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O-I Glass Provides Business Update: Global Business Continues to Operate Without ...

O-I Glass Provides Business Update: Global Business Continues to Operate Without ...  (Company news)

... Interruption; Recent Demand Patterns Remain Stable

O-I Glass, Inc. (NYSE: OI) provided a business update in lieu of management’s previously scheduled presentation at the JP Morgan investor conference which was cancelled by the organizers due to COVID-19. Additionally, a presentation originally intended for the conference that is primarily focused on the longer term strategy of the business has been posted on its website at

“O-I’s operating performance through February has been solid, and pacing in-line with the company’s most recent earnings guidance for the first quarter of 2020. Overall, sales volume has been flat with the prior year. Higher shipments in Asia-Pacific (including China) and the benefit from the Nueva Fanal acquisition offset continued lower beer demand in North America which has been in-line with our expectations. We benefited from higher average selling prices as well as favorable sales mix and cost performance, especially at the company’s focus factories. We are pleased with the progress of our turnaround initiatives and overall business performance to date,” said Andres Lopez, CEO.

Lopez continued, “Despite the challenges associated with COVID-19 and resulting economic disruption, O-I’s business continues to operate without interruption and recent demand patterns remain stable through early March. O-I continues to closely follow guidance from the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as federal and state governments in appropriate jurisdictions related to COVID-19. The company has been working with customers and suppliers alike to develop preparedness plans in response to this rapidly evolving situation. We are better integrated as an enterprise and prepared than ever to move with speed and agility to execute any contingency plans if required.”

CFO John Haudrich added, “O-I continues to advance its strategic portfolio review, as expected, and the company’s balance sheet is sound. Following refinancing activity last year and given proceeds from recent divestitures, the company’s liquidity position is strong with cash and available lines of credit of approximately $2 billion at December 31, 2019 and no near-term bond maturities. Year-to-date through February 2020, cash flows compare favorably to the same period last year given lower working capital levels, lower capital expenditures and suspension of asbestos related payments. The Chapter 11 process of O-I’s subsidiary Paddock Enterprises is proceeding as expected. Paddock has opposed a request by the U.S. Trustee to examine its Corporate Modernization transaction, which is a strategy that has been widely and successfully used by other companies and which we believe enhances Paddock’s ability to resolve its liabilities fairly and in way that maximizes value for all stakeholders. We are confident that the Corporate Modernization transaction fully complies with Delaware law and will be validated through the bankruptcy process. Paddock remains committed to addressing its legacy liabilities in a just and appropriate manner and is continuing work with its creditor constituencies towards achieving a consensual Plan of Reorganization.”
(O-I Owens-Illinois Glass Containers)

Diageo pledges more than eight million bottles of sanitiser for frontline healthcare workers

Diageo pledges more than eight million bottles of sanitiser for frontline healthcare workers  (Company news)

-World’s largest distiller in unprecedented global response in the UK, Ireland, Italy, the USA, Brazil, Kenya, India and Australia
-Pledge aimed at overcoming shortages to protect frontline healthcare workers
-Donation of alcohol is enough to produce more than eight million bottles of hand sanitiser

Diageo, maker of Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff, has pledged to enable the creation of more than eight million bottles of hand sanitiser, by donating up to two million litres of alcohol to manufacturing partners, to help protect frontline healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19.

The world’s leading distiller will provide Grain Neutral Spirit (GNS) – a 96% strength ethyl alcohol used primarily in production of vodka and gin – and make it available at no cost to hand sanitiser producers in multiple countries, to help overcome shortages in healthcare systems. This donation will enable the production of more than eight million 250ml bottles of hand sanitiser.

Diageo continues to engage with national and local governments across the many countries where the company has major distilling operations. The spirit will be made available in supply chains according to local circumstances, working with the relevant authorities and hand sanitiser manufacturers. This will ensure the donation is used for maximum impact in protecting health workers and patients and that sanitiser reaches the frontline as quickly as possible.

The plan includes:
-The UK and the Republic of Ireland: 500,000 litres of GNS to be made available for national healthcare systems and workers across the UK and Ireland.
-Italy: 100,000 litres of GNS to support the healthcare system and other national needs
-USA: 500,000 litres of GNS to be supplied to meet local community needs
-Brazil: Diageo’s Ypioca plant will produce 50,000 litres of spirit for the local healthcare system, in conjunction with the Ceara State Government.
-Kenya: Diageo’s East Africa Breweries Ltd will enable production of 135,000 litres of sanitiser, prioritising vulnerable and at risk groups.
-India: 500,000 litres of alcohol to supply to the sanitizer industry across 25 States, for use in national healthcare systems and for consumers.
-Australia: Diageo’s Bundaberg Distilling Co. to produce 100,000 litres of ethanol for the Queensland Government, to be forwarded to hand sanitiser manufacturers.

“Healthcare workers are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic and we are determined to do what we can to help protect them,” said Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo. “This is the quickest and most effective way for us to meet the surging demand for hand sanitiser around the world.”
(Diageo plc)

Self-Heating Cans for relief in emergency situations

Self-Heating Cans for relief in emergency situations  (Company news)

The 42 Degrees Company is an international independent company, set up in early 2017 by private investors for the development of nutritious, ready-to-go self-heating drinks.

Its goal is to provide solutions and relief for the growing number of emergencies around the world such as natural disasters, humanitarian crises and conflict.

Our Mission: To offer people hot drinks anywhere, anytime.

An international company whose headquarters and production centre are located in Valladolid, Spain.

The 42 Degrees company was founded to offer solutions for first aid and relief in situations where providing hot drinks would be almost impossible without our patented self-heating can technology.

The 42 Degrees company is a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, and abides by the agreement’s 10 principles regarding Human Rights, Labour, the Environment and Anti-Corruption. Click on the logo to learn more about the Global Compact.

The 42 Degrees company is a certified partner of associations working for the disabled, as part of its outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility policy.
(The 42 Degrees Company)

Resilux Year Results 2019

Resilux Year Results 2019  (Company news)

-Volume increase by 7.2% despite non-optimal weather conditions
-One-off start-up costs of new PET recycling factory in Switzerland and new preform factory in Romania
-Ebitda 2019 in line with 2018

During the accounting year of 2019 the volumes sold of preforms and bottles have increased by 7.2% compared to the year of 2018. There was an increase of the volumes sold of preforms but a decrease of the sold volumes of blown bottles. Although the weather conditions were not ideal, the growth of the preforms continued in almost all regions of Europe with the exception of France and Germany. In North America there was a decrease of the volumes sold. The total sales on the export markets increased compared to last year. The growth is the result of further capacity expansion, increased sales efforts and a further diversification of products and customers. In May 2019 a new production facility in Romania was opened.

The turnover increased during 2019 by 4.0% up to € 413.8 million. This increase is a combination of higher volumes, lower average raw material prices and a positive exchange rate effect due to an average weaker euro.

Compared to the year of 2018, the added value for 2019 increased by 2.7% or € 2.4 million to € 90.7 million. The limited increase of the added value is the result of a negative impact of lower output and start-up costs of the new PET recycling factory in Bilten en costs for closing the old recycling factory in Weinfelden. In 2019, Resilux also had start-up costs related to the new preform factory in Romania.

The increase in other goods and services is for the major part explained by an increase in costs for electricity, transportation and repair and maintenance. This increase of costs is the result of higher produced and sold volumes. The total personnel costs increased by € 1.7 million.

Consequently, the consolidated operating cash flow (ebitda) decreased by € 0.2 million and amounts to € 43.6 million for the year 2019 compared to € 43.8 million for 2018.

The impact of the mentioned start-up of the new PET recycling factory in Bilten and the new preform factory in Romania amounts to more or less € 1.5 million.

The depreciations and amortisations increased by € 1.9 million and amounted to € 18.5 millionin 2019.

The operating result for 2019 amounts to € 25.1 million compared to € 27.2 million for 2018, which means a decrease of € 2.1 million.

The total financial result decreased from € -3.8 million to € -3.0 million. The decrease of the financial result is mainly due to less negative foreign exchange results in 2019 compared to 2018. The total interest expenses for 2019 increased by € 0.2 million. The total net financial result amounted to € -3.0 million.

During 2019, a pre-taxprofit was realized of € 22.1 million compared to € 23.3 million in 2018.

The total taxes for 2019 amount to € -5.7 million. This amount includes taxes payable for € -4.8 million and deferred taxes for € -0.9 million. After taxes, Resilux has realized a net profit of € 16.4 million compared to € 18.5 million in 2018 or a decrease of € 2.1 million.

The net investments in intangible and tangible fixed assets during 2019 amounted to € 26.8 millioncompared to € 34.4 million in the year 2018. These investments mainly relate to investments in the new preform factory in Romania, in finalising the new pet recycling factory in Bilten, in capacity expansion and in moulds.

As per December 31st 2019, Resilux has a net financial debt of € 48.9 million compared to a net financial debt of € 76.2 million per June 30th, 2019 and a net financial debt of € 30.7 million per December 31st, 2018. The change versus December 31st 2018 is mainly the result of the realised cash flows from operating activities, the investments made, the increase in working capital, the dividends paid out during the first half of 2019 and buy back of own shares in the second half of 2019.

The net financial debt also includes an increase of € 1.2 million due to the application of IFRS 16 standard. As of 2019 operational lease obligations are included as financial debt on the balance sheet.

Recycling and sustainability
Resilux invested in the newest and most modern technology for a state-of-the-art PET recycling factory in Bilten in Switzerland. This production unit became operational since the beginning of 2019.

Already in 2017, Resilux took over the PET recycling activities from a supplier that had already been working together in Switzerland for many years for the purchase of recycled PET. Via the vertical integration of the recycling of PET bottles and the processing of recycled PET in the production of preforms, Resilux becomes an even greater player in the circular economy with the aim of maximizing the reuse of raw materials. This makes Resilux more sustainable and makes a positive contribution to the environment.

Under normal market conditions Resilux expects for 2020 a further growth of the volumes as a result of optimal utilisation of the in 2019 installed increased capacity. Resilux expects that this volume growth will lead to increased operational results for 2020. Resilux expects to invest around € 17.5 million. The planned capital expenditures will be mainly in the increase and the replacement of production capacity and additional production tools. Resilux expects to reduce the net financial debt again by the end of 2020. Resilux will keep focus on diversification of customers and product mix and a further strengthening of the organization.
(Resilux N.V.)

Vetropack Group 2019: Increase in net sales and consolidated profit

Vetropack Group 2019: Increase in net sales and consolidated profit  (Company news)

The Swiss Vetropack Group boosted its net sales by 3.5% to CHF 714.9 million in the 2019 fiscal year (2018: 690.7 million). Consolidated profit increased by 25.6% to CHF 73.0 million (2018: CHF 58.1 million).

In 2019, Vetropack Group achieved net sales of CHF 714.9 million, 3.5% more than in the previous year (2018: CHF 690.7 million). Unit sales matched the previous year at 5.16 billion glass packaging units (2018: 5.16 billion units). The high sales volume in 2018 was only made possible by selling off existing stock. As additional production capacities were available in 2019, however, unit sales in the reporting year were fully covered by ongoing production.

Financial key figures for 2019:
• Net sales: CHF 714.9 million (2018: CHF 690.7 million)
• EBIT: CHF 90.2 million (2018: CHF 78.4 million)
• EBIT margin: 12.6% (2018: 11.3%)
• Consolidated profit: CHF 73.0 million (2018: CHF 58.1 million)
• Net liquidity: CHF 81.4 million (2018: CHF 72.3 million)
• Cash flow: CHF 153.1 million (2018: CHF 135.7 million)
• Cash flow margin: 21.4% (2018: 19.6%)
• Equity ratio: 79.2% (2018: 75.1%)

Production capacities slightly expanded
2019 was characterised by several overhauls and modernisations, with the associated capacity increases only taking full effect in 2020. Nevertheless, Vetropack Group was able to produce 1.46 million tonnes (2018: 1.45 million tonnes), 1.0% more than in the previous year.

Profitability significantly improved
The Group’s consolidated EBIT improved by 15.1% compared with the previous year, reaching CHF 90.2 million (2018: CHF 78.4 million). At 12.6% of net sales, the EBIT margin was well above the previous year’s figure of 11.3%. This pleasing result was achieved thanks to the further improvement in production efficiency, stable production costs and increased demand for high-quality glass packaging.

Consolidated annual profit rose by 25.6% to CHF 73.0 million (2018: CHF 58.1 million) and the profit margin stood at 10.2% (2018: 8.4%).

Liquidity further improved
Cash flow reached CHF 153.1 million during the reporting year (2018: CHF 135.7 million), equating to 21.4% (2018: 19.6%) of net sales. As was the case in the previous year, Vetropack Group invested in expanding its capacities. Overall, CHF 123.7 million (2018: CHF: 115.6 million) was put into tangible and intangible assets. All investments were fully financed by the Group’s own funds.

At CHF 28.1 million (2018: CHF 28.6 million), the free cash flow only changed marginally. The Group’s net liquidity increased to CHF 81.4 million (2018: CHF 72.3 million).

Shareholders’ equity climbed to CHF 752.2 million (2018: CHF 711.6 million). The equity ratio improved to 79.2% (2018: 75.1%).

At the end of the reporting year, Vetropack had 3366 employees (31 December 2018: 3291 employees).

Outlook for the 2020 fiscal year
We expect that the sustained increase in demand for glass packaging will also continue in the future. The “pro glass” trend is unbroken, with health-conscious consumers increasingly opting for sustainable and fully recyclable glass packaging.

As Vetropack Group is planning a furnace repair in the 2020 fiscal year, specifically the complete reconstruction of a furnace and its systems at the Croatian glassworks, it will then have greater capacity at its disposal than in previous years. We are also intending to utilise all capacities to the full. In addition, we are planning to further improve our operating result. The investment activities remain at an above-average level, which will lead to an increase in depreciation. A one-off book profit from the sale of land will have a positive effect on the annual profit.

The current worldwide spread of the coronavirus is likely to have a negative impact on global economic development in 2020. At this point it is impossible to determine what implications this will have for Vetropack Group.

Vetropack Group includes subsidiaries in Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine and Italy.
(Vetropack AG)

Anders Bering leaves Carlsberg Group

Anders Bering leaves Carlsberg Group  (Company news)

After more than eight years with Carlsberg Group, VP Corporate Affairs Anders Bering (photo) has decided to leave the Group.

Anders Bering, VP Corporate Affairs and member of the global leadership team, will leave Carlsberg Group and join Mars Inc. as VP Global Public Affairs based in the U.S. as of 1 May 2020.

Anders joined Carlsberg Group in 2011 and has the past years been responsible for the global Corporate Affairs function, covering internal and external communication as well as government relations and sustainability. Additionally, Anders has been a part of the management team in the Group’s Danish subsidiary, Carlsberg Denmark, and represented the Group in several internal and external boards.

CEO Cees ‘t Hart says: We would like to thank Anders for his dedication and contribution to Carlsberg Group and the successful transition we have been going through. He is a strong leader and a trusted advisor that we are proud to see take the next step in his career with another iconic global business.

Carlsberg Group will announce Anders’ replacement in due course, and Anders will ensure a good handover process.
(Carlsberg Danmark A/S)

Robinsons to drive healthy sales with new Superfruit Cordials

Robinsons to drive healthy sales with new Superfruit Cordials   (Company news)

Robinsons, the UK’s number one squash brand, is launching a new sub-brand; Superfruit Cordials, in two juicy flavours - Orange & Acerola Cherry and Raspberry & Goji Berry.

The new Superfruit Cordials range will be available in stores from the 16th March and boasts health credentials, with no artificial colours or flavourings. To cater for the 88% of consumers who are taking active steps to make healthier food and drink choices2, the range contains the added benefits of health supporting vitamins and minerals.

The brand is providing a fantastic opportunity for retailers to recruit new shoppers into the category, consumer research shows that people would be happy to pay more for Robinsons3. The range’s premium glass format and high-quality ingredients means its addition to the soft drinks aisle will help drive value and increase basket spend.

Ben Parker, at home commercial director at Britvic, comments: “We are constantly adapting and developing our portfolio to respond to changing consumer needs and preferences, while maintaining an excellent product with great taste credentials. The new Robinsons Superfruit Cordials range will offer a different proposition for the category and increase the value of the Robinsons premium tier by providing an additional option which delivers on two of the most prominent customer drivers; taste and health.

“The variety in the Robinsons range means there is an option to suit all tastes. The latest addition will build on this and allow retailers to access a wider range of shopper missions, while still catering for customers who have come to know and love the core brand.”

The sub-brand launch will be supported with a consumer PR led campaign, comprising social media, radio, pop up shops and in-store support that will keep the brand front of mind for shoppers.

Robinsons Superfruit Cordial will be available in a 500ml bottle with an MRSP of £2.50. The sub-brand joins the Robinsons portfolio alongside the core, Creations and Cordials ranges.
(Britvic Plc)

CRAFT BEER ITALY: conference and exhibition on craft beer postponed to 2021

CRAFT BEER ITALY: conference and exhibition on craft beer postponed to 2021  (Company news)

In view of the strong economic impact on the craft beer branch due to the increasing spread of the coronavirus, NürnbergMesse Italia and its partners VLB Berlin and Doemens have decided to postpone to 2021 the CRAFT BEER ITALY edition planned for November 2020. Special initiatives for Italian visitors at BrauBeviale 2020 in Nuremberg are in the pipeline.

CRAFT BEER ITALY, conference and exhibition on raw materials, technologies and marketing for craft beer, was born to support the brewing branch offering a B2B platform for idea exchange and professional growth. In this difficult time for the Italian craft beer sector, NürnbergMesse Italia thinks that the best way to stand by the sector is to step back and avoid further filling its agenda in the autumn months, when the industry operators will have to put their businesses back on track.

“We keep on standing by Italian brewers. We are working intensively on tailor-made initiatives for our Country during the leading event of our network: BrauBeviale 2020, that will take place from 10th to 12th November in Nuremberg” Stefania Calcaterra, General Manager of NürnbergMesse Italia, explained.

CRAFT BEER ITALY will be back in 2021 with a highly professional and international program, once again a distinctive sign of the event.

A special thank you goes to all partners of CRAFT BEER ITALY as well as all industry associations, exhibitors, visitors and journalists who will work with renewed commitment to ensure a successful 2021 event that strengthens and supports the growth of the Italian craft beer sector.
(NürnbergMesse GmbH)

Bickford's Australia boosts flexibility through Sidel's aseptic technology with ...

Bickford's Australia boosts flexibility through Sidel's aseptic technology with ...  (Company news)

... dry preform sterilisation

Bickford’s, a family-owned and treasured Australian brand, put their trust in Sidel for the very first time and installed a complete, flexible PET line, handling both sensitive beverages and carbonated soft drinks (CSD). Riding the wave of healthy living, Bickford’s was not only able to expand their portfolio but also to improve production efficiency and sustainability. All in all, this significantly optimised their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), while relying on new bottle designs.

Bickford’s is one of the oldest and most valued Australian brands, holding a premium positioning in the market with exports to 32 countries worldwide. Founded in 1839, they are an independently owned business, with head office and operations based in Adelaide (South Australia). Their offer is diverse: producing CSD, cordials, flavoured water, still and sparkling water as well as juices, dairy and non-dairy drinks, syrups and alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, spirits and cider.

In Bickford’s home of Australia, as in many other countries, one can observe increasing health consciousness and wellness concerns as key drivers for the growth of beverage categories such as bottled water, especially flavoured options. Juices, nectars, soft drinks, isotonics and teas (JNSDIT) are also affected by this change in consumer behaviour and are predicted to show a positive trajectory in the next three years. Notably, Australia also has a strong coffee culture. Although the focus on RTD coffee clearly is about taste and functionality with customers seeking a quick energy boost, future products might shift towards health-promoting benefits.

Furthermore, given the keen competition within these segments as well as the premiumisation trend across the board, new product developments are increasingly focusing on flavour variety, accompanied by the introduction of new packaging formats for further diversification in the market. In the beverage industry but in particular in water, JNSDIT and CSD segments, PET is projected to remain a popular packaging material in the future.

A first: Bickford’s opts for aseptic PET bottling with dry preform sterilisation
To accommodate those opportunities, grow their share and diversify their portfolio, Bickford’s started to search for a very flexible production line, able to handle both still and sparkling, as well as low- and high-acid products with two different short bottle necks and two distinct decoration possibilities. For this particular challenge, they turned to Sidel – the leading expert in aseptic PET applications and packaging design – for the first time in their long history. In fact, this also marks the very first time the Australian player invested in aseptic technology with dry preform decontamination, which has not yet been widely adopted in the country.

“Previously, we were mainly familiar with hot-filling PET applications. We decided to partially shift to aseptic PET bottling because we wanted to optimise our production set-up and achieve a better TCO, which is of course critical if you plan to attract more consumers,” says Angelo Kotses, Bickford’s CEO and owner. “Plus, we really wanted to diversify our product portfolio by introducing new references, including dairy products and plant-based alternatives, and by moving some drinks formerly packaged in glass and can to PET,” he goes on. For such a large-scale project, Bickford’s needed a full solution partner; one that is an expert in packaging development, bottling machinery, production and services. This is why Sidel was the logical choice. The Australian brand decided to inaugurate this cooperation by investing in one complete, versatile PET line, managing both sensitive products and CSD through an Aseptic Combi Predis™ and a Combi SF300, respectively.

This move helped Bickford’s enjoy great freedom in terms of packaging design. They can now benefit from the wide branding surface to apply both sleeve labels and pressure sensitive labels (PSL). Moreover, thanks to Sidel’s proven dry preform sterilisation technology, the Australian player is also leveraging a safe, easy to operate, cost-efficient and sustainable packaging solution. The line welcomes expanded manufacturing capabilities in terms of volume and type of beverages, while switching quickly from one product to another. In total, the new line now processes more than 20 different SKUs including still water, coffee with milk, coffee with almonds, four different flavoured waters and eight types of juices – all in either 250 ml, 500 ml or 1 L formats.

Outstanding bottle and decoration design capabilities
“At the start of the project,Bickford’s team visited three of our customers’ sites in Thailand, Japan and France and was able to experience the advantages offered by Sidel’s Aseptic Combi Predis first hand. On top of that, they could rely on us through every step of the journey, including the choice of raw material suppliers and the right designs for the preform and the bottle,” says Herve Herambert, Account Director Sales Aseptic South East Asia Pacific at Sidel. He continues, “They were particularly impressed by Sidel’s 40-year experience in aseptic PET applications as well as in packaging: the family-owned company appreciated the support offered to design and industrialise the containers, including the perfect application of the labels to the new bottle’s shapes.”

Throughout the project, Sidel’s packaging experts worked in close collaboration with Bickford’s marketing team to launch their products. “Looking at our water and CSD range filled through the Combi SF300, we wanted to achieve an iconic shape to help our brand stand out in a very crowded marketplace. Our new bottles needed to offer convenient handling to our consumers and be robust enough to hold their ergonomic shape and carbonation once opened,” explains Beverley Reeves, Senior Brand Manager at Bickford’s. Talking water, the Sidel packaging team started from scratch: new containers were designed for the 1 L Aqua Pura branded water, applicable both to sparkling and still water, with the latter one supported by the proven StarLITE™ base. To accomodate future needs, Sidel also developed an additional 600 ml design, perfectly applicable to a variety of recipes, including flavoured water.

A redesign was needed also around the family of drinks previously packaged via hot-fill technology. In this case, the number one priority was to optimise the packaging, while keeping the same premium brand attributes, and also lightweighting the bottle. For instance, by changing the production set-up from hot-fill packaging to aseptic PET bottling with dry preform sterilisation, the Australian player halved the weight of their 1 L juice bottle – down to 32 g – while enhancing its attractiveness and expanding its shelf life up to 8 months. The new bottles are designed with quite straight body panels with simplified ribbing at the sides to allow the application of either sleeve labels or PSL; the biggest format (1 L) engraved with the iconic Bickford’s brand name. “We were really impressed by Sidel’s packaging capabilities. To streamline our decision process, they provided many bottle design alternatives and great conceptual designs with current labels as well as new prototypes. Considering the productivity advantages we gained and the high consumer acceptance around our redesigned containers, we are planning to strengthen the cooperation with Sidel further and launch a 1 L format for sparkling products, for water as well as CSD,” concludes Reeves.

Extensive flexibility for greater product variety
Refreshed designs within a diversified, premium portfolio are answering the needs of a niche market, which is why Bickford’s is targeting small batch production; an approach perfectly supported by the Sidel low-speed aseptic line. To install the new set of equipment, Bickford’s reorganised the production set-up and raw material localisation: for instance, by removing two out of three hot-fill lines they had, they gained empty floor space to be dedicated to the new complete line. The challenge for Sidel’s team was to complete the installation without disrupting the production routines, while also securing the very high hygienic requirements needed in aseptic production.

The new versatile PET line, set-up at the Adelaide plant, includes Tetra Pak Processing Systems technologies, guaranteeing full product safety and maximising uptime starting from the process step. Additionally, the Aseptic Combi Predis is completed by the Capdis™ system for dry cap decontamination, while the CSD Combi features the compact and hygienic BlendFILL configuration, combining carbonator and filler in a single system for reduced consumption of CO2. Gebo OptiDry®, a fully washable, stainless steel drying system with a proven efficiency of over 99% is integrated. As part of the line, the customer opted also for Sidel’s proven Roll Adhesive labeller, ensuring great stability and precision in the process, plus a sleever intended to handle PSL.

Bickford’s hyper-flexible line manages both aseptic and regular PET packaging on two different Combis, thus dealing with products featuring two different bottle necks, namely 28 mm for CSD and 38 mm for the aseptically-bottled products. They chose to use one single End-of-Line (EOL) solution to optimise the TCO while leading to maximised uptime, as changeovers are very easy. This EOL includes a VersaWrap® wrap-around case packer and a PalAccess® palletiser. Both pieces of equipment are designed with multi-format versatility and fast and simple format changeovers in mind, therefore perfectly suiting Bickford’s needs.

The line is now running at 12,000 bottles per hour (bph) for the aseptically filled drinks and up to 18,000 bph for the CSD products, with a greater efficiency than the one committed on the purchasing agreement, thus contributing to a production capacity reaching approximately 60 million bottles per year.

Safe and cost-effective solution around the clock
“It is important to note that this fantastic opportunity to switch from one product to another is not compromising the sterility of our production, rather the opposite. The PET aseptic line in our factory runs ten hours per day and Sidel managed to keep the product in the filler under complete food safety conditions between the last shift of the day and the first one the day after, meaning for more than twelve hours,” highlights George Kotses, Operations Manager at Bickford’s.

“By shifting from hot-fill to aseptic PET applications, we are benefitting from an optimised TCO. Namely, the Combi Predis offers a very competitive cost-efficiency ratio and a great environmental footprint because it does not consume any water and uses only very few chemicals. The solution allowed us to drastically reduce the bottle’s weight,” he continues. Lastly, the reduced need for cleaning in place (CIP) lowers maintenance costs.

Bickford’s first sellable product from the new line was introduced to the market in the summer of 2019. As a final point in this successful journey, the treasured brand celebrated the opening ceremony for the line commissioning in September in the presence of Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and Premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall.
(Sidel Blowing & Services)

Bacardi Names Industry Veteran Kathy Parker Chief Marketing Officer PATRÓN® tequila and...

Bacardi Names Industry Veteran Kathy Parker Chief Marketing Officer PATRÓN® tequila and...  (Company news)

... GREY GOOSE® vodka

Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, announces the appointment of Kathy Parker (photo) as Chief Marketing Officer for PATRÓN tequila and GREY GOOSE vodka. Parker will be joining Bacardi after a stand-out career at Diageo and Unilever where she served in a number of senior marketing, brand and innovation roles. In her new position, she will drive global strategy including brand equity, architecture, positioning, integrated marketing across creative, media and experiential, plus new product development and innovation for PATRÓN and GREY GOOSE, which stand together at the super-premium end of the enviable portfolio of Bacardi brands. Parker will report to Mahesh Madhavan, Chief Executive Officer, Bacardi Limited, and join the company’s Global Leadership Team.

Most recently, Parker was Senior Vice President for Global Premium Rums, Gins and Portfolio Scotch Whiskey brands at Diageo, where she drove transformational growth across her portfolio and completely revitalized several brands. During her tenure, she also served as Senior Vice President Marketing Innovation and led global marketing and innovation for Guinness. Prior to Diageo, Kathy spent nearly 15 years at Unilever PLC working in a variety of marketing and innovation roles in global, regional and local assignments.

“Kathy’s track record for delivering transformational growth on the brands she leads is truly impressive, and we are delighted to have her at the helm of GREY GOOSE and PATRÓN, two brands that continue to captivate consumers and are critical to our long-term success,” said Madhavan. “With her entrepreneurial spirit, appetite for disruption, collaborative approach and results-driven leadership, she embodies the best of our culture and is a fantastic addition to our global leadership team at Bacardi.”

“Leading these two iconic brands which truly define their respective categories is a marketer’s dream,” said Parker. “I am thrilled to join the Bacardi extended family. I look forward to immersing myself in the vibrant culture and helping fuel the ambitious growth strategy. It’s an exciting time to be joining the Bacardi team.”

In her new role, Kathy will work closely with John Burke, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Bacardi Limited. Martin de Dreuille, Vice President Global Marketing, GREY GOOSE vodka, and Adrian Parker, Vice President, Global Marketing, PATRÓN tequila, will report to Kathy when she joins later this year.

Parker will relocate to Bermuda with her family in August pending authorization by the Bermuda Immigration Authority.
(Bacardi Limited)

Sidel honoured for innovative eco-packaging concept AYA at World Food Innovation ...

Sidel honoured for innovative eco-packaging concept AYA at World Food Innovation ...  (Company news)

...Awards 2020

For their latest eco-friendly packaging design concept AYA, Sidel has been awarded with the prestigious World Food Innovation Award (WFIA) in the category “Best Drink Packaging Design”. With the prizewinning AYA design, Sidel has developed a comprehensive innovative “End to End” packaging alternative for still water, covering all angles from 100% recycled PET (rPET) primary to carton secondary and on to tertiary packaging alternatives – all optimised for local distribution methods. The result is an overall cost-effective and sustainable packaging concept which is tailor-fit to match circular economy requirements, while improving environmental impact and industrial production efficiency.

For six years now, the World Food Innovation Awards have been recognising and celebrating concept excellence and innovation across every category of the global food industry. Chosen by a judging panel of 14 seasoned industry experts, the awards honour some of the most ambitious new products and developments of the year from established brands as well as start-ups. The awarding ceremony in association with FoodBev Media took place at HRC (London ExCel, UK) on March 5, 2020: “To us this award means a great recognition from the judging panel on how AYA meets sustainability requirements,” comments Laurent Lepoitevin, Packaging Design Engineer in Sidel.

Distinguished dedication to optimal packaging concepts
Improving recyclability by reducing packaging waste is one of the foremost challenges in the food and beverage industry. Benefitting from more than 40 years of experience in packaging and complete line solutions, Sidel works in close partnership with its customers and packaging manufacturers with the aim to develop ever more sustainable primary and secondary packaging. Thus, Sidel’s new eco-packaging concept AYA was born, reinforcing the company’s commitment to sustainability. The name refers to a deity of ancient Mesopotamia, also known as Ea or Enki, who – among other things – was considered the master of groundwater. This choice makes perfect sense considering the intention behind this new concept: to provide people with safe drinking water, who do not have a secure access to it naturally. For instance, the AYA bottle can be easily used when humanitarian aid is needed to provide the right amount of water for concerned people.

Recognition for an innovative 100%-rPET V-shape bottle
In detail, AYA is a 220 ml water bottle, featuring a V-shape. With its targeted extreme light weight of 5 g it is designed to radically reduce raw materials right at the source: The bottle is blown from 100% rPET preforms in order to bring a truly circular economy into reality, offering a new life to every bottle. AYA also comes with a snap-on tethered cap, aiming to additionally reduce plastic pollution. Furthermore, brand names, logos and legally required information may be engraved in relief onto the bottle, thus eliminating the need of a label to reduce waste and facilitate PET bottle sorting and recycling even more.

The eco-friendly AYA marks the first bottle concept released by Sidel to the industry which has been designed with an articulated shoulder featuring three stable positions; a Sidel patented packaging solution named Swing™ shoulder. After the blow moulding process, the bottle shoulder remains in an intermediary deployed position. After filling and capping, a mechanical pressure is applied on the shoulder to move it down and create the final AYA’s iconic V-shape. Thus slightly pressurised, the bottle bulk is reduced, while at the same time its resistance throughout the supply chain is significantly enhanced. A deployed shoulder position is possible to enlarge the volume and avoid any droppage when opening. AYA also features a specific deep base design to allow to stack the bottles, reducing the height to improve the whole storage volume.

Secondary packaging reduced to a minimum
Engineered within the Sidel “End to End” approach to better leverage packaging as a whole through the supply chain, the AYA bottles’ distinguished V-shape offers two innovative packaging alternatives in terms of compactness and reduction of secondary and tertiary packaging materials well-suited to optimise logistics. Firstly, it offers the possibility to stack the bottles in layers on top of each other, making them nested together due to their specific deep base shape connecting the low bottle neck and the top bottle base. The BOSS base shape perfectly accommodates another bottle’s cap, ensuring stability during pallet storage and transport. In this layout, each layer of bottles is being held together with a perforated cardboard separator that fits over the necks. Furthermore, the size of the separator can be adapted to form individual custom packs which can meet any space and storage constraints at the points-of-sale. Then, the second alternative is leveraging the bottles’ V-shape’s space saving attributes even more efficiently: seeing as they can be placed top-to-tail, in a staggered fashion, to make the best use of secondary packaging space and place as many bottles as possible in a volume, suited to distribution needs. Thus, the bottles can be arranged to optimise any storage volume, making for compact cases that can be easily transported.

“With sustainability constantly on our minds, we look at packaging and equipment from a 360-degree perspective,” Laurent Lepoitevin concludes. “Naturally, we applied this ‘End to End’ approach also to the AYA concept: Not only do we always take primary, secondary and tertiary packaging as well as their interaction with the equipment in the factoryinto account when designing new concepts. We also consider all the impacts they create upstream and downstream in the entire value chain – always aiming to deliver the most sustainable packaging solutions onto the shelves and to the consumers.”
(Sidel Blowing & Services)

Container Glass to reduce CO2 by 50%

Container Glass to reduce CO2 by 50%  (Company news)

For the first time ever, European container glass manufacturers come together to build the first large scale hybrid electric furnace to run on 80% green electricity.

The ‘Furnace of the Future’ is a fundamental milestone in the industry’s decarbonisation journey towards climate-neutral glass packaging. It will be the first large-scale hybrid oxy-fuel furnace to run on 80% renewable electricity in the world. It will replace current fossil-fuel energy sources and cut CO2 emissions by 50%.

For the very first time, the industry has adopted a collaborative approach where 20 glass container producers have mobilised resources to work on and fund a pilot project to prove the concept.

“We are extremely proud to announce this joint-industry project”, comments Michel Giannuzzi, President of FEVE. “The hybrid technology is a step-change in the way we produce and will enable us to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of glass packaging production. The move marks an important milestone for the glass sector in implementing our decarbonisation strategy”.

Ardagh Group – the second largest glass packaging manufacturer in the world – has volunteered to build the furnace in Germany. It will be built in 2022, with an assessment of first results planned for 2023. The industry already works with electric furnaces in several of its 150 glass manufacturing plants across Europe, but they are small scale and exclusively used to produce flint (colourless) glass with virgin raw materials, therefore using very little or no recycled glass content. With this new technology, the industry will be able to produce more than 300 tonnes per day of any glass colour, using high levels of recycled glass.

“With this new technology we are embarking on the journey to climate-neutral glass packaging, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of manufacturing”, states Martin Petersson, CEO of Ardagh Group, Glass Europe. “We aim to demonstrate the viability of electric melting on a commercial scale, which would revolutionise the consumer glass packaging market”.

Bringing the ‘Furnace of the Future’ to life is an extremely ambitious project requiring significant financial and human resources and a wide range of expertise. For this reason, the industry has committed to work together. By adopting a sectoral approach, it also intends to gain the support of the European Commission through the ETS Finance for Innovation Fund Programme. Despite its key importance, this project is not the only one the industry is working on. Other pathways towards clean production technologies and climate-neutral glass packaging are already implemented and others are also being explored.
(FEVE The European Glass Container Federation)

Ready today for your packaging of tomorrow - Gualapack commitment to a better world

Ready today for your packaging of tomorrow - Gualapack commitment to a better world  (Company news)

During the last 5 years Gualapack has put tremendous effort on developing and delivering sustainable solutions to actively contribute to minimize the footprint of the packaging industry.

The company welcomes complexity and indeed it is part of its DNA to identify and anticipate future demands, requirements and challenges.

Therefore, leverage has been made on its vertically integrated set of technologies such as extrusion, lamination, printing, pouch making, injection molding and filling equipment – enabling an effective response to the industry, environment, consumers and legislators.

Result of the above is a renewed portfolio with recyclable and compostable solutions for food and non-food categories such as baby food and fruit puree, dairy, beverages, coffee and cosmetics among others.
• Pouch5® first high barrier recyclable mono-material pre-made spouted pouch suitable for hot filling and pasteurization
• Pouch5® first recyclable mono-material pre-made spouted pouch suitable for chilled and dairy applications
• Innoweb MONO: first high barrier recyclable mono-material tube laminate designed for personal care
• Compostable, Bio Based, Recyclable laminates (LAMINEXT® – Family) for coffee and for lids for coffee capsules

If you wish to take part in the circular economy journey with a recyclable packaging solution on shelf visit the Gualapack website where the latest market-ready solutions will be show-cased as part of the company commitment to a better world.
(Gualapack S.p.A.)

J2O launches a trio of new products ahead of Summer 2020

J2O launches a trio of new products ahead of Summer 2020  (Company news)

J2O, the UK’s No.1 adult soft drink1, is unveiling three new products ahead of the busy Summer season; J2O Summer Limited Edition Pear & Guava (Summer Shine), J2O Spritz Apple & Elderflower and J2O Spritz cans.

The J2O Summer Limited Edition Pear & Guava (Summer Shine) flavour is designed to be enjoyed while socialising, with an exotic burst of guava providing the ideal summer refreshment. J2O Spritz Apple & Elderflower offers a more adult variant with the flavour performing strongly in consumer research2. It is also the first J2O Spritz flavour to feature a botanical ingredient.

The new products will allow retailers to capitalise on customers looking to trade up from traditional carbonates, by offering a more premium soft drink option. The adult appeal and premium flavours of the new products also provides a perfect alternative for customers looking to reduce alcohol consumption. The new can format for J2O Spritz will also offer consumers the opportunity to tap into a wider range of socials including the more informal, everyday occasions.

Ben Parker at home commercial director at Britvic commented, “The J2O portfolio is well established within the adult soft drinks segment, offering a variety of products which appeal to a range of people and occasions. The new additions will build on this while allowing retailers to grow their adult socialising offering and capitalise on less frequent buyers and those entering the market for the first time.

“Our J2O Summer Limited Edition Pear & Guava, for example, is designed to be an ideal accompaniment to socialising. This, coupled with the increase of social occasions in the summer season means we’re expecting the product to be a fantastic sales driver for retailers.”

The launches will be supported by social media and in-store activations designed to keep the brand front of mind for shoppers. J2O Summer Limited Edition Pear & Guava (Summer Shine) and J2O Spritz Apple & Elderflower will be available from February and March respectively, with J2O Spritz launching in a 250ml slimline can format from March 2020.
(Britvic Plc)

Nestlé to sign European Plastics Pact

Nestlé to sign European Plastics Pact  (Company news)

Nestlé announced the signing of the European Plastics Pact. This will help to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable and reduce its use of virgin plastics by one third by 2025. It also brings Nestlé closer to its vision that none of its packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill nor in oceans, lakes and rivers.

The European Plastics Pact aims to accelerate the transition towards a circular plastics economy. It will stop the sole dependence on virgin plastics – plastics made from non-renewable fossil fuel.

The Pact is a joint effort of leading companies, NGOs and governments which agreed on common goals by 2025. These European targets include:
-Reducing virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20%.
-Raising collection and recycling capacity in Europe for plastic packaging by at least 25%.
-Boosting the use of recycled plastics in packaging to an average of at least 30%.

The challenge for Nestlé, and the food industry at large, is that it is currently cheaper to produce packaging from virgin plastics than to use recycled food-grade plastics. To overcome this, Nestlé recently announced an investment of more than CHF 1.5 billion to create a market for food-grade recycled plastics. Moreover, it has launched a CHF 250 million sustainable packaging fund focusing on start-ups developing packaging innovation.
(Nestlé Schweiz AG)

Feldmuehle GmbH: Payments from the restructuring plan fulfilled prematurely and in full

Feldmuehle GmbH: Payments from the restructuring plan fulfilled prematurely and in full  (Company news)

Feldmuehle GmbH, leading manufacturer of label and flexible packaging papers, has successfully started the year 2020 on January 2, after completing the insolvency process.

In the first two months, the company exceeded its sales targets. The development of new products - especially based on recycling fibres - is on schedule.

On March 1, 2020, the management decided, based on the adjusted corporate planning for 2020 and the capital strength of the company through the completed financing, to make all payments to the creditors, due by June 30, 2021, prematurely and in full. Payments of several million euros were made on March 2, 2020.

With the payments, Feldmuehle completely fulfilled all of the financial obligations from the restructuring plan about 15 months in advance, thereby replacing all third-party rights. In consultation with the financial partners, the company has prepared for possible influences on the business due to the Corona virus.

Feldmuehle GmbH will actively use any opportunity to expand the business volume.
(Feldmuehle GmbH)

Financial Report 2019: Symrise successfully continues profitable growth

Financial Report 2019: Symrise successfully continues profitable growth  (Company news)

• Group sales in reporting currency up 8.0 % to € 3,408 million
• 5.7 % organic sales growth
• Increase in operating result (EBITDA(N)) by 12.2 % to over € 707 million
• EBITDA(N) margin up to 20.8 %
• Normalized net income for fiscal year rises by 10.2 % to over € 304 million
• Dividend increase from € 0.90 to € 0.95 per share proposed

Symrise AG continued its profitable growth course in 2019 and achieved all of its targets for the year. With the acquisition of ADF/IDF, the Company furthermore reinforced its position in North America and expanded its product portfolio in the pet food market and in natural product solutions for the food industry. Taking portfolio and exchange rate effects into account, sales increased by 8.0 % to € 3,408 million (2018: € 3,154 million). As a result, Symrise was again one of the fastest growing companies in the industry. This strong performance was carried by good demand across all segments and regions. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as well as normalized for one-time effects resulting from the acquisition of ADF/IDF (EBITDA(N)) increased by € 76.7 million to € 707.2 million.

"Symrise AG again posted strong growth in 2019. With the acquisition of ADF/IDF, we have continued to expand in fast growing, high-margin business areas. We have also further diversified our product portfolio in the attractive pet food market and expanded our position in North America. In addition, we made investments to expand our capacities over the course of the year and rolled out new technologies around the world. These targeted growth initiatives, combined with our disciplined cost management, are clearly reflected in our operational development in recent quarters," said Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG. "Along with our customers, the capital market has also responded favorably to our performance. The share price has increased by 42 % in 2019. We want our shareholders to participate in our success again this year. At the Annual General Meeting of Symrise AG, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board will propose a dividend increase to € 0.95 per share."

Industry-leading sales growth
In the year under review, Symrise benefited from good capacity utilization and strong demand in all segments and regions. Taking portfolio and exchange rate effects into account, Group sales increased by 8.0 % in the reporting period to € 3,407.9 million (2018: € 3,154.0 million). The organic growth rate achieved a clear plus of 5.7 %. As a result, the Group exceeded the average market growth rate in 2019, which was in the 3 to 4 % range according to estimates. The acquisition of the ADF/IDF Group, a leading US supplier of poultry and egg-based protein specialties, completed in November 2019, contributed approximately € 32 million to Group sales.

High profitability despite investments and fluctuating raw material costs
Despite higher expenses, Symrise increased its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as well as normalized for one-time effects resulting from the acquisition of ADF/IDF (EBITDA(N)) by a clear two-digit result of 12.2 % to € 707.2 million (2018: € 630.5 million). The deal resulted in one-time acquisition and integration expenses of € 16.3 million in 2019. The markets for raw materials remained tense, especially in the first half of the year. Notwithstanding the above, Symrise continued to invest in global capacity expansion. Major investment projects included the new manufacturing site in Nantong (China), the expansion of production capacity for menthol and natural extracts in the USA, and for pet food in Colombia and France.

Symrise achieved very strong profitability in the fiscal year 2019 and significantly exceeded the previous year's level, with an EBITDA(N) margin of 20.8 %. As a result, Symrise was once again one of the most profitable companies in the industry.

Normalized net income increased by 10.2 % year-on-year to € 303.5 million (2018: € 275.3 million). This led to an increase in normalized earnings per share to € 2.25 (2018: € 2.12). Against the backdrop of the positive growth in earnings, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Symrise AG will propose a dividend of € 0.95 per share at the Annual General Meeting on 6 May 2020 (2018: € 0.90).

Strong cash flow trend
Symrise grew its normalized Business Free Cash flow[1] by 53 % to € 476 million in the year under review (2018: € 312 million). This represents 14.1 % of sales, as compared to 9.9 % in the previous fiscal year. This significant increase can be attributed above all to the strong gain in net income for the period and a below-average rise in working capital.

As at the reporting date, net debt, including pension provisions and similar obligations, had increased to € 2,221.5 million (2018: € 1,893.1 million). On 31 December 2019, the ratio of net debt – including pension provisions and similar obligations – to EBITDA stood at 3.1, and thus showed little change as compared to the previous year's level (31 December 2018: 3.0). The medium-term target corridor for the ratio is 2.0 to 2.5.

The equity ratio increased from 39.5 % to 41.4 % at year-end. Symrise is thus in a very good financial position.

Segment Scent & Care
In the Scent & Care segment, sales in reporting currency grew by a positive 7.2 % to € 1,419.1 million (2018: € 1,324.1 million). This represents an increase of 5.6 % in organic terms. Dynamic growth was seen particularly in the Fragrances division, which experienced strong demand for fine fragrance products. This was reflected in double digit percentage growth in fine fragrances applications, supported by strong demand above all in EAME and Latin America. The Cosmetic Ingredients and Aroma Molecules divisions also posted gains.

Scent & Care grew its EBITDA by 9.3 % to € 278.0 million (2018: € 254.4 million). The EBITDA margin for the year under review was 19.6 % (2018: 19.2 %).

Segment Flavor
Flavor achieved a 5.6 % increase in sales to € 1,257.3 million in reporting currency (2018: € 1,191.1 million). After adjusting for exchange rate effects, the organic growth amounted to 3.8 %. This positive trend was carried by all regions and application areas. Flavor benefited in particular from dynamic demand in Asia/Pacific, where the segment achieved organic growth in the high single-digit percentage range. This was driven by flavorings for applications for sweet and beverage products, above all in Indonesia, Malaysia and China.

EBITDA in this segment increased significantly by 10.1 % in the reporting period to € 268.5 million (2018: € 243.9 million). As a result, the EBITDA margin was an outstanding 21.4 % (2018: 20.5 %).

Segment Nutrition
The Nutrition segment achieved in 2019 a 14.5 % increase in sales to € 731.5 million after sales of € 638.8 million in 2018. This included a total of € 32 million in sales from the ADF/IDF Group. Through the initial consolidation of the Group in November 2019, the fourth quarter showed a remarkably strong sales increase of 28.7 %. The segment also achieved significant organic growth. Once again, this growth was driven by product solutions in Pet Food. The strongest impetus came from North America and Latin America, where growth was in the double-digit percentage range.

Normalized for one-time acquisition and transaction costs, the segment achieved EBITDA of € 160.7 million for the reporting period (2018: € 132.3 million). This represents an increase of 21.5 %. The EBITDA(N) margin also showed healthy growth. It increased to an excellent 22.0 %, as compared to 20.7 % in 2018.

Symrise looks ahead to 2020 with confidence
In 2020, the Company aims to yet again achieve significantly stronger growth than the relevant market for fragrances and flavors as well as cosmetic ingredients, which is projected to grow at a rate of around 4 %. The Company expects all of its segments to grow notably faster than the global market. Assuming raw material costs at their current levels and a stable EUR/USD exchange rate, Symrise currently anticipates an EBITDA margin of over 20 % in all segments for the current fiscal year.

Overall, with its global presence, diversified portfolio and proven strategy, Symrise believes it is well positioned to achieve these growth ambitions. The Company plans to continue expanding in fast growing, high-margin business areas in the future, combining organic investments with targeted acquisitions. In addition, Symrise will remain committed to its disciplined cost and efficiency management.

Symrise believes that it is very well positioned to achieve the targets updated at the beginning of 2019. By 2025, the Company plans to increase its sales from € 5.5 billion to € 6.0 billion by means of organic growth at an annual rate of 5 to 7 % (CAGR), combined with targeted complementary acquisitions. Long-term, Symrise aims to achieve an EBITDA margin within the target corridor of 20 to 23 %.
(Symrise AG)

New dates of InterFood St. Petersburg exhibition - 2-3 June 2020

New dates of InterFood St. Petersburg exhibition - 2-3 June 2020  (Company news)

The MVK company decided to postpone the dates of the April exhibitions in St. Petersburg.

Due to the adoption of emergency restrictive measures on the territory of the Russian Federation in relation to any mass events for the purpose of non-proliferation of COVID-19 coronavirus (including those introduced by the decree of the government of St. Petersburg of March 13, 2020 No. 121) and the suspension of the work of the EXPOFORUM exhibition center, the MVK company decided to postpone the dates of the April exhibitions in St. Petersburg. New dates of InterFood St. Petersburg exhibition: 2-3 June 2020.

Our company continues to closely monitor the development of the situation related to coronavirus and the relevant decisions of state authorities, and hopes for its early normalization.

We look forward to your understanding and continued cooperation between our companies, despite the difficult nature of the current situation.
(MVK (International Exhibition Company))

KHS revolutionizes packaging processes at the Badoit mineral water bottling plant

KHS revolutionizes packaging processes at the Badoit mineral water bottling plant  (Company news)

First-class natural mineral water and an exclusive bottle design are the trademarks of the Badoit spring. From the bottled water to the packaging the premium brand makes the highest demands of the quality of its products. KHS has supported the company, part of Danone, since 1986. With its new Innopack Kisters SP A-H shrink packer Badoit is again benefiting from the expertise of the Dortmund machine and systems manufacturer. The packaging machine produces shrink film processing quality as yet unrivaled on the market with practically crease-free and consistently stable results.

Photo: With its shrink packer Badoit can process films of a significantly reduced thickness. The machine also uses an optimum width of film per pack.

France is heralded as a paradise for gourmets. The land of haute cuisine is renowned the world over for its award-winning wines, outstanding cheeses and high-class natural mineral waters. One brand which has established itself as a leader among carbonated natural spring waters is Badoit. The bottler from Saint-Galmier in the Département de la Loire, southwest of Lyon, has been working closely with the country’s top restaurants for many years. In doing so Badoit has earned itself a reputation as a top brand of high-quality mineral water in the premium sector. “Our customers make the highest demands of our products – and not just regarding our water. The perfect quality of the packaging also plays a decisive role,” says Etienne Marie, plant manager at Badoit.

The premium market: packaging quality plays a key role
Not only on the home market is the design of primary and secondary packaging a marketing factor which determines the product’s success. “Beverage brands can clearly position themselves on the market through the nature of their presentation and design,” explains Christopher Stuhlmann, head of the Line Product Division at KHS.

This aspect is especially important for Badoit. “As a premium brand our products not only have to differ from those of the competition in quality but also in appearance. The exclusive standard of our water must also be reflected in the packaging,” states Marie. The mineral water plant has therefore opted for bottles with a long, elegant neck, a unique feature on the French market.

Badoit requires better packaging quality
While the unusual bottle shape is a blessing when it comes to brand recognition, it has proved quite a challenge for the shrink packers used by the water bottler – also for its KHS Kisters packaging machines, some of which have been in operation for over 30 years. “The long-necked bottle makes it extremely difficult to produce a packaging quality which is outstanding in all respects,” Marie says. “The multipacks often had creases in the film, the print was distorted or the packs weren’t stable enough to withstand the logistics.” In addition, the outmoded packaging machines were no longer state of the industrial art when it came to efficiency and sustainability and were increasingly limited in their technological capacity. “We were no longer able or prepared to accept these compromises in packaging quality and machine efficiency,” claims Marie.

Badoit received support from its parent company. Danone Waters launched a competition between its individual brands and their production plants who then turned to their respective suppliers. “Danone Waters wanted a packaging machine which, thanks to significant further developments in the shrink tunnel segment in particular, considerably improves the standard of the shrink film processing available to date,” emphasizes Stuhlmann. Here, it was especially important that the lettering and brand logo on the packs was neither distorted nor creased.

KHS beats the competition
Following intensive talks on the new specifications to be adhered to and the first promising tests KHS was ultimately awarded the contract for the project. “We have a close and trusting relationship with KHS. Its many years of expertise in the development of packaging systems and the strengths of its latest generation of machines had us convinced once again,” is how Marie describes the reason for choosing KHS.

The systems supplier now had to live up to these high expectations. Under the supervision of Christian Schilling, head of the shrink tunnel development group at KHS, the machine and systems manufacturer put together an experienced team of design engineering experts. They were in close contact with the engineers in Saint-Galmier. “Throughout the course of the entire project the teams worked together openly and absolutely professionally as partners – as usual,” Stuhlmann reports.

Intensive optimization process
The expert team’s first task was to develop new components for Badoit’s packaging machines. The packaging specialists in Kleve subjected all system parts to thorough testing. After several optimization loops the improved components were integrated into the latest generation of the KHS shrink packer. “We then performed a series of further tests to make sure that our new developments satisfy Badoit’s high demands,” says Stuhlmann. Finally, the system passed its factory acceptance test and was shipped to Saint-Galmier.

Here, the KHS team replaced the old KHS Kisters shrink packer from 1986 with the optimized packaging machine. Following successful initial commissioning in December 2017 the packaging experts then focused on optimizing the system and its processes under real production conditions. “At first we weren’t able to fully achieve the required packaging quality with the combination of shrink film and machine used,” admits Stuhlmann. The specialists therefore spent the following months working on the various machine components, further developing, constructing, installing and testing them time and again.

Significant development for the entire Danone Waters Group
One major further development on the new generation of machines was to distribute the hot air supply more accurately on both lanes. The optimum alignment of the hot air flow on both sides of the multipacks loosely wrapped in film also had top priority for KHS. “Both are crucial for crease-free pack quality as the optimum processing window for the partly inverse effects was extremely limited,” Stuhlmann explains. The Dortmund company solved this problem with the help of a number of further developments, one being the specially designed central tunnel nozzle which will also be available to other projects in the future. The special air nozzles with their optimized perforated nozzle plates also help to create crease-free packs.

Furthermore, the KHS Kisters shrink packer sets a new benchmark when it comes to efficiency and saving on resources. One plus is that it can now process films of a much lower thickness. The machine also uses an optimum width of film per pack thanks to film web control. Badoit and its operators in particular also benefit from fully automatic film web control which is not only easy to handle but also ensures consistently high packaging quality. “With this new technical feature we were able to achieve the goal set by the customer, namely of providing optimum packaging quality while using the lowest possible amount of material,” smiles Stuhlmann. The team of experts also managed to boost the packer’s performance. On the further developed shrink packer up to 37,000 bottles per hour can be formed into packs of six on two lanes at the existing line speed.

The final acceptance test at the beginning of 2019 was performed to the full satisfaction of all involved. "KHS has met our requirements in every respect. The packaging quality has considerably improved compared to what it was,” praises Marie. Creasing and distorted print are now no longer a problem for the premium brand. “Thanks to the improved quality we’ve been able to double the size of the lettering on the packaging,” Marie relates. “This is a great advantage as regards product presentation. Our brand is now more visible to our customers than ever before.” The management of Danone Waters is also convinced by the final result. The French parent company considers the project to be an excellence reference for the entire company group.
(KHS GmbH)

Craft Brewers Conference canceled

Craft Brewers Conference canceled   (Company news)

The Brewers Association has been following the situation around COVID-19 as it relates to the Craft Brewers ConferenceⓇ & BrewExpo AmericaⓇ and World Beer Cup™. We have been closely monitoring updates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as state and local governments. We have also been actively following travel advisories and restrictions being placed on health care providers and hospitals and institutions in the U.S. and globally.

Given the developments over the past 24 hours, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America and World Beer Cup. The Brewers Association will provide full refunds of conference registration and booth fees, sponsor payments, and World Beer Cup competition entries.

We are grateful to all of you who made plans to attend this year’s events. It is heartbreaking to miss the annual gathering of our craft brewing community, but the safety and health of attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, staff, volunteers, and the craft brewing community at large is paramount to the Brewers Association.

When/where is CBC 2021?
March 29-April 1, 2021 in San Diego, CA.
(Brewers Association)

ENGEL presents the next generation e-cap

ENGEL presents the next generation e-cap  (Company news)

Even faster, even more stable, even more efficient: ENGEL presents the next generation of the all-electric e-cap injection moulding machine series for beverage caps. The production of 29/25 lightweight caps on a new e-cap 380 machine makes it clear how continuously increasing requirements can be combined with the shortest cycle times, the highest precision and lowest energy consumption.

Photo: With extremely short cycle times of less than two seconds, the new e-cap ensures very high precision and repeatability.

ENGEL set new standards with the presentation of the first all-electric e-cap injection moulding machine at K 2010. Until then, hydraulic machines using accumulators for the injection movement were the standard for the production of caps. The all-electric drive technology in this field of application was a revolution at the time. To date, the e-cap is the most energy-efficient cap machine on the market and at the same time the only high-performance machine tailored to the requirements of the caps and closures industry providing all-electric operation even with a clamping force range as high as 4,200 kN. With an average ROI of less than two years, the e-cap has quickly established itself worldwide since its market launch.

Highest dynamic performance with frequent load changes
“Since 2010, the requirements for beverage caps have changed substantially”, as Friedrich Mairhofer, Product Manager for all-electric injection moulding machines at ENGEL, explains. This is why the continuous further development of e-cap now is being integrated into a next generation machine. Continuous part weight reductions play a central role. “For still water, caps with a weight of significantly less than one gram are produced today,” says Mairhofer. “As a result, the cooling and cycle times have continued to drop. Where the cycle times ten years ago were still 2.5 seconds, today's cap machines need to be able to produce at 2-second intervals and faster.” When developing the new generation of machines, the main focus was therefore both on performance and on stability. The new e-cap achieves even faster mould opening and closing movements and is designed with an even more stable machine bed for more frequent load cycles.

Ejector drives amplified with booster
An e-cap 2440/380 is demonstrating the series' new performance achievements by producing 29/25 caps in a 96-cavity mould by Plastisud. The shot weight is 1.3 grams per cavity with a cycle time of less than 2 seconds. An HDPE from Borealis/Borouge is processed. The system is equipped with camera-supported 100 percent quality inspection by IMDvista and a dry air system by Eisbär. Further system partners are Piovan, PackSys Global and PSG.

The reinforced frame and the reinforced mould mounting platens on the new e-cap ensure excellent stability of the machine movements even with extremely short cycles and very small shot volumes. The result is outstanding reproduction of surface detail and a maximum number of good parts.

The fast dry cycle times of 1.3 seconds with the e-cap 380, for example, and the parallel movements included in the standard right from the outset make an important contribution to achieving cycle times of less than 2 seconds. Ejection occurs parallel to the mould opening. What is new is that the ejectors can be amplified by a switchable hydraulic booster on demand. This ensures that the machine operates with the best possible efficiency both during running production and during start-up after a production interruption. While the caps are not yet completely cooled and very easy to demould during ejection in ongoing production, the ejectors have to apply more force in stop situations to remove caps that have already cooled down in the mould. Since production interruptions are rare, it is more efficient to use servo-hydraulic drive amplification than to generally equip the machine with more powerful ejector drives. High forces only when they are actually needed – that is ENGEL's motto.

The new e-cap generation is offered with two different ejector drive technologies. The machine works with hydraulic ejectors as standard. Servo-electric drives are available as an option, which require around ten percent less energy.

More powerful plasticising unit for poor-flowing HDPE
The plasticising unit was completely redesigned in the course of the e-cap's further development, as the properties of the materials to be processed have also changed. The raw material manufacturers have adapted the materials to the lower cap weights. For CSD (carbonated soft drink) caps, the melt flow index (MFI) of today's HDPE grades is between 0.8 and 1.4 g/10 min. Very short cycle times require particularly high plasticising rates. ENGEL has increased the torque of the plasticising drive accordingly and developed both a new plasticising screw and a new highly wear-resistant sliding ring non-return valve specifically for cap manufacture. Both products are part of the standard scope of supply of the new e-cap machines. With its new design, the barrier screw processes high viscosity HDPE in a particularly gentle way, even given high throughput levels, while ensuring a very good melting rate and homogeneity of the melt. This further contributes to the high process stability and repeatability of e-cap machines.

Optimising energy consumption across the entire system
Cleanliness and energy efficiency have been essential characteristics of the series right from the outset. With an encapsulated toggle lever and a very clean linear guide of the moving platen, the e-cap machines reliably meet the requirements of strictly regulated production in the food industry.

The machines' all-electric drive technology makes a major contribution to their outstanding energy efficiency. In addition, braking energy is recuperated, reliably preventing the need for expensive peak power. Thanks to the very high efficiency of the drives used, the e-cap machines also only require a minimum of coolant. The e-cap 380, for example, operates at high speed with a specific energy consumption of 0,37 kWh per kilogram of pellets processed.

As a system supplier, ENGEL precisely coordinates all the components of the production cell right from the start of the project. “This allows us to fully leverage the efficiency potential throughout the entire production cell,” as Mairhofer emphasises.

The new e-cap is available in the sizes 220, 280, 380 and 420 with clamping forces from 2,200 to 4,200 kN.
(Engel Austria GmbH)

Ball Corporation Achieves Global First With Sustainability Certification

Ball Corporation Achieves Global First With Sustainability Certification  (Company news)

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) announced that it has earned the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) certification for all 23 of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) beverage can plants. This accomplishment is a major sustainability milestone for the company and Ball is the first beverage can manufacturer to meet ASI’s environmental, social and governance principles.

The certification accompanies a commitment to significant carbon reductions by Ball, which is now covering all of its operations in the European Union, Serbia and the UK with renewable energy. Ball previously announced agreements for 100% renewable energy covering all of its North America operations by 2021.

“We’re extremely proud to be the first aluminium beverage can manufacturer to achieve ASI certification,” said Ron Lewis, President, Ball Beverage Packaging, EMEA. “With their infinite recyclability, aluminium cans are the fastest growing beverage packaging type in Europe. As consumers seek more environmentally friendly products, they can have confidence in aluminium’s strong sustainability credentials such as responsible sourcing. The certification, combined with our renewable energy investments, demonstrates Ball’s commitment to a low-carbon, sustainable economy.”

ASI is a multi-stakeholder initiative that provides assurance of responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminium throughout its value chain. As consumers demand greater sustainability across packaged goods, the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s scheme aims to do for aluminium what the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) did for paper and wood, making sustainability performance a mainstream, visible issue.

Ball has achieved both ASI’s Performance, and Chain of Custody (CoC) Standard certifications.

The ASI Performance Standard is a measure of how much effort Ball is making across its plants to assess, manage and disclose its environmental, social and governance impacts. These include issues such as life-cycle thinking, recycling, greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste management, biodiversity, business integrity and the human rights of both workers and local communities.

The ASI CoC Standard sets out requirements for the creation of a Chain of Custody for material that is produced and processed through the value chain. In Ball’s case, it links verified practices – certified under the ASI Performance Standard – from mining and remelting to casting, rolling, can manufacturing and filling.

“We’re responding to a greater desire from consumers, across Europe and around the world, for genuinely sustainable and infinitely recyclable packaging solutions,” said Kathleen Pitre, Chief Commercial and Sustainability Officer, Ball Corporation. “We’re working closely with our beverage customers to help them deliver on their sustainability commitments including on responsible sourcing practices. Ball is proud of our achievements in getting certified.”

“We are very pleased to award ASI Certification to, Ball Corporation, the world’s largest aluminium can maker and the first in its sector to have achieved this,” said Dr. Fiona Solomon, Chief Executive Officer, Aluminium Stewardship Initiative. “The ASI’s Performance Standard covers critical issues for the entire aluminium value chain. The programme is focused on responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of this important industrial metal. ASI Certification enables the aluminium industry to demonstrate responsibility and provide independent and credible assurance of performance. Supply-chain certification programs like ASI are becoming increasingly important for customers and stakeholders, who seek assurance that companies’ sustainability practices are genuine.”

With 75% of aluminium ever produced still in use today around the world, the metal has a vital role to play in creating a truly circular economy. Ball is taking a lead on industry efforts to significantly increase the European recycling rate of aluminium beverage cans, currently at 75%. Recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy required for the production of virgin aluminium, and so helps the global community to meet urgent carbon reduction targets.
(Ball Corporation Luton)

Reliable and efficient: Asahi Soft Drinks in Japan relies on the InnoPET Blomax Series V ...

Reliable and efficient: Asahi Soft Drinks in Japan relies on the InnoPET Blomax Series V ...  (Company news)

...stretch blow molder from KHS

-Series V machine successfully running in Rokko in Japan
-PET bottles for still water ‘Rokko No Mizu’ holding between 600 milliliters and two liters
-Focus on efficiency for sustainable production

Photo: The InnoPET Blomax is one of the most reliable and efficient machines of its kind. Thanks to its optional new heating concept the Series V consumes up to 40% less energy compared to its predecessor.

A strong partner for Asahi Soft Drinks: KHS equips the Japanese bottler with up-to-the-minute technology for its Rokko water brand. The company is particularly convinced by the high quality and sustainability of the InnoPET Blomax Series V stretch blow molder.

Everyone in Japan is familiar with the brands produced by Asahi Soft Drinks, such as ‘Wilkinson’. Outside the country, too, the enterprise is also a known entity as a shareholder in or even owner of famous beer brands such as Tsingtao (China), Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic) or Grolsch (the Netherlands). Asahi beer is a premium product and now exported worldwide. Not so well known outside Japan – but no less important for the holding – is the local soft drinks and water market. In 2018 Asahi achieved a turnover of over 360 billion yen (around €2.96 billion) in this segment.

With over eight production sites Asahi Soft Drinks Co., Ltd. offers a wide selection of products from ciders and teas through milk beverages to still and carbonated mineral waters. The company bottles its ‘Rokko No Mizu’ water at the location of the same name which is not far from the cities of Kōbe and Osaka. Rokko was one of the very first mineral waters produced by what is now an international concern, always driven by the high requirements made of the quality of the product. Today, it is filled into PET bottles to also meet consumer demand for a simple, safe and sustainable container.

Asahi Soft Drinks trusts in stretch blow molding technology from KHS
When looking for the best-possible combination of bottles manufactured reliably and to a high quality the choice fell on the KHS InnoPET Blomax Series V stretch blow molder. Asahi Soft Drinks sums up why the company ultimately opted for this particular machine. “We clearly aspire to technological leadership which is why we focus on sustainability, efficiency and state-of-the-art technology.”

The KHS InnoPET Blomax Series V was exhibited at the BrauBeviale trade show in Nuremberg, Germany, in November 2018. Prior to the event Asahi constantly kept up to date with KHS’ new developments and was one of the first customers to decide to commission the new series. This was also the case in 2008 when a prototype of the InnoPET Blomax Series IV found its way to Japan. Twelve years later the new and meanwhile established Series V is now producing 600-milliliter to-go bottles and large two-liter receptacles of still Rokko mineral water. A total of around 200 million containers a year are manufactured on the KHS system.

Blomax Series V cuts energy consumption by up to 40%
“We’ve built up a trusting relationship with KHS over many years,” explains Asahi Soft Drinks. “At no time have we regretted investing in the new series.” Asahi can attest that its energy consumption has been demonstrably reduced by up to 40%. The systems supplier from Dortmund has made this possible by including a number of further developments in its next generation of Blomaxes.

The InnoPET Blomax stretch blow molder has always been one of the most reliable and efficient machines of its kind. The Series V saves up to 40% in energy compared to its predecessor through the implementation of a completely new heating concept. The near infrared (or NIR) heater centrally installed in the closed reflector tunnel forms the nucleus of this. In the heater the preforms pass the centrally arranged heating units to both the left and right. This means that every single NIR heater is used twice, so to speak.

In the Series V KHS has supplemented its patented AirbackPlus air recycling system for an up to 40% saving in compressed air with its new EcoDry air management system. This uses the residual air from the blowing and recycling process to replace a separate air drier in the base mold area and in the blow wheel, again yielding significant savings in energy.

Further joint projects planned
KHS also affirms that its customer is satisfied with its new machinery. “When a Japanese company like Asahi trusts in us thanks to the notable efficiency and reliability of our machines, then that’s a great honor indeed,” says Matthias Gernhuber, head of Area Sales and Product Management for Asia-Pacific at KHS Corpoplast GmbH. “For saving energy in the interest of the environment and the demand for product quality are of especial importance to the Japanese.”

Convinced by the system performance and in order to meet its own requirements and keep up with its rate of growth, Asahi recently announced that plans for a second stretch blow molder from the new series are already underway.
(KHS GmbH)

SIG ranked among top 1% for Corporate Responsibility

SIG ranked among top 1% for Corporate Responsibility  (Company news)

SIG has maintained its elite position among the top 1% of participating companies with a platinum rating in the latest EcoVadis assessment on corporate social responsibility (CSR).

„The platinum rating from EcoVadis is testament to SIG’s ongoing commitment to go Way Beyond Good for society and the environment,” said Michael Hecker, Director Corporate Responsibility at SIG. “Being ranked among the top 1% of companies for sustainability once again makes us very proud of what we have achieved and will inspire us to go even further.”

The EcoVadis assessment process is designed to improve transparency and promote continuous improvement on sustainability in the supply chain, enabling customers to monitor performance and identify high performing partners. The assessment methodology is based on international sustainability standards and supervised by a scientific committee of CSR and supply chain experts.

To date, EcoVadis has assessed over 50,000 trading partners worldwide. SIG first achieved its top percentile position in 2017. Since then, the company has improved its overall score as it continues to drive progress towards its ambition to go Way Beyond Good by putting more into society and the environment than it takes out.

Scores are based on a detailed independent assessment of policies, processes and performance related to the environment, labour and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement criteria that are most relevant to the company’s size, location and industry.

Recognised external assessments like EcoVadis provide customers and other stakeholders with independent assurance that SIG is a responsible business. All SIG’s production plants also complete regular SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) Members Ethical Trade Audits to assess working conditions, health and environmental protection, and ethical business practices.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)


Croatia & Bosnia: Croatia's Stanic Beverages to launch production in Bosnia  (

Croatia's Stanic Beverages, part of Stanic Group, plans to launch this year beer production in Bosnia where it currently distributes a large number of international beer brands, SeeNews reported on February 12 citing a Bosnian municipality.

Stanic Beverages will build a beer production plant in Kresevo, a town in central Bosnia located some 40 km west of Sarajevo, the Kresevo municipality said in a statement earlier this week.

The investment will be made in partnership with the local authorities who will provide the company with the necessary water resources for the planned beer production, the municipality said without disclosing the value of the investment.

At present, Stanic Beverages, via its Kresevo-based Bosnian unit Boreas, is the distributors of beer brands such as Heineken, Amstel, Karlovacko, Zajecarsko Pivo, MB and Pils Plus, among others, on the Bosnian market.

Boreas is also active in the distribution of strong alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic drinks and tobacco products.

In 2015, Stanic Beverages opened a fruit juice bottling plant in Kresevo for its Juicy brand, aiming to meet the rising demand for its products in the region and beyond.

Stanic Group comprises eight companies operating in the fields of production, distribution and sale of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, technical goods and tobacco, as well as in the media segment.


Norway: Sales of non-alcoholic beer reach new record in 2019  (

10.6 million litres of non-alcoholic beer were sold in Norway in 2019, a new record for the Scandinavian country.

The figure, which applies to country’s the entire beverage industry, was reported by news bureau NTB reported on February 17.

Increasing popularity of non-alcoholic beer is linked to a wider selection and improving quality of products, according to Henrik Lund, marketing manager for alcohol-free beer Ringnes, a major Norwegian brewery.

“The good taste experience and the high quality of the brewery means that alcohol-free beer is no longer seen as a substitute for beer with alcohol,” Lund told NTB.

While 2019 was a record year for non-alcoholic beer, 2020 has begun by setting an unprecedented pace for sales of the product.

During the first three weeks of January, sales of non-alcoholic beer increased by as much as 10 percent compared to 2019.

Increasing awareness regarding fitness and health, making more people consider their alcohol intake, is helping to boost the sector, Lund said.

“We believe (the January figures are) primarily due to a stronger focus on health and fitness in January,” he told NTB.

“This is due not only to a desire to reduce alcohol consumption after Christmas and New Year's celebrations, but also the fact that beer without alcohol contains far fewer calories than soda or beer with alcohol,” he added.


USA: Molson Coors launches Mexican beer Sol Chelada Limon y Sal in the US  (

Molson Coors Beverage Co. has launched one of its best-selling beers in Mexico in the U.S., reported on February 24.

Sol Chelada Limon y Sal is a bright lager with natural lime flavor and a pinch of salt, according to the Chicago-based beverage company. The drink is the second spinoff from the Mexican import brand, which grew 42% in 2019 after the release of a Sol Chelada made with Sol beer, tomato, lime and spices, said Katie Feldman, senior marketing manager of North American imports for Molson Coors.

“We’re excited about building the Sol franchise, and we believe the chelada segment can help introduce more drinkers to the brand,” she said.

Sol Limon y Sal has 3.5% ABV and comes packaged in 24-ounce single cans.

Molson Coors is a global brewer with brands such as Coors Light, Coors Banquet, Miller Lite, Molson Canadian, Carling and Blue Moon Belgian White.


South Korea: HiteJinro stepping up efforts to penetrate overseas markets  (

HiteJinro Co., a South Korean producer of alcoholic beverages including soju and beer, is stepping up its efforts to penetrate overseas markets based on its strong sales performances in the Korean beer and soju market, BusinessKorea reported on February 26.

The company announced on Feb. 25 that its “Strawberry Soju” will be available at 4,600 Seven Eleven stores in the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore.

HiteJinro is selling soju products such as “Cham Iseul Soju” and “Grape Iseul Soju” through Southeast Asia's leading distribution channels. With “Strawberry Iseul Soju” selling at Seven Eleven stores, the company has finished putting Soju products in large retail distribution chains. Strawberry Iseul Soju will hit the shelves at about 2,400 stores in the Philippines, about 2,000 stores in Thailand and about 200 stores in Singapore by the end of February.

HiteJinro surpassed 2 trillion won in sales last year on the back of the popularity of “Terra” beer and “Jinro Is Back” soju and made a turnaround in seven years. The company accounted for about 60 percent of the soju market in Korea. Its share of the beer market was also estimated to have risen from 27 percent in 2018 to 33 percent in 2019.

Hite Jinro has been actively tapping overseas markets lately. In January, HiteJinro Philippines was established in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The company also exported more than 13,000 boxes of soju, including Strawberry Iseul Soju which is popular in Southeast Asia. The Philippine subsidiary is an overseas corporation established three years after the establishment of the Vietnam subsidiary in 2016. It is the company’s sixth overseas subsidiary after those in Japan, the United States, China, Russia and Vietnam.

HiteJinro launched a campaign to globalize soju sales in 2016 and focused on Southeast Asian countries. The company’s soju sales in Southeast Asia grew an annual average of 22 percent over the last four years from 2016 to 2019.

In April 2018, the company also launched “Jinro Light,” a customized product to target the distilled liquor market in the Philippines. With the new product, it doubled its sales in 2018 compared to 2015. The average annual growth rate has been 27.2 percent over the last three years.


Taiwan: Taiwan’s microbrewery scene still very small but flourishing  (

Anyone wandering into the trendy dive bars around Taipei would notice the variety of local craft beers adorning the menus. Visitors and locals alike are drawn to the colorful labels and diverse, regional flavors, The News Lens International reported on February 26.

Taiwan’s microbrewery scene flourished after a substantial series of alcohol deregulations in 2002 ended the government’s monopoly of beer production. The U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service estimated that Taiwan’s craft beer consumption, although small in the overall market share, has an annual growth of 20 percent. Although rising in popularity, Taiwan’s craft beers are still facing fierce competition from commercial brews, imported beers, wine, and spirits like whiskey.

“Craft beer is still very small in Taiwan. The craft beer consumption only makes up around 1 to 3 percent of the total beer market,” said Dr. Shu Wei Huang, urban sociology professor at the National Taiwan University (NTU).

Dr. Huang, who thinks beer tells a story about the society it is produced in, has been teaching workshops on craft beer production at NTU to promote the cultural importance of having local brews in an open society. The beer brewing process serves a multifaceted map of society, connecting its agricultural, transport, processing, and retail sectors, as well as its distinct leisure and culinary culture.

Craft beer is defined by the American Brewers Association as being produced by a small and independent brewer in a historic but unique style. Other key elements include the emphasis on innovation and the use of both traditional and non-traditional ingredients.

One of Taiwan’s biggest craft beer breweries, Sunmai, struck a delicate balance between local and imported ingredients. Its selection of beer is now available in restaurants overseas, and it was the first Taiwanese craft beer brand to be sold in local convenience stores.

Malted barley and hops are two of the four key elements in the beer brewing process alongside water and yeast. Malt allows for beer fermentation and it is responsible for most of the beer flavor, while most hops release bitter-tasting oils and acids that are used to balance out the sweetness of the malt, or to add a poignant citrus flavor in the case of aroma hops.

Sunmai imports malted barley and hops from places like Australia or Germany. However, the company is seeking to keep a hint of Taiwanese flavor in its drafts. One of Sunmai’s master brewers, Marcie Chan, carefully studied the malted wheat-heavy southern German brewing technique, while keeping a close eye on untapped local ingredients. She designed Sunmai’s flagship beer, the honey lager, which blends German malt with Taiwanese Longan honey to create a luscious aftertaste. Sunmai also brews a seasonal pinkish strawberry ale, made with local strawberries.

Despite Sunmai’s rapid growth, the local ingredient suppliers might struggle to catch up. The brewery hinted it might soon need another honey supplier to meet its production demands. The Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation (TTL), a state-owned brewer, ran into similar problems when trying to meet demands for its wildly popular fruit beers. The local fruit farmers could only deliver 60 percent of the orders, and TTL had to turn the beers into seasonal products due to short supply.

Sunmai has minimized its reliance on local agriculture and managed to grow into a leader in Taiwan’s microbrewery scene. Its fermentation facility is several times the size of similarly aged foreign counterparts, with a bigger domestic market share for craft beer. Australian microbreweries such as Stockade Brew and The Craft kicked off the same year as Sunmai in 2016 but haven’t seen the same production growth.

According to Sunmai’s brewing philosophy, contemporary Taiwan is molded by many influences from Asia and the cultural diversity should be reflected in its craft beer. Sunmai does not shy away from cooperating with other Asian brewers. Together with Japanese craft beer producer Coedo, they created the Shanjiao Kumquat Ale, a nod to the Taiwanese village that supplied the fruits, while the other ingredients are from Japan.

For a popular brand like Sunmai, using imported ingredients is more practical than relying on local farmers who might not offer the same production capacity. But as an industry leader in Taiwan, Sunmai is facing an overarching identity crisis: what makes Taiwanese craft beer Taiwanese then?

Some microbreweries in Taiwan insist on using local ingredients regardless of the challenges, such as the Taipei-based startup Alechemist. Robert and Kai Chen, the co-founders, started the beer company five years ago with a clear focus on domestic agriculture. Robert, 37, a former employee of San Diego’s craft beer phenomena AleSmith, was particularly keen on restoring barley as a domestic crop to keep the entire supply chain in Taiwan.

In the 1920s, Taiwan boasted a large number of brewing facilities under Japan’s Monopoly Bureau. Barley farming in Taiwan was set up during the Japanese occupation in the early 20th century to support beer production. Around six breeds of barley, both local and imported from Japan, were grown on the island. The Japanese left behind expensive equipment and brewing techniques after World War II, and the Taiwan Provincial Monopoly Bureau (now TTL) assumed control of the beer production, spawning the national brand Taiwan Beer in 1946.

In the 1960s, Taiwan Beer gradually replaced malted barley with the Ponlai rice (蓬萊米), also known as Formosa rice, because of its abundant and affordable supply. Ponlai rice also gave Taiwan Beer its distinctively sweet flavor. By the ‘90s, barley prices plummeted due to the increase of global trade, and the local barley production was all but vanished in Taiwan.

Robert acquired barley seeds from NTU’s agricultural research center in 2015 and started his own patch at the university campus. He woke every day at 5:30 a.m. to care for the crops and he harvested them manually, yet the micro patch only delivered a few kilograms of barley, barely enough for one or two cases of beer. Determined to revive Taiwanese barley farming, the Alechemist founders acquired a field of 5 acres in Taichung, collaborating with a farmer to manage the operation.

“It took us five years to just have a commercial production of barley,” Robert said.

Although Alechemist made significant progress in keeping the entire cycle of beer production home, the next challenge is already at its doorstep. The malting process of barley has disappeared from Taiwan when the farming ceased three decades ago. Alechemist currently contracts an external company to germinate the barley, a “sloppy solution” that requires too much back-and-forth delivery, Robert said.

It might not even be possible to consistently farm all the required ingredients. Taiwan’s subtropical and sometimes turbulent climate is far from optimal for frequently harvesting the necessary hops and grains, according to Dr. Huang. Alechemist already experienced this first hand with its unsteady barley gains, after a less than successful harvest last year due to extreme weather changes.

The entrepreneurs have sought government funding multiple times to invigorate the malting industry to no avail. The Council of Agriculture (COA) declined on the grounds that there would not be enough economic activity to warrant funding a malting industry.

“There's hardly any stimulation of new industries here. I feel like Taiwan is known for its short-sighted agricultural policies,” Robert said.

Funding a malting industry may not be a priority for the COA, but it has been promoting local agricultural products with promotions like the Kaohsiung Lychee Beer Festival. TTL, the national brewer, has made attempts to incentivize local craft beer producers on a small scale. Its limited edition Red Quinoa Ale, which sources ingredients from indigenous Taiwanese in Taitung, won silver in the specialty beer category at the 2019 World Beer Awards.

Since the late ‘80s, Taiwanese business owners had been moving operations and investments overseas due to the increasing labor and land costs. It was not until 2019 when more Taiwanese firms started bringing their capital home under the pressure of the U.S.-China trade war and the government’s reshoring initiatives.

But for craft beer, something so intrinsically tied to a region’s domestic agriculture and taste, is an industry that relies on Taiwan’s geographical advantage. With the island’s abundance of tropical fruits like longan, dark plum, and mango, the breweries are able to create a variety of distinct flavors and aroma specific to Taiwan. The challenge, however, remains in the insufficient supply for the growing demand.

Alechemist and Sunmai are both trying to create a “Taiwanese classic” in their respective ways. While Sunmai tries to position itself as an industry leader by honing its brewing prowess and cleverly utilizing imported ingredients, Alechemist is trying to root all of its production in Taiwan.

“No matter who buys us in the future, or where we move, our beer will always require the local Taiwanese ingredients and flavor,” Robert said.


India: AB InBev launches local wheat beers Veere and Machaa in Bengaluru  (

Anheuser Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s biggest brewer that sells Budweiser and Corona, announced on February 28 the launch of its local wheat beers - Veere and Machaa - in Bengaluru, reported.

In October 2019, AB InBev set up an Indian unit, 7 Rivers Brewing Co, to introduce the two wheat beer variants in Mumbai and Pune.

Kartikeya Sharma, president - South Asia for AB InBev, said, “We are constantly looking at ways to enhance our existing portfolio of beers and the launch of Veere and Machaa is yet another step in that direction. We are delighted with the response from our consumers in Mumbai and Pune. We see a growing trend of specialty wheat beers across the top urban centers in the country.”

Both the variants are brewed at its Aurangabad brewery with homegrown ingredients. The craft style beer by AB Inbev is a locally made Belgian wheat beer made using wheat sourced from various parts of Punjab and Haryana. While Veere has notes of orange and coriander flavours, Machaa is a tropical beer with flavours of banana and cloves sourced from Tamil Nadu. At an ABV of lower than 5%, the variants are being retailed in both can and bottle formats.

Wheat beer has a larger proportion of wheat malt than malted barley. The number of Indian bars that increasingly stock Belgian Witbier and German Hefeweizen-style wheat beer is on the rise, helped by surging consumer demand.

In December 2019, beer giant United Breweries (UB) also forayed into the fast growing craft beer segment with the launch of Kingfisher Ultra Witbier. It was the first non-lager beer from Heineken-controlled UB.

UB and AB InBev, which together control three-fourths of India’s beer market, also sell Edelweiss and Hoegaarden wheat beer, respectively, which are imported and carry price tags that are more than double that of their rivals.

India is predominately a strong beer market that accounts for 85% of the overall segment. The industry, however, witnessed highest growth coming from the craft beer category which led to the mushrooming of about 170 microbreweries in India from just two over the last decade.


Ireland & UK: Budweiser moving Irish production from Dublin home of Guinness to the UK  (

Budweiser is moving Irish production from the Dublin home of Guinness to the UK as part of a distribution deal with Bulmers cider maker C&C, reported on March 5.

C&C said it was acquiring rights to market the Budweiser Brewing Group's two key assets in Ireland - Budweiser and Bud Light - from Guinness parent Diageo. Terms were not disclosed but the deal becomes effective on July 1.

At that time C&C will begin distributing Bud and Bud Light across Ireland. Production of the brands will cease at St James's Gate brewery in Dublin.

Budweiser said production for the Irish market will be transferred to two breweries in Magor, south Wales, and Samlesbury, Lancashire, in England. Both facilities are operated by Bud's parent, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and already brew Bud and Bud Light for the British market.

C&C said its facility in Clonmel, Co Tipperary - where it chiefly makes Bulmers cider - would be responsible for kegging Bud imported from the UK.

Budweiser said most, if not all, would come from the Welsh brewery.

The jobs impact at Diageo and C&C was not immediately clear.

C&C said the Clonmel kegging activity may require no extra staffing.

Diageo said it did not anticipate job losses in Dublin, as the brewery pivots to increased production of other lager brands.

Bud's departure "will present an opportunity for Diageo to focus on growing our own newer wholly-owned brands, such as Rockshore and Hop House 13, whilst also focusing on our important business with Carlsberg", a Diageo spokesman said.

For the past decade, C&C has made and distributed other brands in Budweiser Brewing Group's portfolio - including Stella Artois, Beck's, Corona, Leffe and Hoegaarden - in the UK. Some is imported here.

Diageo has brewed Bud at its St James's Gate brewery for more than two decades.

Bud once held a fifth of the Irish lager market, but it has slid in popularity amid greater competition from micro-brewers and new market entrants.


UK: One in three young adults cuts down on alcohol consumption - Siba  (

So-called “nolo” drinks have been tipped to be the UK’s biggest trend for 2020, according to a report, driven by 18-24 year-olds drinking less alcohol or switching to no or low-alcohol substitutes, The Guardian reported on March 11.

The annual British craft beer report, due to be published by small brewers’ trade body the Society of Independent Brewers (Siba) on Thursday, March 12 will reveal that one in three young adults have cut down on their alcohol consumption while a record 23% are now teetotal.

The popularity of the burgeoning sector – set to be one of the fastest growing parts of the beer market this year in the quest to satisfy the thirst for nights out without a hangover – has toppled craft beer from the top slot where it has reigned for the past five years.

In the UK consumers drink around 8 billion pints every year, yet only 7% of all the beer drunk is from small independent craft brewers, of whom 750 are members of Siba.

The report said there has been a 30% leap in sales of no or low-alcohol beers since 2016, with consumers increasingly expecting to have a wider range in pubs and bars. A separate study by Euromonitor has shown that the UK market for no and low-alcohol beer has doubled in four years, with sales of £63 mln estimated for 2020.

“Low or no-alcohol beers have never been better and some of the best examples are made by small independent breweries,” said Neil Walker, spokesman for Siba. “It’s a trend that shows no signs of wavering and means that people who choose not to drink, are driving or just want to cut down, now have plenty of tasty options.”

London-based alcohol-free craft brewer Big Drop, for example, is enjoying bumper growth with a range of beers that includes lager, pale ale and IPA. These have less than 0.5% alcohol by volume (abv) and so can legally be sold in the UK as alcohol-free. Its dark stout (0.5% abv) won gold at the International Beer Challenge, beating its full-strength rivals. Similarly, Brewdog has enjoyed success with its low-alcohol Nanny State pale ale.

The Small Beer Beer Brew Co, which specialises in classic beer styles below 2.8% abv, is now selling Small Beers on draught at a quarter of all Fuller’s pubs in the UK. Sales tripled in January compared with last year following “dry January” and are continuing strong growth into March.

The brewer’s co-founder James Grundy said: “We know people enjoy walking through their front doors and transitioning from work to home with the opening of a beer, but now people want that without the cloudy-headed morning after, as that slowdown is no longer a desirable part of people’s lifestyles.”

While craft and small-scale brewers are tapping into this market, the world’s biggest brewers and drinks makers have been quick to spot the opportunity. Johnnie Walker-owner Diageo has made a splash with its non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip while Budweiser owner Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken have launched dozens of no and low-alcohol beers.

Siba has confirmed that this year’s BeerX event in Liverpool – expected to attract more than 2,000 visitors over March 11 and March 12 – will go ahead as planned despite worries about coronavirus. However, it is imposing a ban on handshakes and sharing beer glasses.

Amcor’s ShapeArt Offers Iconic New Closures for Premium Brands

Amcor’s ShapeArt Offers Iconic New Closures for Premium Brands  (Company news)

Amcor introduces a proprietary system for developing bespoke, dimensional and recyclable closures that demand attention and elevate the world’s most exclusive wine and spirits brands.

Amcor’s ShapeArt offers an innovative way for brands to set themselves apart – both in bars and on retail shelves. The closures’ distinctive customized shapes make a powerful impression on consumers.

While introducing ShapeArt to its product range, Amcor is also offering a comprehensive ShapeArt service.

“Our ShapeArt process enables producers to work alongside dedicated experts through every phase of design and production,” explains Amcor Capsules General Manager, Mr. Nicolas Freynet. “This not only speeds production, it also ensures customers receive the quality products and engineering support offered by Amcor.”

The Amcor team helps brand owners navigate ShapeArt’s extensive printing and finishing options and engineer the architectural features of their custom closure. This collaboration includes testing the final product on their bottling lines. Where bottling line modifications are required to accommodate the new closures, Amcor’s technical service team advises on equipment and reconfiguring processes.

The result is a bespoke and recyclable aluminum closure that captures the eye, sparks interest, and creates a compelling first impression.

Winemakers enjoy knowing that ShapeArt leverages Amcor’s STELVIN® closure technology, the original – and most highly trusted – aluminum wine closure.

Beviale Moscow 2020 - Postponement and new dates

Beviale Moscow 2020 - Postponement and new dates  (Beviale Moscow)

In view of the increasing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking into account the recently published travel restrictions - namely for China, Korea, Italy, Iran, France, Germany, Spain as well as for states with a tense situation - by the Lord Mayor of Moscow Sergej Sobjanin (decret N° 12-UM) NürnbergMesse has decided to postpone Beviale Moscow 2020 to Wednesday September 2nd to Friday September 4th 2020.
All organizational aspects will remain the same (venue, halls, bookings).

The protection of the health and safety of exhibitors, visitors and employees is a top priority for NürnbergMesse. In awareness of this responsibility and after careful consideration and evaluation of the current situation, the Management Board of NürnbergMesse has decided on this necessary protective measure.

We would like to thank you expressly for your understanding regarding our decision to postpone Beviale Moscow 2020. After intensive deliberation and numerous positive discussions with national and international customers, we have chosen the above-mentioned dates.

Kindly share this information with anyone in need to know about the new dates.
(NürnbergMesse GmbH)

The next-generation ThinkTop V50 and V70 hygienic valve control units now speak ...

The next-generation ThinkTop V50 and V70 hygienic valve control units now speak ...  (Company news)

... the IO-Link language

Picture: The compact Alfa Laval ThinkTop V50 and V70 are the second-generation of the leading sensing and control units for hygienic valves

Let the new Alfa Laval ThinkTop® IO-Link enhance communication between your hygienic valves and Industry 4.0 automation systems. The point-to-point IO-Link communication protocol connects sensors and actuators—regardless of fieldbus—to your automation systems. This enables real-time data exchange, improving diagnostics and simplifying configurability and control. ThinkTop IO-Link is perfect for use in the dairy, food, beverage, pharmaceutical and home-personal care industries.

“Suddenly it’s easier to capture, store, analyze and act upon meaningful data,” says René Stietz, Global Portfolio Manager for Automation at Alfa Laval. “You get all the finesse of the newly reengineered Alfa Laval ThinkTop—plus valuable benefits like more data, higher productivity and higher yields.”

Why the ThinkTop IO-Link?
Benefit from shorter installation time due to convenient M12 connectors and automatic recording of the hygienic valve stroke duration. Smarter time adjustments are enabled by the ability to assign priority to critical data. Flexibility is enhanced as a result of the capability to change data and process parameters from a remote automation system. Experience better daily operations due to enhanced data storage, availability and analytics.

Other notable features:
- Clearly visible LEDs with customizable colours and flashing-light ‘wink’ function eases valve identification on the automation system to the factory floor
- Optimized valve cleaning using a remote programmable logic controller to switch between standard time-based seat lift cleaning and burst seat cleaning
- A pressure shock counter for nearly instant detection of valve movements

Exploit the power of Industry 4.0 and demand more from your valves by putting the Alfa Laval ThinkTop IO-Link to work for your process lines.
(Alfa Laval Mid Europe GmbH Österreich)

Anellotech's Technology Converts Lay's Potato Chip Bag into Key Chemical Required for...

Anellotech's Technology Converts Lay's Potato Chip Bag into Key Chemical Required for...  (Company news)

... Plastic Bottles

Sustainable technology company Anellotech has announced that a laboratory demonstration of its Plas-TCatTM technology – which transforms mixed plastic waste directly into chemicals – successfully converted a Lay’s Barbeque Potato Chip (PepsiCo) bag into paraxylene, the primary chemical used to make virgin PET for beverage bottles. The conversion also had high yields of benzene, toluene and olefins used to make a range of plastics, including polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, ABS and polycarbonate.

Consumer goods brand owners in the beverage, textile, food and cosmetics sectors are setting ambitious 2025-2030 goals to include recycled PET (rPET) content in their products. Used beverage bottles are the main source of rPET – however, not enough beverage bottles are currently produced, collected or recycled to satisfy growing global demand.

By successfully converting multilayer food packaging like potato chip bags and other non-PET waste plastics into chemicals including para-xylene, Anellotech can help brand owners meet their recycled PET content targets.

Plas-TCatTM has the potential to convert a wide mix of plastics and natural materials – including composite films and multicomponent, single-use packaging like the Lay’s Barbeque Potato Chip bag – directly into commodity chemicals. From the same mixed plastic feedstock, the new process can be adjusted to two different production modes: ‘Hi-Olefins’ which emphasizes the production of olefins such as ethylene and propylene or ‘Hi-BTX’ which will produce mostly aromatics like BTX (benzene, toluene and xylene) and paraxylene – the key component needed for PET.

David Sudolsky, President & CEO of Anellotech, said “This is a world first, a significant step forward for our Plas-TCatTM technology, solving two major problems at once – expanded rPET supply and efficient, large-scale recycling of single-use packaging (including PE, PP and multilayer films). In addition, we are producing the same chemicals used today to make most major plastics. Our unique approach features an economical zeolite catalyst and heat in one fluid bed reactor to make commodity chemicals directly from plastic waste. Contrast this with companies making pyrolysis oils from plastics which must be upgraded at a chemical plant. By leveraging our lab and TCat-8® pilot systems – used to develop Anellotech’s Bio-TCatTM process for making bio-aromatics from wood – we are on track for an accelerated Plas-TCatTM program. Anellotech is currently seeking R&D funding from brand owners and other strategic investors to further develop the process – if you are interested in learning more, or having your plastic product screened for Plas-TCatTM, please consult our website or email”
(Anellotech Inc.)

Triple Hop'd Lager: Bitburger braut mit Sierra Nevada aus den USA

Triple Hop'd Lager: Bitburger braut mit Sierra Nevada aus den USA  (Company news)

Besonderes Bier in limitierter Auflage ab März in Deutschland erhältlich

Mit dem Triple Hop’d Lager bringt die Bitburger Brauerei ab März gemeinsam mit den Craftbier-Pionieren Sierra Nevada aus den USA ein limitiertes Bier in den Handel. Das hell-goldene und naturbelassenes Lagerbier ist dreifach mit Cascade-Hopfen aus der Eifel sowie Centennial- und Chinook-Hopfen aus den USA gehopft und mit Bitburger Siegelhopfen verfeinert. Bei 5,8 Prozent Alkohol weist das untergärige Bier einen fruchtig-hopfigen Geschmack und eine harmonisch in den Malzkörper eingebundene Bittere auf. Triple Hop’d Lager ist ab März in der 0,33-l-Dose auf und, vom Fass in einigen Gastronomieobjekten sowie ab Ende März exklusiv bei Rewe erhältlich.

Foto: Stoßen auf die gemeinsame Zusammenarbeit an (v.l.n.r.): Jan Niewodniczanski (Bitburger), Dr. Stefan Hanke (Bitburger), Brian Grossman (Sierra Nevada), Scott Jennings (Sierra Nevada) und Dr. Stefan Meyna (Bitburger). Foto: Michael Junges/dietextagentur

Trotz der Distanz von über 7.000 Kilometern verbindet die beiden Brauereien viele Gemeinsamkeiten: „Mit Sierra Nevada pflegen wir eine lange Freundschaft. Unsere Braumeister kennen sich schon seit Studienzeiten“, erklärt Jan Niewodniczanski, Geschäftsführer Technik und Umwelt der Bitburger Braugruppe. „Uns verbindet nicht nur unser hoher Qualitätsanspruch oder die Sorgfalt bei der Auswahl bester Rohstoffe. Unsere Brauereien sind außerdem seit ihrer Gründung in Familienbesitz geblieben und haben ihr Brauhandwerk kontinuierlich und innovativ weiterentwickelt.“

Die Bitburger Brauer empfingen Scott Jennings, Braumeister von Sierra Nevada, und Brian Grossman, Mitglied der Inhaberfamilie, im Dezember 2019 in ihrer Braustätte in der Eifel, wo sie ihr nach gemeinsamer Rezeptur entwickeltes Bier zusammen einbrauten. Es ist schon das zweite gemeinsame Bier: Bereits letzten Sommer wurde ein gemeinsames Festbier für den amerikanischen Markt bei Sierra Nevada in den USA gebraut.
(Bitburger Braugruppe GmbH)

ENGEL opens subsidiary in Japan

ENGEL opens subsidiary in Japan  (Company news)

With the founding of a new sales and service subsidiary in Tokyo, ENGEL AUSTRIA strengthens its market presence in Japan. The new subsidiary can build on a long established market position.

Photo: Yuji Takeda has taken over the management of ENGEL's new subsidiary in Japan.

"The Japanese market continues to gain importance for us," says Gero Willmeroth, Regional President East Asia and Oceania at ENGEL. "Innovative processing technologies and the digitalisation of injection moulding processes are key issues for plastics processors. The own subsidiary allows us to better support our customers in these particularly consulting-intensive topics and to respond more quickly and flexibly to local requirements."

ENGEL has worked together with the trading company Correns Corporation in Japan for many years. Customers have been personally informed about the change over the past few weeks. "The trust our customers place in us is high, and this step will further strengthen that trust. The investment in Tokyo underlines our commitment to the Japanese market," says Willmeroth.

Yuji Takeda takes over as Managing Director
The Managing Director of ENGEL Japan KK is Yuji Takeda, who brings experience with ENGEL injection moulding machines and technologies to his new position. His job began on 1 October 2019. In addition to a service technician, he has an assistant on board. In the second quarter of this year, a service technician from ENGEL in Austria will move to Japan to accompany the development of the subsidiary during the first few years.

Customers in Japan include both small local businesses and large corporations. In particular, international companies with headquarters in Japan will benefit from the new structure. With more than 30 subsidiaries, ENGEL has a worldwide presence and can support its customers in international projects with its own employees who have direct access to the entire company know-how.

On-site production and know-how in Asia
ENGEL is the only western injection moulding machine manufacturer to produce the entire range of machines in three plants in Asia and operates an own automation centre on site. For customers in Asia, this ensures short delivery times and flexible adaptation of the products to the specific requirements of the region. ENGEL also develops highly integrated and automated system solutions with local know-how. In many cases, this speeds up project planning.

Since it was founded in 1945, ENGEL has been 100 percent family-owned and independent of external investors. This has provided stability and a dependable long-term perspective. The ENGEL Group generated sales of 1.6 billion euros in the 2018/19 financial year and employs approximately 6,900 staff worldwide.
(Engel Austria GmbH)

LabelexpoSEA 2020 has been postponed in light of concerns over coronavirus/COVID-19

LabelexpoSEA 2020 has been postponed in light of concerns over coronavirus/COVID-19  (Company news)

Tarsus Group has confirmed that its upcoming edition of Labelexpo Southeast Asia 2020, due to take place at Bangkok’s International Trade and Exhibition Center (BITEC) from 7 – 9 May 2020, has been postponed in light of concerns over coronavirus/COVID-19. The show will now take place on 10 – 12 September 2020.

Lisa Milburn, managing director of Labelexpo Global Series, said:
“We have taken the difficult decision to postpone Labelexpo Southeast Asia 2020 in May due to coronavirus/COVID-19. This is an unprecedented situation, and given the vast amount of preparation that goes into our shows, not a decision we have taken lightly. However, the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and staff is our top priority, and working on the advice of our local partners and BITEC, we feel the best course of action is to postpone the show until September.

We have been continuously monitoring the situation in Thailand and the wider Southeast Asia region, and are following all local government advice, as well as that of the World Health Organization.

We thank all our exhibitors and partners for their understanding at this difficult time, and look forward to working with them on the rescheduled show. All other Labelexpo shows in 2020 are currently scheduled to go ahead as planned.”
(Tarsus Group)

The Flavor Factor: Innovation Remains Vital as Three-quarters of Consumers ‘Love to ...

The Flavor Factor: Innovation Remains Vital as Three-quarters of Consumers ‘Love to ...   (Company news)

...Discover New Flavors’

Flavor is, on average, the single most important factor in consumers’ food and drink choices. Interest in novelty and variety is also high, says a new report from Innova Market Insights revealing that three-quarters of global consumers ‘love to discover new flavors’. It is therefore little wonder that innovators continue to experiment and innovate with taste profiles and to use flavor as a valuable marketing tool.

Such is flavor’s importance in food and drink development that many of Innova’s Top 10 Trends for 2020 are having a clear bearing on its evolution. For example, more detailed flavor descriptors and an emphasis on provenance reflect the #1 trend ‘Storytelling: Winning With Words’ theme, while growing diversity in the produce and botanicals used in flavorings is part of the #2 trend ‘The Plant-Based Revolution’. ‘Hello Hybrids’ is another major theme, with more and more flavors familiar in one category crossing over into others. Also edition and seasonal flavors can help to invigorate brands and are a good way to test new tastes on the public (‘Brand Unlimited’).

Generationally, Millennials are the most adventurous in their attitudes to flavor, while Boomers are the most conventional. Perhaps surprisingly, Gen Zs are also less interested in mixing it up when it comes to taste. “When asked if they like new, mixed or seasonal flavors, Gen Z agreement was generally at least 10 percentage points lower than that of Millennials,” said Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “But there is still an element of boldness when it comes to genuine novelty, with 45% of Gen Zs agreeing that ‘the crazier the flavor, the better’, a much higher percentage than is found among the over 45s and over 55s.”

Looking ahead, flavor innovation will remain an essential part of food and drink NPD and key themes will include the diversification of authentic international flavors, further exploitation of the wider plant world, ‘permissible indulgence’ in the health and wellness arena and ongoing hybridization. Meanwhile, sustainability and the sourcing of flavors, including the raw materials that go into them, will also become a more important issue and could well impact on future consumer choice as well as industry practice.
(Innova Market Insights)

Britvic announces first sustainability-linked financing deal

Britvic announces first sustainability-linked financing deal   (Company news)

-Britvic has secured its first sustainability-linked credit facility of £400m
-The deal links Britvic’s progress towards sustainability targets to the cost of the debt facility, with any consequent changes to the margin being donated to charities
-This is one of the first sustainability-linked credit facilities of its kind in the UK

Britvic has agreed its first sustainability-linked credit facility, allowing it to borrow up to £400 million over the next five years whilst linking the margin of the facility to its sustainability goals.

The five-year facility, which can be extended by a further two years, was co-ordinated by Rabobank and has been provided by a group of seven lenders. The facility is linked to the progress Britvic makes against three sustainability targets. The better Britvic performs against these targets, the further the margin will reduce.

Britvic has committed to reaching these targets by 2025 under the terms of its sustainable business strategy.

Britvic’s sustainability targets include:
-50% of all plastic bottles in Great Britain and Ireland to be made of recycled plastic (rPET)
-50% reduction in carbon emissions (when compared to 2017)
-75% of the drinks portfolio globally to be either low or no sugar

In what is one of the first agreements of its kind in the UK, Britvic or the lenders will donate the proceeds from any change in margin to charitable causes.

Sarah Webster, Sustainability Director at Britvic, said: “This financing agreement is part of our commitment to embed sustainability at the heart of our business and drive real behaviour change.

“We’ve made progress against our sustainability ambitions, however there’s more to do and this is a significant commercial milestone in our journey. By linking financing to our goals, we can ensure that every penny we invest is done so with our sustainability targets in mind.”

Alastair Cameron, from Rabobank’s London-based loan syndications team, said: “Sustainability-linked financing has been a growing trend for several years but this facility, which will see Britvic donate the discount proceeds to charity, is one of the first of its kind in the UK market.

“Sustainability was the key theme of last year and it will continue to dominate the agenda in 2020. Linking funding to metrics like developing a healthier product portfolio and recycling more plastic packaging is one way corporates like Britvic can continue to show leadership to make business more responsible and sustainable.”

This credit facility represents a significant step forward on Britvic’s journey to operate as a fully sustainable business. As a founding signatory of The UK Plastics Pact in 2018, Britvic committed to strict targets which aim to transform the plastic packaging system in the UK and keep plastic in the economy and out of the environment. Already, all Britvic’s plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans are 100% recyclable.

As well as ensuring Britvic’s packaging is recyclable, Britvic is investing in the recycling infrastructure needed in the UK. Each year, Britvic invests £850,000 in UK recycling infrastructure through its 2018 commitment to only purchase domestic Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) from UK recyclers. More recently, Britvic entered into a long-term agreement with Esterform Packaging Limited for the supply of recycled plastic (rPET), providing £5 million worth of investment towards the construction of a new rPET facility in North Yorkshire.

The business has also announced targets to reduce its carbon emissions and keep the global temperature rise to within 1.5°c. These targets were independently verified by the Science Based Target initiative. The targets follow an announcement in October 2018 to run all Britvic’s GB manufacturing sites on 100% renewable electricity.

As part of Britvic’s long-term commitment to health, 99% of its GB owned brand portfolio, which includes Fruit Shoot, Robinsons, J2O and Tango, is low or no sugar.

Britvic was advised by KPMG on this facility. Rabobank acted as sustainability co-ordinator, documentation agent, facility agent and mandated lead arranger on this facility.
(Britvic Plc)

O.Vine Wine Essence Waters Tap UK Trends

O.Vine Wine Essence Waters Tap UK Trends  (Company news)

Designer 700ml bottles of O.Vine to hit high-end UK food and beverage outlets

Wine Water, Ltd.’s award-winning portfolio of O.Vine branded wine grape infused waters are now available in full-sized 700ml bottles for the British beverage sector. The new, larger bottles of the startup’s exclusive non-alcoholic beverage will be launched in the UK and is set to feature on the menus at high-end restaurants, hotels, and bars to serve a growing British population of more prudent drinkers.

Food Intelligence experts at Innova Market Insights report a growing global trend for moderating alcohol consumption. A recent Innova poll (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Brazil) revealed that 1 in 4 consumers have cut down on their alcohol consumption in recent years in pursuit of healthier lifestyles. These consumers are seeking alcohol-like beverages instead, or those beverages “light” on alcohol content, so as not to forfeit enjoyment of what they love. The “Dry January” campaign, which originated in the UK in 2013 urging the public to abstain from alcohol throughout January, has become a welcome yearly tradition and has gained global momentum.

“Only a generation ago, having a hangover was almost a badge of honour,” notes David Allen, O.Vine’s UK distributor referring to Britain’s drinking culture. “Today, pubs are closing throughout the UK, and more high-end bars are popping up as Britons’ drinking habits change.” David points to a year-on-year growth in “teetotalism,” a phenomenon that entails complete abstinence from alcohol use. “This behaviour emanates mainly from the affluent Millennial sector who are today the highest spending generation in the UK. Around 29% of this generation do not drink alcohol, with more than 20% of Brits now non-drinkers. Catering to the sober sector seems a logical choice.”

Wine Water created a chic line of still and sparkling red and white wine-infused waters, shaping a new “infused water” category that sent waves across the food and beverage landscape. Unique to the O.Vine formula is that it is actually composed of upcycled fruit residue from the traditional winemaking process as it reuses the intrinsically polyphenol-rich skins and seeds from the remains of a choice blend of wine grape varieties, including Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet.

The result is a refreshing, wholly sustainable beverage that ingeniously awards the sensation of drinking a premium bottle of wine. It can be savoured at a soir?e or business lunch without any intoxicating effects, yet at the same time it delivers antioxidant benefits naturally present in wine grapes.
The start-up has also extended its range to include Chardonnay and Cabernet Essence Waters based on single grape varieties of the two popular beverages. The O.Vine portfolio has been available till now in personal 340 ml bottles to be enjoyed at home or at private functions. With the introduction of the new range of ornate 700 ml bottles, O.Vine sets its eyes on Britain’s thriving social scene.

“O.Vine has been acutely attuned to an evolving UK consumer who is increasingly more health aware and sophisticated, thus choosing to reduce alcohol intake, yet not wanting to give up the social benefits of mingling at a favourite night spot,” says Anat Levi, CEO and founder of Wine Water. “Britons are opening up to new concepts in crafted beverages that enable them to derive the same experience of enjoying a glass of alcohol or a luxury grade cooler, but without the risk of hangover. O.Vine precisely fits this niche market.”
The elegantly bottled and aromatic line of O.Vine infused water beverages are clean-label, contain no preservatives, no added colours, and no sulphites. Their blush and cream tones are naturally drawn from the raw material of the wine grape pomace.

Wine Water will launch the new line at the HRC Hotel, Restaurants, and Catering Show 2020, 3-5 March in London, booth no. F545.
(O.Vine Inc.)

Sprite 'Drops' Hit of Ginger with Launch of New Beverage and Streetwear Collaboration

Sprite 'Drops' Hit of Ginger with Launch of New Beverage and Streetwear Collaboration  (Company news)

Sprite is adding a hit of ginger flavor to its beloved lemon-lime base with a category-crossing innovation.

Sprite Ginger is now available nationwide in 20-oz and 2-liter bottles and 12-oz can 12-packs. Sprite Ginger Zero Sugar is now available nationwide in 12-oz cans. The drink was developed in response to the surging popularity of ginger-flavored sparkling drinks, and to Americans’ thirst for genre-bending brands and experiences—from beverages, to music, to fashion.

“With every sip, you’ll get the crisp, refreshing cut-through of lemon-lime up front, balanced with a hit of ginger on the back-end,” said Mark Shorey, brand manager, Sprite. “The Sprite Ginger launch is all about reinvention… reimagining the signature attributes Sprite fans know and love, with something new and unexpected.”

Sprite is no stranger to creative flavor extensions. Over the years, the brand has introduced several popular limited-edition and permanent-rotation variants – from the Coca-Cola Freestyle-inspired Sprite Cherry, to Sprite Tropical Mix, to Sprite Winter Spiced Cranberry. “Sprite provides a versatile canvas for a variety of flavors to interact with,” Shorey explained.

Sprite Lymonade – a Sprite/lemonade mashup – helped fuel the trademark’s sixth consecutive year of growth in 2019. “And we’re confident Sprite Ginger will continue this momentum by tapping into consumers’ desire for beverages that defy categorization,” said Aaliyah Shafiq, brand group director, Sprite. “This trend crosses over to pop culture, too, where artistic collaborations continue to pique curiosity.”

Sprite is launching its latest flavor fusion via the brand’s “Thirst for Yours” platform, which pays homage to its decades-long connection to hip-hop by empowering emerging talent to push the boundaries of creative expression in hip-hop culture today. In the spirit of reinvention, Sprite tapped a diverse group of up-and-coming creators from across the creative spectrum—fashion, art, photography and more—to add a hit of something new to their already impressive body of work. Sprite is bringing these visions to life through the “Ginger Collection”, the brand’s first creative capsule collection.

“Sprite Ginger is all about adding a hit of something fresh and new, so as the first new product to launch under the ‘Thirst for Yours’ ethos, we used this concept of reinvention as creative inspiration for the collaboration,” explains Sam Beresford, senior manager, integrated marketing communications (IMC), Sprite. “‘Thirst for Yours’ is all about inspiring the hip-hop tastemakers of tomorrow to do more and dream bigger by ‘putting them on’, so we offered this group of incredibly talented young creatives a wide-open runway to bring their vision and voice to life.”

In addition to selecting “Ginger Collection” creators from across its network of cultural partners, Sprite tapped streetwear legend Jeff Staple to crowdsource the final addition to the “Ginger Collection” team from amongst his 250,000+ Instagram followers. From more than 25,000 submissions, Staple picked graphic designer and multimedia artist Bluboy. Staple and several other of the brand’s creative partners mentored the creators through the creative development process, workshopping their ideas, sharing expert tips, and facilitating the actual production of their designs.

The collection includes graphic t-shirts, a custom cut-and-sew hoodie, a skateboard deck, accessories, a vinyl figurine and more. Sprite Ginger and the “Ginger Collection” debut today at a special media and influencer event at Extra Butter NYC, a premier streetwear boutique on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Sprite Ginger will be supported by a 360-degree marketing campaign, with 15- and 30-second TV spots, experiential activations, partnerships with cultural outlets, point-of-sale tools, and social, mobile and streaming audio creative.
(The Coca-Cola Company)

Bühler's digital security now certified with ISO 27001

Bühler's digital security now certified with ISO 27001  (Company news)

At the end of January 2020, Bühler’s information security management system has been certified with the most respected cyber security standard: ISO 27001:2013. With this certification, Bühler showcases how important information security is for the company. ISO 27001 protects key areas such as internal business IT, the automation solution Mercury MES, the Bühler Insights platform, and the myBühler customer portal. “Today, over 85 % of our solutions can be connected to Bühler Insights. We want to show our customers that their data is as secure with us as it is currently possible. Digital services from Bühler conform to the highest possible security standards,” says Stuart Bashford (photo), Digital Officer at Bühler Group.

Bühler is further digitalizing its processes and is offering more solutions based on connected assets powered by its digital platform Bühler Insights. As Bühler and its customers share more and more data, it is also part of the company’s mission to protect the data partners entrusted to Bühler, and to keep those data as secure as possible. Therefore, Bühler has decided to have its relevant processes certified according to the ISO 27001 standard. Manfred Goetz, CIO at Bühler Group, says: “We now have a certified information security management system with dedicated policies, processes, and controls. This means that our digital teams must adhere to strict guidelines. Engineering, development, and support of all our current and future digital solutions will benefit from the ISO 27001 certification.” Stuart Bashford, Digital Officer, adds: “This also contributes to a trustful customer relationship, because our customers can have peace of mind when they let us handle their sensitive data.”

Bühler acknowledges the value of the digital data it receives and works with, which is why the company has laid this groundwork to protect them. The now fully implemented information security management system also verifies that Bühler’s own IT landscape is maintained and controlled according to the most important IT security standards. ISO 27001 protects Bühler’s global internal business IT and its advanced digital solutions, both of which are vital for providing secure services for Bühler’s businesses spanning 140 countries. Its five regional IT service centers throughout the world providing global digital support are all certified now.

Certification protects digital solutions on Bühler Insights
Combining Bühler’s leadership in advanced materials and food processing with its capabilities in digital technologies, Bühler has developed Bühler Insights, the cloud platform dedicated to its customers in the food and mobility industries. With it, Bühler can provide added value for its customers by using data to improve yield (such as with the Yield Management System), lowering energy emissions (such as with MoisturePro) and waste, or improving uptimes (such as with the Digital Cell and the Error and Downtime Analysis). Bühler Insights enables secure, high-performance, reliable digital solutions that, together with blockchain technologies, can achieve significant progress in improving food safety, quality, efficiency, and traceability across production value chains. Bühler started its journey to certify its information security in 2018 in order to make Bühler Insights and its connected digital solutions as secure as possible for its customers.

Software development process of Mercury automation platform also certified
The recent ISO 27001 audit has also certified the software development process related to this new web-based automation platform. Mercury MES forms the automation basis for food-processing customers who are on one side operating with complex processes and on the other side need a high degree of automation . Mercury enables the seamless exchange of information throughout all production process systems. Supported by Bühler, customers can optimize workflows through communication between enterprise resource planning (ERP), quality control, maintenance, and other systems. Data availability and real-time feedback enable smart decision making enhancing the plant performance and productivity.

Customer data on myBühler portal safe, secure, and carbon-neutral
“Almost 6,000 customers in more than 120 countries trust in the myBühler customer portal. All their data is protected by Bühler’s processes certified according to ISO 27001,” says Goetz. myBühler offers customers easy access to their installed machines in their plants as well as documentation and access to spare parts and their order history. As Bühler has tailored and personalized a digital shop for every customer, Bühler can offer bespoke information on products and orders, easy and advanced identification of the spare and wear parts the customers need, as well as seamless integration into the customers’ purchasing process. myBühler offers not only high data protection for its customers but is also a climate-neutral website since Bühler is compensating the energy myBühler’s servers consume.
(Bühler AG)

Bucher Unipektin acquires Spanish citrus processing equipment supplier

Bucher Unipektin acquires Spanish citrus processing equipment supplier  (Company news)

Bucher Unipektin, a business unit of the Swiss based Bucher Industries AG within the division Bucher Specials, is acquiring 100 % of the Spanish citrus processing equipment supplier Luzzysa. With the acquisition Bucher Unipektin further strengthens its presence in the citrus juice industry.

Industria de Maquinaria Luzzisa, S.L was founded in 1975, is privately owned and operates under the brand “Luzzysa”. The company supplies processing equipment for the production of citrus juices. The administration and production of the company is located in El Puig (Valencia),
supported by a sales and after sales service network in the main citrus markets.

Bucher Unipektin is the world market leader for production equipment of apple, pear and berry juices and also supplies refinement systems and evaporators to the citrus industry. The business unit is operating globally with production sites in Switzerland and China, supported by a global agent network and own sales and service organisations in Poland, Ukraine, Russia, New Zealand and Mexico.

With this acquisition, Bucher Unipektin is in the position to supply its citrus juice customers with entire processing lines, complementing its refinement systems and evaporators with Luzzysa’s juice extractor EXZEL, the industry standard for juicing of citrus fruits.

The company will be operated by the existing management team out of its original location in El Puig under the new name Bucher Exzel, S.L.
(Bucher Unipektin AG)

The 9th Asia-Pacific Biomass Energy Exhibition (APBE2020)

The 9th Asia-Pacific Biomass Energy Exhibition (APBE2020)  (Company news)

Date: August 16th-18th, 2020
Venue: China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou
Address: No. 380, Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou, China

Review of APBE 2019
Occupying a space of 12,000m2, APBE 2019 is the largest industry exhibition in Asia and the second largest in the world. For the large scale and high professional degree, it gathered almost all Chinese top enterprises in the industry. Furthermore, its strong international appeal was reflected in bulk of overseas buyers from 30+ Countries, including Brazil, Palestine, the UK, the US, Italy, Japan, Iran, Mexico, Canada, Romania, Philippines, France, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Uganda, Malaysia, Ukraine, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Africa, etc.

Preview of APBE 2020
Ranking among the world’s top biomass trade shows, APBE 2020 is going to be staged on a show floor of 15,000 with 200+ exhibitors. The 7th Asia-Pacific Bioenergy Summit will give you a glimpse at the forefront of biomass technology.
What’s more, the show will be held under the same roof as 2020 China Heat Energy Exhibition (Heat China 2020) and the 12th Guangzhou Int’l Solar Photovoltaic Exhibition 2020 (PV Guangzhou 2020), offering more heating and energy solutions!

Exhibition Scope
− Biomass molding fuel and manufacturing equipment;
− Biomass boilers, combustors, stoves, boiler improvement and heating service companies;
− Biomass gasification technologies and equipment;
− Biogas technologies & engineering equipment;
− Comprehensive utilization of crop straw;
− Biomass & garbage power technologies and equipment, integrated garbage treatment, recycling of industrial waste gas and heat;
− Advanced biology liquid fuel and refining technologies;
− Related technologies and equipment of biomass combined heat and power generation;
− Detection, evaluation and certification institutions, marine biomass energy, etc
(Guangdong Grandeur International Exhibition Group Co. Ltd)

SIG Combibloc Group: Strong revenue growth and cash generation

SIG Combibloc Group: Strong revenue growth and cash generation  (Company news)

2019 highlights
- Core revenue up 5.2% at constant currency; up 7.5% as reported
- Adjusted EBITDA margin 27.2% (2018: 27.5%)
- Significant increase in adjusted net income to €217 million (€149 million)
- Free cash flow €267 million; proposed dividend increased to CHF 0.38 per share
- Net leverage reduced from 3.2x to 2.8x

Rolf Stangl (photo), CEO of SIG, said: "Our top line performance in 2019 demonstrates the success of our growth strategy, which for many years has focused on building up markets outside Europe. At the same time, we are proving our ability to grow in the EMEA region through share gain in Europe and our presence in the Middle East and Africa, which in 2019 saw an improved economic environment in a number of countries.
We are maintaining best in class profitability while continuing to invest in innovation and to expand into new markets and categories. Our strong cash flow generation is enabling us to invest in the business while paying an attractive dividend and reducing net leverage. In 2019, we announced the construction of a new plant in China which will underpin growth across the Asia Pacific region. The acquisition of Visy Cartons has given us a promising footprint in Australia and New Zealand, which further increases the potential of this region for us.
Our business is sustained by key fundamentals including growing end markets driven by demographics, urbanisation and rising disposable incomes; proprietary technology and engineering know-how supporting longstanding customer relationships; and the unmatched environmental profile of our packs, which are made largely of renewable materials and are fully recyclable. In 2020, we shall continue to seize the many opportunities that our industry offers and to pursue our objective of above market growth."

Net income and adjusted net income
Adjusted net income increased to €217 million compared with €149 million in 2018. The improvement is a consequence of higher profit from operating activities and a lower net finance expense following the reduction and re-financing of debt in connection with the IPO. In addition, the adjusted effective tax rate was lower at 25.9% (2018: 32.9%).
Net income moved from a loss of €84 million in 2018 to a profit of €107 million in 2019.

Capital expenditure
Gross capital expenditure was €182 million in 2019 (2018: €214 million). Gross filler capex was lower after a period of significant filler investment in Asia Pacific following the launch of combismile. Net capital expenditure (net capex), after deduction of upfront cash for fillers received from customers, was €110 million compared with €143 million in 2018. The ratio of net capex to revenue was 6.2%, below the target range of 8-10%.

Capacity expansion
In July 2019, SIG announced an expansion of its production network in the Asia Pacific region with the construction of a second sleeves plant located at the Suzhou Industrial Park in China. The plant will benefit from operational and overhead synergies with SIG's existing facility in Suzhou and is expected to achieve world class environmental and safety performance and productivity. A total investment of €180 million will be partly lease-financed with a Chinese partner. Guidance for net capex of 8-10% of revenue in 2020 and over the mid-term is unchanged. The plant is expected to come onstream early in 2021.

Free cash flow
Free cash flow increased from €68 million in 2018 to €267 million in 2019, reflecting higher profits from operating activities, lower financing costs and lower net capital expenditure, partially offset by higher working capital.
Acquisition of Visy Cartons
On 29 November 2019, SIG acquired Visy Cartons Pty Ltd. ("Visy Cartons") from VisyPak Operations Pty Ltd., a subsidiary of Pratt Consolidated Holdings Pty Ltd., for AU$70 million (around €43 million). Visy Cartons will become part of SIG's business in the Asia Pacific region. The acquisition is expected to generate significant synergies in the coming years, arising from supply chain optimisation and access to SIG's latest technologies and solutions.
Visy Cartons is one of the leading players in the Australian beverage carton market and there is significant scope to expand the business in New Zealand. Growth in these markets is being driven by dairies that are investing to export to China and other Asian countries, where demand for premium milk is growing rapidly.

Strong cash flow generation in 2019 contributed to a reduction in net leverage from 3.2x at the end of 2018 to 2.8x, after financing of the Visy Cartons acquisition.
In October 2019, Moody's upgraded their corporate family rating of SIG Combibloc Group AG to Ba2 from Ba3. In December, S&P raised their outlook to Positive with an unchanged issuer rating of BB+.
The Company will assess opportunities to further improve its financing structure depending on market conditions.

At the Annual General Meeting to be held on Tuesday 7 April 2020, the Board of Directors will propose a dividend distribution out of the capital contribution reserve of CHF 0.38 per share for the year 2019 (2018: CHF 0.35 per share).

2020 outlook
For 2020, the Company expects core revenue growth at constant currency towards the lower end of a 6-8% range, including the full year consolidation of Visy Cartons. The adjusted EBITDA margin is expected to be towards the lower end of a 27-28% range, taking into account continued investments in geographic expansion and innovation and a lower level of profitability at Visy Cartons prior to the realisation of synergies.
As construction of the new plant in China proceeds, net capital expenditure is forecast to be at the upper end of the targeted 8-10% of revenue range in 2020. Free cash flow may therefore be somewhat lower than in 2019.
The Company maintains its medium-term guidance of core revenue growth of 4-6% at constant currency and an adjusted EBITDA margin of around 29%. Net capital expenditure should remain within 8-10% of revenue. The Company plans to maintain a dividend payout ratio of 50-60% of adjusted net income while reducing net leverage towards 2x.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

New Coca-Cola labels support circular economy

New Coca-Cola labels support circular economy  (Company news)

When you pick up a bottle of Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite or Bonaqua in Sweden, have a closer look.

Not only are all locally produced plastic bottles in Sweden made from 100% recycled PET plastic, but the labels on some of the company’s most popular brands are encouraging consumers to recycle the bottles again and again.

In the first quarter of 2020, plastic bottle labels in Sweden put sustainability first and issued a recycling call-to-action. The familiar brand colors of Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Bonaqua are turning all-white, with a powerful and simple message: “Recycle me again. I am made of 100% recycled plastic. Made in Sweden" (Panta mig igen. Jag är gjord av 100% återvunnen plast1. Tillverkad i Sverige). The exclusive label design is on all .5-liter and 1.5-liter PET bottles produced in Jordbro.This move kicks off of a broad plastic recycling initiative, supporting Coca-Cola’s efforts to contribute to a circular economy by encouraging consumers to recycle their plastic bottles so they keep coming back as new bottles.

“The transition to 100% recycled plastics in Sweden is a significant landmark for our business,” said Barbara Tönz, general manager, Coca-Cola Sweden. “We are delighted to introduce these rPET bottles, made no new ‘virgin’ oil-based plastic. Of course, we also want to ensure that we get each of these bottles back to recycle them again, so that no packaging ends up as litter or waste in our oceans and the environment. That’s why I am proud that we are launching the bottles with labels that mark such a distinctive departure from their usual look, using the power and reach of our brands to promote the important sustainable message of ‘Recycle Me Again.’”

Reflecting The Coca-Cola Company’s ambition for a World Without Waste, Tönz adds: ‘’As a company, we are clear about our responsibility to see that none of our packaging ends up as waste or in nature, and we need the support of consumers and all other stakeholders throughout the value chain to achieve this. We are committed to making a positive contribution in the communities where we operate and to promote a circular economy for plastic packaging. When we engage with consumers on the issues that matter, we can really make a difference together.’’

Thanks to a highly effective deposit return system, 85% of all PET bottles are recycled in Sweden. The call to action on Coca-Cola packaging labels is one of many initiatives needed to reach the goal to collect 100% of the company’s packaging by 2025.
(Coca-Cola Drycker Sverige AB)

CRAFT BEER CHINA 2020: Postponement to 1-3 July 2020

CRAFT BEER CHINA 2020: Postponement to 1-3 July 2020  (Company news)

The CRAFT BEER CHINA Conference and Exhibition, originally scheduled for 13-15 May 2020, will be postponed to 1-3 July 2020 due to the outbreak of coronavirus pneumonia.

Since the industry needs time to recover and adjust after the epidemic, NürnbergMesse China, The China Light Industry Machinery Association and Beer Link have jointly decided that the CRAFT BEER CHINA Conference and Exhibition 2020 will be temporarily postponed to 1-3 July 2020 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Area. The exhibition venue will remain unchanged.

At present, the health and safety of all exhibitors, visitors and partners is our primary concern. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the delay of the exhibition. Please keep an eye on the website for the latest news on CRAFT BEER CHINA.
(NürnbergMesse China)




Guala Closures S.p.A., the world leader in the production of security closures for spirits and aluminium closures for wines and one of the major global producers and distributors of aluminium closures for the beverage industry, is proud to announce that its transaction for the acquisition of the activities of Closurelogic GmbH, a German producer specialising in aluminium closures, was completed.

The acquisition was finalized by Guala Closures Deutschland GmbH, a newly constituted company wholly owned by GCL International Sàrl, the Luxembourg Group company. The transaction, which follows insolvency proceedings, includes the acquisition of Closurelogic GmbH’s tangible and intangible assets, including property in Worms (south of Frankfurt), for a total value of Euros 7.2 million. The employees involved in Closurelogic’s activities are being fully absorbed into Guala Closures Deutschland, the previous pension
scheme is not part of this absorption.

As for the current year, management is expecting to implement a major industrial efficiency plan for Guala Closures Deutschland: a positive margin should be achieved as early as 2020 and to record a double-digit EBITDA by 2022.

Furthermore, the acquisition of the warehouse of raw materials and finished products for an amount of approximately Euros 4.5 million will also be finalized in the next two weeks.

In 2019, the activities acquired generated a turnover of approximately 45 million euros, with most sales made in the glass-bottled mineral-water market. About 50% of these sales were realised in Germany, with the remainder spread throughout Europe. Closurelogic’s main clients included major multinationals and Germany’s leading water brands. 2019’s profitability was hampered by a number of managerial and production issues, which led to insolvency proceedings being opened and a negative EBITDA being recorded.

Marco Giovannini, Group President, says: “I am delighted with this acquisition, which gives us a significant share in the German market, where our presence in terms of mineral water has been marginal until now. Thanks to this acquisition, we are also becoming a major player in the glass-bottled beverage and mineralwater market. This frees up capacity for future growth in the sector. Thanks to the two drivers of sustainability and premiumisation, the glass-bottle market is confidently projected to record strong growth in the next few years.”
(Guala Closures S.p.A.)

Base de données mise à jour pour la dernière fois: 29.06.2020 15:38 © 2004-2020, Birkner GmbH & Co. KG