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    08.10.2018   Malaysia: Carlsberg, Heineken express varying opinions on implementation of Sales and Service Tax    ( )

    Malaysian beer industry leaders Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd (Carlsberg) and Heineken Malaysia Bhd (Heineken)have expressed varying opinions about the implementation of the Sales and Service Tax (SST), reported on September 24.

    The SST has been re-introduced in Malaysia from September 1, replacing the unpopular Goods and Services Tax (GST).

    Carlsberg Malaysia has expressed deep concerns over the new sales tax.

    “We expect the implementation of SST to impact consumer spending on beer negatively, especially in on-trade which is exposed to double-taxation from both 10% sales tax on products at a manufacturer level and 6% service tax at the retail level such as restaurants and bars with annual revenue above RM 1.5 million,” said Carlsberg Malaysia managing director Lars Lehmann to FoodNavigator-Asia

    “While off-trade sales are no longer subject to 6% GST, our customers may pass on their additional tax and business costs from the implementation of SST.”

    "Taking into account the 10% sales tax imposed on our products and a 6% service tax we incurred from taxable services, we have made a 5.5% adjustment on our products’ price to distributors effective 1st September 2018," he added.

    Additionally, the rise in prices could potentially increase the consumption of contraband beer, which holds up to 25% of market share.

    “[Any] increase will lead to more influx of contraband beers and losses to government tax revenue,” said Lehmann.

    "With the implementation of SST, the price gap between legal beer and contraband beer grows bigger, which increases the risk of contraband growing at the expense of legal beer."

    On the other hand, Heineken Malaysia is less concerned about the SST.

    “We do not foresee that big of an impact from the SST,” said Heineken Malaysia finance director Szilard Voros.

    “However, [contraband beers] is something we need to be careful about. […] We still believe [consumer sentiment] will be high,” he added.

    The price increase for Heineken products will commence on September 17, and is expected to remain lower than they were during GST implementation.

    Carlsberg Malaysia comprises, amongst others, the Carlsberg, Kronenbourg, Asahi and Skol beer brands. It holds roughly 40% of the Malaysian malt liquor market (MLM).

    Heineken Malaysia holds roughly 60% of the Malaysian MLM. It owns the Heineken, Tiger, Kirin, Guinness and Anchor beer brands, amongst others.

    Together, both companies dominate almost the entirety of the beer market in Malaysia.

    When Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng initially announced the SST reinstatement, the public reacted with fears over the possible raising prices of goods. These fears came true with beer, as both Carlsberg and Heineken announced increases in the prices of their beer, passing on the 10% sales tax burden to consumers.

    As it is, Malaysia’s per capita alcohol consumption stands at only 1.7 litres per year as per numbers from the World Health Organisation. This is attributed to Malaysia being an Islamic country, as the religion bans alcohol.

    After the Malaysian national elections in May, the newly-elected Pakatan Harapan’s decision to scrap the 6% GST was met with enthusiasm by the public.

    Less popular was the decision to bring back SST, which is implemented at 10%, but imposed on the manufacturers and importers instead of on the consumers.

    When announcing the SST, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had emphasised on the necessity of taxes for the country.

    “While taxes fund the development and administration of the country, they also serve to reduce inequality that exists in our society. And while we impose taxes, we also do not want to tax you to death, but we hope that you are able to pay these taxes to help us save the country,” he told The Star.

    The SST implementation is projected to bring in a revenue of US$ 97 million (RM 4 billion).

    After the May elections, the new government announced a total US$ 242 billion (RM 1 trillion) worth of government debt left behind by the Najib administration.
    08.10.2018   UK: AB InBev to launch Italian craft beer Lisa on trade in October    ( )

    Global brewer AB InBev will bring its Italian craft beer Lisa to the UK on-trade in October, which is being pitched in direct competition to Asahi-owned Peroni, The Morning Advertiser reported.

    Jason Warner, AB InBev’s soon-to-be promoted North Europe president, exclusively revealed Lisa’s launch to The Morning Advertiser in an interview at the company’s customer day in Wembley Stadium.

    Warner, who will be promoted to AB InBev president of Europe on 1 January next year, said: “The brewer Birra del Borgo is a very premium craft beer brand in Italy, similar to what we have in Camden here in the UK."

    He continued: “And what we’ve created is a sessionable lager with the team there, which we’re launching in the UK. An Italian-style beer is an interesting category.”

    When asked if it was in direct competition with Peroni, he added: “If the logic is it’s Italian, then sure, but we’re bringing it in as a super-premium craft and Peroni is a scale brand that’s very large and we’re trying to plant the next seed and offer more choice.”

    The golden lager comes in at 5% ABV and will be available in the on-trade from October.

    Birra del Borgo, which is based in Borgorose in the Lazio region of Italy, sites within ABI’s ZX Ventures, which incubates smaller brewers.

    Within Italy, Lisa has seen a 140% sales growth between April and August. The bottom-fermented brew is described as being crisp, but smooth in taste with a citrus finish “thanks to the distinctive Senatore Capelli wheat and orange peel used in brewing,” said AB InBev.

    In a statement about the launch, Warner added: “We are thrilled to bring this premium Italian lager to the UK, exclusively to the on-trade in draught.

    “We know that consumers are choosing more premium options when going out for food and are happy to trade up to elevate their dining experience. We want to raise the quality standard of Italian beer, to become the number 1 favourite Italian lager.”

    08.10.2018   UK: AB InBev will launch its Michelob Ultra in the UK    ( )

    Brewing giant AB InBev will launch its Michelob Ultra premium light beer into the UK in a bid to replicate the brand’s US success, the Morning Advertiser reported on September 14.

    The brand is currently the fastest-growing beer in the US in both value and volume terms, success that AB InBev hopes to repeat in the UK.

    Research suggests Brits are seeking lower-strength beers – those with an ABV of between 0.5% and 3.5% – and bought 61 mln pints of low-alcohol beer in the past 12 months, up 34% for the same period last year, the brewer said.

    “The UK launch responds directly to the trend for leading an active lifestyle and demand for reduced-calorie and lower-alcohol options,” said AB InBev.

    Michelob Ultra is brewed to 3.5% ABV, has 79 calories per 335ml can and will be rolled out nationwide across the UK off-trade this October, with a bottle format due to appear in the on-trade from spring 2019.

    A national multimedia advertising campaign, running across print, digital and out-of-home media, will support the launch and focus on the beer’s light qualities as well as its “functional benefits”.

    Following success with its Bud Light relaunch last year, AB InBev will pump resources into sampling activity as well as brand partnerships, all of which will be unveiled shortly.

    Michelob Ultra senior brand manager Matt Leadbeater said: “Drinking beer can sometimes seem at odds with living an active life, but it doesn’t have to be.

    “The launch of Michelob Ultra signals an exciting new option for retailers looking to cater to increasing consumer demand for products that complement a balanced lifestyle.”

    He continued: “Michelob Ultra has been a runaway success in the US and other new markets globally and we’re confident we can replicate that in the UK as more people look to brands that suit their balance of an active and social life.”

    The introduction of the beer into the UK market forms part of the brewer’s wider “global smart drinking goals” that include no- or low-alcohol products making up at least 20% of its global beer volumes by the end of 2025.
    08.10.2018   USA: Tariff spat with major trade partners a serious issue for US brewers    ( )

    It is unlikely U.S. government officials considered that the tariff spat with its major trade partners would impact America's some 100 million beer drinkers.
    But it has.

    Beer industry insiders told Xinhua that their industry is being hit in several ways by the escalating trade disputes with Canada, Mexico and China.

    In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Robert Pease, president of the Brewer's Association (BA), voiced his industry's concerns with the imprudent tariffs policies by U.S. government.

    "It's a serious issue for us, it's a serious issue," Pease emphasized.

    BA represents 4,465 breweries across the country, and its affiliate, the American Homebrewers Association, has 46,000 members.

    Pease made the remarks in Denver when the 2018 Great American Beer Festival was held there on Sept. 20-22 and thousands of beer brewers from across the country met to bemoan the negative impact the tariffs are having on their business.

    "We support fair trade, we support free trade, but we oppose these tariffs," said Pease, who has been with BA for 27 years.

    Craft beer sales grew eight percent in 2017 and now total 26 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 23 percent of the country's 111.4 billion dollar beer market, BA statistics show.

    All told, the craft brewing Industry contributed 76.2 billion dollars to the U.S. Economy in 2017 as well as more than 500,000 jobs.

    "The tariffs on aluminum impact beer cans and the steel hikes affect the price of kegs," Pease noted.

    His words echoed Molson Coors Chairman Pete Coors's warning in May, when the beer industry mogul wrote an opinion article to the Wall Street Journey saying beer and other drinks packaged in aluminum cans will cost more for consumers because of an aluminum tariff implemented by the administration of President Donald Trump.

    Gavin Hattersley, CEO of MillerCoors, the second largest beer producer joint-ventured by SABMiller and Molson Coors, also disclosed his company is bracing for a 40 million dollar hit to its profits due to the tariffs on foreign aluminum and steel.

    He said the tariffs force the company to scale back investment, hit the pause button on hiring new employees, and increase beer prices, since the company's shareholders won't simply accept the hit.

    Moreover, American Keg CEO Paul Czachor had to explain to local media at the end of August why the tariff hurt the Pennsylvania based keg producer, the only U.S. beer keg maker relying entirely on domestic steel.

    He said the tariffs did not create more jobs for the company as the White House planned; on the contrary, it dried up steel imports, causing demand and prices to rise for U.S. steel, which then led the company's old customers to use imported kegs.

    Czachor told National Public Radio his company had fired 10 of its 30 employees.

    Not only have hikes on steel and aluminum hurt their bottom line, commodity losses in America's field crops, which were used to make beer, have also been affected by the tariff frictions.

    Some 1,100 kilometres away from Denver, Montana barley farmer Matt Flikkema told Xinhua he is getting hurt by the increased cost of steel that affects his equipment upgrades and purchases, and by the decreased amount of revenue he gains from selling his product.

    "That field of barley goes to Molson-Coors," Flikkema said, pointing to a field of high-grade barley headed to make beer for the world's fifth largest beer company.

    But thanks to the trade war, Flikkema will earn much less for the barley he planted. Many wheat and barley farmers are considering alternative crop production, and that could affect the cost and quality of domestic beer.

    "We've lobbied our supporters in the U.S. Congress, and tried to educate them about why we think the tariff is not a good policy for small and independent breweries," Pease told Xinhua.

    Both Pease and BA Chief Economist Bart Watson emphasized that the tariffs particularly hurt small, independent brewers, who are surviving on tight profit margins.

    "We see an annual three-to-five percent closure rate on new breweries," Watson told Xinhua.

    Industry officials are holding their breaths to see if more small start-ups fail due to the tariffs.

    "The price of steel increasing is not good for our members, especially the smaller businesses," Pease said.

    "That's going to inhibit expansions, inhibit innovation, and inhibit job creation in this industry," he added.

    Additionally, bigger breweries are holding back on growth and investment due to the tariffs, the industry official said.

    "One member told me this week they were looking at an expansion -- that may not be possible because of the big jump in steel prices," Pease said.
    08.10.2018   Zappar: Creating interactive experiences with SIG cartons    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: Elmhurst’s new plant-based protein drink will sport a “zapcode” at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. Once the zapcode is scanned (or “zapped’) and the device is pointed towards the front of the carton, the consumer unlocks important information about “The Cleanest Protein Shake on the Planet.” via augmented reality (AR) content

    - Zappar enables SIG to offer its customers an inventive and unique method to get closer to their end-consumer and engage with them through the brand’s packaging design. This “smart packaging” connects a product with the digital content and rewards consumers with relevant targeted content for taking the time to engage with a brand.
    - Elmhurst’s new plant-based protein drink will sport a “zapcode” at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. Once the zapcode is scanned (or “zapped’) and the device is pointed towards the front of the carton, the consumer unlocks important information about “The Cleanest Protein Shake on the Planet.” via augmented reality (AR) content.

    Partnering with Zappar, one of the world’s leading developers and providers of augmented reality (AR), SIG is turning carton packs into interactive and engaging experiences. The technology provides a bridge between physical objects and the digital world in real-time. All you need is a smartphone or tablet, the Zappar App and the fun begins: content is brought to life. The technology offers opportunity for a whole range of creative marketing ideas and campaigns that will engage and entertain consumers.

    Smart packaging solutions
    Zappar enables SIG to offer its customers an inventive and unique method to get closer to their end-consumer and connect with them through the brand’s packaging design. This “smart packaging” links a product with the digital content and rewards consumers with relevant targeted content for taking the time to engage with a brand. Letting the consumer explore hidden content provides brands an excellent opportunity to improve brand awareness and strengthen brand loyalty. These “zapcodes” have allowed SIG to provide customers and brands an added-value solution that answers to a rapidly growing digitized world.

    Connected pack: Simpler. Better.
    Elmhurst’s new plant-based protein drink will sport a “zapcode” at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. Once the zapcode is scanned (or “zapped’) and the device is pointed towards the front of the carton, the consumer unlocks important information about “The Cleanest Protein Shake on the Planet.” The AR content delivers all the essential details that emphasizes why this is a no-nonsense, free from artificial ingredients, and vegan shake. Along this AR journey, there is information about sustainability with SIG cartons as well as an opportunity for the consumer to take a picture with a personalized face filter to share on social media.

    There is also a contact element that allows the consumer to communicate with customer care for additional inquiries. Through a simple “zapcode,” the consumer is entertained and engaged and more importantly, more educated about Elmhurst’s new plant-based protein drink.

    Creating interactive packs of the future is part of SIG’s Value Proposition: three value-adding segments to help producers meet increasing industry demands. On-pack “zapcodes” are one of the latest solutions within Connected Pack – a commitment to deliver digital engagement with interactive tools and features such as augmented reality to improve brand awareness.

    Yasmin Siddiqi, SIG Marketing Head North America, expressed, “The more interactive and engaging the content is, the more likely it will resonate positively in consumers’ minds. With the aid of AR, brand owners, such as Elmhurst Milked, can expand the experience beyond the product itself, and enable consumers to connect closely with the brand. Ultimately, this has a positive impact on brand image and sales.”
    (SIG Combibloc Group AG)
    05.10.2018   Carlsberg launches ground-breaking innovations to reduce plastic waste    ( Company news )

    Company news Carlsberg announced a series of ground-breaking innovations including its new Snap Pack, which is set to reduce plastic waste globally by more than 1200 tonnes a year - the equivalent to 60 million plastic bags.

    The Snap Pack replaces the plastic wrapping used around Carlsberg’s six packs with a pioneering technology that glues its cans together. A world first for the beer industry, it will reduce the amount of plastic used in traditional multi-packs by up to 76%.

    Three years in the making, the Snap Pack is just one of Carlsberg’s sustainable packaging solutions that were announced today.

    Other improvements include:
    - A switch to Cradle-to-Cradle CertifiedTM silver inks on its bottle labels to improve recyclability
    - A new coating on refillable glass bottles to extend their lifespan and therefore reduce their environmental footprint
    - New caps which remove oxygen to make the beer taste fresher for longer

    The innovations represent the first of a series of consumer-facing manifestations of Carlsberg Group’s sustainability programme, Together Towards ZERO, which includes ambitions of a ZERO carbon footprint and ZERO water waste. They will first be applied on the flagship Carlsberg brand to drive constant reappraisal and refinement. This will further substantiate the iconic tagline of ‘Probably the Best Beer in the World´ in a meaningful way - giving consumers a great tasting beer that also helps them reduce their environmental impact.

    Cees ’t Hart, CEO of the Carlsberg Group, said:
    “It’s an important day for Carlsberg. We are working hard to deliver on our ambitious sustainability agenda and to help tackle climate change.”

    "We always strive to improve and today’s launch clearly shows our ambition to follow in our founder’s footsteps towards a better tomorrow. Carlsberg's Snap Pack will significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste, and we look forward to giving our consumers better beer experiences with less environmental impact.”

    Carlsberg Group’s supply chain, sustainability and development teams have worked closely with the Carlsberg brand team and external partners to innovate in ways that will make a difference to both consumers and the climate.

    To accelerate the implementation of its sustainability ambitions, Carlsberg also announced a strategic partnership with Plastic Change, a Danish environmental organisation, in addition to its long-standing dialogue with the WWF on sustainable issues and their impact on both the environment and the world’s natural resources.

    Bo Øksnebjerg, Secretary General in WWF Denmark, said:
    ”Our wildlife is drowning in plastic – and the problem is unfortunately growing considerably. We therefore need to act now. We need less plastic to end up in nature. That is why we consider it huge progress that Carlsberg is now launching solutions that significantly reduce the amount of plastic in its packaging. With these new solutions, Carlsberg has taken the first big steps on the journey towards a more clean and green future.”

    To celebrate the launch of the Snap Pack, Carlsberg unveiled its own unique version of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue made entirely from its new Snap Pack cans. Held together with glue just like the Snap Pack cans, the mermaid ‘canstruction’ embodies Carlsberg’s intent to make beer that is not only great tasting but is also better for the environment.

    Three metres high, the new installation features a rising tide of 137 kilograms of plastic – representative of the amount of plastic that Carlsberg will be eliminating every hour (that is 1,200 tonnes a year), thanks to Snap Pack.
    (Carlsberg Danmark A/S)
    04.10.2018   150 years of KHS: from equipment trader from Dortmund to global turnkey supplier    ( Company news )

    Company news 150 years ago to the day, on October 1, 1868, Carl Kappert and Louis Holstein founded the Holstein & Kappert equipment trading company in Dortmund, Germany, thus laying the foundations for KHS.

    - KHS predecessor Holstein & Kappert founded 150 years ago
    - Rise to one of the beverage industry’s market leaders
    - Most recent developments focus on even more sustainability

    150 years ago to the day, on October 1, 1868, Carl Kappert and Louis Holstein founded the Holstein & Kappert equipment trading company in Dortmund, Germany, thus laying the foundations for KHS. It took decades, however, for the enterprise to become a worldwide manufacturer of turnkey systems – many years of expansion, fusions and, first and foremost, continuous development of products geared to the future. Today, the KHS Group is one of the market’s leading systems providers for the beverage, food and non-food industries. For years the company has increasingly focused on sustainability in the development of new plant engineering.

    “150 years of entrepreneurship and ingenuity have lent KHS the image it enjoys today. They are a central theme throughout our history and form the foundations upon which we now stand,” explains Burkhard Becker, chairman of the KHS Executive Management Board. Rolf Staab, executive vice-president of Human Resources for the KHS Group, also traces the success of the Dortmund systems supplier back to its roots. “Without the creativity, passion and perseverance of many generations of engineers, business personnel and factory workers our company wouldn’t have the international standing it holds today. Without them we wouldn’t enjoy the recognition our customers now show us.”

    Pioneers since the first hour
    KHS’ rise to worldwide partner to the beverage industry was a continuous process. It all began with the foundation of the Holstein & Kappert company in 1868. The Dortmund equipment trader initially only sold technical apparatus for the beverage industry. At the beginning of the 20th century the company began producing its own machinery which washed bottles and filled and packaged beverages, among other things.

    The Seitz-Werke and Enzinger also celebrated their first successes in the second half of the 19th century. With the help of their innovative filters they revolutionized the wine and beer industries.

    The fusion between Holstein & Kappert and Seitz Enzinger Noll Maschinenbau AG (SEN) based in Bad Kreuznach and Worms in 1993 was the ultimate milestone in the company’s history. Under the umbrella of the Klöckner-Werke, majority shareholder of Holstein & Kappert since 1979, the two manufacturers merged to form KHS Maschinen- und Anlagenbau AG.

    Manfred Rückstein, head of Corporate Communication at KHS from 1991 to 2012, looks back to the time after the merger, which was at first quite turbulent. “We had to make it clear to our customers, who for decades had been loyal to either the one or the other brand, that the products from Bad Kreuznach, Worms and Dortmund were now all on an even par. In order to achieve this goal, it was absolutely essential to start using uniform product names.”

    Rise to global supplier of turnkey systems
    The fusion and the bankruptcy of the Klöckner-Werke were big challenges for KHS at the beginning of the 1990s. The solution was to have the company grow through further investments and acquisitions to become a turnkey supplier to the beverage, food and non-food industries.

    Another factor which proved successful was the group’s early global orientation. At the end of the 19th century KHS’ predecessor companies were already looking for sales opportunities well beyond the German border. In 1893, for example, Lorenz Enzinger presented his innovations at the World Fair in Chicago. In addition to its five plants in Germany KHS today operates production facilities in the USA, Mexico, Brazil, India and China. The company is also represented by an extensive sales and service network on all of the relevant markets worldwide. “The name KHS is now synonymous throughout the globe with powerful filling and packaging systems for the beverage industry,” explains Becker.

    Shaping the future with sustainable products
    For years the KHS Group has increasingly focused on sustainability in the development of new, future-proof plant engineering. “As one of the market leaders in filling and packaging we’re fully aware of our responsibility to the environment. The issue of sustainability thus plays an important role in the development of our innovative and cost-effective products,” Becker states. Saving on resources is especially important in this context. Companies large and small the world over rely on energy- and resource-saving machinery to fill and package their bottles, cans and kegs. The KHS Group works towards producing lighter and lighter containers in its Bottles & Shapes™ program, to name just one example here. At drinktec 2017, for instance, the company introduced the lightest 0.5-liter PET bottle in the world to date, weighing just 5 grams. KHS also premiered a marketable concept for the forming and filling of plastic bottles which involves just one process step.

    Further landmarks pertinent to the topic of sustainability include the development of the Nature MultiPackTM, which bonds bottle and can packs together using dots of adhesive instead of shrink film, and the invention of Plasmax barrier technology, which applies a coating of glass to the inside of PET bottles. Another of the new avenues KHS is exploring together with its customers is the digitization of the production process from 3D line design to virtual commissioning. With these and a number of further innovations in the pipeline the company is looking to the future with much optimism.
    (KHS GmbH)
    04.10.2018   A preconfigured case packer to meet individual requirements - the lightline machine range    ( Company news )

    Company news For the first time at the FachPack trade fair in Nuremberg, Schubert presented its new Cartonpacker – a machine from Schubert’s new lightline range. The Cartonpacker consists of a single module and handles carton packaging in the smallest of spaces – with all the expected high quality and efficiency of a TLM system. The company now provides an attractive and affordable solution with a fast delivery time for packaging tasks that require less flexibility, i.e. that consist of only a few product and format variants. Schubert’s new lightline machine range includes packaging machines for standard packaging tasks with preconfigured system components. Along with the “lightline Cartonpacker”, these also address pick-and-place applications with the “lightline Pickerline” and packaging in flow-wrap bags with the “lightline Flowpacker”.

    Schubert is offering its new, preconfigured, very compact case packer in four variants for different types of cartons – boxes, boxes with lids, wrap-around boxes or RSC cartons. Depending on the type of carton, the machine is equipped with a suitable closing tool and laid out for one product at a time, i.e. for bags, boxes, bottles or cans. The lightline Cartonpacker offers flexibility in terms of format variants for every type of carton and product. The machine design distinguishes itself by reduction down to essential functions only, which results in lower energy consumption and therefore reduced costs.

    In addition to attractive investment costs, customers in all sectors benefit from very short delivery times and fast commissioning with the lightline Cartonpacker. Since the machine is delivered as a unit, installation is streamlined. Assembly and commissioning can be implemented within a week. This enables customers to respond quickly to market demands. With the Schubert lightline range, the company is targeting customers with packaging tasks that require less flexibility but who also attach great importance to high-quality machine engineering. Proven functional principles and intelligent machine control ensure reliable operation with high system availability over the machine’s entire service life.

    All functions in a single module
    The case packer presented at the fair will package marzipan chocolate boxes into RSC folding boxes. With a throughput of 125 boxes of chocolates per minute, the machine can process up to six different product formats. In a single machine frame (3,500 x 2,500 mm), RSC boxes are erected, filled with chocolate boxes and closed. At the heart of the machine are three F2 robots from Schubert.

    Standardisation for even more customer benefits
    The globally recognised leader in top-loading packaging machines continues to standardise its technology to provide optimal solutions to customers with diverse needs. Be it a machine for only a few product and format variants or a machine with maximum flexibility – Schubert always offers an ideal solution to meet a customer’s very specific requirement. Schubert’s packaging machines enable manufacturers of all sizes to access robot-based automation or to expand existing systems.

    Especially with standardised packaging tasks, TLM technology with the Schubert lightline machine range offers a cost-effective, long-term solution to significantly increase production efficiency. The flexible addition and extension of the machines is possible at any time and ensures that the machines are a future-proof investment.
    (Gerhard Schubert GmbH)
    04.10.2018   O-I : EXPRESSIONS to Transform Glass Bottle Design    ( Company news )

    Company news O-I : EXPRESSIONS will create new marketing opportunities for brands through customization and personalization by sculpting glass bottles into multi-dimensional works of art, enabled by digital printing.

    Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) launched O-I : EXPRESSIONS, an innovation developed for design agencies, packaging professionals and all food and beverage marketers who want to stand out and offer their consumers new reasons to love and choose their brands. O-I : EXPRESSIONS enables late-stage design, combining the integral benefits and heritage of glass with an agile, marketing-focused capability. The innovation allows O-I's customers to build brand engagement, consumer satisfaction and loyalty as well as demonstrate premium value.

    Enabled by digital printing, O-I : EXPRESSIONS will enable brands to create highly personalized and customized glass packaging at flexible volume, industrial speeds, and affordable value, with an unprecedented range of color and design possibilities, compared to traditional decoration solutions. With O-I : EXPRESSIONS, brands will be better equipped to respond to growing consumer demand for personalized and 'made for me' products. Brands will quickly and nimbly be able to develop packaging to support short campaigns, such as seasonal promotions or limited/special editions to mark major events. In addition, O-I : EXPRESSIONS is sustainable. It uses organic inks, not impacting the recyclability of glass, and it helps reduce waste through lower inventories.

    A premium version of the service, O-I : EXPRESSIONS RELIEF, named after the sculptural technique, will also offer brands the opportunity to use customized tactile digitally printed effects, such as embossing and coloured embossing. This will enable brands to interact with consumers through the sense of touch through cost-efficient flexible volume runs. O-I : EXPRESSIONS RELIEF takes brands a step beyond what was previously thought possible in terms of customization and premiumization.

    Arnaud Aujouannet, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of O-I, said: "O-I : EXPRESSIONS is a valuable step in our continuous commitment to be relevant and agile in meeting the needs of customers and consumers. This innovation is an exciting outcome of O-I's strategic growth agenda and reflects our vision to emphasize high value segments by leveraging new technology and product innovation along with new attractive customized and flexible service offerings."

    The O-I : EXPRESSIONS services are planned to be commercially available by mid-2019 in Europe and shortly after in the US. In the meantime, O-I is already available to initiate projects and discuss collaborations.

    Vitaliano Torno, President of O-I Europe said: "Europe accounts for 24% of the global personalized packaging market and at the same time Europe is a core market for O-I, so it is fitting that the first step of our journey will take place here. We see the desire for individual retailers to provide unique promotions gaining momentum and brands are increasingly using personalized promotions to differentiate themselves. To execute these types of programs requires fast design and approval cycles with prompt execution. O-I : EXPRESSIONS makes all of this possible."

    The Technology
    In 2014 O-I invested in a small-scale digital printing equipment to develop the foundations for the O-I : EXPRESSIONS and O-I : EXPRESSIONS RELIEF services and validate them with the market. To bring this new service to market at an industrial scale, O-I is making an initial investment in two direct2glass digital printing industrial lines, enabling contactless direct printing, through a Drop-on-Demand process, which only generates an ink drop when it is required for printing. The use of UV inks enables fast and reliable curing, while the CMYK model opens the door to the spectrum of Pantone hues.

    Blast off! Industrial designer showcases O-I : EXPRESSIONS' potential
    To mark the launch of O-I : EXPRESSIONS, O-I has invited renowned industrial designer, matali crasset [sic], to experiment with the technology and showcase its potential. matali has created an incredible spaceship installation, out of 90 glass bottles printed using the O-I : EXPRESSIONS service. The installation will be displayed during Paris Design Week. It is evident from her work that the quality and the range of colors and effects available through this innovation will allow marketers and packaging design agencies to unleash their imaginations.
    (O-I Owens-Illinois Glass Containers)
    03.10.2018   Scots call for UK government to support Scotch in new poll    ( Company news )

    Company news Nearly three in four Scots (71%) believe tax on Scotch Whisky in the UK should be at least as competitive as European taxes on flagship food and drink products, according to a Survation poll commissioned by the Scotch Whisky Association.

    £3 in every £4 spent on the average priced bottle of Scotch Whisky in the UK goes directly to the Treasury in taxation. Scotland's national drink is currently taxed 76% higher than the EU average for spirits. Ironically, it is cheaper to buy a bottle of Scotch in France than it is in the home of Scotch.

    The industry recently reported a record 1.9 million visits to distilleries and tourist centres in 2017. Many of those tourists are shocked at the level of taxation of Scotland's national drink in its home market, with distilleries facing the 4th highest rate of spirits duty across the EU. The Scotch Whisky Association is calling on the UK Government to continue to support Scotch Whisky at home through a duty freeze in the Autumn Budget.

    The freeze on spirits excise duty announced by the Chancellor in November 2017 has delivered £1.6bn for the Treasury in the period February to July - a 7.5% (£114m) increase on revenues during the same period in 2017.

    Nearly three fifths (57%) of those questioned claimed the UK government could do more to support the Scotch Whisky industry, which is responsible for a fifth of all UK food and drink exports, worth over £4 billion a year.

    Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said:
    "The Scotch Whisky industry is working hard to boost our exports and improve trading conditions for Scotch all over the world. As we do so, we are calling on the government to recognise the contribution we make to the UK's balance of trade in goods and back us at home.

    "It is inconceivable France would hamstring its wine industry through heavy taxation. Yet, despite Scotch Whisky generating billions in revenue for the economy, employing thousands of people, and attracting millions of tourists every year, it remains among the most taxed food and drink products in Europe.

    "That is why we are calling on the Chancellor to continue to freeze duty on spirits in this year's Budget. The evidence shows that a continued freeze would not only deliver greater revenue for the Treasury, but also help to support an industry that has invested more than £500m in capital projects over the last five years."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
    02.10.2018   Diversey BottleCare to Drastically Enhance the Lifespan of Bottle Fleets and ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... Protect Beverage Brand Image

    Diversey launched the Diversey BottleCare system for returnable glass bottle fleets. The system incorporates DivoMask, an advanced maskant coating to enhance the appearance of returned bottles and DivoBright Defend, for effective removal of labels, soil and the coating during bottle washing without degrading the glass.

    “The BottleCare system delivers cost savings while enabling businesses to maintain and improve brand image,” said Wayne Witthoft, Beverage Marketing Director at Diversey. “Combining our innovations with technical support and training improves operational efficiency, extends the life of a bottle fleet and ensures bottles look their best at the point of sale.”

    The industry average number of trips for a returnable bottle is 20, with most producers discarding glass when scuffing reaches between 4-9mm. However, the BottleCare system reduces the amount of bottle to bottle abrasion in the bottling line, preventing unattractive scuffs. In fact, the number of trips will be increased to up to – and in some cases exceed – 50 percent.

    Built on extensive research with a selection of international and regional brewing and beverage producers, the BottleCare system overcomes the four key challenges of maintaining an effective bottle fleet. DivoMask will deliver Freeze-Thaw to expected levels, ensuring that the maskant is not affected by condensation in the transition from chilled to ambient temperatures. It will pass the 48-hour Ice Challenge, maintaining the coating when submerged in iced water for 48 hours. It will also ensure Quick Drying by delivering a realistic maskant drying time for business, and provide outstanding Visual Coating – proving the system’s efficiency in measuring the coverage of maskant and its ability to cover scuff rings.

    “This system is a real game changer for the bottling process,” added Witthoft. “It protects the feel, condensation patterns and label presentation of a product; delivers an exceptional shine on each bottle, even after multiple trips; and ensures the coating is food safe and does not impact the taste of the product.”
    (Diversey EMA)


    Today’s food and beverage production demands a digital filling line solution that can deliver a highly accurate monitoring system for information management that may be remote but is always using real time data in order to optimise operations and improve productivity. SIG's answer to this is combiLink – a single and flexible information management solution for filling line operation.

    Food and beverage production is becoming more challenging, with filling plants facing higher demands, greater competition and ever shorter production cycles. All too often, manufacturers are faced with multiple reporting systems, outdated data, manual data collection and a lack of filling line insights.

    By connecting every machine in a filling line, SIG’s combiLink collects unlimited data and shows it in preconfigured or personally designed reports. Customers can view charts showing operational and technical efficiency and view downtime incidents from their desktops, tablets or smartphones. Smart notifications can alert the team to incidents so avoiding bottlenecks and costly downtime.

    “56% of companies intend to increase efficiency by more than 20% over the next 5 years,” said Ayed Katrangi, Senior Product Manager Automation and Digitalization at SIG. “combiLink can make a decisive contribution to this. It is a smart factory solution that offers a completely new way of monitoring and analysing the efficiency and productivity of a filling line, enabling customers to take on-time decisions fast and to automate operations to meet the needs of Industry 4.0, improve filling line OEE and optimise TCO, based on ISO 2240 standards.”

    With the same connectivity used in IoT applications, combiLink seamlessly connects every machine in a filling line. This means producers get a single end-to-end window to view current and historical levels of efficiency and performance, while also seeing where improvements can be made in the future. combiLink’s connectivity is based on the latest industrial communication standard OMAC, enabling it to collect unlimited data over OPC UA technology from every machine and store it securely.

    combiLink can also send out data to MES, ERP and other business intelligence systems. Its open architecture and standards-based interface connect easily to third party applications such as cloud based systems and predictive analysis tools. This two way communication enables unlimited operation applications with the option of customer plug-ins.
    Turning the challenges of high speed production into reality, SIG’s smart factory solutions underline its commitment to constant system innovation always bearing the latest customer needs in mind.

    combiLink is just one example of how SIG can design and engineer the most advanced and intelligent end to end plants using IoT-enabled systems, data and automation, ensuring that customers can monitor and optimise operations, with rapid intervention for best results.
    (SIG Combibloc Group AG)
    28.09.2018   Flow VIT®: The Automated Analysis Method for Microbiological Quality Control    ( Company news )

    Company news Powerful detection system combining VIT® gene probe technology and flow cytometry

    As part of the BrauBeviale 2018, vermicon AG presents the powerful Flow VIT® Solution, a combination of flow cytometry and VIT® gene probe technology. This new detection system by vermicon AG, which was developed in cooperation with Sysmex Corporation, aims to raise the microbiological quality control to a higher level and to enable a faster and more cost-efficient monitoring of production processes and end products.

    The Flow VIT® Alicyclobacillus test kit is the first application for the fully automated VIT® analysis of microorganisms via flow cytometry. The test kit allows producers in the beverage industry to detect microbial causes of offflavors quickly and reliably. Thus, the quality of beverage products is increased and economically damaging recall actions can be prevented. Samples are prepared with the Flow VIT® test kit. The actual evaluation is fully automated and takes only a few minutes thanks to the flow cytometer CyFlow Cube 6*. Additional innovative applications for the beverage industry are currently being developed.

    “We want to provide our customers with a fast and comprehensive view into their microbiological samples. This is the only way to guarantee the highest level of microbiological safety”, remarks Dr. Jiri Snaidr, founder and CEO of vermicon AG. “The Flow VIT® Solution is another milestone on our way to profoundly changing industrial microbiology.”

    Another innovation by vermicon AG ist the VIT® Beer Screening test kit. This test kit allows an unambiguous identification of individual beer-spoiling lactic acid bacteria in beer and mixed beer beverages. Up to 16 species of bacteria can be specifically identified in a single sample. In contrast to other rapid detection methods, only living cells are detected with VIT® gene probe technology, i.e. dead cells do not cause false-positive results. Finished products as well as samples from all stages of the brewing process, including yeast propagation, can be examined.

    BrauBeviale, the capital goods exhibition for the beverage industry, will be held from 13 to 15 November, 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany. vermicon AG will be presenting its innovative solutions for industrial microbiology in Hall 4, Booth 305.
    (vermicon AG)
    28.09.2018   Retailers sales set to sparkle with J2O this festive season    ( Company news )

    Company news J2O’s favourite limited-edition flavour, J2O Glitterberry, is back and this year it will be in-store much earlier than ever before. Available now, this allows retailers to add a festive sparkle to their stores whilst maximising seasonal sales opportunities such as Bonfire Night, Halloween and Christmas.

    Last year Glitterberry took the market by storm and climbed the ranks to be the third best-selling SKU in the Adult Soft Drinks category over the festive period. Although available for a limited time each year, Glitterberry made a huge impact in the category in 2017, when £9 out of every £10 spent on the flavour was incremental to the category. This emphasises the huge opportunity for retailers to offer their customers something different for the festive season.

    To support the relaunch of Glitterberry, J2O’s brand ambassador, Mojo, a cheeky cockney alpaca, is back again to remind consumers why J2O is at the heart of key social occasions.

    In the run up to Christmas, Mojo will be back on air with a new, exciting advertising creative comprising of a 10 second Glitterberry edit that will feature on TV nationwide. This will be supported by a heavyweight shopper campaign, with a variety of in-store initiatives designed to encourage shoppers to ‘Find their Mojo’ with J2O throughout the festive season.

    Limited edition Glitterberry is a delicious blend of grape, cherry and winter spice flavours fused with edible gold glitter to provide an exciting festive drinking experience from the number one Adult Soft Drinks brand in the UK.

    Phil Sanders, GB Commercial Director, At Home at Britvic commented: “ J2O is growing from strength to strength, with an average of five J2O products being sold every second, so it’s no wonder that customers keep returning, so much so that J2O has the highest loyalty levels within Adult Soft Drinks. We are excited to be on track for another fantastic festive season - especially with £2 in every £5 spent on J2O within the Adult Soft Drinks category in the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas.

    “We know consumers are more social in the run up to Christmas, as well as wanting to drink less alcohol over the festive season. This Christmas we want to help retailers make the most of the sales opportunities this presents, as well as other key occasions like Halloween and Bonfire Night. The early return of J2O Glitterberry certainly helps to do this so our advice is stock up now!”
    (Britvic Plc)
    27.09.2018   A new approach to service - Learning for the future with virtual reality    ( Company news )

    Company news The high-quality valve, measurement and control components that GEMÜ produces are important elements of a technical processing plant. Proper installation and maintenance are therefore necessary in order for the plant to operate efficiently and in optimal cycles.

    In this regard, the best possible form of interaction between manufacturers, plant designers and operators is required so that the product can be operated faultlessly throughout its entire life cycle, from the commissioning through to the servicing.

    GEMÜ's Service Business Segment bundles together the activities in the after-sales sector, which can currently be divided into three main areas:

    Technical training
    Through a multi-stage training system and individual training models, customers are introduced to the functional principle of GEMÜ valve, measurement and control components in thorough detail. This consequently ensures that assembly and service personnel have all the necessary knowledge and tools to install and service these high-quality products. Exceptionally skilled technical trainers with many years of experience in the sector continue to pass on knowledge using the latest teaching methods, whether this takes place in the GEMÜ training centre at our site in Criesbach or at our customers' sites all over the world. An innovative and specially developed VR (virtual reality) training programme for GEMÜ CONEXO is just one example of how we are facilitating even more in-depth (i.e. immersive) learning among our participants. Using an application, the necessary actions can be performed, studied and subsequently tested. Thanks to the complete immersion in the learning content, the knowledge that is passed on can then be summoned even quicker in the field.

    The training courses are carried out fully in line with the customer's individual requirements with regard to time, location and content. Training courses that accompany servicing, or take place directly in advance of this, are also possible.

    In-house and field service
    A well-trained squad of service engineers is not only in an ideal position to advise the customer on site in all matters relating to the commissioning of valve, measurement and control components, but can also support customers in inspections, servicing and upgrades. Repair and maintenance of GEMÜ components can be carried out at the Criesbach service centre or directly on site. To ensure the comprehensive efficiency of your machines, our service specialists are available for valve-related plant screenings and technical questions. If you wish, GEMÜ's qualified fitters can also assume responsibility for the component inventory, data management and retrofitting for CONEXO.
    For all questions relating to after-sales service, our experts at GEMÜ can be contacted by telephone or e-mail.
    (GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)
    27.09.2018   Sidel’s Blended Learning platform enhances skills while contributing to a ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... sustainable business performance

    A proactive, inspired work culture and ongoing skill training are key factors in today’s beverage industry. Shifting demographics, growing urbanisation, globalisation, and digitalisation are all driving consumers’ drinking habits towards increased convenience, sustainability factors, and health benefits. To help manufacturers keep up with this highly demanding market, Sidel introduces its new e-learning portal, designed to train the company’s employees and the staff from customers’ side via a highly customised approach. The tool is an integral part of Sidel’s Blended Learning platform, where teaching is partly carried out digitally and partly face-to-face in hands-on training sessions. This results in greatly improving employees’ skills, safety, and productivity as well as contributing to minimise costs in the long term.

    Manufacturers active in the food, beverage, home and personal care industries are continuously investing in training their teams to reap a number of benefits: minimised reaction time, reduced production stops, and increased overall efficiency and safety in the workplace, to mention but a few. Not less important, regularly attending training sessions helps operators increase motivation, engagement, and commitment.

    An integrated learning experience
    To help customers achieve this, Sidel trains over 5,500 people every year to advance their skill sets and adapt to changes in the production environment. This personalised training includes online courses, on-the-job training, practical and classroom lessons, as well as production simulation via virtual reality by combining the state-of-the-art equipment with the skills of the workforce, getting the best return on investment.

    Blended Learning, Sidel’s integrated learning experience, combines face-to-face and online learning sessions in which the traditional face-to-face classroom focuses entirely on students’ development, while basic knowledge is acquired online via e-learning portals – an approach that has led to an impressive satisfaction rating among former participants.

    Skill Matrix: tailored training for specific customer needs
    The learning process starts with a competence audit, driven by the Sidel training team: customers can make targeted investments and provide training exactly where it is needed most by defining their employees’ roles and evaluating their abilities. They do this by applying the “Skill Matrix”, consisting of a detailed and evolving roadmap of the competences needed to run their lines throughout their lifecycle.

    This method provides a clear overview of each operator’s existing skill level and potential gaps to be covered. Once the mapping process is complete, a multi-channel training path is suggested by linking specific courses in the catalogue. As a last step, performance is re-evaluated to ensure the success of the training.

    Global knowledge at a local level
    This highly customised program helps meet operators’ specific needs, while it is planned around the production schedule, so as not to impede on productivity of the customer’s line. Via personalised accounts on the platform, trainees experience a customised training offering. The Sidel training team guides each user, according to his or her needs, to fine-tune an individual learning plan. Thanks to an optimised and customised dashboard, which can flexibly accommodate different viewers’ profile needs – depending on the type of customer – trainees have a simplified user experience within the portal, making the training even more efficient and enjoyable.

    The customisation of the training is not only visible in the online training sessions but is also a key component of the on-site courses. The on-site education – an integral part of the process – is available either directly at the customer’s own facility on their own lines or at one of Sidel Group’s 13 technical training centres that are spread across the globe. There, through a face-to-face learning experience, Sidel experts will help customers complement practically what they previously learned via the e-learning portal.
    (Sidel International AG)
    26.09.2018   SIG plans IPO and listing on SIX Swiss Exchange    ( Company news )

    Company news SIG Combibloc Group (“SIG” or the “Company”), a leading provider of aseptic carton packaging solutions for the food and beverage industry, announces its intention to launch an Initial Public Offering (the “IPO”) and to list on SIX Swiss Exchange

    - A global leader in aseptic carton packaging systems and solutions with exposure to growing and resilient end-markets
    - Distinctive business model combining proprietary filling technology with additional services
    - Long-term contracts with diversified blue-chip customer base in the food and beverage industry
    - Strategy of continued product and solution innovation to support customer needs
    - Proven track record of delivering long-term growth, margin expansion and strong cash generation
    - Good growth momentum and a further increase in profitability demonstrated by H1 2018 results
    - IPO is a natural next step in the Company’s growth strategy
    - Investors can expect dividends in line with strong and increasing cash flows
    - New board of independent Directors will be elected, chaired by the designated Chairman, Andreas Umbach
    - IPO expected to include newly issued shares targeting primary proceeds of approximately €1 billion
    - To further increase the Company’s free float, IPO may also include existing shares held by majority owner Onex (TSX:ONEX) and certain members of Management
    - Depending on the size of any secondary share component, Onex is likely to retain a post-IPO shareholding of 50% or more
    - Listing on SIX Swiss Exchange planned in the coming months, subject to market conditions

    Rolf Stangl, CEO of SIG said: “SIG has a heritage as a Swiss industrials company going back over 160 years. Today, SIG is one of only two leading global system suppliers of aseptic carton packaging solutions. The planned IPO is a natural next step in our growth strategy as we continue to bring innovative products to the market and to expand in existing markets and new geographies. Our strong growth prospects and cash flow profile underpin our ability to reward investors with an attractive dividend policy going forward.”

    Global leadership in systems and solutions for aseptic carton packaging
    With revenue of €1,672 million and Adjusted EBITDA1 of €480 million for the last 12 months to June 30, 2018, SIG is one of only two leading global system suppliers of aseptic carton packaging solutions. The aseptic packaging process allows beverages and liquid food to maintain their taste, appearance and nutritional qualities for up to 12 months without the use of refrigeration or preservatives. In 2017, SIG had an estimated 21% share of aseptic carton packaging volumes produced for liquid dairy, non-carbonated soft drinks and liquid food applications in its core geographies2. With its precision-engineered filling systems, SIG offers customers a high level of flexibility, with fast change-over times between carton sizes and shape formats, as well as the ability to fill a wide range of products with different viscosity levels and particulates. Through its carton sleeve technology SIG has become a market leader in aseptic carton packaging for liquids with particulates, which include fruit or cereal pieces in yogurts and non-carbonated soft drinks as well as chunky soups. These products have been developed to meet fast-growing consumer demand in a number of SIG’s key geographies.

    Resilient end-markets benefiting from secular growth trends
    SIG’s customers are principally engaged in selling food and beverage products, which are characterised by resilient, low-discretionary consumer demand and are therefore less susceptible to economic cycles than more discretionary products. Aseptic carton packaging is expected to benefit from secular growth trends in the food and beverage industry, such as rising consumption in developing economies, favourable shifts in demographics towards smaller households, premiumisation and increasing consumer demand for convenience and on-the-go consumption. Other significant growth drivers include greater penetration of ambient packaging in higher-growth developing economies due to the lack of a stable end-to-end cold chain infrastructure, increased food and beverage e-commerce sales and growing consumer health and wellness awareness. These drivers favour convenient packaging that preserves the nutritional value of its content without preservatives.

    Proprietary and highly engineered full system offering
    SIG is the only global aseptic system supplier with a proprietary, sleeve-fed system that has distinct economic and technological advantages over roll-fed systems and non-system suppliers. SIG’s sleeve-fed system can offer its customers a lower total cost of ownership as a result of the flexibility in changing carton sleeve sizes and shape formats on its filling machines, high overall production uptime and output due to the reliability of its system, and low waste rates both of packaging and the filled product. In addition, SIG’s system has superior capabilities for filling a wider range of liquids with different viscosity levels and particulates than the roll-fed systems with which it competes.

    Successful business model with recurring revenue and attractive returns on investment
    SIG’s business model is based on its proprietary filling machines at its customers’ facilities, which typically can be used only with SIG’s proprietary sleeves and closures. The Company’s installed base of filling machines supports the ongoing sale of sleeves and closures. As of June 30, 2018, there were approximately 1,150 SIG filling machines in the field in over 60 countries, which filled approximately 35 billion sleeves during the preceding 12 months. In addition, over 550 field service engineers provide customer support either from locations within the customers’ facilities or from widespread on-call service locations, helping to ensure a high degree of efficiency and production up-time.

    Long-standing partnerships with diversified blue-chip customer base
    SIG is a trusted partner for leading blue-chip customers and for established national and regional food and beverage companies. The Company sells its aseptic carton packaging solutions to over 270 customers worldwide and its relationship with its top ten customers is over 25 years on average. SIG is deeply involved in customers’ product development decisions, providing consumer-led innovation and collaborating in product formulation, as well as testing of new product concepts, with the aim of delivering the “Perfect Package” every time.

    Strategy of continued product and solution innovation to support customer needs
    Part of SIG’s strategy to drive increased customer demand for its products is to continue to introduce new and improved product and solutions offerings. These cover areas such as point-of-sale differentiation and positioning through new shapes and decorative features, consumer appeal and functionality through improved handling and pouring, and new features such as product traceability and digital marketing solutions. Through its formulation and filling capabilities SIG enables its customers to develop a range of products containing particulates. SIG also continually seeks to optimise the weight, format and design of its carton sleeves and closures, as well as to develop higher efficiency filling lines. Examples of recently launched innovations include the new premium packaging platform combismile, an innovative single-serve solution designed to meet growing consumer demand for on-the-go food and beverage consumption; Heat&Go, the leading microwaveability solution among aseptic carton packs capturing demand for easy-to-prepare warm and hot drinks as well as liquid food; and combiblocXSlim, a small-format beverage packaging providing a low-cost option relative to other substrates.

    Resilient financial profile with track record of long-term growth, margin expansion and attractive cash generation
    SIG’s attractive business model provides resilient, as well as foreseeable and recurring revenue streams. This resilience is evidenced by its long-term track record of revenue and earnings growth, with high and increasing margins and strong cash flow generation. Between 2007 and 2017, SIG’s revenue and Adjusted EBITDA grew organically at CAGRs of 4% and 7%, respectively. The strong business model coupled with continued focus on operational excellence contributed to an increase of 700 basis points in Adjusted EBITDA margins over the last decade (from 20% in 2007 to 27% in 2017).

    Strategies in place for continued long-term growth
    SIG intends to continue its record of long-term growth through a strategy of penetrating attractive new geographies and fast-growing niche categories and to pursue new, as well as expand existing, customer relationships. Substantial resources have been committed to improving SIG’s go-to market approach and sales force effectiveness, as well as its ability to offer a variety of high quality aseptic packaging products and solutions across regions. SIG’s expansion into attractive geographies where it has little to no presence today will also help to drive future growth.

    Proven management team with successful track record and highly experienced Board of Directors
    The Group Executive Board - led by Chief Executive Officer Rolf Stangl and Chief Financial Officer Samuel Sigrist - is highly experienced, with its members averaging 11 years with SIG. Together with the global workforce of approximately 5,000 employees, the management team has a strong track record of growing the business by building long-term customer partnerships, developing new technologies and expanding into high-growth countries. At the same time, the team has increased profitability through a focus on operational excellence, continuing cost optimisation initiatives and investing in higher value end-products and regions.

    SIG’s Board of Directors is expected to comprise eight members who all have highly relevant experience and will be non-executive directors. The Board of Directors will be chaired by Andreas Umbach with further independent members including Matthias Währen (expected Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee); Colleen Goggins (expected Chairwoman of the Compensation Committee); Werner Bauer, Wah-Hui Chu; and Mariel Hoch. In addition, two Onex representatives are expected to be on the board: Nigel Wright (expected Chairman of the Nomination and Governance Committee) and David Mansell.

    Contributing positively to society and to the environment across the value chain
    Corporate responsibility is at the core of SIG’s operations. The Company aims to pursue a net positive corporate footprint in the long run by contributing more to society and the environment than it takes out. SIG’s EcoVadis Gold status in the supplier sustainability rating put it in the top 1% of 30,000 participating companies in 2017. This rating is based on a detailed independent assessment of SIG’s policies, processes and performance based on specific criteria relating to the environment, society, ethics and the supply chain. SIG strives for certified sustainable supply of all materials, products and services. All of SIG’s liquid packaging board, its main raw material, is purchased from suppliers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (“FSC”) and, to date, it is the only aseptic carton provider to announce that it offers 100% of its packs with the FSC label on the pack. SIG’s cartons are fully recyclable and have a 70-80% average renewable content. SIG has also launched innovative products such as the EcoPlus pack, which has a 28% improved CO2 emission impact compared to comparable packages in a similar format, and the SIGNATURE PACK, which is the first aseptic carton pack linked to 100% plant-based renewable materials via certified traceability and mass balancing.

    Attractive dividend policy
    SIG’s goal is to implement an attractive and sustainable shareholder return policy by providing a recurring and sustainable dividend to shareholders. In 2019, SIG expects to pay a dividend of approximately €100 million relating to the financial year ending December 31, 2018. From 2019 onwards, the Company plans a pay-out ratio of between 50% and 60% of Adjusted Net Income3.

    Transaction highlights
    The intended IPO is expected to consist of a primary offering of approximately €1 billion. The expected net proceeds from the primary offering are intended to be used to delever the Company’s balance sheet to a target leverage ratio of 3.00-3.25x following the closing of the IPO. In order to further increase the Company’s free float, the base offering may be complemented by a potential offering of existing shares held by its current owners, including funds advised by affiliates of Onex and certain members of management. In addition, a standard over-allotment option is expected to be granted on a number of existing shares.

    BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs International are acting as Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners for the planned IPO. Barclays, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment Bank are acting as Joint Bookrunners, while UniCredit Bank AG and Vontobel are acting as Co-Lead Managers. Rothschild & Co. is acting as independent financial adviser to SIG on the IPO.
    (SIG Combibloc Group AG)
    25.09.2018   Building Brands in Ardagh Cans    ( Company news )

    Company news Barrio Brewing, led by Arizonans Dennis and Tauna Arnold, has a history that dates back to 1991 when the couple opened up Tucson’s first full mash brewery. Twenty-seven years later the duo is going strong as the longest-running independent brewer in the state and is stepping up its retail reach by packaging its beers in environmentally-friendly aluminum beverage cans from Ardagh.

    Key Barrio craft beer brands such as Barrio Blonde, Blanco and Rojo join Citrazona, Mocha Java Stout and many more in providing beer quality enthusiasts a full slate of choices now available in more than a few hundred well-respected bars, restaurants and stores across the state. Strengthening the distribution goals of the company is the choice to package these beers in aluminum cans, which are filled faster and shipped and displayed more efficiently as cans stack easily so there’s no wasted space in trucks or on retail shelves.

    Dennis Arnold says he, Tauna and the entire Barrio team are excited to continue to build their presence. "We believe market trends are tending to quality local beers supplanting multi-state regionals but it will still come down to taste and quality in determining what brands will endure and grow,” he said. “We're confident Barrio Brewing will be at the forefront of craft beer growth and, in fact, we’re extending our brand lineup next Spring.”

    Claude Marbach, CEO, Ardagh Metal, North America, says the can maker is proud to team with Barrio Brewing in not only helping extend its reach across Arizona but in strengthening its environmental position. “Cans enable brands to tell a strong sustainability story as they are recycled at a high rate and are made with a high recycled content,” he said. “The beverage can’s sustainability advantages are just a few of the reasons cans are increasingly a preferred choice in helping build brands and bottom lines.”
    (Ardagh Group)
    24.09.2018   New partner in Beviale Family network: SEA Brew    ( BrauBeviale 2018 )

    BrauBeviale 2018 -Beviale Family now represented in South-East Asia too
    -Marketing cooperation takes effect immediately

    The Beviale Family is extending its global network in beverage production and welcomes SEA Brew as its official partner with immediate effect. South-East Asia's annual conference and trade fair for the brewing industry is an itinerant event that has already been successfully held four times. The aim of the partnership is to combine the resources of the two established trade fairs and mutually develop new markets. This marketing alliance will allow the Beviale Family to further expand its presence in South-East Asia.

    The Southeast Asia Brewers Conference & Trade Fair (SEA Brew) has become established in the South-East Asia region as a professional development event with a concurrent exhibition for brewers and beer distributors. As an itinerant event it has already taken place in Singapore (2015, 2016), Ho Chi Minh City (2017) and Manila (2018). In September 2019 it will be hosted in Bangkok. Its aim is to drive the potential of the evolving Asian beer market and inform brewery owners, brewers and retailers throughout Asia about the latest trends in ingredients, processes and equipment. “This is why SEA Brew is the ideal partner for us in the South-East Asian market,” says Andrea Kalrait, Director Exhibition
    BrauBeviale and international product manager for the Beviale Family. “We have been monitoring developments locally for some time now and have determined that there is great potential in the beer and brewing segment. In SEA Brew we have found a partner that is very familiar with the realities of the respective markets and also has excellent networks. We are looking forward to working together to develop new target groups.”

    Charles Guerrier, founder of SEA Brew, had this to say: “We are excited to partner with the Beviale Family and be part of their global network of international beverage and brewing trade shows. This cooperation will help grow awareness of the opportunities emerging within Asia for both brewers and industry suppliers and help unlock the region’s potential”.

    SEA Brew, the annual Southeast Asia Brewers Conference & Trade Fair attracts brewers, distributors and investors from across the Asian region. They come together to exchange ideas and gain insights from global experts into the latest technological innovations in order to keep up with the fast-paced developments of the industry. The conference and attached trade fair was established in 2015 to support the growing demands on both production and distribution in a rapidly developing industry. In line with being a truly regional event, SEA Brew moves to a new host city every year.
    (NürnbergMesse Group)
    24.09.2018   SIG LEADS THE INDUSTRY WITH 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY – ELECTRICITY AND GAS – ...    ( Company news )


    SIG is the first in the industry to produce all its packs using 100% renewable energy – electricity and gas – at production sites worldwide. By effectively eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from production, this represents a major milestone on SIG’s journey to go Way Beyond Good by contributing more to society and the environment than it takes out.

    SIG has met its 2020 goal to source 100% renewable energy and Gold Standard CO2 offset for all non-renewable energy at production plants two years early. The company made the switch to 100% renewable electricity in 2017 and is now sourcing renewable alternatives for the remaining energy used in production that comes from natural gas.

    SIG is purchasing biogas certificates that are certified to the recognised GoldPower® standard to offset 100% of the natural gas used at its production sites as of 1 January 2018.

    Arnold Schuhwerk, SIG’s Global Category Manager for energy procurement, said: “We achieved a big milestone last year by securing 100% renewable electricity for production. Sourcing renewable alternatives for gas was even more challenging because the market for renewable biogas is not yet well established.”

    With no viable option to source renewable biogas directly, SIG is sourcing it indirectly instead by supporting projects to construct and operate waste-to-energy systems in China, Thailand and Turkey that capture gas generated at landfill sites and use it to produce renewable energy.

    Landfill gas from decomposing waste includes large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Preventing this gas from escaping into the atmosphere helps to avoid harmful climate impacts.

    The projects are certified to the GoldPower® standard which verifies that they will not only deliver measurable greenhouse gas emissions reductions, but also create benefits for local communities, such as air or water quality improvements or job opportunities.

    “We are supporting projects that capture harmful greenhouse gases from landfill and convert these into energy,” said Schuhwerk. “We chose the projects because they are certified to a recognised standard to make sure they have a positive social impact as well as supporting environmental savings.”

    All other remaining greenhouse gas emissions from production sites, such as small amounts released in the printing process, are also being offset to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from production.

    The switch to renewable gas will save an estimated 28,600 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per year. This will make an important contribution towards SIG’s science-based targets to cut Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 – and by 60% by 2040 – from the 2016 base-year.

    By reducing the climate impact of SIG’s solutions, this latest step to go Way Beyond Good will also help customers cut the lifecycle impacts of their products and meet their own sustainability goals.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
    21.09.2018   New CEO and CFO at REHAU    ( Company news )

    Company news The Supervisory Board of the global REHAU Group announces that William Christensen (photo) was appointed the new CEO of REHAU. Christensen was previously the Chief Marketing Officer and is replacing Rainer Schulz, who has run the company since 2010.

    “We are very pleased that William Christensen with his international management experience is taking the helm”, says Jobst Wagner, President of the REHAU Supervisory Board. Christensen has been with REHAU since April 2016. The 45-year-old completed his studies in the USA and, prior to joining REHAU, among others served on the Group Executive Board of Geberit, where he was responsible for International Sales.

    The new CFO will be Kurt Plattner, taking over the responsibilities of Dieter Gleisberg. Plattner has been with REHAU for 25 years and was recently Head of Treasury, Controlling & Finance at REHAU’s head office in Muri, Switzerland.
    (Rehau AG + Co)
    20.09.2018   Vetropack – first half of 2018: record net sales and improved margins    ( Company news )

    Company news In the first half of the year under review, Vetropack Group exceeded what was already a high level of net sales from the previous year by 12.8%. They amounted to CHF 350.0 million, another new record. The operating margin improved from 9.8% in the previous year to 11.6%.

    Consolidated net sales from goods and services rose by 12.8% to CHF 350.0 million (2017: CHF 310.2 million). Adjusted for currency effects, Vetropack Group increased its net sales by 5.3%, with 7.5% attributable to currency effects due to the weaker Swiss franc. Unit sales amounted to 2.61 billion units of glass packaging in the first six months of the year, their best-ever level. Greater demand for high-quality glass packaging enabled Vetropack Group to optimise its sales mix to benefit its net sales and margin. This put consolidated EBIT at CHF 40.6 million, up by 34.0% year on year (2017: CHF 30.3 million). The EBIT margin improved to 11.6% (2017: 9.8%).

    The consolidated semi-annual profit of CHF 30.0 million (2017: CHF 24.7 million) was up 21.5% on the same period last year. The good performance also saw the profit margin increase from 8.0% in the previous year to 8.6%. Cash flow also improved, coming in at CHF 71.6 million (2017: CHF 61.3 million) and resulting in a cash flow margin of 20.5% of net sales (2017: 19.8%).

    Vetropack Group employed 3,304 individuals during the period under review (2017: 3,316).

    Outlook for the second half of 2018
    Vetropack Group expects the market environment to remain favourable over the next six months. Sales volumes will be down slightly on the first half of the year because another furnace overhaul, this time at the Austrian plant in Kremsmünster, is slated for the second half of 2018 and it will not be possible to repeat the sell-off of existing stock to the extent seen in the first half of the year. We are therefore forecasting a slight fall in net sales and performance compared with the first half of 2018. The operating result for 2018 as a whole looks likely to exceed that achieved last year by some margin.
    (Vetropack AG)
    19.09.2018   Britvic welcomes local MP to redeveloped Rugby site following multi-million pound investment     ( Company news )

    Company news Leading soft drinks company Britvic at the end of August welcomed Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby and Bulkington, to its site in Rugby to find out more about the company’s investment in the site and for a behind the scenes tour of its redeveloped facility.

    Britvic is investing more than £100milllion in the Rugby site as part of a broader £240m three-year investment programme in its GB manufacturing capability. The investment, announced by the company in 2015, is designed to step-change the speed and flexibility of its production lines whilst delivering environmental benefits through greater efficiencies.

    As part of the investment in Rugby, Britvic has installed three new PET bottling lines, a new on-site warehouse and an aseptic line to manufacture preservative-free drinks, which will improve logistics planning and reduce road miles, helping the company to reduce its carbon footprint. In addition, the company has introduced three new can lines which are amongst the fastest in the Europe, collectively producing up to 6,000 cans per minute. The state-of-the-art design has led to a reduction in waste, significantly increased production, and gives greater flexibility meaning cans can now be made from aluminium or steel on the same line. This year, Britvic’s steel can formats have also moved to aluminium cans, enabling Britvic to reduce the amount of metal it uses annually by 8,000 tonnes.

    Britvic announced earlier this year the creation of c.80 new jobs at the site, which includes technical operators, engineers and team leaders.

    Mark Pawsey MP met with Britvic colleagues, including Director of Production Jeremy Howard, and was taken on a tour of the factory which has been home to Britvic for more than 30 years and employs nearly 300 people. Mr Pawsey saw first-hand the production of its iconic brands, which include Purdey’s and Tango, on its can lines.

    Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby and Bulkington commented: “I was delighted to join Jeremy and his colleagues today at Britvic’s redeveloped site in the heart of Rugby. Britvic has been a major employer in the constituency for many years and I was very interested to find out more about how their investment is helping to reduce the amount of material they use when manufacturing their world famous brands.”

    Jeremy Howard, Director of Production at Britvic, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Mr. Pawsey to our Rugby site today to see our new state-of-the-art manufacturing and logistics capability. It is a proud moment for the team here and for all our partners who have supported us in our ambition to create a world-class manufacturing site.

    “Sustainability remains at the heart of our business and this project. Through our GB investment programme, we are investing for the future and remain committed to continuing to make a positive difference to our communities and to the world around us – helping to make it healthier, happier, and more sustainable.”

    Britvic’s sustainability strategy, ‘A Healthier Everyday’, is fully integrated into the company’s investment in manufacturing programme. It focuses on three key areas including:

    Healthier People: helping consumers to make healthier choices and live healthier lives
    Healthier Communities: helping our employees and communities to thrive
    Healthier Planet: helping to secure our planet’s future

    The ‘Healthier Planet’ element sets out Britvic’s commitment to help secure the planet’s future, ensuring that resources are used responsibly, and the natural world is protected. The focus is on resource efficiency, minimising the environmental impact of packaging and operating a sustainable supply chain.

    Recent milestones:

    100% of Britvic’s PET plastic bottles are recyclable in the UK recycling system
    Recent investment in new bottling lines eliminated over 300 tonnes of plastic bottle packaging in GB
    99% of global manufacturing waste generated was diverted from landfill
    It achieved a 5% reduction in carbon emissions relative to production compared to 2016
    Water ratio (water consumption relative to production) from 2016 was maintained despite the commissioning of new lines
    Britvic was shortlisted for the 2017 GreenFleet Awards in the ‘Private Sector Fleet of the Year’ category for its work to promote the use of alternative fuel vehicles across its fleet. Work included installing charging points across its sites in Great Britain, and actively engaging with employees to demonstrate the total cost/benefit of hybrid vehicles.
    Britvic was a founding signatory of The UK Plastics Pact, a pioneering agreement which aims to transform the plastic packaging system in the UK and keep plastic in the economy and out of the ocean.
    Britvic is investing £850,000 a year in UK recycling infrastructure through its commitment to only purchase domestic Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) from UK recyclers.

    2020 Goals:
    -Reduce carbon emissions relative to production across Britvic’s global manufacturing sites by 15% vs 2016 baseline (5% emissions reduction achieved in 2017)
    -Achieve a water ratio (water consumption relative to production) of 1.4 across its global manufacturing operations (water ratio was 2.15 in 2017)
    -Achieve zero waste to landfill across its global manufacturing sites (99% in 2017)
    -Reduce the amount of materials used across all packaging formats, introduce recycled PET (rPET) into the GB portfolio at 15% content (300 tonnes of plastic packaging eliminated in GB in 2017).
    (Britvic Plc)
    18.09.2018   Precise pressure monitoring in systems and piping    ( Company news )

    Company news GEMÜ's new 3140 series pressure gauges facilitate precision measuring across a wider range of pressures and temperatures. With these latest additions to their product portfolio, Ingelfingen-based valve specialists GEMÜ are modernising their range of measurement systems.

    As part of this update to their range of pressure measurement systems, GEMÜ will be replacing the type 3120 with the new pressure transducers and pressure switches of the GEMÜ 3140 series. Compared to its predecessor, the new product range impresses with a far broader measuring scope, as well as a number of electrical design features and important approvals.
    The GEMÜ 3140 series is designed for both liquid and gaseous media at pressures of between 0 and 40 bar and temperatures of between -40 and +125 °C. The integrated high-quality ceramic sensor reliably converts the pressure into a proportional electrical signal – at an accuracy of 0.5% FSO in accordance with IEC 60770.

    IO-Link for intelligent networking
    In order to optimize adaptability for different applications, all the standard electrical and mechanical connections are provided. With an IO-Link interface, the GEMÜ 3140 pressure transducers/switches can be used centrally to automate and monitor processes. This means leakages and gauge pressure can be detected early for instance.

    The pressure measurement devices in the GEMÜ 3140 series can be used for a variety of industrial applications. Besides calculating the process pressure and measuring a pressure differential, the GEMÜ 3140 pressure transducers/switches can also be employed to reliably control, measure and monitor the level during filling processes. The integrated sensor is suitable for use with both highly viscous and contaminated media and, thanks to its high-quality material selection, it can even be used with corrosive media, such as for demanding applications with acids and alkalis.
    GEMÜ 3140 products have been certified in accordance with UL, SIL2 and IECEx. Both the explosion-proof and the SIL versions are available as options. Depending on the version, the product can also feature a rotatable LED display. This means the user can easily view the current operating parameters via a 4-digit display, no matter where the device is installed.
    (GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)
    18.09.2018   Probably the world’s smallest gas detectors    ( Company news )

    Company news The MC2 (analog sensor with up to 15 m cable length) from MSR-Electronic can be mounted even in the smallest devices due to its reduced size. In addition to the
    electrochemical sensor element with measuring amplifier, a module with microcontroller, analog output and power supply is integrated in the sensor unit. The microcontroller calculates a linear 4-20 mA signal from the measuring signal of the sensor; furthermore it stores the relevant measured values and data of the sensor element. The calibration can be performed directly at the system with the integrated, comfortable calibration routine.

    The SC2 (digital sensor, optically identical to the MC2) from MSR-Electronic offers the possibility of being used as a remote sensor, too. In addition to the sensor element and the measuring amplifier, the SC2 includes a microcontroller for measuring value processing. All data and measured values of the sensor element are stored in a fail-safe manner in the microcontroller and are transmitted digitally via the local bus to the sensor board (SB2) or another control board of MSR-Electronic. The microcontroller also includes the calibration management.

    The SX1 sensor head as remote version is perfectly suited for direct monitoring of valves or other devices that are too small or angled for larger gas sensors.

    The SX1 sensor head was specially developed for harsh environments and consists of 1.4404 CrNi steel with double-sided thread. A splash and weather protection cap is available as an option.

    All sensors from MSR-Electronic are available for a large number of gases to be detected (Ex, Tox, Freon, O2, etc.).
    (MSR Electronic GmbH)
    17.09.2018   Belgium: Lambic beers under threat due to climate change    ( )

    Belgian beer styles are a hit with consumers around the world, but environmental scientists in Brussels claim that climate change could make the sour serve extinct, putting artisan brewers out of business, The Drinks Business reported on September 11.

    Climate change scientists working on beer research site have said that rising temperatures in Brussels and the Pajottenland region south-west of the Belgian capital — where Lambic beer is produced — could cost brewers thousands as their stocks develop bezomerd, a colloquial term for overexposure to heat, or “too much summer”.

    Lambic beer is made using wild yeast and fermented in the open-air in order to react with bacteria present in the atmosphere. Many brewers rely on the natural environment to regulate temperatures, cooling their beers overnight in conditions ranging between -8 and 8C. The beers, which are brewed between October and April, are then stored in wooden barrels and must be aged below 25C.

    But’s researchers, in partnership with Belgian beer firm Cantillon, found that the window for brewing in Brussels has shortened by around 15 days since the 1990s, as climate change has forced temperatures to rise worldwide, and predicted the window could become even shorter in the years to come, according to Belgian website BeerCity.

    Mark Stone, one of the scientists behind the research, said: “Jean-Pierre van Roy (Cantillion’s owner) pulled together the brewing records for us going back into the 1930s and we could see it was tightening up.”

    “You could see that they were able to brew into October and April consistently in the past. For Jean-Pierre, because of warmer autumns and springs, that sort of window is impossible now.”

    “The threat of climate change on traditional lambic production at Cantillon is indicative of the broader issue. That is, the impacts are not fully recognised until a threshold has been crossed, and adaptation strategies often exacerbate the problem while delaying the inevitable.”

    Cantillon produces 400,000 bottles of Lambic beer annually. Van Roy said that artificially cooling the beer would alter its flavour profile, and incur heavy production costs.

    “If tomorrow I would have this problem every season, financially it could be a bit difficult, so we would have to change something.”
    17.09.2018   China: Young Chinese consumers increase spending on whiskey    ( )

    Demand from the increasingly urbanized and high-income population, evolving tastes and consumption upgrade is boosting spending on whiskey among young Chinese consumers, the China Economic Net reported on August 30.

    Buoyed by the growth, several high-end foreign whiskey retailers are putting more efforts to promote online shopping and sales at restaurants and bars, they said.

    Single malt whiskey, made from malted barley and distilled for more than three years from a single distillery, saw the fastest growth in the whiskey segment. The category, which is characterized by distinguished original flavors of different whiskey producing areas, usually comes with expensive price tags.

    Total sales of single malt whiskey in China was valued at 45.1 million pounds ($57.9 million) by the end of June last year, up 36 percent year-on-year from 2016, according to data from London-based Diageo Plc.

    Gao Shengtian, general manager of French wine and spirits company Pernod Ricard in China, earlier said the company is planning to offer more promotions through social media platforms to boost online sales.

    Last year, Pernod Ricard accounted for 31.5 percent market share in China. It was followed by Diageo Plc, which took 15.9 percent, and Suntory Holdings Ltd, Brown-Forman Corp, and Edrington Group, respectively, according to market researcher Euromonitor.

    "Whiskey is becoming increasingly popular in the China market. The biggest demographic worth paying attention to is millennials," said Ryan Christianson, owner of Xanthos Wines, a winery in Napa Valley, California, and an industry expert.

    "Now, the leaders in the China market are Japanese whiskey and then Scotch and to a lesser extent Irish whiskey. American whiskey has several industry leaders that have done very well in the Chinese mainland, such as Jack Daniels," he said.

    He added that US premium brands are gaining popularity in the Chinese mainland, as Chinese consumers are preferring more high-quality products, but US imports have been uncompetitive, due to the dollar strength.

    In 2017, total value of whiskey sales in China was 12.97 billion yuan ($1.89 billion), up 5.6 percent year-on-year. The total volume of whiskey sold during the period was 16.56 billion litres, up 6.9 percent year-on-year, according to Euromonitor.

    By 2022, whiskey sales in China are expected to be about 19.13 billion yuan, up 38.6 percent from the expected levels this year. Besides, whiskey volumes are foreseen to reach 23.65 billion liters in 2022, expanding 32 percent from this year, Euromonitor said.

    Leading cognac producer Hennessy launched its first online flagship store on JD in 2016 and on Tmall, an online shopping platform of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, last year. Its online stores cover various brands and categories with limited editions, as the brewer bets on China's rapidly growing e-commerce market.

    On Tmall, Hennessy has also introduced a special 200ml small bottle version. With its cheaper price, the small bottles can cater to demand from young people and their needs to hold parties and enjoy drinks at home, it said.
    17.09.2018   Japan: Major brewers innovating in ‘colour-free’ beers    ( )

    Japan’s major beer manufacturers have innovated a selection of beer drinks and alcohol-free beer to be ‘colour-free’, the Drinks Insight Network reported on August 31.

    These innovations present a significant visual impact and certainly catch the interest of inquisitive Japanese consumers. However, is “colour-free” really right for these products?

    Early movers include Asahi Breweries with Asahi Clear Craft, which it made available via selected Asahi-owned bars in a marketing trial. The drink is a transparent colourless happoshu – and happoshu is a beer-related tax category of sparkling low-malt beverage. It’s similar to conventional beer but does not follow the traditional beer recipe of having high malt content.

    Suntory’s All-Free All-Time – also an early mover – is a new clear-colour alcohol-free beer. It has been launched as a line extension of Suntory All-Free, which is Suntory’s core alcohol-free beer brand. The drink not only has the interesting colourless visual, but it also comes in a PET plastic bottle which is unusual in the alcohol-free beer category. Similar to its sister All-Free branded products, this new beverage also contains no calories or carbohydrates – so it is in the realms of beer-flavoured carbonated water. Suntory Beer says these new attributes allow consumers to enjoy alcohol-free beer more “freely”, consuming it at work, during their lunch break or after sports – and presumably without drawing the kind of attention that drinking an alcohol-free beer in the office might otherwise attract.

    Suntory is no stranger to this space, introducing a clear-colour yoghurt-flavoured drink under its mineral water brand. After witnessing the success of Suntory, many manufacturers released colourless drinks in adjacent drink categories that generally have colour, such as ready-to-drink tea. Even Coca-Cola Japan has launched Coca-Cola Clear zero-calorie transparent cola.

    The boom of colourless beverages has been driven by Japanese culture, which highly prizes innovation. The country is known for innovative products not only in beverages but across most consumer goods. Developing eye-catching, cutting-edge innovations is often considered to be high priority in new product development. But is clear beer a step too far?

    The first question is whether happoshu – or indeed any beer category products with no colour – are the right direction to innovate in beer? According to Asahi Breweries, the idea of Asahi Clear Craft comes from the desire to develop an extremely light beer drink; to achieve that, eliminating colour is key as drinkers are likely to perceive “full body and rich flavour” because of a beer’s golden colour – even when the taste is actually not so rich. Colourless is a way to offer a refreshing image visually, but beer is a malt- and wheat-based alcoholic beverage, so without its colour it no longer has the identity of beer.

    The question of whether colourless alcohol-free beer is actually a beer is even more controversial. In this case the boundaries between alcohol-free beer, soft drinks and sparkling water are becoming blurred. Being a beer-related product without a “beer image” is a key attribute of Suntory All-Free All-Time – the whole idea is that consumers don’t hesitate to drink it at work and after sports.

    However, the product is still sold on alcoholic beverage shelves, categorising it as a beer substitute. This is deliberate and it is to avoid encouraging consumers under the legal drinking age to buy or consume conventional beer. But having similar suggested consumption occasions to soft drinks and water makes this a confusing product for consumers.

    Another key question is whether eliminating colour from products which originally have colour-giving ingredients is actually safe. Some consumers have a positive image of clear drinks, as they look like water, associating them with health and guilt-free consumption. But these drinks have the same flavour appeal as drinks with colour. This gap between visual and taste is one of reasons that these drinks have become popular, yet these products can present a highly artificial impression too, particularly beer-related products with very low or no malt ingredients.

    Both Asahi Breweries and Suntory announced that their innovations have been receiving a positive response from consumers. However, Japan’s clear-colour beverage boom may not last long, and there will be Japanese consumers who become increasingly concerned about this new beverage trend.
    17.09.2018   The Czech Republic: Leading breweries announce price hikes    ( )

    Czechs will soon have to fork out more for the nation’s most popular alcoholic beverage. Large breweries have announces a rise in beer prices as of October and others are waiting for the price of hops and malt to stabilize before making a similar announcement, Radio Prague reported on September 11.

    Plzeňský Prazdroj brewery has announced a 3.7 percent increase in the price of some of its bottled brands as of October 1st. The price of barrel and tank beer sold on tap should stay the same, as should the company’s ten-degree beers Gambrinus and Radegast which have been somewhat overshadowed by the arrival of 11 and 12 degree brands. According to the company’s spokeswoman Jitka Nemečková the hike is due to higher production costs.

    The Bernard family beer company and the Primator brewery in Náchod have also announced price hikes in the coming weeks and the famous Budvar brewery has indicated a likely price increase as of next year. Some of these breweries are waiting for the price of malt, hops and other ingredients to stabilize before specifying the extent of the hike.

    A drought in central Europe this summer has seen the production of the famous Czech hops that give local brews their distinctive flavours drop by around 30 percent. To what extent this may affect the price of hops is not yet clear. The Staropramen brewery which alone has not announced a hike says that the situation on the market could change its decision.

    According to a member of the board of Czech mini-breweries Radovan Koudelka an increase in beer prices across the board is inevitable since the current prices are ridiculously low. Meanwhile Martina Ferencová, head of the Czech Association of Breweries and Malt Houses has rejected the idea of a cartel agreement which would push up the price of beer nation-wide.

    The Czech Republic has topped the per capita beer drinking ladder for 24 consecutive years. Czechs annually drink on average 143.3 litres of the golden brew per person.
    17.09.2018   UK: Acquisitions of craft breweries by multinationals could become a wider industry trend     ( )

    New research into the UK’s brewing industry suggests that the spate of recent acquisitions of small craft breweries by multinationals could become a wider industry trend, The Morning Advertiser reported on August 29.

    Over the past five years, the number of small UK breweries has risen by 64%, creating an overcrowded marketplace. This rise has been in part due to tax breaks such as Small Breweries' Relief (introduced in 2002), but also due to the popularity of craft beer produced by independent breweries.

    The research, provided by financial intelligence provider Plimsoll Publishing, suggests that many of these breweries are trying to compete with rising costs, falling margins and a lack of investment, and hence further buyouts could be on the cards.

    David Pattison, senior analyst at financial intelligence provider Plimsoll Publishing, said: “The arrival of such a large number of small companies means the brewing industry has become highly fragmented; 70% companies are run with less than £500,000 of investment."

    Pattison continued: “Costs are rising faster than sales and for the first time in nine years, margins have fallen below 4%. This lack of investment means that some companies will struggle to grow, even if demand for their product is high.”

    Faced with these dilemmas, an increasing number of breweries are turning to multinationals to finance further expansion and growth. Earlier this summer, Beavertown Brewery sold a minority stake of its business to Heineken while, last month, Fourpure announced it had sold to Australian and New Zealand beverage company Lion.

    However, there is no guarantee that small breweries will find a buyer or investor, as larger breweries struggle with declining profits.

    Pattinson added: “Among so much competition, small breweries may find attracting a buyer a challenge. What’s more, the increasing popularity of craft beer has also affected the market leaders and 22 of the UK’s 50 largest breweries have seen profits fall.

    “Many large brands have already introduced craft-style beers to their ranges in an attempt to capture a share of this demand and boost profits."

    One possible solution mooted by Plimsoll Publishing is for more smaller breweries to investigate the possibility of merging, enabling them to benefit from economies of scale and make the transition onto the beer duty escalator less painful.

    Pattison said: “We have already seen a trend in the decrease of asset values, suggesting that companies are becoming leaner. But if a number of smaller breweries were to merge, share costs and resources, this could allow them to benefit from economies of scale, allowing them to raise more capital and, ultimately, become more competitive.”
    17.09.2018   UNITED CAPS and Braskem Embrace Bio-sourced Plastics for GREENER Closures    ( Company news )

    Company news Made from sugar cane, bio-sourced plastics offer a new level of sustainability

    UNITED CAPS, an international manufacturer of caps and closures, and Braskem, a leading Brazilian petrochemical company, today reported they have collaborated to deliver to the market GREENER bio-sourced plastic caps and closures made from sugar cane as an addition to the UNITED CAPS product portfolio.

    “Braskem is pleased to be working with UNITED CAPS to bring their more environmentally sustainable GREENER closure solutions to the caps and closure market,” said Brendan Hill, Sales Manager at Braskem Netherlands B.V.

    Bio ethanol, the feedstock for I'm green™ Polyethylene, the basis for UNITED CAPS GREENER bioplastic caps, is derived from sugarcane, a renewable alternative to traditional fossil feedstocks. Being a renewable feedstock, sugarcane captures and fixes CO2 from the atmosphere with every growth cycle, which occurs annually. This means that the production of I'm green™ Polyethylene contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional polyethylene, made from fossil materials.

    “As a result, the carbon footprint of I'm green™ Polyethylene is negative, when considering our life cycle analysis. This means that every kilogram of I’m green™ Polyethylene used in UNITED CAPS products results in 3.09 kilograms of CO2 being sequestered from the atmosphere,” Hill explained “Apart from the feedstock, I’m green™ Polyethylene follows the same production process as traditional fossil Polyethylene, ensuring that our Polyethylene has the same characteristics, quality and properties as the fossil equivalent,” he added “It goes without saying that I’m green™ Polyethylene fits all existing end-of-life scenarios and that our ethanol is sustainably sourced with clear chain of custody certification possible.”

    UNITED CAPS is initially bringing to market two standard closures manufactured using bioplastic resin from Braskem, including:
    -The VICTORIA closure, a 30/25 screw closure designed for still drinks.
    -PROFLATSEAL, ideal for dairy products and still drinks, both pressurized and non-pressurized.

    “As we continue to take steps to ensure our caps and closures are as sustainable as possible, this partnership with Braskem is an important step in that direction,” said Astrid Hoffmann-Leist, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer for UNITED CAPS. “Using bio-sourced plastics and developing high performance lighter weight caps and closures are just two of the ways we are pursuing more sustainable operations.”

    Innovative caps and closures for the food and drink industry are the core business of the Luxembourg-based family company UNITED CAPS. Its custom-designed caps and closures solutions have been one of the most sought-after solutions in the packaging industry for years. The company has experience growth in the high single digits since its 2015 rebranding, with a significant percentage of production being bespoke products that are uniquely designed to meet customer needs for exceptional appearance and ease of use, both in the filling line and for the consumer.
    (United Caps)
    17.09.2018   USA: Constellation Brands banking on popularity of Mexican beer    ( )

    Cravings for Mexican beer continue to grow at a fast pace in the U.S., while the taste for domestic beers lags. Sales of imports increased 8.4% last year, driven by Mexican beers, which represented about 70% of sales of imported beer, according to data from IRI Worldwide. Nine Mexican beer brands ranked in the U.S. Top 54 by sales, the Motley Fool reported on August 31.

    Domestic premium beers like Bud, Coors, and Miller still dominate, with about 40% of sales in the U.S. market. But the premium brands saw sales in dollars erode by 2.9% in 2017, according to information from IRI.

    Craft beers and domestic ultra-premiums like Michelob Ultra are attracting consumers, with revenue up 5.6% and 11.3% respectively in 2017. But with IRI data showing craft beers holding 12% of the U.S. market and ultra-premiums 7%, it takes both to roughly equal the sales power of imports.

    Constellation Brands sells some of the top-selling Mexican beers in America and isn't content to simply ride the wave of popularity. The company continues to look for new ways to grow.

    Constellation Brands held two of the top seven spots in last year's IRI ranking of beer sales with Corona Extra and Modelo Especial. In total, the company saw beer sales up 10% in the fiscal year that ended at the end of February, and first-quarter results were equally bright, with 11% growth. In the last fiscal year, the company attributed the jump in beer sales to the increasing popularity of its Mexican beers and increased pricing on Mexican beers in some markets.

    Constellation Brands has the exclusive rights to import, market, and sell in the U.S. Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra, Modelo Chelada, Pacifico, and Victoria. CEO Robert Sands said during the company's June conference call with analysts that the Mexican beer business is "performing very strongly."

    The popularity of Mexican beers isn't new. Corona's leadership position started 20 years ago when it took the No. 1 cases-sold spot from Heineken on the import list. It ranked as the top-selling import last year, too. Modelo Especial has enjoyed double-digit gains for 30 years, according to Constellation spokesman Mike McGrew, as quoted by the Chicago Tribune. How have the brands sustained their popularity and growth? It's not just the size of the Hispanic market in the U.S. Hispanics made up about 18% of the U.S. population in 2016 and according to Nielsen consumer behavior data, beer consumption among Hispanics is higher than the U.S. average. But the total U.S. Hispanic population increased just roughly 2% in 2017 (equal to the previous year's uptick), so the brand growth is a bigger story.

    The popularity of Mexican beers in the U.S. is fueled by:
    Great taste. Mexican beers have been characterized as refreshing, light, and drinkable. When paired with complex food flavors, especially Mexican food, the simpler flavors of Mexican beer are described as complementary to the meal instead of competing with it.

    Brand stories. Constellation Brands has created distinct stories around each of its Mexican beer brands. Corona evokes thoughts of sunny, relaxing days at the beach. Modelo is about "fighting spirit," and Pacifico embraces adventure. With each of the brands owning a unique and interesting story, beer fans can connect with all of them depending on the occasion or their craving.

    Interest in ethnic flavors. Constellation Brands is benefiting from consumers' exploration of Mexican flavors, which include beers and regional drinks like cheladas and micheladas. The Modelo Chelada beer is flavored with tomato, salt, and lime.

    While its core business benefits from good beer, favorable demographics, and great marketing, Constellation Brands is also focused on innovation, acquisition, and expansion.

    Corona Premier, the first new Corona brand in almost 30 years, is targeting top-seller Michelob Ultra as a low-calorie, male-targeted premium option.

    Corona's two-flavor line of Refresca malt beverages - the company calls the guava-lime and passionfruit-lime drinks "premium spiked refresher[s]" - is a lighter alternative aimed at women. The company is testing the new brand in a few markets. With a low sugar level and less alcohol delivering fewer calories, Refresca may help Constellation gain a share of an "alternative" alcoholic beverages segment that Constellation estimates at $3 billion.

    The recent acquisition of Texas-based Four Corners Brewing helps Constellation Brands straddle the heritage of Mexican beer and the adventure of craft beers. Constellation referred to the company in a press release as a "high-performing, dynamic and bicultural (Hispanic and American) brand [that] produces beer that's refreshing, big on flavor and complements Constellation's existing portfolio."

    To keep up with demand and its forecast sales growth of 9% to 11% in 2019, Constellation Brands is investing $900 million to boost capacity at its Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, breweries.

    Hitting growth and income goals will not be an easy layup for Constellation Brands this year as it faces challenges on the raw material, freight, and transportation fronts. But the company's stars align well with Mexican beer trends, putting it in a better position than many competitors.
    17.09.2018   USA: Craft beer production growth flattens    ( )

    The heady days of the craft beer industry have given way to slower growth as small and independent brewers face stiffer competition on the retail shelf, especially from the “Big Beer” sector, the Press Democrat reported on September 6.

    The news at the fourth annual California Craft Beer Summit in Sacramento on September 6 wasn’t all that bad, though. The United States should reach an all-time high of about 7,000 breweries — the vast majority of them small brewers — by year end and the craft sector is on pace for a 5 percent increase in production compared with 2017, said Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association, the trade group representing independent and craft breweries nationwide.

    Yet, the mood inside the Sacramento Convention Center was more subdued than in past years for an industry that posted 18 percent annual production growth as recently as 2014. Industry officials had conceded that level of robust growth would be unsustainable over the long haul for the $26 billion-a-year U.S. craft beer sector.

    The smaller growth numbers this year, however, also coincided with some high-profile setbacks, among them San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing Co. scaling back its national distribution ambition to a few Western states due to financial woes that forced the sale of the company.

    The North Bay has not been immune to the changing industry currents, as both Mendocino Brewing Co. in Ukiah and Carneros Brewing Co. in Sonoma closed this year. A local investor is attempting to revive Mendocino Brewing on a much smaller scale.

    “It’s a slower growth rate. It’s a changing growth rate from what we have seen. The old order is being disrupted. It’s the order that we thought was in place five years ago,” Watson said.

    The craft beer slowdown comes as big wholesalers have consolidated to gain greater market share, making it much harder for smaller brewers to secure local, regional and national retail distribution deals. In addition, the two largest U.S. brewers — Anheuser-Busch Cos. and MillerCoors — have in recent years acquired about 20 smaller craft brewers.

    “There are a lot of clouds on the horizon,” said Joe Whitney, chief commercial officer for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. of Chico. The family-owned operation is the third-largest craft brewery in the country. “You don’t have to look too far to see what has caused that.”

    Still, Sonoma County has a thriving craft beer business with about 30 breweries. By comparison, there are 467 wineries in unincorporated areas of Sonoma County. While the local area is noted for its wine tourism, beer tourism is steadily catching up. For example, 400,000 people visited Russian River Brewing Co.’s downtown Santa Rosa taproom last year even with the October wildfires. And that taproom is one of the county’s top tourist destinations.

    Despite the headwinds, more craft beer industry expansion activity is scheduled for the fall in the county to specifically capitalize on beer tourism.

    “Visiting breweries has become a great business,” Watson said. “It probably provides the majority of dollars for a few people in this room.”

    Russian River will open its more than $30 million brewery and restaurant in Windsor and Seismic Brewing Co. of Santa Rosa will debut its first taproom in Sebastopol. Another entry will be 3 Disciples Brewing Co., slated to open a taproom just north of the reunified Old Courthouse Square by November.

    “I have people calling late at night asking where they can find our beers,” said James Claus, a co-founder and brewmaster for 3 Disciples, in a phone interview.

    The brewery now has a small production facility in Sebastopol and its beers are only available on tap at a few local restaurants and taprooms. The Santa Rosa taproom should have 12 draft beers with at least half of the selection rotating and featuring sour beers and Belgian-style ales. The plan is to eventually add food service.

    The local craft brewing business is much more competitive now than four years ago, Claus said, when he and his partners started planning the brewery. The self-financed 3 Disciples was able to generate good word-of-mouth buzz among local craft beer lovers, making it less risky to open the taproom as opposed to being a new entrant, he said.

    “We probably wouldn’t jump in the game now seeing the amount of breweries out there,” Claus added.

    Brian Hunt, founder of Moonlight Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, said the sector is ending its phase of “irrational exuberance” — borrowing a phrase former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan used to describe the late 1990’s dot-com bubble.

    Hunt sold half of his Moonlight stake to Lagunitas Brewing Co. of Petaluma in 2016 to help secure its future because his children don’t want to operate the business. Lagunitas is owned by international brewer Heineken International.

    “There will always be room for more (breweries) and there will always be failures,” Hunt said.
    14.09.2018   Sidel StarLite UltraLight CSD: gaining competitiveness while ensuring great consumer experience    ( Company news )

    Company news The Sidel StarLite™ family of bottle base solutions is expanding through the StarLite UltraLight for carbonated soft drinks (CSD). As the name suggests, this design allows for an even lighter bottle than the existing solutions in the beverage marketplace. By lowering the product costs, while maintaining the expected level of carbonation, this innovative bottle addresses the hard discount chains’ needs and challenges for more affordable products while ensuring a good product quality for a great consumer experience.

    The Sidel StarLite UltraLight base has been designed for highly carbonated beverages with a short distribution stream. “As such, it lends itself perfectly to CSD and sparkling water , sold in countries with a more temperate climate through hard discount supply chains, applying regular stock rotation,” explains Laurent Naveau, Packaging expert at Sidel.

    Setting a world record in reduced bottle weight
    Just like the other propositions in the Sidel StarLite range, the new UltraLight CSD base design significantly decreases the amount of raw material needed to produce PET bottles. “The optimum bottle base design results in a staggering 25% lighter bottle weight compared to a traditional CSD bottle at around 13.5g, contributing as a whole to reduced production costs while maintaining carbonated beverage quality,” adds Laurent. Whereas a traditional 0.5L CSD bottle weighs 13.5g, the very lightweighted StarLite UltraLight CSD only weighs 10.5g. When it comes to the 1.5L bottle, it now weighs 24g rather than a traditional bottle, which is normally at 28g.

    Sidel’s StarLite UltraLight solution also comes with an innovative CSD bottle neck design, the latter 26/22 neck finish featuring a weight of as little as 2.3g, a thread diameter of 26mm, an inner diameter of 21.7mm, and a height of 13mm. Referenced at CETIE (the International Technical Center for Bottling and related Packaging), the bottle neck can be combined with the new Novembal cap, the Novasoda 26/22 for carbonated beverages. Robust and very tight to preserve the beverage quality, this one-piece closure is easy and safe to apply, open, and reclose.

    By optimising the amount of PET required to manufacture the bottle, the new Sidel StarLite UltraLight CSD base offers a substantial reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). For example, for a 0.5L bottle the total yearly production PET savings for the new base combined with the new neck would be at 1,125,000 Euros. Looking at the 1.5L bottle, the savings are even more striking. Here, the yearly production PET savings would amount to a total of 1,530,000 Euros.

    Combining right performances with ultralight weight
    The bottle featuring the StarLite UltraLight CSD base also includes a patented and smart design, which combines the innovative base with an optimal body shape. It offers functional benefits without compromising on attractiveness and brand differentiation potential. “When designing the bottle base and body shape, the Sidel packaging experts put a key focus on improving the consumer experience. When opening the bottle with a firm hand grip, there is no splashing due to the rigid waist embedded in the structured bottle design,” comments Laurent. Additionally, the good base seating surface eliminates any risk of bottle base distortions, as such contributing to perfect bottle stability. Moreover, production speed can reach up to an output rate of 2,500 bottles per hour per mould (bphm).

    The StarLite UltraLight CSD definitively offers hard discount chains the opportunity to release more affordable carbonated beverages in PET bottles, while strengthening their competitiveness and productivity without hampering the product quality the consumers may expect.The massive savings on TCO that can be achieved give this innovative bottle base a real competitive edge compared to other solutions on the market.
    (Sidel Blowing & Services)
    13.09.2018   International Plastic Recycling Groups Announce Global Definition of 'Plastics Recyclability'    ( Company news )

    Company news In an effort to provide a consistent metric to guide the efforts of sustainability for plastics in the Circular Economy, two of the leading global international recycling organizations have developed a global definition governing the use of the term “recyclable” as is relates to plastics packaging and products.

    In the joint announcement, Ton Emans, President of Plastics Recycling Europe, and Steve Alexander, President and CEO of The Association of Plastic Recyclers, pointed to the onslaught of recent announcements around commitments to package sustainability and recyclability.

    “The use of the term ‘recyclable’ is consistently used with packages and products without a defined reference point,” commented Alexander.
    “At the end of the day, recyclability goes beyond just being technically recyclable there must be consumer access to a recycling program, a recycler must be able to process the material, and there must be an end market.”

    “Recently, we have seen many announcements regarding legislative measures on plastics products and pledges of the industry actors committing to making their products recyclable,” added Emans.

    “As recyclers, we are a fundamental part of the solution to the issue of sustainability of plastics, and we need for the appropriate audiences to understand what is necessary to label a product or package ‘recyclable’. We welcome these commitments and encourage others to follow. Nevertheless, clear and universally endorsed definitions and objectives are needed.”

    Plastics must meet four conditions for a product to be considered recyclable:
    -The product must be made with a plastic that is collected for recycling, has market value and/or is supported by a legislatively mandated program.
    -The product must be sorted and aggregated into defined streams for recycling processes.
    -The product can be processed and reclaimed/recycled with commercial recycling processes.
    -The recycled plastic becomes a raw material that is used in the production of new products.

    Innovative materials must demonstrate that they can be collected and sorted in sufficient quantities, must be compatible with existing industrial recycling processes or will have to be available in sufficient quantities to justify operating new recycling processes.

    Although the definition is to be applied on a global scale, both groups understand the complexity of a global system of plastics recycling, and welcome comments from the plastics recycling industry and relevant stakeholders.
    (Plastics Recyclers Europe)
    12.09.2018   Which beverage can sizes do Europeans prefer?    ( Company news )

    Company news One of the many strategic options that beverage brands have elected has been to diversify the can sizes that they use so as to appeal to different target groups. Some can sizes are more dominant than others in certain countries. Others have been established as typical or instantly recognisable formats for certain beverage products. But which sized cans do people in different European countries prefer? Let’s find out.

    The soft drinks sector has been dominated by the now traditional 330ml standard can size for decades. But now, the serving sizes for soft drinks vary in every country and across different target groups.

    330ml cans make room for smaller ones
    Although the 330ml standard cans are still going strong in all of Europe, the 150ml, 200ml and 250ml slim cans are growing in importance for different kinds of drinks. These sizes appeal particularly to a younger target group as they are seen as a modern and innovative pack. In fact, since the 1990s the 250ml can size has slowly become more and more common as a format for soft drinks. This is mainly due to energy drinks becoming more popular. Red Bull started with a 250ml can that is now popular all over Europe. In Turkey, both Coca-Cola and Pepsi are canning their beverages in even smaller serving sizes (200ml cans). These smaller cans have proven to be increasingly popular and it looks like this trend will only continue.

    In Russia, consumers have shown an increasing fondness for smaller sizes too. The soft drinks sector there was boosted in part following Coca Cola’s introduction of the 250ml can.

    Perfect for on-the-go consumption
    The European-wide trend is towards smaller can sizes, as a smaller serving size has benefits for the consumer. It can be offered at a lower price point and proves to be the perfect choice for on-the-go-consumption, which is especially appealing to a young target group. The evolution of can formats is not a soft drinks phenomenon, it’s also happening in the beer market too. In Turkey, instead of the standard 330ml beer cans, new 330ml sleek versions are popular and appreciated. It shows that by changing the can format a different feeling or image can be portrayed to consumers, even if the fill volume remains the same.

    Young and health conscious Europeans show a fondness for smaller cans
    Another great reason for offering a beverage in a smaller can is the European-wide trend towards a healthier lifestyle. Consumers nowadays are more and more health conscious. Many companies (for example Coca-Cola) have introduced ‘mini cans’ with lower fill volumes and therefore lower calorie servings.

    Consumers are ever more aware of the effects of waste on the planet. Smaller packages allow consumers to choose the size that suits their thirst; meaning less beverage waste . On top of that, the metal used to manufacture beverage cans is 100% recyclable. This metal can be used over and over again, without any loss of quality and can come back again as a new beverage can is as little as 60 days!

    Big cans for cider, beer and energy drinks
    In Europe, the second most popular standard can size is 500ml. This size is especially popular for beer and cider packages. The size of a pint is 568ml and this makes the 568ml can a popular can size for beer in the UK and Ireland. The bigger cans (500ml or 568ml) allow for maximum exposure for brands and are extremely cost efficient in both filling and distribution. In the UK, 440ml can is also a popular for both beer and increasingly cider.

    In some countries like Germany, Turkey and Russia, you can also find cans that contain up to 1 litre of beer. Carlsberg launched a new 1 litre two piece can of its brand Tuborg in Germany to attract impulse buyers. It helped the brand to – literally – tower above the other brands.

    Variety is the spice of life
    Various other can sizes are to be found in Europe, ranging from only 150ml up to 1 litre. While the can format is in partly influenced by the country of sale, it’s often trends and the variety and diversity of target groups that plays a more significant role in deciding which can size is deployed for each beverage or brand. European consumers now have numerous options when it comes to can sizes and continue to appreciate the portability, protection, environmental benefits and convenience of beverage cans. It’s true to say that there is a can for every occasion!
    (Metal Packaging Europe GIE)

    Company news SIG has joined the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) – a global, multi-stakeholder, non-profit standards setting and certification organisation – to enhance responsibility and traceability in the aluminium supply chain.

    The ASI brings together producers, users and other stakeholders to promote the responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium. SIG supports the ASI’s objectives to improve environmental and social aspects of the aluminium value chain as part of the company’s strong commitment to responsible sourcing.

    Henrik Wagner, Global Sourcing & Procurement Director at SIG said: “SIG’s commitment to responsible sourcing is central to our ambition to go Way Beyond Good by putting more into society and the environment than we take out. Sourcing materials from suppliers that have been certified to strict ethical, environmental and social standards is one of the best ways we can demonstrate that commitment. By joining the ASI, we have the opportunity to enhance the environmental credentials of our cartons through the new ASI certification on the responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium. This builds on our pioneering efforts within the industry to source raw materials, such as liquid packaging board and plant-based polymers, from certified sources.”

    Responsible aluminium
    Aluminium is the latest focus in SIG’s continued efforts to enhance traceability and responsibility in the sourcing of raw materials that go into its carton packs.

    SIG has already pioneered the use of third-party verified certifications within the industry to enhance traceability in the supply chain and demonstrate that key materials such as liquid packaging board and plant-based polymers are responsibly sourced.

    Most SIG packs include an ultra-thin barrier layer of aluminium foil. The new ASI certification, launched in December 2017, provides a robust way to audit aluminium suppliers against strict ethical, environmental and social standards. SIG has been working with one of its aluminium suppliers, Amcor, for over a year to assess readiness for the ASI certification through pilot assessments conducted by DNV GL, a third-party verification body.

    Dr Fiona Solomon, CEO of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative said “We are delighted to welcome SIG to the ASI community. Aluminium is a critical material for the packaging sector and ASI’s Certification program provides a platform to recognise and collaboratively foster global supply chain efforts towards enhanced sustainability. SIG’s ongoing actions to responsibly source raw materials are now being extended to aluminium, one of the world’s most widely used metals. With the first ASI Certifications already announced, we look forward to an acceleration of efforts in the packaging sector in the coming months and years, with the support of SIG and other ASI members.”
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
    10.09.2018   Agreement on mutual advancement signed    ( drinktec )

    drinktec drinktec worldwide and the Institute of Brewing & Distilling establish partnership

    - Partnership starting immediately
    - Focus on initiatives for mutual support
    - Agreement encompasses the whole drinktec network

    drinktec worldwide and the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at mutual advancement and joint communication activities. The agreement is effective immediately and will run for an unlimited period.

    Upon signing of the memorandum of understanding, the partnership between drinktec worldwide and IBD has entered into force with immediate effect. This means the agreement includes all trade shows with drinktec in Munich, CHINA BREW CHINA BEVERAGE (CBB), drink technology India (dti) and food & drink technology Africa (fdt). The measures of IBD include but are not limited to the implementation of marketing and communication activities aimed at raising the members' awareness of the drinktec network. Moreover, there are plans for IBD events and seminars at worldwide events. At the same time, drinktec worldwide will include IBD as a partner in all communication channels.

    Dr. Jerry Avis, Chief Executive Officer of IBD, sees the partnership as a gain: “The drinktec team as well as the colleagues in Africa, China and India have many years of experience in organizing leading beverage and liquid food trade fairs. In addition, the events are world-renowned for their professionalism and quality. We are excited to be a partner of this network.”

    Petra Westphal, Exhibition Group Director of Messe München, adds: “With IBD, we have a strong partner who is committed to education and serving its worldwide membership in the fields of brewing and distilling. drinktec worldwide and IBD will certainly complement each other well.”

    IBD and drinktec worldwide
    The Institute of Brewing & Distilling is the world's leading professional association for professionals in the brewing and distilling industry. As an international professional and educational body, IBD supports the promotion of education and development in science and technology in the brewing and distillation industry.

    drinktec, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry in Munich, forms a strong global network with CBB, dti and fdt. As part of ‘drinktec worldwide’, the trade fairs are leading platforms for the industry in their host countries China, India and Africa.
    (Messe München GmbH)
    10.09.2018   Scotch Whisky granted certification trademark in South Africa    ( Company news )

    Company news The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has successfully registered 'Scotch Whisky' as a certification trademark in South Africa - the seventh largest Scotch Whisky market by volume.

    'Scotch Whisky' is one of the first foreign registrations in South Africa with protection, making enforcement against counterfeit products being sold or passed off as Scotch Whisky easier.

    Scotch Whisky exports earn the UK £139 every second, totalling more than £4bn annually. Exports to South Africa increased by 20.7% to £144m in 2017, with nearly 100 bottles shipped there every minute.

    The legal protection of Scotch Whisky is vital to the industry's export success. South Africa joins over one hundred other countries where 'Scotch Whisky' has been granted specific legal protection.

    Commenting, SWA Chief Executive Karen Betts said: "The registration of the 'Scotch Whisky' certification trademark in South Africa is a milestone for Scotland's national drink in our largest export market in Africa, and one of the largest in the world.

    "This registration offers Scotch Whisky a greater degree of legal protection and will allow us to prosecute rogue traders who seek to cash-in on the heritage, craft and quality of genuine Scotch.

    "Consumers can enjoy Scotch Whisky confident that South Africa stands behind Scotch Whisky as a Scottish product, produced according to traditional methods.

    "Scotch Whisky - the UK's largest food and drink export - is growing in popularity in South Africa, with exports up over 20% last year alone. The legal protection of Scotch is another step towards the continued success of this iconic spirit."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
    07.09.2018   PepsiCo Enters Into Agreement To Acquire SodaStream International Ltd.    ( Company news )

    Company news PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP) ("PepsiCo") and SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ / TLV: SODA) ("SodaStream") announced that they have entered into an agreement under which PepsiCo has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of SodaStream for $144.00 per share in cash, which represents a 32% premium to the 30-day volume weighted average price.

    "PepsiCo and SodaStream are an inspired match," said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. "Daniel and his leadership team have built an extraordinary company that is offering consumers the ability to make great-tasting beverages while reducing the amount of waste generated. That focus is well-aligned with Performance with Purpose, our philosophy of making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint. Together, we can advance our shared vision of a healthier, more-sustainable planet."

    Daniel Birnbaum, SodaStream CEO and Director said, "Today marks an important milestone in the SodaStream journey. It is validation of our mission to bring healthy, convenient and environmentally friendly beverage solutions to consumers around the world. We are honored to be chosen as PepsiCo's beachhead for at home preparation to empower consumers around the world with additional choices. I am excited our team will have access to PepsiCo's vast capabilities and resources to take us to the next level. This is great news for our consumers, employees and retail partners worldwide."

    PepsiCo's strong distribution capabilities, global reach, R&D, design and marketing expertise, combined with SodaStream's differentiated and unique product range will position SodaStream for further expansion and breakthrough innovation.

    The transaction is another step in PepsiCo's Performance with Purpose journey, promoting health and wellness through environmentally friendly, cost-effective and fun-to-use beverage solutions.

    "SodaStream is highly complementary and incremental to our business, adding to our growing water portfolio, while catalyzing our ability to offer personalized in-home beverage solutions around the world," said Ramon Laguarta, CEO-Elect and President, PepsiCo. "From breakthrough innovations like Drinkfinity to beverage dispensing technologies like Spire for foodservice and Aquafina water stations for workplaces and colleges, PepsiCo is finding new ways to reach consumers beyond the bottle, and today's announcement is fully in line with that strategy."

    Under the terms of the agreement between PepsiCo and SodaStream, PepsiCo has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of SodaStream International Ltd. for $144.00 per share, in a transaction valued at $3.2 billion. The transaction will be funded with PepsiCo's cash on hand.

    The acquisition has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. The transaction is subject to a SodaStream shareholder vote, certain regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, and closing is expected by January 2019.

    Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor to PepsiCo in this transaction. Centerview also acted as financial advisor to PepsiCo in the transaction. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as lead counsel to PepsiCo, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as U.S. tax counsel, and Herzog, Fox & Ne'eman as Israeli legal counsel. Perella Weinberg Partners acted as financial advisor to SodaStream with White & Case LLP acting as SodaStream's U.S. legal counsel and Meitar Liquornik Geva Lesham Tal as Israeli legal counsel.
    (PepsiCo Europe)
    06.09.2018   Ardagh Group Completes Conversion of Rugby Plant from Steel to Aluminium    ( Company news )

    Company news Ardagh Group is delighted to announce that it has recently completed the conversion of its Rugby (UK) beverage can manufacturing plant from steel to aluminium.

    “The conversion of the Rugby plant has further enhanced Ardagh’s manufacturing footprint. Operating two highly-efficient aluminium beverage can plants in the UK, at Wrexham and Rugby, supported by our recent investment in our Deeside ends plant, positions Ardagh to offer leading beverage customers greater choice and flexibility in future,” says Oliver Graham, CEO Ardagh Metal Beverage.”

    Metal is a permanent material which can be infinitely recycled without loss of quality.

    Universally recognised for its protective qualities, versatility and environmental credentials, metal has the highest recycling rates of all packaging materials in Europe, thus effectively contributing to the fundamental principles of a circular economy.
    (Ardagh Metal Beverage UK Limited)
    05.09.2018   GEA receives accolade for the aseptic blow-fill-cap technology, ABF 1.2, with FDA certification    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: With the ABF-Technology, LA and HA aseptic beverages with different shelf lives can be filled on the same system

    In July 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarded GEA a letter of no objection (LONO) for its ABF 1.2 technology, an integrated blowing, filling and capping solution featuring a fully aseptic rotary blowing machine. It is the only system equipped with a 100% aseptic blower that is allowed to produce shelf-stable low acid (LA) beverages free from preservatives for distribution at ambient temperature in the U.S. market.

    FDA validated product safety with installed ABF 1.2
    The FDA testing is considered one of the most comprehensive validation protocols available in the aseptic beverage market. Their stringent requirements ensure enhanced product safety, and their approval is highly valued even outside the U.S. The FDA clearance confirms that GEA’s ABF 1.2 technology ensures maximum sterilization efficiency and reliability during every step of sensitive beverage bottling. GEA successfully passed the validation tests which were performed on an ABF 1.2 system installed in the U.S. – and which is now already producing and delivering shelf-stable liquid dairy products to the North-American market.

    “The FDA certification is an accolade for the ABF 1.2 technology – the world’s first fully aseptic blow-fill-cap system,” says Alessandro Bellò, Head of Blowing, Filling and Packaging applications at GEA. “For us technology developers, food safety is our highest priority. That is why we have developed the GEA ABF 1.2, which erases the risk of recontamination of any drinks during filling through fully automated operations. With ABF, we achieve a full decontamination process control that is unique in the market.”

    Complete control of sterilization performance
    The GEA solution is based on an integrated blowing, filling and capping process that runs within a 100% aseptic environment. Thanks to the microbiological isolator, GEA ABF 1.2 aseptically blows preforms that have been previously treated with hydrogen peroxide vapor (VHP). The result is a single zone sterilization process that requires no water and significantly fewer chemicals.

    “How do we manage to maintain complete sterility during operations?” says GEA Product Manager Massimo Nascimbeni. “We achieve this by placing the aseptic blowing wheel in the same sterile zone where the filling and capping processes are performed. The newly blown sterile bottles are transferred to the filling and capping carousels without leaving the sterile zone. That’s why we don’t need any unnecessary H2O2 carry-over in the following modules.” Beverage producers can completely monitor and control the preform sterilization process with the unique GEA Smart Sensor™, which checks the spraying performance of each sterilization nozzle just before the preforms are treated. The environmental sterilization process is completely automated requiring no manual intervention from the operator, therefore greatly decreasing any risk of system recontamination.

    Future-proofing customers via aseptic technology
    GEA is the only supplier in the world today that is able to provide both PAA- and H2O2-based sterilization technologies that are FDA approved. GEA’s latest FDA approval was made easier in part due to its extensive experience in filing FDA projects – its first FDA certification having been awarded more than ten years ago for its PAA-based bottle sterilization platform, and given the number of installation references GEA has in the U.S. without a single bottle claim.

    Bellò concludes: “Without a doubt, aseptic technology is the safest and most efficient production system for bottling sensitive beverages without preservatives, which never shies away from comparing costs and benefits. The higher the production volumes, the higher the desired production quality and the higher the need for flexibility in bottle design, the clearer the advantages of aseptic systems become when compared to other solutions. With our ABF 1.2 FDA certification we can finally service customers with VHP based sterilization platforms in the U.S.”
    (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)
    04.09.2018   Ireland: Number of pubs continues to decline alongside sliding demand for beer    ( )

    The number of pubs in Ireland continues to decline, as more people are increasingly socialising at home, according to latest figures from the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI).

    The report also found that demand for beer continues to slide, even as wine is becoming more popular in the country.

    The DIGI report found that just 7,140 pubs operate in Ireland as of end-2017, down 17% from 2005, as more than two pubs have been closing a week on average. The strongest decline was in Cork, where 25% of pubs have shut down in the past 12 years. In contrast, the number of off-licences rose by 12% in the same period to 3,331.

    According to DIGI, 90,000 jobs across the country are dependent on the drinks industry, which purchases more than €1.1 bln worth of Irish produce annually, exports goods worth more than €1.25 bln, and provides more than €2.3 bln in State revenue (via excise and VAT).

    Beer remained the most popular alcoholic beverage in the country, but its market share slid by 100bps to 44.8%, even as wine saw its market share edge up 10bps to 27.7%. Wine consumption grew by 0.5% during the year, in contrast to the overall decline in alcohol consumption. White wine was the most popular amongst drinkers (50%), followed by red (45%), and rose (5%).

    However, the Irish Wine Association has said proposed changes in the law could hurt this growth, saying plans for special labels carrying health warnings will result in extra costs for producers, which could be passed on to consumers, thus putting some of them off buying wine.

    04.09.2018   South Korea: Brewers releasing more mini-size beers as more Koreans eat and drink alone    ( )

    As more Koreans are starting to eat and drink alone, brewers and distillers are rushing to introduce smaller-size products, according to industry officials on August 15.

    When releasing its Cass beer in 250 millilitre cans in July, Oriental Brewery (OB) said consumers can more conveniently enjoy a cold beer in summer as the smaller can cools much faster than the larger cans.

    According to Korea's largest brewer, consumers said the small-size enables them to drink beer without difficulty. In particular, female consumers who don't drink as much as men prefer the small can to the conventional 500 millilitre can.

    OB, which released Hoegaarden Rosee in 250 millilitre bottles in 2016, is considering producing more types of beer in small-size cans and bottles.

    "We came up with Cass beer in 250 millilitre cans to satisfy young customers who tend to enjoy a glass of beer alone at home," an OB official said. "We will continue to make innovations with our products to satisfy the needs of various consumers."

    HiteJinro also released Hite Extra Cold beer in 250 millilitre cans a few years ago. Lotte Asahi Liquor sells Asahi Super Dry beer in 135 millilitre cans.

    Whisky makers, which have already vied over the past few years for leadership in the nation's low-alcohol whisky market, are no exception to the recent trend.

    Diageo Korea introduced Johnnie Walker Black Label in 200 millilitre bottles to the Korean market last year, following the release of Johnnie Walker Red Label in 200 millilitre bottles in 2016, which gained huge popularity with young Korean consumers.

    In 2015, Pernod Ricard Korea released Jameson in 200 millilitre bottles.

    Lotte Liquor began selling Scotch Blue King in 500 millilitre bottles for 16,005 won ($14.12) in 2016 to win the hearts of more consumers.

    As for wines, HiteJinro released Esta Sangria in 375 millilitre bottles last year. Also, Lotte Liquor sells Yellow Tail Shiraz in 187 millilitre bottles and Spell sparkling wine in 275 millilitre bottles.

    Retailers have begun putting up shelves for liquors in small cans and bottles in line with the market trend.

    The nation's 7-Eleven convenience stores are equipped with the "Seven Bar Signature" shelves specializing in the small-size bottles of liquor. Home plus sold gift sets consisting of small-size alcoholic drinks during the Chuseok holiday last year.

    "The growing number of single households and people putting emphasis on their personal happiness has influenced the liquor market, leading the small-size products to gain popularity," said an official at BK, a Korean importer of foreign beers.

    04.09.2018   Strong organic growth of 9.0 % in the first half of 2018     ( Company news )

    Company news - Accelerated growth of 10.6 % in the second quarter
    - Profitability at good level with an EBITDA margin of 20.1 %
    - Outlook 2018: Annual sales increase above 7 %

    Following a dynamic start to the year, Symrise AG accelerated its organic growth course in the second quarter. All segments and regions contributed to this positive development. Group sales rose significantly by 9.0 % in the first half of 2018. Taking into account portfolio and exchange rate effects, sales grew by 4.0 % to € 1,575.5 million (H1 2017: € 1,515.3 million). Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounted to € 317.1 million (H1 2017: € 322.9 million). The EBITDA margin remained at a good level of 20.1 %. Against the background of this positive business performance, Symrise is refining its outlook for 2018: The Group now expects an increase in annual sales above the medium-term target corridor of 5 to 7 %, thereby growing significantly faster than the market.

    “Symrise took advantage of the momentum in the second quarter and significantly expanded business in all segments. Our comprehensive backward integration is proving to be a great asset. Also with a shortage of certain key raw materials for fragrance compositions, we were able to supply our customers reliably,” said Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG. “We are moving into the second half of the year from a strong position. Targeted investments in research and development, sales strength and capacity expansions are driving our growth. Therefore, we are raising our sales forecast for the current fiscal year: We expect organic growth above our medium-term target corridor of 5 to 7 % and will therefore significantly exceed market growth.”

    High demand in all segments and regions
    In the first six months, Symrise AG increased its organic sales by a strong 9.0 %. The second quarter was particularly dynamic with double-digit sales of 10.6 %. Symrise is therefore once again one of the fastest-growing companies in the industry. All segments and regions contributed to this positive business performance. Considering portfolio effects, such as the contribution from the recently acquired companies Cobell and Citratus, and exchange rate effects, sales grew by 4.0 % to € 1,575.5 million (H1 2017: € 1,515.3 million). As in the previous quarter, sales trend in reporting currency was impacted by unfavorable exchange rates, in particular by the appreciation of the euro against the US dollar.

    As before, Latin America was the key growth driver at the regional level. During the reporting period, the region recorded organic sales growth of 16.1 %. In the second quarter, growth reached even 20.2 %. The Asia/Pacific region sales grew by 12.3 % in the first half of the year, followed by EAME and North America with growth rates of 7.4 % and 5.2 %, respectively. In Emerging Markets, Symrise increased sales by 12.8 %. These markets, which are characterized by dynamic growth, contributed 43 % to total sales.

    Profitability remains strong within challenging environment
    In the first half of 2018, Symrise generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of € 317.1 million (H1 2017: € 322.9 million). In addition to higher raw material costs and unfavorable exchange rate effects, this slight decline also reflects increased investments in strategic growth projects. With these expenses too, Symrise maintained a very good profitability. The EBITDA margin was with 20.1 % at a good level (H1 2017: 21.3 %). Net income for the period grew to € 142.3 million (H1 2017: € 141.8 million). Earnings per share rose slightly to € 1.10 (H1 2017: € 1.09).

    Solid capital resources
    Cash flow from operating activities for the first half of 2018 of € 151.3 million was € 23.7 million lower than in the previous year (€ 175.0 million). The reason for the decline is an increase in working capital due to the high growth dynamics and the associated increase in inventories alongside higher raw material costs.

    Net debt amounted to € 1,514 million (31 December 2017: € 1,398 million). The ratio of net debt to EBITDA amounted to 2.4 (31 December 2017: 2.2). With an equity ratio of 37.0 %, Symrise has a solid capital base to continue driving the future business development forward in a sustained manner.

    Scent & Care segment
    In a challenging environment, the Scent & Care segment achieved strong organic growth of 10.1 % in the first half of the year. In this continuing tense situation of the raw material markets, especially with the supply of important aromatic substances, the segment sustained the dynamic development from the previous quarter and grew by 13.6 % between April and June. Taking into account negative exchange rate effects and the portfolio effect from the acquisition of Citratus, the segment increased sales by 3.4 % to € 660.1 million (H1 2017: € 638.2 million).

    Growth was driven by the Cosmetic Ingredients and Aroma Molecules divisions. Each posted organic double-digit sales growth rates. The Fragrance business also developed positively and achieved a good single-digit growth rate.

    The second quarter was also marked by failure to deliver raw materials of some suppliers and an overall rise in price level. Scent & Care again benefited from its comprehensive backward integration in fragrances – recently strengthened by the acquisition of Pinova in 2016 – and its mostly own broad raw material base. As in the previous quarter, Symrise was therefore fully capable of delivering to its clients. To compensate for the increased raw material costs, the company is in close dialogue with its customers to actively implement price increases.

    Also in view of significantly higher raw material prices, which led to cost increases, the segment’s EBITDA of € 127.9 million was on prior-year level (H1 2017: € 128.4 million). Crucial when comparing with the reference period is that it included a one-off gain of € 4.7 million from the purchase price adjustment related to the sale of the Pinova industrial activities. The EBITDA margin of the segment was 19.4 % (H1 2017: 20.1 %). Adjusted for the one-off effect, the EBITDA margin for the same period in the prior year was 19.4 %.

    Flavor segment
    Flavor achieved strong organic sales growth of 10.9 % in the reporting period. All regions and application areas significantly expanded their sales. The segment also benefited from new business with vanilla and the high price level of vanilla applications. Considering exchange rate effects and the Cobell acquisition, the segment’s sales grew by 9.0 % to € 604.7 million (H1 2017: € 554.8 million).

    In the EAME region, the Flavor segment achieved double-digit organic growth rates. Significant growth impetus came mainly from applications for Sweets and for Savory in Western Europe and Russia.
    The Asia/Pacific region recorded high single-digit, and for some areas even double-digit, growth rates across all application areas. The markets of China, India, South Korea and Singapore developed particularly well.

    Latin America also showed a very good development with organic growth rates in the upper single-digit range. Sweets and Savory performed especially well, achieving double-digit growth in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

    The North America region achieved double-digit organic sales growth rates as well and therefore also showed a very positive development. The first half of the year was particularly dynamic in the Beverages application area.

    EBITDA in the Flavor segment increased in the first half of 2018 by 3.3 % to € 127.0 million (H1 2017: € 123.0 million). At 21.0 %, the EBITDA margin remained at a very good level (H1 2017: 22.2 %).

    Nutrition segment
    Nutrition generated organic growth of 3.6 % in the first six months. This figure reflects the temporarily destocking of one major customer of Probi. Adjusted for this effect, growth in the segment amounted to 7.6 %. Taking into account negative exchange rate effects, sales amounted to € 310.6 million (H1 2017: € 322.2 million). Order intake at Probi is expected to normalize in the second half of the year.

    The Food and Pet Food application areas each recorded solid single-digit organic growth rates, with particularly high growth rates in EAME, North and Latin America. Aqua benefited from numerous business wins in the EAME and Asia/Pacific regions and achieved a double-digit organic growth rate.

    Nutrition generated an EBITDA of € 62.2 million in the first half of 2018 (H1 2017: € 71.6 million). The temporary decline mainly reflects the lower sales contribution from Probi and ramp-up costs for the new Diana site in the USA. With all these special effects, the EBITDA margin was at stable 20.0 % (H1 2017: 22.2 %).

    Symrise raises outlook for sales growth in 2018
    Based on the strong growth momentum of the first six months, Symrise is refining its sales guidance for the current fiscal year: For 2018, the Group expects to significantly exceed market growth, which is expected to range between 3 to 4 %. Symrise now expects sales growth of more than 7 %, and thus above the medium-term target corridor of 5 to 7 %.

    In addition to good demand, the Group’s organic growth will accelerate primarily as a result of numerous investment projects to expand capacity. In August, for example, the capacity expansion for cosmetic ingredients will be successfully completed in South Carolina. Moreover, the new Diana Food Ingredients site in Georgia will start production in the fourth quarter.

    Symrise also expects for the second half of the year that the continuing shortage of key raw materials for perfume compositions will not lead to any shortfalls in its supply. Nevertheless, as in the first half-year, higher purchase costs for raw materials are likely. Overall, the Company considers itself well positioned to compensate for market shortages on the basis of its own backward integration.
    Symrise therefore intends to remain one of the most profitable companies in the industry in 2018 with an EBITDA margin of around 20 %.

    The medium-term targets through to the end of the fiscal year 2020 remain in effect, including a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the 5–7 % range and an EBITDA margin between 19–22 %.
    (Symrise AG)
    03.09.2018   40 years of KEG solutions    ( Company news )

    Company news SCHÄFER Container Systems presents it portfolio at the BrauBeviale

    When this year’s BrauBeviale opens its doors in Nuremberg, SCHÄFER Container Systems will once again be presenting its KEG range. This time, however, from 13th to 15th November on stand 4-107 in hall 4, the slogan “More KEG, more Diversity” will have to share the limelight with the fact that the manufacturers of reusable container systems (KEGs) for beverages are celebrating their 40-year anniversary.

    To mark its 40-year anniversary, the company has also given customers something to celebrate by launching a competition to find the oldest SCHÄFER KEG. The winner will be presented at the fair and in the jubilee blog. At recent trade fairs, SCHÄFER Container Systems and beer sommelier world champion Karl Schiffner have proved a very successful combination. This is set to continue this year with Mr. Schiffner treating visitors to beer specialities from France.

    “Over these 40 years, we’ve experienced great successes and, in some cases, have been directly involved in them. Some are our own stories, such as the development of the PLUS KEG in 1978, which was the first KEG with a stainless steel liner and a PU coating, right up to the production of our 25 millionth KEG in 2018. Some of these are also our customers’ and partners’ achievements, like the hotel room dispensing systems or delivering KEGs to mountain chalets by helicopter. Also, the fact that after 40 years, our KEG solutions are being supplied to 60 different countries is something we can be pleased about and reflects the international reach of this trade fair’s over 1,000 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors,” says Guido Klinkhammer, Business Unit Sales Director at SCHÄFER Container Systems.
    (SCHÄFER Werke GmbH)
    03.09.2018   Drink Simple™ Maple Water provides plant-based hydration in combidome cartons from SIG    ( Company news )

    Company news Looking to Mother Nature for a more delicious way to nourish and replenish the body, Drink Simple™, from the makers of DRINKmaple™, brings organic plant hydration to U.S. consumers in combidome cartons, the first of its kind in this packaging solution. The composite from which the entire carton pack is made, from the base to the eye-catching yet practical dome, contains around 75% paper board, which is made from renewable raw wood material.

    A healthful beverage alternative
    Maple water is naturally nutritious, containing 46 polyphenols, antioxidants, prebiotics, minerals, and electrolytes. With a subtle hint of sweetness, it provides an ideal better-for-you beverage option to traditional soft drinks. The Drink Simple brand captures the pure essence of this liquid goodness at the source, tapping trees at the peak of harvest in order to protect the integrity of the taste and nutrients for consumers to enjoy year round.

    Contrary to inclinations of thought associated with maple as the thick, golden-brown indulgent topping for breakfast foods, maple water is thin, clear sap flowing directly from the tree in its natural state. It is 98% water, and only after processing where the liquid is boiled down does it transform into the familiar sweet syrup. More importantly, it is certainly not maple syrup mixed with water.

    This clean, single-ingredient label product is also low calorie, non GMO, naturally alkaline 7.4 PH, and certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI). For those with dietary preferences, the beverage offers a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo option that has half the sugar of coconut water and more manganese than a cup of kale.

    “Our maple water provides naturally sweet hydration, in addition to nutritional benefits not found in other drinks. We set out to bring this delicious, better-for-you beverage option to consumers everywhere, and we strived to do so sustainably. This extends beyond our product processing, but also to our packaging” says Founder and CEO of DRINKmaple, Kate Weiler.

    Responsible packaging
    In the process of collecting the sap, no trees are harmed on the farms of which they are grown, ensuring many years of sustainable water supplies. By filling their Original Maple Water variety in SIG’s combidome, the brand is furthering its sustainability endeavors as carton packaging maintains a high content of renewable raw wood material. Carton packs offer the smallest carbon footprint compared to alternative types of packaging. combidome cartons are manufactured using only raw cardboard made of pulp from trees in forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) or other controlled sources. This decision is visually displayed with the FSC label on each pack. Proverbially “sweetening the pot” even more, the carton and its closure are fully recyclable, as is with all packaging from SIG.

    This product from Drink Simple is the first maple water to be packaged in combidome. In working with SIG, the brand has found the perfect partner to provide solutions for its delicious and healthful product. In turn, SIG strives to bring about product innovation and differentiation as part of its value proposition to customers, ensuring mutual success and quality food and beverage items to consumers. The “Refreshingly Simple, Naturally Better” product is sourced locally in Vermont and will be available starting in September.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
    31.08.2018   Avery Dennison continues to pioneer change by launching recycled PET liners in Europe    ( Company news )

    Company news Avery Dennison will be the first pressure sensitive labelling material supplier to introduce liner made from recycled PET (rPET) commercially in Europe. This move reflects the firm’s commitment to finding more sustainable solutions for the labelling industry.

    Jasper Zonnenberg, global director films, explains that the new rPET liner uses carefully selected post-consumer waste (PCW) and will be introduced in October 2018 across a number of self-adhesive constructions:
    “Avery Dennison has established eight ambitious sustainability goals that we are committed to achieving by 2025. As part of these goals we are focused on reducing waste, not only throughout our operations, but also through the whole value chain. We are determined to pioneer change across the industry. With a continued innovation focus on solutions that are responsibly sourced, use reduced amounts of material and are more easily recyclable we are pleased to be able to introduce a rPET liner to our portfolio - a liner that is not only easier to recycle, but itself is made of recycled materials.”

    “As availability of suitable rPET is currently limited we will initially have a limited supply of our rPET liner - however we will soon be able to scale up production significantly and we aim to have rPET as an option across all of our filmic and paper constructions.”

    Zonnenberg added that the introduction of PCW rPET liner requires careful management during liner production to ensure the stability and robustness that 100% virgin resin PET liner is known for:
    “Conversion and application speeds are helping to drive the ongoing rise in demand for PET liners, and we have been careful to retain those benefits, while also supporting converters and end users as they make the transition from glassine. These new rPET liners are another example of our determination to provide solutions where higher productivity goes hand in hand with improved sustainability -- creating a win-win for both productivity and the planet.”
    (Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials Europe)
    31.08.2018   Molson Coors Canada and HEXO Announce Agreement to Create Joint Venture Focused ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... on Non-Alcoholic, Cannabis-Infused Beverages for the Canadian Market

    Molson Coors Canada, the Canadian business unit of Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP; TSX: TPX), and leading Canadian cannabis producer, The Hydropothecary Corporation (“HEXO”) (TSX: HEXO), are pleased to announce that they have entered into a definitive agreement to form a joint venture to pursue opportunities to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalization.

    The joint venture will be structured as a standalone start-up company with its own board of directors and an independent management team. Molson Coors Canada will have a 57.5% controlling interest in the JV, with HEXO having the remaining ownership interest. The new company will combine the proven beverage experience of Canada’s leading brewer with a recognized innovator in the fast-growing cannabis sector to explore the highly anticipated consumable cannabis market, which is expected to be legally permissible in Canada in 2019.

    “Canada is breaking new ground in the cannabis sector and, as one of the country’s leading beverage companies, Molson Coors Canada has a unique opportunity to participate in this exciting and rapidly expanding consumer segment. This new venture is consistent with our growth strategy and our commitment to being First Choice for Consumers and Customers by ensuring that Canadians have access to high-quality products that meet their evolving drinking preferences,” said Frederic Landtmeters, President and CEO of Molson Coors Canada. “While we remain a beer business at our core, we are excited to create a separate new venture with a trusted partner that will be a market leader in offering Canadian consumers new experiences with quality, reliable and consistent non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages. We look forward to partnering with HEXO, a recognized leader in the medical cannabis space in Canada that will bring robust production capacity, a track record of innovation, and, most importantly, shared values when it comes to doing business the right way and earning the trust of consumers.”

    “HEXO continues to lead the way for smoke-free cannabis innovation in Canada. We are excited about this partnership with Molson Coors Canada, an iconic leader in adult beverages, as we embark on the journey of building a brand new market. With this new company, we are bringing together Quebec’s oldest, most established company with one of its newest success stories in a truly innovative partnership,” said HEXO’s CEO and co-founder Sebastien St-Louis. “As two leading companies who share a track record of excellent practices, as well as respect for law and regulations, HEXO and Molson Coors Canada have established a relationship built on trust, and together we will develop responsible, high-quality cannabis-infused beverages for the consumable cannabis market in Canada.”

    Closing of the transaction, which is targeted to occur before September 30, 2018, is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including execution and delivery of various transaction agreements, including governance documents and R&D and supply agreements. In connection with the closing of the transaction, subject to the final approval of the Toronto Stock Exchange, HEXO will issue to Molson Coors Canada warrants to purchase shares of HEXO.
    (Molson Coors Brewing Company (Canada))
    30.08.2018   Sacmi CHS360 - setting the global standard for tall aluminium cap inspection    ( Company news )

    Company news Another four solutions were recently supplied to wine closure companies in Australia and Chile, with outstanding new machine features ensuring total quality control of such caps

    Already a world-beating solution for in-line inspection of plastic and metal caps, the Sacmi CHS360 is steadily winning over customers in the wine sector too. No less than four such solutions have recently been sold for the inspection of tall aluminium caps, an ever-more popular closure in the wine industry as it provides better sealing performance than standard corks.

    The customers included two Chilean firms. The first, the branch of a major US multinational, installed and started up the new system a short time ago. The second, a local firm with 40 years' experience in metal cap manufacturing, was provided with 2 different machines. In Australia instead, the system was purchased by a leading Victoria-based producer of caps and crown corks for wine and beer products.

    Note that the Sacmi CHS360 configured for the inspection of tall aluminium caps has recently been enhanced with new features, including 2 cameras (instead of just one) with dedicated lighting to improve inspection of the seal. A further camera was incorporated to inspect decoration: able to capture 2 images in mere micro-seconds, it improves system sensitivity in detecting scratches and dents (in this case too, the illuminator plays a key role) by assessing reflections from the bottom of the cap, generally coloured gold or silver.

    Lastly, 4 lateral cameras inspect the decoration and anti-tamper band, bringing the total number of high resolution image capture devices to seven. Operating at up to 1000 caps per minute, the CHS360 module sets the industry standard thanks to high speed, precision inspection, now enhanced even further by the new features for this specific configuration.

    For the two Chilean companies, this is their first experience with Sacmi inspection solutions. For the Australian customer, instead, this is a follow-up order to a recently purchased CHS solution for crown caps, another key area for this company.
    (Sacmi Imola S.C.)

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