase of the supply chain. Based on the customer’s individual specifications, supply chain conditions and product goals, Sidel designers provide everything to turn a producer’s wish from idea to reality, creating innovative packaging to protect beverage quality and give the finished product a memorable and differentiating look. Those packaging solutions maintain optimum line performance using less material and energy, yet increasing product shelf life and always delivering a great consumer experience. Every year Sidel works on more than 250,000 new bottle concepts and 8,000 bottle designs.

    For new lines and the conversion of existing lines, the Sidel moulds for these bottles are designed for fast production and optimal performance. Made from quality aluminium or stainless steel and tested using real-world mechanical analysis and virtual stress simulations for maximum uptime, they are engineered to last. The moulds offer great freedom of design with fast, easy changeovers - and can be adapted to all generations of the company’s blowers.

    Scientifically proven dry aseptic solution
    Sidel's unique PET aseptic filling solution with dry preform decontamination ensures product integrity, production flexibility, cost efficiency and sustainability. Based on the obvious fact that it is simpler to decontaminate the preform rather than the blown bottle, Sidel patented this unique technology - Sidel Predis™ - which uses hydrogen peroxide mist to sterilise the preforms. Injected into the preforms just before they enter the oven, the peroxide mist is activated during the existing preform heating stage. The same technology is used for cap decontamination with Sidel’s Capdis™. “By integrating preform decontamination, blowing and filling functions with cap decontamination in a single enclosure, the Sidel aseptic Combi Predis ensures a completely sterile filled and capped PET bottle with a 100% dry aseptic solution”, explains Rolland.

    To ensure food safety on a line, it should be simple, because a line with few critical factors is
    managed more easily and effectively. This is achieved by minimising the sterile zone to reduce risk of contamination, continuously monitoring critical parameters and controlling potential contamination. This process ensures a high level of decontamination up to a Sterility Assurance Level (SAL) of Log 6, without need for blow moulder sterilisation. This aseptic Combi Predis uses membrane-free magnetic filling for safe, hygienic filling with flow meter control for high accuracy. It is also easy to operate and maintain.

    The end result is reliable, simple aseptic beverage production in PET bottles, ideal for products distributed at ambient temperature. Additionally, it can help to lengthen shelf life and reformulate more sensitive beverages that would otherwise need added preservatives to maintain food safety. Suitable for aseptic production ranging from 10,000 to 60,000 bottles per hour, it can handle a broad variety of drinks (still beverages or products with pulps), including those with high or low acidity such as UHT milk and soy or yak milk. “Now with multiple installations throughout the world, the Sidel Combi Predis offers producers the simplest and fastest aseptic solution embedding dry preform decontamination. Compared to traditional aseptic filling systems, it ensures maximum cost-efficiency with the highest uptime”, adds Rolland. By significantly reducing chemicals and not using any water to decontaminate the package, the savings can be substantial. It also contributes to extensive lightweighting possibilities to decrease the amount of PET used. It offers a potential output of up to 2,400 bottles per hour per mould, with a continuous aseptic run of 165 hours between cleaning and sterilisation cycles. Simple, fast and safe changeovers with limited manual intervention are possible with Bottle Switch™, the tool-free system that reduces mould changeover times to 40 seconds each. Liquid changeovers require less downtime too, with only three hours cleaning and sterilisation between bottle-to-bottle production.

    Flexible production line to build end-user engagement
    For the sensitive drinks producer, the challenge lies in ensuring product safety and quality across the supply chain. It is also important for a beverage or dairy brand to stand out on the supermarket shelf to influence consumer purchasing decisions as the choice of a product is made in a matter of seconds. The label and the pack help significantly in attracting consumers’ attention and encouraging them to select one product over another. Sidel’s complete aseptic lines are able to take advantage of a wide range of versatile, reliable labelling and packing solutions to help beverage producers to attract and differentiate, while ensuring sustainable production. Whether roll-fed or sleeve labels are required for aseptic beverages, Sidel labellers can handle any label format with fast, consistent roll-fed labelling or efficient, high-quality, heat-shrink sleeve labelling. Whether shrink-printed film, nested packs or wrap-around cartons are required, it is important to keep this layer appealing, strong and functional. Sidel flexible secondary packing systems offer reliable pack consistency and durable quality, while the company’s palletising solutions and compact robotic solutions, with high production speeds and multiple patterns, handle a variety of products, packs and layers with easy operation and greater line versatility.

    Maximised uptime today and tomorrow
    Even if the ideal packaging solution is implemented, the reality with any production line is that, over time, performance will decline without intervention. “The goal is to maintain and improve an aseptic line’s productivity, efficiency and performance levels throughout its lifetime. Similarly, it is important to upgrade the existing line with new technologies that can boost productivity to new levels and help to lower total cost”, concludes Rolland. The dedicated Sidel Services team offers producers a tailored portfolio that can increase the safety and value of an aseptic production line for long-term success. They will monitor line equipment, plan for downtime and reduce unexpected costs. As Sidel continuously develops and upgrades aseptic solutions to reduce the need for energy, water and raw materials, lowering total cost and improving environmental footprint, producers of LDP or JNSDIT products can ensure their equipment is not left behind. These new technologies - along with Sidel line conversion, training and proactive spare parts management - can also optimise costs and deliver the flexibility to keep up with changes in consumer demand.
    (Sidel International AG)
    10.03.2017   International Trade Fair for Metal Packaging: World's Leading Fair METPACK Breaks Exhibitor Record     ( Company news )

    Company news More Manufacturers Than Ever Before at Messe Essen from May 2 to 6

    With 263 registered exhibitors at present, the world's leading fair for metal packaging METPACK is achieving a new record. Numerous manufacturers have confirmed their participation. After the past METPACK set standards with an investment volume in billions, Messe Essen will greet more than 60 new exhibitors this year.

    With 29 exhibitor nations, the trade fair will set another record. Over 80 percent of the exhibitors will originate from abroad - METPACK will thus highlight its orientation as one of the most international fairs in Germany. The spectrum of the companies will extend from the highly specialised medium-sized enterprise to the market leader with worldwide activities. Sustainable and cost-efficient solutions for the manufacture, refinement and recycling of metal packaging will determine the range on offer at the trade fair in 2017. Thus, METPACK will present innovations along the entire value added chain in the sector. The best of these will be honoured with the METPACK Innovation Award.

    Exhibition Area is Growing Further
    This year, METPACK is progressing with regard to the marketed exhibition area, too: Until now, Messe Essen has rented out 20 percent more than for the past event. For the first time, not only Halls 1 and 3 but also Hall 2 will be open on the occasion of METPACK. Admission will continue to take place via the proven entrances in the South and West of Messe Essen. Reasons for joy will be supplied not only by the growth with regard to the exhibitors and the area: This year, METPACK will celebrate its 25th birthday: On this occasion, a lot of small and large surprises will await the exhibitors and the visitors.

    International, Innovative and Sustainable: METPACK at Messe Essen
    METPACK is the world's leading fair for metal packaging and takes place at Messe Essen every three years. It is the largest and most significant international trade fair for the manufacturers of metal packaging. With its eighth edition, METPACK impressively confirmed its position as the undisputed number one in the worldwide sector: 243 exhibitors from 27 nations and 7,100 trade visitors from around 100 countries came to Essen in May 2014.
    (Messe Essen GmbH)
    09.03.2017   China Supplies DMDC (E 242) – cold sterilant for beverage and wine    ( Company news )

    Company news Preservation has always been a big topic in beverage industry. The application of Dimethyl Dicarbonate (DMDC, INS No. E 242) is approved for a wide range of soft drinks as well as wines in more than 90 countries. With its wide spectrum of application, DMDC technology provides a new alternative sterilization solution for many drinks bottlers and winemakers.

    In comparison to normal physical or chemical preservation DMDC is non-persistent and outstanding with its high cost-efficiency and zero negative effects on the taste, odor or color. In addition, it is compatible with all known forms of packaging materials such as PET and glass bottles, metal. Furthermore, it can be used in a wide spectrum of beverages and wines, including fruit drinks, iced teas, energy drinks as well as the non-carbonated and carbonated flavored waters. It is very flexible for low temperature filling and especially suitable for mobile or multi-purpose bottling lines.

    Recently, companies in China have successfully manufactured high quality and high purity DMDC and thus offer new choices of DMDC supplier for beverage and wine industries. Duessel H Limited is the global distributor representing the manufacturer of DMDC in China with advanced technology in producing DMDC.
    (Duessel H Limited)
    09.03.2017   Tetra Pak to open a new closures production facility in Asia​​​    ( Company news )

    Company news ​Tetra Pak is to build a new plant at its Rayong site in Thailand, dedicated to producing closures for carton packaging.​​​

    Photo: Blue cap with Tetra Pak logotype, DreamCap™ 26

    The €24 million investment, which will create around 60 jobs when it opens early in 2018, will be capable of producing more than 3 billion closures every year.

    With demand for well-designed closures on beverage cartons rising all the time, the new facility will provide much-needed local production and essential extra capacity.

    Michael Zacka, Cluster Vice President, Tetra Pak South Asia, East Asia and Oceania (SAEA&O), said: “The new production facility will ensure faster delivery for customers across the region, offering a broad range of exciting closures that meet consumer demand for functionality and convenience.”​​​

    “It’s another sign of the confidence we have in this region, and our commitment to putting our customers’ success at the heart of everything we do. Together with the packaging material factory that we will open in Vietnam in 2019, our fourth in southern Asia alone, our ability to serve customers in this exciting part of the world is growing stronger all the time.”​​​​

    The new production facility will be located within the company’s existing Straws and Strips Plant in Rayong.​​​
    (Tetra Pak AB)
    08.03.2017   60 years and Elopak is ready for more growth     ( Company news )

    Company news Elopak celebrated 60th Anniversary on 11th February 2017

    Elopak (European Licensee of Pure-Pak®) was founded on 11th February 1957 by Johan Andresen Snr. who invested in the vision of Norwegian engineer Christian August Johansen to bring the Pure-Pak® carton license to Europe from the U.S. and to build Pure-Pak® filling machines.

    Today Elopak has developed and expanded to more than 30 countries with over 40 office sites including eleven manufacturing plants and three Pure-Pak® associates, and operates in over 80 markets. During its growth over the last 60 years Elopak has revolutionized the functionality, convenience and shape of the Pure-Pak® carton alongside industry-leading developments in filling technology and systems.

    The traditional Pure-Pak® carton has grown into a portfolio of cartons meeting changing consumer demands. Elopak has developed carton features and closures to enhance convenience and secure food safety and system quality. On the environmental footprint of its systems the company is constantly working to lead the way and exceed any regulatory requirements. Its wide range of carton packaging includes the greenest Pure-Pak® carton ever - a virtually 100% renewable carton from Elopak as a Carbon Neutral Company.

    Elopak has developed the Pure-Pak® Aseptic System to meet market demands for high speed and high quality filling equipment for long shelf life applications. In 2011 Elopak opened a new state-of the-art filling machine manufacturing plant in Mönchengladbach, Germany. Within a couple of years a new technology platform for modular designed filling machines was constructed and brought to market meeting the highest hygienic standards and efficiency requirements.

    In 2013 Elopak successfully started the production of Roll Fed aseptic packaging material and is ramping up the business with both new and existing customers.

    “For over six decades Elopak has developed both the Pure-Pak® carton and filling machine technology with foresight, innovation and a culture of team work and collaboration. All of this is increasing the value of our products and services for the best of our customers and the consumers. We are continuously developing and expanding our product offerings and will pursue further possibilities by making packaging count and showing how much our customers matter. As we celebrate our 60th anniversary and our many achievements – we are ready for reaching out to even more consumers,” says Niels Petter Wright, CEO of Elopak.
    (Elopak AS)
    07.03.2017   China: Shanghai's Boxing Cat craft brewer bought by AB InBev    ( )

    AB InBev, the world's biggest beer brewer, has acquired a significant stake in one of China's best known craft brewers, in a move that shakes up the country's tiny but booming craft beer scene and, the slumping beer giant hopes, its own bottom line, Fortune reported on March 2.

    The company's quarterly earnings announcement on March 2 disappointed investors, who sent the stock falling 3% after AB InBev missed analyst estimates for the seventh quarter in a row. The sluggish results provided further explanation for why AB InBev was willing to spend $103 billion to buy rival SABMiller and why it is pushing hard for growth in markets like China. AB InBev has also been investing in craft brands, buying nine U.S. craft brewers over the past six years.

    Boxing Cat Brewery in Shanghai wasn't the city's first craft brewer when a trio of businessmen - one American, one Canadian, one Chinese - opened it in 2008. But it has survived to become the city's longest lasting. Last year it became the first Chinese microbrewery to win a medal at the World Beer Festival. Its beers share the pugilist theme of its brand name: There's a Ringside Red, Sucker Punch Pale Ale, and Standing 8 pilsner.

    AB InBev confirmed the purchase on March 2, after it had been rumored in China's craft beer circles for a week and reported by the website Drink. "We see great potential for Boxing Cat Brewery to continue to grow and further progress the small craft beer market currently in China," the company said in a statement.

    Boxing Cat's brewmaster and partners said they would remain at the microbrewery. Neither acquirer nor target disclosed financial terms of the deal or the size of AB InBev's stake.

    AB InBev has made inroads in China's small but fast-growing craft beer market, which analysts say may account for as little as 0.1% of the country's $80 billion a year in beer sales, but which may also be growing at triple-digits in the major cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. China's overall beer market has declined since 2014.

    Goose Island, the Chicago-based craft brand AB InBev acquired in 2011, is popping up in bars across Beijing and Shanghai. Meanwhile, AB In Bev is negotiating with distributors and bars to expand it further. AB InBev is hiring top craft industry talent in China, offering bars free or discounted beer, and leaning on those distributors to only carry AB InBev beers.

    It's all part of the beer giant's push to get Chinese (and the rest of the world) to drink more expensive beer. China ranks dead last among the world’s top beer markets for profitability; brewers eke out $2 of profit per hectoliter of beer sold. (Domestic beers sold in America earn profits of $30 per hectolitre.)

    Some of AB InBev's moves have attracted contempt from China's craft beer community, who see it as a deep-pocketed brewer intent on grabbing market share in China after it missed the rise of craft's popularity in the U.S. But others, including Boxing Cat's brewmaster Michael Jordan, say a deep-pocketed investor is just what the tiny market needs. "We wanted and needed a partner that shared our vision for growing the craft community as well as having the resources available to do it with the same emphasis and quality that we have always strived to maintain as a brand," Jordan wrote to Fortune. "I'm hoping this will help tremendously not only for our brand but for the craft market development moving forward as a whole."
    07.03.2017   Greece: Greek brewery sues Heineken for abusing position of power in Greece    ( )

    Greek brewery Macedonian Thrace Brewery is claiming 100 million euros from Heineken in a lawsuit filed with the court in Amsterdam. According to the Greek brewery, the Dutch beer giant abused its position of power in Greece, reported on February 24.

    Officially the lawsuit is filed against Athenian Brewery, Heineken's Greek subsidiary. Macedonian Thrace Brewer claims that Heineken stalled the competition in the Greek beer market for years by making exclusive deals with retailers. The brewer claims that it could not achieve its growth potential due to Heineken's unfair competition.

    Macedonian Thrace Brewery wants the court to hold Heineken responsible for disrupting the Greek beer market and order the Dutch company to stop its disruptive competitive practices. And to pay 100 million euros in compensation.

    Macedonian Thrace Brewery produces about 200 thousand hectolitres of beer per year. It is a very small player in the market compared to Heineken, which produces about 200 million hectolitres of beer per year.
    07.03.2017   UK: AB InBev making second attempt to introduce Bud Light to the UK    ( )

    Bud Light will appeal to young drinkers seeking a lower-alcohol beer with a more contemporary image, according to AB InBev, which is making a second atempt to introduce the US's number one beer brand to the UK, CampaignLive reported on February 24.

    Launching in retailers this weekend, and in pubs from March, the brand will supported by a campaign from lead creative agency Wieden & Kennedy London across TV, digital out of home and social media, that aims to announce the arrival of the brand and introduce its personality.

    "Bud Light is what we call the younger kid brother of Budweiser, with a bit more of a fun personality," said Andre Amaral, senior brand manager for Bud Light.

    "You can expect to see a tone of voice that’s youthful, light hearted, playful, easy going." He confirmed this meant it would shy away from the kind of bold humour and loud personality often employed by Budweiser.

    The drink, said Amaral, was targeted at what he called "aspirers": largely 18- to 24-year-olds who are very urban, like premium brands, are interested in travel and are heavy social media users. He said this set the brand apart from most other lower-alcohol lagers – such as Carling and Foster’s – and meant it was filling a gap in the market.

    Bud Light was previously available in the UK from 1998 to 2000, but sales failed to take off. Amaral said that "a lot has changed since last time we tried to introduce the brand here."

    The version being introduced here is just 3.5% alcohol (compared to 4.2% in the US) and could tap into the current trend for more moderate drinking.

    "The functional proposition of Bud Light is something that is much more catered to the consumer now," said Amaral. "But from the brand point of view, we know that people are looking for brands with a cool and contemporary image."

    Amaral denied that the launch was directly in response to the popularity of Coors Light, another US light beer that has seen sales boom in recent years on the back of an ad campaign featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

    "Regardless of what’s going on in the market, there’s a massive indication that this is the time for Bud Light," said Amaral, pointing to the brand’s consideration level among the target consumer group of 21%.

    Nick Robinson, UK marketing director at AB InBev, added: "Our intention is to inject energy and excitement into the UK beer category and we believe Bud Light is perfectly placed to do so by responding to the evolving preferences of today’s consumer.

    "It is the most popular beer brand in the USA and is vastly popular amongst drinking-age millennials, who view it as the leading lager to accompany relaxation and bonding. A high proportion of UK consumers are already aware of Bud Light and its success stateside, and we are frequently asked when it will be made available here."

    07.03.2017   UK: Heineken launches two new beers for 'beer-curious' drinkers    ( )

    Heineken has launched two beers under new brand Maltsmiths, Morning Advertiser reported on February 23.

    The two beers, a Bavarian-style pilsner and an American-style IPA (both 4.6% ABV), were brewed at the company’s Caledonian brewery but will be released under the Maltsmiths brand across the on-trade on 27 March after being unveiled at the Craft Beer Rising festival in London this week.

    Heineken said it wanted to target “beer-curious” drinkers – customers looking for an accessible entrance point into the craft beer market – with the two brews.

    It will be available on draught, in cans (330ml) and in bottles (330ml).

    Sam Fielding, new beer team director at Heineken UK, said: “It’s not for use to define what is or isn’t craft beer. We have brewed two beautiful beers that will appeal to the more curious drinker.

    ”Despite brewing the two beers at Caledonian Brewery, Heineken opted not to release them under the already-established Caledonian brand so it could focus on showcasing the company’s younger brewing talent, he added.

    “We are confident that if you put this in a pub where you haven’t already listed craft beer – it will perform very strongly,” he said.

    “We want to simplify and make this area less confusing for our customers.”

    Heineken launched H41, a lager made from ‘wild’ Patagonian yeast, into Laine Pub Company sites in Brighton and London on draught and in 330ml bottles, with an eye to expanding its presence in the sector if it performed well.

    The company’s eponymous lager was named 33rd in The Morning Advertiser's Top 100 Drinks list. It saw 13% volume and 15% value growth over the past year, reinforced by several sports sponsorships.

    The Competition Markets Authority has launched an investigation into Heineken’s upcoming takeover of 1,900 Punch pubs.

    The first phase of the investigation is scheduled to last until April and will decide whether the acquisition – a joint bid between Heineken and Patron Capital – risks jeopardising competition and consumer choice.
    07.03.2017   UK: Heineken to enjoy short-term Brexit benefits in the on-trade    ( )

    Heineken will enjoy the short-term Brexit benefits in the UK on-trade, trade marketing manager, Paul Gordon, was quoted as saying by Imbibe on March 2.

    ‘It has been an interesting 12 months, with the results of the referendum and the change that would bring,’ Gordon said. ‘Bizarrely what we have seen since is actually a pretty good set of results. We are seeing inflation staying quite low and production and manufacturing going up to the highest number in 17 years. We have seen unemployment go down and retail value go up.

    ‘In the short term it has been quite good but we also know behind that there is some other stuff round the corner. We know there is going to be an impact on inflation and the cost of goods if you are bringing things in from outside the UK. There could be an impact on living wage and availability of staff etc. So there is a lot of uncertainty still to come and we have yet to see the real impact of Brexit. It’s one to keep watching but it is one to enjoy the benefits of in the short term as well,’ he said at a Heineken briefing on March 2.

    The trade marketing controller said, for Heineken, it’s about taking all its insight and knowledge and applying it to products and ranges to make sure the company is giving customers the best possible opportunity to drive sales and drive consumers and value.

    ‘We really emphasise it’s about breadth rather than depth of range,’ Gordon said ahead of announcing a number of UK on-trade March launches. ‘We know if you look at the on-trade in the last eight years it has declined by about 13% since 2008. We know that’s been driven by the evolution of pubs and the decline of wet-led community pubs. We also know it’s been offset by the growth in the food areas as well.

    ‘What we have seen in food outlets is quite a lot of saturation. The growth has slowed and the overall decline of the wet-led pub has taken over again and put the whole on-trade into decline again,’ he said. But it’s not all doom and gloom, continuing, ‘The on-trade is very resilient. It has got good at evolving and finding new ways to get value for its consumers.’

    In terms of consumers aged 18-49, the number of categories they are drinking is increasing and their repertoire is growing. ‘What we also know, and are very aware of, is when they go out, the number of drinks they are drinking is declining, and the number of times and occasions they are going out is declining as well,’ he added.

    ‘Those are the positives of the challenges that are coming out of the on-trade at the moment and it is our job as a supplier to give our customers and their consumers the best value possible.’
    07.03.2017   UK: Lager accounts for 75% of total beer sales    ( )

    Craft and cask beer may get all the headlines but lager remains the most important style in the UK, accounting for almost three quarters of sales, inapub reported on February 22.

    75 per cent of beer sales in the UK are lager, Mintel analysts said.

    The market has plateaued in recent years but Mintel expect this to give way to "modest growth" over the next few years, with sales reaching £13.1 billion by 2020.

    Tapping into the lucrative "with food" market would help lager's fortunes further, with 30 per cent of beer drinkers already typically drinking beer, rather than wine, with food.

    Changing glassware may also generate growth, with women showing a clear preference for smaller serves and Chalice-shaped glassware, according to Mintel research.

    Classic pint glasses remain popular with other drinkers however, 27 per cent of on-trade beer drinkers saying they prefer a nonic glass and 16 per cent a tulip glass.

    The category continues to benefit from housing some of the biggest retail brands in the UK.
    07.03.2017   USA: Boston Beer may have outgrown the craft revolution    ( )

    Sam Adams brewer Boston Beer helped propel the beloved craft beer movement when it first opened for business in 1984. It may have outgrown the revolution, the Fortune reported on February 23.

    On February 22, Boston Beer reported alcoholic beverage shipments are now almost certainly expected to decline in 2017, following a 6% drop in shipments last year to about 4 million barrels as demand dropped for the core Sam Adams beer brand, Angry Orchard cider and the craftier Traveler and Coney Island Brands. With a little over $900 million in annual net revenue, the brewer only commands about 1% of the total U.S. beer market. But to some, that might be too big to be deemed "craft."

    "New craft brewers continue to enter the market and existing craft brewers are expanding their distribution and tap rooms, with the result that drinkers are seeing more choices, including a wave of new beers in all markets," said Chairman and founder Jim Koch.

    During a conference call with investors, Koch explained that retailers were cautious when it comes to buying aggressively on new styles after getting recently burned by the "hard" soda trend that quickly fizzled. Then there is the issue of too much variety: grocery, drug store and convenience stores are maxed out on how many craft brands they can stock in their coolers. Too much variety is also confusing to consumers.

    "I've heard speculation from a couple of retailers that perhaps the fact that there were too many choices has in fact turned customers away from craft," Koch said. "When they can't figure out what craft beer to have, they just say, I'll have a Corona." And in fact, Boston Beer said that 2016 was the first year in a "long time" where there was more growth from existing ales than from new innovation.

    SIG Susquehanna analyst Pablo Zuanic says the brewer's fixation on justifying itself as a craft brewer is actually hindering success. Boston Beers and others in the craft space typically make dozens of different ales each year, though only a few generate a bulk of volume. Zuanic argues Boston Beer should ramp up advertising and distribution on a few core brands, mirroring the success of Constellation Brands (STZ.B) which generates close to 90% of beer sales from Corona Extra and Modelo Especial, which are both performing well even though they are bigger volume styles.

    "We think they have to outgrow their 'craft mentality,'" says Zuanic. He says brands like Boston Lager and Rebel IPA have the most upside with the right strategy.

    Boston Beer and other larger, independent craft brewers that don't have backing from a Big Brewer are in a tough spot. They are having a harder time justifying high price points for their ales when craft beer lovers are always on the hunt for something new. They also don't pump in millions of dollars into advertising like the Big Brewers, nor do they try to compete aggressively on price. Meanwhile, big brewers are scooping up popular craft brands and boosting distribution and marketing in a way that threatens Sam Adams.

    In fact, market share declined for four of the top five "craft" brands tracked by industry watcher Beer Marketer's Insights last year. Boston Beer, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and Craft Brew Alliance all ceded share. Only Lagunitas grew slightly, and that brand is notably backed by big brewer Heineken, which bought a 50% stake in the company in 2015. Goose Island and Ballast Point, now owned by AB InBev and Constellation Brands respectively, also grew share.

    Early sales trends in 2017 indicate that Zuanic may have a point. Boston Beer's early spring seasonal beers have posted a disappointing performance thus far. Sam Adams recently relaunched the Rebel IPA with a new packaging design and new recipe to aim to give that brand a jolt. And Koch's statements indicate he doesn't want to give up on being an innovative brewer just yet."We believe that the history, authenticity and quality of the Samuel Adams brand, our unique beers, and our ability and willingness to continue to invest behind our brand position us well for future growth and we are committed to improving our current trends," he said.
    07.03.2017   Vetropack: succession arrangements for the Board of Directors and Group Management    ( Company news )

    Company news The Board of Directors of Vetropack Holding Ltd has appointed Johann Reiter, General Manager of the Business Division Switzerland/Austria, as CEO of Vetropack Group with effect from 1 January 2018. Claude R. Cornaz, who will continue to lead Vetropack Group as CEO until the end of 2017, is stepping back from operational business and will be proposed as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Assembly in 2018. Hans Rüegg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vetropack Group, will stand for election for one more year at the Annual General Assembly on 10 May 2017, but will leave the Board at the Annual General Assembly in 2018, having reached the age of retirement.

    Caption: Claude R. Cornaz, CEO (left), and Johann Reiter, General Manager of the Business Division Switzerland/Austria

    The CEO designate of Vetropack Group, Johann Reiter, has been successfully in charge of the Business Division Switzerland/Austria since 1 November 2010. This division consists of the Swiss company Vetropack Ltd and Vetropack Austria GmbH. As a member of the Group Management team, he is not only very familiar with the situation in both countries, but also knows all about the international challenges facing the glass industry, especially in those countries in which Vetropack Group has a presence. The search for a successor for Johann Reiter in his present role will start immediately.

    “In Johann Reiter, we have chosen a very experienced manager and someone with extensive knowledge of our industry to succeed Claude R. Cornaz,” says Chairman of the Vetropack Board of Directors Hans Rüegg. “We deliberately opted for an internal appointment, because Johann Reiter, as head of our biggest business division, has excellent contacts in the industry and within our group. He is familiar not only with our managers and staff but also with the needs of the markets and our customers.”

    Claude R. Cornaz is to step back from operational business at the end of 2017 and will be proposed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Vetropack Group Annual General Assembly in 2018. In that role he will concentrate mainly on the company’s long-term strategic development.

    “I am very pleased to be able to hand over to Johann Reiter a financially sound Vetropack Group that is in a strategically good place and is led by a strong team,” declares Claude R. Cornaz, who has been CEO for 18 years and has steadily built up Vetropack Group over that time.
    (Vetropack AG)
    06.03.2017   Coca-Cola Delivers Greater Variety to Brazilian Consumers with Slimmer Format Beverage Packaging...     ( Company news )

    Company news ...From Crown

    Crown now has the largest beverage can portfolio in the country

    CROWN Embalagens Metálicas da Amazônia S.A. (CROWN Brazil), a joint venture of Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) (Crown) ( and Évora S.A. of Porto Alegre, Brazil, has partnered with Coca-Cola to introduce a 220ml sleek style beverage can to local consumers. Produced at Crown’s plant in Cabreuva, the sleek style format addresses consumer demand for smaller portion sizes and greater product variety.

    The functional and sophisticated format will be used for Coca-Cola lines: Coke Zero, Coke Life, Coca-Cola, Fanta, Grape Fanta, Sprite and Guaraná Kuat. It joins Coca-Cola’s line of standard 355ml and 250ml size beverage cans for soft drinks.

    “Helping consumers experience our products in new ways remains a primary goal at Coca-Cola,” stated Mario Sergio Gomes, Global Procurement Director for Latin America. “Crown’s innovative 220ml beverage can format satisfies the preferences of modern Brazilian consumers while also adding noteworthy progression and variety to our product line.”

    Like all aluminum cans, the 220ml can is infinitely recyclable, provides an effective barrier against light and oxygen, and has significant shelf life properties. The can size also meets consumer preferences in terms of it being lighter, easier to hold, transportable and faster to chill than larger sizes.

    “Partnering with Coca-Cola to create a beverage package that not only gives consumers more options, but creates visual impact on the shelf and aligns with consumer demands was a win-win,” said Wilmar Arinelli, President, CROWN Embalagens Metálicas da Amazônia S.A. “We look forward to continued collaboration with Coca-Cola and other regional brands to meet the evolving needs of Brazilian consumers.”

    The 220 ml sleek style beverage can brings CROWN Brazil’s portfolio to ten different sizes – the largest portfolio in the country. Other sizes available on the market are the 250ml slim style, 269ml, 310ml, 355ml and 425ml sleek style cans and 250ml, 355ml, 473ml and 550ml standard cans.
    (CROWN Embalagens Metálicas da Amazônia S.A.)
    03.03.2017   Scotch Whisky Association and Scottish Craft Distillers Association launch partnership    ( Company news )

    Company news Recognition of record number of new distilleries

    The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and the Scottish Craft Distillers Association (SCDA) have made a commitment to work in partnership to support the continued success of the entire Scotch Whisky industry and its supply chain.

    The agreement recognises the record expansion of the Scotch Whisky industry with 14 distilleries starting production since 2013 and a further 8 set to open this year. There are currently up to 40 new distilleries at various stages of planning and development across Scotland.

    Industry trade body, the SWA, and the SCDA, an association representing only newer, smaller producers, today (9 February) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) witnessed by Fergus Ewing MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity.

    Scotch Whisky is vital to the Scottish and UK economies, adding £5 billion in value each year, supporting more than 40,000 jobs and exporting £4 billion of Scotch annually to almost 200 markets.

    The SWA and SCDA will support each other, while remaining distinct organisations with their own memberships, to build on Scotch Whisky's long-term, global reputation for provenance and high quality products. The agreement, signed at the new Glasgow Distillery in Hillington, recognises that Scotch Whisky is:

    "a significant Scottish and British cultural asset based on authentic and unvarying local methods of production, with distilleries and brands supporting the communities with which they work; creating jobs and boosting growth".

    The MoU makes it easier for well-established Scotch Whisky companies to share their experience of building brands and opening up overseas markets with newer entrants to the industry. Newer companies can, in turn, offer fresh approaches and ideas to drive continued vitality across the industry.

    The main commitments of the MoU are to:

    work together to grow understanding of the rules surrounding Scotch Whisky, its production, handling and marketing within the industry and through the supply chain, recognising shared interest in the public good of the Scotch Whisky industry;
    encourage shared approaches to stakeholder engagement, including around raising awareness of best practice on responsible marketing and promotion of Scotch Whisky;
    work together to ensure the Scotch Whisky workforce is appropriately skilled;
    improve industry information;
    collaborate amongst existing memberships.

    Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, said:

    "I welcome this initiative between the Scotch Whisky Association and the Scottish Craft Distillers Association. This is exactly the sort of collaboration we want to see in our food and drink sector. Closer co-operation has the potential to benefit both organisations and help ensure the continued success of the Scotch Whisky industry and its supply chain.

    "Craft Distilling has blossomed over the past few years and is becoming an increasingly valuable part of our economy, particularly for those who live in our rural and island communities.

    "Today marks the start of a partnership that will support the industry into the future, building on Scotch Whisky's long-term, global reputation for provenance and high quality products."

    Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive, said:

    "We are seeing unprecedented investment in the Scotch Whisky industry by companies of all sizes. This is a clear sign of optimism in the future, and recognition of the global demand for a high-quality product.

    "The SWA has over a century's wealth of experience and expertise - for example in market access, legal protection, and promoting social responsibility - that we are looking to share more widely with new entrants to the industry. Our collaboration with the SCDA reflects the strong partnership that has developed between new and established distillers."

    Alan Wolstenholme, Scottish Craft Distillers Association chairman, said:
    "Both long-established Scotch Whisky producers and the new wave of smaller distilleries recognise the enormous value and importance of the high regard our national product is held in around the world.
    "This agreement demonstrates both organisations' determination to work co-operatively together to protect and enhance Scotch Whisky's reputation now and in the future.
    "The SCDA warmly welcomes the genuine support and encouragement it has received not only from everyone across the industry, and in particular from the SWA, but also from the Scottish Government and its agencies especially Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
    02.03.2017   ENGEL at Koplas 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news „Experience the smart factory“ – this is the theme of the Koplas 2017, which will take place from March 7 through March 11 in Goyang, South Korea. At the ENGEL AUSTRIA exhibition booth, visitors of the plastics trade fair can experience this theme in real time. The injection moulding machine builder and system expert, headquartered in Austria, will provide demonstrative examples of the opportunities created by digitalisation and networking, and how inject 4.0 can help to take advantage of these in a simple fashion.

    Photo: Thanks to its lightweight construction swivel arm, the e-pic pick-and-place robot achieves high dynamics and requires very little space.

    inject 4.0 – this is ENGEL's answer to the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. The goal is a smart factory in which production processes continuously self-optimise through the networking of production systems, the systematic use of machine, process and production data, and the deployment of decentralised, intelligent assistance systems. Producers can thus increase the productivity and quality of their production and respond flexibly to ever faster changing requirements.

    In all three areas of the smart factory – smart machine, smart service and smart production – ENGEL today already offers mature products and solutions that provide an immense benefit individually as well as in the context of an overall digital strategy.

    Compensate for process fluctuations before they result in defects
    In the factory of the future, the human/machine interface plays an even bigger part than today. With processes becoming more and more complex due to increasing integration and automation, steering and controlling them must become that much more simple and intuitive. Self-adapting, decentralised assistance systems increase process capacity and quality, without requiring the machine operator to acquire special expertise. During the five days of the exhibition, in order to clearly demonstrate the functionality of these smart-machine solutions, at its booth ENGEL will be producing inject 4.0 logos on an all-electric, tie-bar-less ENGEL emotion 80 TL injection moulding machine. The CC300 control is capable of simulating process fluctuations; the automatic readjustments by the intelligent assistance systems can then be tracked on the display of the machine. While iQ weight control maintains consistent injected melt volume throughout the entire injection moulding process, iQ clamp control monitors the mould breathing and continuously readjusts the clamping force. This way, fluctuations in the environmental conditions and in the raw material are automatically detected and compensated for within the same shot, before resulting in rejects.

    iQ flow control, the third assistance system that is being presented at the Koplas, is based on e-flomo, the temperature control water manifold by ENGEL that monitors and documents all cooling and temperature control cycles of injection machines and independently regulates either the flow volume or the temperature difference. iQ flow control now connects e-flomo with the temperature control unit, thus the pump speed automatically adjusts to the actual need. This results in higher energy efficiency. ENGEL developed the integrated temperature control unit in cooperation with the Swiss temperature control unit manufacturer HB-Therm, and continues to strengthen its systems competency with the new e-temp line of temperature control units.

    With its ENGEL e-motion 80 TL injection moulding machine and the integrated ENGEL e-pic robot, the production cell being presented at the Koplas also achieves high standards of efficiency and precision in terms of design. The e-motion TL series combines the benefits of ENGEL’s tie-bar-less technology, such as quick setup processes, efficient automation solutions and compact production cells, with all-electric drive technology. Thanks to these characteristics, the e-motion 80 TL is being preferentially deployed in the production of precision components and high-quality optical components in the electronics industry.

    The innovative kinematics of the e-pic pick-and-place robot combines linear movements with a swivel arm, thus requiring very little space. The swivel arm is made of a thermoplastic composite material tailored to the specific requirements of lightweight construction, which additionally increases the energy efficiency and dynamics.

    Machine and robot with a uniform control logic
    ENGEL's second machine exhibit also emphasises the efficiency potential of tie-bar-less technology. On an ENGEL e-victory injection moulding machine, gear components made of TPE will be produced live at the exhibition. These sophisticated products require a high degree of precision, which the tie-bar-less hybrid machine ensures with its electric injection unit and outstanding platen parallelism. During the Koplas, the e-victory will also be working with integrated parts handling. An ENGEL viper linear robot will extract finished parts from the mould and place them on the conveyor belt. Since the RC300 robot control is designed as a subsystem of the CC300 control, the robot and the machine can be programmed and controlled through a uniform control logic. Furthermore, both systems access a common database, which reduces cycle time in many applications since the robot and the machine can precisely coordinate their motion sequences.

    Keeping an eye on production
    Besides the machine exhibits, visitors can dive even deeper into the subjects of automation and inject 4.0 at several Expert Corners in the ENGEL exhibition booth area. The areas of smart production and smart service have their own dedicated Expert Corners.

    The smart production Expert Corner is focused on e-factory, ENGEL's MES (Manufacturing Execution System). Tailored to the specific requirements of the injection moulding industry, it achieves an especially great depth of vertical data integration, down to the level of individual cavities. e-factory creates transparency, for example to optimise the utilisation of a machine pool's total capacity, or to correlate key productivity indicators with economic objectives. It becomes especially interesting when e-factory not only connects the production cells of a single site, but creates an entire worldwide production network. This allows company headquarters to also optimise processes at other sites, and to provide support even to far-away colleagues. The MES has a modular design. The solution can thus be adapted precisely to the individual requirements of the producer, and can be flexibly expanded as needed.

    Avoid unplanned system downtime
    In order to increase the availability of machines and production cells, smart service relies on short paths, remote maintenance, and a view towards the future. The new ENGEL solution e‑connect.monitor thus makes it possible to analyse the condition of process critical machine components during operation, and to generate a reliable failure prognosis. This condition-based, predictive maintenance allows for the maximum use of critical machine components while still avoiding unplanned system downtime.

    ENGEL at Koplas 2017: hall 5, booth P640
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    01.03.2017   Advanced grain cleaning solutions significantly reduce mycotoxin levels     ( Company news )

    Company news Mycotoxins, produced by fungal mold, are a growing health threat to people and animals. With a quarter of the world’s agricultural produce currently contaminated, according to the FAO. Mycotoxins ranks a third most important threat after bacteria and pesticides, which is whymaximum tolerance levels permitted in food and feedstuff are becoming crucial for food and feed producers. Meeting these requirements is possible with the right processes in place. Academic studies within the European project MycoKey and practical experience confirm that a very effective means to significantly reduce mycotoxin levels is via cleaning and optical sorting processes. Bühler solutions improve food and feed safety and product quality, helping customers adhere to regulatory requirements while achieving higher margins.

    The need to protect the health of humans and animals by limiting exposure to mycotoxins from grains is increasingly imperative, particularly in light of a recent United Nations (UN) report which confirmed the impact of climate change on food safety and security. It’s evident that extreme environmental conditions such as drought and rising temperatures have triggered an upsurge in toxic crops. This dangerous progression was identified as an “emerging environmental issue of our time” by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in a 2016 report (Toxic Crops and Zoonotic Disease). Previously more prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical regions, mycotoxin contamination is now on the rise in temperate regions – meaning it will increasingly become a food safety issue for Europe even if global temperatures can be limited to an increase of only 2-degrees Celsius, which UNEP deems unlikely. Climate change is increasing the prevalence of aflatoxin, one of the most poisonous mycotoxins.

    Mycotoxin scares have already been making headlines in Central Europe, such as a scare caused by aflatoxins in 2012-2013. At that time, headlines were dominated with the news that unsafe levels of the toxin were found in milk intended for human consumption as a result of dairy cows feeding on contaminated maize. For example, aflatoxins have been found in Italy, Hungary, and Romania. Mycotoxin levels in grain are a frequent reason to reject raw material for food and feed processing. Scarcity of raw materials, on the other hand, requires the industry to look for new solutions along the value chain.

    Knowing that just a few highly mycotoxin-contaminated kernels could make an entire grain lot unsafe for further use, it’s essential to implement post-harvest measures which reduce mycotoxin levels to ensure safe products, while ensuring economical yields and reducing losses. “Ultimately, it’s the prevention and reliable removal of mycotoxins as early as possible in the value chain that ensures the safety of foodstuffs produced for all consumer groups,” explains Matthias Graeber, expert in mycotoxin reduction and data analytics within Bühler’s Corporate Technology Group.

    Finding solutions to mitigate such food and feed safety issues is of critical importance to Bühler. The company invests roughly 5% of its turnover in research and development every year – creating breakthrough technologies and market-specific solutions to help its customers achieve long-term commercial success despite growing regulatory requirements and regardless of incoming product quality. Bühler has been partnering with science and applied research for many years in order to learn more about the value of integrating cleaning measures along the value chain. One such collaboration is with the experts from the European Horizon2020 project, MycoKey, which was initiated in mid-2016 to develop solutions for reducing major mycotoxins in economically important food and feed chains. The 6.4-million-euro project has partners from 32 organizations from a total of 14 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Together with Bühler and some of our customers, MycoKey, has run multiple, large-scale field tests to collect valuable data on the performance of grain cleaning solutions.

    A recent research activity specifically looked at the case of ergot alkaloids: To support its industrial milling customers in managing the growing risks associated with mycotoxins, Bühler initiated a study performed at two German rye mills to establish how the level of EA’s can be influenced by grain cleaning and milling processes. The study was carried out by Bühler with two industrial partners, a large milling group and an independent food safety laboratory. Applying the official sampling guidelines of the European Union, 10 rye lots at 12 tons each were tested at two mills. “Effective reductions of EA concentrations were found for the processing steps: separation by size (Combi cleaner, rotary screen), optical sorting (SORTEX), and surface treatments (scourer with aspirator). By far the highest statistical significance of EA reduction could be obtained by optical sorting,” Graeber explains. “This confirms the central importance of optical sorting in the rye supply chain, both at grain reception facilities and in mills.”

    The case for reducing levels of mycotoxins of any kind is clear considering the implications on consumer and animal health as well as to the commercial success of milling companies. Bühler technologies help achieve commercially viable yields – regardless of incoming product quality. For example, in a specific case the company has helped an Italian corn producer to recover 70–80 percent of contaminated maize and boost it from biomass to feed grade quality. Besides the obvious commercial sense of utilizing Bühler processes, they also make an important contribution to reducing post-harvest losses on a global level.
    (Bühler AG)
    01.03.2017   Brigl & Bergmeister: Changes in Management    ( Company news )

    Company news By February 28th Michael Sablatnig will retire from his position as Managing Director of Brigl & Bergmeister. He will however remain in the Roxcel Group in an advisory role and for specific projects. We thank Mr. Sablatnig for his excellent work in the last years with the B&B Group.

    Until further notice Mr. Bernhard Mayer will act as the sole Managing Director of Brigl & Bergmeister and will also take over the agenda of Mr. Sablatnig. Mr. Mayer joined the company in 1985 and was appointed as Managing Director in the technical field, for both Brigl & Bergmeister and Papirnica Vevče in July 2015.

    Mr. Norbert Peintinger will be appointed as general manager and head of sales and marketing for Brigl & Bergmeister and Papirnica Vevče. Mr. Peintinger has joined the company in 1993 and gained great experience in several roles.
    (Brigl & Bergmeister GmbH)
    01.03.2017   Logoplaste Innovation Lab wins the prestigious iF Design Award for its Vimágua water bottle    ( Company news )

    Company news The iF Design Awards are the world standard of quality for exceptional design.

    This year there were 5,575 entries, from 59 countries. To evaluate all these entries, a team of 58 international jurors took 3 full days.

    Logoplaste Innovation Lab’s Design Team is thrilled to have another award for their bottle design.

    The award ceremony will take place in the BMW Welt in Munich, on 10 March 2017.

    As a reminder, this is the 3rd award the Logoplaste Innovation Lab team has received in less than 2 years. The Ecover Ocean Bottle and the EPAL Fill Forever bottle were winners in 2015.
    (Logoplaste Innovationlab)
    28.02.2017   Crown Holdings, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter 2016 Results     ( Company news )

    Company news Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2016.

    -Earnings per share $0.47 for the quarter; $3.56 full year versus $2.82 in 2015
    -Adjusted earnings per share $0.71 for the quarter; $3.93 full year versus $3.59 in 2015
    -Cash from operations $930 million; adjusted free cash flow $479 million
    -Share repurchase authorization for $1 billion in aggregate through the end of 2019

    Fourth Quarter
    Net sales in the fourth quarter were $1,923 million compared to $2,027 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, reflecting $77 million of unfavorable currency translation in 2016 compared to 2015 and the pass through of lower raw material costs.

    Income from operations was $192 million in the quarter compared to $201 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Segment income improved to $236 million in the quarter compared to $234 million in 2015. The improvement in segment income compared to the prior year's quarter included benefits from lower corporate costs, offset by $9 million of unfavorable currency translation and lower volumes in Saudi Arabia. Corporate and unallocated costs of $156 million for the full year of 2016 are consistent with the Company's expectations for 2017.

    Commenting on the quarter, Timothy J. Donahue, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are pleased to report another solid quarter and strong year for Crown. Fourth quarter operating results were in line with our expectations, and we exceeded our free cash flow projections due to another quarter of excellent working capital performance. Global beverage can volumes increased three percent for the full year, and in the quarter were level to the prior year as strong performances in the U.S., Brazil and Asia offset softness in Saudi Arabia.

    "Our new beverage can plant in Monterrey, Mexico and the second production line at the Osmaniye, Turkey facility began commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2016. The first beverage can line at the Nichols, New York can plant was commissioned and began commercial shipments in late January of this year and will be followed by completion of the second line in April. In the second quarter, we will also complete the conversion of our Custines, France beverage can facility from steel to aluminum with the start-up of the second high speed line and expand capacity at our beverage can plant in Colombia. In addition to these previously announced projects, we are also constructing a new beverage can facility in Jakarta, Indonesia, our first in that country, that is scheduled to begin commercial production in the third quarter of this year to serve the growing local market, adding a second line at our beverage can plant in Danang, Vietnam that is also expected to begin production in the third quarter, and constructing a new beverage can plant in Yangon, Myanmar and a new glass bottle facility in Chihuahua, Mexico, both scheduled for start-up in the first half of 2018."

    Interest expense decreased to $62 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $68 million in 2015 primarily due to lower outstanding debt.

    Net income attributable to Crown Holdings in the fourth quarter was $65 million compared to $66 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Reported diluted earnings per share were $0.47 in the fourth quarters of both years. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $0.71 compared to $0.70 in 2015.

    A reconciliation from net income and diluted earnings per share to adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share is provided below.

    Full Year Results
    Net sales for the full year were $8,284 million compared to $8,762 million in 2015, and included $277 million of unfavorable currency translation in 2016 compared to 2015 and the pass through of lower raw material costs.

    Income from operations improved to $1,021 million compared to $927 million in 2015. Segment income improved to $1,078 million compared to $1,026 million in 2015, and included $39 million of unfavorable currency translation.

    Interest expense decreased to $243 million in 2016 compared to $270 million in 2015 primarily due to lower outstanding debt.

    Net income attributable to Crown Holdings increased to $496 million in 2016 over the $393 million in 2015. Reported diluted earnings per share in 2016 were $3.56 compared to $2.82 last year. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $3.93 compared to $3.59 in 2015.

    Share Repurchase Authorization
    The Company also announces that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of an aggregate amount of $1 billion of Company common stock through the end of 2019. This new authorization reflects the Company's strong balance sheet and cash flow from operations, allowing investment in the business and return of cash to our shareholders. Share repurchases under this program may be made in the open market, through privately negotiated transactions or other programs, and at times and in such amounts as market conditions allow.

    The Company currently expects 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $3.80 to $4.00 compared to $3.93 in 2016, including a foreign currency translation headwind of approximately $0.12 per diluted share based on current exchange rate levels. Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the 2017 first quarter are expected to be in the range of $0.65 to $0.75 compared to $0.69 in the prior year. These estimates reflect the impact of expected repurchase activity under the newly authorized share repurchase program described above.

    During 2016, the Company repositioned its capital structure by refinancing more than $1 billion of short-term floating rate debt to fixed long-term debt in both euros at 2 ⅝% and U.S. dollars at 4 ¼%. While these fixed rates are near high-yield historical lows they are higher than current short-term rates and as a result the Company expects 2017 interest expense to increase by approximately $13 million, or $.07 per diluted share to approximately $256 million. As reflected in the Company's December 31, 2016 balance sheet, approximately 75% of its debt is in fixed rate instruments.

    Additionally, costs incurred prior to start-up of the three large North American projects (Monterrey, Nichols and Chihuahua) are expected to have a $.06 impact on adjusted diluted earnings per share compared to 2016.

    The effective income tax rate for 2017 is expected to be approximately 26%, similar to the 2016 rate. Cash provided by operating activities is currently expected to be approximately $875 million and management currently forecasts capital expenditures for 2017 of approximately $450 million.

    Mr. Donahue further commented, "Looking back, the last three years have been very productive. We acquired and integrated two exceptional packaging companies, Mivisa and Empaque, and we continued to expand our global beverage platform allowing us to more than offset the currency headwinds faced by many U.S. multinationals. Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased to $3.93 in 2016 from $2.99 in 2013 despite more than $0.70 per share of currency headwinds over the three year period. We generated $1.7 billion of adjusted free cash flow over this period allowing us to delever and begin the process of returning significant cash to our shareholders. As we look forward, it is our past success which gives us confidence that our growth initiatives, underpinned by customer commitments, will continue to enhance the future earnings and cash flow of the Company. At the same time, we remain committed to providing our customers with the highest quality containers and service while controlling costs, improving productivity, increasing operational efficiencies and growing shareholder value."
    (Crown Holdings Inc.)
    27.02.2017   ECO KEG     ( Company news )

    Company news Based on the success experienced within Europe and the U.S markets, collecting design awards along the way, the ECO KEG offers the modern brewer the latest technology in beverage packaging.

    The first stainless steel deep drawn keg was introduced to the market over thirty years ago, and using the existing deep drawn stainless body, have mechanically integrated two polypropylene chimes into the steel body, resulting in a lighter, ecologically worthwhile and thus a smarter alternative to conventional all stainless steel kegs.

    Combining innovative design and contemporary materials allows the KEG to be produced to a lower tare weight, in the case of a 30 litre size, some 20% lighter, without compromising strength or safety.
    Reducing the weight of containers has obvious advantages in health and safety, as well as environmentally, as this helps breweries to cut out transport costs of their supply chain.

    In addition to this weight reduction, the ECO KEG will also significantly reduce noise levels, with the KEGs being rolled on the stackable PP rings instead of expanded steel rolling bands which flatten over time. The PP chimes are also stackable for added safety and easy to pick up and stack in the cellar. The chimes themselves are designed in such a way, that, similar to shock absorbers on cars, they can prevent damage on impact.

    The 30 and 50 litre ECO KEG's, with Euro diameter, are manufactured to the same height as the conventional all stainless steel kegs or PLUS KEGs and so will run alongside standard kegs on the keg filling line and fit on the same pallet. Running parallel with existing populations has big advantages for UK craft brewers who use a variety of options in their day to day business. The ECO KEG will always stand out as the property of a particular brewery, making a speedy return more likely.

    Kegs are a major asset for the UK brewery industry, but as millions of pounds in value still go missing each year, their security is of paramount importance, particularly with rising steel prices. Combining materials makes the ECO KEG far less attractive to metal thieves, due to their having to separate the materials and having a significantly lower original stainless steel content.

    To clearly denote a brewery’s ownership of their kegs, ECO KEGs can be individually branded.
    For example, the KEG chimes can be coloured, have a name and logo applied and be equipped with a transponder, which also brings more transparency to logistics and allows comprehensive container management. Neck and base can also be fitted with a permanently integrated coding system, such as character code or barcode. For an easily distinguishable quality image, the body can be branded with an electro-chemical signature, laser printing, silk screening or liner stickers.

    For Brewers concerned about on-going keg maintenance, ECO KEG eliminates the flattening of the rolling bands found on steel kegs, and, with replaceable chimes fitted to the KEG body, there is no need to send KEGs away for repair. Chime straightening and sharp hand holes often found on damaged conventional kegs, are now a thing of the past. This cuts out the need for welding or pickling, resulting in lower overall costs.

    The name is well chosen as the ECO KEG reduces transport costs, decibel levels for your employees and neighbours (and, with a 25-year lifetime, it ticks all the right boxes!) It is produced in a great range of sizes from 10 to 50 litres.
    27.02.2017   Taiyo: New warehouse offers maximum product safety    ( Company news )

    Company news Special storage rooms guarantee the highest quality standards

    Taiyo has relocated its ingredient storage facility in Germany. The logistics company In Time, specialist in the import, storage and transport of food and food ingredients, provides the new warehouse near Hamburg. Taiyo’s customers will now benefit from a smoother supply process and faster, more flexible delivery to the EMEA region.

    The new storage facility guarantees safe import and transport, proper storage and compliance with GMP regulations and HACCP standards. With fully air-conditioned halls that are subject to constant air quality tests, all year round, storage temperatures can be adjusted from 5–24 °C to accommodate specific ingredients and foodstuffs. Taiyo now benefits from a variety of storage rooms for both odorless and pungent products, thus ensuring maximum product purity.

    Computer-assisted, real-time tracking of products during storage and transport makes it possible to query the stock and consignments at any time online, offering logistical advantages that meet individual customer requirements.

    “The need for new storage facilities was driven primarily by our growing portfolio of organic raw materials. With In Time, we have found the ideal logistics partner for our product portfolio. This food-specific and organic-certified storage solution makes it possible to further improve our already high quality standards. With the online warehouse management system, we are able to view and manage our stock of ingredients and individual consignments at our company headquarters at any time," said Dr Stefan Siebrecht, Managing Director of Taiyo GmbH.
    (Taiyo GmbH)

    Company news Sidel is helping beverage producers to maximise cost efficiency while simultaneously improving sustainability with ECO Booster™, a service suitably developed for customers already operating Sidel blowers. ECO Booster, part of the Sidel Services™ portfolio, can provide measurable savings by reducing the consumption of materials, electricity and compressed air.

    "By keeping the use of PET material to an absolute minimum and doing the same with consumption of electrical power and compressed air, Sidel can help beverage producers to make significant savings, minimise running costs and achieve a very fast return on investment (ROI)," explains Samuel Le Guen, Global Maintenance and Line Improvement Director at Sidel. "When it comes to energy efficiency, the blower often offers the biggest opportunity for improvement, accounting for up to 70% of the total line power consumption," he adds. "In recognising this, we have leveraged Sidel's extensive experience in blow moulding technology to develop our comprehensive ECO Booster service."

    Improved monitoring and greater awareness
    The ECO Booster portfolio comprises five modules. The recommended starting point is the ECO Audit performed on the customer’s blower to analyse production conditions and energy consumption. The ECO Audit provides clients with a customised report including an outline of potential gains and predicted cost savings in electricity, heating and air consumption costs.

    Upgrades to reduce consumption
    The ECO Process module provides carefully calculated adjustments and process improvements proposing specific upgrades. The ECO Heating module involves the optimisation of the heating profile with less installed power: available options like the ECO Oven, ECO Lamps and ECO Oven Top Reflectors optimise the blower heating performance to achieve up to 45% electrical consumption reduction. Additionally, the ECO Air module reduces the electricity consumption through the installation of an Air Recovery Kit, leveraging on re-use of up to 40% compressed air during production.

    Lightweight design with heavyweight performance
    While reducing the consumption of both electricity and compressed air during the blowing process, Sidel’s expertise in optimising the bottle design can also bring its own benefits. The ECO Packaging solutions enable producers to transform the shape of their packaging while improving its appeal, performance and safety. With more than 35 years of experience in PET packaging, Sidel can assist beverage customers in achieving more from the production process by reducing the use of PET resin. By saving just one gram on a 0.5 litre PET bottle, overall savings of EUR 350,000 per year can be generated. One step in making these savings in PET bottle production is the reduction of the neck height. Soft drinks bottles can have neck heights reduced to as little as only 12 millimetres high.

    Two packaging innovations can easily demonstrate the company’s ability to solve the dilemma between lightweight PET design and the need to protect the brand experience in the hands of consumers, all without compromising on production costs. Bottles designed following the Sidel RightWeight™ concept can offer improved performance and reductions in material costs, while the implementation of the Sidel StarLite™ base in PET bottles will enable a reduction in air blowing pressure, yet increase the resistance of the base and stability of the bottle.

    Weighing just 7.95 grams, the RightWeight 0.5 litre concept bottle is around 34% lighter than the average commercial bottle for still water and demonstrates an impressive top load performance of 33 kilograms - 32% more resistant than the lightest commercial bottle. Not less important, the RightWeight bottle achieves this rigidity without the use of nitrogen dosing, again minimising costs. Utilising two proprietary PET design innovations, the Sidel StarLite PET bottle base for still drinks has a unique shape that makes the bottom of the container significantly more resistant and stable. Additionally, it offers better protection against extreme temperatures (hot and cold) while reducing energy consumption during production, lowering package weight and improving design flexibility - all without compromising on bottle integrity or product safety.

    Expertise enables optimisation
    Having more than 50 years of experience in blowing, Sidel is able to identify exactly which parts should be replaced and which upgrades would prove most effective in each particular case. As the agreed plan of ECO Booster actions is being implemented, consumption monitoring and process control tools can also be put in place, as well as additional laboratory tests or production-control equipment. Finally, when the servicing is completed and accepted by the customer, a sticker is placed on the machine indicating that it has passed the eco-efficiency test. This has the added, valuable benefit of promoting eco-awareness among the operators at the customer's plant.
    (Sidel International AG)
    23.02.2017   Ball Intends to Cease Production at Beverage Packaging Plant in Reidsville, North Carolina    ( Company news )

    Company news Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) announced that it intends to cease production at the company's Reidsville, North Carolina, beverage packaging plant in mid-2017. The plant's customers will be supplied by other Ball facilities in the U.S.

    Ball expects to record an after-tax charge of approximately $18 million, primarily for employee severance, pensions and other benefits, asset impairments, and facility shut down and disposal costs. The majority of this charge is expected to be recorded by mid-2017 and the net, after-tax cash costs are expected to be approximately $5 million.

    "This action will better align our manufacturing footprint to meet the changing needs of our customers and the market, as we actively manage our overall plant system after the addition of seven North American Rexam plants upon close of the acquisition earlier this year," said Daniel W. Fisher, senior vice president, Ball Corporation, and COO, global beverage packaging. "While closing a plant is always difficult, balancing our supply with demand in the highly competitive beverage packaging industry will better position the company for the long-term."

    The Reidsville plant opened in 1978 and was acquired by Ball in 1998 as part of the acquisition of Reynolds Metals Company. It produces beverage cans in a variety of sizes, and employs approximately 150 people. Reidsville employees may be provided benefits and outplacement services in accordance with the bargaining process, and are eligible to apply for job openings within Ball.
    (Ball Corporation)
    22.02.2017   New figures show Scotch is biggest boost for UK balance of trade    ( Company news )

    Company news Current UK tax of 77% is 'onerous'
    On Burns' Night Scotch Whisky industry calls for 2% cut in excise

    The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) called for a 2% spirits excise duty cut to boost an industry that creates £5 billion annually for the economy, supports more than 40,000 jobs and is the largest net contributor to the UK's balance of trade in goods, according to new research.

    As millions around the globe prepare to raise a dram to celebrate Burns' Night, research published lately - 'The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK' - reveals that without Scotland's national drink the UK's trade deficit in goods of £115 billion would be 3% larger. The SWA says that the Government's support of the industry in recent years has led to a boost in revenue for the Treasury and supported a wave of new distillery openings - 14 in the past three years.

    But tax remains too high at 77% of the price of an average bottle of Scotch and the SWA is calling for fairer treatment.*

    The research explains that exports of Scotch Whisky are worth around £4 billion each year, while imports in the supply chain, such as packaging for products and casks for maturing spirit, total only £200 million. The Scotch industry's trade balance is therefore £3.7bn.

    The SWA says the research reinforces Scotch Whisky's position as a strategically important industry for the UK in terms of value it adds to the economy, jobs supported, investment and export performance, and should be supported by government.

    The publication of the research on Burns' Night - the anniversary of the Bard's birthday - comes as the SWA calls on the UK Government to 'Stand up for Scotch' in the Budget on 8 March to encourage further investment and job creation.

    The onerous 77% tax on an average priced bottle of Scotch exists despite a freeze in excise in last year's Budget, a 2% cut the previous year and the scrapping of the alcohol duty escalator - which annually increased excise by inflation plus 2% - in 2014. The SWA wants the UK Government to 'pursue a 'Fair Tax for Whisky'.

    As well as boosting the Scotch Whisky industry, the government's changes to excise in the last few years have benefited the public purse. In the 12 months to the end of October this year, the Treasury secured around an additional £100m from spirits duty - including the tax consumers pay on a bottle of Scotch Whisky**. But the industry says it still deserves fairer tax treatment.

    'The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK' outlines the true contribution of Scotch Whisky to the economy and shows why the industry deserves recognition from government.

    Findings from the research include:
    -Scotch Whisky adds almost £5bn (£4.9bn) to the UK economy;
    -Some 40,200 jobs are supported by the industry across the UK. This includes more than 10,500 people directly employed in Scotland. Almost £1.3bn is paid in salaries in Scotland;
    -Scotch is a significant contributor to rural employment, supporting often fragile local economies. The industry supports 7,000 rural jobs. The Scotch Whisky industry is expanding at historic levels. As well as the 14 new distilleries opened since 2013, existing sites have been expanded, for example with increased production, more warehouses or revamped visitor centres. Up to a further 40 new distilleries are planned across Scotland, with seven expected to open this year alone.

    But the SWA says the uncertainty created by Brexit means that the industry needs more reassurance that it will receive fair treatment from government.

    Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive, said: "Scotch Whisky is one of the UK's most strategically important industries. Without valuable Scotch exports of around £4 billion a year, the UK's trade deficit in goods would be 3% larger. And our research published today emphasises the value of the industry which adds £5bn to the economy annually and supports more than 40,000 jobs. Burns' Night is the perfect time to raise a dram to the success of Scotch.

    "But we are calling on the government to 'Stand up for Scotch' by addressing the high and unfair level of taxation distillers face in their home market. The current tax of 77% on an average priced bottle of Scotch is a burden on consumers and the industry. And the Government's own figures indicate that fairer tax treatment leads to increased revenue for the public purse. We are calling on the UK Government to cut excise by 2% in next month's Budget, supporting a great Scottish and British industry at a time of uncertainty, giving us a stronger domestic platform from which to invest and grow to make a success of Brexit."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)

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