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    27.07.2017   Constantia Flexibles sells Labels division to Multi-Color    ( Company news )

    Company news Constantia Flexibles has signed an agreement to sell its Labels division to Multi-Color Corporation (“Multi-Color”) for an enterprise value of approximately €1.15 billion ($1.3 billion). The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.

    The majority of the transaction is payable in cash, while Constantia Flexibles will also receive 3.4 million shares in Multi-Color stock. On completion of the transaction, the flexible packaging company will hold 16.6% of Multi-Color, thereby becoming its largest shareholder. Two representatives of Constantia Flexibles will join Multi-Color’s Board of Directors.

    Constantia Labels is a global supplier of labels to the beverage, food and home & personal care industries(HPC), with long-standing customer relationships with leading brands. It has 23 plants in 14 countries and has roughly 2,800 employees. The Labels division achieved sales of 605 million euro in 2016.

    Established in 1916, Cincinnati, Ohio-based Multi-Color is one of the largest label companies in the world serving some of the most prominent brands in the following market segments: Healthcare, HPC, Food & Beverage, Specialty (Automotive & Consumer Durables), and Wine & Spirits. With approximately 5,500 employees, it operates 45 manufacturing facilities worldwide. Multi-Color achieved sales of $923 million in fiscal year 2017.

    This value-creating transaction will bring together Constantia Labels’ leading food and beverage business with Multi-Color’s strong wine and spirits and home & personal care platforms. It will also widen the joint Group’s geographical footprint and create long-term synergies that will benefit all parties involved. Mike Henry, current CEO of Constantia Labels, will become CEO-elect of Multi-Color, and will work closely with the current CEO Vadis Rodato, who will retire in early 2018 after a transition period. Nigel Vinecombe will remain in his current role as Chairman of Multi-Color. After completion of the transaction, Multi-Color will generate pro forma sales of roughly $1.6 billion and EBITDA of $300 million, before synergies.

    Alexander Baumgartner, CEO of Constantia Flexibles: “Following a detailed strategy review, we decided that our top-performing Labels division would be better suited with another partner, which will support its ongoing growth story. At the same time, Constantia Flexibles will participate in the future success story of Multi-Color through its shareholding. Constantia Flexibles will use proceeds from the transaction todeleverage its balance sheet and enable further acquisitions in the dynamic and consolidating flexible packaging industry. We will also focus on innovative products and services, as well as new technologies to strengthen our existing Food and Pharma divisions.”

    Nigel Vinecombe, Executive Chairman of Multi-Color: “The acquisition of Constantia Labels marks a major milestone in the evolution of Multi-Color. We are bringing together complementary talents in markets and geographies, diversifying our business and creating a global leader with a transaction that is financially attractive, which will better help us serve our customers. I welcome Mike Henry to the executive team and representatives from Constantia Flexibles to the Board of Directors of Multi-Color.”

    Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP as legal advisor to Constantia Flexibles for the transaction.
    (Constantia Flexibles GmbH)
     
    27.07.2017   PureCircle Announces First Stevia Antioxidant Product for Food & Beverages    ( Company news )

    Company news PureCircle (PURE.LSE), the world’s leading producer and innovator of great-tasting stevia sweeteners and flavors for the global beverage and food industry, announces it has developed the first commercially viable stevia antioxidant product providing food and beverage companies new access to health and wellness ingredients for their consumers.

    While researchers have known that antioxidants are present in stevia plants, PureCircle is the first company to be able to extract them from the stevia leaf for use in food and beverage products. PureCircle has created a unique process for extracting and purifying this plant- based antioxidant ingredient at a global scale.

    The company’s antioxidant product has a clean taste profile with a hint of sweetness. PureCircle is currently sampling the new product with customers with full rollout expected after anticipated US regulatory approval in 2018.

    Experts believe antioxidants help inhibit and slow down the damage caused by free radicals in the body. Consumers’ desire for these health benefits has driven an increase in product launches with antioxidant claims by +18% over the past five years.*

    This new stevia antioxidant will extend PureCircle’s portfolio beyond its innovative flavor modifiers and great-tasting sweeteners. This product enables PureCircle to broaden its offerings, providing customers with a spectrum of plant-based stevia ingredients.

    Commenting on the announcement, Faith Son, Vice President of Marketing & Innovation, said:
    “Stevia as an antioxidant will further support beverage and food companies in providing their customers with health benefits and great-tasting products containing compounds commonly found in ‘superfoods’ such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Although it has been known that stevia plants contain antioxidants, the ability to extract is a major commercial advance.”
    (PureCircle Corporate Headquarters)
     
    26.07.2017   Innovation from SIG addresses key demands of today’s consumers    ( Company news )

    Company news SIGNATURE: World first aseptic pack 100% linked to plant-based renewable material

    Picture: SIG has developed the world’s first aseptic carton pack with a clear link to 100% plant-based renewable materials – a value-added solution that meets the demands of the industry and today’s consumer expectations. Photo: SIG Combibloc

    SIG has developed the world’s first aseptic carton pack with a clear link to 100% plant-based renewable materials – a value-added solution that meets the demands of the industry and today’s consumer expectations.

    There are many global drivers that are shaping the food and beverage industry today. Two main factors which consumers are demanding are environmentally friendly products and packaging that is sustainable. Markus Boehm, Chief Market Officer at SIG Combibloc: “Sales of consumer goods from brands with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability are growing much stronger than those without. These factors have been focal points for developing our SIGNATURE PACK. This is an important milestone in aseptic carton packaging, and we’re proud to present a genuine global innovation catering to these consumer needs”.

    The SIGNATURE PACK drives the replacement of conventional plastics from fossil fuels with certified and sustainable plant-based polymer materials. The polymers used for laminating the paperboard and making the spout originate from renewable European wood sources and are certified according to ISCC PLUS (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) or CMS 71 (TÜV SÜD certification standard), respectively, via a mass balance system. This means that for the polymers used in the SIGNATURE PACK, an equivalent amount of bio-based feedstock went into the manufacturing of the polymers.

    Ace Fung, Global Product Manager at SIG Combibloc: “Developing an aseptic carton pack fully linked to renewable plant materials is quite a challenge. Aseptic packages, where the product can be stored without refrigeration over a long period, have higher barrier requirements than chilled packages”.

    The SIGNATURE PACK solution is an important step on SIG’s net-positive journey. The company is focusing on three core areas in which it can do the most for society and the environment. Responsibility is at the centre of this – dictating how SIG runs the company, sources its materials, and manufactures its products. Markus Boehm: “We want to offer the most sustainable packaging solutions available in the market. Carton packs from SIG are already composed of up to 82% wood, a renewable resource. The SIGNATURE PACK is a logical next step towards replacing fossil fuel-based materials by renewable plant-based ones. We’ve achieved a new landmark on our Way Beyond Good, and can offer our customers and the world’s consumers this more sustainable, innovative solution which better cares for the environment. It’s another world first by SIG”.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
     
    25.07.2017   Australia: Craft brewers not locked out of bars by big brewers – competition watchdog    ( E-malt.com )

    Australia’s competition watchdog on July 13 found craft brewers were not being locked out of bars because the likes of Carlton United Breweries and Lion were strong-arming publicans through exclusivity provisions and volume requirements, The West Australian reported.

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation looked at 36 venues in NSW and Victoria and found deals between those businesses and the big brewers were not likely to substantially lessen competition.

    The complaints stemmed from allegations Lion and CUB were forcing bars to devote four beer taps out of five to name brands in exchange for cheap beer and other incentives.

    “Although some venues had exclusivity arrangements, most pubs and clubs said they did not feel constrained from allocating taps to smaller brewers and could make taps available for craft beer if necessary,” ACCC deputy chairman Michael Schaper said.

    “While some craft brewers may have been refused access to taps by certain venues, our investigation found that the venues were responding to consumer demand for certain beer brands, rather than restrictions imposed by the big brewers.”

    “In fact, over half of the venues contacted by the ACCC indicated that customer preference was the key factor in determining the brands, types of beer and number of craft beers offered by the venue.”
     
    25.07.2017   FIVE YEARS OF SOLID GROWTH FOR TWELLIUM INDUSTRIAL IN AFRICA    ( Company news )

    Company news In 2013, Twellium took its first steps into the beverage market in Ghana with a PET line from Sidel. The company was incorporated on 4 February, 2013 and commenced production in February, 2014. Recently it invested in two new complete lines making Twellium a major beverage player in the West African sub-region with a total of five production lines – all supplied by Sidel.

    Twellium brings beverages - such as still water, carbonated soft drinks (CSD) and sensitive products which have proven popular among European and American consumers - to the African region. Its formula for success is to combine its own pure and natural mineral water with European technology and international standards in the manufacturing process, as well as meeting all the certification and safety standards of the Food and Drugs Authority in Ghana. The award-winning company produces a wide variety of drinks, including Verna Natural Mineral Water, Rasta Choco Malt, Dr. Malt and the Easy range of products. Other products such as Rush Energy Drink, American Cola, Planet and Bubble Up are all produced by Twellium as a franchise of Monarch Beverage Company, a global company headquartered in Atlanta (US).

    Over the years Sidel and Twellium have forged a close working relationship based on continual improvement and cooperation. As well as supplying new lines as Twellium has grown, Sidel – with more than 40 years of experience in complete lines for CSD – has also worked on optimising the existing lines and solutions in terms of energy savings and through maintenance support.

    A wide product range requires flexibility
    As African consumers increasingly enjoy a variety of beverages, Twellium needed to increase production capacity while still securing high flexibility. Hassan Kesserwani and Hussein Kesserwani, Chairmen of Twellium Industrial Company, explain - “Flexibility is imperative for the company because of the variety of drinks we produce – from carbonated soft drinks to juice drinks with preservatives and the non-alcoholic malt drinks that are popular in the region. In Ghana, our recent investment in a Sidel Matrix™ PET complete line has fulfilled these needs by offering faster changeovers and the ability to handle many different bottle formats.”

    In terms of equipment life cycle, the Sidel Matrix range can be easily adapted to meet future production needs and its upgradeable platform allows Twellium to take advantage of any technological developments. All Matrix equipment offers high levels of performance with minimal downtime and easy maintenance. This high efficiency means a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), which, for a fast-growing company like Twellium, was important.

    Cutting energy costs while expanding design options
    An example of how energy costs have been reduced is the Sidel Matrix blower which consumes less compressed air and electrical power, resulting in energy savings of up to 45%. The Eco Oven technology – patented by Sidel – can be used to upgrade existing blowers and cut energy costs because it uses fewer lamps for heating the preforms. This reduction in energy consumption was particularly welcome because Ghana has faced considerable rises in energy costs.

    In addition, Twellium trusted Sidel’s PET packaging expertise and decided to adopt the StarLite™ base design. This award-winning and patented base enables bottle weight to be reduced by 20% for 0.5 L bottles, while improving stability and protecting against stress damage during production and transport.

    “This was an important consideration for Twellium as logistics in the African region can be a challenge. With the StarLite base, the company saves on raw materials and also on energy as the container can be blown using less air pressure,” says Dominique Martin, Sidel Africa & Maghreb Sales Director.

    The importance of service
    Throughout the past five years, Sidel has delivered the service necessary to keep all the lines running optimally: from delivering spare parts promptly in order to avoid expensive downtime to ensuring Twellium could take full advantage of options and upgrades that improve the lines.

    Consumers in the African region continue to enjoy greater spending power and the Twellium brands have become firmly established in the market. This puts the company in the best position to achieve even greater success.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    25.07.2017   India: AB InBev banking on Budweiser to extend reach to smaller Indian cities    ( E-malt.com )

    Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, is banking on its popular Budweiser brand of beer to extend its reach to smaller Indian cities in the second phase of expansion, Livemint reported on July 17.

    “Budweiser is the brand that helps us lead our overall play here in India,” AB InBev marketing director Kartikeya Sharma said in an interview. “I think I can say Budweiser will continue to be a big bet. India has started to become one of the biggest markets for Budweiser globally.”

    AB InBev, which operates as Crown Beers India Ltd, began selling Budweiser in India in 2007, positioning the beer as a premium American pale lager, in contrast to its college-student popular image in the US.

    The firm, which started manufacturing Budweiser in India in 2010, reported a revenue of Rs238 crore in FY15, according to data from the Registrar of Companies (RoC). This is a long way from its initial revenue of Rs3.49 lakh in FY08, as per its first reported set of financials according to data from the RoC.

    However, the company is yet to turn profitable, posting an operational loss of nearly Rs60 crore in FY14-15, and a total loss of nearly Rs200 crore (after adding loss carried forward from the previous fiscal), as per the company’s latest filings with RoC.

    After nearly a decade in the country, Sharma said, the brand’s strategy of focusing on only major urban centres is finally paying off.

    “Our strategy dates back to nearly 2008-09, when we finally found our footing and got more active,” Sharma said. “We have resisted being pulled into the very natural appeal of a country as big as India with so many markets and so many consumers.”

    AB InBev focused on the top metropolitan cities—primarily Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru—to help grow the Budweiser brand among the “aspirational” young consumers. Sharma declined to share sales and revenue numbers for Budweiser beer in India.

    The brewer is now banking on the new manufacturing facilities and distribution muscle that the company’s acquisition of SABMiller India brings.

    AB InBev acquired rival SABMiller Plc in 2015 to create the world’s largest brewer. The acquisition was completed at end of 2016 in India.

    “This is a very natural consequence of the coming together of two very successful companies,” Sharma said.

    “Our brewing facilities are fairly evenly spread out and they (will) allow us to expand beyond the two facilities from where Budweiser is being sourced right now,” he added. “This will in time allow us to brew from many of other facilities we acquired as part of this integration, and will allow us to meet the demand coming in from the North-East, from the south, from central India, (with) a lot more ease than we had in the past.”

    With the acquisition of SABMiller, AB InBev will own other large beer brands, including the hugely popular Haywards 5000 and Foster’s that have a larger reach. “We now have a very complementary footprint from geographical and portfolio standpoint,” Sharma said. “Look at brands like Haywards, a brand like Fosters that have obviously been around longer than Budweiser have also taken their distribution to far beyond the urban centres where Budweiser is involved in.”

    AB InBev also sells other beer brands in India, including Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, and Corona, which are relatively niche in reach and distribution as compared to Budweiser.

    However, the company is choosing to focus its energies on Budweiser and rolling out the next phase of the brand’s targeted city-wise expansion. It is considering expanding the brand to “secondary urban centres” such as Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, and Puducherry.

    Its strategy is to market Budweiser through sponsorship of events such as music festivals and other niche local events. These include events involving global firms such as Tomorrowland and Electric Daisy Carnival, along with home-grown EDM events like The Boiler Room.

    “We identify music and sports as major passion points for our consumers,” Sharma said. “In India, we believe that music is going to be the biggest emerging passion point,” he said.

    While the market share of UB Group, the maker of India’s largest beer brand Kingfisher, has remained largely stagnant since 2014, market shares of other beer makers have risen. Carlsberg A/S, on the strength of its Tuborg and Carlsberg brands, jump the most from 4.7% to 6.8% in the alcoholic drinks market.

    In 2013, AB InBev held merely 0.8% of the Indian market for alcoholic drinks, as per Euromonitor data. While this grew to 1.2% in 2016, the company gained SABMiller’s market share which was 10.7% of the market in 2016, allowing it to zoom past Carlsberg and be at nearly half of UB Group’s share.

     
    25.07.2017   UK: Heineken offers to sell 30 pubs as part of planned takeover of Punch Taverns    ( E-malt.com )

    Dutch brewing giant Heineken is to serve up 30 pubs for sale as part of its planned takeover of Punch Taverns, the Telegraph reported on July 11.

    The £403 mln deal is being investigated by competition authorities, which raised fears about a dampening of competition in 33 local areas if the acquisition went through unchallenged.

    The Competition and Markets Authority said Heineken would need to offer a solution to prevent an in-depth phase 2 investigation which can last up to six months.

    Now Heineken has identified 30 pubs which it has pledged to sell if its acquisition is given the go-ahead by the CMA.

    Most of the pubs on the slate are in the north of England or Scotland with half being from Heineken’s own Star Pubs & Bars estate and the other half being from Punch’s.

    The competition watchdog now has until August 22 to decide whether it is satisfied with the offer from Heineken but said it “has no material doubts” about the proposal which Heineken has put forward.

    The CMA has the power to extend the deadline to October 17 though if it feels it needs time to give the offer extra scrutiny.

    Heineken, whose Star Pubs business has approximately 1,100 sites is buying roughly 1,900 pubs from Punch.

    The deal would make the Dutch brewer the third largest UK pub group after Greene King and Enterprise Inns.

    The bid was lower than a rival one from Emerald Investment Partners, a vehicle set up by Punch’s co-founder and former finance director Alan McIntosh, but was still favored by the board.
     
    25.07.2017   UK: UK's Society of Independent Brewers calls for greater clarity over true craft beer    ( E-malt.com )

    The UK’s Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has called for “greater clarity” over the true craft credentials of brewers, following a multitude of buyouts of previously independent craft brewers by multinational brewers, The Drinks Business reported on July 11.

    As the craft beer category has grown, so too has interest in its brewers by large global companies eager to get a slice of its success. Most recently, London Fields Brewers was bought by Carlsberg in a deal worth £1 billion, following similar deals that saw AB InBev snap up Camden Town Brewery for £85 mln in 2015 and Japanese brewer Asahi acquire Meantime in 2016.

    While the success of small brands growing into larger companies is commendable, it has led to increasing confusion over the term ‘craft’, with brands typically thought of as ‘craft’ due to their independent nature and small production sharing the term with huge global brewers.

    “Buyouts such as that of London Fields by global beer company Carlsberg are made in the hope of capturing the original customers and target market of an established, previously independent craft beer brewery – Customer bases which were built on the back of the brewery being relatively small, independent and brewing quality, flavoursome beer,” said Mike Benner, SIBA chief executive.

    “Consumers deserve to know that what they are buying is a genuine craft-brewed beer as research clearly shows that most beer drinkers believe craft beer to be produced by relatively small, independent brewers.”

    Market research commissioned by SIBA in 2016 showed that 46% of beer drinkers regard craft beer as “made by small brewers rather than large corporations”, although one in ten beer drinkers are unsure what the term means. 35% regard craft breweries as ‘artisanal’ with 22% associating the term with ‘small’ and 14% with ‘local’.

    Across the pond, the US Brewer’s Association – which represents small and independent American craft brewers – is also concerned about this shift, launching a new seal last month to identify beers brewed by independent brewers.

    The new seal, accredited by the BA, signals that the brew has been produced by a brewery that is independently owned and “free of influence from other alcohol beverage companies which are not themselves craft brewers”.

    “As Big Beer acquires former craft brands, beer drinkers have become increasingly confused about which brewers remain independent,” Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association said at the time of its launch.

    “Beer lovers are interested in transparency when it comes to brewery ownership. This seal is a simple way to provide that clarity – now they can know what’s been brewed small and certified independent.”

    Likewise, SIBA has launched its own “Assured Independent British Craft Brewer” seal for the UK craft beer industry.

    “London’s thriving independent craft beer scene has been built on the passion, investment, sweat and tears of genuine independent brewers and we know that beer drinkers care about the provenance of their beer, ” said SIBA‘s south east regional director Ed Mason, who also runs Five Points Brewing Co in London.

    “The purchase of the ‘London Fields’ brand by Carlsberg raises a number of questions about genuine independence and ethics in the brewing industry. SIBA’s AIBCB ‘Assured Independent Brewers’ seal will help ensure that customers can tell which beers are truly independent.”
     
    25.07.2017   USA & Mexico: Constellation Brands moving forward with plans to build a brewery in Mexico ...    ( E-malt.com )

    ... despite opposition

    Plans by a U.S. company to construct a state-of-the-art brewery in the Baja California capital of Mexicali are moving forward — despite opposition of a group of local farmers and the cancellation of a state aqueduct project to supply water to the future facility, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on July 19.

    A spokesman for Constellation Brands, which supplies Mexican-made Corona and Modelo beers to the U.S. market, said on July 19 that the company is building its own water delivery system to the plant, located south of Mexicali off the road the San Felipe.

    The project, set to launch operations in late 2019, represents an investment of more than $1 billion. Though endorsed by the Baja California state government, the project has been fiercely opposed by a group of Mexicali farmers who say the water is earmarked for agricultural use, and should not be diverted to industry.

    The group, Comité Ciudadano de Defensa del Agua en Baja California, claims that the water targeted for Constellation Brands would have come from an aquifer that is overdrawn. “The aquifer needs to recover before these investments can be approved,” said Rigoberto Campos, the committee’s leader.

    Constellation Brands said it is undeterred by the cancellation of the state’s 30-mile aqueduct project, and is proceeding with its own plans. The company expects to use about 7 million cubic meters of water per year once the plant is at full capacity, and says that the volume represents less than one percent of the supply for the Mexicali Valley, an important agricultural region that produces alfalfa, cotton, and winter vegetables.

    Constellation Brands’ vice president for corporate communications, Michael McGrew, said the project promises significant economic benefits to the Mexicali region with the creation of 750 permanent jobs and 3,000 to 4,000 more while the facility is under construction.

    “We are one of the biggest investors in Mexicali, if not the biggest investor,” McGrew said.

    By the end of 2019, Constellation Brands expects to open the plant with a capacity for producing five million hectolitres per year, he said; that is the equivalent of 58 million cases of beer, with each case representing 24 12-ounce bottles.

    McGrew said the plan is to double that capacity to 10 million hectolitres, with the possibility of producing up to 20 million hectolitres annually.

    Based in New York state, Constellation Brands is the third largest U.S. beer producer, with facilities in two other northern Mexico border states—Coahuila and Sonora. Mexicali’s proximity to the U.S. border was an important factor in the company’s decision to locate there, as all of its product will destined for the U.S. consumers.

    Opponents of the state’s planned aqueduct filed suit to block construction of the aqueduct, alleging that the government had not obtained an environmental permit for the project.

    It was cancelled last month by the Baja California Water Commission. Gov. Francisco Vega de Lamadrid said Tuesday that the cancellation was as a result of “the company’s lack of a water quota,” but added that “I imagine there has to be other alternatives to supply water” to Constellation Brands and other companies in the area.

    “But it is a federal issue,” he said, adding that the state does not determine water quotas.

    The state’s cancellation of the aqueduct “has no bearing on the project,” McGrew said.
    Constellation Brands “is investing its own funds” to build the needed infrastructure, he said, and has a commitment for the water from the Baja California Public Service Commission for Mexicali, an agency known as CESPM.
     
    25.07.2017   USA: Beer remains the preferred alcoholic beverage in Gallup's trend    ( E-malt.com )

    Americans who drink alcohol continue to say they most often choose beer (40%) over wine (30%) and liquor (26%). Beer has typically been the preferred alcoholic beverage in Gallup's trend, Gallup reported on July 19.

    The latest results are from a July 5-9 update of Gallup's annual Consumption Habits poll. Gallup has found that beer is most popular among men; this year, 62% of male drinkers say they prefer beer, compared with 19% of female drinkers. Less-educated and middle-income Americans also tend to choose beer.

    For the past two decades, at least three in 10 drinkers have said they prefer wine, peaking at 39% in 2005. Wine was slightly less popular in the early to mid-1990s. Women are significantly more likely than men to prefer wine, at 50% vs. 11%, respectively. This beverage is also preferred more among college-educated adults.

    The 26% of drinkers who name liquor as their beverage of choice is the highest in Gallup's 25-year trend, but similar to the 24% recorded in 2004. The percentage naming liquor has typically been closer to 20%. Future measurements will help determine whether the current figure marks the beginning of a trend toward an increased preference for liquor.

    The majority of American adults consume alcohol at least occasionally, with the current 62% figure nearly matching the 63% historical average in Gallup's trend dating back to 1939. The percentage of Americans who drink has been fairly steady over nearly eight decades, with a few exceptions. The drinking percentage held near 70% in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The figure dipped below 60% at several points between the 1930s and 1950s, as well as in select polls from 1989 to 1996.

    Meanwhile, 38% of U.S. adults totally abstain from alcohol. That figure has remained below 40% since 1997.

    Americans are about as likely to consume alcohol as they have been for the past eight decades. Many of the Founding Fathers enjoyed beer, and it remains the most popular alcoholic beverage in the U.S. today. The brewing industry has seen tremendous growth in recent decades. Americans have thousands of breweries to choose from in 2017, compared with fewer than 100 in the early 1980s.

    According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, spirits increased their market share in 2016 compared with 2000, which may reflect the slightly increased preference for liquor in this year's poll. Continued tracking of Americans' consumption will determine if this is a momentary fad or a turn toward a greater preference for liquor over wine and beer.
     
    24.07.2017   drink technology India 2017 almost fully booked!    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 - Annual cycle at alternating venues proves to be the right decision
    - dti 2017 wins an important supporter in FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India)
    - Confirmed dates for the next events in Mumbai in 2018 and Bangalore in 2019

    At around three months before the start of drink technology India (dti), it´s already clear that the change to an annual cycle was the right step to take. dti 2017 is attracting strong interest from exhibitors. Already, over 90 percent of the available exhibition space is booked. Which means the event is approaching full capacity. Among the companies that have signed up to exhibit are leading names in the sector. drink technology India 2017 takes place from October 26 to 28 at the Pragati Maidan exhibition center in New Delhi.

    The strong demand from the sector underlines the importance of the beverage, dairy, liquid-food and associated packaging industry for the Indian market. “Alternating between New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, dti now has excellent coverage of the north, south and also the west of India,” explained Markus Kosak, Exhibition Director of dti. “As a result we can offer our customers lasting visibility across the whole of India and we enable the industry to target the individual sectors in the respective regions in a highly efficient way,” continued Kosak.

    dti has gained an excellent reputation in India, as evidenced also by the fact that the key trade associations in India are taking part, among them VDMA India, All India Distillers Association (AIDA), All India Wine Producers Association (AIWPA) and Uttar Pradesh Distillers' Association (UPDA). For the event in New Delhi dti has attracted the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) as a supporter. “The beverage, dairy and liquid-food area is continuing to make good progress in India. In particular the themes of hygiene, recycling, resource-efficiency and packaging are playing an ever greater role for industry. In all these areas dti offers solutions tailored to meet the demands of the Indian market and we are very pleased to have FSSAI on board as a new strong partner, supporting our event,” explained Avisha Desai, Project Director of drink technology India.

    By switching to an annual cycle, dti is responding to the development in the Indian beverage, dairy and liquid-food sector. This rhythm, combined with alternating venues, takes account of the requirements of the Indian market and presents a needs-oriented platform in all the regions of India. The dates for the next events are already decided: from October 24 to 26, 2018, dti takes place at the Bombay Exhibition & Convention Centre in Mumbai and from October 17 to 19, 2019, dti is being held for the first time in Bangalore, at the Bangalore Exhibition Centre.
    (Messe München GmbH)
     
    24.07.2017   Symrise Climate Strategy Approved by “Science Based Targets initiative”     ( Company news )

    Company news — International fragrance and flavoring manufacturer achieves climate goals it has set itself quicker than expected
    — Symrise aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 17.5 percent by 2030

    Sustainability has a high priority at Symrise – from resource-conserving and low-emission production methods and preserving biodiversity to supporting social equality. In pursuing these goals, the company has once again set itself lofty climate goals. Symrise was able to achieve these ahead of schedule in 2016. Now Symrise is taking things a step further. The Holzminden- based company is setting itself ambitious goals once again in order to fulfill its aspiration of meeting the demands of international climate researchers and to comply with the resolutions of the UN Climate Conference COP 21 in Paris.

    The Science Based Targets initiative by CDP, UN Global Compact, WRI and WWF aims to raise the level of corporate climate protection and to also make it easier to assess. Time is running out, after all. If global greenhouse gas production continues on its present course, the average global temperature will increase by up to 4.8 degrees Celsius – which would have devastating consequences for planet earth. The Science Based Targets initiative aims to motivate companies to set themselves ambitious climate goals in order to stop this trend and limit global warming to two degrees Celsius at most. To do so, the initiators have developed the sector-based decarbonization approach (SDA), a new method in which players in each sector set their goals in accordance with scientifically based climate research for a period of time until 2050, allowing them to effectively counteract climate change. More and more companies around the world are setting science-based targets for themselves – but the list of German companies is rather short. “Symrise is one of the first German companies to apply for science-based targets,” said Dr. Helmut Frieden, Corporate Sustainability at Symrise. “We are even prouder that those running the initiative agree that the goals we have laid out are right and have approved them.”

    Lila Karbassi, Chief of Programmes at the UN Global Compact - a Science Based Targets initiative partner, said: “It is encouraging to see companies such as Symrise set industry-leading targets to cut emissions. By ensuring targets are aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, Symrise is demonstrating to investors, customers and policymakers that they are preparing to transition to the low- carbon economy while future-proofing growth."

    Working in line with the UN Climate Convention
    The sustainability experts at Symrise defined the 2016 greenhouse gas emissions for the entire supply chain for the application process. Based on these, they developed concrete goals for the company’s production, which they then presented to the initiative’s steering committee for validation. Symrise is thus committing to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 17.5 percent by 2030. In addition, Symrise wants to ensure that suppliers who provide at least 80 percent of the entire purchasing volume of raw materials commit themselves to their own climate targets and reduction measures. In doing so, Symrise is a role model in terms of climate protection in Germany and is acting in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Climate Conferences COP 21 in Paris and COP 22 in Marrakesh.
    (Symrise AG)
     
    21.07.2017   Lecta to participate at Drinktec 2017    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 ​Lecta will present innovations in its specialty papers at this leading international event for the beverage industry.

    Lecta will exhibit at the Munich's next Drinktec trade fair, the world's most prestigious platform for the beverage and liquid food sector. From September 11 to 15, it will present and exhibit its innovations in specialty paper labels for this sector, within this excellent platform for launching new products and developments.

    Visitors will discover the exceptional quality and versatility of three of Lecta's product lines: Metalvac metalized papers, the wide range of Adestor self-adhesive materials and Creaset one-side coated papers.

    Metalvac, Lecta's high-vacuum 100% recyclable metallized paper, will be presented at Drinktec in the form of a new catalogue. The sample book is made up of three folders that correspond to the brand's three application segments: wet-glue labels, pressure-sensitive labels and tobacco and packaging. Each​ multi-lingual folder (ES/EN/IT​/FR) contains technical specifications and product samples in different colors and finishes.

    Metalvac A HG is the newest addition to the range of Metalvac metallized papers. This facestock with an excellent gloss finish has been designed for producing self-adhesive labels for the beverage industry. It is suitable for printing in offset and UV offset, flexo (solvent, UV, water-based) and letterpress (solvent and UV).

    The new and impressive Labels to Celebrate collection consists of 16 graphic design proposals of self-adhesive labels for the beverage industry. It beautifully highlights the different possibilities that the Adestor line offers the sector's printers and manufacturers. The swatch book contains 27 labels that have been produced in a wide range of printing techniques such as silkscreen, stamping and embossing, designed for embellishing different containers: wine, cava, spirits, water and beer bottles.

    Another innovation worth noting is Adestor Metal HGWS facestock. Its superior high gloss and moisture-resistant treatment make this product the ideal choice for premium labels for cava, champagne, beer and spirits, both for refrigerated bottles, ice-water immersion as well as recoverable bottles.

    Creaset Endless possibilities, Lecta's extensive range of one-side coated paper will also be on display at the trade fair for its two application segments: Labels and Packaging. Particularly noteworthy in the Labels range are coated and embossed papers with high and low moisture resistance for labelling beer and water, as well as grades with fungistatic treatment for applications requiring a barrier to prevent the spread of fungi.

    We invite you to discover all this and more in Hall A2, Lecta Stand 231 from September 11 to 15 in Munich.
    (Lecta)
     
    21.07.2017   Metsä Board's white kraftliner chosen to package one of the world's finest gins    ( Company news )

    Company news Metsä Board’s uncoated white kraftliner, MetsäBoard Natural WKL Bright, provided the ideal solution for Kyrö Distillery’s gift packaging for its premium Napue Gin brand. They were looking for a packaging solution that would truly reflect the spirit of the brand; combining high quality and natural raw materials, simple design and simple technologies.

    MetsäBoard Natural WKL Bright successfully met this demanding brief with its pure, natural and tactile feel. To help create a premium look MetsäBoard Natural WKL Bright was used both as a liner and fluting. The result was a simple and eye-catching white box on which text was stamped in black and silver foil. The foiling process generated a light debossing to increase consumer perception of a hand-crafted box.

    The Napue Gin gift packaging was produced by Pyroll in Finland. The design agency Werklig, who created the Kyrö Distillery branding, designed the gift packaging. In keeping with the brand, the graphical style was kept restrained; as with the gin, it was important to focus on content and quality. Colour was kept to a minimum, using only black and white with silver, copper and gold accents – silver for clear, unaged spirits and copper for matured ones. Gold was reserved for the forthcoming rye whisky.

    The limited-edition packaging proved to be a great success with all 16,000 bottles being quickly sold.

    Napue Gin was voted as ‘The World’s Best Gin for Gin & Tonic’ at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) in 2015. In 2016 Napue Gin also won the gold medal in the San Francisco World Spirit Competition premium gin-series.
    (Metsä Board Corporation)
     
    20.07.2017   SWA comment on Scottish GDP figures announced on July 5    ( Company news )

    Company news Karen Betts, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: "It's very encouraging to see growth in the Scottish economy in the first quarter of the year, and the substantial contribution Scotch Whisky has made to that. The Scotch Whisky industry, which employs more than 10,000 people in Scotland, adds almost £5 billion of value annually to the Scottish economy. The economic growth we see in the figures announced today reflects the performance of Scotch Whisky in the first quarter of the year, where Scotch exports were £878 million, up 10% on the first quarter of 2016.

    "To ensure this success into the future, it's vital that the Scottish and British governments work with the industry to ensure our needs are taken into account as Brexit progresses, including by supporting an open, global trade policy; securing a comprehensive free trade deal with the EU, and the benefits of EU free trade agreements with third countries around the world until ambitious new bilateral trade deals can be negotiated; and supporting a tax and regulatory agenda at home that provides a platform for international growth for British exporters."

    Other facts and figures:
    In the UK in the first quarter of 2017 the number of bottles of Scotch released for sale increased 5% to 18.4 million bottles from 17.5 million in the first quarter of 2016.

    In the year ending March 2017 Scotch exports benefited the UK's trade balance by some £4.1 billion.
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
     
    19.07.2017   UK: Carlsberg acquires Fields Brewery in London    ( E-malt.com )

    Carlsberg has bought London Fields Brewery, which has been up for sale since its founder was charged with tax fraud, The Guardian reported on July 3.

    The beer firm in Hackney, east London, which built a cult following for brews such as Easy IPA and Shoreditch Triangle IPA, is the latest in a string of craft breweries to be bought by a multinational firm, joining AB InBev-owned Camden and Meantime, now owned by Asahi.

    But the deal was struck in unique circumstances, with the brewery having been on the market for £1 mln since last year after founder Jules De Vere Whiteway-Wilkinson was charged with several counts of tax fraud, allegations which he denies. Carlsberg did not disclose the value of the takeover.

    Whiteway-Wilkinson and wife, Rosemary Spence, appeared in court in January, but a trial was put on hold after three jurors pulled out for personal reasons. Proceedings are scheduled to begin again on July 10.

    It is not clear whether Whiteway-Wilkinson will benefit from the sale of the brewery because his businessman father Juan now owns it, according to accounts filed with Companies House.

    The brewery enjoyed rapid success with beers such as Hackney Hopster and Love Not War, and it was visited by celebrities such as Twilight actor Robert Pattinson and Friends star David Schwimmer.

    “We’re thrilled to add London Fields Brewery to our growing portfolio of great quality craft and specialty beers,” said the Carlsberg UK chief executive, Julian Momen.

    Carlsberg said the business would be run in a joint venture with US craft beer firm Brooklyn Brewery, with which the Danish company signed a UK distribution deal in 2016.

    Carlsberg UK is understood to have no liabilities relating to the company’s previous ownership.
     
    18.07.2017   Canned Food Industry Asks Trump Administration to Exclude Steel Food Cans from Any Tariffs    ( Company news )

    Company news The canned food industry asked President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to exclude tinplate steel from tariffs or other restrictions based on the potential increases in manufacturing cost and American manufacturing jobs losses.

    In a letter, signed by nearly 20 groups representing various segments of the canned food industry, the Trump administration was asked to exempt tinplate steel because it is not used in any defense or national security applications. In fact, tinplate steel, which is about two percent of all steel used for can making, is already recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission as a separate category.

    The canned food industry makes nearly 20 billion cans of nutritious and healthy foods annually, using tinplate steel and employing tens of thousands of American workers. American food can producers and supplier partners generate more than $20 billion in total economic activity in the United States and pay more than $3 billion in federal and state taxes.

    The industry letter stated that tariff or trade restrictions against tinplate steel would adversely affect the food can industry and U.S.-based manufacturing employees. The dominant issue is that U.S. tinplate steel production does not meet domestic demand; only 58 percent of domestic demand can be met by U.S. tinplate makers. In 2016. U.S. demand was 2.1 million tons, while domestic tinplate production was only 1.2 million tons.

    Any tariff or restriction on tinplate steel would competitively disadvantage cans compared to other forms of packaging, which are not subject to tariffs. The industry letter stated that even a small increase in the price of raw materials would create further price pressures on both can makers and food manufacturers in an already challenging economic environment.

    Canned food provide access to affordable nutrition for the 42 million Americans that live in food insecure households, including 13 million children. Those on government food assistance, including the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps), consume canned fruits and vegetables at an even higher rate than the average American, in part because canned food costs 20 percent less than fresh food. The letter noted that tariffs or any trade barriers would have harsh consequences on SNAP recipients and would diminish the value of taxpayer-funded federal food assistance programs.
    (Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI))
     
    17.07.2017   Euronext Vigeo Index Names Symrise One of the 120 Most Exemplary Companies in the Eurozone    ( Company news )

    Company news — Top scores in corporate governance and commitment to social and environmental issues
    — 330 indicators successfully fulfilled
    — Efficient, resource-conserving production processes also ensure the health and well-being of future generations

    Rating agency Vigeo Eiris named Symrise, the fragrance and flavoring manufacturer based in Holzminden, one of the 120 leading companies in the eurozone with outstanding corporate responsibility due to its focus on sustainability and many other positive criteria. The internationally operating fragrance and flavoring manufacturer has also managed in recent years to rank among the 120 companies in Europe and around the world that fulfill all sustainability criteria.

    “Our corporate strategy integrates aspects of sustainability along all segments of the value chain. We bear responsibility for the profitable use of the capital entrusted to us, the efficient use and protection of natural resources, the welfare of our employees and social interests,” says Symrise Chief Sustainability Officer Hans Holger Gliewe. Because our corporate responsibility can be confirmed with concrete figures and success, Symrise was named one of the 120 most exemplary companies in the eurozone again this year. Symrise was rated one of Europe’s 120 outstanding companies in 2012, with the eurozone added in 2013. And in 2014 the global fragrance and flavoring manufacturer was incorporated into the group of the world’s most progressive companies.

    The Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120 index comprises companies with the most successful environmental, social and governance performance in the eurozone, based on 330 indicators from 38 sustainability drivers. Commitment to social aspects, corporate governance, customer and supplier relationships, health, safety, human rights, the environment and working conditions are all considered to be positive criteria.

    At Symrise, each and every production site is audited according to sustainability criteria. For instance, the flavor formulation technologies in the Flavor and Nutrition segments operate with reduced energy consumption, increased operational safety and improved performance profiles. New and improved processes are also always being developed to ensure that valuable natural resources are used effectively and waste and byproducts can be reduced.

    “As a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, we actively support the principles of responsible business outlined therein,” says Symrise Chief Sustainability Officer Gliewe. “Located in more than 40 countries around the world, our employees share these values as a basis for our joint goals.” The corporate strategy of the fragrance and flavor manufacturer based in Holzminden closely links economic goals with four sustainability pillars: footprint, innovation, sourcing and care. Footprint represents the company’s environmental footprint, innovation describes our resource-conserving and businessenhancing effects, sourcing stands for sustainable raw materials sourcing, and care illustrates value creation for employees and the surrounding communities. With this approach, Symrise aims to increase the positive effects of its own activities and further reduce the negative ones. “We also always take the welfare of future generations into account, with climate protection management, increasingly efficient processes and a portfolio that helps to meet the basic needs of a growing global population in terms of nutrition, health and well-being,” says Gliewe, who is pleased that the company has made it into the Euronext Vigeo index again.
    (Symrise AG)
     
    14.07.2017   Production launch using SIG filling technology: Sternenfrucht starts up its own filling operations    ( Company news )

    Company news Sternenfrucht Produktions GmbH & Co. KG is entering the world of aseptic beverage filling. The company, based in Liebenburg, central Germany, has opted for filling technology from SIG Combibloc. Production has begun on the CFA 209 filling machine, and the first ‘star fruits’ (a play on the company’s name) are packaged in combiblocPremium. In the medium term, the company plans to switch its entire product range, previously filled by a co-packer in packages from a different manufacturer, to SIG Combibloc carton packs.

    Reinhard Hartung, owner of Sternenfrucht: “With our own production operation, Sternenfrucht is now really taking off, and we’ll be able to demonstrate in practice our belief in innovation, pragmatism and readiness to take risks – the quintessence of our corporate philosophy”.

    Sternenfrucht Produktions GmbH was established by the parent company Hartung Nahrungsmittel, which was founded more than 30 years ago and since then has been supplying high-quality convenience products for the gastronomy and corporate meal catering sectors, not only in Germany, but now also in neighbouring countries. Reinhard Hartung: “Investments always call for courage and idealism, but we’re confident that with our own manufacturing company we’ll be able to quickly and flexibly launch beverage concentrates that will be market winners. And a great fit with that is packaging that we believe can go the distance: the carton packs are eco-friendly, re-sealable, lightweight and unbreakable, and they stack well. That means, in terms of logistics as well, they have clear advantages over other types of packaging”.

    Fabian Wissel, Managing Director of Sternenfrucht Produktions GmbH: “In SIG Combibloc, from the very beginning we’ve had an experienced and reliable partner by our side who has supported us in this project, which was a green-field venture in the truest sense of the word. We’re confident that with the flexible filling technology from SIG we’re getting the best advice. The machines leave us plenty of scope as far as products and volumes are concerned”.

    Sternenfrucht plans to do more than package its own beverages on SIG Combibloc filling machines. As a co-packer, the company will also offer other food manufacturers the opportunity to have their products aseptically filled in carton packs, without having to invest in a filling machine of their own.

    Thomas Nygren, Key Account Manager for Sternenfrucht at SIG Combibloc: “We’re delighted to have an ambitious and resourceful new customer on board, and we’re looking forward to the next ‘star fruits’”.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
     
    13.07.2017   60 years and Elopak is ready for more growth    ( Company news )

    Company news Elopak celebrated 60th Anniversary in 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)
     
    12.07.2017   Estonia: Estonian brewers concerned about sped-up increase in excise duty    ( E-malt.com )

    Estonian beverage producers Saku Õlletehas and A. le Coq have both expressed concerns about multiple negative effects the sped-up increase in the excise duty on beer and cider, the second hike of which went into effect on July 1, could have, ERR News reported.

    "The drastic hike in the excise duty on low-alcohol beverages taking place this and next year will put our activity on the domestic market under serious pressure," Saku Õlletehas board member Jaan Härms told BNS. "It can be expected that already considerable cross-border trade with Latvia will multiply and up to half of internal sales may head for the border."

    According to alcohol producers' forecasts, the state will lose a total of €174 million in tax revenue next year due to an increase in cross-border trade, he said. Manufacturers of low-alcohol beverages also said that the increase in excise duty on beer can have a negative impact on people's health, as a price increase may motivate consumers to consume more hard liquor instead. "In this regard, we in Estonia are already currently in a noticeably worse situation compared to the EU average, as opposed to, for example, average beer consumption in Europe," he noted.

    Härms said that a hike in beer excise duty will also drive people to people stock up on large quantities of alcohol on the Estonian-Latvian border. "For us as manufacturers, this of course means the need to adapt to the changed market situation," he explained. "We are carefully observing what will happen to our business environment after the tax hike and, if necessary, will make forward-looking decisions according to that."

    "The Supreme Court's decision is final and we have to accept it," A. le Coq board chairman Tarmo Nööp told BNS. "It is a shame that Estonia has become a country in which the current government with their decisions has clearly said that they do not consider the business environment important and, if they want, they will drastically change everything which has previously been written into law.

    "This Supreme Court decision in particular has been carefully expected from abroad and the decision will definitely impact further decisions to invest in Estonia," he continued. "I can definitely say that foreign investments into Estonia will decrease as Estonia is no longer considered trustworthy."

    According to Nööp, the impact of this year's second excise duty hike on low-alcohol beverages can fully be observed next year, but right now, retailers have stocked up on low-alcohol beverages in massive amounts. "Cross-border trade with Latvia, which has already increased exponentially without an increase in excise duty and accounts for 20 percent of all Estonian sales, will grow to approximately 50 percent and bring with it a wave of smaller rural shop closings."

    The board chairman estimated that as a result of these excise duty hikes, th state will lose €150 million they would have otherwise earned from excise duty and VAT revenue, which will force the government to find even more new taxes. "These are bigger impacts and in the end will hit the state itself," he said.

    The Supreme Court of Estonia announced on June 30 that the court does not think that the legislative body's decision to increase the excise duty on beer and cider faster than planned is unconstitutional. The chancellor of justice had turned to the Supreme Court to determine whether the sped-up increase in alcohol taxes was in conformity with the Constitution, citing that the rapid increase interferes with the freedom to conduct business of companies involved in handling alcohol.

    The second increase in the excise duty on beer and cider this year, which took effect on Saturday, July 1, hiked the rate of the duty 70 percent to 15.52 cents per percent of alcohol by volume (ABV). The rate of the duty for strong liquor will increase ten percent per year through 2020; its 2017 increase entered into effect in February already.
     
    12.07.2017   Greece: Fine on Heineken upheld by Greek court    ( E-malt.com )

    Greece’s Macedonian Thrace Brewery (MTB) welcomed a damning appeals court judgment against Heineken’s 98.8 percent-owned Greek operating company, saying this clearly supports its claim for damages of €100 million-plus against Europe’s largest brewer, the Food Ingredients First reported on July 6.

    The Administrative Appeals Court, in Athens, has upheld the substance of a 2015 landmark antitrust finding by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) against Heineken’s subsidiary Athenian Brewery (AB) for nearly two decades of illegal anti-competitive market abuse in Greece. Following a 12-year-long HCC investigation, the longest in its history, AB, was found to have systematically abused its dominant market position in violation of Greek and EU competition law.

    The Appeals Court upheld the substance of the HCC’s decision and after a technical adjustment to the original HCC fine, confirmed a record €26.7 million fine on Heineken’s operating company in Greece.

    The HCC found overwhelming evidence that AB, which sells Alfa, Amstel and Heineken in Greece, implemented a targeted policy to exclude competitors from all channels – wholesalers, on-trade (e.g. HORECA – hotels, bars and restaurants) and off-trade retail outlets.

    In February MTB launched a damages claim against Heineken and Athenian Brewery in the Court of Amsterdam, commercial division.

    Demetri Politopoulos, one of MTB’s founders said: “The Competition authority and now the appeals court has reaffirmed the full extent and intensity of Heineken’s breaches of antitrust regulations in Greece. Due process has triumphed despite Heineken’s disingenuous refusal to accept responsibility and their unrelenting efforts to overturn a sound decision.”

    “Heineken’s long-standing market manipulation must now give way to fair competition and Heineken must compensate those who have been materially damaged, including MTB. Greece will only succeed economically with a free and fair market that encourages investment and healthy competition. This kind of market abuse has no place in our country. We believe that ultimate responsibility for years of market abuses lies at Heineken’s head office in Amsterdam which is why we have sued both Heineken and Athenian Brewery in the Netherlands, to finally get to the root of this problem.”
     
    12.07.2017   Nepal: Gorkha Brewery launches new Tuborg Classic beer    ( E-malt.com )

    Gorkha Brewery on July 2 said that it has launched 'Tuborg Classic' - Nepal's first premium strong beer with Scottish malts, myRepublica reported.

    In a statement, Gorkha Brewery said that it was highly optimistic and confident about keeping up the momentum to be innovative which is expected to be a growth driver in the market. "The launch of Tuborg Classic, Nepal's first premium strong beer with Scottish malts, is an example of that, the company said in the statement.

    Tuborg was first introduced in Nepal by Gorkha Brewery Pvt Ltd in 1990 and is the first international brand to be launched in the country.

    According to the statement, Tuborg Classic's tagline - Stronger & Smoother - offers a refreshing drinking experience to the beer connoisseurs with imported malts for a stronger and smoother taste.

    The company has indicated that a 650ml bottle of Tuborg Classic has 6.5% alcohol content is available for Rs 310.

     
    12.07.2017   New Zealand: Lion adds a number of new Australian beers to its portfolio    ( E-malt.com )

    New Zealand's largest beverage brewer Lion has added a number of new Australian beer and cider brands to its portfolio, the New Zealand Herald reported on July 2.

    The Australasian-based company on June 30 said it will undertake the exclusive distribution in New Zealand of AB InBev's Pure Blonde, Fosters, Victoria Bitter, and Crown Lager beers and Scrumpy, Harvest, Bulmers, and Thomas & Rose ciders.

    Lion's Managing Director Rory Glass said the addition of the AB InBev brands will increase Lion's share of the beer category in New Zealand by 2 per cent and of the cider category by almost 20 per cent.

    "This is a significant addition to our portfolio. These iconic brands will complement the existing Lion beer and cider range and extend Lion NZ's strategic partnership with AB InBev."

    AB InBev's Commercial Director for New Zealand & Pacific Richard Goatcher said the deal would be good for the development of both companies.

    "We are delighted to have entered into this arrangement with Lion NZ and look forward to continued growth of our brands in New Zealand".
     
    12.07.2017   South Korea: Domestic beers challenging dominance of imported brands    ( E-malt.com )

    South Korea’s domestic beer brands are challenging the dominance of imported beer in the Korean market with new products featuring low prices and light, clean tastes that they hope will stand out against global top brands, the Korea Herald reported on July 4.

    Such moves are proving effective, with domestic beer gaining a majority of beer sales in June, at above 50 percent, up from an average of 47.8 percent for the first five months of 2017, according to discount chain E-mart, citing its stores’ statistics.

    Standing in the lead are domestic powerhouses Hite Jinro and Lotte Liquor, who respectively released the new brands FiLite and Fitz ahead of the peak season for beer sales.

    Launched in April, FiLite sold over 1.2 million cans in just two months, as it created buzz on social media for its low prices and crisp finish. The sparkling liquor is made with 100 percent aroma hops and Korean barley, offering a carbonated alternative to beer.

    Fitz, meanwhile, sold 15 million bottles in its first month, approximately six bottles per second, according to Lotte. It is a light lager beer made with a so-called “super yeast” that increases fermentation to reduce lingering aftertaste.

    Unlike Fitz, which is sold in restaurants and bars, FiLite has been marketed solely for home consumption.

    FiLite costs less than 900 won (80 cents) per can - a “40 percent reduction vis-a-vis other beers,” according to Hite Jinro, while Fitz was designed for the low-priced beer market as an alternative to Lotte’s flagship premium Kloud beer.

    The rapid sales of these products are boosting domestic brands’ footing in a market that has been dominated by imported beers.

    The combination of steep discounts, particularly in convenience stores, and Korean consumers’ preferences for imported beer, had cut into the market share of homegrown brands.

    Still, it is too early to say whether the two new products will see stable demand, according to industry watchers.

    Hite Jinro is finding it difficult to keep supply in pace with demand, while Fitz is still trying to break into a standard beer market that has long been divided between Hite Jinro’s Hite and Oriental Brewery’s Cass beers.

    “We are still in the early stage, so we will focus on expanding distribution of Fitz to maximize our brand exposure,” said a spokesman for Lotte Liquor.
     
    12.07.2017   TECHNOLOGY: 'INNOVATION CHALLENGE SIMEI', THE WINNERS OF THE 2017 EDITION     ( Company news )

    Company news Technological Innovation Award SIMEI 2017 to Gai S.p.A. and to Gruppo Bertolaso S.p.A.
    The prize-giving ceremony at SIMEI@drinktec in Munich on 12 September

    “Technological creativity and innovation are the pillars, on which the Innovation Challenge SIMEI “Lucio Mastroberardino” is founded. This award was established by Unione Italiana Vini to offer recognition to the innovations in the enological and bottling field, which can be useful for encouraging new ideas and bring the sector to higher and higher levels. As shown by the technological solutions that entered the contest and especially by the award-winning ones, Italian technology once again proved to be up to its leading role in the innovation of the wine-making sector”.

    This is how Paolo Castelletti, Secretary-General of Unione Italiana Vini (UIV), commented the results of the selections for the Innovation Challenge SIMEI “Lucio Mastroberardino”, whose prize-giving ceremony will take place during SIMEI, the most important exhibition for enology and bottling techniques that will be held from 11 to 15 September 2017 in Munich, in strategic partnership with drinktec, world leader trade show in the field of liquid food and beverage.

    It was possible to enter the Innovation Challenge “Lucio Mastroberardino” for all exhibitors, registered for SIMEI 2017, having a system, a machine or a product considered as state-of-the-art for the sector and capable of contributing to the development of the segments related to the vineyard-winery and beverage production chain.

    The technologies in the contest were evaluated by a Technical Scientific Committee, composed of authoritative experts belonging to the enological and to the viticultural world, to the scientific community. It also included some member-wineries of UIV, which announced the winners some days ago.

    The prestigious “Technological Innovation Award SIMEI 2017”, a "special mention" for the projects that are considered as the outcome of a great scientific competence, combined with field experiences - but especially as the fruit of genial minds, able to work "outside the box" and create knowledge synergies - was given to the Bottle Sorting Machine by GAI S.p.A., and to the Optimised-Weight Level Bottling Plant by GRUPPO BERTOLASO S.p.A..

    "This recognition is really important for our company, taking into account that our product is the only award-winning one in the sector of bottling lines. Our bottle sorting machine is upstream in the process, preceding the bottling phase - commented the engineer Guglielmo Gai. Developed by our R&D department, in synergy with some customers, who asked for our help in solving some practical problems in their production process, our bottle sorting machine is the fruit of a demanding, but really exciting and rewarding work. This award encourages us to continue on the path of technological research, which has always been our philosophy."

    "We are really proud to be able to compete with the big players and offer innovative and interesting solutions. Every year, Gruppo Bertolaso invests a large amount of its income to study and propose solutions in the market that may provide our clients with replies not only to the questions of today, but also to the queries of tomorrow - stated Cristina Bertolaso. In this view, the Award is part of a development process, which Gruppo Bertolaso undertook across-the-board for all its machines, in order to offer its customers not only productivity and quality, but also innovation and replies to the documentary and traceability needs that arise in each enterprise every day".

    Moreover, four companies have won the “New Technology SIMEI 2017”, dedicated to projects which imply such process and product innovations that, as a result, significant improvements in wine production and preservation may be expected. The winners were: AMORIM CORK ITALIA S.p.A. UNIPERSONALE with Ndtech, a technology of individual quality control for a quick industrial-scale analysis of corks; GARBELLOTTO with Precision Casks & Barriques, manufactured with DTS-digital-control toasting; LALLEMAND GMBH with Malotabs, selected Oenococcus oeni active bacteria in tablet format for a safe and simple inoculation with a highly active bacterial culture; VELO ACCIAI with Unico, a multi-phase, tangential filtration system for heterogeneous blends of different food matrices.

    “It is a recognition attesting how years of investments in research and development were able to produce something unique in the world" – commented Carlos Veloso dos Santos of Amorim.

    Piero Garbellotto, owner of the company Garbellotto S.p.A. is thinking along the same lines: "We acknowledge that technology is the means and research is an absolute value to achieve the preset targets and meet the increasingly more precise customers' needs".

    Jacopo Velo of Velo Acciai stressed the importance of investing in technological creativity: "This recognition rewards not only our company, but also our courage to invest in research and innovation. Today it is necessary to go above and beyond to be able to compete in the international markets".

    "We would like to congratulate UIV and the other award-winners of the Innovation Challenge contest - concluded Patrick Ramette, General Manager of Lallemand Oenology - for this important contribution to the progress in the field of wine production and we are proud to have played our part".

    The prize-giving ceremony will take place in the Hall C2 during SIMEI@drinktec at Messe München in Munich on 12 September at 5.00pm.
    (Unione Italiana Vini)
     
    12.07.2017   Thailand: Beer sales up 10% in May    ( E-malt.com )

    In Thailand, beer sales registered a 10% growth in May, the Singapore Business Review reported on July 3.

    RHB noted that Thailand's volume of beer sales has registered positive YoY growth of 5% and 10% in April and May, a stark turnaround from the 17% decline year-on-year in October last year after the passing of the late King.

    According to RHB, this could mean that beer consumption has already normalised in the country.

    "We expect 2H17 to continue to see positive growth in beer volumes. According to management, Thai Beverage (ThaiBev) has maintained its 40% market share in the beer segment as at April 2017. As such, we expect ThaiBev’s beer segment to perform in line with the market," the brokerage firm noted.

    On the other hand, whilst there is no market data released on spirits, RHB reckoned that the recovery in beer consumption can also be seen as a proxy for the consumption of spirits.

    "We anticipate the decline in spirit volumes to dissipate in 2H17. In addition, we note that agents stock up on spirits inventories in anticipation of a tax hike during January-March 2016, which resulted in strong sales number for ThaiBev in 2Q16. We expect a similar restocking phase by agents given that the new excise tax is scheduled to be implemented in September 2017," RHB noted.
     
    12.07.2017   USA: 2017 seen as 'especially slow' for craft beer so far    ( E-malt.com )

    Despite the fact that the number of beer brands has proliferated in the US, the number of drinkers has not. Sales have been flat for a few years and 2017 has been especially slow so far, the Economist reported on July 6.

    The volumes of beer sold at stores for the three months to June 17th were 1% lower than in the same period last year, according to Nielsen, a market-research firm. Brewers are now waiting with some anxiety for data about sales during the July 4th holiday. “The start of the year has been as bad as I can remember,” says Trevor Stirling of Sanford C. Bernstein, a research firm.

    The dip is the result of two problems, one old and one new. First, the consumption of wine and spirits is growing more quickly than that of beer, and has been for nearly 20 years. Women are drinking more booze but often prefer wine and spirits. Men are turning to a wider range of drinks, including whisky and wine.

    The second difficulty is that after years of effervescent growth, craft beer has gone flat. Volumes grew in 2016, but half as quickly as in 2015. In the 13 weeks to June 17th craft-beer sales and volumes both dropped, by 0.7% and 1.5%, respectively. It may be that craft beer has reached its natural limit, both because there are only so many people who want to buy it and because there is only so much shelf-space that stores can provide.

    Olivier Nicolai of Morgan Stanley, a bank, notes that many distributors and retailers are weary of dealing with a jumble of brands, with some cases of beer going bad before they can be sold. It is hard for retailers to know which beers to stock because consumers, spoiled for choice, have proved fickle. Sales of Saison farmhouse beers, a spicy pale ale, for example, rose by 28% in 2015, according to Nielsen, only to fall in 2016.

    As the market loses its fizz, debates are intensifying about whether independent beer companies can thrive in the shadow of behemoths such as AB InBev, which controls about half the American beer market. Last year the group, which is backed by 3G Capital, a New York-based private-equity firm, bulked up further by buying Britain’s SABMiller. By some measures AB InBev’s American division, Anheuser-Busch, looks less than intimidating. It is experiencing a much steeper drop in beer demand than craft brewers. In the four weeks to June 17th its Bud Light and Budweiser brands each saw volumes drop by more than 8%, declines not seen since 2009, in the depths of the financial crisis.

    But small brewers still fret about its scale. It has recently shown interest in buying small brands as well as big ones, downing nine American craft brewers in just the past three years. Some small brewers worry that AB InBev’s craft brands will push aside their own. Bob Pease of the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado, which represents independent beer firms, argues that AB InBev’s expanding portfolio of beer makers and its relationships with distributors may mean that few rivals make it onto delivery trucks. His group introduced a new seal in June to help consumers find properly independent brewers.

    João Castro Neves, head of AB InBev’s American business, disputes the idea that his company has a stranglehold on the market. “There is no way that Anheuser-Busch or anyone else can impose a beer on the consumer,” he insists. Brewers both large and small may find that increasingly hard to contest.
     
    12.07.2017   USA: The Brewers Association launches new seal for truly independent craft brewers    ( E-malt.com )

    The craft beer waters are muddied with beer giant Anheuser-Busch buying some small brewers and private equity firms having a hand in others, the Denverite reported on June 27.

    The Brewers Association recognizes it might be difficult for some beer drinkers to know if they’re really sipping craft beer. That’s why the Boulder-based promoter of the industry unveiled a new seal aimed at identifying beers that are independently produced.

    The seal is available for use free of charge by any of the more than 5,300 small and independent American craft brewers that have permission from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to operate. Brewers must also meet the Brewers Association’s definition of a craft brewery to use the seal, but they don’t have to be members of the nonprofit.

    In order to qualify as a craft brewer, breweries have to be less than 25 percent owned or controlled by an alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer, according to the Brewers Association. Colorado’s largest craft brewery, New Belgium Brewing Co., meets that threshold. AB-owned Breckenridge Brewery and 10 Barrel Brewing Co. do not.

    Independence has long been a hallmark of the craft brewing industry.

    “As big beer acquires former craft brands, beer drinkers have become increasingly confused about which brewers remain independent,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association.

    “Beer lovers are interested in transparency when it comes to brewery ownership. This seal is a simple way to provide that clarity — now they can know what’s been brewed small and certified independent,” Peas said in a statement.

    The fight over what kind of beer people are drinking partly boils down to money. Craft brewers are fighting to carve out a larger share of beer sales while beer giants are working on the opposite end to retain their dominance over the industry.

    While small and independent craft brewers represent 99 percent of the more than 5,300 breweries in the U.S., they make just 12 percent of the beer sold in the country, according to the Brewers Association.

    “Craft brewers build communities and the spirit of independent ownership matters,” said Rob Tod, chair of the Brewers Association Board of Directors and founder of Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland, Maine.

    “When beer lovers buy independent craft beer, they are supporting American entrepreneurs and the risk takers who have long strived not just to be innovative and make truly great beer, but to also build culture and community in the process,” Tod said in a statement.
     
    11.07.2017   SECURING PERFORMANCE OVER TIME THE FOCUS FOR SIDEL GROUP SERVICES AT DRINKTEC    ( Company news )

    Company news How services help to build, maintain and improve beverage producers’ line performance throughout their asset lifecycle will be a key highlight for Sidel and Gebo Cermex services teams, exhibiting jointly as part of the Sidel Group at Drinktec 2017 (11-15 September).

    With the marketplace growing ever more competitive and with ever-changing consumer demand for greater flexibility, beverage producers are pushing the limits of their production equipment to their very maximum. This increasingly emphasises the need to secure optimum performance throughout their asset lifecycle.

    Jean-François Tourrenc, Gebo Cermex Vice President Services, comments – “Beverage producers need to be able to focus on their core business – achieving the productivity levels and meeting the quality targets that are key to profitability. In order to do that, they need to rely on continuous performance throughout the whole production process. Clearly, each stage of production comes with specific requirements: after designing and building a piece of equipment or a line, a fast and safe start-up allows the benefits of the asset to be realised more quickly through well trained operators. Once production has started, the main objective is to maintain and enhance the value of the investment made in the equipment, getting the most out of it. This is where stable and continuous performance is required, to achieve total control and predictability of line output and operational costs over time. Throughout the assets’ lifecycle, longer-term competitiveness is secured, continually ensuring that installed solutions are flexible enough to accommodate evolving consumers’ needs and technology developments, while constantly reducing environmental footprint and TCO (total cost of ownership).”

    Continuous performance means maximum production uptime and constant availability of materials, technical and field support. Tourrenc continues – “We will showcase how the Sidel and Gebo Cermex Services portfolio can help beverage producers to secure no-stop operations, via a real partnership with their OEM (original equipment manufacturer). Today leading organisations are leaving behind reactive maintenance: they understand that more proactive approaches can lead to more predictability over production output and costs over time. A close partnership with the OEM is crucial in adopting such a path.”

    Among the new Sidel and Gebo Cermex services launched at Drinktec are:
    - Modular maintenance solutions, evolving from existing support and supervision packages, offering tailored answers to customers’ needs. This enables manufacturers to achieve maximum availability and reliable production, while controlling costs.
    - Customised training solutions, helping beverage producers build their teams’ performance. This allows a shorter time-to-market and a safe vertical start-up, together with reduced long-term Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) for better efficiency.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    10.07.2017   Aptar Food + Beverage Invites You to Discover our Extended Product Line at Drinktec 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news Aptar Food + Beverage is dedicated to developing innovative delivery systems designed to provide value to the food and beverage packaging industries.
    At Drinktec, Aptar invites you to take a closer look at the well-known Original family of flip-top sport closures, available in different neck finishes and valve capable. Also, Contender 38mm bi-injected, part of the Original family, is a liner-less flip-top sport cap designed for the hot fill bottling process. The closure’s innovative bi-injected sealing system delivers good product protection but without the added foil liner.

    Also based on the Original sport closure platform, Uno, a one-piece sport cap suitable for cold and ambient filling is already available worldwide in 28mm PCO 1881 and will be soon available in 38mm neck finish with a two-start or a three-start version.

    Aptar Food+Beverage and GualapackGroup combined their expertise and consumer-trusted products into one unique package solution, the No-Spill Pouch fitment shown for the first time at Interpack in Dusseldorf, Germany in early May 2017. It offers the safety and convenience of Aptar’s SimpliSqueeze® valve in the squeezable, eye-catching and fun-to-use Gualapack’s CheerPack® spouted pouch.
    Aptar will also unveil more innovative dispensing systems at Drinktec such as a closure for large PET beverage containers and the new sport cap generation with a visible and non-detachable tamper evident system. For instance, the new sport closure Avantage actually uses an intuitive press button tamper evidence system. Inside is the affordable value-added sport closure that differentiates itself in a competitive market. Guardian sport closure brings a safe consumer experience that will generate repeated purchases. All three of them are SimpliSqueeze® valve capable.

    Plan today to visit Aptar at Drinktec - Hall 4 stand number 210.
    To receive a free entry pass, please send an e-mail to natalia.roth@aptar.com
    APTAR FOOD + BEVERAGE - PRESS RELEASE - JUNE 2017 - CRYSTAL LAKE, ILLINOIS
    Delivering solutions, shaping the future.
    (Aptar Food + Beverage)
     
    10.07.2017   SIG Combibloc launches a new digital solution for traceability, digital marketing and ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... supply chain optimisation

    SIG Combibloc, one of the world’s leading solution providers for the food and beverage industry, in partnership with Languiru, Rio Grande do Sul’s second largest production cooperative, is launching an unprecedented digital solution. This solution provides transparency for quality and food safety, optimises production processes and enables personalised digital marketing promotions.

    The project started with the launch of the Languiru “Qualidade do início ao Fim” (“Quality from Beginning to End”) dairy line. The filled aseptic carton packs from SIG Combibloc are printed with individual and unique QR codes at the time of production. In addition, the trays are printed with unique QR codes; the pallets with barcodes. This provides a convenient digital solution to monitor the supply chain and the quality process from the collection of raw material up to the milk’s industrialisation and commercialisation via a single platform. It ensures operational traceability from the raw product to the point of sale. This means that Languiru can prove the quality of their products to consumers in a fast, practical and accessible way.

    Using this new digital solution, Languiru can locate every single packaged product at any point in the supply chain, whether for quality crosscheck or for recalls (if necessary), resulting in greater value and protection of its brands.

    To provide further convenience to consumers, when the QR code is read they are automatically directed to the website relevant for the product inside that packaging. The website is an integral part of this SIG solution and contains information on the customer’s quality system, the product and the production process, as well as an interactive interface.

    “The launch of this new digital platform represents our response to three consumer mega-trends: connectivity – consumers are increasingly aware and want to receive information anywhere at any time; authenticity and trust – through total transparency of quality information, food safety and procedures to prevent fraud; and finally, natural products with a certificate of origin that are free from chemicals, genetically modified crops, among other things,” says Ricardo Rodriguez, President and General Manager SIG Combibloc Americas.

    The advantages of this new technology, to be exported to more than 65 countries supplied by SIG, include the fact that it also maintains the control and management of production lines. This maximises the plant’s overall efficiency and cuts operational and investment costs by means of a specific information intelligence tool known as Power BI.

    The unique QR codes also allow the simplification and customisation of promotions, such as those developed for a specific chain of supermarkets or in a specific region of the country. For this type of campaign, SIG has developed a unique application that will allow the development of rich databases for marketing and sales analysis.

    Packaging with QR Code will be available for the following Languiru products: UHT whole milk, skimmed milk, semi-skimmed milk, zero lactose and UHT chocolate milk. The packages have an ergonomic and modern shape. The screw cap allows for opening in a single twist and closes perfectly. The visible seal still offers high security against tampering.

    Other distinctive features
    A proprietary application connected to the MES (Manufacturing Execution System) was developed to track the product in the supply chain. Inside the factory, the information is collected via interfaces with the client’s ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning), data entries, tablets and data collectors. RFID technology is used to incorporate quality information from the packaging.

    The platform developed by SIG is open, enabling connection to equipment from different suppliers. The interfaces are efficient both for capturing information and for performing process data analysis to optimise manufacturing efficiencies and reduce operating and investment costs. QR codes are printed with antifraud paint.

    “We have no doubt that from now on we will have a greater competitive advantage within the market compared to many other brands. The new technology enables us to offer differentiated products. Our consumers are able to trace the origin of the products right to the shelf,” says Dirceu Bayer, president of Languiru. “Besides that, we benefit from detailed end-to-end value chain performance monitoring, which will support us to continuously improve operations and logistics. SIG understood our demands and developed a tailor-made product for Languiru specifically to demonstrate this quality and thus add value to our brand”.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
     
    07.07.2017   SIDEL TO REVEAL NEXT GENERATION OF COMPLETE BEVERAGE PACKAGING SOLUTIONS ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... AT DRINKTEC

    Exhibiting as part of the Sidel Group, along with Gebo Cermex, Sidel will be introducing a number of breakthrough packaging solutions at Drinktec 2017 (stand A6.330), to help producers meet the challenges of ever-changing demands in beverage markets.

    Frédéric Sailly, Executive Vice President for Product Management and Development at Sidel, comments – “Beverage producers, brand owners and co-packers need to stay competitive in an evolving and demanding market, with easy-to-use, smart, flexible and customised solutions. At Drinktec 2017 we are looking forward to showing how this understanding of our customers’ needs and the trends in the liquid packaging industry enables us to deliver greater performance for bottling lines. The future-proof technologies and market-tailored innovations on display on our stand are designed to achieve these goals while optimising total costs of ownership (TCO) and ensuring high product quality and enhanced versatility.”

    Among the global launches taking place at Drinktec (11-15 September) are:
    - The Sidel Super Combi - an all-in-one system for water and carbonated soft drinks (CSD) production that delivers ready-to-sell products at very high speed, with maximum uptime and ease of operation – all at the lowest TCO. Integrated equipment intelligence means it continuously self-optimises for the best possible performance and efficiency, making it one smart solution.
    - The new modular labeller which has the flexibility to accommodate different labelling technologies applicable to both glass and PET containers, for easy and quick format changeovers and increased productivity.
    - The new Sidel can and glass fillers, based on the proven Sidel Matrix™ platform, offer producers of beer and CSD improved hygienic conditions, maximised efficiency and high flexibility. This allows the production of top quality drinks that meets strict standards in terms of sustainability.

    Another highlight at Drinktec 2017 will be the Sidel Group Agility 4.0™ framework. This offers customers digitally-aided understanding, enhanced performance and packaging mass customisation opportunities. Additionally, solutions to handle aseptic and hot fill production in PET will be a particular focus on the stand with experts available to discuss these technologies. Recently, Sidel received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Aseptic Combi Predis™ FMa blow fill seal filler. This solution is the world’s first aseptic PET filling equipment with dry preform sterilisation validated for low acid manufacturing and commercial distribution in the United States and other FDA markets. Recognising the importance of services, Sidel will also be highlighting its Sidel Services™ portfolio which helps customers to build, maintain and improve the performance of bottling lines throughout the production lifecycle.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    06.07.2017   UNITED CAPS New Automated Warehouse in Wiltz Celebrated    ( Company news )

    Company news Grand opening celebration featured the Honourable Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy, Minister of Internal Security, and Minister of Defence

    Photo: New fully automated warehouse in action.

    UNITED CAPS, an international producer of innovative caps and closure solutions and a global industry reference for the design and production of high performance plastic caps and closures, today reported it held a grand opening celebration at its brand-new fully automated warehouse that increases its storage capacity by 30%, from 3,000 palettes to 4,500.

    “We opened our plant in Wiltz 25 years ago and have made significant investments in the operation each year,” says Benoît Henckes, CEO. “It is the largest UNITED CAPS plant and arguably one of the most productive and technologically advanced in Europe. The addition of this new fully automated warehouse facility is the latest masterpiece to complete the factory. It is designed to support our manufacture of more than nine billion high-performance closures and caps each and every year. Our special thanks go to the authorities of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg who have been unerring in their support for our efforts. This development, plus our plans to break ground on our first non-European site in Malaysia in 2018, are signs of our healthy growth and our dedication to our ‘Close to You’ strategy designed to strengthen ties with our key customers around the globe.”

    Close to You: Customer Advantages
    In addition to increasing storage by 30%, the new warehouse brings a number of customer advantages, including:
    -Significantly improved logistical quality with quality inspections conducted during the entire storage and loading process. Industry-leading automated inspection processes have been implemented.
    -100% First-In-First-Out automatic management of inventory ensures best quality products.
    -The two aisles, each 50 x 10 meters with multiple levels featured products symmetrically in both aisles ensuring accurate delivery even should a breakdown be experienced.

    Henckes adds, “The new warehouse also enables faster loading of trucks – we can now load 10 trucks per day. It also improves our environmental sustainability by eliminating the need to move product to an external warehouse and by virtue of the fact that its state-of-the-art energy management system results in very low power consumption. Open house attendees were able to see all of this first-hand, and I believe they were quite impressed!”

    Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy honoured the event
    UNITED CAPS was especially pleased that the Honourable Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy, Minister of Internal Security, and Minister of Defence took time from his busy schedule to speak at the event. “Minister Schneider has been particularly supportive of our efforts,” Henckes adds. “Although Wiltz is a relatively small city, it is projects such as this one from UNITED CAPS that validate the spirit of innovation that permeates the City. It is initiatives like this, and the support of Grand Duchy authorities, that make Wiltz an increasingly attractive destination for businesses of all types.”
    (United Caps)
     
    05.07.2017   A new method for producing plant-based drinking bottles from FDCA    ( Company news )

    Company news VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed an environmentally sound and economical method for producing furan dicarboxylic acid (FDCA) from plant sugars for the production of drinking bottles, paints and industrial resins, for example. This technology enables production of plant-based products.

    The main production material of drinking bottles is still oil-based PET although there has been news on alternatives based on renewable materials during the last few years. VTT's new method provides a new route for the packaging and beverage industries to expand the use of renewable materials in their production.

    VTT has patented the method for producing furan dicarboxylic acid (FDCA), the monomer for PEF polymers, from sugar or sugar waste. Thanks to the solid acid catalyst and biobased solvent with short reaction time, the method provides a considerable reduction of toxic waste compared to traditional methods.

    The method can be scaled-up to industrial purposes without substantial investments, and it has already raised a lot of interest in industry.

    The R&D work has been funded by VTT and Tekes.

    VTT will present the method in its "Green Plastics without the bio-premium" webinar on 27th September, 2017.
    (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)
     
    04.07.2017   SIDEL ANNOUNCES FDA APPROVAL OF ITS ASEPTIC COMBI PREDIS BLOW FILL SEAL FILLER FOR ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... LOW ACID PRODUCT MANUFACTURING IN THE U.S.

    Sidel has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Aseptic Combi Predis™ FMa blow fill seal filler following tests run at a dairy customer in North America. This means that the Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis FMa PET filler is validated for low acid manufacturing and commercial distribution in the United States market. The Sidel Aseptic blow fill seal solution is the world’s first aseptic PET filling equipment with dry preform sterilisation approved by FDA.

    “We are particularly proud of this FDA acceptance”, explains Guillaume Rolland, Sensitive Products Director at Sidel. “It confirms our Aseptic Combi Predis design is compliant with the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements.” This FDA approval officially qualifies the Sidel aseptic solution with dry preform sterilisation technology to produce and distribute shelf-stable low acid products in PET bottles for the US market.

    Independent evaluation from experienced organisation
    The Process Authority for the Sidel aseptic filler was Dover Brook Associates (DBA). DBA applied their 30 years of professional experience in sterile processes to validate the scheduled processes of the Aseptic Combi Predis. Using a scientific-based approach of specific tests and acceptance criteria, DBA was able to prove that the scheduled processes were in compliance with the predicate rules and expectations of the FDA so that the equipment could produce a commercially sterile low acid product.

    The successful completion of this extensive and exhaustive evaluation process confirms the performance of the other 100 Combi Predis lines in operation worldwide. Sidel’s key accounts, along with co-packers and local brands, have been manufacturing low and high acid products using PET line applications for nearly 10 years. This regulatory acceptance demonstrates how the Sidel patented technology is 100% safe for the packaging of UHT milk, soymilk, coconut water, or teas in PET bottles, sold through the ambient chain market in the US and the rest of the world.

    A scientific approach for regulatory validation
    The Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis merges dry preform sterilisation with aseptic blowing, filling and sealing functions within a single production enclosure and respects the fundamental concept which underpins state-of-the-art aseptic packaging rules: producing a commercially sterile product, filled in a sterile zone, in a previously sterilised package. It differs from traditional aseptic technology because the package sterilisation takes place at the preform rather than at the bottle phase.

    DBA conducted a detailed review of the design, critical factors, and the sterile zone boundaries. The stringent validation tests were performed on a commercial filler producing aseptic UHT milk, and all the tests were successfully passed. “We accumulated more science from these tests performed with DBA. They challenged and validated the process and the technology itself”, explains Arnaud Poupet, Aseptic Product and Platform Manager at Sidel. DBA concluded that the minimised sterile zone provided a safe and successful aseptic process that produced a commercially sterile, hermetically sealed bottle. “DBA’s testing demonstrated that the sterile zone during the blowing process was the critical component, not the blow-moulding zone itself, which was due to the Sidel patented dry-preform sterilisation technology”, comments Poupet. The scheduled processes require minimal critical factors, which have to be monitored during the production, cleaning and sterilisation phases of the aseptic process. The critical parameters are continuously monitored to ensure full production sterility, beverage integrity and food safety. “Our best warranty for food safety is simplicity, because a line with a small sterile zone and minimal critical factors is managed more safely, easily and effectively,” continues Poupet.

    “We partnered with one of the major dairy producers in North America who was confident of the safety and efficiency of the Aseptic Combi Predis. He invested in the solution to introduce new UHT liquid dairy products in PET bottles. Under the coordination of DBA, we went through a rigorous FDA qualification process at the FDA registered customer site”, explains Poupet. The Aseptic Combi Predis approved by the FDA is very similar to the existing machines installed for aseptic production in customers’ plants worldwide.

    A proven technology successfully implemented worldwide
    Sidel’s reputation is built on a long history and experience with sensitive products: 40 years in aseptic beverages and dairy bottling solutions, more than 35 years in PET packaging and 50 years in blowing. Sidel was a pioneer in preform sterilisation, allowing the first production of PET bottles for UHT milk on a Sidel aseptic Combi with this dry preform sterilisation technology in 2002. With its proven and patented solution, Sidel Predis, Sidel continues to enjoy a leading position in sensitive beverages and liquid dairy production technology. Sales of Sidel Predis have grown steadily as companies throughout the world have recognised the benefits it offers: safety and simplicity, cost-effectiveness, no water and use of very few chemicals (offering significant environmental advantages). More than 100 Combi Predis installations worldwide are a clear endorsement of this technology by major beverage and dairy companies, many of which produce leading national and international brands. The high level of customer satisfaction is ultimately the best indicator of the reliability of the technology.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    04.07.2017   Successful across the board: KHS Group again boosts turnover in 2016    ( Company news )

    Company news -Total sales rise to €1.18 billion
    -Further development of existing and launch of new systems in 2016
    -Positive outlook for current year with clear areas of focus

    The KHS Group has ratified its successful development of the previous year and again boosted its turnover, with sales totaling €1.18 billion last year. Its operating profit (EBT) significantly rose thanks to contributions from internal improvement programs to this end. Especially successful projects in Asia and Central America and a heavy demand for PET and can filling systems helped to promote sales. In the current business year the Group wishes to score further with innovations at the leading international drinktec trade show taking place from September 11 – 15, 2017, in Munich, Germany.

    The ongoing development of resource-saving technologies and packaging systems will play a significant role here. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer (photo), chairman of the Executive Management Board, places the focus on the Group’s role as an innovative driver of the industry. “Besides the very pleasing business generated by our existing systems and in service we now find ourselves on a broader footing compared to a few years ago thanks to the successful market launches of our innovations.” KHS’ service organization has been built up worldwide, for example, and consumables are now again directly included in the company portfolio. This added value, coupled with the Group’s reliable and very efficient lines, has generated a number of significant orders in all business areas. There is a growing demand across the entire range of filling and packaging machinery offered by the systems supplier: from PET through cans to glass and kegs, in practically all sectors from beer through soft drinks to water or sensitive beverages for hot filling. “This shows that we’re not only strong in one area but throughout the entire line business, where thanks to a high level of standardization we offer a very attractive portfolio,” emphasizes Niemeyer.

    Examples of this include the growing demand for glass and canning lines on the company’s home market of Germany, successful implementation of PET block systems in the USA, India and Indonesia and the sale of several high-performance hot filling PET lines to South America and Africa. For many of the projects concluded in 2016 follow-up orders have also already been placed. According to KHS, this is primarily thanks to the consistent standardization of their product portfolio and the high level of expert advice given when answering customer queries.
    Positive outlook for the current year

    KHS wishes to boost the result it has again improved on even further. “We want to continue to be convincing, above all with powerful products and innovations which are geared towards our customers’ requirements and work reliably at their plants,” Niemeyer explains. In this context the systems provider also makes reference to its commitment to all of its stakeholders and will publish a new sustainability report this year.
    (KHS GmbH)
     
    03.07.2017   HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICATION – Latest lubrication technology in field test    ( Company news )

    Company news Last month we started to test our latest conveyor belt lubrication technology HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICATION. The first results are promising.

    Belt lubrication systems are a must for conveyor belts. Especially in the food and beverage industry, in addition to the optimal functioning, hygienic conditions must also be observed. We are proud of the result of more than 30 years of experience. HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICATION (HPL) is a combination of the ULTRA DRY and the established LOEHRKE dry lubrication system. HPL was designed especially for high filling rates and difficult bottle shapes.

    The control via an user-friendly app makes it easy to apply the lubricant exactly where it is needed. This enables the operator to reduce consumption to a minimum, it protects the environment and is lowering operating costs. Another major plus is the absence of fresh water. This means no waste water issues, preserves resources and the conveyor belts and floors stay dry. Dry equipment and floors is an important precondition to avoid microbiological growth while work safety is improved highly.

    The innovative LOEHRKE HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICATION allows the application of a minimum amount of lubricant without aerosol formation. By means of the special nozzles, an extremely fine application is possible with uniform distribution over the entire width of the conveyor belt. The combination with the brushes allows application of a metered quantity of liquid, which is released slowly. The concentrated lubricant is distributed uniformly as a very thin film on the surface of the conveyor belt. In this case, the film can be so thin that the application does not accumulate on the deflection rollers below the transporter.

    Visit us at the DRINKTEC September, 11. – 15. 2017, Messe München, Hall A3.111.
    (Jürgen Löhrke GmbH)
     
    30.06.2017   Ardagh Group – Only U.S. Glass Container Manufacturer to Earn ENERGY STAR® Certifications    ( Company news )

    Company news Ardagh Group, Glass – North America, a division of Ardagh Group (NYSE: ARD) and a leading producer of glass containers for the food and beverage industries in the United States, was awarded three ENERGY STAR® plant certifications for superior energy performance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – the only U.S. glass container manufacturer to earn this recognition.

    The three Ardagh Group manufacturing facilities, located in Bridgeton, N.J.; Dunkirk, Ind.; and Madera, Calif.; have demonstrated best-in-class energy performance and perform within the top 25 percent nationwide for energy efficiency when compared to similar plants across the country. This is the third consecutive year for Bridgeton, the fourth consecutive year for Madera, and the fifth consecutive year for Dunkirk to be awarded ENERGY STAR plant certifications.

    “Ardagh Group is honored to remain the only U.S. glass container manufacturer to earn the prestigious ENERGY STAR plant certifications,” said John Riordan, President and CEO of Ardagh Group, Glass – North America. “Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our dedication to the environment by continuing to maximize the use of recycled materials at our facilities and optimizing our manufacturing operations to improve energy performance.”

    Meeting strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA, Ardagh Group’s three recognized glass facilities have improved in four key areas:
    -energy performance by upgrading and optimizing furnaces;
    -utilizing recycled glass;
    -installing energy-efficient lighting fixtures; and
    -repairing air compressor leaks.

    Since 2010, nine Ardagh Group, Glass – North America facilities have received 29 ENERGY STAR plant certifications.

    ENERGY STAR was introduced by the EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products, as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. For more than twenty years, American families and businesses have saved a total of nearly $362 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR.

    “Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s industrial facilities is critical to protecting our environment,” said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the plant floor to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”
    (Ardagh Glass Inc.)
     
    30.06.2017   EcoVadis Again Assigns Gold Status to Symrise for Sustainability Management    ( Company news )

    Company news Symrise among the top three percent of all rated companies
    — Company awarded gold status for third time for its corporate social responsibility
    — Top marks in environment and procurement

    For the third time in a row, the sustainability rating agency EcoVadis has awarded the fragrance and flavor manufacturer Symrise the gold status for outstanding sustainability management. In terms of ecological, social and ethical sustainability, the Holzminden-based company was once more among the top three percent of all manufacturers evaluated by EcoVadis in its category.

    In the overall rating of its corporate social responsibility of 72 out of 100 possible points, Symrise achieved a rating far above the sector average and exceeded its own top score from the previous year by four points. In the environment section, the Group was again among the top two percent of its category with 80 points. Symrise improved its production practices to 70 points, therefore ranking among the best four percent in its category.

    “We are delighted that we have been able to further improve our production of fragrances and flavors,” says Hans Holger Gliewe, Chief Sustainability Officer of Symrise AG. “Every employee who has contributed to this progress can be particularly proud of this result.”

    CSR Rating Assesses 21 Criteria
    EcoVadis analyzes and rates the sustainability performance of companies according to 21 criteria in the areas of the environment, social aspects, ethics and sustainability in the supply chain. The aim is to make it easier to integrate sustainability criteria into business relationships. That would allow companies to determine quickly whether their suppliers fulfill relevant sustainability standards. Key companies in the consumer goods industry in particular use the EcoVadis online portal to evaluate suppliers in this regard.

    “With the CSR rating from EcoVadis, Symrise is able to transparently present its sustainability services to both existing and new customers while establishing itself as a preferred partner”, explains Gliewe.

    Making CSR Comparable
    EcoVadis analysts first compare the achievements of the company in the four areas environment, social aspects, ethics as well as sustainability in the supply chain. The results are shown for each area using an index value between 0 and 100 points. These sub-results are then weighted based on the industry and the size of the company to determine the overall CSR rating. The companies in the industry that were evaluated received an average of 43 of 100 possible points as in the previous year.
    (Symrise AG)
     
    29.06.2017   Now available: Pigor Mortis    ( Company news )

    Company news The territorially disputed island of San Juan on the USA/Canada border, was peacefully inhabited by both US & British settlers until 15th June 1859, when Lyman Cutter shot Charles Griffiths' pig for raiding his potatoes.

    The ensuing dispute escalated to the point where by August 10, 1859, 461 Americans with 14 cannon were opposed by five British warships mounting 70 guns and carrying 2,140 men.

    Not until 1872 was the situation resolved in favour of the USA. To this day the event is commemorated by the flying of the Union flag at the British camp site in Garrison Bay.

    Hops used are USA Warrior & Jaryllo v English Challenger.
    (Burton Bridge Brewery)
     
    28.06.2017   Nothing to be desired    ( Company news )

    Company news SCHÄFER Container Systems at the drinktec, with SSI Schäfer, new KEG sizes and an interactive zone

    SCHÄFER Container Systems, the manufacturer of reusable beverage container systems (KEGs), IBCs and special containers will be presenting its complete portfolio for the beverage and liquid food industry at the drinktec from 11 to 15 September. The new DIN type ECO KEG is making its first appearance at a trade fair as a 50 l version. At SCHÄFER’s almost 300 m² stand no. 502 in hall A1, visitors and other interested participants are also invited to try out the new KEG App in an interactive zone and to enjoy a selection of Czech beers with beer sommelier Karl Schiffner. The range on show is completed by expertise from sister enterprise SSI Schäfer, a full-range supplier and manufacturer of components for logistics solutions, conveyor systems and logistics software.

    This extensive product portfolio doesn’t only cover the large family of KEGs for beer, wine and soft drinks, but also the many useful and important additions and accessories that go with these well-known reusable container systems. For example, SCHÄFER Container Systems will be presenting conceptual solutions for the increasingly important transponder technology. In addition, the company has set up an interactive zone at its stand, where people can test the new KEG App. The settings entered on the tablet are to be shown live on the big screen erected behind it, to provide visitors with much clearer visualization of the design and customization potential of SCHÄFER’s enormous KEG variety.

    “For us, a world leading trade fair like the drinktec, is one of the highlights of 2017. We are really looking forward to being able to have the expertise and portfolio of SSI SCHÄFER as part of our exhibition this year. With our sister enterprise’s logistics concepts and know-how, we’re not only showing just how far the expertise and solutions provided by the SCHÄFER GRUPPE actually go, we’re also offering manufacturers an attractive and, above all, cross-divisional product range for the entire beverages and liquid food markets, that leaves nothing to be desired”, says Guido Klinkhammer, Business Unit Sales Director at SCHÄFER Container Systems.
    (SCHÄFER WERKE GMBH)
     
    28.06.2017   Save time and lost revenue with this easy valve matrix solution    ( Company news )

    Company news Processes in hygienic industries - such as beverage, food, dairy, pharma and personal care - are becoming increasingly complex. Some of the challenges include higher volumes, increased efficiency, reduction in water and energy use. That is why it is essential to optimize flow management without compromising flexibility, plant safety, product quality or hygiene.

    A valve matrix - also known as valve cluster - is a great option for maximizing process efficiency through optimized flow management. Each stage of the design and installation process is an important component to fully realizing potential in your process by saving time and avoiding lost revenue associated with production downtime.

    Compared to traditional flow plates, a valve matrix is designed to allow simultaneous circulation of liquids - including CIP - on several levels with the exact number of lines and rows to match the specific requirements of your process. The matrix ensures the flexibility for you to run multiple products to multiple destinations, while other lines are being cleaned.

    Installing a valve matrix with Alfa Laval Unique Mixproof Valves brings you outstanding product safety with good cleaning conditions and no risk of cross-contamination. It rules out the opportunity of human errors, which can occur using manual connection of lines and handling of swing bends.

    Pre-built matrices customized to meet your specific requirements
    In Alfa Laval, we are specialists in providing pre-built valve matrices customized to meet specific, individual requirements. Our expertise helps ensure you the most efficient flow management, using as few components as possible and dealing effectively with key issues that include thermal cycling, cleanability, drainability and flow control.

    Alfa Laval valve matrices can be supplied pre-assembled and pre-tested as well as fully wired and with all the necessary pneumatic tubing, junction boxes and control panels pre-connected. This means you can bring even complex installations online as quickly as possible, saving time and avoiding lost revenue associated with on-site assembly, troubleshooting and downtime.
    (Alfa Laval Kolding A/S)
     
    27.06.2017   Ardagh Embraces 'Crossover Innovation' To Create High Definition Glass Embossing    ( Company news )

    Company news Technology traditionally used in the chocolate industry has been adapted by Ardagh’s Design Team to create differentiation through high definition glass embossing, adding textures and feature enhancement to a standard never seen before in glass packaging.

    Unlike regular, two-dimensional embossing, the new process known as Sculptured Embossing allows glass sculpting to be achieved on multiple levels, creating intricate, lifelike detail, depth and dimension, enabling the premiumisation of glass bottles and jars. This technology has recently been used to replicate different texture effects including wooden planking and citrus peel, as well as to enhance the definition of scripted text and other branding icons.

    In the spirit sector, the technology has been used for Whyte and Mackay’s Claymore Whisky bottle. A more premium look and feel has been achieved by replicating the crest artwork on the label with an intricately embossed crest on the back of the bottle. This detailed new design features embossing across five different depths to add definition to the swords, scrolling, rose petals and banner.

    Robert McIndoe of Whyte and Mackay says:
    “We are delighted with the new embossing, it looks terrific and improves the shelf stand-out and aesthetic appeal of our packaging.”

    The technology has also been used in the food sector to add texture and expression to glass packaging in a way that is incredibly lifelike. A recent example is the new Duerr’s Citrus Jar, which is sculpted to look like a citrus fruit with its peel effect.

    Duerr’s Managing Director, Mark Duerr who originally presented Ardagh with the challenge to create a tactile jar with a peel effect, was delighted with the result, saying: “The Ardagh design team applied their expertise and embraced new technology to find a balance between meeting the aesthetic of the design brief with the practicalities of volume production.”

    It’s just one example of Ardagh’s exploration into crossover innovation, by embracing technologies and techniques from other industries. John Oczabruk, (OEG Mould Design Engineer - Glass Europe), explains how it works: “We use a haptic device to tug, pull, carve and smooth the on-screen 3D model by hand, and feedback lets us feel how we’re sculpting the design. It means we can add so much more artistic flair to create lifelike texture and expression, which isn’t possible with conventional embossing.”

    This new innovative technology has also delivered benefits in terms of quality at the design stage: the 3D model is fully relieved with no undercuts and all sharp mould edges are removed, so Ardagh can give mould suppliers the exact model of the embossing design, ready for machining.

    Carsten Berkau (OEG Design Manager - Glass Europe) comments: “The technology has brought benefits in terms of both design aesthetic and quality improvement, which has made it a real win with our customers.
    “Following its success and positive customer feedback, we have invested in two in-house design licenses for the Sculptured Embossing software, which are available to our glass customers worldwide.”
    (Ardagh Group)
     
    26.06.2017   EAFA: Strong domestic demand drives up alufoil deliveries in first quarter     ( Company news )

    Company news The year started with strong demand for all grades of aluminium foil in European markets. Production increased to 226,900 tonnes in the first quarter of 2017, 1.5 percent higher than the same period last time, according to the latest figures released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA). Exports continued to be volatile, showing a downturn in Q1 compared to the previous year, after a strong finish to 2016.

    Deliveries of both thicker foils, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications - ahead by 0.7% - and thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils - up 1.5% - confirm a continued steady recovery in the economies of the EAFA region, where total domestic shipments were up by 3.6% in the three months to March 2017.
    Strong competition from overseas foil rollers continues to affect aluminium foil exports from Europe, which dipped by 14% compared with the same quarter in 2016. But some of the influences which have had an adverse impact, such as currency factors, are now moderating, offering European manufacturers more opportunities.

    EAFA’s Executive Director, Guido Aufdemkamp confirmed that the prospects for the rest of the year are positive, “Certain factors, such as strong domestic demand from the flexible packaging sector and for technical applications, show an underlying strength in key markets for aluminium foil. This enables us to feel more confident about the upward trend we are seeing. Even exports, which remain harder to predict, are showing signs of recovery,” he added.

    Aluminium foil characteristics are strength, formability and barrier properties which have made it an essential part of many flexible packaging and container applications. Other uses of aluminium foil include automotive and heat exchange components, insulation material and many industrial applications.
    (EAFA - European Aluminium Foil Association e.V.)
     
    23.06.2017   Südzucker increases result substantially in fiscal year just ended    ( Company news )

    Company news Südzucker AG confirms last fiscal year’s preliminary numbers released on 24 April 2017. Südzucker group consolidated revenues for fiscal 2016/17 (1 March 2016 to 28 February 2017) came in at EUR 6,476 (previous year: 6,387) million. The consolidated group operating result rose considerably to EUR 426 (previous year: 241) million during the same period. All segments contributed to the increase, but especially the sugar segment. Group consolidated net income climbed to EUR 312 (previous year: 181) million.

    Dividend proposal
    The executive and supervisory boards will recommend to shareholders at the annual general meeting on 20 July 2017 that a dividend of EUR 0.45 (previous year: 0.30) per share be paid for fiscal 2016/17. Based on 204.2 million shares in circulation, the total dividend distribution will be EUR 91.9 million. Last year the total distribution was EUR 61.3 million.

    Sugar segment revenues fall but operating result clearly positive
    The sugar segment’s revenues declined to EUR 2,776 (previous year: 2,855) million, due especially to lower quota sugar volumes, but also falling non-quota sugar volumes because of the weaker 2015 harvest. Rising sugar sales revenues over the course of the fiscal year more than offset the lower volumes starting the second half of the year.

    The operating result improved substantially, to EUR 72 (previous year: -79) million, driven mainly by higher quota sugar sales revenues. Moderately rising prices since the beginning of October 2015 initially impacted the result at the beginning of the fiscal year. In addition, spot market income continued to rise in an overall positive market environment during the remainder of the year. This factor has now been driving all markets higher since October 2016.

    Expanded cultivation area and better yields lead to higher sugar production levels
    A significantly expanded cultivation area and an above average beet yield led to a higher total beet volume of 28.6 (previous year: 23.7) million tonnes in 2016/17. Production performance was almost the same as the year prior and the average campaign duration for all factories was 107 (previous year: 89) days. Thanks to mild, dry weather, the campaign progressed mostly problem free at all factories right into the winter months. Dry weather did hamper sugar beet pulling at some locations, which adversely affected factory deliveries, but only at the very start of the campaign.

    The group’s total sugar production rose to 4.7 (previous year: 4.2) million tonnes, of which 4.4 (previous year: 3.8) million tonnes was sugar produced from beets and 0.23 (previous year: 0.43) million tonnes sugar refined from raw sugar cane.

    Special products segment's revenues and operating result higher
    The special products segment's revenues rose from EUR 1,791 to 1,819 million. The increase was driven in part by the startup of the wheat starch plant at the Zeitz site, but above all, steady volume growth, so that declining sales income, caused in part by currency exchange factors, could be more than offset. Depreciation of the British pound following the BREXIT vote had a particularly negative impact on a number of the segment’s companies.

    The operating result was up again, to EUR 184 (previous year: 171) million, even beating last year's exceptionally high number. The continued sales volume growth in almost all business units was higher than the adverse impact of the startup of the starch plant in Zeitz and declining sales income.

    CropEnergies segment reports also higher revenues and operating result
    The CropEnergies segment's revenues rose to EUR 726 (previous year: 658) million, driven mainly by higher bioethanol production volumes, as well as food and animal feed, as a result of the restart of the plant in Wilton. This more than offset the reduced trading volumes due to higher in-house production and lower ethanol sales revenues.

    The division’s operating result again improved considerably despite declining ethanol sales revenues, beating last year's unusually strong result and hitting a record of EUR 98 (previous year: 87) million. Key drivers were sharply higher production and sales volumes and declining net raw material and energy costs.

    Fruit segment benefits especially from higher sales revenues for fruit juice concentrates
    The fruit segment's revenues rose to EUR 1,155 (previous year: 1,083) million. This increase was driven by slightly higher volumes, and especially higher sales revenues for apple juice concentrates.

    The segment's operating result improved year over year, rising to EUR 72 (previous year: 62) million. This increase is due to higher sales revenues and margins, combined with volume growth in the fruit juice concentrates division. However, the positive impact of volume and sales revenue growth in the fruit preparations division was not enough to completely offset higher costs.

    Workforce expands slightly
    The number of persons employed by Südzucker Group as of 28 February 2017 was 16,908 (previous year: 16,486), up 2.6 percent from last year's record date. The special products segment's higher headcount was mostly attributable to the Freiberger and starch divisions. For example, over 200 new jobs were created at the British pizza factory in Westhoughton, as capacity utilization expanded. Campaign operations at the sugar factories and in parts of the special products segment, together with the seasonality of the fruit business, cause the size of the workforce to fluctuate over the course of the fiscal year.

    Südzucker named favorite food products sector employer
    In a survey titled "Deutschlands beste Arbeitgeber im Vergleich" [comparing Germany's best employers], conducted by the German news magazine FOCUS in cooperation with Statista GmbH and Kununu, Südzucker placed second in the "food and luxury items, animal feed and drugstore products, medical consumables" category. First place went to a company outside the food products sector. The evaluation considered the following parameters, among others: opinion of the company's own employees, opinion of other workers in the same sector and employer rating as captured by the kununu.com website.

    Outlook for the current 2017/18 fiscal year
    Südzucker is forecasting consolidated group revenues of EUR 6.7 to 7.0 billion (fiscal 2016/17: 6.5) for the current 2017/18 fiscal year (1 March 2017 to 28 February 2018). We expect the sugar and fruit segment’s revenues to increase moderately and the special products segment’s to rise slightly. Südzucker expects the CropEnergies segment's revenues to range between EUR 725 and 800 (fiscal 2016/17:726) million.

    Südzucker expects the operating result to rise further. It should come in at between EUR 425 to 500 (fiscal 2016/17: 426) million, driven mainly by better sugar segment results. After the records set in 2016/17, the company expects a significant retreat in both the special products and CropEnergies segments. Südzucker expects a year-over-year increase in the fruit segment.
    (Südzucker AG)
     
    23.06.2017   Symrise expands presence in British beverage market through acquisition of Cobell Limited    ( Company news )

    Company news - Cobell as number one supplier for juices in Great Britain ideally complements Symrise’s activities
    - Symrise to increase customer proximity in the British beverage market segment
    - Cobell and Symrise to become the leading single source for beverage ingredients and formulations

    Symrise AG will strengthen its position in the British market segment for beverages. The Company has signed an agreement to acquire Cobell Limited from the Managing Partners. Cobell, which was established in 1999, is the largest supplier of processed fruit and vegetable juices in Great Britain and a leading supplier across Europe. Cobell ideally complements the activities and will enhance Symrise’s local presence and customer proximity.

    "Knowhow meets innovation – this is the guiding principle of our acquisition of Cobell. The Group is firmly anchored in the British market and operates with extremely high customer orientation. It thus represents an ideal match for Symrise. In recent years, we have seen increased demand for innovative beverage solutions. Together with Cobell we prepare the ground for accelerated growth and expand our footprint. By combining Cobell’s impressive application and manufacturing capacities with our strong portfolio of natural flavors and our joint technological knowhow we will become a driving force. In addition, we will significantly enhance our customer proximity and act as single source for beverage ingredients and formulations in Great Britain,” said Dirk Bennwitz, President Flavor Segment EAME.

    Symrise has been active for more than five decades in Great Britain and is a highly valued supplier to the Food and Beverage industry. After significantly growing the sweet and savory activities in the past, Symrise now aims to further drive growth in the British beverage market category which comprises annual sales potential of more than £ 100 million. Cobell’s state-of-the art manufacturing sites will play a decisive role in reducing lead times and make Symrise a partner that is even closer to its customers.

    Cobell runs a modern plant in Exeter covering the full production cycle from sourcing ingredients, developing customer-specific recipes to blending and packaging products on an aseptic basis. The product range comprises juices, purees, cordials, concentrates and alcoholic drinks. Cobell generated sales of about £ 50 million (€ 58 million) in 2016 and employs 56 people. Symrise will continue to run Cobell’s activities under the well-established Cobell brand.

    "We are delighted to have found a strong new owner for Cobell. Symrise shares the same mindset culturally and from a business perspective. Cobell will benefit from Symrise’s strong access to an impressive range of natural ingredients, as well as additional technologies, such as in taste modulation. Symrise on the other hand will be able to enhance its local supply chain and benefit from Cobell’s specialist sourcing and global supply base. Together we will be able to significantly increase our offering and differentiate ourselves in the market with tailor made solutions that fully respond to local consumer needs," said Nick Sprague, Chairman and founder of Cobell.

    Both parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the acquisition. Closing of the transaction is expected to take place at the beginning of July 2017.
    (Symrise AG)
     
    22.06.2017   Collaboration and innovation recognised as Amcor secures three awards in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...DuPont Packaging Awards 2017

    Amcor’s customer-focused approach and accomplishment in collaboration and innovation has been recognised three times over by the 2017 DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.

    The global packaging company received a gold award in the Technological Advancement and Responsible Packaging categories for its Vento™ coffee packaging; silver for the 20-ounce Vitaminwater® bottle in the Responsible Packaging category; and – in partnership with Crown Holdings Inc. – a gold award for Peelfit™ in the Technological Advancement and Responsible Packaging categories.

    “Our global expertise is regularly producing packaging that is more functional, appealing, and cost effective for our customers and their consumers, and more sustainable for the environment,” said Brian Carvill, Vice President of Research, Development and Advanced Engineering for Amcor’s Rigid Plastics business.

    Dr. Carvill said it was an honour to have three Amcor products recognised this year by the DuPont Awards.
    “These products reflect Amcor’s commitment to collaboration and innovation with our customers, and demonstrate the company’s deep knowledge of customer processing and supply chain needs,” he said.

    The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) Vitaminwater bottle uses two Amcor innovations to improve performance, while weighing less than conventional hot-fill containers. The base of the bottle features Amcor’s PowerStrap™ technology to strengthen its structure and increase vacuum absorption during filling. The sidewall incorporates the company’s ActiveHinge™ technology to further improve rigidity. Besides reducing the weight of the package, these technologies also improve labelling efficiency and stacking strength.

    A second award was given for Vento, Amcor’s high-performance laminate for ground coffee and whole beans. The innovative packaging allows coffee producers to capture the flavour and aroma of freshly roasted coffee without the need for hard valves, extra machinery, and extra processing steps, explains Luca Zerbini, Vice President of Marketing, R&D and Sustainability for Amcor's Flexibles division in Europe.

    “Coffee roasters want to reduce the cost and complexity of packaging while increasing the speed of their operations,” said Mr. Zerbini. “The Vento degassing system is integrated into the laminate, provides more packaging design flexibility, runs on all coffee packing machines, and can increase the speed of the packaging process.”

    Vento maintains barrier integrity and product freshness, weighs less, and has a reduced carbon footprint compared to coffee packaging with hard valves. It removes the need to purchase and apply traditional valves, and allows coffee to be packed immediately after roasting with no additional equipment or steps.

    The third honoured product, Peelfit™ was developed by Crown Holdings Inc. using Amcor’s CanSeal Pro. Peelfit is designed for dry-food markets to address demands for greater convenience, reduced packaging weight, and increased product protection.

    “Peelfit is the result of work by Crown’s talented designers and engineers with our strategic packaging partner Amcor,” said Olivier Aubry, Business Development and Marketing Director, Crown Food Europe.

    Amcor’s CanSeal Pro is a revolutionary flexible membrane, which allows Peelfit™ to use less metal while maintaining performance and functionality. Sustainability benefits include the elimination of the rigid steel ring typically required in double seaming applications, making the container 16 percent lighter than conventional foil seam cans.

    The DuPont Awards for Packaging is an international, independently-judged competition that honors innovations in packaging design, materials, technology and processes throughout the entire packaging value chain. The judging panel evaluated more than 140 entries from 24 countries.

    Amcor has won DuPont Awards for a number of packaging solutions in recent years, including Formpack® Ultra, cold form blister packaging for the pharmaceutical industry, and a PET bottle for Method Products which contains 100-percent post-consumer recycled PET resin.
    (Amcor Limited)
     
    21.06.2017   UK: Carlsberg UK releases this year's Crafted portfolio and handbook    ( E-malt.com )

    Carlsberg UK has released this year’s Crafted portfolio and handbook featuring a new selection of craft beers including ‘Your beer, here?’ winner, Toast Ale, The Drinks Business reported on June 5.

    This year, Carlsberg UK has worked with beer writer Pete Brown to create its craft beer offering and accompanying handbook, Crafted. It boasts 65 beers and ciders, including five new draught beers and 12 new packaged world, craft and speciality beers.

    Toast Ale, launched in January 2016 on Channel 4’s Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s Friday Night Feast, uses unsold bread from bakeries and sandwich makers to brew beer. The UK’s first ‘bread to beer’ ale, it replaces a third of the barley used in the traditional beer production process with bread, while all profits are given to Feedback, a charity that aims to eradicate food waste. Toast Ale was awarded a ‘special commendation’ in last year’s Green Awards, impressing the judges with its striking business concept that highlights the importance of recycling.

    ‘Your beer, here?’ was launched by Carlsberg UK in February to give craft brewers and importers the opportunity to have one of their brews listed in Crafted 2017. This in turn made the winning beer available to be stocked in thousands of pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK for a year.

    Rob Wilson of Toast Ale, commented: “We are thrilled to have won Carlsberg UK’s first Your beer, here? competition. Although we are a relatively young company, we are ambitious and see this as a fantastic chance to share our brew and message with an established and wide network of national contacts.

    “Although we have formed a strong and loyal customer base in the off-trade, we hope our new partnership with Carlsberg UK will create an opportunity for us to conquer the on-trade”.

    Crafted 2017 also includes beers from Brooklyn Brewery following its partnership with Carlsberg UK. In addition to Brooklyn’s Lager and East India Pale Ale, Crafted features four new beers (American Ale, Sorachi Ale, ½ Ale, and Scorcher IPA) in packaged and draught formats.

    Adrian Rigby, marketing manager for Crafted at Carlsberg UK, commented: “We are incredibly excited about the fantastic range of craft beers that make up this year’s Crafted portfolio. We are committed to developing and growing the craft beer category, which has seen huge growth in popularity over recent years.

    “Through significant investment and innovation, Carlsberg UK has successfully attracted new drinkers to the broader beer category.”

    “We couldn’t be happier that Toast Ale is the winner of our Your beer, here? competition. It’s a unique beer that embodies and reflects our values and ambition at Carlsberg UK”.
     
    20.06.2017   GEBO CERMEX TO ANSWER NEEDS OF SMART BEVERAGE FACTORIES AT DRINKTEC    ( Company news )

    Company news Gebo Cermex, part of the Sidel Group, will showcase a range of innovative material handling solutions at Drinktec 2017 (stand A6.330), including the latest developments in automation and connectivity to help secure greater performance from bottling lines in evolving and demanding markets.

    Ludovic Tanchou, Vice President Strategy, Products and Innovation at Gebo Cermex, said – “Producers operating in the beverage market need performance across their supply chains which delivers in several areas: reliability and predictability, flexibility and agility, low total costs, product and brand quality, low resource use and environmental impact. At Drinktec we will be demonstrating how Gebo Cermex can help customers secure performance over time via future-proof solutions and market-tailored innovations.”

    Among the latest developments on show at Drinktec (11-15 September) are:
    - AQ Flex® - a breakthrough universal all-in-one conveying solution which delivers unprecedented packaging line performance, unrivalled output speed and unique agility.
    - EvoFilm™ - a robust, high speed, flexible modular shrink-wrapping solution. It meets today’s sustainability and energy-saving challenges, while ensuring product integrity and finished pack quality.
    - The cobotic version of FlexiLoad™ - a magazine loading solution that ensures automatic, flexible and safe corrugated magazine feeding on any case packer and erector, to reduce the source of musculoskeletal disorders while allowing natural interactions between the fenceless machine and the operators.
    - Cobots on Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) - cobots add high precision and cost-effectiveness to simple and repetitive tasks, thus increasing the added value operators can bring. By making them “mobile” - implementing them on AGVs - their efficiency will be spread across the line.
    - EIT™ - the Efficiency Improvement Tool that uses comprehensive line monitoring to accurately detect the causes of unplanned stoppages and help increase operators’ responsiveness.
    - OptiFeed™ - a new crown and cap feeder which optimizes cap/crown availability at the capper through its unrivalled efficiency, in addition to ensuring the quality of the caps and their compliance with the relevant specifications.

    Tanchou continues – “The packaging industry is looking to find new ways to realize the potential of the fourth industrial revolution by creating a digital factory that can increase performance while reducing non-productive sequences and keep costs to a minimum. As part of our award-winning Sidel Group Agility 4.0™ programme, we will show how manufacturers can achieve this and meet consumer demands for more customized products, shifting from mass production to mass customization and gaining the many benefits of Industry 4.0, without compromising on key performance criteria such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), total cost of ownership (TCO) and sustainability.”
    (Sidel International AG)
     


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