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Starlinger 'circular packaging' at K 2019: a closed loop for big bags made from ...

Starlinger 'circular packaging' at K 2019: a closed loop for big bags made from ...  (Company news)

... polypropylene fabric

At K 2019, Starlinger presents a closed loop system for big bags made from woven polypropylene. The sustainable concept "circular packaging" will be Starlinger's main theme at the K show 2019 as well as at the Starlinger Open House in Weissenbach/Austria.

Photo: The Starlinger recycling line recoSTAR PET iV+.

Worldwide, more than 380 million 4-loop big bags (called FIBCs in specialist vocabulary - Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers) are sold every year; this equals an annual recycling potential of approx. 800,000 tons of material. To turn big bags into big bags once more, the Austrian Starlinger & Co. GmbH has now developed the concept "circular packaging" for big bags made from polypropylene fabric; the well-known FIBC expert Dr. Amir Samadijavan acted as consultant for this project. The sustainable concept will be presented at the leading plastics exhibition K 2019 in Düsseldorf; live demonstrations of the technology will be the highlight of the Starlinger Open House in Weissenbach/Austria.

Circular packaging
With "circular packaging", Starlinger introduces K show visitors to an elaborate concept for a closed loop for big bags that begins with polypropylene granulate and leads back to polypropylene regranulate (rPP) through the process steps production, usage, recovery, and recycling. A closed loop has the advantage that production occurs within a quality assurance system, and the materials used are documented in a so-called "material passport". In cooperation with the renowned big bag manufacturers Louis Blockx and LC Packaging, Starlinger has simulated this loop and produced new big bags from fabric with high rPP content. Samples are available at K show and prove that Starlinger rPP big bags show the same quality as big bags made from virgin material in terms of tensile strength, weight, and safety factor.

A circular economy for big bags
At the beginning of a closed loop stands the creation of a uniform material stream. After use, big bags are returned to the big bag filler; this guarantees that they are similar in composition and show the lowest possible degree of contamination, as they do not enter the post-consumer stream. At the FIBC manufacturer, the used big bags are shredded, washed, and processed into rPP on the Starlinger recycling line recoSTAR dynamic, thereby yielding secondary raw materials for the production of new big bags. Apart from saving costs for raw materials, the recycling of big bags lowers the carbon footprint of this type of bulk packaging. "We developed this concept because we would like to establish a circular economy for polypropylene fabric in which the recycled material is again processed into fabric - no downcycling involved," emphasizes Hermann Adrigan, Starlinger Sales Director. "This can only succeed if the packaging is already designed with an eye on recyclability (design for recycling), and all process steps are perfectly matched." To take an example, the "circular packaging" sewing process is performed without the use of polyester multifilament yarns.

Plastic fabric made from rPET flakes
Already at the last K show, Starlinger called attention to itself with a sustainable concept: the production of tape fabric from up to 100 % rPET flakes. This year, the company installed the first projects that are using this technology for the production of big bags from recycled PET in Europe and Asia. "Since we have been intensively involved in the recycling and refinement of plastics for decades, the circular economy is an extremely important topic for Starlinger that is close to our business," adds Hermann Adrigan. "Now we have used our extensive know-how to present our clients in the FIBC sector with a sustainable solution also for polypropylene fabric." Even without recycling options, the carbon footprint of flexible big bags is far below that of rigid FIBC containers such as drums or octabins because of their lower weight and space-saving transport.

PET recycling: a new life for PET bottles
Starlinger recycling technology focuses on recycling solutions that give new life to PET bottles. In the spirit of a circular economy, bottles become bottles once more: this is achieved with the Starlinger "recoSTAR PET iV+" technology. The recycling lines meet the strict criteria of various national and international authorities (e.g., EFSA, FDA) with regard to food contact as well as the quality requirements of major brand owners. Another option in great demand is bottle-to-fiber recycling, which turns used PET bottles into textiles such as sports apparel. Starlinger offers the entire recycling technology from a single source, from lines for solid-state polycondensation (for increasing the intrinsic viscosity when mixing flakes with fibers) up to a continuous polymer filter for finest filtration down to 15 µm.

Building on the "circular packaging" concept, Starlinger exhibits machinery at both K show stands: a tape extrusion line starEX 1600 X in Hall 16, Stand B47, and a recoSTAR dynamic 85 C-VAC with SMART feeder and C-VAC high-performance degassing module for the recycling of post-consumer waste in Hall 9, Stand D22.

Visit Starlinger at K show in Düsseldorf/Germany, October 16-23, 2019:
Starlinger textile packaging and Starlinger viscotec: Hall 16, Stand B47
Starlinger recycling technology: Hall 9, Stand D22
(Starlinger & Co. Gesellschaft m.b.H.)

KITU's super creamer brings healthy holidays home with seasonal flavors in SIG's ...

KITU's super creamer brings healthy holidays home with seasonal flavors in SIG's ...  (Company news)

...combidome packaging

As the leaves change colors and the sweaters are brought out from the back of the closets, similar familiar sights appear signifying the start to the holiday season. With this, seasonal flavors and treats are also abound to spread the cheer. The Super brand from KITU brings the spirit home with the launch of its seasonal line of creamers packaged in the combidome carton from SIG, all to create positive energy in maximizing full potential.

Making healthy holidays possible
Available in Maple Pumpkin, Sweet Cream, and Gingerbread Eggnog varieties, such familiar flavors are enhanced the Super way. Keto approved, caffeine free, lactose free, and gluten free, the products are also not made with carrageenan and sugar alcohol. On the other end, they are created with high protein, healthy fats from MCT oil, and monk fruit for natural sweetness.

This results in a delicious brew containing zero grams of sugar, 50 calories, and three grams of protein per serving. By removing the negatives and adding the positives, Super Creamer allows fans to enjoy a cup full of sustainable high energy fuel, increased productivity, better brain and memory function, and fortified strength, which is the way of the Kitu Life™.

Differentiated, sustainable packaging for a Super product
In choosing the best ingredients for the creamers, a premium package was also selected in order to produce the finest consumption experience. All three seasonal flavors are filled in the combidome 750 ml (25.4 FL OZ) carton from SIG. The slim, elegant package combines the best features of a bottle and that of a carton, giving it optimal shelf appeal and handling convenience. The carton composite from which the entire pack is made, from the base to the eye-catching yet practical dome, contains around 75% paper board which is made from renewable raw material wood.

Furthermore, carton packs are proven to be among the most environmentally-friendly packaging solutions. Only raw cardboard made of pulp from trees harvested in FSCTM-certified (Forest Stewardship CouncilTM) and other controlled sources are used in the carton packs, each proudly displaying the FSC label. Once finished, the combidome and its closures are fully recyclable. Altogether, the unique characteristics of the packaging provide customers with product innovation and differentiation as part of SIG’s Value Proposition. It serves as a means to bring quality food and beverage items to consumers, ensuring mutual success within partnerships.

Positive energy, endless possibilities
The health-focused brand’s mantra emphasizes changing one’s energy as a means to change the world. This was just the case for Super Coffee itself as the company had its start within the dorm room of an American university and a need for a healthier energy source.

“We couldn't be more grateful and fortunate to expand our Super Creamer line with SIG. Our partnership allows us to create products that not only add value to our customers’ everyday lives, but also help protect our environment which is a major focus for us as we think about our long-term goals and impact as a company" says Jordan DeCicco, Super Coffee’s Founder & COO.

With this launch, consumers will soon be able to taste the holidays with every cup of coffee or preferred beverage at home. The Maple Pumpkin and Sweet Cream flavors can be found at Wegmans, HEB, Jewel Osco, Giant Foods, Shop Rite, and Harris Teeter locations as well as on Super Coffee’s website starting in September 2019, followed by Gingerbread Eggnog in November.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

corvaglia at K 2019 in Düsseldorf

corvaglia at K 2019 in Düsseldorf  (Company news)

This year’s K fair will be held from 16 to 23 October, and corvaglia will be making an appearance.

What highlights can visitors expect? corvaglia will be demonstrating innovative designs for closures that are attached to bottles (known as “tethered caps”), which conform to the requirements set down in EU Directive 2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. corvaglia has developed solutions for carbonated and non-carbonated drinks.

It has always been corvaglia’s goal to reduce the consumption of materials and energy (and therefore also CO2 emissions) required to create packaging while keeping the specifications for each type of packaging the same, if not making it better. This goal will of course remain in place for closures such as these, which remain attached to bottles. For corvaglia, ecological sustainability is not simply an obligation – it is one of our highest priorities.

The team of experts at corvaglia are looking forward to meeting visitors to discuss these concepts, along with many other aspects of beverage closures. You will find our stand, A51-10, in Hall 12.
(corvaglia Gruppe)

Launch of lactic-acid producing yeast – Sourvisiae®

Launch of lactic-acid producing yeast – Sourvisiae®  (Company news)

Mascoma and Lallemand Brewing are pleased to announce the launch of the first dry bioengineered yeast for brewing. After years of research and testing, we are thrilled to make this yeast available to craft brewers willing to experiment and provide a combination of both efficiency and flavor to their brews. Lallemand Brewing is at the forefront of innovation with full label transparency on their products; they wish to provide exciting tools to breweries to push boundaries and increase the quality of craft beers around the world in association with their team of experts. Mascoma (a company of Lallemand) is a leader in research and development of new industrial biotechnology products; their expertise in yeast improvement is highly recognized, most predominantly in the bioethanol field.

Sourvisiae® is a Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast that produces alcohol and lactic acid simultaneously in less than 5 days with no off flavors and no biogenic amines production. These features save precious time during the brewing process by avoiding any other souring step (in the kettle or in barrels) and make it extremely safe and easy to clean as bacteria are not introduced in the brewery. The level of acidity produced by Sourvisiae® is easily controlled either by blending the yeast with another strain or alternatively by blending the final beer.

We have performed extensive trials with Sourvisiae® both internally and externally across the United States of America. The advantages of Sourvisiae® were easily recognizable and accepted by brewers, a fact which makes us confident that we are offering an innovative product for the next generation of sour beverages. Sourvisiae® represents the first product in a line of bioengineered yeasts that will bring exciting new flavors and opportunities to the brewing industry.

This product is only available in the United States.
(Lallemand Brewing)



CANPACK, part of the CANPACK Group and a leading manufacturer of aluminum beverage cans, continues its global expansion and is launching a new investment in the Czech Republic.

The company is investing in an aluminum beverage can factory in the town of Stříbřo – in the region of Pilsen, western Czech Republic – with a production line that will serve the production capacity of Plzeňský Prazdroj, a prominent Czech brewery and a member of the Asahi Group, as well as other clients in the region. This new investment will increase the overall aluminum beverage can production capacity of the company, bringing it to around 25 billion cans per year.

“The state of the art facility is a landmark in the continued strategic partnership between Asahi and CANPACK. Utilizing our agile business model we aim to offer Plzeňský Prazdroj and our extensive European customer base innovative and sustainable packaging, superior quality, as well as operational excellence whilst enhancing the brand and consumer experience” – says Stephen McAneny, VP and Chief Commercial Officer, CANPACK.

ENGEL expands intelligent assistance further with iQ melt control

ENGEL expands intelligent assistance further with iQ melt control  (Company news)

ENGEL will be setting more smart-factory milestones at K 2019, from 16th to 23rd October. Designed to optimise the plasticising process, the intelligent assistance system iQ melt control will be celebrating its premiere at Düsseldorf in Germany.

Photo: iQ melt control is kind to both the material being processed and the mechanical components of the plasticising unit.

“In real-world situations, plasticising is often faster than what the cycle requires,” reports Günther Klammer, head of the Plasticising Systems division at ENGEL AUSTRIA. “This can have an effect on the screw’s service life and the product’s quality.” Improved melt homogeneity, on the other hand, increases process reliability. To ensure that this outcome is delivered automatically, the new assistance system iQ melt control determines the optimum plasticising time for the application at hand. Instead of plasticising at the maximum possible speed, the system makes full use of the part’s in-mould cooling time for plasticising. For this to happen, the machine operator only needs to enter the screw type and the material to be processed. Next, along with the optimum plasticising time, they receive recommendations for optimising the temperature and back pressure.

At its stand at K, ENGEL will be demonstrating that the better the process parameters are set for one another, the quieter the screw is in operation. The benefits for the processor are a longer service life for the screw and a melt quality that is consistently high. This then results in parts of improved quality and higher efficiency levels.

Leveraging the machine's full potential
Intelligent assistance is an essential characteristic of a smart factory. The assistance systems determine, recommend and even automatically set the optimum production parameters while production operations continue. This enables an injection moulding machine's full potential to be leveraged. Thanks to the highly modular structure of its inject 4.0 range, ENGEL is also making it very easy for plastics processors to benefit from the opportunities presented by digitalisation. Even individual solutions such as the iQ products promise considerable benefits. And it is thanks to these same solutions that the first steps towards the smart factory are being taken on many shop floors.

ENGEL at K 2019: Hall 15, Stand C58
(Engel Austria GmbH)




The SIG WAY BEYOND GOOD FOUNDATION has launched its flagship Cartons for Good project in Bangladesh. Cartons for Good applies SIG’s technology to empower communities to reduce food loss, support farmers’ livelihoods and promote children’s nutrition and education. The project will provide healthy school meals for underprivileged children in partnership with leading development NGO, BRAC.

Photo: SIG set out to use its expertise as a leading systems and solutions provider for aseptic packaging to create an innovative mobile filling solution that communities can use to turn this food loss into nutritious meals that are preserved in SIG cartons for later use. Photo: SIG

Established in 2018, the SIG WAY BEYOND GOOD FOUNDATION envisions a future in which good nutrition and clean water will be available to everyone and natural habitats will be preserved for future generations. Cartons for Good is the foundation’s flagship project.

Turning food loss into nutritious school meals
Almost 20% of the population in Bangladesh suffers from malnutrition and almost half the children are underweight. At the same time, food is going to waste because each harvest produces more than farmers can sell locally and they have no way of preserving surplus crops.

SIG set out to use its expertise as a leading systems and solutions provider for aseptic packaging to create an innovative mobile filling solution that communities can use to turn this food loss into nutritious meals that are preserved in SIG cartons for later use.

Rolf Stangl, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SIG WAY BEYOND GOOD FOUNDATION and CEO of SIG said: “Our Cartons for Good project is a perfect example of turning a big dream into reality. This is a true innovation outside our traditional core business, but perfectly in line with SIG’s purpose of bringing nutritious food products to consumers around the world in a safe, sustainable and affordable way.”

The packaged food is distributed to BRAC’s schools to provide nutritious meals for underprivileged children. Named the world’s #1 NGO four years in a row, the SIG WAY BEYOND GOOD FOUNDATION’s project partner BRAC brings valuable expertise and insights into local development challenges, helping to enhance the impact of Cartons for Good.

Mohammad Anisur Rahman, Director Dairy and Food at BRAC, said: “We run schools for underprivileged children across the country. Often, they cannot afford to pay for their education or even for food. Most of them drop out of school because they need to go out and work to buy food for themselves and for their families. Giving them meals at school means that not only will they learn, they will also have something to eat. BRAC is happy to be partnering with the SIG WAY BEYOND GOOD FOUNDATION and we will work together to make this project successful on the ground.”

From concept to reality
In just two years, the SIG WAY BEYOND GOOD FOUNDATION has turned a bold idea into a practical solution to help communities prevent food loss and malnutrition.

SIG’s expert engineers adapted the company’s proven filling technology to create a mobile unit where meals can be cooked using local recipes and preserved in long-life cartons. Housed in a shipping container on a trailer, the unit is designed to travel from one community to the next to preserve surpluses at harvest time. The initial pilot is in the region of Balia.

Farmers are paid for their produce, providing them with much-needed income, and the packs of food are used by local schools to provide a healthy, hot meal for children every day.

The first meals created in this unique mobile filling unit are already being distributed to BRAC schools in impoverished communities in Dhaka, where many children drop out of school because they need to work to feed themselves and their families. After use, the empty cartons will be recycled at a local facility.

Cartons for Good is part of SIG’s commitment to go Way Beyond Good by contributing more to society and the environment than it takes out. Developing this flagship project is a key focus of the SIG WAY BEYOND GOOD FOUNDATION.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

UPM Raflatac's new paper label materials made with recycled content help brands go circular

UPM Raflatac's new paper label materials made with recycled content help brands go circular  (Company news)

UPM Raflatac is introducing two new sustainable paper label materials with recycled content to the market. UPM Raflatac Recycled Coat PCR-FSC paper face and UPM Raflatac Honey Glassine PCR-FSC paper liner contribute to a circular economy and reduce the pressure on forests and the consumption of natural resources. These new label materials answer brand owners’ needs to increase the amount of recycled content in their packaging materials.

UPM Raflatac aims to use wood raw materials as efficiently as possible. This means keeping raw materials in use as long as possible through promoting recycling and using recycled fibres. These innovative paper label materials made with recycled content are FSC® certified (licence code FSC-C012530). FSC certification provides a credible assurance that FSC certified label materials originate from recycled materials, sustainably managed forests, other controlled sources or a mixture of those. Choosing label materials with recycled content is a concrete action to help take care of the world’s forests by releasing the pressure on the forests and to promote a circular economy.

Honey Glassine PCR-FSC paper liner is made with recycled content collected from UPM Raflatac’s RafCycle partners. As part of its RafCycle® by UPM Raflatac recycling program, the company collects the paper liner waste and gives it a new life as paper liner. This is a true closed loop inspired by the limitless opportunities of circular economy.

“The world is facing serious challenges such as climate change and resource scarcity. We want to be part of the solution by offering label materials that enhance the sustainability of packaging, yet maintain the functionality, quality and commercial feasibility. Our paper label materials with recycled content contribute to these needs perfectly,” says Ville Pollari, Director, Business Segment VIP & Prime, UPM Raflatac.
(UPM Raflatac Oy)

Solution from VTT to prevent beer bottle explosions

Solution from VTT to prevent beer bottle explosions  (Company news)

Some contaminant yeasts make beer bottles and cans explode. Apart from being dangerous for consumers these 'diastatic' yeasts also cause loss of beer batches due to off-flavours, increased alcohol and over-carbonation in products. VTT scientists developed a genetic test for brewers to detect the strains that cause these problems.

Diastatic yeasts are one of the most important and problematic contaminants in the brewing industry. The number of contaminations has increased during the past few years, particularly in smaller breweries.

Diastatic yeasts cause problems in the brewing industry due to their ability to produce an enzyme that converts starch in beer into sugar, which is then fermented to alcohol and carbon dioxide. This is something a normal brewing yeast doesn't do. In extreme cases bottles or cans have exploded due to a build-up of pressure in the package. Even severe injuries have been reported by the media. This has become more common in recent years.

Both regular brewing yeast and the problematic diastatic yeast belong to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae species, which makes their differentiation difficult. However, the diastatic yeast carry an extra gene, STA1, which results in the diastatic enzyme and can be used for detection.

Testing for the presence of the STA1 gene is a traditional method to detect this contaminant. However, not all strains with the gene are problematic. This means that breweries might get a positive result from the test, despite the yeast posing little risk. They might then unnecessarily discard beer that could still have been sold.

"At VTT we have discovered why some strains with the gene are active, and therefore problematic, while others are not. The difference was due to a deletion in the promoter of the STA1 gene – in other words, the genetic sequence in front of the gene controlling how much the gene is expressed", explains Research Scientist Kristoffer Krogerus from VTT.

VTT's scientists developed a new genetic test, which can be used in exactly the same way as the current industry standard, but which can differentiate the problematic strains with the active STA1 gene from those with the inactive form of the gene.

The traditional genetic test can only detect whether the strain contains the STA1 gene or not. It can not differentiate spoilage yeasts from non-spoilage yeasts. Previously, one would have to combine the genetic test with a microbiological test, where the yeast is grown on special agar plates – a process that takes several days.

The new method offers breweries savings in time because results can be achieved in hours instead of weeks, and also cost savings and a more reliable quality control. It also decreases the times beer batches are unnecessarily recalled from shops or discarded.
(VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)


Thailand: Finance Ministry considers raising excise tax on zero-alcohol beer  (

The Finance Ministry plans to raise the excise tax rate on zero-alcohol beer, saying it would discourage people from starting to drink, the ThaiVisa News reported on September 12.

Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said on September 11 that the Excise Department of the ministry would soon complete a study on raising tax on zero-alcohol beer from the current rate of 14 per cent, the same level as on soft drinks, which is lower than the rate on beer.

The ministry is concerned that zero-alcohol beer may lead to new drinkers switching to alcoholic drinks, said Uttama, adding that the higher tax rate will still be lower than that on beer.

The ministry will also regroup tax rates on beverages. For example, functional drinks such as water mixed with vitamins, or cologne, will be taxed lower than beverages with high sugar content.

The ministry, he said, is also considering whether to delay a new round of tax hike on cigarettes as the state-owned Thailand Tobacco Monopoly has complained about the severe impact on its business from the last tax increases.


Ireland: Alcohol consumption drops 23% since 2001  (

Dublin's pub culture may be world-famous, and a major draw for tourists, but among Irish people alcohol consumption has dropped 23% since 2001, Euronews reported on September 10.

That's according to Diageo, who say alcohol-free beer is now the fastest-growing product in the Irish drinks industry

Ireland's first alcohol-free bar – The Virgin Mary – opened in Dublin in May this year, serving mocktails and non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits in a setting with all the trappings of a regular pub.

"We're not saying, you know, don't drink," says owner Vaughan Yates. "What we're saying here is we believe we're at the forefront of this cultural shift of being mindful about what you consume."

Oisin Davis is the director of drinks industry consultants Great Irish Beverages, as well as a small investor in The Virgin Mary.

He says that the time is right for an alcohol-free alternative to the traditional Irish pub. "You know it might be nice to socialise, it's great to see your friends, it's great to go out on dates and go out to restaurants. But it's not always great to kind of overindulge perhaps."


South Africa: Alcohol consumption down due to tough economy, higher taxes  (

Distell Group CEO Richard Rushton says alcohol consumption in South Africa has decreased due to tough economic times as well as tax, 702 reported on September 10.

Rushton sat down with Bruce Whitfield to chat about the liquor industry in South Africa.

The country is one of the larger consumers with 250 bln litres of alcohol consumed

He says while there is growth in alcoholic beverages across the spirits and wine industry, as well as premium products like ciders, beer consumption has fallen.

“55 percent of that alcohol is beer, about 17 percent wine - that is relatively small given the fact that we are a big producer - and then the rest is ready to drink and spirits,” Rushton said.

“I think our consumption has fallen off, obviously economic times affect the consumption habit but also tax and the relative price has gone up quite a lot in South Africa.”

He says Distel Group reflected 40 percent revenue growth in South Africa, outside the customs union.

“East Africa is a vibrant place to be doing business in. I was in Kenya last week and you have got an economy growing between five and a half and six percent.

“With growing levels of urbanisation, more females coming into working populations in Africa, we are seeing growths starting to emerge for wine, spirits and other products beyond beer and that is exciting for us as a company,” Rushton added.


Australia & Japan: Asahi launches collaboration beer Two Suns Premium Dry  (

Asahi Premium Beverages has launched Two Suns Premium Dry, a collaboration beer made by brewers from two brewing nations: Australia and Japan, the Beer and Brewer reported on September 11.

Launching this month in draught, Two Suns was made in Australia using 100% Australian malt and wheat, using precise Japanese brewing techniques.

The two key brewers behind Two Suns – Geoff Day from Australia and Yosuke Tajika from Japan – have combined their brewing expertise to create a beer that has low bitterness and low carbohydrate.

“Two Suns has a unique flavour profile of low bitterness with a subtle malt aroma and character,” says Day. “Its distinctive crisp taste and dry finish makes for a really nice easy drinking refreshment. It truly is the result of marrying the best of two very passionate brewers that are excited to show off what’s best about our home countries.”

The beer has been launched at a time when Australian drinkers are changing their beer preferences to lighter options, with the easy drinking category now making up 31% of the total beer category and continuing to grow.

“Until now, there has been an absence of premium options for consumers to choose from in this category,” says Scott Hadley, chief commercial officer at Asahi Premium Beverages. “We identified that gap and are proud to welcome Two Suns to the Asahi Premium Beverages portfolio.

“This is our very first entry into the easy drinking beer category and we’re heavily invested to ensure this is our biggest and most exciting NPD launch to date.

Asahi Premium Beverages has invested over A$5 million in its biggest ever NPD launch, including a significant outdoor media campaign, consumer and trade launch parties, a brand ambassador program, as well as digital and social media executions.


Spain: Mahou San Miguel secures deal to produce and distribute AB InBev beers in Spain  (

Mahou San Miguel has secured a deal to produce and distribute AB InBev beers such as Corona, Budweiser and Stella Artois in Spain as of January 2020, reported on September 27.

Spain-based Mahou San Miguel said the long-term agreement, which excludes the Canary Islands, allows it to respond to increasing consumer demands for premium beers.

The full range of AB InBev brands that Mahou San Miguel will market includes: Leffe, Franziskaner, Cubanisto, Pacífico Clara, Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial, Hoegaarden, Jupiler, Corona, Budweiser and Stella Artois.

“The agreement with Mahou San Miguel in Spain comes at a very relevant moment for our business in the country, which is growing by double digits in the food channel, driven by global brands such as Corona and Budweiser,” said Benoit Bronckart, president of AB InBev South Europe.

“We are excited about the potential of this alliance, which will help us accelerate our performance in hospitality, bringing some of the world’s most beloved brands and exciting experiences to beer fans, customers and distributors.”

Peio Arbeloa, managing director of Mahou San Miguel Spain, added: “We are very satisfied with this agreement that, without a doubt, will allow us to provide even more value to our customers and Spanish consumers.

“We will incorporate high-quality and highly demanded global and iconic brands into our offer and we are confident that this collaboration will be very fruitful for both companies.”

The announcement comes weeks after Mahou San Miguel reached a deal to acquire a majority stake in US craft beer maker Founders Brewing.


Hungary: Heineken sees increased demand for its alcohol-free beers  (

Brewer Heineken Hungária says the popularity of its non-alcoholic beers has grown significantly in the last five years, with Heineken 0.0 purchases doubling in the last year, while sales of alcohol-free Soproni Radlers have risen 130% since 2014, the Budapest Business Journal reported on September 12.

The company has decided to create a unified commercial image, running under the name 0.0% Zóna (0.0% Zone), while carrying on its activities aimed at combating drunk driving, says a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

Heineken says the market for fruity Radlers is strongly seasonal, with demand peaking during the hot summer months. Still, the dynamic growth of the product category remains undeniable.

There are two ways to create non-alcoholic beers, one being the interruption of the maltʼs fermentation and the other being the more complicated extraction of alcohol from the fermented product. Heineken 0.0 is made with the latter method in order to achieve an authentic Heineken lager taste, the company says.

Meanwhile, the trend of advancement of non-alcoholic Radlers is so strong that it has affected the market of low-alcohol Radler products, with sales in the latter category falling 45% in five years. Heineken says that while alcohol-free products are becoming increasingly available, low-alcohol drinks are going out of fashion.

“The market of non-alcoholic Radlers shows long-term growth in Hungary, a process in line with international trends,” says Barbara Balogh, marketing director of Heineken Hungária. “An increasing number of people choose these beverages, as they contain natural ingredients such as malt or hops. Soproni and Natur Zitrone Radlers are really non-alcoholic, so they can be safely consumed before or during driving. Customers are open to new flavors, so Heineken Hungária is constantly expanding its palette, with the most popular drinks being citrus-flavored drinks, and those made from Hungarian fruits.”

Consumers consider domestic ingredients and the amount of added sugar very important, besides the naturalness of the product. Hence, Soproni Radlers are made with Hungarian sour cherries and elderberries, while Natur Zitrone products are made using the natural sugar substitute stevia.

“Because of the growing consumer demand for non-alcoholic products, we wanted to bring all of these products under one umbrella, which is why we have developed the 0.0% Zone in stores,” Balogh explains. “In such refrigerators and shelves, all of our non-alcoholic products are easy to find, from Heineken 0.0 to Soproni Radlers. Many people consume these products during sports activities, working hours or for lunch, and accordingly they are available in more and more places.”

The 0.0% Zone is also part of the initiative Heineken Hungária is fighting to curb drunk driving. The company has launched a campaign globally for this good cause with former Formula One driver David Coulthard. In addition, Heinken Hungária has asked Hungarian band Intim Torna Illegál to write a song and shoot a video about the dangers of drunk driving.

Non-alcoholic beers have been available throughout Europe since the 1980s, and in Hungary from the 1990s. However, significant growth in turnover has only been observed in recent years, both locally and globally.


USA: Number of US breweries forecast to reach 9,200 by 2021  (

The number of U.S. breweries is forecast to swell to 9,200 in the next two years, according to a Brewers Association (BA) report. There are currently more than 7,600 breweries in the U.S.

Using the BA’s brewery database and TTB permit data, BA chief economist Bart Watson predicts nearly 2,000 breweries will open by this time in 2021. He writes that “our two methods of analysis suggest somewhere between 1,900-2,400 openings in the next two years.” But, he adds, “[a]ny forecasting analysis is going to rely on current trend data, and trends can shift pretty quickly.”

In other words, the rate at which breweries are closing and opening may change, but the data shows that many Americans still see opening a brewery as a viable option.

Nine thousand breweries is an alarmingly high number — how can the population possibly consume all that beer? — but it could be good for the beer industry overall. The fastest-growing breweries aren’t the ones casting a wide distribution net, they’re the “mom and pop” operations keeping their beer close to home.


Australia: Australians increase consumption of non-alcoholic, low and mid-strength beers  (

Australian’s taste in beer is changing with non-alcoholic, low and mid-strength beers now accounting for around a quarter of all Carlton & United Breweries’ sales, B&T reported on September 18.

Carlton Zero is playing a role in helping drive the trend towards moderation: since launching a year ago it has sold more than 3.2 million litres in Australia.

Carlton Zero dominates non-alcoholic beer sales in bottle shops, driving up sales in the category by 14 times.

No, low and mid-strength beer now make up almost 25 per cent of the volume of beer sales for CUB – up from just 10 per cent five years ago.

Carlton Zero’s first birthday coincides with the Global Be(er) Responsible initiative, which is a worldwide effort by brewers, including CUB, to promote responsible consumption of beer.

CUB’s Chris Maxwell said the tastes of Australian beer lovers is changing.

“We launched Carlton Zero because beer lovers told us they wanted more opportunities to enjoy beer responsibly,” he said. “The popularity of Zero shows it’s becoming normal to consume non- alcoholic beer on many different occasions.”

“Research shows the most common reason people drink non-alcoholic beer is because they’re the designated driver, and we’re seeing this predominately in people aged 18-34. We think this deserves a pat on the back, and really shows the moderation message is getting through.”

The CUB-commissioned national online survey of 1000 people this month also found no-alcohol beer is most popular with people aged 18-34, with almost half (49 per cent) saying they would consider drinking a no-alcohol beer at a social occasion.


USA: Guinness US brewery launches its first new beer in several states ahead of national push  (

Guinness’s U.S. brewery is finally bringing its first new beer to the masses this fall, the Fortune reported on September 26.

The brand’s Open Gate Brewery in Maryland is beginning to ship a new beer called Over The Moon Milk Stout in several states, including Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware, ahead of a planned national push that will be completed by the end of November. The 5.3% ABV milk stout is the brewery’s first nationally sold beer since opening to the public a little over a year ago.

“This is the perfect beer to appeal to a traditional stout drinker because it’s still an approachable style,” says Hollie Stephenson, head brewer at Guinness Open Gate Brewery. “But [it’s] also a good one to recruit new drinkers who think that dark beer is just too heavy.”

Over the Moon was the third recipe the Guinness team brewed on the pilot system at Open Gate, and since debuting on the brewery’s taps, it has been a consistent top seller. “It was a no-brainer that it had a good shot of becoming our first Baltimore-born production,” says Stephenson, who joined Guinness two years ago to get the U.S. brewery up and running.

The milk stout is made with specialty malts that result in caramel, chocolate, and coffee flavors to round out the beer. Mosaic whirlpool hops give Over the Moon some ripe fruit sweetness, but Stephenson promises the beer is not cloyingly sweet.

With the launch of its Maryland brewery, Guinness aims to create a new range of beers targeted to the American drinker. It’s a move that mirrors a local brewing strategy Guinness has employed since 1936 when it opened its first non-Irish brewery. Foreign breweries for years have made beers specifically tailored to local drinkers, but stateside, Guinness was without a brewery for 63 years until founding Open Gate.

Within its first year, Open Gate welcomed over 400,000 visitors, and Guinness has added tanks to help it meet capacity needs. Open Gate brews at least three times a week from the taproom and serves a rotating collection of beers made on-site for visitors. Stephenson and her team are using the taproom and pilot brewery as an incubation hub for future beers that could go national like Over the Moon.

Guinness still makes its core stout in Dublin, but it also brought production of Guinness Blonde to Maryland after previously contract brewing that beer in Pennsylvania.

Guinness Blonde has been on the market for about five years and has gone through some changes since the brand brought production in house. Stephenson says the beer is a little more crisp, has more citrus notes, and is less grassy, all possible now that Guinness has full control over the process and quality.

Guinness is owned by liquor giant Diageo, which is known for selling Don Julio tequila, Ketel One and Smirnoff vodkas, and Johnnie Walker Scotch, though beer is actually the company’s second-largest category after Scotch.

By far the largest brand in that portfolio is Guinness, which has been a steady sales driver. While sales grew just 2% in the latest fiscal year, that’s actually a strong performance considering total beer sales have been falling globally and most big brands are suffering from sales woes.

While Guinness currently brews in 49 countries, Stephenson says the brand lets many of those breweries produce beer unique to the country it’s made in. That way, some beers branded under the Guinness name aren’t actually imports. Her goal: to create a new culture and a new twist on Guinness so that the beer isn’t only viewed as a well-regarded import. And as more consumers have expressed interest in drinking alcohol made locally, Guinness now has a story to share that’s more in line with that trend.

“It is a responsibility to maintain authenticity and respect the brand,” Stephenson says. “But to have been given license to do something new and different—that’s so exciting.”


Ireland: Ireland continues to have EU's second-highest excise tax on beer - report  (

A Drinks Industry Group of Ireland report, Excise Tax Rates in Europe: How Ireland Compares in 2019, authored by Dublin City University economist Anthony Foley, shows that Irish consumers pay more tax on a pint than 26 EU members states, the Offaly Express reported on September 25.

The report which was launched ahead of DIGI’s ‘A No-Deal Brexit and Ireland’s Drinks and Hospitality Industry’ event, which took place on September 25, compares Ireland’s excise rates against 27 of their EU counterparts.

Ireland continues to have the second-highest overall excise tax on alcohol in the EU, the highest excise tax on wine, the second-highest on beer, and the third-highest on spirits.

Despite Ireland’s renown for the production of some of the world’s most popular drinks products, the Irish government levies a tax bill of €12 on a bottle of off-licence-bought Irish whiskey and 54 cents on a pint of Irish stout served at a pub, restaurant or hotel.

The Irish level of excise per pint of larger is €0.55, in comparison to 21 EU countries who have a beer excise per pint of larger of less than €0.20.

For spirits, the excise per half glass ranges from €0.69 in Finland and Sweden to €0.08 in Bulgaria, with 15 countries imposing an excise tax of less than €0.20. In Ireland, the level is €0.60. In terms of excise tax, the report reveals that Italian tourists pay four times less excise on a bottle of Irish whiskey in an Italian supermarket than they would if purchasing it for the Irish distillery that produced it.

In France and Germany, countries equally renowned for their drinks industries, excise tax rates on wine and beer are far lower. A shopper in France pays just three cents in excise on a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, while a patron at a German beerhall pays five cents in excise on every pint of lager.

Despite its prominent drinks industry, Ireland ranks second in the ‘Big 4’ of EU excise tax on alcohol, behind Finland and ahead of Sweden and the UK.

Application of German excise rates in Ireland would reduce the price of a pint of stout in a pub by 13%, a glass of wine by 18%, and a bottle of whiskey by 41%.

15 EU member states, including Germany, Spain and Italy, charge no excise tax whatsoever on wine (€0 per hectolitre of pure alcohol); Ireland has the highest excise tax on wine in the EU (€3,862 HLPA).

Ireland’s excise tax rate on cider is more than double the UK’s.

Ahead of Budget 2020, DIGI is calling on the Minister for Finance to reduce Ireland’s excise tax on alcohol by 15% over a two-year period, first by reducing it by 7.5% this year, then by an additional 7.5% in Budget 2021.

“A high alcohol tax arbitrarily hampers the growth of one of our most promising, fastest-growing sectors, much of which is located outside of Dublin. It also seriously endangers some of our most vulnerable businesses,” said Rosemary Garth, Chair of DIGI and Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Irish Distillers.

The drinks and broader hospitality sector employs 175,000 people, or nearly 8% of the Irish workforce. Many of these jobs are located outside Dublin.

However, drinks and hospitality businesses in rural Ireland, particularly local pubs and restaurants, have been hit by rising operational costs, an increased VAT rate, a relatively slow post-recession recovery, and the economic uncertainty of Brexit.

“If the UK and EU fail to agree a withdrawal deal, which looks increasingly likely, Brexit will prove disastrous for Ireland. Sterling will sink closer to parity with the euro, making Ireland a less affordable destination for British tourists, who comprise our single largest tourism market,” said Ms Garth.

“Duty-free pricing at UK airports and cross-border shopping will lead to consumers in the Republic making larger drinks product purchases outside of the country. That, of course, means indigenous retailers and hospitality businesses will lose out.

“The results from a survey of prices in certain retail outlets in Dublin and Newry published by Revenue only last week shows that alcohol prices remain significantly cheaper in Northern Ireland. The survey focuses on taxes and duty heavy goods.

“Given the price differential, cross border shopping for cheaper alcohol is now a very real threat to Irish businesses, to our economy and to the Exchequer and one which needs to be discouraged at all costs. A scenario where consumers avoid shopping locally, and instead travel North or to the EU for cheaper alcohol, will impact our pubs, restaurants, hotels and retailers, along with our brewers, distillers and manufacturers and therefore needs action.

“As part of a remedy for these significant variances, and to avoid any increase in people travelling north to shop, the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland is calling on the Minister for Finance to reduce Ireland’s excise tax on alcohol.

“This will allow the industry as a whole to become more competitive relative to the North and the rest of Europe, it will discourage cross border shopping for cheaper products and for individual businesses, particularly those in rural Ireland, to trade more competitively and better protect themselves for any Brexit-induced downturn.”

Claranor pulses in Greece for a cleaner future, in preview at Food Tech!

Claranor pulses in Greece for a cleaner future, in preview at Food Tech!   (Company news)

Hall 3 C12- D11, C10-D09

Claranor brought Pulsed light technology to beverage and dairy markets 15 years ago, as a cutting-edge sterilization process. In 2019, 400 machines are running worldwide in 52 countries and Greece is a brand-new market. Thanks to its partnership with Europack, Claranor is now able to provide its solutions and services to Greek dairy and beverage manufacturers. Claranor supplies in line cup, lid, cap, preform and film sterilization solutions.

At Food Tech, Claranor will present on Europack booth a Cup sterilization unit and business cases illustrating the advantages of Pulsed Light in terms of Efficiency and Savings.

Original equipment manufacturers and leading beverage and dairy producers choose Claranor Pulsed light solution for its competitive advantages compared to conventional sterilization processes:

• 3 to 5 log reduction on spores of bacteria and moulds, with a commitment from Claranor on results,
• High level of reliability: each pack receives the same level of reduction,
• Suitable for high speed filling lines: up to 100.000 caps/h on PET lines, 60 strokes/min for cups or pouches on FS or FFS fillers.

• Its very low energy consumption* offers a lower TCO (total cost of ownership) than UV processes in less than 3 years (*8 to 10 times less energy consumption). On the booth, visitors will have the opportunity to discover business case highlighting these savings.
• High level of availability: no preheating, instant treatment

Future is clean: consumers and manufacturers are looking for naturality and greener processes. The pulsed light technology is a cleantech:
• No use of chemicals, no residues, no chemicals in production
• No water use and very low energy consumption.
• Non heating and non-chemical surface treatment, respects product and the integrity of the packaging.
• Safe and easy to use, operator friendly solution.

Energy efficient, intelligent and gentle on resources: KHS to exhibit smart beverage filling systems

Energy efficient, intelligent and gentle on resources: KHS to exhibit smart beverage filling systems  (Company news)

Smart systems which save energy and resources: from November 12 to 14, 2019, KHS is exhibiting intelligent beverage filling technologies at the BrauBeviale trade show in Nuremberg, Germany.

- New glass filler platform sets standards in efficiency
- Automated processes save on energy and resources
- Full service packages improve line performance

Smart systems which save energy and resources: from November 12 to 14, 2019, KHS is exhibiting intelligent beverage filling technologies at the BrauBeviale trade show in Nuremberg, Germany. One example of the above is the new high-performance KHS glass filler with a capacity of up to 80,000 bottles per hour. With it the German systems supplier is helping the beverage industry move towards more efficient, more sustainable and increasingly digitized beverage production.

In November the international beverage industry will again meet in Nuremberg. At this year’s trade show KHS’ main focus will be on process efficiency, digitization and saving resources. “The entire production process is becoming increasingly smarter. As a trusted and reliable partner to the beverage industry we’re applying our extensive experience and line expertise to cater for this development,” says Dr. Johannes T. Grobe, CSO of the Dortmund machine and systems manufacturer. “At BrauBeviale we’re thus presenting intelligent technologies which will map out the direction KHS will take both now and in the future.”

Considerable savings in energy and resources
One example of this is the new generation of glass bottle fillers KHS will be showing to the public for the first time at the exhibition. With it the turnkey supplier is consistently advancing its aim of continuously reducing the amount of energy and resources consumed within the beverage industry. Among other features the filler has a unique ECO system and special evacuation and CO2 purging process for glass bottles. With this the system uses up to 50% less CO2 compared to conventional methods. KHS has also cut energy consumption by a maximum of 20% thanks to its optimized vacuum pump. “The protection of the environment is one of the determining issues of the moment. We thus offer our customers systems which specifically make their production lines sustainable and efficient,” explains Grobe.

Smart KHS systems noticeably optimize production processes
Here, an important role is played by smart engineering which noticeably simplifies, optimizes and automates production processes. To quote one example, a diagnostic assistance system monitors the entire filling process with regard to the evacuation and CO2 purging processes, for instance, to considerably minimize the amount of oxygen pickup. Broken bottles are also detected in all filling phases and the containers automatically channeled out of the system. “We’re constantly improving the efficiency of production processes. This in turn brings about a clear improvement in the line performance,” Grobe states.

Sustainable in every respect
In the future, too, one of KHS’ prime concerns is to significantly reduce our carbon footprint. Service plays a central role in the persistent pursuit of this goal. KHS enables its customers to operate systems for as long as possible and keep them in line with the latest technical, economic and ecological state of the art. Its bottle washing machine optimization program is exemplary in this respect. This aims to successively lower the amount of water and energy the bottle washers use.

In this context the Dortmund engineering company provides various smart service packages from the capacity-dependent fresh water controller to weight-optimized bottle pocket carriers. “We take a holistic view of our customers’ production and maintenance processes. With our extensive service program, including line optimization measures to boost efficiency and throughput, together we find the best possible solution and in doing so also help protect the environment,” declares Grobe.
(KHS GmbH)

Merry…licious from Fruit Shoot brand introduces new limited edition Christmas flavour

Merry…licious from Fruit Shoot brand introduces new limited edition Christmas flavour   (Company news)

Fruit Shoot is adding sparkle to its festive line-up with new limited edition flavour, Merrylicious. The no added sugar Festive Apple & Berry variant will be introduced this October to help retailers capitalise on the growing kids’ soft drinks segment within a period when sales spike (+11%).

Kids are at the heart of Christmas, except when it comes to soft drinks. Britvic wants to change this with a relevant twist on the norm as part of its biggest ever investment year into Fruit Shoot.

Phil Sanders, GB Commercial Director At Home at Britvic, comments: “Almost three quarters (71%) of people agree that Christmas is a time to spend more on children and that they sit at the heart of the festive season. As the number one brand in the kids’ soft drinks category, we’ve created our first ever festive soft drink solution specially for children – Fruit Shoot Merrylicious. The soft drinks category is by far the number one of all impulse categories and this popularity increases even further during the festive period. We believe that this bespoke, limited edition festive soft drink for kids will help to increase sales even further this year.”

New Fruit Shoot Merrylicious Festive Apple & Berry will be available from the 1st of October, supported by shopper activation, including in-store POS.
(Britvic Plc)

Nestlé accelerates action to tackle climate change and commits to zero net emissions by 2050

Nestlé accelerates action to tackle climate change and commits to zero net emissions by 2050  (Company news)

Nestlé announced its ambition to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It embraces the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Ahead of the U.N. Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit this month, Nestlé will sign the ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ pledge.

With this announcement Nestlé is accelerating its climate change efforts. This builds on a decade of work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Over the past four years, Nestlé has aligned its objectives with science-based targets to keep the temperature increase below 2°C. The company is determined to play a leading role in tackling climate change. Over the next two years, it will lay out a time-bound plan including interim targets consistent with the 1.5°C path. Nestlé will review its progress annually to ensure it is on track.

"Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face as a society. It is also one of the greatest risks to the future of our business," said Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO. "We are running out of time to avoid the worst effects of global warming. That is why we are setting a bolder ambition to reach a net-zero future. Deploying Nestlé’s global resources and industry know-how, we know we can make a difference at significant scale. Our journey to net zero has already started. Now, we are accelerating our efforts," he added.

To achieve its 2050 ambition, some of the company’s specific actions include:
-Speeding up the transformation of its products in line with consumer trends and choices. Nestlé will launch more products that have a better environmental footprint and contribute to a balanced diet. This includes more plant-based food and beverage options. Nestlé will also look to reformulate its products using more climate-friendly ingredients. Consumer demand for such products is rapidly increasing, and Nestlé’s core strategy is in line with this shift. The company is also moving to alternative packaging materials.
-Scaling up initiatives in agriculture to absorb more carbon. Nestlé will strengthen its programs with farmers to restore land and limit greenhouse gas emissions. This includes improved management of its dairy supply chain. Nestlé will step up efforts to protect forests by replanting trees and enhancing biodiversity. All of these initiatives will help build resilient agricultural communities.
-Using 100% renewable electricity in Nestlé factories, warehouses, logistics and offices. A third of Nestlé factories (143) are already using 100% renewable electricity. Nestlé will continue to increase the use of energy from renewable sources. This will enable suppliers to invest in new infrastructure such as wind and solar farms.

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires transformational change across industries, governments and society as a whole. Nestlé will continue its advocacy for government policies to ensure all sectors move faster towards 1.5°C. Supportive legislation could help to reduce barriers to expanding renewable energy markets, incentivize innovation in the agriculture and forestry sectors to capture more carbon, and help to establish carbon pricing.

Magdi Batato, Executive Vice President, Head of Operations at Nestlé said: "To align our goals to the 1.5°C pathway, we are transforming our operations. This will lead to a major shift in the way our ingredients are produced and sourced. We will need our suppliers to embark on this journey with us. The task is huge but we are determined to make it happen."

Nestlé’s 2050 ambition adds to its ongoing work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain. The company is making its distribution networks and warehouses more efficient by optimizing routes to reduce fuel consumption and to lower carbon emissions. In the company’s top 100 distribution centers, greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by close to 40% over the past four years. Nestlé has intensified its activities to ensure the responsible sourcing of its raw materials and it has made significant progress toward its zero deforestation goal. Since 2014, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across its entire value chain is equivalent to taking 1.2 million cars off the road.
(Nestlé Schweiz AG)

GEA steps out in refreshingly different style at BrauBeviale 2019

GEA steps out in refreshingly different style at BrauBeviale 2019  (Company news)

Refreshingly different: The GEA presentation at BrauBeviale from November 12–14, 2019 in Nuremberg (GEA booth in Hall 7/7-600) aims to surprise with a fresh take. This time, the specialist technology group is not only focusing on new products for the beverage industry but also on inviting customers to discuss their own specific expectations and challenges with GEA experts. After all, GEA believes 360-degree solutions should spring primarily from partnerships.

Photo: Although the GEA Craft Yeast Propagator is designed for smaller budgets and capacities, it offers the same gentle homogenization, optimum aeration and adaptable temperature control as its bigger brother. Image: GEA

Flexibility, performance, uptime and sustainability are critical to ensuring that customers can produce food safely and efficiently. To meet these goals, GEA develops, manufactures and supports plants and processes that can be digitally controlled, monitored and intelligently managed, that use resources sparingly, and are as reliable as they are durable. All of this is very much part of the “Refreshingly different” GEA approach, which fuses technology and creativity in order to respond to customer wishes with forward-looking, unconventional engineering solutions.

Solutions for craft brewers
Although development across the global craft beer market is uneven, it has matured as a whole in recent years. As Oliver Jakob, Product Manager for Craft and Specialty Breweries at GEA, explains, retailers and restaurants favor reliable brands that deliver consistently high quality. Which is why the craft brewers who reject experimental hara-kiri in favor of carefully considered business plans and strategies that make them “relevant to their target group” will go the distance. Regional marketing and even local identity can further this goal, he adds, noting that exporting is not always an appropriate target for creative brewers. “The aim should be to find a niche alongside the big, established names on the market. Drinkable beers need no further explanation,” Jakob says. “They are the kind that win over loyal fans who keep coming back for more.” For expert brewers, putting a special twist on a pilsner or lager is nothing short of an art form – one that GEA makes practicable with technologically and commercially adapted brewing solutions. The company’s special systems and components allow for modular expansion and flexibility, allow for improvisation and are synonymous with quality, reliability and the efficient use of resources.

Yeast management on a scale for craft breweries
The GEA Craft Yeast Propagator, which GEA announced at BrauBeviale 2018, will take the stage this year. With capacities ranging from five to 25 hectoliters, the propagator has dimensions compatible with GEA’s 25- to 125-hectoliter brew-size CRAFT-STAR® and COMPACT-STAR® brewhouses.

Yeast is the most important component in beer production, impacting taste, quality and filterability. “All the more reason for brewers to select the right strain, maintain and propagate healthy cells as well as utilize the surplus yeast,” GEA Product Manager Torben Bauch says. In recent years, the yeast expert notes, the growing number of varieties available on the market have led to increasingly extensive technical automation. “But this is precisely where craft brewers’ views diverge from those of larger breweries. That’s why we have downscaled our YEAST-STAR® – a high-capacity fully automated solution – to create a simplified version,” Bauch says. “Designed for smaller budgets and capacities, it offers all the same functionality as its bigger brother, providing gentle homogenization, optimum aeration and adaptable temperature control.”

London-based Fourpure Brewing Co. will be the first customer to benefit from the new propagator. The craft brewery was impressed with how the unit as a whole had been slimmed down and that certain high-tech functions have been tailored for manual operation and independent control.

Now craft beers can be alcohol-free, too
As the non-alcoholic beer trend is also spilling over into the craft beer market, it is also a focal topic at the GEA stand. These creative artisanal brews don’t need alcohol to expand their fan base. A case in point is the Ghost Ship Citrus Pale Ale 0.5% produced by Adnams in Southwold, UK, which sailed to gold-medal success at the 2019 World Beer Awards. Adnams began producing a low-alcohol version of its popular Ghost Ship Citrus Pale Ale 4.5% about a year ago using the GEA AromaPlus dealcoholization unit. The system relies on reverse osmosis, which filters out the alcohol at the end of the brewing process, leaving 100 percent of the flavor but just 0.5 percent alcohol.

GEA’s membrane filtration specialist Ralf Scheibner explains, “For all their efficiency in removing ethanol from beer, thermal processes can compromise taste – which is something we simply could not accept. At GEA, we firmly believe that reverse osmosis is the best method for producing great, honest-to-goodness beer with authentic flavors.” In this regard, he agrees with brew masters who view adding sugar, wort or any other ingredient to improve taste after technical dealcoholization as a no-go.

Clarifying instead of filtering: Separation solutions for craft brewers
“The separation solutions we are showcasing at BrauBeviale are primarily targeting craft brewers who want to raise their production to a professional level,” says Wolf Herberg, Head of Separation Sales at GEA. Designed to meet the craft brewers’ practical needs, the GEA Plug & Win 180 separates undesirable solids, such as yeast and trub, from beer. The high-performance, compact centrifuge can immediately be put into action and is very easy to operate. “Compared to other clarification processes, our solution reduces losses drastically, cuts storage time by a third and lessens overall brew times.”

Another product of this philosophy is the new GEA separator skid for brewpubs, developed especially for tavern and pub micro-breweries that produce on site. At BrauBeviale, GEA will premiere its most compact and cost-effective variant, which boasts the same efficiency advantages as larger GEA separators in a stripped-back unit. “Our brewpub version shows what GEA means by practical innovations,” Herberg says. “Basic automation, extended service intervals and a compact skid design – these are all game-changing features for brewers who have to pay close attention to their operating costs.” Thanks to the centrifuge, a beer’s clarity or turbidity can be precisely calibrated and reproduced. Mounted on an immediately installable skid, the brewpub separator needs only be plugged in and it can get straight to work.

Efficient filling with rapid changeover times
Customers in the craft beer segment are particularly interested in space-saving, flexible and sustainable solutions that pay dividends at medium speeds and capacities. So GEA’s booth showcases the highly flexible, monoblock GEA Visitron Filler ALL-IN-ONE, which can switch between filling bottles, cans and PET containers. It not only handles the most varied formats, beverages and lid types with ease, but also slashes the filling block’s format and product changeover times from a number of hours to 20 to 30 minutes. With these features, the filler responds to issues that are currently top of mind for beverage manufacturers, as Jakob Šalamun of GEA VIPOLL confirms: “Our product development is driven by customers’ desire for efficiency, not only in terms of CAPEX and OPEX, but also in procurement, production and distribution channels. It’s all about using resources sparingly in view of the growing focus on sustainability.”

Solutions for medium-sized and large breweries
Medium- to large-capacity breweries’ needs revolve around achieving high-quality results while keeping production safe and absolutely reliable, plus the flexibility to respond to fluctuations in demand and improve productivity, all while cutting operating costs and achieving an acceptable ecological footprint. Technology leader GEA develops everything from components to entire process lines and supports collaborative projects throughout the entire life cycle. GEA spotlights two forward-looking solutions dedicated to this customer segment:

Environmentally friendly ceramic filtration attractive for brewers
In cooperation with a mid-sized brewery in Europe, GEA has been installing its GEA clearamic Beer Filtration system as an alternative to conventional kieselguhr and cross-flow filtration with polymer membranes. Using inert and long-lasting ceramic membranes, the alternative solution employs the cross-flow process. Although ceramic filtration with GEA Membraflow elements is already standard in yeast beer recovery and fruit juice filtration, GEA is for the first time transferring the technology to beer filtration on industrial scale. This plant integrates a filtration block with membrane modules, a retentate buffer tank, media connection and a dedicated CIP rail, which sanitizes the clearamic system independently of other cleaning programs. Depending on the type of beer and other requirements, a filtration loop of this kind can produce 100 to 150 hectoliters of filtered beer per hour.

The ceramic membranes do not transfer any substances to the filtrate. Thanks to their extreme resilience, such membranes can be sanitized to the highest hygienic standards using caustic solutions at high temperatures and without the need for expensive enzymatic cleaners. GEA estimates the stable membranes’ service life at ten years or more. “According to our OPEX calculations, the low operating costs quickly pay for the system,” Product Manager Sonja von Lieres says. “The break-even point can be as little as some five years compared to kieselguhr filtration, and as fast as three years or so compared to polymer membranes.” Here, product safety and sustainability clearly pay dividends.

Dynamic dry hopping increases raw material yields by up to 50 percent
Dry hopping is a cold process in which extra hops provide oils that round out a beer’s flavor profile with additional hop notes. In traditional static dry hopping, hop cones or pellets are placed in the storage tank. But this fails to produce maximum extraction efficiency and results in high beer losses. Depending on the specific hop dosage used, the industry reports losses as ranging from 10 to 20 percent. “As proven in trials and our industrial applications, the HOPSTAR® Dry’s dynamic process significantly improves extraction efficiency by as much as 30 to 50 percent, compared to the static process,” says GEA’s hops expert Isabel Osterroth, summing up the plant’s advantages.

In contrast to static dry hopping, this process employs a low-shear agitator in conjunction with a pump to keep the pellet hops suspended and in motion. The solids are separated via sedimentation and remain in the extraction vessel. An additional fine filter catches smaller particles. Since extraction and sedimentation can be repeated in varying cycles, brewers have excellent control over contact time and the extracted hop oil fractions. Thanks to increased extraction efficiency, brewers save on hopping costs and beer losses are reduced to less than 3 percent. At this year’s BrauBeviale 2019, GEA will exhibit the tenth HOPSTAR Dry® plant. After projects in Europe, North and South America, GEA commissioned the first cold hopping plant at a German brewery this summer.

Integrated process solutions for beverage manufacturers
Sustainable energy solutions: Upgrade beverage plants for optimal energy efficiency with process and utilities know-how
Desiring to uphold their own standards, and faced with the need to manage commercial constraints and respond to growing pressure from legislators, consumers and investors, food producers are prioritizing resource and energy efficiency, which simultaneously spurs innovation. For businesses in an energy-intensive industry, green manufacturing means assuming responsibility for the environment and the community, and energy efficiency plays a key role in achieving sustainability in process industries.

This is confirmed by the GEA SEnS (Sustainable Energy Solutions) team, which advises customers on such matters. By combining its process savvy with its knowledge of heating and cooling requirements as early as the planning phase, GEA helps improve energy footprints easily by 30 percent and reduce CO2 emissions up to 90 percent. “In many processes, heating and cooling alone account for 60 percent of the total of energy consumption,” says Klaus Bonfig, Head of Utilities for GEA’s brewery business. “While new cooling systems are a shortcut to savings of between 2 and 4 percent, taking a 360-degree approach to facilities on both cooling and heating can reduce customers’ OPEX by up to 30 percent. This gives us a lot of territory to work with.”

Recently, a GEA beverage customer reported that it saves 7,000 megawatt hours of electricity and 200 tonnes of CO2 per year – equivalent to an OPEX reduction by EUR 150,000 per year. GEA convinced by the single-source supply of an ammonia refrigeration plant combined with an ammonia heat pump for the pasteurizer and a new CIP system. “Naturally, lower energy consumption translates into a proportional decrease in the customer’s carbon footprint,” Bonfig says. “By also switching over to green power, CO2 emissions can potentially be curtailed by as much as 90 percent.” GEA employs this approach at both greenfield and brownfield sites. The company will be showcasing its ideas at BrauBeviale for the first time.

Complete process integration for plant-based beverages
Although BrauBeviale focuses on brewing, GEA will also be addressing other beverage industry topics at the trade show. These include GEA’s 360-degree solutions for the production of plant-based beverages. Bean- and cereal-based convenience products such as drinks have gained popularity all over the globe, riding high on health- and environment-conscious dietary trends. “GEA makes the vegetarian segment into one of its focal areas for development. Not only is demand high around the world but GEA’s extensive project experience and technology portfolio allow us to support customers every step of the way, through to service in ongoing operations,” says Colm O’Gorman, GEA Business Manager Plant-Based Beverages.

GEA’s separation experts have been active in this market for decades, during which time they have refined their decanter into a lean, mean machine. A GEA model will be on hand at the trade show to demonstrate the two-step decanting process, which results in 10 percent higher yields. That means more protein from soy, and more starch from rice, almonds and oats. In line with the highest hygienic standards, GEA decanters feature a very high flexibility of the operating parameters such as the differential speed, wear-resistant parts, extended lifespans and convenient service intervals. The patented hydrohermetic system seals off the process chamber from the environment and prevents oxidation. Running the centrifuge on different products is easy, no change in set up is required.

GEA’s processing technologies and capabilities to design integration process lines from raw material handling, separation via decanter, enzyme inactivation, aroma control, blending and homogenization to aseptic filling and packaging means that customers can rely on GEA to provide the full solution from raw material to final packaged product. Being able to combine technologies with engineering expertise, project management and commissioning know-how as well as ongoing support long after the process has been put into operation is a new and unparalleled addition to the market. O’Gorman adds: “We are spotlighting our strength as a process integrator that also offers all the core elements necessary for extraction technology.”

Refreshingly digital: From big data to smart data with GEA service solutions
From greenfield projects through corrective and predictive maintenance to machine and plant performance optimization, GEA’s digital services give customers new ways to stay a step ahead of the competition. These solutions include real-time support with GEA Remote Eye Wear as well as condition monitoring solutions such as PerformancePlus, which uses selective data analysis to propose measures and allow them to be initiated quickly. This enables not only increased production reliability and the economical use of energy and resources but also maximum GEA system uptime.

The latest addition to the lineup of GEA digital services is a cloud-based platform. Created as part of a collaboration with start-up MachIQ, the portal offers customers cutting-edge services such as remote maintenance, data analysis and comprehensive e-commerce solutions. The portfolio will be rounded out with additional offerings including condition monitoring, PLC connections and video support by the end of 2020. But the GEA solution stands out from other comparable industry portals: The new digital cooperation channel is supplier-independent by design, so customers are free to integrate all their supplier interactions into the platform.

Additional process components
Trade show visitors interested in product safety and hygiene components for their production lines will find hygienic, aseptic pump and valve series such as the new orbital cleaner for brewery tanks at the GEA booth. In addition, GEA will be debuting the GEA vaculiq spiral filter. This technology efficiently juices all kinds of fruit under a vacuum while requiring only minimal space. In this way, it protects valuable plant nutrients and vitamins, so the fresh flavor and healthy ingredients are preserved from atmospheric oxygen. Vaculiq plants are available to juice producers as well as manufacturers of special products such as baby food, smoothies, purees and even mustard in capacities ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 kilograms per hour.
(GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)

ENGEL automation at K 2019: Compact, flexible, cost-effective

ENGEL automation at K 2019: Compact, flexible, cost-effective  (Company news)

ENGEL develops custom-built automation solutions, from simple product removal and depositing to highly integrated and networked production processes. A comprehensive range of robots and high levels of special automation expertise are the essential ingredients for combining top quality with efficiency and cost-effectiveness in injection moulding. ENGEL is adding to its selection of automation products for the K 2019 trade fair. Three innovative new developments are making their debuts at the show in Düsseldorf, Germany, between October 16th and 23rd.

Photo: ENGEL viper linear robots are appearing at K 2019 with an even larger range.

Linear robots with extra-long take-off strokes
ENGEL viper linear robots are appearing at K 2019 with an even larger range. The long design of the robots reaches longer take-off strokes with identical load-bearing capacities and maximum dynamics, with the viper 20 increasing from 900 mm to 1,100 mm, for instance. This allows the viper 20 to fully reach Euro pallets – a task previously requiring a viper 40, even with low load-bearing capacities. The X-stroke extension keeps the handling area compact, reducing capital outlay.

Alongside mechanical upgrades, it was smart inject 4.0 functions that truly made this innovation possible. Two key examples are iQ vibration control, which actively compensates for vibrations, and multidynamic, which determines the load condition with a high degree of precision and makes full use of this based on the robot’s kinematics. Both software solutions are included as standard with the viper linear robots.

From the K 2019 show onwards, the X-stroke extension will be an option for viper linear robots in sizes 12 to 60.

Pneumatic sprue picker with extra-long working life
The ENGEL pic A is the new pneumatic sprue picker that is set to break two records at once. It is both the longest-lasting and most compact sprue picker on the market. Instead of the classic, rigid X-axis, the pic A is the first product in this segment featuring a swivel arm, which operates within an incredibly tight area. The take-off stroke is continuously variable up to 400 mm thanks to the new kinematics. Another new development is the ability to adjust the Y-axis module in just a few steps. The A-axis’ rotation angle automatically and flexibly adapts to the relevant requirements between 0 and 90°.

Its ease of operation is another plus-point – when fully swivelled in, the pic A leaves the entire mould area free, allowing for simple and speedy mould changes. The time-consuming process of swivelling out the sprue picker and setting the XY adjustment unit is history.

Like all other ENGEL robots’ control units, the pic A control unit is integrated in the CC300 control unit of the injection moulding machine. As a result, the entire process can be centrally controlled.

In addition, as a pneumatic sprue picker, the pic A meets the strict specifications of the EN ISO 10218 robot standard as a PL “d” product with universal dual-channel design.

Compact safety cell ensuring ideal accessibility
Integrating robots, peripheral systems and other processing units is about more than simply creating a compact set-up – it is also important to ensure that the interaction between the components is safety-certified. To meet both goals in a cost-effective manner, ENGEL provides standardised, modular solutions. A new addition is the compact cell, which is appearing in front of professional onlookers for the first time at ENGEL’s trade fair booth with a medical application. In the context of fully automated production of housing parts, the compact cell includes parts handling systems and box changers, as well as still being significantly slimmer than a standard safety guarding. The safety cell, which is easy to increase or decrease in size, also provides enormous flexibility in this area. When the compact cell is opened up, the box changer is automatically moved to the side, allowing open access to the mould in no time with just a single movement of the hand. Aside from the box changer, it can also house other automation units such as a multi-tiered conveyor belt or tray server. The standardised design makes it extremely simple to modify the system, as well as enabling fast product changes, even in controlled clean room environments.

ENGEL at K 2019: hall 15, stand C58
(Engel Austria GmbH)

Krumbach saves by reducing energy during PET disposal processes

Krumbach saves by reducing energy during PET disposal processes  (Company news)

The mineral water company Krumbach produces mineral water and soft drinks. Every year, up to 150 million bottles are filled. Subsequently, these are distributed to beverage wholesalers and retailers. Strautmann Umwelttechnik reports on the successful of three Strautmann installations at Mineralbrunnen Krumbach.

Photo: Disposal PET bottles on the way to the compaction

Disposal earlier:
In a previous disposal model, full PET bottles were emptied through a perforator, then compacted in bales using a channel baler. In-house handling was labor-intensive due to bale storage requirements. Accordingly, the PET bales were picked up frequently. Due to increasing transport and logistics costs, bale handling and wear and tear on the perforator, Krumbach decided not to purchase a new channel baling press and a perforator.

Disposal now:
For Krumbach, it was important to find a reliable overall concept for the disposal of around 2.200t of PET per year. The installations needed to be integrated in the production line and continuously corn-press PET bottles on-site. “The Strautmann concept, with two redundant briquetting presses and a dewaterer, has persuaded us to go this route because of the logistical added value. The internal process is now much easier,” reports Alexander Diehm, Operations Manager at Mineralbrunnen Krumbach in Kißlegg, Germany.

Disposal of empty PET bottles:
Via a box ejector, empty disposable PET bottles are transferred to a conveyor belt, which leads the PET bottles directly into the briquetting presses. The high pressure BrikPress® ensures tightly compacted briquettes. With a throughout of up to 45.000 0,5 l PET bottles per hour, the use of BrikPress is fast and reliable. Afterwards, the PET bottles are conveyed outwards via channels with no added energy consumption. Once outside, the briquettes fall over a “two-way distributor” into a two walking-floor semitrailers. Alexander Diehm says: “Thanks to high briquette density, we are now achieving full capacity utilization of 24t. Before that it was about 12t. That’s how we were able to reduce our CO2 emissions!”

The briquettes are then retrieved by disposal company and processed into preforms, which Krumbach uses to rebuild the PET bottles. The recycling rate is 97 percent and represents a closed recycling cycle.

Disposal of filled PET bottles:
Full bottles are collected in small wells and then placed in the LiquiDrainer® by forklift. A feed rocker then conveys the material to a rotor, which punctures the beverage containers and empties them. At the same time the goods are pre-compacted and canceled to undermine potential abuse. Thanks to the special rotor technology, up to 10.000 1 l PET bottles per hour can be emptied. The liquids run through a filter box and are discharged separately. Residual emptying of the liquids up to 99 percent is achieved. After the bottles have been safely emptied and devalued, the pre-compacted bottles reach the conveyer belt of the BrikPress® via a discharge and are automatically compacted into briquettes.

Mineralbrunnen Krumbach now has a fully automatic and reliable disposal system based up on the Strautmann press system. Handling has been reduced to a minimum and Krumbach has also greatly reduced its CO2 emissions.

Meet us at the Brau Beviale exhibition in Hall 8 stand 124.
(Strautmann Umwelttecknik GmbH)

Symrise expands Nigeria site and opens application labs

Symrise expands Nigeria site and opens application labs  (Company news)

— Local development of taste, scent and care solutions
— Presence strengthened in growing West Africa market

For the first time in its corporate history, Symrise is setting up its own application labs in Nigeria. The global fragrance and flavoring manufacturer based in Germany opened the new facilities in Lagos, the largest city in the West African country, on September 4, 2019. “This will strengthen our presence and underpin our growth goals in the region,” says Rudy McLean, managing director at Symrise South Africa, building on the current sales office in Nigeria.

In the labs, local Symrise experts will work on flavors for various application areas, in particular for beverages, sweet applications and savory foods, as well as fragrances and cosmetic ingredients. The company wants to meet the preferences of regional customers as closely as possible with this local expansion. “With these application labs, we can create products in the market for the market,” says McLean. “We can deepen our understanding of the preferences and needs of local people and – where possible – use local raw materials.”

The history of Symrise is closely connected with Nigeria. With its Scent & Care and Flavor & Nutrition segments, the company has been active in the African country for more than 30 years. During this time, Symrise has worked intensively to familiarize itself with the local markets. Beyond this, the local team has built close and lasting relationships with customers. The goal of the new application labs is to incorporate customer preferences and market requirements in product development locally and with speed. To achieve this, Symrise will employ three new lab specialists in Nigeria.

With more than 190 million inhabitants, Nigeria is by far the most populous African nation and a key regional economy. “With this new investment, we are enhancing our local footprint and intensifying our long-term commitment to Nigeria and the region,” says McLean.
(Symrise Nigeria Ltd)

Climate change, forest management and bio-plastics take center stage at the ...

Climate change, forest management and bio-plastics take center stage at the ...  (Company news)

...World Bioeconomy Forum held in Ruka, Finland

The second World BioEconomy Forum held in the Finnish resort town of Ruka ended with eight declarations agreed upon by delegates from across the globe.

The three-day event kicked off with a update on the latest European Bioeconomy Strategy and action plan launched last year from Elisabetta Balzi, head of the Bioeconomy Unit at the European Commission. The latest strategy, with funds of Euro 10 billion for research into food and natural resources for the years 2021-27, is now in full swing in its implementation and Balzi gave a comprehensive, detailed presentation of where resources are being allocated.

The forum itself included dedicated panel discussions on subjects that included Implementing Biostrategies, Forest Bioeconomy and Climate Change, Circular Bioeconomy and Evolving Bioeconomy Value Chains - Case Plastic. For the first time at the forum there was also a CEO Panel of companies exclusively involved in the bioeconomy.

Grant Rosoman from Greenpeace International, who took part in the Forest Bioeconomy and Climate Change panel discussion, said, “It shows the maturity of the bioeconomy forum, that engaging with NGOs is seen as important to broaden the discussion on the bioeconomy but particularly to consider the role of the bioeconomy in the climate emergency.”

There were some key points among the eight declarations signed by delegates; to share knowledge between North, South, East and West; to make bio-based value chains explicit and traceable; to acknowledge that renewable carbon is the key for a sustainable chemical and plastic industry; agree on the emphasis of replacing fossil-fuel material and not to promote biomass burning.

What was abundantly clear at the forum was the fact that Europe is leading the way when it comes to strategies for the bioeconomy, however there is solid interest from countries across the globe to create their own strategies. Delegates from 22 countries and five continents attended the event. Marcello Brito, president of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association, (ABAG) said, “The bioeconomy is vital, and the key point of the new development model for the Amazon region which has the highest biological asset in the world.”

Christian Patermann, member of the international advisory group for the event said, “The forum this year continuously demonstrated the dynamism of the bioeconomies around the world. Held in the extreme north east of Europe, it united attendees from all four corners of the world, exchanging views and practices, discussing issues for instance on plastics and global changes, and the role the bioeconomy can play there. There is a need for more events like this in various regions of Europe and the rest of the world. Ruka might serve as a model.”

Jukka Kantola, founder and chairman of the World Bioeconomy Forum said: “We are delighted with this year’s forum outcome. This shows that the circular bioeconomy is attracting more interest among stakeholders all over the world. This forum shows that the circular bioeconomy is a vital tool in the mitigation of climate change.”

Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ville Skinnari, sent a video message to delegates at the closing of the event in Ruka, saying, “The World Bioeconomy Forum deals directly with relevant topics on environmental matters, forest policies and trade agreements. The Finnish government is also taking these topics very seriously at the same time as working on valid solutions.”

The 2020 event has already been set for September 23-25 and will once again be held in Ruka.
(World BioEconomy Forum)

ESAU & HUEBER GmbH and NDL Craft announce a new strategic global alliance

ESAU & HUEBER GmbH and NDL Craft announce a new strategic global alliance  (Company news)

Picture: NDL Craft: Production of tanks

ESAU & HUEBER GmbH announces a new strategic alliance with NDL Craft, a China-based global manufacturer of high quality brewhouse equipment and tanks as an answer to the increased globalization within the brewing and beverage industry. This alliance combines Esau & Hueber’s expertise as a total solution provider within the brewing process and NDL Crafts potential as an established manufacturer in Asia.

Esau & Hueber’s Managing Director, Christoph Sedlaczek commented: “This strategic alliance is the logical consequence of constant changes within the structure and demands of our customers. Best-Price-Competition in a world of global-acting supply chains requires the right answer on the supply side. Decades of technical developments in combination with state-of-the art automation concepts like our WinBrew® system are the basis for success.”

President of NDL Craft, Lyman Luan, commented: “We’re excited about the significant potential to increase our global market penetration in working with a high-technology European partner like Esau & Hueber. They are known within the industry as a leader in Brewing-Engineering, Yeast-Technology and Automation. With our precision manufacturing techniques and production operation in China, we can offer value-driven solutions that makes sense in this cost-conscious world.”

Harald Koch, Managing Director of Esau & Hueber added: “Partnering with NDL Craft, we are in the position to better serve our increasingly global customer base with high quality brewing equipment, short lead times and optimized customer services. Our Bavarian company has established itself in recent years as a global full-range supplier of modern brewing technology.

We at Esau & Hueber have now developed systems also for the special needs of craft breweries. These CRAFT LINE systems are expandable in their capacity. Therefore, they bring professional technology with highest flexibility into harmony with a clever investment."
(Esau & Hueber GmbH)

BERICAP presents latest plastic closures for various applications at FachPack 2019

BERICAP presents latest plastic closures for various applications at FachPack 2019  (Company news)

BERICAP, one of the leading plastic closure manufacturers, will present its product innovations at FachPack trade fair in Nuremberg from 24 to 26 September 2019. Among the highlights at the BERICAP stand 418 in hall 6 are weight-optimized closures for 45- and 60-millimeter threaded necks with an up to 30% weight decrease, whilst offering the same technical performance as its predecessor. Another new light weight development is the SK 42/21 SFB Safeseal, a closure which suits the car care products such as distilled water or wind screen cleaner, but it is also usable for AdBlue® containers. A set of new flexible and foldable pourers for easy and spill free pouring complements BERICAP’s system offer for this application. The innovative BERICAP Ring Peel Liner provides superior consumer handling and at the same time supports additional product safety and protection against counterfeiters. This novelty is available for different neck diameters and can be used for closures usually using IHS liner systems today. Last but not least the new BERICAPValve will be presented at FachPack - a TPE valve for ketchup and other paste-like products, which can easily be recycled in the PE recycling stream - an important argument in today’s environmental and recycling discussion.

Photo: SK 45/26 NG MAB MDR

“For more than a decade, FachPack has been an important platform for us to present our latest innovations to a top-class, international trade audience. The global trade fair also gives us the opportunity to exchange information with trade visitors and business partners on the latest trends and requirements of the industry”, states Volker Spiesmacher, Director Sales & Marketing at BERICAP. “We will be present with a large team of product experts and management representatives and are looking forward to interesting discussions.”

Due to its global presence, BERICAP is able to recognize new requirements of companies from various industries at an early stage and thus develop products that meet these needs. In its four research and development centers, BERICAP also designs future-oriented solutions for the challenges of tomorrow. BERICAP has set itself the goal of offering its customers significant added value with efficient and effective innovations and thus making them more competitive. These could be, for example, weight-optimized product variants. With every new development, care is taken to ensure that the products are sustainable and as environmentally friendly as possible.

The constantly growing BERICAP branch network provides customers with optimal on-site support. The recent opening of a further production facility in Mexico shows that the global network is continuously being expanded.
(Bericap GmbH & Co. KG)

The new Alfa Laval ThinkTop revolutionizes valve sensing and control units, reengineered ...

The new Alfa Laval ThinkTop revolutionizes valve sensing and control units, reengineered ...  (Company news)

... to meet customer needs

Picture: The Alfa Laval ThinkTop® V50 and V70 sensing and control units for hygienic valves have been rethought to improve production on hygienic process lines

Alfa Laval has unveiled a refreshed, rethought version of the Alfa Laval ThinkTop®, the company’s best-selling valve sensing and control unit for hygienic valves used in the dairy, food, beverage, brewery and pharmaceutical industries. The Alfa Laval ThinkTop V50 and V70, the second-generation of premium control units, have been reengineered to meet customer needs while incorporating the latest advances in technology.

“We have listened carefully to what customers want from a valve sensing and control unit,” says René Stietz, Product Management Valves & Automation, Hygienic Fluid Handling, Alfa Laval. “The changes we’ve made to the ThinkTop are highly responsive to customer needs and therefore highly relevant – for instance, faster and more intuitive setup without compromising durability and reliability.”

Reengineered to meet customer needs
For the first time, the rethought Alfa Laval ThinkTop offers customers fast and intuitive setup and commissioning; enhanced 360° LED visual status indication, a repositioned Gore Vent, a more compact and aesthetic design, burst seat clean functionality, and a QR code for easy online access to support materials and direct support.

Fast and intuitive
The new auto setup feature offers manufacturers quick, easy commissioning – up to 90% faster than the previous generation. Plus, the live setup feature coupled with true valve recognition ensures the perfect match during any-and-all setups.

Adaptable and smart
The new ThinkTop fits on any Alfa Laval valve, making it perfect for all retrofits. What’s more, it is smart. It features 24/7 self-diagnostics, checking and remedying operations when required, and an enhanced 360° LED visual status indication so that operators can clearly see the valve status no matter where they are on the production floor.

Durable and reliable
The new ThinkTop is as long-lasting and dependable as the first generation. However, repositioning the Gore Vent makes the ThinkTop more durable and more reliable than before, equalizing the enclosure pressure in the unit while eliminating the risk of water ingress.

Aesthetic design
Highly practical, the new minimalist industrial exterior with its strict lines, no cover screws and uncompromising geometry is 30% more compact than the previous version yet has the same height, making the new ThinkTop suitable for tight installations. Inside one sensor target control board packed with functionality handles all valve functions and communication; no adapter is required.

Burst seat cleaning
Take advantage of the highly effective burst of CIP liquid during the opening moment of seat lift and seat push. These optimized valve activations drastically reduce water consumption during Cleaning-in-Place and save up to 90% in cleaning agent costs.

Evolutionary thinking
The Alfa Laval ThinkTop was launched in 2000 as a technological breakthrough that revolutionized hygienic valve sensing and control technology. Nearly 20 years on, Alfa Laval has now incorporated evolutionary measures to a proven workhorse, radically changing its appearance and functionality to meet customers’ changing needs and demanding requirements.

The new Alfa Laval ThinkTop V50 and V70 series cover all valve requirements and are selected based on the number of solenoid valves required. The ThinkTop V50 series matches the requirements of the Alfa Laval DV-ST, butterfly, single seat and double seal valves while the ThinkTop V70 series matches the requirements of all these valves plus Alfa Laval double seat and special valves.

In addition, the new Alfa Laval ThinkTop V50 and V70 meet the protection class IP66, IP67 and IP69K.

To learn more about the Alfa Laval ThinkTop V50 and V70, visit
(Alfa Laval Kolding A/S)

Lecta to Showcase Its Latest Label Innovations at Labelexpo Europe 2019

Lecta to Showcase Its Latest Label Innovations at Labelexpo Europe 2019  (Company news)

Lecta will add another dimension to its specialty papers for adhesive products in Brussels from September 24 to 27

Continuing with its strategy of broadening its multiproduct offer, for four days Lecta will be showing its new products and innovations in specialty papers for labels and flexible packaging, offering this sector the deep versatility and all the high-quality adhesive possibilities of its Adestor, Metalvac, Creaset, Termax and Eurokote ranges.

Lecta extended its offer of materials for labels with the recent launch of the new rubber-based Adestor Hot-Melt adhesive product line that will be on display at the trade fair: Adestor HM100 and Adestor HM300, developed for labeling under chilled or frozen conditions for the food sector, and Adestor HM200L, developed for labelling the most frequently used surfaces in logistics and retail applications.

Lecta will also be highlighting its Adestor BC500 acrylic permanent adhesive, developed specifically for non-recyclable wine, spirits, sparkling wine and other glass containers. The product’s high moisture resistance ensures perfect adhesion on bottles being submerged in ice and water.

Metalvac, Lecta’s high-vacuum recyclable metallized paper with a high gloss finish and excellent printing results, will be exhibited as the ideal solution for all personal care and high-end beverage products.

Creaset, Lecta’s range of one-side coated paper for labels and flexible packaging, will also be on display in Brussels with its countless number of possible applications.
The product line includes Creaset HWS for labels on returnable bottles and Creaset GP greaseproof paper for labels on olive oil bottles.

Lecta will also be showing its Termax range of thermal papers for direct thermal printing that guarantee optimum bar code definition on self-adhesive applications widely used in the food, logistics and distribution sectors and in industry in general.

With Eurokote, Lecta’s cast-coated high gloss paper with high whiteness and
smoothness, the extraordinary possibilities of this range for cosmetics, perfume, food and beverage labels will also be featured.

Without a doubt, Lecta’s extensive offer of high-quality specialty papers adds another dimension to labels, an essential and attrractive component in all adhesive application sectors.

We invite you to come and discover all this and much more at Hall 5 – Lecta Stand D15 from September 24 to 27.

UPM Raflatac showcases sustainable labeling solutions that help reduce, recycle and renew at ...

UPM Raflatac showcases sustainable labeling solutions that help reduce, recycle and renew at ...  (Company news)

...Labelexpo Europe 2019

UPM Raflatac will be showcasing its sustainable labeling solutions at Labelexpo Europe 2019 in Brussels from September 24-27. UPM Raflatac’s innovative solutions can help printers and brand owners reach beyond their sustainability goals by offering solutions to reduce, recycle and renew.

The company’s thinner and lighter film materials reduce the use of raw materials. The UPM Raflatac PP Lite range combines a lighter face material, a lower coat-weight adhesive and a lighter backing which makes them incredibly lightweight and optimizes the use of raw materials and resources. Ultrathin UPM Raflatac Vanish™ PCR labels are another good example, featuring 90 percent recycled content face and liners.

The company optimizes the recycling process of plastic packages by ensuring that labels can be easily removed. UPM Raflatac wash-off adhesive is an excellent way to enable the recyclability of PET containers. Turning waste into a resource is a key concept in the circular economy and an important part of UPM Raflatac’s approach to sustainability. The RafCycle® by UPM Raflatac recycling programme supports this by offering a new life for label waste.

In addition, UPM Raflatac helps to reduce the use of fossil raw materials by offering renewable options, such as certified materials and other bio-based alternatives. UPM Raflatac’s revolutionary new Forest Film™ is the industry’s first wood-based polypropylene film material. Another innovative labeling material that will be showcased at the exhibition is UPM Raflatac Fossil-Free Adhesive – a renewable multipurpose solution, which together with other responsibly sourced label materials like the forest positive UPM Raflatac RAFNXT+, forms a comprehensive solution making each layer of labeling even more sustainable.

Visit stand 5D41 in Hall 5 to find out more about UPM Raflatac’s sustainable labeling solutions.
(UPM Raflatac Oy)

Berlin Packaging Acquires Vincap and Adolfse Packaging in Holland

Berlin Packaging Acquires Vincap and Adolfse Packaging in Holland  (Company news)

Berlin Packaging Continues European Expansion with Acquisition of Vincap and Adolfse Packaging in the Netherlands

Strategic acquisition benefits customers around the world and augments company’s position as largest packaging distributor in Europe.

Berlin Packaging, the largest full-service supplier of glass, plastic, and metal containers and closures, announced the acquisition of Vincap B.V. and Adolfse Packaging B.V. (jointly, Vincap & Adolfse), an important packaging supplier strategically located in Utrecht, Netherlands. Vincap & Adolfse brings extensive experience in food and beverage closures and pharmaceutical packaging and well-established, customer-thrilling operations in Northern Europe.

Berlin Packaging is a $2.6 billion global supplier of rigid packaging products and services to customers of all types across all sectors. The company has a stronghold in North America, where it has operated since 1898, and a rapidly expanding global footprint, including operations in China, South Africa, and five European countries. Berlin Packaging operates in Europe through its Bruni Glass division, headquartered in Milan, Italy and its Bruni Erben division, headquartered in Hadleigh, England.

As a significant supplier of plastic, cork, and metal closures and plastic packaging in the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) for 20+ years, Vincap & Adolfse offers a broad array of products and packaging expertise for customers of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to established food and beverage brands across Northern Europe. See more at

Vincap & Adolfse, which will be integrated into the Bruni Glass organization, marks Berlin’s tenth overall acquisition since 2010 and the fourth in Europe since 2016. Considering Berlin Packaging’s track record of seamless integrations and history of strong organic growth, customers and suppliers of both companies will reap significant benefits from the combined operations of Europe’s largest packaging distributor.

Berlin and Bruni customers now benefit from Vincap & Adolfse’s deep expertise in the closure market, with added product depth and breadth and expanded geographic coverage across the Benelux. Vincap & Adolfse’s customers can avail themselves of a dramatically larger European impression, a wide array of containers (in glass, plastic, and metal), and Berlin’s unique suite of income-boosting services that are offered at no charge in exchange for new packaging business; these services include world-class design and innovation centers on two continents, quality consulting, and capital lending.

Suppliers of packaging also benefit by tapping into the combined company’s 200+ person sales force, an integral part of the company’s 1,100+ global work force. This team, in conjunction with Berlin’s multi-channel marketing efforts, targets every market that uses rigid packaging, including food, beverage, wine and spirits, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical, personal care, household care, and industrial.

“As Berlin Packaging continues to acquire companies that share our commitment to quality, service, and bottom line growth for our customers, we further separate ourselves from the competition with a tremendous global footprint, an unparalleled product and service offering, and a long history of double-digit organic growth,” said Andrew Berlin, Chairman and CEO of Berlin Packaging. “

“We are excited to become part of the Berlin Packaging family and to embrace our new Bruni Glass colleagues. We are proud of what we have built, and we know this new partnership will bring much more opportunity for our customers, suppliers and employees,” said Paul Devilee and Joost Wurth, Owners of Vincap & Adolfse

“The Vincap & Adolfse integration will strengthen our business proposition and support our growth across Northern Europe, said Paolo Recrosio, CEO of Bruni Glass, a Berlin Packaging Company. “With the combined expertise in so many vertical markets and in so many packaging types, we are extremely optimistic about the future.”

The deal has closed, integration planning is already underway.
(Berlin Packaging LLC)

How about a drink from the fully automatic robot bartending system?

How about a drink from the fully automatic robot bartending system?  (Company news)

Thanks to a special attachment, it can pour up to 20 glasses of beer per minute – without spilling a drop: In the fully automatic bartending and mixing system from BAIER Engineering GmbH, a KUKA KR CYBERTECH robot reliably and precisely prepares drinks just like a bartender.

KR CYBERTECH is being used in the world’s only robot bar
With the bartender robot, BAIER Engineering GmbH has developed the world’s first fully automatic bartending system. The system is the result of a collaboration with Aalen University and specialists from the beverage industry. A KUKA KR CYBERTECH robot is used as a bartender. The bar robot mixes cocktails, pours drinks, serves and collects payment. “The bartender robot is an eye-catcher and a barkeeping professional all rolled into one,” notes Thomas Baier, founder and CEO of BAIER Engineering, in describing the special characteristics of the professional robot bar.

KUKA robot as a bartender that mixes cocktails
The software and technology for the bartending system come from BAIER Engineering, the robot arm is provided by KUKA. Behind the bar stands a robot from the KR CYBERTECH series. As soon as the order comes in via the touch screen, the robot arm grips the appropriate glass. It then fills it and serves the drink at the counter. Cocktails, draft beer, non-alcoholic soft drinks – the range of drinks can be individually programmed according to the event. Payment is made using special chip cards – which the bar robot also simultaneously uses to check whether the guest is of age for the selected drink.

Robot bar is ready at a moment’s notice
The advantages of the bartending system are clear. Whether for three days at a trade fair or for the night shift at a company event, the KUKA robot can be used around the clock as a bartender. At the same time, its performance does not wane. “Our bartending robot mixes cocktails and pours beer of consistent quality. It works cleanly, reliably and efficiently,” explains Baier. And since the bartending system comes on a single-axle trailer, it is very mobile. Refrigerated storage is integrated and only a power connection is required. Thanks to the design of the trailer, operational safety is also ensured. The robot bar can be used for all kinds of occasions – from event catering to special birthday parties and even festivals.
(KUKA Roboter GmbH)

Milacron Launching Wide Range of New and Upgraded Mold-Masters Solutions at K 2019

Milacron Launching Wide Range of New and Upgraded Mold-Masters Solutions at K 2019  (Company news)

Milacron Holdings Corp. Holdings Corp. (NYSE: MCRN), a leading industrial technology company serving the plastics processing industry announces additional key technologies for K 2019, the world’s largest plastics trade fair. K 2019 will take place October 16th-23rd in Düsseldorf, Germany. Milacron will be displaying its Advanced Plastics Processing Technologies (APPT) featuring Milacron and Ferromatik product branded injection, and extrusion offerings, as well as Milacron’s Melt Delivery and Control Systems (MDCS). Displays will feature Milacron’s product brands: Mold-Masters, DME, TIRAD, and CIMCOOL in Hall 1, Booth C05.

Photo: NEW SeVG+ - a servo-driven system that provides absolute control and precision over individual valve pin opening and closing actuation profiles

Mold-Masters is excited at the opportunity to showcase to customers a selection of innovative new products as well as enhanced engineering to improve the performance, quality and technical capabilities of our customers. This is the first time many of this is being shown in Europe and there are even a few Global Product Launches in store. Much of this is just a sneak peek. Keep an eye out for future K-Show press releases for more information.

Fusion-Series G2
A completely pre-assembled and pre-wired system that allows for quick and easy one-step drop-in installation and connection. Ensures your mold is back into production as quickly as possible. Focused on high-quality economical production of medium to large parts it is the ideal system for automotive, appliance, logistic and many other similar applications.

-NEW Protective Heater Sleeves easily install over the nozzles to provide an extra layer of protection to the nozzles during handling while improving system aesthetics. The protective sleeves install quickly and easily by sliding down the nozzle and are secured in place with the lock click at the nozzle tip.
-NEW Waterless PN Actuator will be on display which utilizes Mold-Masters Passive Actuator Cooling Technology. This special design eliminates traditional actuator cooling lines by being in positive contact and passively transferring heat to the clamping plate. Effectively taking advantage of the molds existing cooling system.
-NEW Valve Pin Adjustment & Quick Release is available on Fusion-Series G2 actuators. Pin adjustments can now be made much more quickly and easily than current designs. A quick-release mechanism disconnects the valve pin to simplify and speed up maintenance.

The ideal hot runner system for consistent, high-quality production of automotive lens components that demand exceptional clarity. Engineered to perform with today’s challenging resins it is Compatible with corrosive resins such as PC, PC-ABS & PMMA. Dura+ remains the clearest choice for automotive lens molding applications.

-NEW Drop-In, Connect & Inject. Dura+ is now available pre-assembled and pre-wired. It allows molders to get back into production faster and more efficiently.

Introducing the industry’s newest hot runner system specifically engineered for producing exceptionally high-quality thin wall packaging products and offers a wide process window. Incorporating new MasterSHIELD Technology, ThinPAK-Series has the strength and durability to mold with complete reliability in high-pressure applications up to 2,800 Bar. ThinPAK-Series is compatible with all common packaging resins.

-NEW Centi Nozzle Size broadens ThinPAK’s part weight application capacity to include everything from small in mold labeled containers to large pails.
-NEW Stack Mold Capabilities increases productivity and profitability.

The industries’ simplest in-line design minimizes downtime and improves processing capabilities. Tips are secured by a single bolt which allows molds to be serviced up to 85% faster than before. This can save up to 5hrs of downtime on a 64-cavity system. A demo assembly unit will be on hand in the booth to allow users to try it for themselves.

This new design also improves processing capabilities. Featuring Mold-Masters Brazed Heater Technology, Melt-CUBE EVO was shown to operate with a precise thermal profile. In testing, Melt-CUBE EVO showed only 1°C delta from tip to tip for consistent production capabilities. Brazed Heater Technology on Melt-CUBE EVO also minimizes the number of control zones required and therefore allows a simpler and more cost-effective controller to be used with the application, saving significant investment in additional support equipment.

Lastly, it features Gate Located Tips, which are fixed to the cavity insert meaning the tips are not affected by thermal expansion. This maintains tip to gate concentricity which is the critical requirement for ensuring the highest gate quality. It also offers superior reliability even with high MFI materials.

Our full selection of Side Gating products will be on display including Melt-CUBE, Melt-DISK, and Tit-Edge.

Mold-Masters Co-Injection, formerly KORTEC, will also be on display at K-Show. Mold-Masters Co-Injection Technology is used for placing barrier layers in a wide range of parts including coffee capsules, beverage containers of all kinds, preforms and more in a single step. These high-performance barriers extend shelf life by up to 5x, lower production costs and offer greater design flexibility. Mold-Masters is the #1 name in Co-Injection (by installed base).

The Mold-Masters Co-Injection CONNECT unit on display allows molders to quickly and easily convert their existing single-shot Injection Machine to allow for Co-Injection capabilities. The simplest package we offer includes a Mold-Masters Co-Injection hot half, E-Multi Auxiliary Injection Unit and E-Multi Co-Injection Controller. This package has the potential to reduce capital investment requirements by up to 84%.

Introducing our most advanced actuation control system to date. SeVG+ is a servo-driven system that provides absolute control and precision over individual valve pin opening and closing actuation profiles. Users can fully adjust pin position, acceleration, velocity, stroke, timing and sequence of each pin independently from the next. Critical capabilities that greatly enhance molded part quality for demanding applications. Available for all applications including large automotive parts.

NEW TempMaster M3

Of course, you’ll also be able to get your hands on our other popular TempMaster controller models including:
-TempMaster M2+
-TempMaster M1+
-TempMaster M-Ax

TIRAD, mold and frames supplier with more than 25 years tradition, will showcase its fully machined mold plate 1396 x 646 x 96 mm with DME accessories.

TIRAD is working with accuracy +/- 0,008/1.000 mm and sizes up to 2300 x 1500 x 1000 mm and is able to run paperless production from 3D only at their modern fully climate-controlled plant in Zeletava, Czech Republic.

Their customer base includes leading manufacturers from all fields of the industry: Medical & Pharmaceutical, Caps & Closures, Cosmetic & Personal Care, Thin Wall Packaging, PET Preforms, and Technical Parts. In cooperation with DME, TIRAD can deliver fully-assembled custom mold base including components.

TIRAD offers its customers top service and wide range of benefits:
Precision & accuracy
-Extensive selection of steel-grades
-Possibility to design and produce more complex parts
-Optimum control of wall thickness
-Reduction of cycle time
-Longer mold life

Hear about our Technology – Milacron Invites Trade Press to Press Conference October 17th at 2:00 pm (14:00) –Hall 1, Booth C05
Milacron’s Mac Jones, President of APPT Americas and Europe, will welcome the esteemed press to the Milacron booth and provide a business overview. Andy Stirn, Director of New Product Development and Product Management, and Kurt Waldhauer, Vice President of Extrusion Sales, will be providing an update on Advanced Plastics Processing Technologies (APPT). Hans Hagelstein, Mold-Masters President Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, An Heid, Mold-Masters President Americas and Asia, and Peter Smith, DME President will provide an update on Milacron’s Melt Delivery and Control System business. A Q&A session will follow the formal presentation and attendees will be encouraged to take a personalized tour with the Milacron team.
(Milacron Co-Injection Systems)

iQ weight control opens recycled material the door to a wide application range

iQ weight control opens recycled material the door to a wide application range  (Company news)

At K 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany, between October 16th and 23rd, for the first time anywhere in the world, ENGEL is exhibiting its iQ weight control intelligent assistance system for injection moulding processes with a recycled material application, making the great potential inject 4.0 offers for the circular economy a reality.

Photo: By processing fully recycled ABS, ENGEL will be clearly demonstrating iQ weight control’s great potential for the circular economy.

iQ weight control individually adjusts the quality-related process parameters for each shot during injection to suit the prevailing conditions. Since 2014, the system has been used to great effect to process virgin material. However, recycled material naturally yields greater batch variations than virgin material. The software’s ability to also operate reliably under these circumstances was thoroughly put to the test by ENGEL and recycling specialist Erema. Using different recycling technologies, heavily soiled geotextiles made of polypropylene were salvaged, pelletised and put through an injection moulding process while using iQ weight control. “The tests confirmed that iQ weight control maintains a constant melt volume throughout the production process, even when processing recycled material,” Paul Kapeller, product manager for digital solutions at ENGEL AUSTRIA, says. “By offering this solution, we’re opening the door to a significantly wider range of applications for recycled material, making an important contribution to the circular economy.”

Compensate material fluctuations reliably
At K, ENGEL will be clearly demonstrating iQ weight control’s great potential to close the loop for recyclables by processing fully recycled ABS on an ENGEL victory 120 injection moulding machine. To simulate realistic conditions, it will use recycled material from two different companies, MGG Polymers and Bage-Plastics. “Many processors have multiple suppliers for their recycled material,” Kapeller explains. “As a result, the raw materials’ flow characteristics can vary so dramatically that the part no longer gets completely filled after a material change. iQ weight control steps in at the first shot, adapting the parameters to the new circumstances so that good parts are consistently produced regardless of the recycled material supplier.”

The state of the art in smart production
The victory 120 injection moulding machine represents the state of the art in smart production. Alongside iQ weight control, all other iQ products from ENGEL’s inject 4.0 program are installed. Permanent adaptation of quality-relevant process parameters based on real-time data is an essential feature of the smart factory.

ENGEL at K 2019: hall 15, stand C58
(Engel Austria GmbH)

Exports lead the way as European aluminium foil production levels remain flat

Exports lead the way as European aluminium foil production levels remain flat   (Company news)

At the half way mark in 2019 European aluminium foil production is showing a modest increase of close to 1% compared to 2018. While European demand remains soft, exports to markets outside the area are powering ahead. So far this year overseas sales have increased by 34.6%, more than double the figure seen in the whole of 2018, according to figures released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).

Year to date total deliveries of thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils, declined by 1%. Thicker gauges, typically utilized for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, were ahead by 4.2%, maintaining the positive trend for this category. However overall domestic demand decreased by 4.1% compared to the same period last year.

Shipments in the three months April to June 2019 totalled 245,300 tonnes, advancing 2.9% on Q2 production in 2018. Thinner gauges reversed recent declines with an increase of 2.4%, while thicker gauge products added 3.9%. A positive export performance saw deliveries increase by 58% in the quarter.

Bruno Rea, President of EAFA believes the outlook remains hard to predict. “The fact that production levels are ahead of 2018 is encouraging. But export markets are notoriously volatile, particularly in current circumstances, when continuing trade disputes are weighing on international trade,” he said.

“We would like to see European demand improve as it has been in decline during 2019. This could be due to a number of factors, such as de-stocking or cautious ordering patterns because of the uncertainties in the marketplace. There is a dramatic increase of foil inflow from China, severely impacting domestic production levels - the impact on the European supply and demand balance by imports from outside Europe is continuing to hurt the European Foil Roller industry. The fundamentals for our European customers remain positive in our opinion and we do see the likelihood of an improvement in orders in the next six months,” according to Rea.

“Meanwhile we are happy that the quality of our foil means it is in strong demand from our overseas customers,” he added.
(EAFA - European Aluminium Foil Association e.V.)

SCHÄFER Container Systems at BrauBeviale 2019

SCHÄFER Container Systems at BrauBeviale 2019  (Company news)

KEGs, beer tasting and competitions

This year, too, SCHÄFER Container Systems will be attending the BrauBeviale in Nuremberg. From the 12th to 14th November, the manufacturer and supplier of reusable container systems (KEGs) and stainless steel IBCs will be presenting its full range of products and services at its 182 m2 exhibition stand (no. 107 in hall 4). As a highlight, visitors will have the chance to win KEGs in their national colours in the SCHÄFER prize draw.

One of SCHÄFER’s classic exhibits is the ECO KEG, consisting of a stainless steel liner with robust top and bottom rings of polypropylene (PP). Its low weight makes this KEG a popular choice for beer, wine, soft drinks and water. The iF award-winning design is sounded off by a variety of branding possibilities. An equally popular exhibit is the PLUS KEG, whose stainless steel liner is bonded to a robust PU foam coating in an elaborate procedure. This has the benefit of significantly reducing the KEG’s noise level, as well as providing a shock absorber effect.

This year, the company will once again be offering both customers and exhibition visitors a special attraction: by handing in their competition ticket, they have the chance to win a KEG decorated in their own national colours. The ticket is being sent by post along with the trade fair invitation prior to the event and can be handed in at the SCHÄFER stand. Tickets can also be obtained at the stand itself and the draw for the prizes will take place on the final day of the fair.

“As an innovator and manufacturer, the trade fair slogan of securing the future viability of the beverages industry is something we can wholeheartedly support. For 40 years, we have been dealing with the most sustainable type of beverage packaging there is, improving and developing it constantly and offering our customers countless KEG-related benefits. The fact that our low-resource reusable KEGs are fully in line with the increasing attention that’s being paid to environmental protection is reflected in the very positive atmosphere at our stand. And as always, we’ll be supported by beer sommelier world champion Karl Schiffner, who’ll this time be presenting beer specialities from America, so there’ll be no shortage of flavours to enjoy”, says Guido Klinkhammer, Business Unit Sales Director at SCHÄFER Container Systems.
(SCHÄFER Werke GmbH)

Radioactive-free vodka produced from crops in Chernobyl

Radioactive-free vodka produced from crops in Chernobyl   (Company news)

Scientists now want to produce the artisan vodka and give 75 per cent of profits back to the affected community

A radioactive-free vodka produced from crops in Chernobyl’s abandoned zone has been brewed by a team of scientists.

Photo: The artisanal vodka is one of the results of a project led by Professor Smith, a leading expert on Chernobyl.

Professor Jim Smith, at the University of Portsmouth, described the artisan vodka – branded ATOMIK – as possibly the most important bottle of spirits in the world.

He and colleagues in Ukraine, where vodka is traditionally brewed, hope it will help the region recover economically.

In a report, Professor Smith and colleagues in the UK and Ukraine present the results of a three-year research project into the transfer of radioactivity to crops grown in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Professor Smith now wants to produce the artisan vodka made from grain grown near Chernobyl, and give 75 per cent of the profits back to the affected community.

He said: “I think this is the most important bottle of spirits in the world because it could help the economic recovery of communities living in and around the abandoned areas.

“Many thousands of people are still living in the Zone of Obligatory Resettlement where new investment and use of agricultural land is still forbidden.”

The team found some radioactivity in the grain: strontium-90 is slightly above the cautious Ukrainian limit of 20 Bq/kg. But, because distilling reduces any impurities in the original grain, the only radioactivity the researchers could detect in the alcohol is natural Carbon-14 at the same level you would expect in any spirit drink.

They have diluted the distilled alcohol with mineral water from the deep aquifer in Chernobyl town, 10km south of the reactor, which has similar chemistry to groundwater in the Champagne region of France - and is also free from contamination.

They are setting up a social enterprise “The Chernobyl Spirit Company” to begin to produce and sell “ATOMIK”, a high quality home-made vodka or “moonshine”.

We don’t think the main Exclusion Zone should be extensively used for agriculture as it is now a wildlife reserve,” said Professor Smith. “But there are other areas where people live, but agriculture is still banned.”

“33 years on, many abandoned areas could now be used to grow crops safely without the need for distillation.

“We aim to make a high-value product to support economic development of areas outside the main Exclusion Zone where radiation isn’t now a significant health risk.”

The report has been positively received by the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management.

Mr Oleg Nasvit, First Deputy Head, said: “We welcome this initiative to use abandoned lands to help local communities. It is important that we do everything we can to support the restoration of normal life in these areas whilst always putting safety first.”

Mr Nasvit added: “I’d call this a high quality moonshine - it isn’t typical of a more highly purified vodka, but has the flavour of the grain from our original Ukrainian distillation methods – I like it.”

There are some legal issues to be completed first, but The Chernobyl Spirit Company is hoping to begin small scale experimental production of “ATOMIK” grain spirit sometime this year.

Analytical tests of the water and distillate alcohol were conducted by the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute, the University of Southampton GAU-Radioanalytical, the University of Portsmouth Geological and Environmental Laboratories and an independent wine and spirits testing laboratory.

The artisanal vodka is one of the results of a project led by Professor Smith, a leading expert on Chernobyl, which was given funding to find out when and if it is safe to start using some of the abandoned land for growing crops.

He was awarded £100,000 by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to work with the Ukraine government and other partners including the Ukrainian State Agency for Exclusion Zone Management, the Chernobyl ECOCENTRE, the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute, the Ukrainian Institute for Agricultural Radiology and the Institute of Geological Sciences of Ukraine. UK partners are the University of Salford and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

The 4,200 square kilometre human exclusion zone around Chernobyl was put in place due to chronic radiation fall-out following the accident in 1986.

Radiation was detected across Europe. About 300,000 residents were permanently evacuated from their homes after the accident.
(University of Portsmouth)

Smithers Pira forecasts global rigid plastic packaging market to reach $222.4 billion by 2024

Smithers Pira forecasts global rigid plastic packaging market to reach $222.4 billion by 2024  (Company news)

The rigid plastic packing industry is reacting to new challenges around competition with innovative flexible packaging designs, and the exploration of new markets in transition economies.

Smithers Pira’s latest market report, ‘The Future of Rigid Plastic Packaging to 2024’ forecasts rigid plastic packaging sales to grow from a projected $181.1 billion in 2019 at an annual rate of 4.2% during 2019–24 to reach $222.4 billion in 2024. Economic, demographic and lifestyle trends are key drivers of rigid plastic packaging market growth.

With shifts in end-use demands increasing at a fast rate across the five years to 2024, ‘The Future of Rigid Plastic Packaging to 2024’ identifies the following key drivers and trends for the rigid plastic packaging industry today:

Lifestyle and social influences – Are driving consumer demand for convenience products packed in rigid plastic packaging.

Cost and availability of materials – The cost and availability of standard thermoplastics has a major impact on the profit margins of rigid plastic packaging processors.

Rigid plastics replace traditional packaging materials - Rigid plastic packaging will continue to benefit from the drive to replace materials like glass and metal with lightweight, cost-effective, and high-performance plastic materials in various markets.

Rigid plastic packaging challenged by flexibles - Flexible packaging has gradually taken market share from rigid pack formats in many different end-use applications.

Sustainable packaging - Brand owners and retailers are responding to consumer demand for more sustainable packaging in order to reduce the environmental impact of packaging.

Consumer concern about food waste and food safety – The packaging industry has introduced various active and intelligent packaging technologies in response to this concern.

Regulatory developments for packaging and packaging waste - The European Union has introduced regulations in relation to food contact, recycling of packaging waste and greater use of recycled plastics in product packaging.

Smithers Pira’s latest report, ‘The Future of Rigid Plastic Packaging to 2024’ provides analysis of rigid plastic packaging market trends for the period 2014–19 and presents consumption forecasts for 2019–24 by material, end-use sector, packaging product, and production process. It also presents consumption and market value forecasts for geographic markets, including a detailed analysis for 13 major countries.
(Smithers Pira)

Symrise researches optimal vanilla cultivation methods in Madagascar

Symrise researches optimal vanilla cultivation methods in Madagascar  (Company news)

• The project aims to ensure higher yields and the best possible quality
• The goal is to increase the income and improve the living conditions of farmers

Symrise generates insights on the best cultivation conditions for vanilla in specifically designed fields in northern Madagascar. The results shall help increase yields and ensure consistent premium quality. As an integral part of Symrise’s work and partnership approach, Symrise will share the expertise gained from the tests with local partner farmers. This shall improve their income and living situation.

Photo: Vanilla plant

For many years, Symrise has worked directly with vanilla farmers in northeastern Madagascar. The aim is to safely source natural high-quality vanilla, providing full traceability of the vanilla beans and their related flavors. Symrise currently works with around 7,000 smallholder farmers in 90 villages. “Thanks to our close cooperation with farmers and our permanent presence, we understand the working and living conditions of local farmers in detail,” says Alain Bourdon, Country Director at Symrise Symrise Madagascar. “We want to sustainably improve their living conditions and consider this an integral part of our approach to supporting farmers and their families. We want them to become more resilient and have already achieved encouraging results with the work we have been doing in the field. Now we have started another chapter, which aims to better understand the vanilla plants our partner farmers work with and the conditions under which the precious plant grows best.” Symrise’s year-round presence on the island and the close collaboration between company experts and local communities is a key success factor in this.

The results of the project will allow Symrise to understand how the yield and quality of vanilla can be further improved. Also, the company wants to deduce how farmers can efficiently apply this knowledge to their vanilla cultivation and thereby improve their standard of living. “We believe in a sustainable value chain from start to finish. That starts with supporting the farmers we work with and their families such that they are able to thrive and produce the best beans. Beans that go through the best processing methods, for the best extracts for the best brands,” says Yannick Leen, Global Taste Competence Director Vanilla at Symrise.

The vanilla fields lie close to the Symrise factory in Benavony. As part of the project, researchers combine different growth environments for vanilla. These cover a wide range of different agroforestry systems. Others incorporate a shady greenhouse area with meticulously controlled parameters like temperature, light and humidity.

What does vanilla need?
At the beginning of the research project in 2018, Symrise first focused on the conditions that allow vanilla seedlings to grow healthily. The employees then looked for the best possible conditions in the soil structure with regard to nutrients, permeability and ventilation, for example.

At the end of last year, the plants completed their first stage of growth, which allowed Symrise to begin their phenotyping – that is, the quantitative analysis and measurement of their appearance. In the next step, they reported the ideal conditions for the growth of the flowers, such as the amount of water applied, temperature regulation and the trimming of plants to stimulate their flowering. For the project, Symrise put together a team of permanent experts to supervise the entire process: agricultural researchers with experience in agroforestry, and who focus on the rainforest, assisted and are assisting with their expertise.

Sharing this knowledge with the local small-scale farmers will lead to the increased yield of vanilla, which is coveted all over the world, will also make an important contribution toward sustaining their livelihood. This takes place in conjunction with the sustainability objectives of the United Nations. Of these, Symrise places particular importance on number 17 – “Partnerships to achieve goals.” The vanilla cultivation project is a good example of this.

Symrise is one of the most important suppliers of vanilla worldwide. The company has been active in Madagascar, where 80 percent of the world’s vanilla is grown, since 2005. “Our vanilla activities there are the best proof that commercial success and sustainability go hand in hand,” says Heinrich Schaper, President of the Flavor division at Symrise.
(Symrise AG)

BIOFACH AMERICA – ALL THINGS ORGANIC: Best prospects for trade fair and market

BIOFACH AMERICA – ALL THINGS ORGANIC: Best prospects for trade fair and market  (Company news)

-US market: Organic revenues at record levels
-International product show with varied supporting programme

The international organic sector will gather at the Baltimore Convention and Exhibition Center from 12 to 14 September 2019 for BIOFACH AMERICA – ALL THINGS ORGANIC. Held in parallel with Natural Products Expo East on the east coast of the US, the show offers businesses from all around the world the opportunity to present both raw materials and new developments in the food and non-food areas. About 1,600 exhibitors, including about 200 organics companies, and about 30,000 visitors are expected. Once again, the public can look forward to an event with a highly international flavour: Bosnia and Herzegovina will be there with its own pavilion for the first time. Argentina will also have its own national pavilion, and the German pavilion, sponsored by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), will be larger this year.

Developments on the US organic market have been gratifying for a number of years, and new record values are even more pleasing. According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the US organic market passed the $50 billion mark for the first time in 2018, with record revenue of $52.5 billion. This represents an increase of 6.3 per cent compared to the previous year. Revenue from organic foodstuffs grew by 5.9 percent to reach $47.9 billion. The rate of growth for organics is still very high compared to general market conditions: in 2018, total foodstuffs revenue in the US increased by 2.3 percent. “Organics is big in the US right now, and this positive market development is also evident at BIOFACH AMERICA – ALL THINGS ORGANIC,” comments Markus Reetz, Executive Director International Exhibitions at NürnbergMesse. “Organics companies can benefit from this upturn, and there are still good opportunities for them to gain a foothold in the US organic market. We are happy to prepare the way and provide access to this market with our sector gathering, and we are looking forward with pleasure to the 17th event in the BIOFACH AMERICA series.”

Larger German pavilion and half-booth area
Once again in 2019, BIOFACH AMERICA – ALL THINGS ORGANIC will be celebrating its variety and making attractive offers to encourage a broad range of exhibitors. The German Pavilion, sponsored by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), will put in a second appearance this year accordingly. A total of ten German exhibitors will take advantage of the larger exhibition area to highlight their innovative products and businesses. The ‘half-booth area’ will also offer some inspiring inputs, giving new international exhibitors in particular an opportunity to participate in the trade fair and enjoy plenty of attention at a reasonable cost.

Platform for trading and networking with a varied supporting programme
A further highlight is the three-day Education Conference, where visitors can look forward to many presentations on the latest trends and themes, including CBD and hemp products, packaging and online trading. The keynote by international best-selling author Shawn Achor on the Friday of the trade fair will be a big drawcard. A Harvard graduate, he is known for his advocacy of positive psychology and the connection between happiness and success. The presentation on “The Future of Organic: Relevance & Scalability” should also be on everyone’s watch list. This expert session will discuss the future opportunities and challenges presented by a rapidly developing organic market. It will also offer fascinating insights into the latest food trends and the way they are marketed, as well as industry knowledge on the latest technologies, innovations and fields of research that are shaping the future of the organic sector.

The combined trade fair event not only provides a platform for the organic community while the event itself is being held, but also scores thanks to networking events that encourage communication both before and after the fair. The popular Harvest Festival, for example, provides a nicely coordinated lead-in to the large international sector gathering on the US East Coast the following day.

NürnbergMesse has proven expertise in the field of organic foodstuffs. In February every year, the international organic sector gathers in Nuremberg at BIOFACH, the world’s leading fair for organic food products. The comprehensive range of certified organic products on display shows their diversity – from fresh products like dairy and cheese, fruit, vegetables, dry products like grains and pulses, nuts and confectionery to beverages. The international patron of BIOFACH is IFOAM – Organics International, while the national honorary sponsor is the German Federation of Organic Food Producers (BÖLW). An integral part of this world-leading fair is the BIOFACH Congress, a knowledge-sharing platform that is unique worldwide. With another six BIOFACH events in China, India, Japan, South America, Thailand and, the USA, BIOFACH World has a global presence and year for year brings together more than 4,000 exhibitors and 150,000 trade visitors.

The next BIOFACH events:
BIOFACH, Nuremberg: 12-15 February 2020
BIOFACH AMERICA, Baltimore: 12-14 September 2019
BIOFACH INDIA, Delhi-NCR: 7-9 November 2019
BIOFACH JAPAN, Chiba (Tokio) 10-13 March 2020
BIOFACH CHINA, Shanghai: 13-15 May 2020
BIOFACH AMERICA LATINA, São Paulo: 17-20 June 2020
BIOFACH SOUTH EAST ASIA, Bangkok: 9-12 July 2020
(NürnbergMesse GmbH)


USA: Pernod Ricard to acquire alcohol manufacturer Castle Brands  (

Pernod Ricard has entered into an agreement to acquire alcohol manufacturer and marketer Castle Brands for approximately $223 million, reported on August 29.

As part of the deal, Pernod will add brands such as Jefferson’s Bourbon, Brady’s Irish Cream and Clontarf Irish Whiskey to its portfolio.

In its full-year results published in June, Castle Brands saw its net sales reach $95.8 million as it was boosted by the “continued growth” of Jefferson’s.

Alexandre Ricard, Pernod Ricard CEO, said: “Through this acquisition, we welcome this great brand portfolio, in particular, Jefferson’s Bourbon whiskey, to the Pernod Ricard family. Bourbon is a key category in the US, which is our single most important market.

“This deal aligns well with our consumer-centric strategy to offer our consumers the broadest line-up of high-quality, premium brands. As with our American whiskies Smooth Ambler, Rabbit Hole and TX, we would provide Jefferson’s a strong route to market and secure its long-term development, while remaining true to its authentic and innovative character.”

Castle Brands CEO Richard J. Lampen added: “We are very pleased to reach an agreement with Pernod Ricard, which is the result of months of planning and deliberation by our board of directors.

“We are confident that this transaction, upon closing, will deliver immediate and substantial cash value to our shareholders.”

Earlier this month, Pernod Ricard secured a deal to acquire Texas-based Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co, which produces the TX brand of whiskey and bourbon.

The company said that with the deal – which follows its acquisition of a majority stake in Kentucky-based Rabbit Hole Whiskey earlier in the year – it is expanding its portfolio to include brands with “unique and comprehensive value propositions”.

Aptar Partners with Nippon Closures to Provide Innovative Tethered Beverage Closure Solutions

Aptar Partners with Nippon Closures to Provide Innovative Tethered Beverage Closure Solutions  (Company news)

AptarGroup, Inc. (NYSE: ATR), a global leader in dispensing, drug delivery and active packaging solutions, and Nippon Closures Co., Ltd. (NCC), a leading company in Japan for bottle closures, announced that they have entered into an exclusive partnership to cross-license technology for tethered beverage closures. This is the first cross-license, registered intellectual property exchange between NCC and Aptar. The companies intend to expand this exchange into other areas as well.

Photo: Photo: Marc Prieur, President of Aptar Food + Beverage and Hisashi Nakajima, President Nippon Closures Co., Ltd.

Together, Aptar and NCC are working to continuously improve the consumer drinking experience, while also creating solutions for beverage closures that are better for the environment.

Flip Lid by Aptar is a consumer friendly dispensing closure designed to promote post use recycling as the closure remains united with the bottle throughout its lifecycle, making it more likely to be collected and sent through the recycling stream with the container.

NCC’s innovative StrapBand solution is also a tethered solution available for today’s flat caps which provides a hinge functionality with a wide opening angle and a click sound when tethered. The StrapBand solution can be applied to flat caps and sports caps, for both still and carbonated beverages.

“We are pleased to partner with NCC on the cross-licensing of registered intellectual property for tethered beverage closures as we look to grow our portfolio of dispensing closures that are more convenient for consumers and more sustainable for the environment. Aptar and NCC are committed to keeping beverage caps attached to the bottle to promote better recyclability and we look forward to working together to bring even more innovative solutions to market,” said Marc Prieur, President, Aptar Food + Beverage.

“We are delighted to start our partnership with Aptar with a cross-license agreement between our tethered beverage closures (Flip Lid and StrapBand) which provide the value of being environmentally friendly and convenient to use. We believe that, in the future, our cooperation will allow us to further develop innovative technologies beyond tethered beverage closures to help solve social environmental problems with more eco-friendly, easy to use and resource-energy saving products,” explained Hisashi Nakajima, President, Nippon Closures Co., Ltd.

Flip Lid and StrapBand meet the requirements of the single-use plastics (SUP) regulation in Europe, that introduced design requirements to connect caps to bottles, thereby increasing the number of closures which are collected and recycled, and the AB 319 California proposal in the US, which intended that plastic closures remain attached to containers. Aptar and NCC remain committed to reducing their impact on the planet while creating top quality, sustainable products.
(AptarGroup Inc.)


USA: AB InBev passes on option to acquire full control of Craft Brew Alliance  (

Anheuser-Busch InBev has passed on its longstanding option to acquire full control of US craft beer partner Craft Brew Alliance.

The global brewer confirmed on August 23 it will not make an offer to buy the shares it does not already own in CBA. An option for AB InBev to buy the shares runs out on August 23, with the group agreeing instead to make a one-off US$20m payment to the craft collective.

AB InBev owns a 31.3% stake in CBA, a craft beer group comprising breweries including Kona Brewing, Redhook Ale Brewery and Widmer Brothers Brewery. In October last year, the group acquired Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers and Wynwood Brewing Co. AB InBev's option to buy CBA formed part of a 2016 agreement strengthening the relationship between the two companies.

Mika Michaelis, president of AB InBev's US craft beer unit, the Brewers Collective, said: "The long-standing and strong partnership we have with CBA is extremely valuable to Anheuser-Busch. While we are not making an offer to purchase the remaining shares of CBA, our existing commercial partnership with CBA continues to be a key complement to our industry-leading craft portfolio and we look forward to working together for many years to come."

In a subsequent statement, CBA's CEO, Andy Thomas, added: "While disappointing, with this decision made, management can turn its attention to refining strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value. Over the past several years, we have built a sustainable infrastructure, optimised our footprint, and amassed a diversified portfolio of brands to support future profitable growth anchored by robust growth in the Kona brand and the addition of our three newly-acquired brands.

"Looking to the future, we are optimistic that our healthy balance sheet, bolstered by the $20m payment, and strategic investments in innovation and increased brand awareness will enable us to deliver long-term shareholder value."

Earlier this year, a shareholder in CBA called for the US brewer to seek a sale to AB InBev because it would be difficult to find a buyer that would offer more money. Midwood Capital Management, which said it is the eighth-largest stakeholder in CBA with a 2% holding, cautioned that if a sale to AB InBev did not happen then CBA should "immediately announce a strategic alternatives process with a plan to sell the company".

Commenting on the option pass, Cowen & Co beverage analyst Vivien Azer said that gaining approval for a CBA purchase was perhaps a "more onerous endeavor than A-B InBev cares to undertake". Azer highlighted the Budweiser brewer's "multiple headwinds", including the debt from its SABMiller purchase, challenges for in the US for Bud Light and Budweiser and the recently shelved IPO for its Asia-Pacific business.

Speaking after meeting with CBA management, Azer said potential uses for the $20 mln payment from AB InBev include debt paydown, incremental investment spend behind Kona or "new innovation beyond beer". The analyst said that alongside CBA's new 2%-abv Pacer and 4%-abv Omission seltzers, the brewer will launch a Kona hard seltzer on draught in Hawaii.


Ghana: Guinness Ghana launches new Guinness Smooth beer  (

Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC (GGBPLC) has launched its latest stout - Guinness Smooth - made from 70 per cent natural ingredients from Ghana, reported on August 14.

Brewed with fruity, butterscotch flavour to provide a distinctive and perfect bittersweet taste of smoothness and refreshment, the latest addition was crafted with the Ghanaian consumer in mind, and is a new expression of Guinness, developed by the Guinness master brewers.

Speaking during an exclusive revel, Samuel Dery, Marketing Manager for Stouts, Adult Premium Non-Alcoholic Drinks (APNADs) and Ready-to-Drink (RTD), Guinness Ghana, noted that, the local brewing team in Ghana worked closely with the international brewers in Dublin, the home of Guinness, to deliver an exciting and stand out beer that has refreshment of a lager but bold character of Guinness for casual social occasions.

“This is an important addition to our beverage portfolio. At Guinness Ghana, innovation is critical to our business, we wanted to create a unique beer with Ghanaian consumers in mind. This demonstrates our Commitment to innovation and bring to the Ghanaian consumer a flavourful beer which they can always enjoy.”

“It has been a really exciting project and the team who have worked together on the product are so passionate about bringing it to the market. We really believe this is the perfect beer that stands out from the rest for Ghanaians to enjoy,” he added.

Guinness Smooth is currently available in the Greater Accra Region in 33cl bottles at GHS3.50 only.

There are plans to expand its availability to other parts of Ghana later in the year. It can be bought at any mainstream bar, wholesale and retail outlets.


Latvia: Craft beer accounts for 26.4% of total beer production in H1 2019  (

Latvia’s small craft brewers produced 11 mln litres of beer in the first half of this year, or 26.4% of the nation’s total beer output over the reporting period, reported on August 22 citing data by the State Revenue Service.

As of the end of June, 55 companies had the status of ‘small brewery’ in Latvia.

The nation’s total beer production in January – June amounted to 41.73 mln litres, which is 4.1% more than over H1 2018.

A recent poll by retail chain Maxima showed 94% of Latvians preferred domestic beers.


Australia: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission assessing Asahi's purchase of ...  (

... Carlton & United Breweries

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is assessing Asahi’s proposed purchase (A$16 billion) of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) which, if the deal closes, would affect more than half of Australia’s beer market, the Trailer Magazine reported on August 26.

The proposed acquisition was announced 19 July 2019 and involves Asahi acquiring CUB by way of a share acquisition.

The ACCC said in a request for submissions dated 23 August 2019 that its investigation is focused on the impact on competition, specifically: whether Asahi and CUB compete closely for the supply of beer, cider and spirits products; the likely impact on prices; and the extent to which large customers, such as supermarket chains, hotel groups or distributors, could sponsor entry or expansion by a rival supplier if the proposed acquisition were to result in a price increase.

Submissions are open until 6 September 2019. The provisional date for the announcement of the ACCC’s findings is expected to be 31 October 2019.

The ACCC is testing section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 which prohibits acquisitions that are likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

The Australian Financial Review claims that a combined Asahi-CUB would likely comprise more than 50 per cent of Australia’s beer market which could make divestment for some of the smaller brands a possibility.

Asahi manufactures and sells alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and food products in Japan and internationally. In Australia, Asahi manufactures and supplies a range of international and domestic beer brands, ciders and spirits.

CUB is owned by the Belgium-headquartered, multinational brewing company AB InBev. CUB, based in Victoria, is an Australian brewing company which produces beer, cider and spirit products.

CUB operates six breweries in Yatala (Queensland), Abbotsford (Victoria), Hobart (Tasmania), Brookvale (New South Wales) and Port Adelaide and Hindmarsh (South Australia).

In other news, Linfox’s BevChain partnered with CUB to provide warehousing and metropolitan transport in Brisbane.


Portugal: Supermarket chain Mercadona adds two new blonde beer brands to its assortment  (

Spanish supermarket chain Mercadona has added two new blonde beer brands to its drinks assortment in Portugal, ESM reported on August 27.

It includes A Minha (Mine), a lager beer with intense flavour, and A Tua (Yours), a mild blonde beer with a more subtle and a bitter taste.

Both beers are 100% natural and do not contain any additives such as dyes or preservatives.

The new products were developed specifically for Portuguese consumers by Mercadona's co-innovation centre in Matosinhos.

The retailer analysed the tastes and consumption habits of Portuguese consumers for three years before developing the new beverages.

The two beers are being produced by Mercadona’s cider supplier, Totaler Font Salem.

Mercadona opened its first four supermarkets in Portugal in July, with an assortment that caters to the tastes of Portuguese consumers.

Last database update: 14.10.2019 17:29 © 2004-2019, Birkner GmbH & Co. KG