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    11.08.2017   Japan & USA: Sapporo Holdings acquires San Francisco’s iconic Anchor Brewing Company    ( E-Malt.com )

    Japan’s Sapporo Holdings Limited on August 3 announced that it would acquire iconic San Francisco craft beer maker, Anchor Brewing Company. The news was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

    The deal, financed through a combination of “own capital [and] external borrowings,” is worth $85 million, according to Sapporo’s second quarter financial statements. It is expected to close on August 31.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Sapporo Holdings will acquire “all of the equity interest of Anchor Brewing Company,” which is controlled by a parent company “Anchor Brewers & Distillers.”

    Anchor Distilling Company is not included in the deal.

    Anchor Brewers & Distillers was formed in 2010 when former Skyy Spirits executives Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio purchased the brewery via the Griffin Group investment and consulting company from Fritz Maytag, who is widely regarded as one of the earliest pioneers of craft microbrewing.

    The 121-year old Anchor Brewing Company, known for its Anchor Steam Beer, ranked as the 22nd largest craft brewing company in the US last year, according to industry trade organization the Brewers Association. The company produced 135,000 barrels of beer in 2016, but sales declined 4 percent versus the previous year.

    In a press release announcing the purchase, Sapporo said Anchor’s annual sales totaled about $33 million in 2016. The $85 million deal represents about 2.5 times total sales and is significantly smaller than other recent California craft brewery purchases.

    In 2015, Ballast Point sold to Constellation Brands for $1 billion. The San Diego-based company made about 277,000 barrels that year. Also in 2015, Heineken purchased a 50 percent stake in Petaluma-based Lagunitas Brewing Company, which made about 791,000 barrels that year. That deal was said to be worth $500 million, and Heineken has since acquired the remainder of the company.

    Much of Anchor’s value lies in real estate, however. It owns the property where the brewery resides, as well as a building across the street, a source familiar with the company told Brewbound.

    In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Greggor said the deal had been in the works for a year, and the company held exploratory talks with several larger strategics about purchasing the brewery.

    “When you take a brand like Anchor, its very soul exists in the heart of San Francisco,” Greggor told the outlet. “Of all the people we spoke to, (Sapporo) respected Anchor the most, what it stood for and the importance of its connection with San Francisco.”

    Anchor will continue its brewing operations at its Potrero Hill production facility, and the company plans to open a new public taproom inside on De Haro Street, the Chronicle reported.

    “Sapporo committed to investing in the Potrero Hill brewery until we exceed capacity of that brewery, but I have no idea when that would be,” Greggor told the outlet. “We are currently running at about 55 to 60 percent of that capacity.”

    Plans for a second Anchor Brewing facility on San Francisco’s Pier 48 as part of the $1.6 billion Mission Rock Development project appear to have stalled completely after more than four years of delays, although the brewery wouldn’t comment, according to the Chronicle.

    Anchor’s management told the Chronicle that selling complete ownership of Anchor to Sapporo — which was founded in 1876 and is Japan’s oldest beer brand — will strengthen the brewery’s long-term future and enable its continued international expansion. The brewery already exports beer to 20 countries.

    In financial filings, Sapporo said the Anchor deal falls into its long-term management plan, “Speed 150,” which is aimed at building a portfolio of “highly unique” alcoholic beverage, food and soft drink brands from around the world. The company said it is prioritizing expanding its North American business.

    “The addition of Anchor’s strong brand power and network to the Sapporo Group’s US beer business portfolio through the conclusion of this agreement is expected to generate further synergies and accelerate the growth of the Group’s US business,” the company said.

    Sapporo previously acquired Canadian beer company Sleeman Breweries Ltd., which includes the Unibroue, Sleeman and Okanagan Spring brands, for $400 million in 2006.

    Sapporo is the latest Japanese beer company to show interest in the U.S. market at a time when beer consumption in its home country are at an all-time low, according to Reuters. Last October, Kirin Holdings purchased a 24.5 percent stake in Brooklyn Brewery.
     
    11.08.2017   MAKING INDUSTRY 4.0 OPPORTUNITIES A REALITY - A PRIME FOCUS FOR ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... SIDEL GROUP AT DRINKTEC

    With Sidel and Gebo Cermex exhibiting together on Stand A6.330 at Drinktec 2017, the companies - part of the Sidel Group - will be showcasing their Agility 4.0TM programme. The initiative is helping manufacturers and brand owners shift from mass production to mass customisation, and gain the many benefits of Industry 4.0, while boosting Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and sustainability and minimising Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

    While consumers want more customised products, they also want them fast and at the right price. This has contributed to the rise of Industry 4.0, the adoption of intelligent cyber-physical solutions and increased automation in production plants.

    Commenting on the role of Agility 4.0 and its focus at Drinktec (11- 15 September), Frederic Sailly, Executive Vice President for Product Management and Development, Sidel explains: “The Agility 4.0 programme is an award-winning , proven and pragmatic approach to manufacturing that we have developed with a view to achieving three overall benefits: improved understanding, enhanced performance, and product mass customisation together with traceability."

    "The programme provides tangible answers to liquid packaging producers’ needs, ranging from faster changeovers to reduced maintenance, less storage, less waste, higher product quality and faster time to market - all of which increase performance and reduce costs.”

    The tools and solutions of Agility 4.0 are grouped around the programme’s five pillars:

    Virtual Factory
    The main principle of the virtual factory is to accurately simulate and test daily operations in a production plant before execution. This can be a computer model simulation of a new line to evaluate its performance, a digital twin to optimise the assets in real time or computer training of operators using virtual reality to let them practice on computer-generated equipment. Such simulation allows producers to both visualise and forecast to increase the likelihood of successful implementation and to minimise expenditure, as they can be reassured they only invest in exactly what they need.

    Smart Factory
    The smart factory leverages digital technologies, such as robots, cobots and intelligent kinematics, to improve performance. This includes assisting operators working on repetitive tasks to increase operations reliability over time and to allow human intelligence be used for tasks that can keep line performance as high as possible. The new generation of Human Machine Interface (HMI) makes operation easier by being intuitive to use with in-built tutorials and other manuals that further improve efficiency and reduce machine downtimes. This combination of machine and human intelligence is at the heart of the smart factory solutions.

    Connected Factory
    By connecting and integrating the equipment on a plant, data generated can be used to optimise performance and predict any need for maintenance. Data can also be integrated upstream to ensure a constant stream of ingredients and downstream to keep distribution smooth and avoid overstocking or unnecessary storage. Advanced analytics can be run to sustain highest performance over time and assist in decision making at all levels of the organisation. Furthermore, remote assistance and augmented reality secure increased asset utilisation and improved maintainability.

    Sustainable Factory
    Eco-friendliness is one of Agility 4.0’s core pillars. By making it possible to produce smaller batches closer to consumer centres, manufacturers reduce their need to distribute over long distances, contributing to a more sustainable approach. By reducing energy and water consumption, using new lightweight materials as well as 3D-printed components, this framework also helps customers minimise OPEX.

    Extended Factory
    Focusing on intralogistics and deployed through the dematerialised layout, this portfolio of solutions offers manufacturers access to enhanced flexibility and asset utilisation, increasing their capability to introduce new products. For instance, shuttles or Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) can digitally connect all machines in a production environment.

    Elaborating on this last point, Ludovic Tanchou, Vice President of Strategy, Products and Innovation, Gebo Cermex comments: "When it comes to answering customers’ needs in the Industry 4.0 era, the extended factory represents the Sidel Group vision. Instead of using a traditional conveyor to simply take the product from A to B in a linear production process, mobile handling can now be used to move the semi-finished or finished items from any filler, to any labeller to any packing machine. This flexible shop floor layout can even be used alongside dedicated lines with their physical connections. It will, of course, greatly enable the goal of mass customisation rather than mass production."

    He summarises by saying: “A result of the group’s strong partnerships with industry-leading players in robotics, automation and smart systems, the Agility 4.0 programme from the Sidel Group is designed to be future-proof, helping producers and brand owners face the fourth industrial revolution. It does so by creating a digital factory that can improve performance - even in a fast changing environment, while reducing non-productive sequences and minimising costs.”
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    11.08.2017   Portugal: Beer consumption up 10% in January – June this year    ( E-Malt.com )

    Beer consumption in Portugal has increased by 10% year-on-year during the first half of 2017, according to data from Nielsen.

    If volume sales continue to increase at this pace, 2017 could be the year with the highest level of growth in the last decade, said Nielsen’s client development manager Tiago Aranha.

    He added that both hospitality and retail channels registered double-digit growth during the first six months of the year. Around three million households consumed beer at home over the last year, which represents 76% of the total in Portugal.

    After a period of declining consumption in recent years, "the penetration of beer in homes recovered in 2017, with significant increases in the frequency and quantity of consumption", said Aranha.

    He pointed out that the three key factors to ensure further growth are the recovery of the economic situation, the increase in the number of consumers, and favourable weather conditions. The seasonality of the market is one of the barriers preventing increased consumption in Portugal, as almost half of the volumes are sold in the summer months

    Beer is mostly consumed by individuals between the ages of 26 and 45, mainly men, although Nielsen says that an increase in beer consumption among women is evident.
     
    11.08.2017   Taiwan & Vietnam: Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corp to debut in Vietnam ...    ( E-Malt.com )

    ... with three beers in October

    Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corp (TTL) is to make its market debut in Vietnam by introducing three beers in October, as the company taps into the Southeast Asian market in line with the government’s New Southbound Policy, Taipei Times reported on July 28.

    The overseas expansion follows its entry into the Philippine market in January. Its previous expansion in Southeast Asia was in Singapore in 2011, the company said.

    “We are accelerating our pace to expand our reach in Southeast Asia,” TTL vice president Chang Lei-min told reporters on July 26 after the opening ceremony of the Taiwan Expo in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Vietnam is the biggest market for beers in Southeast Asia and the third-largest in Asia. The nation’s beer consumption reached 3.8 billion litres last year, TTL said.

    As international and domestic beer companies are boosting their presence in Vietnam, TTL selected three products — Golden Medal Taiwan Beer, Taiwan Beer Sweet Touch and its pineapple flavored beer — to differentiate itself from the competition, Chang said.

    “We have not seen fruit-flavored beer in [Vietnam]. This is an opportunity for us to grow in the market,” he said.

    TTL will gradually increase its product portfolio in the Vietnamese market, he said.

    The company aims to sell 380,000 tonnes of beer annually and secure a 1 percent share of the market in three years, he said.

    TTL products will be sold at similar prices to those of Heineken or Budweiser at NT$30 to NT$35 per can, he added.

    The company will choose a local distribution agent early next month and start product shipments to Vietnam in early October, he said.

    TTL plans to outsource production to a local brewery next year at the earliest and is also considering setting up a local brewery in the longer term to save on taxes, he said.

    As Vietnam is part of the ASEAN Free Trade Area, TTL plans to establish a subsidiary in Vietnam next year to be able to export its products tariff-free to other ASEAN members, company president Tseng Chun-kai said in May.
     
    11.08.2017   Thailand & Cambodia: Thailand’s craft beer revolution currently brewed abroad    ( E-Malt.com )

    From a small, unassuming factory in the Cambodian outpost town of Koh Kong, a couple of rebel Thai brewers are leading a craft beer revolution, Channel NewsAsia reported on July 30.

    Nestled strategically close to the Thailand border, Stone Head is a company in a unique form of exile with beer being brewed by mavericks.

    With small-scale beer production prohibited in their home country, this is ostensibly a beer start-up taken across international borders for the purpose of survival.

    On site, there is a distinct earthy aroma of boiling malt and hops in the air and a dozen or so polished silver fermenting tanks are slowly transforming raw ingredients into a variety of first-class craft creations.

    The modest set-up looks similar to other boutique breweries growing in abundance around the world, but here each drop is being forged out of defiance.

    On the final product, the words “First Thai legal craft beer” are emblazoned. It is clear that these brewers are the obstinate type. “The name Stone Head, it means we are stubborn,” explains one of the group’s founders, Dusadee Thummarat.

    The slogans on his t-shirt further explain the attitudes of the Stone Head crew.

    “They tried to bury us – They didn’t know we were seed,” reads his shirtfront.

    The craft beer industry has been made essentially illegal in Thailand. The law states that beer manufacturers must have a minimum output of ten million litres per year, which amounts to about 30,000 bottles. As an indicator, Stone Head produces about 2 per cent of that target annually.

    Companies must also have about US$300,000 in upfront capital, an almost impossible requirement for budding brewers. If they continue to produce, as many do in secret, they face jail time or fines from authorities.

    “Making beer is illegal for a small-scale producer like us, so everyone who is doing it, is doing an illegal thing. So we thought that we needed to find a place to do it legally,” Dusadee said.

    It forced their move across to Cambodia where operations eventually began two years ago.

    Stone Head is now producing beers that have never been seen before, using ingredients sourced from the local region like lemongrass, galangal and butterfly peas. The latter is normally used in sweet tea but has been modified to create a bright violet wheat beer.

    So too the Black Bean Bock, which has a strong aroma of vanilla, butter and black beans, inspired by a traditional Thai dessert served with sticky rice. The result is a complex, full-bodied beer with a lingering sweetness.

    Head brewer Sermsak Tangsiripatpron studied herbal medicine before plunging into beer making under the tutelage of Wichit Saiklao, considered Thailand’s chief craft beer revolutionary. Sermsak was one of the beer master’s first students.

    He says the unconventional taste of some of his experimentation is not for everyone, particularly Thais accustomed to mainstream lagers. The craft beer scene is in its infancy: Many Thais have never heard of such brews, let alone tried them.

    “It’s more popular among hipsters who want something different. The trend has only emerged in the past two or three years and the number of producers is increasing a lot,” he said.

    The branding and labelling of their beers is creative and seemingly heavily influenced by hipster culture, a subset that has eagerly embraced craft beer around the world. Think trendy minimalism, pug dogs in sunglasses and names like “Space Craft”.

    There is nothing superficial about the taste however, and as the Stone Head crew load up their refrigerated containers with stacks of beer ready for export, they are starting to witness a national change in palette.

    The Thai beer market continues to be dominated by Boon Rawd Brewery and ThaiBev, the makers of the ubiquitous Singha and Chang labels, respectively. Despite their duopoly, the law protects these giants and prevents small homegrown operators from entering the fray.

    The reasoning is to ensure fledgling beer makers cannot dodge paying tax from selling their products, as well as to uphold hygiene standards.

    “With beer in Thailand, the variety is not wide. I thought it shouldn’t be a problem if I should emerge as a small-scale operator. I wanted to make it legal,” Dusadee said.

    But that does not appear likely any time soon, prompting criticism of what some consider a long out-dated law that blocks enterprise.

    "The government cannot run or catch up with the trend, with the movement of culture and society. The government is using out-of-date laws and it’s not properly applicable to the modern society,” said Asst Prof Charoen Charoenchai from Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi, and also an independent consultant to alcohol producers.

    Others like Wichit Saiklao – also one of the founders of Stone Head – lead the resistance from within Thailand. His island paradise for beer lovers at On Ko Kret, fitted with a brewing academy, has become legendary, despite the inherent unwelcome attention he gets from authorities.

    “Beer is part of something that I think is a tool to express yourself,” he said.

    "I’m so optimistic. The reason that I say that is because when I started it, I looked at the world trend, I compared how craft beer started in each country and it’s a world trend. Once it becomes a world trend, nobody can stop it, right?"

    National beer sale figures appear to back up his sentiment. Craft beer sales are on the rise, albeit from a low base, at a time when Thailand’s overall beer consumption is declining.

    Feeding the growing niche market though from overseas remains a challenge for the likes of Stone Head. Import tax issues, beer storage, hiring local staff and transport costs make their business far less viable than if it was in Thailand.

    Yet despite some initial hurdles, which led to a 12-month wait to begin operations, and issues with reliable water and electricity supply in Koh Kong, Cambodia has been a welcome landscape to ignite Stone Head’s aspirations.

    “Here it’s fun, it’s like an adventure,” Dusadee said. And they are far from alone, in looking overseas to escape Thai restrictions. Many of the country’s recognised craft brands are brewed overseas, including Happy New Beer (Australia), Sandport Bang Bang (Taiwan), Phuket Lager (Cambodia) and Golden Coins (Vietam).

    Stone Head also supports other small operations looking to make their first steps in the industry. They have taken on brewing contracts for more than ten clients, including 25-year-old Chetsada Buntathong who has created Yaksa Pale Ale.

    “Pale ale is quite limited in Thailand so that's why we want to produce to make it more accessible to people. It’s easy to drink, refreshing, can be drunk every day,” he said.

    “Five to six of us got together into a group because we wanted to produce craft beer but because of the legal restraints in Thailand we couldn’t set up a brewery. But we knew there was a Thai brewery here so we were interested.”

    Despite the competition in a sector that boasts only an estimated 100,000 keen craft beer consumers, Sermsak says there is solidarity among those who toil abroad to create quality products.

    “Most of our clients are our friends. We started brewing at home. We have grown up together,” he said.

    They all have another goal in mind – eventually have their beer brewed on home soil. Like a good lager or ale, it will take plenty of patience.
     
    11.08.2017   USA: Craft beer output up 5% in H1 2017    ( E-Malt.com )

    Small and independent craft brewers demonstrated continued, but slowed, growth, according to new mid-year metrics released by the Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers. American craft beer production volume increased five percent during the first half of 2017.

    “The growth pace for small and independent brewers has stabilized at a rate that still reflects progress but in a more mature market. Although more difficult to realize, growth still exists,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “The beer world is highly competitive and there is certainly a mixed bag in terms of performance. Some breweries are continuing to grow, whereas others are having to evolve their position and nurture new opportunities to ensure they keep pace. Many brewers are benefiting from on-premises and taproom sales, and recent state-based reforms have the potential to help brewers in new regions capitalize on this growth.”

    As of June 30, there were 5,562 operating breweries in the U.S., an increase of 906 from the same time period the previous year. Additionally, there were approximately 2,739 breweries in planning. Craft brewers currently employ an estimated 128,768 full-time and part-time workers in a variety of roles including numerous manufacturing jobs, all of which contribute significantly to the U.S. economy.

    “Craft brewers are beacons of innovation, revitalization and collaboration,” added Watson. “Their contributions to not only the brewing community, but the overall economy, are significant and invaluable. From reforming the federal excise tax to ensuring the right to free and fair market access, opportunities exist to help craft brewers continue to thrive.”

    Craft brewer definition: An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships. Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.
     
    10.08.2017   SIGNATURE: World first aseptic pack 100% linked to plant-based renewable material    ( Company news )

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

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

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

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


    The SIGNATURE PACK solution is an important step on SIG’s net-positive journey. The company is focusing on three core areas in which it can do the most for society and the environment. Responsibility is at the centre of this – dictating how SIG runs the company, sources its materials, and manufactures its products. Markus Boehm: “We want to offer the most sustainable packaging solutions available in the market. Carton packs from SIG are already composed of up to 82% wood, a renewable resource. The SIGNATURE PACK is a logical next step towards replacing fossil fuel-based materials by renewable plant-based ones. We’ve achieved a new landmark on our Way Beyond Good, and can offer our customers and the world’s consumers this more sustainable, innovative solution which better cares for the environment. It’s another world first by SIG”.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
     
    09.08.2017   Henkel closes acquisitions of Darex Packaging Technologies and Sonderhoff Group    ( Company news )

    Company news -Expanding strong market position
    -Acquired businesses perfectly complement existing technology portfolio

    With the successful closing of the acquisitions of the global Darex Packaging Technologies business and the Sonderhoff Group, Henkel strengthens its Adhesive Technologies business and complements its technology portfolio.

    Darex is based in Cambridge, MA, USA and supplies high-performance sealants and coatings for the metal packaging industry around the world. It serves various global customers producing beverage, food or aerosol cans. The acquisition was announced at the beginning of March. The purchase price amounted to 1,050 million US dollars (around 919 million euros) on a cash and debt free basis.

    The Sonderhoff Group, headquartered in Cologne, Germany, is a leading manufacturer of innovative foamed-in-place gasketing solutions and has broad expertise in developing and manufacturing customized dosing equipment. The acquisition of Sonderhoff was announced in May. Both parties agreed to not disclose financial details of the transaction.

    “Strengthening our portfolio through targeted acquisitions is part of our strategy. Closing both transactions will allow us to expand the position of our Adhesive Technologies business as a global market and technology leader,” said Henkel CEO Hans Van Bylen.

    “The Darex and Sonderhoff Group businesses will complement our existing technology portfolio in an excellent way. Both companies serve attractive markets with substantial growth opportunities and both businesses provide customer-specific, high-impact solutions with an outstanding technical expertise,” said Jan-Dirk Auris, Executive Vice President Adhesive Technologies at Henkel.

    “We will finance the transactions with a combination of cash and debt. In addition to the 600 million Eurodollar bond placed end of May at attractive conditions, cash and the existing commercial paper programs will be used,” said CFO Carsten Knobel.

    In fiscal 2016, Darex Packaging Technologies generated sales of 309 million US dollars (around 290 million euros). Darex has about 700 employees and 20 sites in 19 countries.

    The Sonderhoff Group generated sales of about 60 million euros in 2016. The company employs around 280 people worldwide. Sonderhoff is headquartered in Germany and has subsidiaries in Austria, Italy, the US and China.

    In fiscal 2016, Henkel’s Adhesive Technologies business unit generated sales of around 9 billion euros, making Henkel the leading solution provider for adhesives, sealants and functional coatings.
    (Henkel AG & Co. KGaA)
     
    09.08.2017   New managing director at Baumüller    ( Company news )

    Company news Reinhold Rückel (photo) takes responsibility for the commercial operations of the Baumüller Nürnberg GmbH

    On July 1, 2017 Mr. Reinhold Rückel took over the position of the commercial director of the Baumüller Nürnberg GmbH and together with Mr. Andreas Baumüller is now managing the Baumüller Nürnberg GmbH. Furthermore, he will be acting as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Baumüller group.

    „With Reinhold Rückel we recruited an experienced professional. I look forward to cooperating with him and wish him success for his new position“, Andreas Baumüller, CEO at Baumüller comments.
    (Baumüller Nürnberg GmbH)
     
    08.08.2017   PureCircle Unveils Stevia Cocoa and Vanilla Flavor Enhancers    ( Company news )

    Company news Cost-effective, sustainable solutions to bolster customer supply of cocoa and vanilla ingredients to respond to consumer demand

    PureCircle (PURE.LSE), the world’s leading producer and innovator of great-tasting stevia sweeteners for the global beverage and food industry, notifies the market that it is launching new stevia leaf-based flavor enhancers. These flavor enhancers significantly augment both vanilla and cocoa flavors, enabling companies to produce products at a manageable price point.

    The new products can be labelled as natural flavors on product ingredient labels. These breakthroughs build on PureCircle’s extensive range of flavors which allows them to enhance key benefits such as mouthfeel, sweetness quality and different tonalities across a wide range of applications.

    Consumer demand for natural cocoa and vanilla ingredients has never been stronger. As evidenced by global new product launches from Mintel*, new products containing cocoa have grown +16% over the past 5 years, and vanilla has increased +31% over the same time period (2011 to 2016).

    PureCircle’s new flavor enhancers bolster companies’ supply of limited cocoa and vanilla ingredients, and thereby diversify risk strategies by introducing a plant-based solution. These new products will allow developers to reduce the amounts of cocoa and vanilla alongside sugar without compromising taste.

    Commodity markets for cocoa and vanilla can be highly volatile. In 2016, cocoa prices fluctuated between $2,000 and $3,000 per metric ton. Following much publicized flooding and other issues, experts have estimated that vanilla will exceed $500/kg.

    These new stevia leaf discoveries enable PureCircle to engage with customers active in the $12bn cocoa market and $1bn vanilla market (based on current prices).

    Along with these flavor enhancer discoveries, PureCircle’s innovative stevia sweeteners continue to see heavy adoption as they enable low-calorie and zero-calorie formulations of food and beverages. PureCircle is continuing its leadership role in the research, development and innovation to produce a growing supply of multiple varieties of stevia sweeteners.
    (PureCircle Corporate Headquarters)
     
    07.08.2017   Carlsberg Group and Brooklyn Brewery to establish new brewery in Lithuania    ( Company news )

    Company news The Carlsberg Group and Brooklyn Brewery are collaborating to establish a new brewery in Klaipėda, Lithuania, following recently announced joint ventures in Hong Kong and London.

    The new brewery will be installed at the site of Švyturys Brewery (photo), part of the Carlsberg Group, and will see its brewers collaborate with those from Brooklyn Brewery to create a range of small-batch classic and experimental beers.

    The new range is scheduled to launch at the end of this year, following completion of the construction of the new Švyturys Brewery building.

    Rolandas Viršilas, CEO of Švyturys-Utenos Alus, said:
    “Brooklyn Brewery has become a synonym for high quality craft beer, and the fact that they are coming to work in Lithuania is evidence of our robust beer market and our passionate consumers.
    “We have noticed that our consumers’ habits have been changing: the beer-drinking culture and the level of knowledge about beer is rising; and the demand is growing for diverse flavours and new, versatile beers. The partnership with Brooklyn Brewery will allow us to satisfy this growing demand by offering numerous new, exclusive and experimental beers”.

    Eric Ottaway, CEO of Brooklyn Brewery, said:
    “By investing in Klaipėda, we are expanding our collaboration with the Carlsberg Group in Europe, and we believe that our work with the Lithuanian brewers will help both parties to grow. We are equally excited to work closely with the great local beer enthusiast community, and look forward to exploring all kinds of new flavours together with them.”

    This is the first investment by Brooklyn Brewery in Eastern Europe and represents its latest collaboration with the Carlsberg Group. In June, HK YAU - a new beer brand exclusive to Hong Kong was launched, while it was announced last week that Carlsberg UK has acquired London Fields Brewery, and will operate the business in a joint venture with Brooklyn Brewery.
    (Carlsberg Danmark A/S)
     
    07.08.2017   NETZSCH presents new design of the TORNADO® hygienic rotary lobe: New design offers ...    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 ... further advantages for cleaning

    The new design of the TORNADO® rotary lobe T.Sano® has a completely smooth housing compared to the previous model, which attracts barely any dirt or dust. In addition to materials and cleanability of the pump area, great emphasis is placed on the outer contours of the components in the production process of the food and hygiene industries. To ensure that no dust can accumulate, the pump housing must also be designed without superfluous corners, edges and dead spaces.

    The range of the TORNADO® rotary lobe pump T2 all-metal is interesting for food manufacturers due to its lack of dead space and also due to its oil-free design and operation. This pump is driven by a tooth belt drive, whereby the lobes are simultaneously synchronized. This technology is absolutely oil-free and maintenance-free. With this technology, NETZSCH offers the real full-service-in-place (FSIP®).

    NETZSCH will present the new T.Sano® hygienic rotary lobe pump at the Drinktec trade fair in Munich, from September 11 to 15, 2017 in hall B3 at booth 538.
    (NETZSCH Pumpen & Systeme GmbH)
     
    04.08.2017   Ball to Showcase Latest Can Range and Innovations at Drinktec    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 This September, Ball, the world’s leading can manufacturer, will be returning to Drinktec. Ball’s dynamic stand with feature the latest additions to the product range, interactive displays, samples, and opportunities for visitors to discuss innovative packaging solutions with experts.

    The stand will showcase the ground-breaking innovations on which Ball’s reputation is built, including its unique Strawster™ can (photo), distinctive aluminium bottles and Dynamark® variable printing. Visitors will learn how to maximize the design impact of cans using special print effects, and find out about Ball’s world-class graphic and design centre capabilities. Ball will showcase its extended range of can sizes, including brand new sizes such as the 90-centiliter King can, 25-centiliter Sleek can and the 45-centiliter Super Sleek can – all displayed on the one-of-a-kind ‘Can-Shi bar’.

    Each day, Ball also will be hosting ‘Happy Hour’ events, which will focus on beverage categories including craft beer, water, juice, tea and coffee. Discussing recent successful case studies such as Garden Brewery and SKIWATER, the events are aimed at those wishing to launch their beverage in cans, or add cans to their existing packaging mix. The sustainability and infinite recyclability of the can also will be highlighted.

    Marketing Director Ana Neale said: “We are very excited about our presence at Drinktec this year. Drinktec gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase our entire product range, to demonstrate the sustainability of the can, and to feature our innovative technologies. We very much look forward to discussing with potential customers about how cans will help grow their brands”.

    Held in Munich from the 11th-15th of September, Drinktec is the leading world fair for the beverage and liquid food industry. To visit Ball at Drinktec, please find them at stand 348, Hall A1.
    (Ball Packaging Europe GmbH)
     
    03.08.2017   New published study provides evidence for the naturality of high-purity Stevia ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...leaf extract sweeteners

    New research published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology found steviol glycosides, the sweet components present in the leaves of the stevia plant, are not altered during the extraction and purification process to make high-purity stevia extract. The study, published on June 19, 2017, was conducted at the University of Bonn in Germany, and provides further evidence for the naturality of stevia, a zero-calorie, plant-based sweetener.

    To date, more than 40 different steviol glycosides have been identified in the stevia plant. All 40 plus steviol glycosides have US GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status, have been approved by Health Canada, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), and most recently by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). While the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is evaluating the approval of all 40 plus, they currently specify the use of 11 steviol glycosides in high-purity stevia leaf extracts.

    This is the first study to systematically determine whether steviol glycosides are modified by the typical commercial extraction and purification processes used to obtain high-purity steviol glycoside sweeteners. The study investigated whether commercial-scale extracted and purified steviol glycosides contain the same steviol glycoside pattern that is found in untreated leaves and the first water extract of stevia leaves, focusing on the nine steviol glycosides in the original JECFA specification (JECFA, 2010).

    Samples of three independent commercial-scale batches of stevia leaf, provided by PureCircle, Ltd., were examined in the study. Each batch contained the original dried stevia leaf, the first water extract, and a final 95 percent purity stevia leaf extract end-product.

    The samples were analyzed using ultra-violet high-performance liquid chromatography (UV-HPLC), and high-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/ESI-MS/MS) to separate, identify and quantify the individual steviol glycoside molecules.

    “Our results show that the commercial powders of extracted steviol glycosides provided by PureCircle, Ltd., contain the same nine steviol glycosides analyzed as the dried stevia leaves and their hot water extracts. Our results also show a similar distribution pattern from the three very different stages of the process, clearly demonstrating that the nine steviol glycosides examined are not modified by the extraction or purification process,” said lead researcher Dr. Ursula Wölwer-Rieck, a food chemist in the Department of Nutritional and Food Sciences at the University of Bonn, Germany. “These findings are significant because the natural authenticity of stevia sweetener has been questioned due to the purification process it undergoes. The fact that there is no change of the nine steviol glycosides in the provided samples from the original plant to extracted sweetener provides support for the natural authenticity of stevia sweeteners.”

    Stevia is extracted and purified from the stevia plant into a powdered sweetener form. The extraction process involves steeping the dried leaves of the plant, like a tea, and then separating and purifying the best tasting sweet compounds, the steviol glycosides.

    High-purity stevia leaf extract is approved in more than 150 countries, and over 200 studies support stevia’s science and safety. Since 2008, more than 10,000 products have launched globally with stevia. In 2016 alone, close to 3,000 products launched globally with stevia, with the beverage category growing by 20 percent and the food category growing by 9 percent.

    “Given the growing global concerns about obesity and diabetes, as well as the new U.S. labeling regulations which require ‘Added Sugars’ to be listed on food labels in the near future, stevia is poised to help food and beverage companies reduce sugar and calories in their products,” said Dr. Priscilla Samuel, Director of the Global Stevia Institute. “Consumers’ desire for a natural-origin, plant-based, zero calorie sweetener and ‘clean’ labels have contributed to the growth of stevia. The research of the University of Bonn clearly supports the naturality of the steviol glycosides tested.”
    (Global Stevia Institute)
     
    03.08.2017   What does it mean to truly care?    ( Company news )

    Company news The EU is creating an increasingly strict environmental framework. Meanwhile, we are also fully aware of how plastics can impact our environment and pollute our oceans. So, it’s no surprise that leading brands are switching to paperboard for various applications: consumer eco-consciousness is reaching a tipping point too.

    To truly care
    But, producing truly sustainable packaging means being transparent about its complete production chain, and making it fully recyclable – leaving no traces in our environment.

    Folding carton delivers – without compromises:
    -100 % renewable resources
    thanks to sustainable forestry
    -100% recyclable
    and re-usable
    -produces less waste
    transparent carbon footprint
    -suitable for all markets and applications
    including multipacks for beer & beverages,
    dairy,
    fruit & vegetable trays,
    skin packaging for meat and fish,
    ready-meals,
    airline catering,
    full carton blister packs,
    and many more ...

    A fully recyclable water fountain?
    Done. With folding carton. Its 5L container can be replaced. No maintenance or electricity required. All bacteriological risks eliminated. Paper cups included. Ideal to be custom branded. This is the result of a wonderful collaboration between Fontaine Jolival, EB Concept and Van Genechten Packaging.

    Expect more sustainable packaging projects to come your way.
    (Van Genechten Packaging N.V.)
     
    02.08.2017   The big specialist for small quantities – GEMÜ 567 BioStar control    ( Company news )

    Company news The GEMÜ 567 BioStar control valve is the new, safe solution for media controls from 0.08 to 4.1 m³/h.

    The sealing takes place via a PTFE diaphragm with PD technology (plug diaphragm), which combines the advantages of a diaphragm valve with those of a globe valve. This valve is available with linear control characteristics and with equal-percentage control characteristics.

    Aseptic diaphragm valves are frequently used as control valves for sterile applications. This means that small volumes can only be controlled with an inadequate level of accuracy, or not at all. The new 2/2-way diaphragm globe valve with regulating needle or regulating cone fills these gaps. The actuator is sealed by an FDA-compliant and USP Class VI compliant PTFE diaphragm. In combination with a spring washer, this ensures that the seal is permanently temperature-resistant, meaning that the diaphragm need not be re-tightened. In comparison with bellows valves, cleaning the valve is significantly improved by the hygienic construction.

    Further special features include the optional integration of a bypass function and the potential installation of the diaphragm globe valve in a multi-port valve block (GEMÜ M-block). In the bypass version, the angle valve body can be designed with a manually operated bypass or with a pneumatically operated bypass. Both versions allow for easier cleaning and greater flows.

    If the GEMÜ 567 BioStar control is integrated into an M-block®, several functions can be implemented in the smallest of spaces. In addition, the space requirement is reduced considerably, and the installation and welding effort are reduced.

    The valve is also optimally equipped when it comes to hygienic safety: It meets both the standards of the EHEDG cleaning test and the standards in accordance with the American 3A definition.
    The control valve is used, for example, for dosing small quantities in the beverage industry for in-line mixers (for example, for vitamins, dyes and other additives), for controlling sterile steam and air (for example, for DIP processes) or for controlling the inflow and outflow of bioreactors in the pharmaceutical industry

    The GEMÜ 567 BioStar control is available in the nominal sizes DN 8 to DN 20. The body is manufactured, as standard, from block material with a grade of surface finish of Ra 0.4 µm. In addition to the PTFE diaphragm, another seal made from FKM is used. One exception here is the 3A version, for which the complete sealing and control element consists of one piece or material (PTFE).
    (GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)
     
    02.08.2017   USA: Heineken partners with U.S. Beverage to expand offer of specialty brands to the US market    ( E-malt.com )

    Beer importer U.S. Beverage will now serve as the U.S. importer of certain specialty brands owned by Heineken N.V. via a new deal the two companies announced July 19, CSPDailyNews,com reported.

    "After an extensive review of our U.S. importation organizations and as a result of the evolution of the U.S. market, we are excited to partner with U.S. Beverage in our strategy to build our extensive portfolio of specialty international brands," said Jose Luis Lopez Portillo, export director of Heineken Americas Export.

    Initially, U.S. Beverage will bring eight beers from around the world to the United States. They include:

    Dragon Stout (Jamaica)
    Krusovice (Czech Republic)
    Zagorka (Bulgaria)
    Gosser (Austria)
    Bintang (Bali, Indonesia)
    Zajecarsko (Serbia)
    Cruzcampo (Spain)
    Alfa (Greece)

    Other brands may be added over time and “may include brands from Europe, Latin America, South America and [Southeast] Asia.” The deal does not include brands that are handled by Heineken USA or its affiliate Five Points Trading Co.

    "Heineken has partnered with U.S. Beverage in part for a number of years and has proven itself as a builder of premium brands throughout the United States,” Portillo said. “We are quite confident and excited that our partnership will provide national growth in the important U.S. market."

    Justin Fisch, vice president, general manager, for U.S. Beverage, added, "We are honored to continue our relationship with Heineken Americas Export and their superb team of managers. We are very excited by the opportunity to take these extraordinary brands to new levels of success in the United States."

    U.S. Beverage is a premium craft- and imported-beer sales and marketing company located in Stamford, Conn. Its brands include Innis & Gunn, Moosehead, Sonoma Cider, Malibu Beer and others.

    Amsterdam-based Heineken N.V. has a portfolio of more than 250 international, regional, local and specialty beers and ciders, many of which are not available in the United States.
     
    01.08.2017   rPET packaging trend: Manufacturers count on energy-saving add-on technology from EREMA ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... – including food contact compatibility

    One year ago EREMA announced the relaunch of the Multi-Purpose Reactor (MPR) at the Discovery Day. Since then, the trend towards the food contact grade direct processing of PET products has continued to grow. More and more customers are enhancing their existing extrusion plant by adding the attribute of food contact compliance.

    Some 1.3 million tonnes of PET are already recycled every year around the world with VACUREMA technology from EREMA. The end products include food contact compliant preforms for the beverage industry, thermoforming sheet, fibres and strapping.

    The order figures at EREMA show that the trend in PET recycling is clearly towards direct processing. This does without pellet production as an intermediate step and post-consumer PET flakes or PET production waste are processed directly and in one step to make end products. Twenty-four of these VACUREMA Inline systems have been shipped in the last 15 months alone and, additionally, a new process for the direct production of food contact grade preforms from post-consumer bottle flakes has been presented.

    EREMA also offers the MPR, a highly efficient crystallisation dryer, for customers who are converting their existing PET extrusion plants for food contact compliant end products. The decontamination, drying, dedusting and crystallisation of different PET input materials takes place in just one step in preparation for extrusion.

    "The MPR is becoming increasingly popular for customers who have a conventional crystalliser and pre-dryer and are confronted with long process times and high operating costs. With energy consumption at only 0.1 kWh/kg, the MPR is a crystalliser and pre-dryer at the same time, making it the economically interesting alternative," says Christoph Wöss, Business Development Manager for the bottle sector at EREMA. Input materials such as washed PET bottle flakes, ground PET flat sheet waste and virgin PET material plus mixtures of them are decontaminated and therefore already food contact compliant before extrusion. "The list of alternative suppliers of these PET extruders without pretreatment is long and tempting. However, later investments in dryers or high-maintenance decontamination modules reduce the profits of the PET producers in the end," warns Christoph Wöss.

    Ideal addition for existing extrusion
    On the one hand the relaunch of the MPR last year aroused the interest of new customers and, on the other hand, is confirmation for many existing customers to count on EREMA technology in the future, too. "We at Sky-Light place our trust in the MPR from EREMA when it comes to the food contact compliance of PET – and this is already the second time. In the new expansion of our production capacity we once again added an MPR to the twin screw extruder," says Sky-Light owner Søren Larsen. "The growth in output through the increase of the bulk density of PET flakes and flat sheet waste and the stable IV value are more than convincing from the point of view of an entrepreneur." Sky-Light is a specialist for individual packaging solutions. The Danish company produces several hundred million snap-on lids, cups, inserts, blister and transport trays for customers in the food, electronics and pharmaceutical industry.

    The technical and economical improvements in the course of the relaunch include being able to reduce the connected load by over 30 per cent while maintaining output. "The calculable operating costs in combination with the reliable output performance make for a foreseeable and short amortisation period," says Alimpet President Roberto Alibardi. The Italian company – as part of the Aliplast Group – makes thermoforming sheet from post-consumer PET which is then used to make thermoforming containers for the food industry, for example. Besides two MPRs the Aliplast Group also has VACUREMA systems from EREMA to produce food contact grade PET recyclates.

    Additionally, the relaunch came with a higher degree of automation and improved ease of maintenance with the vacuum system. The process water tank has been replaced by a utility-free vacuum pump which reduces operating costs. The compactness of the system has in general been reworked, which can be seen in a 20 per cent saving in space.
    (EREMA Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen Ges.m.b.H.)
     
    31.07.2017   Ball Corporation's Naro Fominsk Ends Plant Wins Prestigious Shingo Prize    ( Company news )

    Company news Ball’s beverage end manufacturing plant in Naro Fominsk, Russia, received the coveted Shingo Prize for 2017. Awarded by the Shingo Institute, the Shingo Prize represents the highest standard of operational excellence in the world.

    Ken Snyder, Executive Director of the Shingo Institute, congratulated the Naro Fominsk end manufacturing plant: ‘I’d like to commend you on your outstanding achievement. You are truly leading the way in this new era of enterprise excellence. Not only do your efforts distinguish you as a member of an elite group doing world-class work, you are also changing the world and we are honored to have you with us on the journey.’

    Ray Howcroft, Lean Enterprise Manager at Ball Beverage Packaging Europe, explains that: ‘After a journey that started in 2003, the Naro Fominsk ends plant have made a fantastic representation of Ball’s Lean Enterprise culture by winning the most coveted award in Lean: the Shingo Prize.’

    Fergal O’ Brien, Operations Director Ends Group, recalls that: ‘After being introduced to the Shingo model for operational excellence by Ray Howcroft, we were immediately convinced of its value to our business and all of the ends plants in Europe are now following the Shingo model.’

    Among the things that impressed the Shingo Institute were the plant’s safety culture, and the focus on people development. A Shingo examiner stated that: “The Ball Naro Fominsk team has truly created an employee culture that should be an inspiration to other companies.” Other achievements that were highlighted include:
    • Zero accidents for six consecutive years since 2010
    • Electric power consumption reduced by 25.8 percent over the last 5 years
    • Plant efficiency increased by 8.3 percent

    Plant Manager Sergey Kruzhkov concludes that: ‘The Shingo audit became a kind of Olympics for us, and our result showed us we are the champions. Yet, the most important is that preparation for the audit made us stronger and better in all respects. There is a strong alignment between the Shingo principles and our Drive for 10 culture, which encourages us to always look for efficiencies, pay attention to details, and put our customers at the heart of everything we do.’
    (Ball Corporation Naro-Fominsk)
     
    28.07.2017   Module and depth filter housing with hygienic clamping unit    ( Company news )

    Company news The clamping mechanism for filter inserts in many commercially available module filter housings cause problems for the user with spring pre-tensioning and cleanability of the clamping mechanism.

    Sommer & Strassburger has developed a module filter housing that uses an external pneumatic cylinder to clamp the filter inserts. This ensures reliable and even clamping of the filter elements independent of operating temperature. Moreover, the clamping force can be corrected and adjusted at any time from the outside. Wetted stainless steel components are available in 1.4404 stainless steel in the standard version and in 1.4435 stainless steel on request. The material of the seals is EPDM with FDA certificate or, alternatively, USP-Class VI and BSE certificate. The specified operating pressure is -1 to +10 bar at a max. temperature of 140 °C. Surfaces can be manufactured to Ra 0.4 µm and electro polished. This new generation of module filter housing is available in four different lengths.

    The housing design is registered with Deutsches Patent- and Markenamt (German Patent and Trade Mark Office) under Registered Design number DE: 20 2016 107 339.

    Please contact us for a detailed quote. 3D models (STEP) and further dimensional specifications are available on request.

    The product will be officially launched at Drinktec on 11 to 15 September in Munich and at POWTECH in Nuremberg on 26 to 28 September 2017.
    (Sommer + Strassburger GmbH & Co. KG)
     
    27.07.2017   Constantia Flexibles sells Labels division to Multi-Color    ( Company news )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ... despite opposition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news Elopak celebrated 60th Anniversary in 2017

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

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

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

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

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

    “For over six decades Elopak has developed both the Pure-Pak® carton and filling machine technology with foresight, innovation and a culture of team work and collaboration. All of this is increasing the value of our products and services for the best of our customers and the consumers. We are continuously developing and expanding our product offerings and will pursue further possibilities by making packaging count and showing how much our customers matter. As we celebrate our 60th anniversary and our many achievements – we are ready for reaching out to even more consumers,” says Niels Petter Wright, CEO of Elopak.
    (Elopak AS)
     
    12.07.2017   Estonia: Estonian brewers concerned about sped-up increase in excise duty    ( E-malt.com )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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