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    29.01.2018   USA: Constellation Brands brewing up growth regardless of slowing craft beer sales    ( )

    Craft beer sales in the US have slowed to a crawl and the overall beer industry remains stagnant, if not in decline, but Constellation Brands continues to brew up growth regardless, the Motley Fool reported on January 25.

    The company was able to chart a path higher on the basis of its Mexican beer portfolio, which saw depletions jump 9% and drove 80% of total U.S. beer category growth. Even so, although beer represents nearly 60% of its total revenue and 80% of its operating profit, this was the first time in the past 10 quarters that Constellation didn't beat Wall Street expectations. While part of the decline was a result of exiting the Canadian wine business, it can't get past that it wasted money buying two craft breweries.

    Constellation Brands no longer even talks about its craft-beer acquisitions. In 2015 it bought Ballast Point Brewing for $1 billion, and it used to extol how fast the acquisition was growing, though that seems to have been more about its being distributed to more markets than it was about actual organic growth. That realization hit hard last year, as sales suddenly slowed and forced Constellation to write down the carrying value of the brand by $86 million.

    That's a clear indication it overpaid for the brewery, but that didn't stop it from also buying Florida-based craft brewer Funky Buddha Brewing. While the purchase price was exceptionally cheap compared with the Ballast Point acquisition -- Funky Buddha and limited-production fine-wine vintner Schrader Cellars together went for $130 million -- virtually all of the purchase price was assigned to goodwill, which means it basically paid for the names of the company and not any real sales. Disappointment may loom there in the future, too.

    Where Constellation hasn't been disappointed is by its Mexican beer purchases. It acquired the U.S. rights to the Mexican Modelo brand and its Corona beer label when Anheuser-Busch InBev bought SABMiller, and sales have soared since. It subsequently also bought the Obregon brewery from Modelo, which allowed it to become fully independent of a supply agreement it had with the brewer before the purchase.

    The Brewers Association said import beers grew 6.8%, surpassing craft beer as a whole, and market-research company IRI reports that the trend continued in 2017, with dollar sales increasing 8.4% to more than $6.5 billion. On the strength of its Modelo portfolio, Constellation was the only beer company among the top five to post increases in both dollar sales and volume sales, rising 14.1% and 12.5%, respectively.

    Flush with growth, Constellation is now preparing to take on the industry's leading players by launching a new low-calorie beer called Corona Premier. Supported by a $35 million investment, the brewer plans to take advantage of the trouble the mass brewers are experiencing.

    Light beer has established itself as the country's favorite. Just recently, Miller Lite surpassed Budweiser as the third most popular beer in the U.S., which now makes the top three beers all light beer: Bud Light still ranks as No. 1, Coors Light is No. 2, and now Miller Lite is third.

    Corona Premier will come in with 90 calories, positioning it favorably against all three leaders, and Corona Light has 99 calories. What should worry the megabrewers most is that premiumization is the primary trend in beer right now, and Corona Premier will be targeted to drinkers looking to trade up from traditional mass-produced light-beer fare.

    Mexican beer remains on a growth tear, and Constellation Brands is capitalizing on one of the industry's strongest segments. Although the brewer's stock has jumped 47% over the past year, it's quite possible it has tapped into a new vein of opportunity that will lead it even higher.
    26.01.2018   German Paper Producer Feldmuehle Uetersen Files for Insolvency Proceedings    ( Company news )

    Company news -Production, sales, and business operations to continue unimpeded
    -Tjark Thies of Reimer Rechtsanwälte appointed as preliminary insolvency administrator
    -Salaries of the 420 employees are secured through March 31, 2018

    The Schleswig-Holstein paper mill, Feldmuehle Uetersen GmbH filed for insolvency at the Pinneberg district court on January 24, 2018. The court has appointed the Hamburg attorney-at-law and restructuring-expert Dr. Tjark Thies of Reimer Rechtsanwälte as the preliminary insolvency administrator.

    Founded in 1904, the company has approximately 420 employees and produces around 250,000 tonnes of paper a year at its paper mill just west of Hamburg. Its products are used worldwide, mainly for the production of classic print products and in the packaging industry.

    “Business operations will continue unimpeded. This goes for production as well as purchasing, sales, marketing and logistics,” says Tjark Thies.

    Heiner Kayser, Managing Director of Feldmuehle Uetersen GmbH says: “Our customers can count on continuing to receive on-time deliveries,” and adds that suppliers can rest assured that they will receive their money when new orders are placed.”

    Employees will continue to be paid for their work: through the end of March 2018, their salaries will be covered by the Federal Employment Agency's insolvency allowance.

    Tjark Thies and a team of experts from Reimer Rechtsanwälte are currently working on a stocktaking, together with the Munich-based restructuring consultancy Ruppert Fux Landmann GmbH (RFL) and Feldmuehle's management.

    “Feldmuehle has first-class products, production facilities, and processes as well as a highly motivated workforce and holds a leading market position. So we are justified in seeing the current proceedings as an opportunity for the company,” says Thies.

    “Feldmuehle will continue the strategic reorganisation it has begun with the funds available to it under insolvency law. In particular, we will use the days and weeks ahead to review the extent to which the company could manage the economic rehabilitation just by itself,” says management consultant Ruppert. One conceivable alternative to this would be its acquisition by an investor,” he adds.
    (Feldmuehle Uetersen GmbH)
    26.01.2018   NORD DRIVESYTEMS at ANUGA FOODTEC 2018    ( Company news )

    Company news nsd tupH: Corrosion-resistant surface treatment for aluminium drive units – from 20 to 23 March, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS will be exhibiting its aluminium drive units for the food and beverage industry at ANUGA FOODTEC.

    These are extremely robust and durable thanks to a special surface treatment: NORD nsd tupH surface protection. For use in demanding environments, NORD offers the extremely effective nsd tupH anti-corrosion treatment for aluminium drive units. With this process, the material is hardened below the surface. The surface treatment creates a protective layer which is permanently bonded to the substrate material. It is based on an electrolytic process and gives aluminium corrosion resistance properties which are similar to those of stainless steel. The scratch-resistant surface is more than seven times harder than untreated aluminium alloy. The drives can easily withstand high pressure steam washing or contact with aggressive media.

    Aluminium drives in oyster farming
    Among other applications, NORD nsd tupH modules are used in the many conveyor systems which are used in oyster farming. While cast iron geared motors only remain operational for one or two years due to corrosion by the salty environment, the aluminium drive units from Northern Germany offer a durable and economical solution, which usually completely outlives the 10 year life cycle of the conveyor belts which they drive. Therefore, users save time and expense for the maintenance and repair of their systems.

    An economical alternative with many variants
    nsd tupH drive units are a robust, durable and economical alternative to painted cast iron geared motors or stainless steel versions. The nsd tupH treatment is available for all NORD aluminium products, unlike stainless steel drives, which are only offered in a small number of versions by other manufacturers. For nsd tupH aluminium drive units, all DIN and standard components, including drive shafts, are made from stainless steel. The fanless smooth motors do not spread germs and also run very quietly. They are available as synchronous and asynchronous motors and fulfil efficiency classes IE2 and IE3 (asynchronous motors) and IE4 (synchronous motors).

    In addition to robust and corrosion-resistant geared motors for the food and beverage industry, NORD DRIVESYSTEMS will of course also present other products from its comprehensive range of drives and drive electronics at ANUGA FOODTEC 2018 in Cologne.

    NORD can be found in Hall 10.1, on stand B061.
    (Getriebebau Nord GmbH & Co. KG)
    25.01.2018   Ooho! - Water you can eat    ( Company news )

    Company news Skipping Rocks Lab is an innovative sustainable packaging start-up based in London. We are pioneering the use of natural materials extracted from plants and seaweed, to create packaging with low environmental impact.

    Our first product, Ooho, will revolutionise the water-on-the-go market. The spherical flexible packaging can also be used for other liquids including water, soft drinks, spirits and cosmetics, and our proprietary material is actually cheaper than plastic.

    The consumption of non-renewable resources for single-use bottles and the amount of waste generated is profoundly unsustainable. The aim of Ooho is to provide the convenience of plastic bottles while limiting the environmental impact.

    What is Ooho?
    -It is 100% made of Plants & Seaweed
    -Biodegradable in 4-6 weeks, just like a piece of fruit
    -Edible, can be flavoured and coloured
    -Fresh (shelf life of a few days)
    -5x less CO₂, 9x less Energy vs PET
    -Cheaper than plastic

    Where can you find us?
    At the moment Ooho is mostly being sold at events, while we get our fully-automated production machine up and running. We’ve done events in London, San Francisco and Boston, including private functions, conferences, festivals and even the odd pop-up of our own!
    (Skipping Rocks Lab)
    24.01.2018   Diet Coke Launches Into 2018 With Full Brand Restage in North America    ( Company news )

    Company news After 35 years, America’s No. 1-selling zero-calorie beverage brand is entering a new era.

    (And no, the one-and-only Diet Coke is not being reformulated. It continues to be available nationwide.)

    With an updated look, sleek new packaging, the debut of four bold, new flavors and a new campaign, The Coca-Cola Company is re-energizing and modernizing Diet Coke for a new generation of drinkers – and offering its millions of current fans a new look and more flavors.

    “Diet Coke is one of the most iconic brands loved by millions of fans in North America,” said Rafael Acevedo, Coca-Cola North America’s group director for Diet Coke. “Throughout this relaunch journey, we wanted to be bold, think differently and be innovative in our approach. And most importantly, we wanted to stay true to the essence of Diet Coke while recasting the brand for a new generation.”

    He continued, “We know Diet Coke has all kinds of fans – from people who have loved its great taste since it launched in 1982 to Millennial men and women who are always looking to try new things. We’re modernizing what has made Diet Coke so special for a new generation. The same unapologetic confidence still comes through and the same great Diet Coke taste people love is here to stay, but we’re making the brand more relatable and more authentic.”'

    The two-year innovation process was fueled by consumer research pointing to younger Americans’ affinity for big, yet refreshing and great-tasting, flavors in their favorite foods and beverages – from hoppy craft beers to spicy sauces.

    “Millennials are now thirstier than ever for adventures and new experiences, and we want to be right by their side,” Acevedo continued. “We’re contemporizing the Diet Coke brand and portfolio with sleek packaging and new flavors that are appealing to new audiences.”

    The company spoke to more than 10,000 people from across the country to get their ideas and inputs on potential flavor extensions, packaging updates and more. From these insights, Coca-Cola’s R&D team developed and tested more than 30 Diet Coke flavor combinations, featuring tropical, citrus and even botanical notes. Ultimately, Diet Coke landed on four flavors that received the most positive consumer responses.

    Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange and Twisted Mango bring more variety to the trademark by complementing the unique, crisp taste of Diet Coke with unexpected-yet-delicious tastes. They aim to satisfy adventurous fans’ thirst for bolder tastes and more dynamic and uplifting experiences.

    (And the company has heard fans loud and clear on one thing: the same great Diet Coke taste loved by millions of fans is not changing!)

    Acevedo said Diet Coke and its new flavors complement the brand’s no-calorie cousin, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. “Diet Coke and Coke Zero Sugar are two delicious, no-calorie sparkling choices – it’s just a matter of personal preference. For people looking for an option that tastes like a Coca-Cola, Coke Zero Sugar is a great choice. Diet Coke and its expanded flavor portfolio provide a crisper taste and bolder flavors,” he explained.

    Diet Coke and the new flavors will be packaged in sleek 12-oz. cans and sold as on-the-go singles and in eight-packs. Diet Coke also will continue to be offered in all existing package sizes, such as standard 12-oz. cans, mini cans, glass bottles and more. All new packaging and flavors hit store shelves this month.

    New Packaging, New Look

    The sleek cans – the same shape and size DASANI Sparkling fans know and love – will give Diet Coke a more contemporary feel. A refreshed visual identity, meanwhile, lives up to Diet Coke’s new flavors and packaging.

    “For a design team, the opportunity to rethink such an iconic brand with the scale and reach of Diet Coke – to build on its heritage and create a visual language that will help write its next chapter – is a rare brief,” said James Sommerville, vice president, Coca-Cola Global Design. “This visual evolution elevates the brand to a more contemporary space, while still using at its foundation the recognizable core brand visual assets.”

    Anchored by the brand’s iconic silver color, the new look-and-feel has a simplified color palette focused on silver and red with accents of bold color to represent the new flavors. A slightly refined typography simultaneously preserves Diet Coke’s heritage, yet presents it in a more progressive manner.

    The new look also features a dynamic asset Sommerville and his team named the “High Line” – a vertical red band that flows through Diet Coke packaging and into all communications, from outdoor advertising to social media.

    “The ‘High Line’ is a Coca-Cola red disc that has gone for a walk,” Sommerville explains. “It visualizes how the Diet Coke brand, the innovation – and the consumers who love Diet Coke – are continually on the move, with confidence.”

    He adds, “With a brand recast, designers are challenged with determining how far is too far, and how close is not far enough. We set out to demonstrate progressive change and innovation with a look that would appeal to a consumer seeking bolder flavors, but without alienating the loyal Diet Coke fan base.”

    A Personality Evolution and a Brand Rejuvenation
    Together, the new packaging designs and visual identity represent a personality evolution – a brand rejuvenation – for Diet Coke. A robust integrated marketing campaign launching later this month will celebrate the delicious, uplifting taste of Diet Coke and express an unapologetic, emboldened point of view for the brand.

    Acevedo concluded, “We continue to believe and invest in Diet Coke because it’s a great-tasting, zero-calorie beverage loved by millions. While the low- and no-calorie beverage category has been under pressure, its performance has been improving recently, and Diet Coke remains an incredibly strong brand. Following the double-digit growth we’ve seen from Coke Zero Sugar since its introduction last fall and with this full Diet Coke brand relaunch, we believe we can continue to re-energize and strengthen our no-calorie business. We’re building a portfolio for the future with great-tasting options people want.”
    (The Coca-Cola Company)
    23.01.2018   Canada: Beer remains Canada's most popular alcoholic drink despite decline in per capita consumption    ( )

    Despite a decline in per capita consumption, beer remains Canada’s most popular alcoholic beverage and accounted for C$13.6 bln (US$11 bln) in economic activity in 2016.

    Canadians bought the equivalent of 223 bottles of beer per person at beer and liquor stores and other retail stores, while the beer economy supported nearly 149,000 jobs in the country.

    Federal and provincial taxes and liquor board mark-ups account for nearly 47% of the average beer price in Canada, with beer consumption generating C$5.7 bln (US$5 bln) in annual tax revenues for federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments.

    The figures have been released by The Conference Board of Canada, which has analyzed the economic footprint of the beer industry in a study funded by Beer Canada.

    Per capita consumption of beer in Canada has declined by 10% over the past ten years, thanks to demographic changes, increased competition from other alcoholic beverages such as wine, and competition from non-alcoholic drinks such as coffee and tea.

    Economic factors such as higher input costs and increases in provincial beer taxes have also contributed to the decline.

    However, beer still makes up 40% of total alcohol sales through liquor boards and other retail outlets, making it the most popular alcoholic beverage in the country. On a per capita basis, Yukon is the largest consumer of beer.

    “Despite declining per capita consumption, the quest for drinking a “cold one” is a very Canadian tradition that is deeply entrenched in history and continues to this day,” says the report.

    “In fact, Canadians bought nearly 23 million hectolitres of beer in stores (liquor authorities and other retail outlets) during 2016—the equivalent of 223 bottles per person.”

    Although per capita consumption, production and sales volumes have all declined; the number of brewing facilities has increased (up 20.3% from 644 in 2015 to a historical high of 775 in 2016).

    In 2016, a total of 3.2 billion cans, 2.1 billion bottles and 41.1 million kegs of beer were sold in Canada.

    Most beer (85%) is brewed domestically, although sales of imported beer are on the rise.

    Over half of Canadian breweries are located in Ontario or Quebec.

    The majority of beer consumed by Canadian households is purchased directly from liquor authorities and other retail outlets: in 2016, this was estimated at just under C$9.1 bln (US$7.3 bln).

    Beer sales from licensed establishments such as restaurants, pubs, concerts and sporting events is estimated at just over C$4.5 bln (US$3.6 bln).

    Canada’s beer economy was responsible for C$13.6 bln (US$11 bln) of spending by consumers in 2016, equivalent to 0.7% of the overall Canadian economy. This takes into account indirect jobs such as services that support breweries and restaurants.

    It supports 149,000 jobs, which makes up 0.8% of employment in Canada.

    “Compared with the findings outlined in our 2013 report, the number of jobs supported by the beer economy has declined 8% due to softer domestic sales, an increase in the market share of imported beer, and weaker exports.

    “Meanwhile, the current economic impact analysis suggests that the tax impact attributable to Canada’s beer economy in 2016 exceeded C$5.7 bln [US$5 bln], with C$1.9 bln [US$1.53 bln] going toward the coffers of the federal government, C$3.5 bln [US$2.8 bln] to provincial/territorial governments, and C$378 mln [US$305 mln] to various municipal governments across the country.”
    23.01.2018   Introducing the latest limited edition Johnnie Walker Blenders' Batch Whisky    ( Company news )

    Company news Johnnie Walker, the world’s No. 1 Scotch Whisky Brand and the biggest selling spirits brand in travel retail has added an exciting new innovation to the Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch series: Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Sherry Cask Finish.

    Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch whiskies are the result of more than a hundred ongoing experiments that deliver unique flavours and amazing serves. Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Sherry Cask Finish is the seventh release from this series and the first to launch exclusively in travel retail.

    Behind these Blenders' Batch whiskies is a small team of 12 expert whisky makers, who consistently prove that Johnnie Walker can push the boundaries of what’s possible for flavour in blended Scotch whisky.

    For over a hundred years, the iconic Johnnie Walker Black Label has been crafted with an element of sherry cask maturation. Drawing inspiration from this, and driven by the pursuit of flavour, this new Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch whisky has been matured in sherry casks, enhancing the fruity flavours to create an exceptionally rich and sweet Scotch.

    Created with whiskies from distilleries such as Blair Athol, Cardhu and Strathmill, Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Sherry Cask Finish, aged 12 years, is a smooth-sipping dark whisky with notes of sweet vanilla, smoke, raisins and a warming finish of dark chocolate.

    Dayalan Nayager, Managing Director of Diageo Global Travel commented “This is a special launch for Diageo Global Travel because it’s exclusive to our customers. You won’t get your hands on this whisky anywhere else, making it the perfect purchase for travellers who want to gift something truly special.

    “Travellers are looking for brands that have discovery, authenticity, craftsmanship and real human stories behind them, and there is none better than Johnnie Walker. We are excited to offer a glimpse into the constantly shifting world of flavour exploration from the biggest spirits brand in the channel.”
    (Diageo plc)
    23.01.2018   New Zealand: New Zealand adds craft beer to basket of goods monitored to measure inflation    ( )

    New Zealand has added craft beer to the basket of goods it monitors to measure inflation, reflecting changing tastes and consumer spending in the South Pacific nation, Bloomberg reported on January 12.

    “New Zealand used to be called a country of rugby, racing and beer but spending patterns are changing,” Jason Attewell, senior manager at Statistics New Zealand in Wellington, said on January 12. “Kiwis are increasingly keen on craft beer, body massages at beauty spas and football club memberships.”

    Craft beer has surged in popularity in New Zealand, while high-speed internet has encouraged new web-based services like Netflix at the expense of older technologies. The statistics agency said DVD players and sewing machines were among items removed from the Consumers Price Index after its three-yearly review, and Uber rides and Airbnb accommodation were among services added.

    Attewell said the agency was "introducing the sharing economy to the CPI to keep it relevant for New Zealand."

    "We added the electric lightbulb to the basket in the 1920s, televisions and record players in the 1960s, microwaves and car stereos in the 1980s, and MP3 players and digital cameras in the 2000s,” he said. “As these items go out of fashion they are removed from the basket."

    As well as components of the basket, Statistics New Zealand reviews the relative contribution of the main categories within the CPI. Food now makes up 19.3 percent of the gauge, up from 18.8 percent, due to increased spending at restaurants and rising prices, the agency said.

    Inflation was 1.9 percent in the year through September, near the midpoint of the 1-3 percent range the central bank targets. The fourth-quarter report is due Jan. 25.
    23.01.2018   UK: Super-premium beer market expected to continue to grow in the UK    ( )

    The super-premium beer market will continue to grow in the UK as consumers’ willingness to spend more on “beer worth paying for” kicks up a level, according to Asahi UK’s new managing director Tim Clay.

    The proliferation of premium drinks in the on-trade will play into the hands of breweries like Asahi UK and other alcohol suppliers in 2018 and the foreseeable future, Clay told The Morning Advertiser.

    Clay officially became the head of Asahi UK this month, taking over from Gary Haigh who retired last year after overseeing the transfer of SABMiller's Miller Brands Unit to Asahi in 2016.

    Asahi acquired the Miller Brands portfolio, which consists of Peroni, St Stefanus, Pilsner Urquell, Kozel, Tyskie, Lech and Asahi among others.

    Asahi bought out Miller Brands when SABMiller was sold to global beer giant AB InBev in 2016.

    The group’s premium beer portfolio currently accounts for roughly a sixth in value share of the premium beer market, said Clay.

    The UK on-trade’s best-selling premium lager is Peroni Nastro Azzuro in both value and volume terms, according to The Morning Advertiser’s 2018 Drinks List: Top Brands To Stock.

    In the 12 months to 12 August 2017, more than 735,000hl of Peroni were sold in the on-trade, according to CGA data.

    Premium lagers, though not as large as the likes of Carling, Foster’s and Carlsberg, are among the top 10 best-selling lager brands.

    “Compelling brands with the credentials that have authenticity will succeed in the future and if you tell the right story and produce the right brand then you can command a higher price in the marketplace,” added Clay.

    Over the next three years, the brewer would focus on its premium portfolio – particularly Asahi and Peroni – in light of a decline in sales of mass-market beer.

    Though standard lagers would still hold a large slice of the beer market, it was premium and craft that would continue to see growth in the future, he believed.

    When asked whether the brewer would add to its portfolio through acquisition, Clay said: “There are no immediate plans to buy out beers or brewers.

    “We hold about 15.3% value share of the premium lager category and we are in growth, according to CGA.”

    A new three-year plan has just been set out by Asahi UK, which would see the business focus more on premium.

    The Japanese parent company has also seen the value in Asahi UK’s focus and was allowing Clay and his team the autonomy to pursue the market, he added.

    23.01.2018   USA: Major whisky brands celebrate strong year 2017    ( )

    With consumers eagerly exploring across multiple brown spirits categories, it comes as little surprise that 2017 was a strong year for the U.S. market’s major whisk(e)y brands. As the connoisseur set continues to seek out new upscale launches and limited releases, leading players like Crown Royal, Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam and others are broadening their appeal and winning new drinkers with flavored expressions, the Shanken News Daily reported on January 18.

    Six whisk(e)y labels ranked among the top 25 spirits brands in the U.S. for 2017, and all of them were on the upswing, according to Impact Databank. Brown-Forman’s Jack Daniel’s continues to lead the market at 6.46 million cases, up 3% last year, including its flavored varieties. In the six months through October, net sales for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey (+6%), Tennessee Honey (+8%), Tennessee Fire (+14%), and the brand’s RTD offerings (+15%) were all up strongly, with Tennessee Fire gaining traction in the on-premise. In September, Brown-Forman debuted Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye ($27) in a bid to garner a piece of the action in the fast-growing rye whiskey segment.

    Diageo’s Crown Royal has also seen impressive gains for its flavored offerings lately, with Regal Apple estimated at +2.5% to 1.3 million cases for 2017, and the newer Crown Royal Vanilla at a half-million cases. Counting the contribution of its flavors, the overall Crown Royal brand has averaged 8% annual growth over the past two years, reaching 6.1 million cases last year. “While we expect Crown Royal’s growth to slow in fiscal 2018 as we lap the launch of Vanilla, we’re expanding Crown Royal outside its core markets into the Northeast and establishing it as a go-to status brand for African-American consumers,” Diageo North America CEO Deirdre Mahlan recently told analysts.

    Sazerac’s Fireball also continues to make gains in the flavored whisky segment—which is now above 10 million cases in the U.S. as a whole—even after years of torrid growth. After slowing to a pace of 5% in 2016, the cinnamon whisky accelerated to a rate of 7% last year, and the shot-focused brand is likely to crack the 5-million-case mark in 2018.

    Beam Suntory is also seeing success in the flavor arena. The company’s flagship Jim Beam brand has seen strong results for its Apple variant, which debuted in 2015, and last August the line was extended with a Vanilla flavor, which received an enthusiastic reception. The core Jim Beam label continues to benefit from the Bourbon boom, and is in the midst of a production expansion that will boost output by 20%. Including its flavored extensions, Jim Beam finished 2017 at just below 5 million cases on 8.5% growth.

    Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams likewise remains on the rise in the Bourbon category—including both flavored expressions like cherry and honey and the core whiskey. With growth ongoing, Heaven Hill recently completed a $25 million expansion of its Bernheim distillery in Louisville, which the company says is now the single-largest Bourbon production site in the United States, with an annual capacity of 400,000 barrels.

    Meanwhile, Pernod Ricard-owned Jameson is driving the Irish whiskey category forward. In Nielsen channels, Jameson was the market’s fastest growing whisk(e)y by value for the year through November 4. “We think there’s so much opportunity to fill out the shelf with Jameson standard in less mature markets and with Caskmates and Black Barrel in more mature markets,” Pernod Ricard North America chairman and CEO Paul Duffy said in December.
    22.01.2018   Britvic continues to put health at the heart of its new sustainable business programme - ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... – “A Healthier Everyday”

    Today, leading soft drinks company Britvic plc announces the launch of “A Healthier Everyday”, its new sustainable business programme which builds on its commitment to: help consumers make healthier choices; support the well-being of communities; and minimise its impact on the planet.

    Photo: Robinsons Refresh’d, a still spring water drink made using 100% naturally sourced ingredients, no added sugar and only 55kcal per 500ml serve

    The creation of “A Healthier Everyday” follows a review by the company into how it can ensure that its sustainability programme is focused on the issues that matter most to its stakeholders, and concentrates on delivering solutions that can make a real difference. The programme is fully embedded in Britvic’s broader business strategy, and is helping to deliver the company’s overarching purpose to ‘Make Life’s Everyday Moment’s More Enjoyable’.

    “A Healthier Everyday” programme, focuses on three key areas including:
    -Healthier People: helping consumers to make healthier choices and live healthier lives
    -Healthier Communities: helping our employees and communities to thrive
    -ealthier Planet: helping to secure our planet’s future

    The programme builds on the work Britvic has undertaken for many years, in particular the bold steps the company has taken on public health. Britvic has led the industry in taking steps to help consumers make healthier choices, through a long term and extensive reformulation programme, an innovation pipeline focused on healthier products, and marketing responsibly. As a result, Britvic has removed over 20bn calories from its GB portfolio since 2013 on an annualised basis, meaning the company is well placed to respond to the soft drinks industry levy. By April 2018, 94% of its owned brands (72% of Britvic’s full GB portfolio) will be below or exempt from the levy.

    Matt Barwell, Chief Marketing Officer at Britvic, is accountable for “A Healthier Everyday”, ensuring that it is fully integrated across the business, from the supply chain and R&D to innovation and commercial execution. He commented:

    “We have been bringing enjoyment to millions of everyday moments for over a century through our much-loved brands and we are committed to continuing to make a positive difference to the world around us – helping to make it healthier, happier, and more sustainable.

    “I am particularly excited about the ‘Healthier People’ pillar of the programme. The health of our consumers is vital to us which is why we’ve long been committed to helping them make healthier choices. Back in the 1930s, when we were called the British Vitamin Company, our business was built on bringing an affordable source of vitamins to consumers at a time when diets lacked important nutrients, and to this day we are doing our best to help make sure our products taste great and are better for you.”

    Shree Datta, Consultant at King's College, London, lecturer and medical author, said: “I fully welcome the commitment Britvic have made, with a unique and timely new programme to kick off healthy eating in the new year. Their sustained reformulation of products shows their drive to reduce the sugar content in the food and drinks we buy and should be applauded. In addition, their advertising ethos shows a responsible approach towards promoting healthy eating and I hope we can build on this.

    Stuart Foster, CEO at RECOUP: “Consumers now expect leading brands to be taking responsibility for the environment, and this new programme from Britvic is a great example of what is achievable. Not only does the Healthier Everyday initiative continue to address the consumer facing activities needed to improve recycling and efficient use of resources, but it also demonstrates the continued commitment of Britvic working behind the scenes to reduce waste, save energy, and ensure they continue to set themselves ambitious environmental targets moving forwards.”

    Sustainability milestones in 2017 – a quick look back
    Healthier people:
    -Britvic removed over 20billion calories from GB diets on an annualised basis since 2013, and by next April 72% of its total portfolio and 94% of its owned brands will be below or out of scope of the soft drinks levy in Great Britain
    -In GB, c.90% of all Britvic innovation was under or exempt from the soft drinks industry levy in 2017, eg. Robinsons Refresh’d, a still spring water drink made using 100% naturally sourced ingredients, no added sugar and only 55kcal per 500ml serve. We also continued to lead Pepsi innovation through sugar-free Pepsi MAX with Pepsi MAX Ginger.
    -We’ve focused on innovation in new categories such as evolved energy with the relaunch of Purdey’s – a more natural energy drink containing multivitamins and natural botanicals to give a natural lift with no caffeine and no taurine. [retail value increased 55% in 2017]
    -Britvic continued to help its customers reduce sugar. E.G. Subway stores removed c.3.7bn calories from British diets between July 2016 and July 2017 by converting to the Britvic/PepsiCo portfolio.

    Healthier planet:
    -100% of Britvic’s plastic bottles are recyclable
    -Recent investment in new bottling lines eliminated over 300 tonnes of plastic bottle packaging in GB
    -99% of global manufacturing waste generated was diverted from landfill
    -It achieved a 5% reduction in carbon emissions relative to production compared to 2016
    -Water ratio (water consumption relative to production) from 2016 was maintained despite the commissioning of new lines
    -Britvic was shortlisted for the 2017 GreenFleet Awards in the ‘Private Sector Fleet of the Year’ category for its work to promote the use of alternative fuel vehicles across its fleet. Work included installing charging points across its sites in Great Britain, and actively engaging with employees to demonstrate the total cost/benefit of hybrid vehicles.

    Healthier communities:
    -Women are represented in 36% of leadership roles across Britvic
    -31% of employees took advantage of community giving programmes, supporting good causes
    -Britvic achieved a wellbeing score of 72% in the independent ‘Great Place to Work Survey’ which measures how employees feel about working at Britvic

    “A Healthier Everyday” – 2020 goals
    Healthier People
    ‘Healthier People’ aims to help consumers to make healthier choices and live healthier lives by providing them with a portfolio of drinks which taste great and are better for you. Britvic is doing this by reformulating its drinks with no compromise on taste or quality, weighting 70% of its Group innovation pipeline towards no and low sugar drinks, and by using the power of its brands responsibly to nudge consumers towards healthier choices.

    Every time we reformulate an added-sugar product, we will reduce the sugar content. When we reformulate our NAS drinks, we will look to reduce sweetness levels.

    2020 Goal: Reduce average calories per 250ml serve by 20% from 2013 to 28kcal (down from 35.1kcal in 2017 excluding Brazil).

    Healthier Communities
    ‘Healthier Communities’ aims to help Britvic employees and communities to thrive by supporting a better quality of life socially, economically and environmentally. It will focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace; community support; and employee wellbeing.

    2020 Goals:
    -Women are represented in 40% of leadership roles across Britvic (up from 36% in 2017)
    -50% of employees take advantage of community support programmes (up from 31% in 2017)
    -All employees have access to wellbeing programmes that support healthier lifestyle choices and we achieve a wellbeing score of 81% in the Great Place to Work survey (up from 72% in 2017)

    Healthier Planet
    ‘Healthier Planet’ aims to help secure the planet’s future, where resources are used responsibly and the natural world is protected. The focus will be on resource efficiency, minimising the environmental impact of packaging and operating a sustainable supply chain.

    2020 Goals:
    -Reduce carbon emissions relative to production across Britvic’s global manufacturing sites by 15% vs 2016 baseline (5% emissions reduction achieved in 2017)
    -Achieve a water ratio (water consumption relative to production) of 1.4 across its global manufacturing operations (water ratio was 2.15 in 2017)
    -Achieve zero waste to landfill across its global manufacturing sites (99% in 2017)
    -Reduce the amount of materials used across all packaging formats, introduce recycled PET (rPET) into the GB portfolio at 15% content (300 tonnes of plastic packaging eliminated in GB in 2017).
    (Britvic Plc)
    19.01.2018   Diageo commits to phasing out use of plastic straws and stirrers    ( Company news )

    Company news In December 2017 we confirmed a new policy in relation to the use and promotion of plastic straws and plastic drink stirrers by our business and brands.

    For over a decade, Diageo has been committed to making our packaging more sustainable – principally through increasing recycled content, reducing the weight and increasing recyclability of all product packaging.

    Our commitment to phasing out the use of all plastic straws and stirrers marks the next progressive step in reducing our environmental impact. This is alongside a broader policy on plastic packaging in general.

    We have a comprehensive approach to managing the environmental impact of our packaging - an integral part of our Diageo Sustainability & Responsibility 2020 Targets. Specifically we have committed to reduce the overall weight of our packaging, increase the level of recycled materials we use in our packaging, and ensuring all our packaging is recyclable as set out in our Diageo Supplementary Guideline on Plastics and our Sustainable Packaging Commitments.
    (Diageo plc)
    18.01.2018   New versions of well-known mixproof valve designed to meet your industry challenges    ( Company news )

    Company news Cover your industry specific needs with the new Alfa Laval Unique Mixproof High Alloy and UltraPure versions

    A reliable process with flexibility and sustainable advantages ensures high product quality and strengthens your competitiveness in hygienic manufacturing of food, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical and home & personal care products.

    Food / Dairy / Beverage industries:
    Manufacturers of products containing high chloride concentration or low pH-levels often face corrosion challenges in their hygienic processes. A few examples:
    • Food: Soy sauce, ketchup or citrus acid extraction
    • Dairy: Lactic acid, whey and brine from cheese manufacturing
    • Beverage: Isotonic drinks, minerals dosing and hot water systems

    Meeting the demand for higher corrosion resistance, Alfa Laval's newly launched high alloy versions of its well-known Unique Mixproof valve secure superior product safety and longer equipment lifetime. The new Alfa Laval Unique Mixproof High Alloy version comes in two optional materials: Hastelloy C22 and AL6XN.

    Home & Personal Care industries:
    When producing anti-perspirant deodorants, fabric softeners and bleach type products there may be a need for equipment with high corrosion resistance in certain parts of your process.
    Products containing quats with high chloride content and aluminium chlorohydrate tend to increase pitting or crevice corrosion leading to possible equipment failure and systems leakages. The new Alfa Laval Unique Mixproof High Alloy, manufactured in either Hastelloy C22 or AL6XN, gives you two solutions for higher corrosion resistance, longer equipment life and reduced production downtime.

    Biotech & Pharmaceutical industries:
    To meet the high standards needed in the growing pharmaceutical industry, Alfa Laval has launched its well-known Unique Mixproof valve in an UltraPure version.
    Like all of our UltraPure equipment, the new Alfa Laval Unique Mixproof UltraPure comes with the Alfa Laval Q-doc package ensuring full traceability (3.1 certification) and seals with FDA, USP class VI and TSE/ADI certificates. Furthermore, the new Unique Mixproof UltraPure version will be available in high alloy materials: Hastelloy C22 and AL6XN. These alloys meet the demands for higher corrosion resistance from aggressive applications including, buffer solutions, cleaning liquids, high salt solution etc.
    (Alfa Laval Nordic A/S)
    17.01.2018   China: Tsingtao, China Resources Beer shares jump on inaccurate report of beer prices hike    ( )

    Shares in Tsingtao, China’s best-known brewer internationally, jumped on January 5 following a report that it would raise prices as much as 20 per cent, even though the company dismissed it as inaccurate, the Financial Times reported.

    The share price rose to 23 per cent in Hong Kong on January 5 before paring gains and closing 11 per cent higher, adding $814 mln to the company’s market capitalisation.

    The surge followed a report by Beijing News that Tsingtao and other breweries had raised prices on some products by 10 to 20 per cent due to higher raw material and labour costs.

    Hong Kong-listed China Resources Beer, the parent company of China Resources Snow Breweries which is China’s largest brewer by volume, rose as much as 11.8 per cent to a record high following the report.

    However, Tsingtao said in a statement to the Hong Kong exchange after market close that media reports of substantial price increases were “inaccurate”. The company added that prices of some of its products would rise due to an increase in packaging costs, but not by more than 5 per cent on average.

    Chinese beer companies generally specialise in cheaper brews, which they sell in large volumes. This model has come under pressure as higher incomes prompt consumers to upgrade to higher-end brands, leading to gains for foreign beer manufacturers.

    Japanese brewer Asahi last month agreed to sell most of its 18 per cent stake in Tsingtao to Chinese conglomerate Fosun and its subsidiaries for $844m. Tsingtao is China’s second largest brewer and was founded in 1903 by German and British merchants. It has the highest international presence of any Chinese beer brand.
    17.01.2018   Costa Rica: Costa Rican craft brewers working on increasing export of their products    ( )

    A group of Costa Rican craft beer producers has been working on creating a cluster, in conjunction with the Foreign Trade Promoter, the Promotora de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica (Procomer), to export their products to new markets, Q Costa Rica News reported on January 7.

    Initially aimed at the United States, the initiative is much more ambitious and hopes to bring their craft beers to Central America, South America and Europe.

    The cluster was formed two months ago. Ignacio Castro, president of the Asociación de Cerveceros Artesanales de Costa Rica (ACACR) - Association of Craft Brewers of Costa Rica - explained that the cluster is just in a formative stage, but they expect to officially present it in February of 2018.

    The cluster must first meet the requirements for export.

    “We have more than 100 associates that are dedicated to the production of craft beer in the country, but we are grouped into chapters. In this cluster, 39 producers in the microbrewery category may participate, although they must first meet the requirements for export, so we believe that we will start with about 10 or 12 producers,” said Castro.

    The craft beer market in Costa Rica reached a level of maturity that allows it to cross the border with quality products at competitive prices in other countries.

    Johanna Davila, promoter of food sector exports at Procomer, who works closely with the country’s craft brewers, ensures that they have a high level of quality in the production processes of their drinks. “At the moment the cluster has not been developed, we are working on the creation of a strategy and the selection of companies that will be part of this group of exporters that want to take their beers to other countries,” said Davila.

    “… According to Procomer, craft brewing companies that want to be part of the cluster must meet a series of requirements, such as having an established production capacity, having all the necessary export permits and economic solvency,” added Davila.

    Castro said that those interested in joining this group of exporters should also have all the permits required in Costa Rica, have packing processes to export and be independent breweries.

    “When I speak of independents, we refer to companies that produce their own beer without the support of large conglomerates in the industry, so brewers must prove that they work in that way,” Castro said.
    17.01.2018   India: United Breweries shares up 6% following beer price hike    ( )

    United Breweries shares rallied nearly 6 percent intraday to hit a fresh record high of Rs 1,199 on Thursday, January 11 following beer price hike, reported.

    CNBC-TV18 reports quoting Cogencis that the company has hiked its Kingfisher beer price by 7-8 percent in Mumbai.

    Meanwhile, company's gross revenues in July-September quarter grew by 24 percent and revenue net of duties increased 23 percent, driven by price increases, positive state and brand mix, as well as beer exports.

    The company had commenced direct export of beer from April 2017.

    During the quarter, United Breweries's volume growth at 11 percent was ahead of industry growth of 5 percent while operating growth was at 72 percent YoY.

    At 15:16 hours IST on January 11, the stock price was quoting at Rs 1,188.00, up Rs 56.40, or 4.98 percent on the BSE.
    (UB United Breweries (Holdings) Limited)
    17.01.2018   USA: US alcohol consumption estimated to have declined 0.2% last year    ( )

    The IWSR, the leading provider of data and analysis on the global beverage alcohol market, has released initial 2017 category results for the US market as part of its US Beverage Alcohol Review (US BAR) database, Eurasia Review reported on January 10.

    After analyzing preliminary 2017 volume, the IWSR says total US beverage alcohol consumption declined for the second consecutive year by -0.2%. This loss is more than double that of 2016, a decrease of 17.6m gallons, or 7.4m nine-liter cases.

    Beer volumes continued to slide in 2017 (-0.5%), which weighed down the performance of total beverage alcohol. The growth of spirits (+2.3%) and wine (+1.3%) were unable to make up the difference in volume due to beer’s overwhelming 79% share of total beverage alcohol.

    The decrease in total beverage alcohol consumption is directly related to the slow-building trend of moderation or not drinking at all. Signs of health and wellness permeate the industry with increasing frequency. From all-natural ingredients to low-ABV to zero-proof mocktails, consumers are clearly gravitating toward ‘healthier’ drinking experiences.

    The bright spots of 2017 were wine and spirits which stole share from beer and increased in volume. The long-term trend of premiumization has continued to spur growth. Premium-and-above offerings currently make up 33% of the spirits category and 22% of the wine category respectively (compared to just 12% and 2% in 1990).

    Within spirits, whisky showed the most momentum (+3.9%), outperforming non-whisky (+1.7%). Within the whisky category, Bourbon, rye, malt Scotch, Irish and Japanese offerings faired the best, while tequila, mezcal, brandy and Cognac led in the non-whisky segments. Still wine grew a modest 1%, while sparkling wines, especially prosecco (+23.2%), led the growth for the wine industry.

    Another key trend helping propel wine and spirits is the rise in alternative packaging and small sizes. For spirits, 50ml and 100ml offerings increased at rates of 18.1% and 13.6% respectively, while 187ml and 500ml wines experienced double-digit growth rates. The rise in the quality of boxed and canned wines has changed consumer perception. Most importantly, this trend has been a direct hit on beer occasions like sporting events and other outdoor activities.

    The information is considered preliminary data (p) and is subject to revision with the official IWSR 2017 global database release in May 2018.
    17.01.2018   What does this year hold for Scotch?    ( Company news )

    Company news Karen Betts, SWA chief executive:
    We've said goodbye to 2017 and welcomed in the new year. Now it's time to get back to work after a well-deserved break and focus on what the next 12 months have in store for the Scotch Whisky industry.

    Last year was a good one for Scotch. Exports in our premium, craft Scottish product returned to growth, with Single Malt exports breaking £1 billion for the first time. Reflecting confidence in the future, we saw unprecedented investment in the industry, with new distilleries opening and older ones being given a new lease of life. More people than ever visited the industry in Scotland, with Scotch Whisky distilleries ranking among some of the most popular Scottish and UK attractions.

    But this industry knows it can never stand still so what are we expecting for Scotch Whisky in 2018? Encouragingly, we saw signs last year that growth in both value and volume of exports was picking up. As the industry looks to the future, we are focusing of the importance of sustaining global growth in the medium to long term.

    Looking at performance in various markets, India is perennially the market with the greatest potential. It is already our third biggest export market by volume and our tenth by value, but Scotch only has a 1% share of the Indian spirits market which shows there is real scope to expand.. Post-Brexit, we want to see an ambitious UK-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that, at the very least, brought down the current 150% import tariff on Scotch. Reducing this tariff would make a massive difference to exports of Scotch.

    Elsewhere, there has been strong growth in the volume and value of Scotch exports to Singapore. It operates as a distribution hub for Scotch exports to large parts of Asia so this increase indicates strong demand across the region. South Africa is seeing double-digit volume and value growth and we are also seeing strong growth in exports to Mexico. In 2018, the industry will look to build on these successes and open up new opportunities for Scotch.

    Clearly, the UK's post-Brexit trading arrangements will be central to this endeavour. Brexit presents both challenges and opportunities for Scotch. It will bring changes to the ways in which we export and to how the industry is regulated, and the sooner we know what these changes will be, the better.

    The progress made in negotiations with EU partners at the end of 2017 which allowed trade talks with the EU to begin was welcome, and the content of these discussions will be very important to us.

    This year, it is vital that we hear more detail from the UK government, particularly on a sensible period of transition, customs procedures, the continuity of benefits secured through EU trade deals, and protection of Scotch Whisky's geographical indication status.

    The clock is ticking. The sooner details are forthcoming the sooner the industry will be able to make plans and invest for the future.

    In addition to Brexit, the domestic business environment is also crucial to generating the confidence business needs to invest. Despite the welcome duty freeze in the UK autumn Budget, £4 in every £5 of what consumers pay for Scotch still goes straight to the Treasury. Duty on Scotch Whisky is 19% higher per unit of alcohol than duty on imported wine, and a staggering 327% higher than on cider. We would like to see this unfairness addressed by the UK Government.

    There are 40,000 jobs, including 7,000 in the rural communities, and £5bn of added value to the UK economy which depends on a strong Scotch Whisky industry in our home market. In 2018, the domestic business environment, including excise duty, must be seen through the prism of the UK industrial strategy and the economic contribution of Scotch and other UK manufactured spirits. We look forward to continuing to discuss our place in the strategy with Ministers in Edinburgh and London.

    Over the years, the global success of Scotch has been built on the hard work of such early entrepreneurs as Tommy Dewar, Johnnie Walker, James Chivas and others in the 19th century who travelled the world creating a huge global market for our national drink. What we have seen in the early part of the 21st century is a new generation of whisky entrepreneurs who are taking Single Malts and premium blends to the modern consumer, following in the footsteps of these industry giants.

    This year presents a series of opportunities to support this new wave of dynamism. If we can get Brexit right for Scotch both at home and in our export markets around the world, the future for Scotch Whisky , in 2018 and beyond, looks bright.
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
    16.01.2018   Processing, filling, sealing: GEA supplements its portfolio with bottle and can filling    ( Company news )

    Company news GEA strengthens its market position as a total solutions provider in the beverage processing industry with finalizing the acquisition of the Slovenian machine manufacturer VIPOLL d.o.o. in January 2018. VIPOLL develops and produces filling technologies for soft drinks, beer and fresh dairy products. GEA can now also fill beverages that do not require sterile processing into glass bottles, can and plastic containers. The company is already the innovation leader in blowing and filling processes in the aseptic as well as all sensitive beverage segment, especially for PET and HDPE bottles.

    VIPOLL supplies mainly filling machines and components for beverage processing lines, including pasteurizers, mixers, carbonating and capping systems, as well as conveyor, bottle cleaning and CIP technologies. In addition, the engineers are planning and building complete lines for beverage processing, which VIPOLL mostly distributes to breweries, wineries and soft drink specialists in the DACH region (Germany, Austria & Switzerland) and in Slovenia. The VIPOLL strategy as a flexible machine and process integrator gives customers the opportunity to optimally custom-assemble their filling systems according to technical and commercial market requirements.

    Continuous beer and soft drinks production
    Paddy Kenna, Head of Application Center Beverage at GEA: “We are pleased to include VIPOLL in our corporate family. The company specializes in glass and can filling systems with low and mid processing speeds, fitting precisely the requirements of our customers. Breweries in particular, with their high demand for glass bottles, can benefit from the fact that we now support them throughout their entire production process from brewing to bottling and storage. That is an ideal fit to our Brewery 4.0 concept.” In terms of global climate protection goals, glass and cans will become even more important in the future. Refillable bottles are an essential cornerstone for a reutilization strategy and cans are a part of the recycling loops. Both could help mitigate CO2 emissions, says Kenna. Therefore, it is consistent for GEA to invest in the filling expertise.

    Filling is key technology
    For GEA, filling is one of the key technologies in the beverage industry, which increasingly demands more flexibility and efficiency in the highly competitive market. “Customers are increasingly converting from conventional batch production to continuous production, which we need to consider as a process planner,” says Kenna. “As a technology leader, GEA aspires to shape market developments rather than just react to them. Together with VIPOLL, we can now offer our customers the added value of highly flexible, multifunctional beverage lines that can rapidly switch between bottle, can and PET filling.” At the drinktec 2017, VIPOLL presented the new All-in-One monoblock filler (glass/PET/can), which can be adapted to various container types in a very short time thanks to the flexible filling and capping head. The patent procedure is currently ongoing.

    GEA puts VIPOLL on growth course
    Stanko Zver, Managing Director of VIPOLL also expects the acquisition to boost business momentum. “We fit perfectly into GEA’s product range and complement the filling expertise for key customer groups. In addition, we share our consistent customer focus and ambition to develop technologically leading solutions for the beverage industry. With GEA’s large sales and service network, we can also penetrate regions where we have had little or no activity so far.”

    VIPOLL, established in 1991 employs more than 100 employees today in Križevci pri Ljutomeru, near the university town of Maribor in the north-east of Slovenia. In 2016, the formerly family owned company generated sales of approximately EUR 20 million. To meet future demands, GEA will expand on-site production facility during 2018.
    (GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)
    15.01.2018   Beviale Family to collaborate with Doemens and VLB Berlin    ( Company news )

    Company news As of now, NürnbergMesse Group is collaborating with Doemens Akademie in Gräfelfing near Munich and VLB (Research and Teaching Institute for Brewing) in Berlin. The Beviale Family – which includes the events BrauBeviale, Beviale Moscow, CRAFT BEER ITALY, CRAFT BEER CHINA and Feira Brasileira da Cerveja – will now benefit from a framework agreement on international collaboration signed by NürnbergMesse, Doemens and VLB Berlin during the premiere of CRAFT BEER ITALY.

    “We are very proud that we have been able to get these two renowned education and training establishments on board as partners for our product family,” explains Peter Ottmann, CEO of NürnbergMesse Group, underlining the international appeal of both institutes. “We look forward to working with our international sponsors, who will provide inspiration and ideas as they play an active role in shaping our network and Beviale Family events in the future.” Through this alliance, NürnbergMesse is underpinning its expertise in the beverage industry on the worldwide market. “This is the ideal alliance for the ongoing development of our portfolio in beverage technology,” says the CEO of NürnbergMesse Group Dr Roland Fleck.

    Doemens also expects positive synergies in the future. “The collaboration with the Beviale Family on an international stage underscores the international expertise of Doemens Akademie. We are proud to support the internationalisation strategy of the Beviale product family and help drive it forward to the advantage of all parties,” says Dr Werner Gloßner, Managing Director of Doemens Akademie.

    The alliance will open up new avenues for all parties, and VLB Berlin is also looking forward to interesting opportunities. “This new collaboration is an outstanding opportunity to continue to develop our common strengths in the craft beer sector at international level,” says VLB Managing Director Dr Josef Fontaine. “The successful launch of CRAFT BEER ITALY has more than confirmed this view.”

    Beviale Family: International expertise in the beverage industry
    The NürnbergMesse Group demonstrates its expertise in the beverage industry on an international stage. The original event is BrauBeviale, the international capital goods exhibition for the beverage industry in Nuremberg. This is where, for over 40 years, the sector has been showcasing all aspects of the production process chain for beverages: raw materials, technologies, logistics and marketing. Other members of the product family are operating in important growth markets worldwide. Beviale Moscow, for example, is the first and only trade fair for the entire beverage industry in Eastern Europe. CRAFT BEER CHINA in Shanghai is becoming established as the gathering place for the Chinese craft beer community, while CRAFT BEER ITALY in Milan is the B2B platform for the Italian sector. The Beviale product family is also represented in Brazil, as the Feira Brasileira da Cerveja in Blumenau is “supported by BrauBeviale”. Other projects are in the planning phase.
    (NürnbergMesse GmbH)
    15.01.2018   The world prepares for celebrations to mark International Scotch Day on February 8th    ( Company news )

    Company news Scotch, the world’s favourite whisky, will be celebrated across the globe on Thursday 8th February with a series of events to mark International Scotch Day.

    Now in its second year, the day is a true celebration of Scotland’s greatest gift, cementing Scotch’s status as both the world’s favourite whisky and the perfect drink to be shared with good company, wherever, whenever.

    Celebrations will take place in homes, bars, clubs and events across the world, as Scotch aficionados, enthusiasts and fans alike raise a glass to their favourite whisky.

    Ronan Beirne, Global Brand Marketing Director at Diageo said: “Last year we launched International Scotch Day and its huge success proved what we at Diageo already knew – the world loves Scotch. This year is going to be even bigger, with celebrations taking place globally, from Scotch Whisky tastings to opening the doors to Diageo’s archive in Scotland, free passes to distillery visitor centres and celebrity events in cities from Manila to Johannesburg”.

    International Scotch Day is an opportunity to celebrate the world’s favourite whisky and to shine a spotlight on the entire Scotch Whisky category. The popularity of Scotch has been built through its integrity, quality and authenticity, and no other spirit can offer as diverse a range of tastes, textures and flavours.

    Ewan Gunn, Global Scotch Whisky Master from Diageo commented: ““Scotch is made all the way across Scotland - from the romantic west coast, through the whisky heartland of Speyside, to the vibrant urban central belt of Scotland, and though it is made here, it belongs to the world and is truly the world’s favourite whisky. Hosting International Scotch Day for a second year shows how confident we are about the popularity of this truly international drink.”

    2018 celebrity ambassadors and global locations will be revealed in February.
    (Diageo plc)
    12.01.2018   Molson Coors Acquires Aspall    ( Company news )

    Company news Strengthens Molson Coors’ position in the UK’s fast-growing market for premium cyders and supports Company’s portfolio premiumisation strategy

    Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP; TSX: TPX) announced the expansion of its cider portfolio through the acquisition of Aspall Cyder Limited.

    Molson Coors and Aspall, the award-winning premium cyder1 brand, are pleased to announce they are coming together in what is the latest milestone in the Suffolk cider company’s illustrious history. The acquisition brings together two companies with a passion for building extraordinary brands and similar family-orientated ownership structures, with close to 650 years of combined experience in operating excellence.

    Founded in 1728 by Clement Chevallier and run by the eighth generation of his family, Aspall is an established premium brand of quality and provenance. The company’s high-quality portfolio strengthens Molson Coors’ position in a fast-growing market for premium cider in the UK. Aspall also produces leading specialty vinegars, including Aspall Organic Cyder vinegar, which is made using a fermentation process that is the only one of its kind in the world.

    Aspall operates from a single site in the parish of Aspall, Suffolk, where the Chevallier family first planted the orchards at Aspall Hall. Members of the family will remain part of the business and will play a key role in shaping the strategic direction of Aspall, ensuring that it remains a cornerstone of the surrounding community.

    Through its industry-leading expertise in marketing, distribution and logistics, Molson Coors is ideally positioned to grow the business in the UK and establish a leading presence for the Aspall brand in key markets around the world. Molson Coors will be investing in Aspall’s Suffolk operation, helping further the founding family’s ambition to redefine the cider category by giving more consumers the opportunity to taste and develop an appreciation for the genuinely premium nature of high-quality cider.

    Phil Whitehead, Managing Director of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to add Aspall to the Molson Coors portfolio. Both companies share a similar history that is deeply rooted in family, dedication to customers and a commitment to excellence. The Chevallier’s have been producing cyder for almost 300-years and their range of brands enhances our existing portfolio. We’re now looking forward to helping Aspall become the number one premium cyder in the UK and building on the huge potential of the Aspall vinegars, as part of an ongoing strategy to premiumise our portfolio.”

    Barry Chevallier Guild, Aspall Chairman, said: “This is an important milestone in Aspall’s long history and a proud day for everyone involved with the company. Having been in close discussions with Molson Coors for over a year, we were delighted to find that they share our rich heritage, passion for making quality cyder and vision for the future development of Aspall and its people. Molson Coors is known for respecting the provenance of local brands it has acquired in the past, and has the scale and expertise to accelerate our growth in the premium cider category in the UK and beyond.”

    Henry Chevallier Guild added “There is a real opportunity to elevate and grow the status of English cyder in the UK and abroad both as a beverage and as an excellent partner for food. We believe that Molson Coors investment will provide the catalyst to grow Aspall and build the recognition for quality cider worldwide.”

    Volume of cyder sales at Aspall grew by 10% in 2016. The UK cider market is a substantial industry that is in value growth. The total cider market value grew by over 25% between 2010 and 2015 and is projected to continue that growth through until 2020 according to data from Nielsen2. Aspall will operate as part of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, within the Molson Coors European business unit and will continue to press, ferment, keg and bottle at the Cyder House in Aspall, Suffolk.
    (Molson Coors Brewing Company (UK) Limited)
    11.01.2018   Join ACI's 3rd European Food & Beverage Plastic Packaging Summit taking place on ...     ( Company news )

    Company news ...14th & 15th March 2018 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands!

    This edition will focus on the best strategies for sustainable packaging including recycling and packaging performance, with a stronger focus on the brands and retailers, who will share their thoughts and information on consumer experience and demands for next generation of packaging.

    Furthermore, the conference will also explore the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, and its impact in the entire supply chain dynamics as well as use of bioplastics, biodegradable & compostable plastics, as well as the latest innovations in the market for printing and labelling.

    Key Topics Include:
    -Market trends for sustainable packaging in 2018 and beyond
    -Latest innovations in design, manufacturing, additive and convertor technology
    -Case studies from retailers/brands on packaging and design needs in the food & beverage industry
    -What does the European Commission circular economy package mean for the plastics packaging supply chain
    -Expectations and targets of EU waste legislation on packaging and packaging waste
    -Analysis and comparison of performance materials in different applications
    -Advancing plastics converters and manufacturer's capabilities and technologies
    -Life cycle assessments and environmental impact
    (Active Communications International (ACI Europe))
    10.01.2018   Douglas Laing Announces Timorous Beastie Special Edition Aged 10 Years Old    ( Company news )

    Company news Douglas Laing & Co, Glasgow-based family Scotch Whisky firm, announces the launch of Timorous Beastie 10 Years Old Limited Edition Highland Malt Scotch Whisky.

    Bottled at 46.8% and offered without colouring or chill-filtration, the special bottling is a marriage of single malts exclusively from the Highland region, packaged in a premium, gun-metal-grey foiled gift tube. Its colour palette is said to reflect the traditional 10 year anniversary metal; aluminium.

    The original Timorous Beastie, immortalised in the famous poem “To a Mouse” was a timid yet characterful field mouse, by whom Scots poet Robert Burns was fascinated. Douglas Laing & Co launched its Timorous Beastie brand in 2014 in honour of the iconic “beastie”, and has since enjoyed global success with its aged limited editions series, including the acclaimed 40 years old edition, rated 91 points by Whisky Fun’s Serge Valentin.

    Commenting on the launch, Chris Leggat, Commercial Director says:
    “The latest addition to our Timorous Beastie family, our 10 Years Old special edition launches at an opportune time for Burns Night celebrations. The exciting new brand extension is a key activation within our global Timorous Beastie strategy for quarter 1, which encompasses a raft of “Malt of the Month” listings for the core brand, a series of whisky-paired Burns Suppers and a comprehensive digital plan that will seek to recruit new consumers to our accessible Highland Malt brand.”

    Timorous Beastie 10 Years Old is available from specialist Whisky retailers globally and coming soon to

    Tasting notes
    The nose is immediately sugary sweet, bursting with warm syrup over sponge and ripe, juicy nectarines. The palate brings creamy honey, warm buttered toast, gentle spice and a distinct cereal character. All that leads to a deliciously full finish of honeycomb, zesty orange and soft fruits.
    (Douglas Laing & Co.)
    10.01.2018   T.I.G. at Interplastica 2018    ( Company news )

    Company news Solutions for digitalisation and Industry 4.0 are of critical importance for plastics processors worldwide.Adherence to schedules, cost reduction and resource optimization are requirements that modern manufacturing companies have to face these days, in order to better survive a world of digital upheaval. Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) play a key role in the factory of the future.

    “authentig” is the modular MES-solution for the plastic processing industry. More than 300 customers from the automotive industry, medical technology, electrical and packaging industry rely on the innovative industry solution of T.I.G. with over 10.000 networked injection moulding machines, rubber machines or recycling machines.

    Focal point: “smart production – solutions”
    “You can really sense the increasing interest in MES”, says Wolfgang Frohner, CEO of Technische Informationssysteme GmbH. At the touch of a button, cockpits customised for specific industries give authentig MES users access to real-time productivity, delivery data and quality information throughout the enterprise. By providing an optimal link between the ERP system and production, authentig integrates all manufacturing-specific data in a single system, thus driving measurable improvements in productivity, reducing the number of rejects and enabling high-quality process documentation.

    Smart solutions for increased quality and economy
    Tailored to the specific requirements of the injection moulding industry, authentig offers particularly deep vertical data integration, down to the level of individual cavities. The software creates transparency in order, for example, to optimally utilise the available capacity of a machine park, or to correlate productivity ratios with economic goals. The MES has a modular structure and can be precisely adapted to the individual requirements of the processor.

    “Energy” is the most recent authentig module. Not only does it make the energy consumption of individual consumers in the injection moulding operation transparent, but it also reliably caps peaks in the power demand. This is made possible by defining situational consumption limits for each individual consumer, and then dynamically allocating the pre-defined power amounts to the consumers. This intelligent hall management can thus help to significantly reduce the energy costs for the machine pool.

    Smart factory becomes reality
    “In the future, plastics processors will have an easy option for setting up communication between injection moulding machines, peripheral devices and the MES,” says Frohner. “They will no longer need special solutions for this.”authentig MES meets all Industry 4.0 requirements, ideally supporting the implementation of forward-looking technologies such as Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Software as a Service. Deploying authentig makes the smart factory a reality. It connects employees, intelligent warehousing systems, machine components and robots. This active machine communication simplifies value creation processes. Manufacturing planning and operational data are organised in a flexible, simple and scalable way to support task-oriented distribution. Innovative driver technology ensures trouble-free machine connections. authentig impresses with state-of-the-art design and an uncomplicated, intuitive user interface.

    As a pioneer and development partner, T.I.G. is the first MES provider to offer software for testing and validating the new EUROMAP-77 interface, which machine manufacturers can download free of charge.

    T.I.G. at Interplastica 2018: Hall 2 (Level 1), ENGEL stand B23
    (T.I.G. - Technische Informationssysteme GmbH)
    09.01.2018   Australia: Leading brewers hit back at calls for ‘radical’ alcohol tax policy changes    ( )

    Australia’s beer barons have hit back at calls for a “radical” policy shift that would hike the tax on draught beer by up to 500 per cent and reduce Australia’s alcohol consumption, the Illawarra Mercury reported on January 4.

    The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) wants draught beer to be taxed at the same rate as bottles and cans, rather than the discounted tax rate it now enjoys. FARE says this would raise an extra A$2.9 billion while cutting alcohol consumption by more than nine per cent.

    But the brewing lobby has blasted the plan as “lazy and flawed”.

    Brewers Association of Australia (BAA) CEO Brett Heffernan said tax was already the “single most expensive ingredient in beer”.

    “Firstly, when it comes to cheap alcohol products, beer is not one of them,” he said.

    “Secondly, price is not a pressure point for those who misuse alcohol. It’s lazy and flawed policy ... it penalises the vast majority who drink responsibly while doing nothing for those few at risk of harm.”

    He claimed Australians already pay heavy tax on beer.

    “Any Aussie venturing overseas who has slicked their thirst with a cleansing ale knows we pay a premium for beer in Australia.”

    BAA represents brewing giants Carlton & United, Cooper and Lion.

    FARE’s plan proposes tax on light beer at pubs be increased five-fold, tax on mid-strength beer be doubled and tax on full-strength beer tax be increased by half.
    09.01.2018   China: Tsingtao, China Resources Beer shares jump on inaccurate report of beer prices hike    ( )

    Shares in Tsingtao, China’s best-known brewer internationally, jumped on January 5 following a report that it would raise prices as much as 20 per cent, even though the company dismissed it as inaccurate, the Financial Times reported.

    The share price rose to 23 per cent in Hong Kong on January 5 before paring gains and closing 11 per cent higher, adding $814 mln to the company’s market capitalisation.

    The surge followed a report by Beijing News that Tsingtao and other breweries had raised prices on some products by 10 to 20 per cent due to higher raw material and labour costs.

    Hong Kong-listed China Resources Beer, the parent company of China Resources Snow Breweries which is China’s largest brewer by volume, rose as much as 11.8 per cent to a record high following the report.

    However, Tsingtao said in a statement to the Hong Kong exchange after market close that media reports of substantial price increases were “inaccurate”. The company added that prices of some of its products would rise due to an increase in packaging costs, but not by more than 5 per cent on average.

    Chinese beer companies generally specialise in cheaper brews, which they sell in large volumes. This model has come under pressure as higher incomes prompt consumers to upgrade to higher-end brands, leading to gains for foreign beer manufacturers.

    Japanese brewer Asahi last month agreed to sell most of its 18 per cent stake in Tsingtao to Chinese conglomerate Fosun and its subsidiaries for $844m. Tsingtao is China’s second largest brewer and was founded in 1903 by German and British merchants. It has the highest international presence of any Chinese beer brand.
    09.01.2018   Japan: Japan’s beer prices expected to rise this year    ( )

    Higher distribution costs and a labour shortage coupled with rising raw materials are going to push up beer prices in Japan this year, The Drinks Business reported on January 5.

    According to a report by NHK, Japan’s national public broadcasting organisation, four beer makers – Asahi, Kirin, Suntory and Sapporo – will raise beer prices in bottles and kegs this February. Wholesale prices of bottled beer are expected to rise by about 10%, it added.

    It is unclear at present how much prices will go up for beer in kegs.

    Japan is a major beer consumption country, ranked as the 6th biggest in the world in 2016. Last year, the country relaxed its regulation on ingredients allowed in beer production to allow fruits, spices and other ingredients.

    In addition to beer, prices for rice and wheat are set to be hiked up as well, with three major milling companies raising wheat prices by 1 to 4%, starting from this week.

    Consumers will also have to spend more on pre-cooked rice this year. The country’s packaged food company TableMark will raise its prices by as much as 17% in February.
    09.01.2018   Latvia: Aldaris beers now exported to China, France, and the Netherlands    ( )

    Latvia’s Aldaris brewery has started selling its products in China, France and the Netherlands, LETA reported on December 14.

    So far Aldaris exported its products to eight markets, of which the UK was the biggest one, with 78.71% of the company’s exports.

    The company said that in November Aldaris in cooperation with the Latvian Investments and Development Agency presented Mezpils dark beer at the economic and trade, technologies and culture forum of the Central and Eastern Europe and China.

    "Even though the cooperation agreement with China was signed a year ago, so far there has been a long process of strengthening cooperation, inspections and certifications in line with China’s legislation and food safety regulations," the company said, adding that this year the first test shipment of 10,000 litres of Mezpils dark beer has been sent to China.

    Meanwhile, the company’s newest market is the Netherlands. Two cooperation agreements have been signed in this market. In France a cooperation with one of the retail chains has been signed.

    The company continues search for new partners in Europe and outside Europe.

    Aldaris exports its products to the UK, Denmark, Ireland, the US, Finland, Australia, Estonia and Poland, and now also to China, the Netherlands, and France.

    As reported, in 2013 Aldaris decided to focus on premium class and craft beer production, and moving production of cheaper or PET-bottled beers to other Carlsberg group breweries in Lithuania and Estonia.

    Aldaris, founded in 1865, is the largest brewery in Latvia and one of the biggest in the Baltics. It is part of the Carlsberg group, one of the world's largest beer makers.
    09.01.2018   Thailand: Home-brew outlaws serving up delicious revolution in Thailand    ( )

    At a riverside bar just outside Bangkok, a delicious revolution is underway, NZCity reported on December 28.

    Every Saturday, Chit Beer microbrewery opens for beer lovers and those who want to learn the craft of craft beer.

    "It's getting very, very popular now because when people know more about the concept, that yeah, we can make beer ourselves at home, [they're] excited," said Wichit Saiklao, better known as Chit.

    But these weekly classes are an act of rebellion.

    Home-brewing is illegal in Thailand.

    To get a beer-making licence, Thais must be able to produce 100,000 litres a year and have $400,000 in the bank, which effectively shuts out small players.

    The 1950 Liquors Act also protects the two giant conglomerates that dominate the cheap lager market — ThaiBev with its Chang (and the infamous "changover"), and Boon Rawd Brewery's Singha and Leo beer.

    Thai craft brewers are forced to take their recipes to breweries overseas and then import their bottles back into Thailand, paying hefty tax.

    Most brew in Asia, but not all.

    Phuket's Full Moon Breweries makes its fruity Chalawan Pale Ale in New South Wales and the logo for its Chatri IPA is a Muay Thai fighter with a koala head.

    Melbourne's Red Dot Brewery produces oddball flavours from the Lamzing brewery, including Sticky Mango (pale ale), If You Like Pinacolada (saison), Morning in Monsoon (stout).

    But the "imported" Thai beer is sold at premium prices.

    So for the maverick of Thailand's rebel brew scene, defying the law is not just about tasty beverages, but freedom and self-sufficiency.

    "When people feel they are empowered to do something, to rely on oneself, then I think many, many good things will come after we can make beer ourselves at home," Chit said.

    "That's my vision."

    Chit's "vision" started with two flops.

    Thailand's evangelist of ales first tasted craft beer while studying in the United States.

    He put the idea in the back of his mind, thinking it would be a good hobby later in life.

    "I'm afraid I'm going to feel lonely, so if I can brew beer then friends are going to come over," he laughed.

    "If they're having a party they remember that they have to invite Chit [because] Chit makes beer."

    But five years ago, he decided retirement was too long to wait, and ordered a do-it-yourself kit on the internet.

    His first two batches failed because he threw out the yeast, thinking the small packet was a deodorizer.

    But the third batch was a success and sparked a passion that has proved contagious.

    By mid-afternoon, the bar is packed.

    While most punters sample the small-batch offerings on tap and watch the river pass from the sunny deck, a small group huddles around Chit taking notes, measuring out grain and asking questions.

    "I didn't realise how many types of ingredients there are to make beer," said Dominic, a Bangkok resident from the United Kingdom.

    "I've just tasted the first batch and it tastes amazing."

    Chit Beer is located on the island of Koh Kret, about 20 kilometres north of Bangkok.

    The classes are kept low key, but Chit has had his run-ins with the law, after undercover officers carried out a particularly thorough investigation.

    "They drank a lot of my beer and played around in my brewery but I don't know who they are," he recalled.

    "Then two weeks later they showed up with a badge and they know everything about me."

    The risks are starting to pay off.

    The scene is growing in Bangkok, with dedicated bars and the Craft Space Beer Week currently underway in Bangkok.

    Chit hopes that if enough people start brewing at home, the law will have to change.

    "We can have more power, more voice and I think this place plays a role to expand, to create the voice," he said.
    09.01.2018   Thomas Körmendi starts as CEO in Elopak     ( Company news )

    Company news Elopak announces Thomas Körmendi (photo) as new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of the Elopak Group, to join on 01 April 2018.

    Thomas Körmendi is currently CEO at Kezzler AS, a Norwegian company working with the digitalization of packaging. Earlier in his career Thomas worked about twenty years at Tetra Pak in various international positions. His latest position in Tetra Pak was as Vice President and head of North Europe with 1200 employees and four multi country production plants.

    “With the recruitment of Thomas Körmendi we have secured an international profile with solid knowledge of the industry to realize the strategic ambitions of the Elopak Group”, says John Giverholt, Chairman of the Elopak Board of Directors. “I look forward to the cooperation with Thomas to further develop and strengthen Elopak.”

    Thomas Körmendi will be based at Elopak’s Group Headquarters in Skøyen, Oslo, Norway.
    (Elopak AS)
    09.01.2018   USA & China: Stone Brewing starts official exports of its beers to China    ( )

    Stone Brewing has started selling its beers in China, NBC 7 San Diego reported on December 22.

    The Escondido, CA-based company’s brews have been available in China through the so-called grey market without company approval and were often shipped warm and with their expiration dates removed, said Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman and co-founder.

    Stone beer is now shipped via the company’s cold, expedited supply chain. Temperatures are tracked throughout shipping.

    “I returned from China energized and blown away by the welcome we received,” Koch said. “Our reputation has evidently preceded us, and I loved being there as our fans enjoyed the bold and complex aromas of flavors of uber fresh Stone beers for the first time.”

    Among the Chinese locations stocking Stone beer are Liangshi Brewery’s Dao Taproom in Beijing; Tipsy Bar & Restaurant, Bravo, and The South 12 Craft Beer Bar in Guangzhou; Hugo Brewpub’s Foam Ranger Taproom in Xi’an; The Pub in Shenzhen; and Dazhimen Beer Restaurant, and Commune in Wuhan.
    09.01.2018   USA: AB InBev could be about to ramp up its craft beer activity - analyst    ( )

    Anheuser-Busch InBev could be about to ramp up its craft beer activity after recent industry figures show its current craft breweries lagging the US market, an analyst has forecast.

    Citing IRI data, SIG's Pablo Zuanic wrote this week that AB InBev's US craft beer volumes in the eight weeks to 17 December grew by just over 2%, below the estimated mid-single-digit growth for overall US craft beer. Zuanic said this was a poor performance, especially for a company that is under-represented in the craft area - about 2% of AB InBev's portfolio, compared to 12% for the US industry.

    To help boost growth, Zuanic believes AB InBev "will likely need to ramp up its craft strategy". The analyst said this could include picking up its buy option on Craft Brew Alliance, in which AB InBev already owns a minority stake. As part of an agreement signed last year, AB InBev has the option to take full control of CBA in a clause that expires in August 2019.

    AB InBev has bought ten US craft brewers so far, starting with Chicago's Goose Island in 2011 and ending in May with North Carolina's Wicked Weed. Goose Island has more than quadrupled volumes since its takeover, and its beers are now produced around the country. However, for other acquisitions, AB InBev has concentrated on regional sales.

    Digging deeper into IRI's eight-week numbers, Zuanic said Goose Island volumes fell 10% in the eight-week period and Shock Top was down 13%. The brands are AB InBev's biggest craft volume players, representing about 60% of its total craft beer business. The biggest increases were for Elysian (+70%) and Karbach (+8%).

    This is not the first time that Zuanic has highlighted a potential sale of CBA. Last month, he said AB InBev may take full control of the company within the next year.
    09.01.2018   USA: Big beer sales continue to slide    ( )

    When it rains, it pours, the old saying goes, but unfortunately for the U.S.' biggest brewers, beer drinkers aren't pouring as many of their pints as they once did. Instead, they've turned to craft beer and, increasingly, Mexican imports, the Motley Fool reported on December 21.

    In its third-quarter earnings report last month, Anheuser-Busch InBev saw its own production and sales fall. The megabrewer said North American volumes fell over 6% to 31.9 million hectoliters, while revenues were down 5% to $4.3 billion. Year to date, they're down almost 4% and 2.5%, respectively, suggesting the downturn is accelerating.

    In particular, global Budweiser sales were down 2.2% in the third quarter, but if you removed U.S. sales from the picture, they were actually up 4.4%.

    Similarly, Molson Coors also reported a decline in volumes and sales in the U.S. for its Miller Lite brand, though global volumes inched ahead 0.7% for the period. The brand was, however, able to gain market share in the U.S. premium light beer segment, the 12th consecutive quarter it had done so.

    While big beers like Budweiser and Miller Lite continue to see sales slide, craft beer, which despite the decline in its growth rate is still actually growing, now represents over 12% of the total U.S. beer market. The industry trade group Brewers Association says there are now more than 6,000 breweries operating in the U.S., more than at any time in the country's history, and 95% of them are regional and craft breweries.

    But the megabrewers are still that - mega. The Brewers Association's annual list of the biggest brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume, not surprisingly found Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, and Pabst Blue Ribbon to be the three biggest brewers, though D.G. Yuengling & Son reprised its position as the largest craft brewer and the fourth-largest brewer overall.

    And when it comes to 2016 dollar sales, the market researchers at IRI found the biggest brands were the usual suspects, too.

    What might not have been expected, however, was the enduring popularity of Miller Lite after MillerCoors was sold as part of Anheuser-Busch's acquisition of SABMiller last year. As noted earlier, although sales have continued to ebb away here in the U.S., management has hinted that Miller Lite was on the rise and was "on track to become the number three beer in America."

    And now it's achieved that distinction, though it's more due to Budweiser falling faster than Miller Lite. At a recent area conference for business executives hosted by the Milwaukee Business Journal, the news site reported MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley announced Miller Lite had finally surpassed Budweiser as the third-largest beer. It still has a long way to go before it catches up to No. 2 Coors Light, let alone top-ranked Bud Light, but the achievement is significant nonetheless.

    It also suggests Miller Lite may yet move higher. Nielsen data shows Bud Light sales falling by 5.7% over the first nine months of 2017, while Coors Light was down 3.4%. Miller Lite, falling at the much slower rate of just 1.7%, can actually gain position simply by attrition.

    This means that although light beer is now solidly the most favored type of beer in the U.S., it is a rapidly shrinking pool. As super-premium beers, wine, and spirits all gain ascendance, Miller Lite might end up king of the mini-keg rather than the beer barrel.
    08.01.2018   GEBO CERMEX BRINGS 50% EFFICIENCY INCREASE FOR THE BIGGEST ...    ( Company news )


    The installation of a complete end-of-line solution for Coca-Cola Bottling in Indonesia, namely at the Cikedokan plant in Bekasi, near Jakarta, has increased line efficiency at one of Indonesia’s major beverage production companies by 50%.

    This facility became the biggest plant in Asia-Pacific when The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) reaffirmed a total investment worth some $500 million in March 2015 . In recent years, Coca-Cola has invested more than $1.2 billion in Indonesia , a dynamic and fast-growing market. With more than 260 million inhabitants, the country boasts the world's fourth largest population and a large, emerging middle-class with low consumption rates of non-alcoholic beverages. Over the course of the last four decades, it has undergone a rapid process of urbanisation to the extent that currently over half of the country’s population now lives in or close to towns. The UN expects that by 2050, that figure will have increased to more than 65% . For economists, this represents a positive factor, as greater urbanisation together with growing industrialisation are essential for any country to acquire the status of a middle-income region.

    Advanced solutions for a model factory
    Founded in 1992, Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia (CCAI) manufactures and distributes non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages in Indonesia, operating as a subsidiary of the Australian affiliate of US beverage manufacturer The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd (CCA). The company produces carbonated soft drinks, still beverages such as juices, teas, and isotonic drinks - and water, energy drinks and more in various packaging formats and sizes. It offers its products through large and small retail outlets, including supermarkets, mini markets and traditional outlets, as well as wholesalers.

    The Cikedokan plant produces carbonated soft drinks and tea and juice in PET bottles and tea in plastic cups. The latter format is very prevalent in Asian markets, including Indonesia. The cups represent the ultimate on-the-go format, effectively providing a drink which is consumed in one go. It is convenient for a busy lifestyle - usually drunk in the street - and is ideally priced for those consumers on low to middle income streams. The original line - built with equipment from a variety of different suppliers - featured manual palletising at its end-of-line. This was causing lots of congestion, safety and labour-management issues, with a very large team of casual workers needed to carry it out. “It’s quite hot work and difficult,” explains Grant McClean, Technical Manager for Capital Projects at the plant. “At least, there are challenges in making sure that the work can be done safely.” So, they started to search for an automatic palletising solution enabling a continuous production line with a more efficient use of labour.

    He continues: “The thing we value very highly in a machinery supplier in Indonesia, of course, is the quality of the equipment - and that our supplier can provide its engineering capabilities during the sales process for us to discover the best machinery and the best solution.”

    Working closely with the team at the customer’s site, Gebo Cermex engineers designed a new automatic palletising solution tailored to the Cikedokan’ needs which comprises layer-by-layer palletisers, pallet conveyors and a stretch wrapper to cover the loaded pallets. Given the goal - to accommodate the production line to deliver 3,600 cases per hour - a system of three small palletisers, one from each packing area, connected with an unmanned shuttle-car system was considered to be the most economical and operationally efficient end-of-line solution. The shuttle-car was part of the solution proposed by Gebo Cermex, recognising the benefits it brought in terms of reducing the traffic of forklift trucks, thereby increasing site safety. The three palletisers supplied by Gebo Cermex are U-shaped with empty pallet infeeds and full-pallet outfeeds on the same side of the machine. The shuttle-car system continuously takes the loaded pallets to a pallet conveyor, upon which the pallets are stretch-wrapped before being taken to waiting forklift trucks. Then, they take them away for dispatch to the company’s warehouses. On its return journey, the shuttle-car system also supplies empty pallets to the palletisers. Together with optimised efficiency and higher OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), this solution allows for a much better management of the labour force. The team at the Cikedokan plant now has a more organised and efficient production line, which can run continuously and uses space in a smarter way.

    Results exceed expectations
    McClean underlines: “Within a few weeks of the installation, we conducted a test where the machinery exceeded the standards for acceptance that we had set at the start of the project by a large margin. In the operation that we have had since then, we’ve seen absolutely no decline in the efficiency of the equipment from the day of that test.” All in all, since the implementation of the solution, the plant has seen a 50% increase in efficiency and higher OEE.

    He continues: “One of our ambitions at Coca-Cola Bottling in all of our plants in Indonesia, is to pursue a strategy of lean manufacturing. Our Cikedokan plant is like a pilot plant; it’s where we test our ideas for lean manufacturing and perfect them - before implementing them in other plants. And so, the end-of-line solution that we chose from Gebo Cermex had to fit in with our lean-manufacturing strategy.”

    McClean concludes: “Gebo Cermex provided us with a good solution, good layout design and good quality of equipment. After the sale, being supported with spare parts which are quickly available and after-sales technical advice for maintenance and problem solving on the equipment is also very important. Overall, we are happy working with Gebo Cermex because of the support and good project management from them.”
    (Gebo Cermex)
    05.01.2018   O-I LAUNCHES FIRST GLOBAL DESIGN BOOK    ( Company news )

    Company news Entries draw on O-I's unique global reach to inspire future designs in glass

    Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) has launched a Global Design Book to provide inspiration for brand owners and design agencies looking for fresh ideas in glass for their foods and beverages. O-I, the world's largest glassmaker, has drawn together more than 100 glass designs from around the world and the collection illustrates the beauty, versatility, brand differentiation, color, shape and decoration variations available in glass in a way no other packaging material can match.

    Photo: North America - Pepsi/ Great American Coffee Partnership
    On the go consumption - packaged in an artfully designed compact, amber, stubby bottle that features a clean cylindrical shape and a generously rounded shoulder. Customized engraving speaks to heritage and the tradition of craft.

    Glass provides an emotional reach into consumers' deepest needs. Its unique values - purity, quality, premiumness, sustainability, health - and its design versatility come together to create a tight bond between a unique consumption experience and the product and brand promise. Andres Lopez, O-I's CEO says in the foreword to the book, "Many studies tell us consumers love glass. It's their favorite package. Only glass evokes wonder: the pleasure as you pick up an ice-cold beer bottle, the craving as you open a jar of your favorite spread, the anticipation as you watch the sommelier uncork your champagne."

    The entries are new product designs developed over the last few years by O-I design teams either from a received brief or with customers' design agencies across each of the five continents on which the company operates. They show the breadth of O-I's design expertise and also illustrate the different cultural norms which provide design cues for brands in each location.

    "The book is more than selection of pretty pictures," said Marie-Laure Susset, Marketing Communications Leader for O-I Europe. "It relates a narrative of brand image and consumer trends over recent years. It tells of the growth of craft, of premiumization, or of healthy hydration."

    "I am grateful for the cooperation of all the brand owners whose products are featured in the book. It is very exciting to see so many great brands displayed page after page," concludes Yolanda Fernandez, Marketing Communications Specialist Europe, who led the project.
    (O-I Owens-Illinois Glass Containers)
    04.01.2018   ENGEL at Interplastica 2018    ( Company news )

    Company news ENGEL is making its customers more competitive with flexible and efficient machine concepts along with automation from a single source. The system expert based in Schwertberg, Austria, will demonstrate what this means in practical terms by presenting two technically sophisticated applications at Interplastica 2018, which takes place from January 23 to 26 in Moscow, Russia. At the same time, the company will highlight the new opportunities that digitalisation and networking are opening up for plastics processing firms.

    Photo: authentig creates transparency of machinery. With its “Energy” module the MES reliably caps peaks in the power demand.

    In many cases, wristwatches require sales packaging that is not just high quality, but original – in the form of globes, for instance. Over the four days of the trade event, ENGEL will use a mould supplied by its customer Betar to produce base bodies for globes on an ENGEL victory injection moulding machine. Hemispheres that can be put together will be moulded. Based in Chistopol (midway between Moscow and the Urals), Betar manufactures numerous products for gas and water metering and a great many plastic articles for customers. Flexibility is an essential characteristic of the company’s production equipment, which is why the company mainly invests in tie-bar-less injection moulding machines from ENGEL’s victory range. “Free access to the mould area makes it much quicker to install and remove moulds,” stresses Olaf Kassek, Managing Director of OOO ENGEL in Moscow. “Thereby, tie-bar-less technology significantly improves the availability of injection moulding machines when producing small batch sizes.” Tie-bar-less technology also enables compact manufacturing cells, which is especially advantageous when producing complex, three dimensional parts and using multi-cavity or multi-component moulds. In such cases, the moulds have a large volume and the injection moulding process tends to require relatively small clamping force thanks to rather short flow paths. Tie-bar-less technology makes it possible to choose the machine size on the basis of the clamping force actually required, rather than the mould size. Given that mould fixing platens can be used to the hilt, even small injection moulding machines can be fitted with large moulds.

    Consistent processes despite variable pellet quality
    The victory machine on show in Moscow will have a new generation injection unit. On the basis of its extensive experience across the many different application areas for its injection moulding machines, ENGEL has restructured the sizes of the hydraulic injection units and further optimised performance data such as injection pressure, injection speed and plasticising performance. The long established ENGEL servohydraulic ecodrive is standard equipment in the new machine models. Depending on the type and size of machine and the application, this cuts the energy requirement by 30 to 70 percent. Key to this is needs-based pump capacity. When a machine is idle (for example, during cooling phases), the engines also close down and consume zero idling energy. As positive side-effects, the machine runs much quieter and the hydraulic oil is not heated as much, which reduces the amount of energy needed for oil cooling.

    Visitors to the trade fair will also be able to track the workings of iQ weight control live on the control panel of the victory machine. During the injection process, the software analyses the pressure profile in real time and compares measured values by means of a reference cycle. For every shot, the injection profile, switchover point and the holding pressure profile are automatically adapted to current conditions and the injected melt volume is kept consistent throughout the production operation. This compensates for fluctuations in environmental conditions or moulding compound before rejects can be produced.

    ENGEL uses the iQ prefix to denote the expanding number of intelligent assistance systems in its inject 4.0 range. These enhance the quality and efficiency of production without requiring machine operators to acquire specialist knowledge. Five years ago, iQ weight control became the first iQ system to be launched; since then, more than 1,500 of the systems have been sold worldwide. Initially, the software was limited to use with injection moulding machines with electric injection units; now iQ weight control is also suitable for hydraulic machines. “Feedback from the market has been excellent,” says Kassek. “iQ weight control significantly increases reproducibility in hydraulic victory machines.”

    Maximum integration with a minimal footprint
    ENGEL will bring a second exhibit to Moscow to demonstrate how to maximise the efficiency potential of tie-bar-less technology in the field of medical technologies as well. Compact manufacturing cells are particularly beneficial in the cleanroom environment. Two years ago, ENGEL developed a stainless steel pipe distributor for the cavity-specific handling of small injection moulded parts; this will be presented at Interplastica with a totally new and more compact design. Thanks to tie-bar-less technology, it is situated next to the clamping unit of the ENGEL e-victory 80 injection moulding machine and completely fits into the machine’s widened safety gate.

    At the trade event, the highly compact manufacturing cell will produce needle holders for 1ml safety syringes using a 16-cavity mould. An ENGEL viper 12 linear robot will remove the delicate polystyrene parts from the mould and transfer them to the distributor system. To ensure batch traceability to the level of individual cavities, the injection moulded parts will be packed in cavity-specific bags. For this purpose, 16 bags will hang in a cart directly beneath the pipe distributor. Individual shots can be extracted for quality control purposes.

    For unmanned cleanroom operation – for example, during night shifts – two carts can be alternated in sequence, with a buffer system enabling the fully automated exchange. The entire periphery for this is integrated into the CC300 control unit of the injection moulding machine. Thanks to shared data storage, the CC300 can precisely coordinate the movements of the machine and the robot with each other, thus optimising overall efficiency. The total cycle time for this application is just six seconds.

    The delicate needle holders, which have a shot weight of just 0.08g and varying wall thicknesses, require extremely precise process control. ENGEL guarantees this through the electric injection unit of the hybrid e-victory machine and iQ weight control.

    Immediate response, 24/7
    The two machines at the ENGEL stand will be linked so that machine statuses and process data can be tracked in real time via a central computer. In this way, ENGEL will be able to showcase other products from its inject 4.0 range in Moscow. For example, e-connect.24 enables remote maintenance of injection moulding machines and production cells, even at distant production locations. Qualified ENGEL service engineers can be contacted directly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As soon as they receive a service request, they use a secure remote connection to start troubleshooting and providing specific online support. “In many cases, faults can be resolved over the internet,” says Olaf Kassek. “Users benefit from the fact that they don’t need to call out a service technician, which is expensive and time-consuming, and from the greater availability of their production system.”

    Keeping an eye on production
    At its stand, ENGEL is dedicating an individual expert corner to the MES authentig. The Manufacturing Execution System was developed by T.I.G. Technische Informationssysteme GmbH, which has been part of the ENGEL Group for one year. With the integration of T.I.G. into the ENGEL Group, both companies have combined their MES know-how and their many years of experience with MES projects worldwide, thereby achieving innovation at an even faster pace.

    Tailored to the specific requirements of the injection moulding industry, authentig offers particularly deep vertical data integration, down to the level of individual cavities. The software creates transparency in order, for example, to optimally utilise the available capacity of a machine park, or to correlate productivity ratios with economic goals. The MES has a modular structure and can be precisely adapted to the individual requirements of the processor.

    "Energy" is the most recent authentig module. Not only does it make the energy consumption of individual consumers in the injection moulding operation transparent, but it also reliably caps peaks in the power demand. This is made possible by defining situational consumption limits for each individual consumer, and then dynamically allocating the pre-defined power amounts to the consumers. This intelligent hall management can thus help to significantly reduce the energy costs for the machine pool.

    ENGEL at Interplastica 2018: Hall 2 (level 1), stand B23
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    03.01.2018   TOP launches ColdPress 20    ( Company news )

    Company news TOP bv from Wageningen introduces two larger versions of the Cold Press No.1, the high grade industrial press for the extraction of juices with optimal maintenance of quality.

    The Cold Press No.10 and No.20 (CP 10 & 20) are the larger brothers of the successful Cold Press No.1. All three machines operate according to the same mild press principle. Fruit and vegetables are processed in the Cold Press without squashing too many cells and without generating a lot of unwanted heat. These two aspects guarantee a higher quality of the extracted juice compared to other press methods.

    The CP1 is already deployed successfully by processors of fruit and vegetables. The introduction of the CP10 and CP20 allow processors to produce juices at a larger scale while preserving the natural nutritional value. The capacity of the CP20 is 1000 liters of juice per hour (600 liters for the CP10). Press bags are emptied automatically and the machine can be operated by one person.
    (Top BV)
    02.01.2018   The Brewers of Europe launches 'BrewUp', a 2.0 knowledge portal for Europe's brewers    ( Company news )

    Company news The Brewers of Europe released BrewUp, a knowledge portal for Europe’s brewers. BrewUp provides information on how to brew, market and advocate for beer. BrewUp has been developed in order to meet the expectations of brewers of all kinds, large and small, from newcomers to experienced operators.

    BrewUp contains information that can be accessed by anyone as well as information that is only available to the breweries that belong to The Brewers of Europe’s national member associations.

    Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe said: “We are proud to have developed this new platform for members and brewers across Europe with the aim to assist them in their day-to-day business. We are looking forward to users’ feedback so that we can further populate and improve this unique resource with the support of our national associations”.
    (The Brewers of Europe)
    29.12.2017   Even at high temperatures and under compressive stress: GEMÜ 677HP PurePlus ultra-pure ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... diaphragm valve

    Thanks to making consistent improvements to processes and investments in state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, valve specialist GEMÜ can offer its customers plastic diaphragm valves with a significantly higher pressure-temperature rating.

    Numerous applications in the semiconductor, foodstuff and pharmaceutical industries benefit from plastic diaphragm valves with a high pressure-temperature rating. They ensure safe operation not only at high temperatures but also under high pressures. The diaphragm valves in the GEMÜ 677HP PurePlus series exhibit improved properties with regard to the relationship between pressure and temperature. This makes them perfect for treating and distributing high-temperature ultra-pure water (hot deionized water) and means that they play a direct role in ensuring the reliability and efficiency of users' production processes.

    Users working in the semiconductor industry need a downstream cleaning process with ultra-pure water in the wet process section in order to remove the caustic agent. To minimize cleaning times, they use high-temperature ultra-pure water (between 60 °C and 90 °C). However, the chemically aggressive properties of high-temperature ultra-pure water pose a challenge for the process valves. All the valves that come into contact with high-temperature ultra-pure water must be able to guarantee resistant and low-maintenance sealing at elevated and varying temperatures. This is made possible by the reliable valve seat seal used in the diaphragm valves in the GEMÜ 677HP PurePlus series, which is capable of withstanding high loads. The integrated sealing contour in the chemically resistant valve bodies made of Solef PVDF, combined with the precision-fit GEMÜ PTFE diaphragm, makes the diaphragm valve suitable for this demanding application. The results of extensive qualification and fields tests – as well as feedback from long-standing customers – have gone into optimizing the valve seat seal. This means that the GEMÜ 677HP PurePlus valve can be reliably employed in an ultra-pure water treatment system even at media temperatures of between 60 °C and 80 °C, and at an operating pressure of 5.9 to 7.9 bar (depending on the media temperature).

    The valve body of the GEMÜ 677HP PurePlus is available both in a 2/2-way version and in a T-body configuration with a nominal size of DN 15 to DN 100. A lockable, low-maintenance bonnet ensures operational safety, and can be delivered with an integrated electrical position indicator upon request.
    (GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)

    Company news Sidel introduces the versatile Aseptic Combi Predis, a new solution that can produce aseptically both still beverages and carbonated soft drinks in PET bottles. This results in a high degree of production flexibility and productivity while contributing to reduced costs and lowering the environmental impact.

    Different consumer expectations drive the demand for beverages today: a healthier lifestyle has led to an increase in the demand for refrigerated and ambient drinks with more natural recipes without preservatives. Consumers are also looking for a wider variety in beverage flavours. In order to help the beverage industry players to ensure their packaging protects both their beverage and brand, Sidel is introducing the new versatile Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis. This solution can produce a wide variety of products efficiently, with increased flexibility, reliability and product integrity. “By reducing total cost of ownership and enhancing end-product quality, the versatile Aseptic Combi Predis helps ensure that the beverage business remains sustainable,” explains Guillaume Rolland, Sensitive Products Vice President at Sidel. “This version is benefitting from all the practical advantages of the proven Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis platform. Now accounting for more than 100 references worldwide, this industry-leading platform has already received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and is validated for low acid manufacturing and commercial distribution in the United States market.”

    Enhanced, flexible aseptic production
    Suitable for high and low-acid sensitive beverages (like teas, juices, UHT white milk, soya milk, etc.), in PET bottle formats from 200ml to 2L, the solution further strengthens the aseptic production flexibility to handle both still and carbonated soft drinks (CSD), with or without pulps, and with more natural and preservative-free recipes. The modular design of the Aseptic Combi Predis allows the needs of current beverage producers to be met and opens doors for the introduction of any new products to easily and quickly adapt to market trends which are less and less predictable.

    The same filling valve handles aseptically all types of sensitive beverages with no need of changeovers. The filling configuration can be adapted to the main production performance factors required by the beverage producers with two different filling valve variants.

    The Aseptic Combi Predis can be equipped with the new Capdis™ Multilanes, the dry cap sterilisation system that can handle multiple cap designs (flat and sport caps) and diameters (from 28 to 38mm) with no need for manual changeover, in order to enlarge even more the capability to manage a wide range of stock keeping units.

    One integrated, safe, reliable and sustainable solution
    The proven, safe and simple technology of the Aseptic Combi Predis is designed to offer maximum productivity, efficiency and safety with an aseptic blowing process with no need for blow-moulder sterilisation, as well as fast and safe product and format changeovers with limited manual intervention, for continuous aseptic production time. This versatile machine configuration is designed as a complete solution featuring several key innovations and patents. The beverage producer also has the option to add a dedicated aseptic carbonator: easy to operate thanks to its simplified interface with the Aseptic Combi Predis, it allows great performance in terms of CO2 dosing accuracy, stability and product integrity. The product circuit design includes a technically advanced magnetic filling valve that ensures food safety and reliable performance. To keep it simple, the small sterile zone and minimal critical factors can be managed easily and effectively. Furthermore, by reducing the amount of chemicals and water required, it is also a cost-effective and sustainable solution.
    (Sidel International AG)
    27.12.2017   UK: London's Brixton Brewery partners with Heineken UK    ( )

    London’s Brixton Brewery has partnered with Heineken UK in a move that will see it increase capacity almost tenfold. Heineken will acquire an undisclosed minority stake in the business for an undisclosed sum. Following the investment, Brixton will move from its existing 3,500-hl (3,000-BBL) site on Brixton Station Road to a new 15,000-square-foot space on Milkwood Road, less than a half mile away, Good Beer Hunting reported on November 28.

    Local couples Jez and Libby Galaun and Mike Ross and Xochitl Benjamin founded the brewery in Brixton, South London, in 2013. The new site, which is expected to be operational by April 2018, is expected to produce approximately 30,000 hl (21,300 BBLs) of beer annually.

    As reported recently by GBH, London’s brewing industry is continuing to experience a strong growth curve. This has made it an increasingly tempting market for the industry's biggest players. Recently SABMiller and, subsequently, Asahi acquired Meantime Brewing. ZX Ventures, the venture capital arm of AB InBev, purchased Camden Town Brewery in December 2015. And earlier this year, Carlsberg, in partnership with Brooklyn Brewery, acquired London Fields Brewery in a deal reportedly worth £4 million ($5.3 mln).

    Heineken’s move is far more cautious, however, having only bought a minority stake in the four-year-old Brixton. Its expansion is also far less significant than Camden Town’s move to its brand new 200,000 hl (170,000 BBLs) production brewery earlier this year. In fact, the move will still see Brixton remain smaller than some of London’s larger independent craft breweries, including both Beavertown and Fourpure.

    “We’ve had one eye on other locations ever since we started the brewery,” co-founder Jez Galaun tells GBH. “We always felt that we wanted to grow and that it needed to be here in Brixton—that was something we weren’t prepared to compromise on.”

    Galaun says the brewery had looked at several financing options for its expansion, including crowdfunding, private investment, and private equity. But it was Heineken, who originally contacted the brewery a year ago, that proved to be the right fit. Galaun says it’s the “most ideal partnership for us.”

    “We could see how well they were working with Lagunitas in the U.S.,” Galaun adds. “They loved our beers, were excited about our brand, and asked if there was a way we could work together. We didn’t really know where that would lead to, but as talks went on we got to know them and we trusted them.”

    Galaun didn’t disclose the percentage of the business sold nor the amount that Heineken invested, but he does cite Brooklyn Brewery, which is 25% owned by Japan’s Kirin Brewery and has distribution and production ties to Denmark’s Carlsberg, as a major influence.

    Lagunitas, which initially sold a 50% stake of its business to Heineken for a reported $500 million in 2015, eventually sold the remaining portion of the business. The family-owned Dutch brewing giant went on to acquire the California based brewery outright in early 2017.

    Big breweries taking a minority stake in their craft counterparts is becoming increasingly common as the industry looks for new ways to sustain growth. Brooklyn’s aforementioned deal with Kirin being one example, Founders selling a 30% stake to San Miguel Mahou in 2014 is another. With both brewery and private equity money moving around in ever-greater amounts, the question of what being “independent” means has seldom been asked more frequently.

    But does the difference between private equity and brewery investment mean anything to consumers? BrewDog—which sold a 22% stake to private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners earlier this year—is another interesting example. In GBH’s recent podcast episode with BrewDog co-founder James Watt, he described minority investments by breweries as an “eventual path to control.” It remains to be seen if, as with Lagunitas before them, this will be the eventual fate of Brixton.

    “We set ourselves certain criteria with regards to our expansion,” Galaun continues. “Firstly, that we need to expand in Brixton—this is our home. Secondly, that the four founders would continue to lead the business and maintain the majority stake, which is what we’ve done.”

    The expansion means that after more than a year of being unable to meet growing demand for its beers, Brixton will finally be able to make amends with existing customers as well as make its beer available to new accounts. It also means that the brewery will be creating a minimum of 30 new jobs within Brixton over the next five years.

    “It was vital to us to keep a production business in Brixton,” co-founder Xochitl Benjamin tells GBH. “We’re excited about finally being able to achieve what we set out to do when we initially opened the brewery in 2013.”

    22.12.2017   PureCircle Begins Partnering With U.S. Farmers Who Have Grown Tobacco, To Now Grow Stevia    ( Company news )

    Company news Partnerships Create New Economic Opportunities for Tobacco Farmers In North Carolina to Grow Sustainable, Highly-Sought After Crop Supplying Stevia Sweeteners to Food and Beverage Companies

    PureCircle (LSE: PURE), the world’s leading producer and innovator of great-tasting stevia sweeteners for the global beverage and food industries, announces a new stevia farming program in the United States. The program will provide economic opportunities for tobacco farmers looking for a sustainable crop which is in high demand by the global food and beverage industry.

    This past fall, PureCircle partnered with North Carolina farmers to successfully plant and harvest StarLeaf™ stevia in small trial plots. PureCircle and its partner-farmers will significantly increase commercial production of StarLeaf™ stevia for the next planting season.

    PureCircle’s StarLeaf™ is a variety of the stevia plant that contains rich amounts of the most sugar-like tasting, zero-calorie stevia sweeteners. The project in North Carolina is part of PureCircle’s global program to scale up StarLeaf™ production, while also providing domestically grown stevia to the North American market.

    The trials this fall confirmed stevia grows well in soil and climate conditions that were conducive to growing tobacco. With the declining demand for tobacco, stevia cultivation offers farmers in North Carolina the opportunity to increase returns and productivity of their acreage.

    Stevia is becoming the preferred zero-calorie sweetener among consumers and consumer product companies. The percentage of beverage and food products launched containing stevia increased by 13% in Q2 2017 compared to Q2 2016. StarLeaf™ stevia will help companies accelerate launches of reduced and zero-calorie products by making available sweeteners with the most sugar-like taste derived from a plant-based source.

    James Foxton, Vice President of Agricultural Operations at PureCircle, said:
    “We are proud to introduce stevia as a crop in North Carolina. This program will boost the economic prospects of agriculture in that state by providing a viable alternative to tobacco. We look forward to working together with farmers in expanding stevia production and establishing a North American stevia supply chain for PureCircle.
    (PureCircle Sales & Marketing Head Office)
    21.12.2017   Beer serves Europe and the rest of the world: EU sector's renaissance continues    ( Company news )

    Company news With EU beer production rising above 40 billion litres for the first time since the economic crisis, The Brewers of Europe confirm that the growth trend continues for the EU beer sector at the 7th Beer Serves Europe event.

    A successful mix of world-leading multinationals, deeply-rooted regional breweries, and thriving SMEs, Europe’s breweries support the delivery of Europe’s 2020 Growth Strategy and contribute significantly to trade with the rest of the world.

    Addressing the Annual General Assembly of The Brewers of Europe following Beer Serves Europe VII, Vice-President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen commented on the competitiveness, innovation and investment in the European Brewing sector and its contribution to job creation and trade.

    “Just the number of jobs created by beer in Europe – 2.3 million jobs at the last time of counting – is a testament to how beer can help create growth and prosperity in Europe as a whole”, said Pavlos Photiades, President of The Brewers of Europe.

    Dimiter Tzantchev, Bulgarian Ambassador to the EU said “European brewers are a valuable stakeholder in the promotion of high technological, environmental, social and health standards in society". He also highlighted the brewers’ commitments to marketing self-regulation, public awareness campaigns against drink-driving and the provision of consumer information.

    1: The number of micro-breweries in Europe has tripled since 2010
    Small business has always been big in brewing, but today more and more start-ups are combining local traditions with innovation.
    -20 micro-breweries open every week in Europe.
    -There are now 8,500 breweries across the EU. 1,000 were launched in the past year alone.

    2: Brewing is undergoing a renaissance in Europe
    EU beer production is back above 40 billion litres for the first time since the economic crisis, with three years of consecutive growth.
    -Germany, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom are the largest producers of beer in the EU.
    -Supportive policies enable brewers to continue contributing to the overall competitiveness of the European economy and sustained growth.

    3: EU brewing sector has a global presence
    EU beer brands are extremely popular and fast-selling across the globe. Out of the top ten agri-food export sectors, beer is one of Europe’s fastest growing in trade value terms.
    -8.6 billion litres of beer brewed within the EU is exported abroad.
    -Exports represent one fifth of EU beer production, one third of which leaves the EU.
    -The top three countries for Europe’s brewers are the US, China and Canada, but over the past twenty years Europe’s brewers have extended beer trade to 123 countries around the world.
    -Beer exports were particularly important from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands in 2016.

    4: Beers serves Europe well, let’s treat it fairly
    With thousands of years of prestige and a bubbly future in innovation and diversity, beer is a vital European business. Europe’s brewers call for a sustainable tax regime that recognises beer's positive impact throughout the value chain, from grain to glass.

    Beer adds €50bn, annually to EU output and over €42bn in tax revenues for governments.
    (The Brewers of Europe)

    20.12.2017   ENGEL at the Saudi PPPP 2018 in Riyadh    ( Company news )

    Company news Optimum efficiency, maximum performance and consistent quality: ENGEL, the Austrian injection moulding machine manufacturer and system expert, will demonstrate how flawless interplay between injection moulding machine, automation, mould and application technology can reconcile these demands cost effectively and sustainably at Saudi Plastics & Petrochem. The event takes place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from 21 to 24 January 2018, in conjunction with Saudi Print & Pack. ENGEL’s information stand will focus on innovative products and applications for the construction, logistics and packaging sectors.

    Photo: In Saudi Arabia, the trend is towards sustainable plastic pallets.

    The injection moulding industry of Saudi Arabia is making a strong comeback for Saudi PPPP 2018 thanks to some innovative products and applications. Investment was halted in many areas following the collapse of the oil price in 2014. However, new orders and fresh growth are emerging as the year comes to a close. “The worst is over,” says Andreas Leitner, Sales Director Middle East at ENGEL. “We are holding more discussions with customers over new product ideas that will actively assist with local value creation and stimulate the economy. Saudi PPPP 2018 will give this development greater impetus.” Three areas in particular will benefit from the upturn: the construction industry, logistics and the packaging sector.

    New products driving infrastructure projects
    In the construction industry, for example, electrofusion fittings for use in gas and water networks are among the innovative products driving sales for processing firms. Typical of this fitting type are integrated heating elements; after being installed in a pipeline system, they are temporarily charged with electricity to materially bond the pipe ends. This results in highly secure and durable connections that do not require seals.

    To manufacture electrofusion fittings, heating elements are overmoulded with thermoplastics, which generally requires two injection moulding steps. This means inserts and pre-moulded parts must be handled carefully; moreover, the moulds are very large owing to the complex component geometry. To facilitate highly efficient and cost-effective production despite this, tie-bar-less injection moulding machines of the victory series are preferred for such applications. Even in high clamping force classes up to 5,000 kN, ENGEL designs its victory machines with tie-bar-less clamping units.

    Since the mould mounting platens of tie-bar-less machines can be used to the hilt, it is possible to fit very large and complex moulds on relatively compact machines, which minimises both investment and operating costs. A second efficiency factor is automation as robots can access the cavities directly from the side without having to negotiate obstacles; thirdly, the high process stability which is ensured by the tie-bar-less clamping unit design helps to maximise overall efficiency. The patented force divider enables the moving mould mounting platen to follow the mould exactly parallel while clamping force is building up and ensures that the clamping force is evenly distributed across the platen face.

    ENGEL victory machines are fitted with the ecodrive servohydraulic as standard. This cuts the energy requirement by 30 to 70 percent in comparison with conventional hydraulic injection moulding machines, depending on the machine size and application.

    Plastic pallets for greater sustainability
    The trend towards sustainable products and manufacturing concepts is especially clear in the logistics field, where plastics and petrochemicals companies have redoubled their efforts to dispense entirely with wooden pallets in the region. According to current surveys, raw materials manufacturers alone in Saudi Arabia require 14 million pallets annually. To produce these from wood, 700,000 trees would be needed, which Saudi Arabia does not have; however, polymer pellets are produced locally. Companies cannot reconcile importing large quantities of wood with their environmental protection commitments, especially when this would also involve treating wood pallets with pesticides and fungicides. By contrast, plastic pallets require no environmentally harmful chemicals; they are neither hygroscopic nor flammable, have no sharp edges and cannot splinter, which makes for simplified customs clearance in many countries.

    To make these pallets lighter than wooden pallets – as well as more stable and rigid – ENGEL draws on a wide spectrum of technologies and materials together with system partners and raw materials producers. For injection moulding machines, the low MFI values of the materials used present a particular challenge. With their very high box power output and high quality screws, compact ENGEL duo double-platen machines are ideally equipped to meet this. As a producer of system solutions, ENGEL has the ideal robots for pallet production in its range. With its demoulding stroke of 3,000 mm and range of 3,550 mm, the viper 120 has a load-bearing capacity of 120 kg.

    Ultimate efficiency for caps and closures production
    The packaging sector was least affected by Saudi Arabia’s economic crisis, yet new technologies are accelerating market developments in this area as well. The focus is on continued optimisation of production efficiency in the manufacture of beverage caps as well as thin-wall packaging for the food industry.

    At its stand, ENGEL will use sample parts and videos to illustrate the strong potential of integrated system solutions. For example, an e-cap 380 injection moulding machine with a 96-cavity mould is used to produce 26 mm caps of HDPE, including tamper band, in a cycle time of under 2.5 seconds and with total energy consumption of less than 0.7 kWh/kg. Alongside the all-electric injection moulding machine, peripherals deliver an important contribution to such outstanding overall efficiency: the new TWIN flying closure system is used, for example, enabling IMDvista to meet another challenge in the manufacture of beverage caps. Newly produced caps generally undergo camera inspection on a conveyor belt, which means the top side of the cap cannot be recognised by the cameras. The new technology lifts the caps by means of an air current, enabling them to be inspected from above and below without extending the processing time.

    The e-cap injection moulding machine, which ENGEL has tailored to the needs of caps production, accounts for just 0.42 kWh/kg of the total energy consumption of 0.7 kWh/kg. “Now that beverage caps have reached their lightweighting minimum in terms of geometry, they are placing greater demands than ever on the precision and repeatability of injection moulding machines,” points out Leitner. High-performance servo direct drives are responsible for the outstanding precision and process stability of e-cap machines, ensuring the required plasticising capacity and the highest possible number of usable parts even when high-strength HDPE materials are used with an MFI of well below 2 or even 1 g/10 min. Additionally, its increased ejector force and clamping force ensure very fast cycle times. Despite such impressive performance, the e-cap requires very little energy and cooling water, even in high speed operation. “As far as caps production is concerned, there is a definite trend towards all-electric machines,” says Leitner. “The e-cap machine is now firmly established in Saudi Arabia.”

    Enhanced quality and cost effectiveness for thin-wall packaging
    More and more food packaging is being locally produced in Saudi Arabia. Lightweight food containers are driving the trend, which stems from a desire to be more independent of imports.

    Manufacturers of thin-wall containers are increasingly turning to integrated system solutions to ensure high levels of both quality and cost effectiveness. These solutions are often based on the all-electric ENGEL e-motion injection moulding machine, which offers cycle times of well under 3 seconds and injection speeds in excess of 500 mm per second. The closed system for toggle lever and spindle guarantees optimal, clean lubrication of moving machine components at all times and meets the stringent hygiene standards of the food industry.

    One focus of the ENGEL information stand will be the integration of IML solutions: with in-mould labelling, it is possible to produce highly decorative and ready-to-use packaging in a single injection moulding step. New automation concepts of the kind developed by ENGEL partner BECK automation promise ample flexibility in the production of small batch sizes.

    Integrated system solutions enhance competitiveness
    “Our top priority is to give our customers a competitive edge,” stresses Andreas Leitner – and expertise in automation and system solutions is key to this. “We can only exploit the maximum quality and efficiency potential by coordinating all the components in a manufacturing cell from the outset while taking account of the individual requirements of the customer.” In addition to injection moulding machines and automation, ENGEL system solutions can include upstream and downstream process steps, moulds, quality assurance systems and software solutions for digitalisation and networking. As the general contractor, ENGEL has the overall responsibility for the system, and this includes components that are implemented in collaboration with partners. This reduces the number of interfaces and can speed up project planning and the commissioning of new production solutions in many cases.

    ENGEL joins with partners in Riyadh
    Around the world, ENGEL works with partner companies that are also leaders in their fields. Three of these partners will be making a joint presentation with ENGEL in Riyadh. The Swiss mould maker Otto Hofstetter specialises in meeting the needs of the packaging industry; the company is one of the world’s leading suppliers of moulds for thin-wall container production. BECK automation, also from Switzerland, makes fast extraction robots and automation devices for high performance applications in the injection moulding industry; the company is also a pioneer in the IML area. The third partner, IMDvista, is another Swiss high-tech business with a focus on testing systems. IMDvista solutions are deployed around the world for the inline quality control of caps and bottles, for example.

    ENGEL, Otto Hofstetter, BECK automation and IMDvista have successfully completed several projects in partnership and possess a wealth of experience in Saudi Arabia. Throughout the trade event, experts from the four companies will be on hand to field specific enquiries and provide initial appraisals of new projects on the spot.

    ENGEL at Saudi PPPP 2018: Hall 2, stand 504.2
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    19.12.2017   KHS - Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer is leaving the company at his own request     ( Company news )

    Company news On December 31, 2017, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer (photo), chairman of the Executive Management Board at KHS GmbH, is leaving the company at his own request to face new challenges elsewhere.

    On December 31, 2017, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer, chairman of the Executive Management Board at KHS GmbH, is leaving the company at his own request to face new challenges elsewhere. In his years in this post he has sustainably furthered technological product development, made an important contribution to significantly increasing sales and bringing about a number of considerable improvements for both the KHS Group and its customers. The Supervisory Board of KHS GmbH would like to thank Professor Niemeyer most sincerely for his committed and successful work in the service of the company. We wish him all the best for the future and continued further success in both his private life and professional career.

    Until a final decision has been made regarding the new appointment to the post of chairman of the Executive Management Board, Mr. Burkhard Becker shall assume the position of chairman of the Executive Management Board of KHS GmbH in addition to his role as member of the Salzgitter AG Executive Management Board.

    The further members of the Executive Management Board of KHS GmbH, Prof. E.h. Dr.-Ing. Johann Grabenweger (Sales and Service) and Martin Resch (Finance, Purchasing, IT & Legal Affairs), shall continue to perform their duties as before.
    (KHS GmbH)
    18.12.2017   Pubs should be exempt from any deposit scheme, says BBPA    ( Company news )

    Company news The brewing and pub industry has a good record on recycling and should be exempt from any deposit scheme that emerges from a current Government consultation – this is the key message from the British Beer & Pub Association in its response to the Defra call-for-evidence on the issue.

    The BBPA believes that on current evidence, a universal deposit scheme on all beverage containers would create “another unnecessary pressure for the industry”. With the current Government focus rightly on tackling plastic waste, the response argues that litter and waste is not such an issue with more typical beer and pub industry glass and aluminium cans, both of which are widely recycled and make up a very small proportion of litter.

    The current Packaging Return Note (PRN) system has been successful in improving recycling rates and the associated infrastructure required. The BBPA also operates SUSTAIN, its own, not-for-profit packaging waste compliance scheme specifically for the drinks industry and has worked with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and Incpen to reduce overall waste and packaging in the hospitality sector. The BBPA signed up to the voluntary agreement, the Courtauld Commitment 2025, and is keen to continue working with WRAP to reduce waste in this sector.

    BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simonds comments:
    “It is right that the Government should focus on plastic waste from on-the-go consumption. The beer and pub industry contributes a significant amount to the current recycling infrastructure through the PRN system, ensuring a high rate of recycling of glass bottles and cans. With 93% of beer sales in pubs from reusable kegs and casks this also displaces billions of individual containers in each year. A deposit scheme would impose new costs on pubs, which already face big financial pressures. It is important therefore that pubs are exempt from any deposit scheme.”
    (BBPA British Beer & Pub Association)
    15.12.2017   Diva Art: Lecta's New Paperboard for Creativity    ( Company news )

    Company news Designed for creative graphic applications and luxury packaging

    Diva Art is a new one-side coated paperboard with an outstanding silk finish noteworthy for its printability and rich color reproduction in offset and digital printing, in addition to its perfect folding characteristics and exceptional resistance to cracking.

    Lecta’s Diva Art paperboard offers outstanding finishing and converting properties, and is ideal for a wide range of end uses such as book covers, folders, labels, postcards and greeting cards, as well as packaging for cosmetics, perfumes, premium beverages and chocolates or confectionary.

    The Diva Art range is available in substances of 220, 250, 280, 300, 330 and 350 g/m2.

    For the launch of this new product and presentation of the versatility of its six substances, Lecta collaborated with six international female artists active in the fashion and cosmetics industries: Eli m. Rufat, Dagna Majewska, Naja Conrad-Hamsen, Marina Esmeraldo, Pascale Pratte and Sofía Bonati.

    Using the slogan “Reveal your inner talent with Diva Art”, these artists created pieces on Diva Art that represent six different divas with originality and elegance. The pieces feature creative, unexpected finishing such as fluorescent inks, black flocking, dry embossing and gold and metallized stamping that highlight and reveal the hidden details of the works. An open door to an infinite creative world through Diva Art.
    15.12.2017   Kenneth Holmberg, a friction researcher at VTT, wins the highest international award in the field    ( Company news )

    Company news The Tribology Trust will present VTT’s Professor Kenneth Holmberg (photo) with the most highly prized award in the field, the Tribology Gold Medal Award, for his long-standing, major achievements in material and friction research. The impacts of Holmberg's research can be seen in lower energy consumption by machinery, which has an effect on climate change. Holmberg is the first Finn to be awarded the prize.

    Tribology is a multidisciplinary research area which involves the study of friction, wear and lubrication-related phenomena on contact surfaces.
    “Friction accounts for 20% of all energy consumption in the world. When friction is reduced, less energy is consumed. This is an excellent way of combating climate change,” says Professor Holmberg.

    Friction and wear are major factors when putting large masses into motion. For example, friction accounts for over 30% of fuel consumption in passenger cars, 40% of energy consumption in mining industry equipment and 30% of mechanical power in paper-making machines.

    Holmberg has three research focuses related to the reduction of friction and machine wear: thin surfaces layers such as nanostructured thin films, diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings and graphene; modelling and digital design; and their a global impact. The related findings have great impacts on whole of society, in industry, power plants, transport and residential environments.

    Digitalisation is transforming the development of materials and enabling precise customisation. A computer can be used to design a digital model of the mechanical component and its material to which intelligent features such as sensors are added. These will detect cracks that appear in the machine and repair them automatically. Optimal surface shaping and thin coatings can reduce friction by 50%. We have now achieved surfaces that are one hundred times more slippery than 20 years ago. VTT's ProperTune material design tool accelerates various design stages, shortening time-to-market. In addition, machines last longer and expensive downtime is avoided.

    Artificial intelligence is being applied increasingly often, due to the large data quantities needed for digital design.

    Holmberg will be presented his award on 20 December at the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Helsinki.
    Keith Bowen, the chairperson of the Tribology Trust Award Committee, will present Holmberg the award in a ceremony arranged by Ambassador Sarah Price.

    The Tribology Gold Medal Award is also known as the “Tribology Nobel prize”, because it is awarded in a manner similar to the Nobel prize procedure.
    The prize was presented for the first time in 1972 and has been awarded to 38 people from 12 countries.
    (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)

    Company news Sidel has collaborated in the new “spiral” PET bottle project from The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), with the company’s 40-year expertise in PET packaging instrumental in the successful rejuvenation of the Fanta brand and the challenges involved in getting it right.

    First appearing on shelves in the1940s, Fanta is TCCC’s biggest brand after Coke. Like any great product, Fanta has evolved over the years, with a number of bottle re-designs under its belt. However, the popularity of the Fanta Splash bottle shape had led to it becoming something of a generic bottle for sparkling beverages on the supermarket shelves of key markets. Consequently, this diluted the Fanta ownership of the bottle shape in what is the second-largest brand outside the US and therefore a very important product in the TCCC range. That is why Coca-Cola started to design and develop a new proprietary Fanta packaging shape, applicable to both PET and glass bottles, in order to provide a protectable new global standard for the brand.

    Supporting the Fanta brand rejuvenation
    “After years of success in the international soft drinks market, the Fanta Splash shape had effectively become owned by the carbonated soft drinks category rather than the brand.

    This is quite a standard occurrence over the life cycle of a brand which inevitably evolves over time. This meant it was the right time to redesign the bottle with an impactful shape to make it stand out once again on the shelves”, explains Gregory Bentley, Coca-Cola Packaging Engineer in charge of global project coordination. Working closely with Leyton Hardwick and his team at Drink Works who were the winning agency in a 5 way pitch and supported by the Fanta packaging team network “We established a global network where it was possible to gather up-to-date packaging mix information, specific market requirements and on-going feedback on suitable design routes”, continues Bentley.

    As part of this global technical network, TCCC also involved experienced supply partners in this design challenge. Sidel has played a key role in the packaging project development, namely qualifying the new Fanta bottle for industrial production. “By embedding the supplier’s knowledge and experience from the very first steps of this journey, we have ensured viable bottle forming, filling and performance,” continues Bentley. “It was great to count on Sidel as part of this project as a very skilled and responsive partner.” The new bottle shape required precise understanding of how PET behaves under pressure, particularly with regard to how the carbonation of the beverage can potentially deform the bottle sections, which could lead to the drink spilling. Just like its predecessor, the new bottle was to be produced to be 100% recyclable.

    Dealing with asymmetry and stability
    The new creative and differentiating bottle in PET designed by Drink Works represents a “rule-breaker” in terms of bottle design for CSD (carbonated soft drinks). It features a spiral, inspired by the twisting of an orange to release its juice. It is based on a series of ribs decorated with small bubbles, including a torsion in the bottom half. This spiral gives the Fanta bottle an unusual, asymmetric structure which presented a real challenge in terms of developing a container able to withstand deformation and stability issues. “We were championing this spiral shape, which has the accolade of being truly unique in the world of carbonated packaging designs for containers in PET, and Sidel supported us to overcome the challenges that the design presented,” says Bentley. “It is definitively critical that all opposing sides of the bottle have the same developed length to avoid issues with perpendicularity,” explains Jérome Neveu, packaging expert at Sidel. “We optimised the grip profile and the angular base orientation to retain the bottle geometry once filled.”

    The design continued to progress throughout the project - both from a brand marketing perspective and from a packaging performance point-of-view - to achieve the best solution. The Spiral bottle required full design testing and refinement, achieved through more than 60 technical drawing iterations and FEAs (Finite Element Analysis) to test performance using computing analysis. Moreover, it involved the production of 15 pilot moulds and feasibility tests successfully managed with Sidel to achieve validation of the final bottle design. Bentley concludes: “the final PET bottle design has been fully tested, making sure the vertical growth under pressure is perfectly controlled and that the container meets all Coca-Cola quality and performance requirements. The physical strength of the new bottle is as good as the previous Fanta Splash bottle. Other line stability tests were also conducted by Sidel, achieving suitable results for high speed filling.”

    Included in the Coca-Cola design brief was a requirement to ensure alignment of the label panel size and position with Sprite and Contour bottles. Drink Works achieved this without compromising the design, as the existing label panel was moved further up towards the neck of the bottle. This technical solution generated tangible efficiency benefits for Coca-Cola bottling partners when producing various bottle types and handling label changeovers. The new position of the label panel also has the added advantage of excellent visibility as it is no longer subject to potential masking by the front panels of some shelves or by stacking units.

    A widely deployed design
    A similar bottle shape has been deployed for the whole Fanta bottle family and it is now available for 500 ml, 1L, 1.5L and 2L formats. When it comes to the 1.5L and 2L bottles, the Spiral design offers easier gripping and an improved pouring experience for the consumer. Leveraging the successful cooperation with Sidel, an alternate 500ml Spiral bottle has been developed to ensure stability specifically for gravity-fed inclined shelves which are typically implemented in cold chain distribution. This required specific design rules to be adopted, with very precise bubble numbers and locations around the ribs which constitute the spiral. A consideration throughout the development of the PET bottle was the capability to also transfer the new shape to the glass bottle, an objective which was also successfully achieved. Today, the new Spiral Fanta bottle in PET is sold in Italy, Poland, Malta, Serbia, Finland, Romania and the UK, with plans for global roll-out over the coming months.
    (Sidel International AG)

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