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Interim Group Report: January - June 2020 - Symrise achieves highly profitable growth in a ....

Interim Group Report: January - June 2020 - Symrise achieves highly profitable growth in a ....  (Company news)

... challenging market environment

• Year-on-year sales increase of 7.6 % during global coronavirus pandemic
• Organic sales growth of 3.4 % in the first six months and 4.6 % in the second quarter
• EBITDA margin improved to an outstanding 21.6 %
• 2020 outlook for the EBITDA margin raised to a range of 21 to 22 %
• Sales goal for 2020 and medium-term goals for 2025 confirmed

Symrise very successfully continued its profitable growth course in the first half of 2020 also during the global coronavirus pandemic. The Group increased its sales by 7.6 % to € 1,821 million in an economically challenging market environment. In organic terms – i.e. excluding the portfolio effect of the ADF/IDF acquisition and exchange rate effects – sales were up by 3.4 %. All segments contributed to this positive development. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 11.9 % to € 393 million as compared to the previous year’s level normalized for acquisition and integration costs for ADF/IDF (H1 2019: € 351 million). Profitability developed particularly well: The EBITDA margin rose to 21.6 % and lies thus significantly higher than the profitability target for 2020. The net income for the reporting period increased to € 169 million. Against the backdrop of the strong business performance and profitability trend in the first half of the year, Symrise is raising its full-year EBITDA margin guidance from 20 % to a range of 21 to 22 %.

"In the second quarter the coronavirus pandemic began to significantly impact the global economy and above all many people's everyday lives. Even in this historically exceptional situation, Symrise has done an excellent job of staying on course. Thanks to our global presence, diversified portfolio and broad customer base, our feet rest very firmly on the ground. We remained fully operational in the second quarter and were able to supply our customers in the usual reliable manner," said Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram (photo), CEO of Symrise AG. "Of course, it is hard to predict the course of the coronavirus pandemic. However, after our performance in the first half of the year, we are looking ahead to the second half with confidence. For the full fiscal year 2020 we again want to grow faster than the market and expect that we will achieve increased profitability overall. We are therefore raising our guidance for the EBITDA margin to a range of 21 to 22 %."

With coronavirus pandemic ongoing, continued growth in all segments
The Symrise Group achieved sales growth of 7.6 % in the first half of 2020 to € 1,821 million (H1 2019: € 1,692 million). The acquisition of ADF/IDF had a positive impact of € 106 million on sales performance. In organic terms, sales increased by 3.4 %. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, changes in consumer behavior were seen for the first time in the Scent & Care and Flavor segments in the second quarter. This resulted in both positive and negative effects on demand in individual business units. With its broad range of product solutions for foods, personal care and hygiene, Symrise serves the needs of everyday life, especially in these difficult times.

The Scent & Care segment
Scent & Care achieved solid organic growth of 2.6 % in the first half of 2020. Taking currency translation effects into account, sales in the first six months in the reporting currency amounted to € 711 million and were therefore almost unchanged as compared to the same period of the previous year (H1 2019: € 712 million).

Strong demand in the Fragrance division drove sales in the Consumer Fragrances and Oral Care business units, which recorded high organic growth in the single and double-digit range respectively. The Fine Fragrances business unit, at the same time noticed the effects of the coronavirus pandemic clearly. The worldwide reduction in travel activity and closed stores due to lockdowns had a negative impact on the demand for luxury items. Overall, the Fragrance division achieved solid organic growth in the single-digit percentage range with increases in all regions.

Sales in the Aroma Molecules division in the first six months of 2020 ranged slightly below the high level of the previous year, mainly due to weaker demand for fragrances. On the other hand, positive momentum came from the Menthols business unit, which achieved organic growth in the double-digit percentage range. The EAME, North and Latin America regions achieved the strongest gains.

Sales in the Cosmetic Ingredients division were affected by weaker demand for sun protection products, attributable mainly to the reduction in travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. The other business units showed good organic growth in the single and double-digit percentage range. Key growth markets were Brazil, China and Korea in the Latin America and Asia/Pacific regions.

The Scent & Care segment improved EBITDA to € 146 million (H1 2019: € 140 million). The EBITDA margin for the period under review increased to 20.6 % (H1 2019: 19.7 %).

The Flavor segment
Flavor achieved organic growth of 0.6 % in the period under review. Taking currency translation effects into account, segment sales in the reporting currency amounted to € 636 million (H1 2019: € 637 million). Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, the trend toward cooking and eating at home led to a strong demand for products from the Savory business unit and product solutions for baked goods and cereals. At the same time, reduced out-of-home eating and drinking led to a lower demand for beverage products and sweets.

In the EAME region, the Flavor segment suffered from significantly reduced demand for beverage products and sweets, while the Savory business unit recorded a high single-digit growth rate. Germany and the Gulf region achieved the strongest gains. Overall, sales in the EAME region remained slightly below the figure for the first half of 2019.

Organic sales in North America were roughly on par with the same period of the previous year. While Savory product solutions enjoyed great demand, beverage products and sweets sold less.

The Asia/Pacific region reported organic growth in the single-digit percentage range, driven primarily by very strong demand for products from the Savory business unit, which showed organic growth in the double-digit percentage range. The largest increases came from the national markets of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.

The Latin America region achieved the strongest growth in the segment in the first half of 2020 and was largely unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic. All business units realized high organic growth in the single or double-digit percentage range. Strong gains were posted especially in the national markets of Brazil, Uruguay and Mexico.

The EBITDA of the Flavor segment was up 2.2 % to € 147 million (H1 2019: € 144 million). The EBITDA margin improved from 22.6 % in the first half of 2019 to a very strong 23.2 %, mainly due to tight control on costs and proportionally lower raw materials costs.

The Nutrition segment
Nutrition achieved strong organic growth of 10.5 %. Accounting for portfolio and currency translation effects, sales in the reporting currency amounted to € 474 million and were 38.1 % above the previous year’s level (H1 2019: € 343 million). ADF/IDF contributed sales of € 106 million.

The Pet Food business unit proved to be the growth driver of the segment, achieving high organic growth in the double-digit percentage range in all regions. Sales developed particularly dynamically in the USA, Mexico, Brazil and Russia.

In the Food business unit, the Asia/Pacific region stood out with double-digit growth, especially in China, India and Taiwan. In the EAME region, sales matched the previous year's level, while North and Latin America dropped slightly below the last year.

Strong impetus came from the Aqua business unit, which achieved good growth especially in the EAME and Asia/Pacific regions.

Probi reported growth in the single-digit percentage range during the reporting period, primarily driven by the North America and Asia/Pacific regions.

The Nutrition segment generated an EBITDA of € 100 million in the reporting period (H1 2019 EBITDA(N): € 67 million). The EBITDA margin in the segment increased by 1.5 percentage points to 21.0 % (EBITDA(N) margin H1 2019: 19.5 %). The improved profitability is mainly due to the good performance of Pet Food and the inclusion of ADF/IDF.

Operating result
Also within the challenging environment dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, Symrise was highly profitable in the first half of 2020. The Group recorded EBITDA of € 393 million. This represents an increase of 11.9 % over the same period a year earlier. This trend relates primarily to profitable sales growth and the inclusion of ADF/IDF. The EBITDA margin improved by 0.8 percentage points to 21.6 % (EBITDA(N) H1 2019: 20.8 %).

Net income for the period and earnings per share
Net income for the reporting period amounted to € 169 million, which was € 16 million above the normalized figure from the previous year of € 153 million. Basic earnings per share increased 10 % to € 1.25 after € 1.14 (normalized) in the first half of the previous year.

Cash flow from operating activities
The cash flow from operating activities for the first half of 2020 of € 219 million was € 78 million higher than the previous year's level of € 141 million. The increase is mainly due to the improved operating result and the inclusion of ADF/IDF.

Financial position
Net debt increased by € 28 million to € 1,645 million compared to the reporting date of 31 December 2019. The ratio of net debt including lease liabilities to EBITDA(N) thus amounted to 2.2. Including pension obligations and lease liabilities, net debt equaled € 2,261 million, which corresponds to a ratio of net debt to EBITDA(N) of 3.0.

Symrise remains confident about the current fiscal year and raises EBITDA margin target
With its global presence, a steadily growing and diversified portfolio and broad customer base, Symrise considers itself to be robust and securely positioned even in the current challenging market environment. The Group is fully operational worldwide and is able to supply customers sustainably.

Even though the effects of the pandemic can only be estimated to a limited extent, the Group remains confident that it will again grow faster than the relevant market over the remainder of the year. The market growth is estimated to be around 3 to 4 %. Symrise considers itself to be well positioned to achieve the sales targets confirmed at the beginning of 2020.

Based on the strong business performance and profitability trend in the first half of the year, the Group is raising its original target of over 20 % for the EBITDA margin. For the 2020 fiscal year, Symrise now expects an EBITDA margin in the range of 21 to 22 %.

The medium-term targets also remain in effect. The company aims to increase its annual sales to € 5.5 to € 6.0 billion by the end of the 2025 fiscal year. Symrise wants to achieve this with an annual organic growth of 5 to 7 % (CAGR) as well as additional targeted acquisitions. In the medium term, profitability should remain within a target corridor of 20 to 23 %.
(Symrise AG)

Packaging machine from KHS and Schubert convinces Rotkäppchen-Mumm on all counts

Packaging machine from KHS and Schubert convinces Rotkäppchen-Mumm on all counts  (Company news)

Picture: At the heart of the line is the KHS pick-and-place packer, here being supplied with fruit secco in mini bottles

The quality must be right: this is of paramount importance to Rotkäppchen-Mumm. Accordingly, the demands made of the diverse range of packaging used by the sparkling wine producer are high. In KHS and Schubert the traditional company has at its side two packaging experts with many years of experience. Rotkäppchen-Mumm is now profiting from increased flexibility and capacity thanks to its new system solution.

Rotkäppchen and Mumm are two brands that all Germans are familiar with. Since 1984 the brand with the red cap that lends it its name has stood for sparkling wine from Freyburg in the Saale-Unstrut wine-growing region. In 2002 the East German sparkling wine producer, by then a national market leader, took over brands Mumm and MM, with the sparkling wine for these made by Matheus Müller in Eltville in Germany’s Rheingau.

However, it is a little-known fact that behind these two traditional names lies a whole host of other brands and products. These include various other sparkling wines such as Jules Mumm or Geldermann, brand spirits Chantré, Mariacron, Nordhäuser or Eckes Edelkirsch and wines like Blanchet – products which are produced, filled and packaged in countless variations at seven facilities in Germany and one in Italy.

Big variety in a small space
The range of different packaging required is thus also sizeable, proving something of a challenge for production. “Up until now we needed a separate packaging machine for each format,” explains Lars Grebe, head of Sparkling Wine at the Rotkäppchen-Mumm Enology Competence Center in Eltville. This is where Mumm, MM Extra and Rotkäppchen fruit secco are filled into 0.75-liter bottles and piccolo containers holding 200 milliliters. “Our production site is in the middle of a residential area bordered on one side by the River Rhine. There’s therefore no room to expand,” states Grebe. “As we only have a very limited space at our disposal, it’s imperative that we make efficient use of it.”

The Innopack TLM: one packaging machine for everything
Rotkäppchen-Mumm was also guided by this principle when it began looking for a specialist who could make its packaging area more powerful and flexible in order to satisfy growing market and marketing requirements. Following a long phase of orientation and planning the contract was awarded to KHS. Thanks to KHS’ cooperation with Schubert, the expert for carton packaging from Crailsheim, Germany, as the sole bidder the Dortmund systems supplier was able to master this mammoth task using just one machine.

The plant engineering installed in September 2018 includes 13 sub-machines and is an impressive 33 meters long. This is anything but small, yet the combined Innopack TLM packaging system scores on performance, quality and adaptability on several counts. “Compared to our previous standard we’ve doubled the line capacity for our gift packs of one and two bottles and can now package up to 33,000 bottles an hour,” reports Grebe, who thus far has run the machine in two-shift operation.

Even so, speed is not everything, as he is keen to emphasize. “While a shipping carton of 24 can get away with the odd tiny flaw, we want 100% quality for our gift packs, so there’s practically no leeway here.” After all, the person receiving the gift should have fun unpacking it, for we all know that beautiful wrapping makes a gift all the more enjoyable.

Prepared for the future
The most important criterion for Grebe and his colleagues, however, was flexibility. Whereas on placement of the order there were nine packaging formats listed in the requirement specifications, during commissioning a few more were added, with the machine now processing eleven different types of cardboard packaging. This is by no means the end of the story, however. “I’m convinced that we’re also well able to meet future demands from the retail trade with our new technology,” Grebe says. “One prospective option could be the packaging of 0.75-liter wine bottles, for instance, and also new format sizes, such as packs of three or five.” Another major aspect of the machine’s flexibility is that it has been designed so that only a few format changeovers are necessary and the tools can be switched over relatively quickly. “We convert the machinery a maximum of four times a week. Depending on whether we’re making a hard change from fruit secco to sparkling wine, where we have to change over several transmodule plates, or just switching the heads on the KHS pick-and-place packer, this only takes 30 to 90 minutes,” Grebe happily remarks.

In order to understand how complex the packaging tasks are at Rotkäppchen-Mumm, let us take a look at the individual steps involved when the machine packs individual bottles into gift packs and then shipping cartons, for example. Here, no fewer than ten of the 13 sub-machines are used. On the first two up to 550 cardboard blanks per minute are extracted from the magazines. Robots grip the individual packs that are arranged in a row, erect them and place them on a transmodule which travels through the machine to the next steps in the process. The flaps are glued before the underside is sealed in the next sub-machine and the gift pack is turned upright and placed on a second transmodule segment in rows of two. At the next station the bottles are picked up by the KHS Innopack PPZ pick-and-place packer and carefully placed in the gift packs which are open at the top. The top side of the cartons is then also sealed; next, these are pre-grouped on one of two further transmodules so that they can be packaged for shipping.

Patented transmodules
The last part of the packaging process prepares the goods for shipping. As with the individual packs blanks are also destacked from the magazines for the secondary packaging, erected, glued and placed on their own transmodule segment. In the penultimate sub-machine the sealed gift packs are lifted into the secondary packaging in groups of four by six products at a rate of up to 23 times a minute. In the final station the top of the shipping carton is also sealed.

The various sub-machines are linked by Schubert’s patented transmodules. Thanks to their inductive energy supply and wireless transfer of data and signals they glide back and forth on their rails along the entire line without interfaces. Maximum availability and the best possible efficiency are ensured by a considerable reduction in the number of mechanical parts.

One can imagine that the planning, installation and commissioning of such a complex machine was a huge challenge for all involved. “The time slot for installation was extremely ambitious,” remembers Max Schwaiger, the man responsible for Packaging Product Support at KHS. “Thanks to our good project management we were able to keep to the deadlines. This wasn’t just a matter of course as the growth in the number of formats during the process resulted in a certain level of complexity.” Owing to the limited space at the final place of installation in Eltville the system had to be completely dismantled and brought into the building horizontally. With the help of 3D simulation calculations were also made with millimeter accuracy as to how much space the machine column on the pick-and-place packer would need during erection of the machinery. In a work of absolute precision the ceiling grid only had to be dismantled and cut out at this point.

Result has Rotkäppchen-Mumm convinced
Lars Grebe is delighted with the cooperation between KHS and Schubert. “They make a really strong team. We’d never have come up with the idea of Schubert and its transmodules on our own as we associate these with totally different branches of industry – from pharmaceuticals to candies. Only in conjunction with KHS’ expertise in the beverage sector and particularly in the handling of bottles have we found the perfect solution.” For Rotkäppchen-Mumm one big success factor was also that there was only one point of contact in KHS’ system of project management.

In the meantime the new technology also has the system operators convinced. “Over the years our colleagues of course build up a kind of emotional bond with their old machines which can be ‘knocked back into shape’ with a hammer if need be. The overall function and look of the new machine are so fascinating and convincing, however, that initial skepticism has long given way to total enthusiasm,” Grebe says.
(KHS GmbH)

SIG extends PAC.ENGAGE online marketing solutions to closures

SIG extends PAC.ENGAGE online marketing solutions to closures   (Company news)

SIG is extending its range of PAC.ENGAGE QR code solutions into closures with the launch of ‘One Cap, One Code’ for effective and unique one-to-one online marketing opportunities. SIG’s unique digital closure solution, launched initially in the combiGo closure for on-the-go packs, now enables food and beverage customers to apply QR codes to the inside of closures, which are only visible to the consumer.

Photo: SIG is extending its range of PAC.ENGAGE QR code solutions into closures with the launch of ‘One Cap, One Code’ for effective and unique one-to-one online marketing opportunities. SIG’s unique digital closure solution now enables food and beverage customers to apply QR codes to the inside of closures, which are only visible to the consumer.

With on-pack QR codes already well established, SIG is now taking its PAC.ENGAGE QR code technology to closures to further bridge the digital communication gap between brand and consumer. Recognized by smartphones in less than three seconds for quick and easy use, SIG’s ‘One Cap, One Code’ solution keeps consumers entertained, informed and rewarded, while also building consumer trust and loyalty.

With more than 40% of the world’s population online and 70% with a smartphone, consumers are more connected than ever. Millennials expect brands to entertain them and the whole buying experience has become much more than just about the product. PAC.ENGAGE from SIG offers a variety of exciting communication options for companies looking to get closer to consumers and build target audiences.

Hanno Bertling, Senior Product Manager Closures at SIG: “Hiding QR codes in closures offers a more personal touch and this new way of communicating with consumers offers unique and fun online marketing opportunities for our customers.”

With a simple smartphone scan, the unique QR code hidden inside the closure can immediately launch dynamic and engaging content, from engaging competitions and questionnaires to loyalty programs and shopping offers. A quick link to the brand’s website and social media channels also generates more traffic flow to increase interaction and boost sales.

Ayed Katrangi, Senior Product Manager Digital Marketing at SIG: “IoT and connected packaging innovations are opening up new and creative ways to track and interact and our PAC.ENGAGE solutions allow every product to act as a data-driven information and media source. Our exceptionally user-friendly coded closures will bring a new personal and emotional experience to consumers, allowing brands to build a close and engaging relationship with their audience.”

SIG’s first customer to use the new PAC.ENGAGE ‘One Cap, One Code’ solution is Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co, one of China’s largest dairy producers. The early adopter will launch ‘Perfect Love’ fruit yoghurt and the QR code in the closure will direct consumers to a WeChat mini-program, full of fun content to keep consumers engaged and entertained. Working closely with SIG to launch the latest online marketing solution, Yili can now attract more offline consumers to buy online and build an enduring membership system. This valuable data capture will help to optimize the company’s long-term brand strategy.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

Resonating with consumers: why health ingredients is top trend for 2020

Resonating with consumers: why health ingredients is top trend for 2020  (Company news)

Behind the scenes, the Fi team has been working hard to actively monitor the COVID-19 situation and as it stands, we do not plan to postpone or cancel the event, which will take place on the original dates of 1-3 December at Messe Frankfurt, Germany.

As the wellbeing of our staff, visitors and exhibitors remains our top priority, we've been working hard to run our event in accordance with all national government and local authority guidance, as well as Informa AllSecure – Informa’s approach to enhanced health and safety standards at our events as a result of COVID19. Learn more about the measurements here.

Until then, the Fi team is working alongside industry experts and external partners to bring you the highest quality digital content - from virtual events and educational webinars to articles and reports – to help our audience connect with potential partners online and stay up to date on the industry’s latest happenings.

Fi Europe co-located with Hi Europe will be the most comprehensive food ingredients trade show covering specialty food ingredients from sensory to functional, as well as processing solutions and services across the whole supply chain. On 1 December 2020, Fi Europe and Hi Europe will open the doors as co-located events in Frankfurt for the first time.
(FI Europe)

Topping-out ceremony at Carlsberg's new Water Recycling Plant in Denmark

Topping-out ceremony at Carlsberg's new Water Recycling Plant in Denmark  (Company news)

The Danish Minister for Higher Education and Science Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen celebrated Carlsberg’s topping-out ceremony at the plant that will make the brewery the first in the world to virtually eliminate water wastage.

Following screening and evaluation by Carlsberg’s Integrated Supply Chain, the Fredericia brewery was selected as a test site for its first “Total Water Recycling Plant”. On Monday morning, Carlsberg celebrated a topping-out ceremony on the location of the water recycling plant.

“Our focus has always been on optimizing resource management and water consumption reduction at the brewery in Fredericia has been an integral part of this drive. The new water recycling technology that we are implementing in the brewery allows us to recycle almost 90% of all process water and thus reduce our water consumption by 50% in Fredericia. Fredericia can, therefore, become an important learning platform for all our breweries, and that makes everyone involved in the project very proud,” says Arjun Bhowmik, VP, Production, Western Europe, Carlsberg Group.

The water recycling plant is intended to reduce the average water consumption at the brewery from the already low current level of 2.9 hl of water/hl of beer to 1.4 hl of water/hl of beer. The new plant is also estimated to reduce the brewery's energy consumption by 10% through its own biogas production and hot water recycling. This will further contribute to the realization of Carlsberg's sustainability program, Together Towards ZERO, which consists of four ambitions: ZERO carbon footprint, ZERO water waste, ZERO irresponsible drinking and a ZERO accidents culture. Each of these is underpinned by individual measurable targets to be achieved by 2022 or 2030.

The state-of-the-art total water recycling plant is a partnership project initiated through the public-private partnership DRIP (the Danish partnership for Resource and water-efficient Industrial food Production). Peter Haahr Nielsen, Managing Director, Carlsberg Denmark, hosted the topping-out ceremony together with several of the partners, involving Danish veterinary, environmental, and food authorities as well as universities and technology suppliers, ensuring that the plant meets the high Danish foods and environmental standards.

In attendance was also Flemming Nør-Pedersen, Director, Danish Agriculture & Food Council, who is one of the partners in DRIP.

“Partnerships will be crucial in realizing the Danish Agriculture & Food Council’s vision of a climate-neutral food industry in 2050, and we can draw inspiration from the DRIP partnership. It is inspiring to see one of the four ambitions of Carlsberg’s sustainability program realized here in Fredericia. Denmark has thus gained strong competences in water technology and process equipment for the food industry, and it is a skill that other countries are interested in acquiring,” says Flemming Nør-Pedersen.

The Minister for Higher Education and Science Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen was originally scheduled to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the building on March 13, but the event was canceled, and the minister was pleased to be present at the topping-out ceremony instead. She said, among other things, that the new plant could help promote access to, and sustainable management of, water and sanitation for everyone, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6.

“Our ambition in the government is clear: We want to make Denmark a green and sustainable pioneer country, and one of the things that means a lot to me is how we make more green research work in society. Here in Fredericia, you have done it. Across business, government, and researchers. With the new plant, you are well on your way to creating the first brewery in the world that eliminates water waste, and I am happy to see how far you have come,” says Minister for Higher Education and Science Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen.
(Carlsberg Danmark A/S)

CANPACK Aluminum Can Production and Center of Excellence to Enter United States

CANPACK Aluminum Can Production and Center of Excellence to Enter United States  (Company news)

The CANPACK Group, a global packaging manufacturer with its headquarters in Krakow, Poland, and GIORGI GLOBAL HOLDINGS, INC., based in Blandon, Pennsylvania, and owner of the CANPACK Group, jointly announce CANPACK’s acquisition of an industrial property in Olyphant, Pennsylvania. CANPACK will construct a state-of-the-art aluminum beverage can body and ends manufacturing plant, its first in the United States, as well as a North American Center of Excellence demonstrating CANPACK’s R&D and lithographic capabilities. This facility, which is estimated to be built and functional by the fourth quarter of 2021, and over time is anticipated to provide over 400 local jobs.

“Since we first invested in CANPACK over 30 years ago, it has grown from a single steel food can manufacturing site in Poland to a true multinational packaging manufacturer with nearly 8,000 employees and 28 manufacturing sites located in Europe, South America, India, the Middle East and Africa. We are extremely excited to bring CANPACK into the United States, the world’s largest aluminum beverage can market. Despite many attractive locations, we chose Pennsylvania not only because it’s my home and home for many of GIORGI GLOBAL HOLDINGS’ other agricultural and food packaging businesses but also because of the warm welcome we have received from Governor Wolf and the Governor’s Action Team, the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Environmental Protection, Senator John Blake, Representative Kyle Mullins, the Lackawanna County Commissioners, the Borough of Olyphant and the Mid-Valley School District” said Peter Giorgi, President and CEO of Giorgi Global Holdings, Inc.

“For generations, the site of this development has been a source of income, employment and pride for thousands of Lackawanna County families. I am thrilled that CANPACK is bringing hundreds of much-needed and good-paying jobs back to our region and, specifically to this expansive industrial site in Olyphant,” said Sen. John Blake. “I applaud the Administration and the Governor’s Action Team for their work to attract CANPACK to our region and for again showing the value of public-private partnerships for our region, our residents and our economy.”

“CANPACK is a great company with a phenomenal growth platform and we are absolutely thrilled to be entering the US market where we will be better able to serve our global customers’ beverage can needs” noted Roberto Villaquiran, CANPACK’s CEO, adding: “Our customers are among the largest beverage producers in the world, and to truly be their partner, we need to be here, in the United States.”

“Sustainability and being a responsible corporate citizen that gives back to the local community are fundamental to CANPACK” remarked Villaquiran, adding: “Investing in the conversion of a brownfield site to a state-of-the-art aluminum can manufacturing facility and operations center which creates local jobs and benefits the community, while creating essential packaging products that can be recycled again and again is consistent with CANPACK’s focus on sustainability, being a responsible corporate citizen, and passionately serving the needs of our customers.”
(Can-Pack S.A.)

SIG Combibloc Group AG: Strong revenue growth sustained throughout first half year

SIG Combibloc Group AG: Strong revenue growth sustained throughout first half year  (Company news)

First half year 2020 highlights
• Core revenue up 8.6% at constant currency; up 7.0% as reported
• Adjusted EBITDA margin 25.1% (H1 2019: 25.6%): underlying increase more than offset by negative currency impact (H1 2020 margin at constant currency: 26.9%)
• Adjusted net income stable at €79.6 million
• Second quarter revenue growth reflects supply chain stock-building which is likely to dampen growth in second half year
• Full year core revenue growth expected to be 4-6% at constant currency (previously 6-8%)
• Full year adjusted EBITDA margin guidance unchanged at 27-28%

Rolf Stangl (photo), CEO of SIG Combibloc, said: "I am proud of SIG's performance during a period of unprecedented challenge for many companies worldwide. The precautions we took at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis have ensured the safety of our employees and have enabled our factories to keep running. The exceptional efforts and dedication of our teams across the organisation have enabled us to continue supporting our customers in delivering essential food and beverages to consumers.
The results for the second quarter are stronger than expected, contributing to a first half performance which clearly demonstrates the benefits of our broad geographic presence. Strong growth in Europe more than compensated for a relatively weak performance in Asia Pacific, where on-the-go consumption has been hit by lockdowns in various countries. While we continue to reap the benefit of new customer wins and filler placements globally, our first half performance also reflects stock-building by customers, retailers and consumers. This is likely to reverse to some extent in the second half and we also expect a reduced year-end rally as customers opt to conserve cash. We are therefore lowering our constant currency core revenue growth forecast for the full year to 4-6%. This is still substantial growth given that APAC, usually our fastest growing region, is geared to on-the-go consumption. Overall, our business continues to perform well and to demonstrate resilience in difficult circumstances. We are maintaining our target for the adjusted EBITDA margin and expect to generate significant free cash flow for the full year."

Revenue by region: Q2 2020
All regions contributed to growth in the first half, with the largest contribution coming from EMEA. Growth in Europe accelerated in the second quarter as customers and retailers re-stocked following the abnormally high consumer demand in March. At-home consumption remained high during COVID-19 lockdowns in April and May; demand began to go back to more normal levels in June as consumers returned to work.
In APAC, sales in China were broadly stable compared with the first half of 2019. Safety stocks built up by customers in the first quarter were partly consumed during the second quarter. In South East Asia, COVID-19 effects lasted longer than in China with lockdowns continuing into May or June. The lockdowns significantly affected on-the-go consumption which accounts for a large part of sales in these countries. In addition, school milk programmes were suspended as schools were closed. Revenue in the APAC region was augmented by the consolidation of Visy Cartons, acquired in November 2019.
While growth in the Americas slowed in the second quarter as COVID-19 effects began to be felt, performance in the first half was robust. Sales to dairy customers in Mexico were strong and in Brazil, despite difficult conditions, the deployment and ramping up of new fillers continued. Reported sales growth was dampened by the depreciation of the Brazilian Real against the Euro.

EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA
Adjusted EBITDA increased to €215.7 million despite a negative impact from the depreciation of key currencies, notably the Brazilian Real, against the Euro. Excluding the currency impact, the adjusted EBITDA margin was 26.9%, reflecting a strong top line contribution and lower raw material costs.
The progression of the adjusted EBITDA margin in EMEA reflects the strong revenue growth and resulting production efficiencies in the second quarter. The margins in APAC and the Americas were impacted by negative currency movements and by a reduction in higher margin businesses due to COVID-19. The margin in APAC was also affected by dilution from the consolidation of Visy Cartons.
EBITDA was €213.9 million compared with €202.0 million in the first half of 2019, reflecting the factors described above.

Net income and adjusted net income
Adjusted net income was broadly unchanged compared with the first half of 2019, despite a higher adjusted effective tax rate of 29% compared with an exceptionally low tax rate in H1 2019.
Reported net income was lower as a result of foreign currency gains shifting to a loss and of the net effect of the early repayment of term loans following re-financing.

A dividend of CHF 0.38 per share was paid out of capital contribution reserves on 16 April 2020, equating to a total distribution of approximately €115 million.

Capital expenditure
Gross capital expenditure was €100 million in the first half of 2020 (H1 2019: €87 million). The increase was mainly due to the ongoing construction of a new plant in China, which remains on track to open early in 2021. Net capital expenditure, after deduction of upfront cash received from customers, was €80 million (9.3% of revenue) compared with €61 million (7.6% of revenue) in H1 2019.

Free cash flow
Net cash from operations increased slightly in the first half. Free cash flow at €28 million was below last year's level owing to an increase in capital expenditure relating to the new plant in China. The larger part of free cash flow is generated in the second half of the year.

Refinancing and leverage
On 19 June 2020 a debt refinancing was completed, replacing two existing term loans, maturing in 2023 and 2025, with a new sustainability-linked term loan and two issues of Notes. A new €300 million revolving credit facility (RCF) was also established. The term loan and RCF are priced at 100 basis points over Euribor, lowering the Group's average cost of debt to 1.7%[1]. The refinancing allowed a move from a secured to an unsecured debt structure and extended the overall maturity profile.
Net leverage stands at 2.9x at the end of June, after payment of a dividend of €115 million in April.

Full year outlook
Revenue growth in the first half of 2020 was exceptionally strong, due in part to stock-building by customers, retailers and consumers. This is likely to affect growth in the second half as stocks are drawn down. Earlier core revenue growth guidance of 6-8% at constant currency was based on the assumption that consumption would revert to more normal levels in the second half of the year. As this no longer appears likely, the growth guidance is lowered to 4-6%. The growth outlook for 2021 and the mid-term remains intact. Guidance of an adjusted EBITDA margin in 2020 at the lower end of the 27-28% range is maintained, subject to no further major deterioration in currencies, and the Company expects to generate substantial free cash flow.
Further lockdowns and other measures to contain COVID-19 remain a source of uncertainty.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

Expanded range of motorized valves

Expanded range of motorized valves   (Company news)

Ingelfingen-based valve specialist GEMÜ is further expanding its product range of motorized globe, angle seat and diaphragm valves.

Photo: New motorized valves: GEMÜ R629 eSyLite and GEMÜ R639, 639, 543 and 533 eSyStep (left to right)

With immediate effect, the GEMÜ R629 eSyLite motorized diaphragm valve is also available in diaphragm sizes MG 10 and MG 40, covering nominal sizes DN 12 to 50. The GEMÜ eSyLite is available alongside the GEMÜ eSyStep and GEMÜ eSyDrive motorized valve range as a basic actuator for open/close applications in the entry-level segment. An optical position indicator and a manual override are installed as standard on the GEMÜ eSyLite, and an integrated emergency power supply module is optionally available. The GEMÜ R629 eSyLite motorized 2/2-way diaphragm valve is a cost-effective alternative to solenoid valves made of plastic or to motorized ball valves made of plastic. Due to the GEMÜ HighFlow body, the valve has good flow characteristics and is insensitive to particulate media. Furthermore, the GEMÜ eSyLite actuator can also be mounted on M-block valves.

The GEMÜ eSyStep universal actuator has also been extended by one size. This means that the GEMÜ 543 and 533 eSyStep globe valves are available in the nominal sizes DN 6 and 15 to 50 with immediate effect. In the future, the nominal size range from DN 4 to 32 will be covered with the GEMÜ 639 and R639 eSyStep diaphragm valves. Valves with the GEMÜ eSyStep actuator are available in open/close or positioner versions. An IO-Link interface allows process data and parameter data to be exchanged easily. This means they are perfect for both open/close applications and simple control applications. Thanks to its slim design, the GEMÜ eSyStep actuator is also perfect for use on M-block valves.

By expanding the range of motorized valves to additional nominal sizes, GEMÜ is further extending its offering of energy-efficient alternatives to compressed air systems.
(GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)

Enhance package recyclability with new UPM Raflatac RW85C wash-off solutions

Enhance package recyclability with new UPM Raflatac RW85C wash-off solutions  (Company news)

When packages come and go, label choice matters. A truly closed loop solution is here with new and improved UPM Raflatac RW85C wash-off label materials for PET containers, now available in the Americas market. Part of the UPM Raflatac SmartCircle™ sustainable product range, products with RW85C adhesive offer best in class wash-off technology.

Because PET plastic packaging is lightweight and economical to manufacture, it is in high demand. Although PET has the highest recycling rate among plastics, less than half is collected for recycling, and the vast majority that is recycled is downcycled because it is not suitable for turning back into bottles or food containers. This can be due to the labels not separating well during the recycling process. As more and more global brands seek recycled content in their packaging materials, label choice has never been more important.

UPM Raflatac’s new wash-off label materials separate even better than before thanks to the improved formulation of the RW85C adhesive. This yields industry-leading clarity and haze levels, which leads to higher value PET flakes suitable for newly formed PET containers. Contamination caused by labels, inks and adhesives is no longer a concern for brands who want to do their part to ensure their products are cleanly recycled.

The SmartCircle RW85C solutions are recognized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), as meeting or exceeding its Critical Guidance testing requirements. Available as clear, white or silver metalized film face materials, these labeling solutions have an added sustainability benefit by being paired with UPM Raflatac’s PCR liner – featuring up to 90 percent post-consumer recycled content.

“At UPM Raflatac we are committed to exploring and innovating for a future beyond fossils. Our company is seeking ever smarter, more circular ways to transform waste into raw materials and increase the recyclability of the products we use every day. We’re proud to offer an even better version of our cutting-edge RW85C solutions in the Americas to help support brands in their sustainability targets for recycled materials in their packaging and in their transition from a linear to circular economy,” says Tyler Matusevich, Sustainability Manager, Americas, UPM Raflatac.
(UPM Raflatac)

Special Press Release: Next Fakuma in October 2021!

Special Press Release: Next Fakuma in October 2021!  (Company news)

In cooperation with the exhibitor advisory board for Fakuma 2020, trade fair promoters P. E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG have decided to postpone the 27th Fakuma international trade fair for plastics processing to 2021. The next industry highlight covering all aspects of plastics processing will take place from the 12th to the 16th of October, 2021.

This year’s Fakuma will be postponed until next year. From the point of view of the trade fair organisers, the 27th Fakuma could have been held in Friedrichshafen from the 13th through the 17th of October, 2020. “Together with all involved parties, we struggled for a long time to amend the general conditions demanded by the corona pandemic in such a way that Fakuma 2020 could have been promoted successfully,” says Bettina Schall, managing director of P. E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG. A hygiene and security concept was developed for safe trade fair promotion to this end. “We fulfilled all of the prerequisites. However, in cooperation with the exhibitor advisory board we’ve now decided to postpone Fakuma 2020 to October, 2021.”

Rational Thinking, Care and a Sense of Responsibility
Bettina Schall emphasises that this decision is based on rational thinking and a sense of responsibility: “As trade fair promoters, we see ourselves as service providers for our exhibitors and expert visitors. Current uncertainties amongst exhibitors and visitors, for example with regard to travel and sending employees to events, are making it necessary to look to the year 2021 with pragmatism and confidence.” The fact that time is now running short also speaks in favour of postponement. Cooperation partners and expert visitors waited for a long time for concrete information, but official regulations and decision-making delays forced them to be patient. The time has now come to focus on the future: “Exhibitors and expert visitors alike should look ahead to building on the success of previous Fakuma trade fairs. This is why we’re now all working together on thorough, detailed planning for the upcoming year,” says Bettina Schall. The mutual decision taken by the exhibitor advisory board and the trade fair promoters to postpone Fakuma 2020 underscores their care and foresight, as well as their consideration for the interests of the exhibitors and expert visitors. The efforts of all involved parties are now being focused on intensive preparations for the upcoming trade fair highlights of the plastics industry with the objective of getting ready for the future.

Fakuma – Approaching the Future with Important Issues
Fakuma is deemed the first port of call for injection moulding, extrusion technology, thermoforming and 3D printing. It presents innovations covering all aspects of materials, machines, peripherals, processes, simulation, procedures, technologies and tools, as well as plastics processing. The trade fair functions as an industry and technology barometer and is internationally networked. More and more attention is being focused in particular on the issues of environmental protection, sustainability, efficient use of resources, circular economy and bioplastics. With careful planning for Fakuma 2021, trade fair promoters P. E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG are now establishing the necessary and suitable platform for adequately addressing these important issues, which are significant for the present as well as the future. And thus as a highlight for the industry sector, Fakuma 2021 will be an indispensable platform and is being awaited with especially great anticipation.

The next Fakuma will take place from the 12th through the 16th of October, 2021.
(P. E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG)

Innoket Neo Flex: KHS presents its new modular labeling machine

Innoket Neo Flex: KHS presents its new modular labeling machine  (Company news)

-Successor to the Innoket SE launched
-Labeler provides fast conversions and very long service life
-Modular stations for great flexibility

Photo: In the Innoket Neo Flex KHS provides a highly flexible machine that thanks to its modular design manages all of the conventional gluing techniques.

More and more customers are asking for modular systems and solutions. The KHS Group is thus systematically restructuring its engineering portfolio – also as regards labeling technology. Its prime move here is the addition of the modular Innoket Neo Flex machine to its tried-and-tested Innoket Neo series. With its quick-change modules this extremely flexible system masters all standard labeling techniques. Furthermore, thanks to the low maintenance effort and very long service life users benefit from low operating costs.

With its new labeling machine the KHS Group is consistently advancing its modular system design strategy and strengthening its portfolio in uniting the KHS Innoket Neo Flex and KHS Innoket Neo in a single series. This supersedes the previous Innoket SE generation of machines.

Flexibility first
Thanks to the Innoket Neo’s flexible design the individual modules on this highly customizable labeler can be freely combined. Henrik Kahrmann, who works in Product Support at KHS, outlines the benefits. “In the past there was a separate machine for each different labeling technique. This was optimized for its specific area of application but reached its limits when customers wanted to expand their portfolio, for example by adding self-adhesive labeling in combination with the classic cold glue method.”

With the Innoket Neo KHS has developed a machine that can be configured at will thanks to its modular design. The new Innoket Neo Flex goes several steps further when it comes to standardization and meets all customer demands in a single series – regardless of whether with permanently installed stations or as a modular machine. Depending on the machine size and respective requirements the Flex series can be equipped with two to four modules. These are exchanged with just a few manual adjustments performed without tools.
Labeler convincing with its wide range of application

The Innoket Neo Flex also demonstrates great flexibility in the choice and size of container. The machine labels both plastic and glass containers and cans in all of the standard sizes. The output totals up to 74,000 containers per hour. Depending on requirements all further standard capacity ranges can also be catered for.

The flexible Innoket Neo Flex can be used as either a single machine or as part of a production line. “Our labelers have been designed so that they can be easily integrated into any existing or planned line,” says Kahrmann.

Low maintenance and ease of operation
Another advantage of the new modular machine is its extreme ease of operation. With its patented folding door technology the machine carousel and individual stations are readily accessible at all times. Moreover, no additional cladding is required for the area beneath the machine table. In addition, operators profit from bearings lubricated for life that make the labeler extremely low maintenance and reduce the amount of lubricant needed. The new, ergonomic HMI provides great ease of operation. This can be moved by the operator to the required position very simply.

The Innoket Neo Flex is equipped with future-proof TIA technology from Siemens. “The combination of TIA Portal and SIMATIC S7-1500 controller results in significant performance benefits in the control unit’s reaction time,” Kahrmann explains. The labeling machine also has a simplified electronics concept, in which most of the components are installed in the control cabinet. The perfect combination of central and decentralized control calls for much less cabling.

Fast supply of spare parts and consumables
Parallel to the standardization of its machine series KHS has also significantly speeded up the supply of spare parts to its customers. At the same time the supply for all existing machines continues to be ensured without limitation. For optimum operational behavior and low wear KHS provides all of the necessary consumables such as glue and also advises its customers on materials that are difficult to process at its own label laboratory – especially set up for this purpose.
(KHS GmbH)

Frugal Bottle – the recycled paper wine bottle that thinks outside the (wine) box

Frugal Bottle – the recycled paper wine bottle that thinks outside the (wine) box  (Company news)

Meet the Frugal Bottle – the biggest innovation for wine and spirits since the launch of the glass bottle.

The 75cl Frugal Bottle is made from 94% recycled paperboard with a food-grade liner to hold the wine or spirit. It can be refrigerated and keeps the liquid cooler for longer.

The Frugal Bottle, which is comparable in cost to a labelled glass bottle, is the brainchild of British sustainable packaging firm Frugalpac, which creates and supplies recycled paper-based products with the lowest carbon footprint that are easily recycled again so they don’t need to go to landfill. The Frugal Bottles are made at Frugalpac’s facility in Ipswich.

The first wine to go on sale in the Frugal Bottle is from the award-winning Italian vineyard Cantina Goccia. 3Q is an unwooded Sangiovese red with a hint of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

There are six reasons why the Frugal Bottle is unique.
1) It’s lighter. The Frugal Bottle weighs just 83g so it is up to five times lighter than a normal glass bottle, making it easier to carry and lighter to transport.
2) It’s better for the environment. An independent Life Cycle Analysis by Intertek found the Frugal Bottle, which is made from recycled paperboard with no chemicals, has a carbon footprint up to six times (84%) lower than a glass bottle and more than a third less than a bottle made from 100% recycled plastic. The Frugal Bottle’s water footprint is also at least four times lower than glass.
3) It’s easy to recycle again. Simply separate the plastic food-grade liner from the paper bottle and put them in your respective recycling bins. Or you can put the whole bottle in your paper recycling bin and the liner will be easily separated in the paper re-pulping process.
4) It uses less plastic than a plastic bottle. The Frugal Bottle uses up to 77% less plastic. Only 15g compared to a 64g bottle made from 100% recycled plastic.
5) It stands out. As the Frugal Bottle is made from recycled paperboard, it allows for 360-degree branding across the bottle. No other wine or spirits bottle looks or feels like it, so it stands out on shelf and table.
6) It’s better for wine producers. The Frugal Bottle can be produced in the heart of their bottling facility, offers complete freedom on design and print, is more cost effective to transport while reducing their carbon footprint.

The Cantina Goccia Frugal Bottle will initially be available to buy online from and in Scotland from Woodwinters Wines & Whiskies retail stores and online.

The Frugal Bottle is also under active consideration by a number of leading UK supermarket chains and hospitality groups keen to promote sustainable packaging and will be available from other retail outlets across the UK, in Denmark, and Holland over the next few weeks.

The Frugal Bottle, which can also be used for sprits such as gin, vodka and rum, has already sparked a huge amount of interest in a drinks industry keen to cut their emissions and appeal to a new audience of consumers interested in sustainability.

For example, Spanish wine producer Torres has launched the International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) with members targeting an overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 80% by 2045, with a shorter-term target of 50% by 2030.

Moving to the Frugal Bottle will allow wine producers to cut the carbon footprint of each bottle by up to 84% and reduce emissions from transporting bottles as the Frugal Bottles can be made and filled on site. According to WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, the UK imports more than 1.6 billion bottles of wine a year.

Frugalpac also developed the Frugal Cup, the world’s first take-away coffee cup made from 96% recycled paper that has a carbon footprint up to 60% lower than conventional cups when sent to landfill and is easier to recycle again.

Frugalpac Chief Executive Malcolm Waugh said:
“Our mission is to design, develop and supply sustainable packaging. The Frugal Bottle is up to five times lighter than a glass bottle, has a carbon footprint up to six times lower and is easy to recycle again.

“We’ve had fantastic feedback from people who’ve trialled the Frugal Bottle. As well as the superior environmental benefits, it looks and feels like no other bottle you have ever seen.

“We want to deliver great wine and spirits in innovative packaging whilst helping our customers and consumers reduce their impact on the environment.

“The Frugal Bottle offers a major point of difference for the global wine and spirits sector through stand out design and positive sustainable benefits.

“Frugalpac’s business model is to supply Frugal Bottle machines for wine producers or packaging companies to manufacture the bottles on their site, cutting carbon emissions even further. Materials can be purchased locally through existing paperboard printers to give maximum freedom of design and the best commercial offering.”

Cantina Goccia owner Ceri Parke, the Frugal Bottle’s launch customer, said:
“We’re delighted to be making history with the most sustainable wine bottle in the world.

“For us, the Frugal Bottle is about achieving a considerably more sustainable form of packaging for an industry crying out for innovation. It will help us decarbonise the drinks industry.

“When some of our top hotel customers saw samples of our paper wine bottle, there was no hesitation in their minds that this type of bottle would be well received in their dining rooms. The launch of the Frugal Bottle is a big leap in sustainability without compromising wine quality.

“It’s much lighter than glass, easier to transport and friendlier to the planet. Just as important, our wine still tastes as wonderful in a paper bottle as it does in glass.

“We passionately believe this is a real game changer for the wine industry, allowing us to sell and transport our award-winning wines in a much more sustainable way whilst still providing a beautiful bottle.”

Douglas Wood, founder, Woodwinters Wines and Whiskies, the Cantina Goccia Frugal Bottle launch supplier, said:

“Woodwinters’ team and customers are huge fans of the delicious wines of Cantina Goccia. Innovation in sustainability at all stages of wine’s journey from vineyard to glass is something that we believe is hugely important.

“We are, therefore, obviously very excited to support the availability of one of our favourite wines in this new format with all its potentially great positive environmental impact.”

Putting the Squeeze on Fruit-juice Sugars is Scaling up

Putting the Squeeze on Fruit-juice Sugars is Scaling up  (Company news)

Better Juice plan to go full scale with industrial implementation of sugar-reduction tech within a year

Better Juice, Ltd., the first foodTech startup to develop innovative technology to reduce all types of sugars in orange juice, announces its patent-pending technology is now scaling up. The startup is installing a semi-industrial pilot plant that also will be available for future testing at global partners’ plants. The pilot plant features the company’s sugar reduction process in a continuous flow technology that ensures a consistent, safe, and effective enzymatic process.

Better Juice developed an enzymatic technology that uses all-natural ingredients to convert fructose, glucose, and sucrose into prebiotic dietary fibers and other non-digestible molecules. Better Juice’s new pilot plant system marks a significant milestone in the startup’s commercial scale-up timeline. It is able to reduce up to 80% of simple sugar in orange juice at a rate of up to 50 liters/hour. Better Juice’s non-GMO technology is designed to target the specific sugar composition in the orange juice to naturally create a low calorie reduced-sugar product that has a delicate sweetness. It is accomplished without using sweeteners or other additives to replace the sugars in the juice.

“We’ve signed collaboration agreements with several global juice producers so far,” reveals Eran Blachinsky, PhD, founder and CEO of Better Juice. “Our goal is to attain full industrial scale and supply to the market within a year. Soon, you will be able to see natural juice beverages with more favorable Nutri-Scores.” Nutri-Score is a new food label system that converts the nutritional value of products into a clear letter and color code on the packaging in Europe.

“Juice and beverage manufacturers are increasingly aware of the need to reduce the sugar levels in their products before new labeling initiative goes into action,” adds Blachinsky. “By using Better Juice technology, this will be easy to achieve.”

Maintaining juice quality through scaleup
The fruit juice industry, like any other, is constantly seeking ways to improve profitability. Adding a new procedure to the juice manufacturing by definition add costs. Better Juice uses a continuous flow technology that will only slightly influence the incremental costs to the overall price.

One of the major hurdles in continuous flow reduction of sugars in natural juices is keeping the process contamination-free even through large-scale production, without damaging the enzymatic activity. Better Juice developed a new device crafted from stainless steel, with aseptic fittings and welding, together with a unique process that guarantees a continuous, safe flow for its enzymatic sugar-reduction process for weeks at a time without interrupting the sterilization stage.

“The scale-up pilot plant is designed for smooth implementation into the standard procedures deployed by the juice industry,” explains Gali Yarom, Partner, COO, and VP of Business Development for Better Juice.

“Better Juice’s new tech process is cost-effective by virtue of its ability to maintain the continuous flow stage,” adds Yarom. “This is a key factor for beverage manufacturers seeking to affordably reduce sugars naturally while maintaining the juice quality and clean label attributes — a real game changer for the juice industry.”
(Better Juice Ltd)

Add value to your labels with Domino's new K600i embellishment solution

Add value to your labels with Domino's new K600i embellishment solution  (Company news)

Domino Digital Printing Solutions is excited to announce the official launch of its next generation digital embellishment solution after its initial preview at Labelexpo Europe 2019. Visitors to the Domino stand were extremely impressed with the quality of the highly embellished labels that were created using Domino’s new, unique UV-curable clear ink UV67CL with two of Domino’s market leading K600i ink jet printers installed on an AB Graphic’s Digicon Series 3 finishing line.

This latest addition to Domino’s ink range can be used either as a digital spot varnish or a digital adhesive for cold foil applications, ensuring total flexibility with a single fluid. It is compatible with standard medias including polyethylene, polypropylene and under the right conditions certain coated papers.

Jim Orford, K-Series Product Manager at Domino, says, “This new UV67CL ink for use with our high speed, high resolution K600i ink jet printers was developed in response to feedback from our customers, the label converters. They continue to face increased demand from brand owners for enhanced label designs, which not only make their products stand out on the shelf and encourage consumer engagement, but also add value to their products and brand image. Our customers wanted to be able to achieve this by delivering the highest quality, most visually striking and diverse label designs, but without compromising their manufacturing process.”

Jim continues, “Domino’s digital embellishment solution achieves this taking finishing into the digital age. It removes what many see as the production efficiency bottleneck, and offers greater efficiency to produce short and medium run, added-value embellished labels quickly, with significantly reduced man hours and material waste.

This UV67CL clear ink can be used to create embellished labels with a high laydown of digital spot varnish or cold foil images, removing the necessity for screens and plates used in the traditional analogue embellishment processes. The combination of printing variable data with embellishment provides all the advantages of digital Printing as part of the label finishing process, generating highly detailed digital spot varnish and cold foiling labels with minimal impact on productivity and throughput.”

With over 700 installations worldwide, Domino’s versatile K600i ink jet printer can be easily integrated into an existing web-fed press or finishing line. Domino can supply a complete embellishment solution in conjunction with a number of leading label finishing partners. A single K600i print bar is required for cold foil applications, capable of print speeds of up to 75m/minute; for printing spot varnish, a dual bar K600i system is used with speeds of up to 50m/minute depending on the ink laydown required. The latter can also be used to digitally print high opacity white, providing a cost-effective alternative to the more expensive and labour-intensive traditional screen printing.

Jim concludes, “The ever-changing label market is demanding faster turnaround times with more SKUs, meaning the focus is now all about how to produce short and medium run length jobs with optimum efficiency. This is not just related to the printing process, but also the finishing and embellishment too. Domino’s new UV67CL ink and K600i embellishment solution enables our customers to provide a superior service and added value offering in this specialised marketplace.”
(Domino UK Ltd)

South Africa: Symrise promotes sustainable cultivation of white grapefruit in KwaZulu-Natal

South Africa: Symrise promotes sustainable cultivation of white grapefruit in KwaZulu-Natal  (Company news)

• Stable, sustainable grapefruit supply aiming at a positive impact on local communities
• Enlargement of Citrus sustainability footprint beyond Bergamot in Calabria
• Provision of signature grapefruit taste to consumers around the world

White grapefruit provides a valuable raw material to Symrise to produce signature tastes for sweets and drinks. To guarantee stable supply, the company sources them from KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and plans to engage in the local communities. It attaches particular importance to its suppliers incorporating sustainability factors. With one of them, Symrise has entered into a special partnership and has installed technological equipment into the production line enabling upcycling of side streams that would otherwise go to waste. It also intends to invest in long-term partnerships with local farmers, ensuring to achieve best agricultural practices and good yields, delivering high quality products while supporting local families. This approach will enable Symrise to improve its environmental footprint and also to expand its citrus range with further unique taste profiles.

South Africa cultivates many different citrus fruits such as oranges, mandarins, lemons and grapefruits. Its province KwaZulu-Natal is becoming increasingly important for the stable supply of white grapefruits and their unique taste. Symrise has recognized this growth potential and wants to engage in the region, first in the targeted development of agricultural know-how, second in exciting qualified young talents about agricultural professions, in a journey to support South Africa’s efforts in building economic stability.
Symrise appreciates the high taste quality of South Africa’s grapefruit. For this reason, the German company partners with a local supplier. Klaus Böcker GmbH engages as partner and investor in the factory Nkwaleni Processors in the KwaZulu-Natal province on the east coast of the country. The cooperative unites nine large-scale and 96 small-scale farmers. The latter belong to the Zulu ethnic group. The factory can process up to 50,000 tons of citrus fruit per year and is specialized in processing grapefruit.

“Thanks to the factory in South Africa, we gained access to citrus fruit of the highest quality and can guarantee stable supply of the taste to our customers and consumers,” says Stephan Raeker, Global Competence Director Citrus at Symrise. “To secure this valuable raw material, we invest locally in technology and work towards including training as well. This shall help create a perspective for current farmers and the next generation. Also, we are extending our sustainable citrus footprint and add white grapefruit to our extensive citrus portfolio.”

Symrise pays attention to sustainability in investments
The approach will also aim at supporting young Zulus who are looking for a vision for their future. Their communities received land during the country’s democratization process. Now, the knowledge and resources to use it agriculturally will be helpful. For this reason, Symrise is co-developing plans with farmer partners to train the next generation in good agricultural practices and business skills. This shall benefit farmers and harvesters alike. Symrise follows the ambition to contribute to income opportunities and a fulfilled life.

Besides local training, Symrise invests in factory equipment, which includes its patented SymTrap® technology. SymTrap® accesses valuable side stream from juice concentration process and helps to avoid waste by turning these aroma materials into signature taste solutions.

Symrise commits to sustainability in other areas as well. Most of the company’s South African partners are certified according to the Global GAP and SIZA sustainability standards. Going further, they work with beekeepers in the KwaZulu-Natal province, because the insects pollinate valuable flowers and thus contribute to conserving the wealth of nature. This not only helps biodiversity but also ensures optimum fruit yield.

“With our sustainable investments, we are helping people in South Africa to earn their own living,” says Raeker. “This is how we are investing in the future of the region, which will in turn contribute to securing the future supply of high-quality signature taste citrus fruits.”
(Symrise AG)

Paper not film: KHS launches ecofriendly can packaging system

Paper not film: KHS launches ecofriendly can packaging system  (Company news)

-New development as a supplement to film or wrap-around cartons
-Costs cut by lower consumption of materials and energy
-Conversion instead of new investment through adaptation of individual modules

Photo: The KHS Group has added a further environmentally-friendly system to its portfolio. With its tried-and-tested Innopack Kisters tray packers the systems supplier now enables cans of food and beverage to be wrapped in paper.

The new technology provides an alternative to shrink film or wrap-around cartons. Regarding stability the results are the same yet compared to cardboard costs are lower as less energy and fewer materials are used. With a few minor adjustments existing machines can also be converted to the new setup.

The idea of using paper as a secondary packaging is not new; KHS first experimented with this around 20 years ago. “Back then, this technology didn’t catch on, however, as paper was a cost-intensive raw material and wrapping containers in film yielded better results regarding stability,” says Karl-Heinz Klumpe, packaging product manager at KHS. The beverage industry thus opted for different systems and solutions. “Our customers now want alternatives to the usual packaging systems such as film. These should be as ecofriendly as possible,” he continues. To this end, the paper wrapping has now been developed together with an international beverage producer. This type of pack can replace shrink film or wrap-around carton packaging for transportation or sale on packs of 12 or 24 cans in the high-capacity range of up to 90,000 cans per hour.

Few process adjustments thanks to modular machine design
In order to wrap cans in paper instead of film just a few adjustments are needed to the Innopack Kisters tray packer, a machine well established on the market. “KHS is increasingly supplying modular systems and solutions that enable and ease the appropriate conversions to our machines. In this case, we’ve simply reengineered the process module for folding and wrapping,” Klumpe explains. “The standard components such as tray separation from the magazine, gluing or can feed are identical to those on the hundreds of proven KHS machines already on the market.” This allows beverage producers to have the tray packers already in operation at their plants converted simply by adapting certain modules, making a full new investment unnecessary.

Wrapping cans in paper has many advantages over other materials, believes Klumpe. “On the one hand, paper is kinder to the environment than film with respect to ocean pollution, for instance. Paper biodegrades in the environment after a few weeks.” On the other hand, fewer packaging materials are used. Instead of a sturdy wrap-around carton or film packs on trays, packaging cans in thinner paper only needs a flat, stable corrugated card pad as a base – with identical results regarding stability.

Costs are also cut by the new paper pack: compared to a wrap-around carton by up to 15%, with outgoings about the same as for film. Overheads are also considerably reduced by the low energy consumption of about 14 kWh an hour at 80 cycles a minute. The folding process is such that the pack is also fully enclosed. “In contrast, dirt can get into film packs with small side openings. Over long distances especially paper has the clear advantage when it comes to protecting the pack,” Klumpe states.

Great interest from the beverage industry
Klumpe sees huge potential for the new KHS technology. “When I think how much food is canned all over the world, with our paper pack we offer a useful alternative to conventional secondary packaging. With our system we can significantly help to cut down on the amount of plastic waste being generated.” According to Klumpe, this will support the efforts being made throughout the entire sector to protect the environment. “Sustainability is also always a cost factor, however. With our new approach we’re catering for both aspects here.”
(KHS GmbH)

Sidel’s breakthrough accumulation solution Gebo AQFlex significantly improves ...

Sidel’s breakthrough accumulation solution Gebo AQFlex significantly improves ...   (Company news)

...Orangina Suntory France’s performance and agility

Installed for the very first time in its largest size at Orangina Suntory France’s plant in Meyzieu, Sidel’s conveying and accumulation solution Gebo AQFlex® increases the uptime of their PET packaging line for soft drinks by offering a high level of flexibility to address a much diversified production range of nine bottle formats with different shapes. Moreover, by covering a wide range of outputs, Gebo AQFlex has immensely contributed in preserving Orangina Suntory France’s product quality with smooth and contactless product handling.

Suntory group were founded in 1899 in Osaka. Today, with 300 subsidiary companies and more than 38,000 employees they are cited as one of the oldest and largest companies in beverage distribution in Japan.

The French company Orangina Suntory France were acquired by the group in 2009.As the leader regards fruit drinks in the French market with 20.2% of market share value (2019) and four production sites in France – La Courneuve, Meyzieu, Donnery and Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne –, Orangina Suntory France are one of the top players in the beverage segment with an 908 million euro turnover (2019) and a consumer base of 17 million households in France[1]. They dominate the beverage market with more than 350 product references, among them six major flagship brands Orangina, Schweppes, Oasis, Pulco, Champomy and Maytea.

New generation accumulation system with a high level of flexibility and complete product care
In 2017, Orangina Suntory France bought a brand-new packaging line for their Meyzieu site, mixing equipment from different Original Equipment Manufacturers, including the Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis™.

As nine bottle formats from 0.2 L to 1 L are being manufactured on the line for four brands – Oasis, Pulco, Maytea and O’verger – Orangina Suntory France were looking for a new accumulation solution that could take care of various formats and shapes, including square bottles to which traditional mass accumulation solutions are not suited. “Our experience proved that the use of such an accumulation principle in which products are in contact with each other might damage the thin wall PET bottles we are using for our non-carbonated products, and thus alter the overall production quality,” explains Hubert Couppey, Project Manager in Operations Development Department at Orangina Suntory France. “Besides, flexibility was especially a sensitive issue since square bottles sometimes cause blockages when being handled with traditional mass accumulations. Such blockages may result in line stoppages and impair our overall productivity,” adds Hubert Couppey.

The new accumulation solution also had to be able to cover a wide range of outputs from 27,000 to 45,000 bottles per hour and provide extensive buffer capacity from 3 to 5 minutes of net accumulation to secure the overall line efficiency.

Taking into account the great number of products to handle, Sidel proposed the largest model of the Gebo AQFlex range at that time. To address the versatility of the line, Gebo AQFlex was a perfect choice, offering new level of flexibility due to the single-lane, contactless and smooth handling of the products. Moreover, this flexibility will provide the customer with great freedom in creating attractive packaging designs with different shapes in the future. Additionally, another key buying factor was its compactness, offering greater accumulation/space ratio compared to traditional systems and enabling an easy integration into a limited space area, which was the case at the Orangina Suntory France site.

Gebo AQFlex convinces Orangina Suntory France in especially organised test
As the accumulation solution was quite new on the market and was based on a breakthrough design, Orangina Suntory France called for evidence. Accordingly, delegations with experts from France and Japan were invited to a three-day factory acceptance test at Sidel. After the first day, which also turned out to be the closing one, everyone was highly convinced that the capacity of Gebo AQFlex was absolutely meeting the demanding requirements of the packaging line in Orangina Suntory France’s site in Meyzieu.

Swanny Goussanou, Project Manager at Sidel, reflects upon the successful experience: “The all-in-one, compact design perfectly handled all nine formats fully respecting fragile and lightweight containers due to its smooth, contact-free single-lane product handling.” During the test, international experts also experienced the user-friendliness of the equipment in real life: “Gebo AQFlex is quite easy to use as it offers simple and automatic changeovers with just a few clicks on the Human Machine Interface (HMI) and minor mechanical interventions on the infeed and outfeed conveyors,” summarizes Hubert Couppey. As a result, such ergonomics help Orangina Suntory France save operator time.

Easy and efficient installation with the help of a ‘twin’ solution
Considering that this large model size was installed for the first time, it implied a high-level quality of collaboration between Sidel and Orangina Suntory France teams. To handle the unit’s modifications and start-up, a twin solution was set up at Sidel’s site. For fast troubleshooting a remote access was opened taking control of the Gebo AQFlex installed in Meyzieu site.

Gebo AQFlex at Orangina Suntory France was successfully installed in September 2018. As of today, the solution is running at a high-efficiency level of 99,5%. The proven performance of Gebo AQFlex and the overall success of the project led to an order and installation of another Gebo AQFlex at Orangina Suntory France’s site in Donnery, and further orders of two units in Nagano, Japan.
(Sidel Blowing & Services)

Flexible process design at machine and line level

Flexible process design at machine and line level  (Company news)

Picture: Line Coordination (LCS) and Sequence (SES) enable the fast orchestration and adaptation of production sequences for the control and monitoring of recipe-controlled processes

- New plant intelligence options for the control and monitoring of recipe-controlled processes
- Easy orchestration of production sequences with “WinCC Unified Line Coordination” (LCS)
- Quick changes to processes in recipe and sequence-based production with “WinCC Unified Sequence” (SES)

Siemens is expanding its offer for the Simatic WinCC Unified visualization system to include two new plant intelligence options: Line Coordination (LCS) and Sequence (SES) enable the fast orchestration and adaptation of production sequences for the control and monitoring of recipe-controlled processes, such as those used in the food and beverages industry. With these new software options, users can flexibly design production sequences, monitor different plant sections and therefore utilize the capacity of individual production machines better and more evenly, increasing both effectiveness and economic efficiency. For both SES and LCS, Siemens supplies automation modules and the corresponding controls for the visualization, which can be engineered in the Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal engineering framework. Production sequences can be parameterized with the corresponding modules, which eliminates programming effort and reduces engineering effort. The two new plant intelligence options can be combined to meet the relevant requirements.

With WinCC Unified Line Coordination, recipe and batch-controlled production processes can be automated in the TIA Portal. Production sequences for networked machines in the production line can be coordinated, synchronized and monitored using a Simatic S7-1500 controller and WinCC Unified. The new software option is tailored to the technological requirements of different processes through the relevant standard functions. For example, for plants in the TIA Portal based on ISA-88 - the standard for batch processing control - users can structure in line with a technological hierarchy and standardize production processes using a recipe system. To support this, the software package includes the necessary engineering and runtime components for recipe management as well as control elements for the visualization. Monitoring options offer improved transparency and monitoring of planned or current production processes. In the current version, LCS supports production sequences which are programmed in a Simatic S7-1500 controller or in WinCC Unified Sequence (SES).

With the Sequence (SES) plant intelligence option, users can flexibly design and automate individual production steps at machine and plant section level. This means that production sequences and parameters can be adjusted at any time - even during operation - without making changes to the PLC program: the operator can manually access the automatic sequence online and jump to another step or adjust setpoints as required. This may be necessary, for example, due to variations in feedstock or in general if a different sequence for individual production steps is required for flexible paths through production. The new software option meets real-time requirements because the sequencers are executed on the Simatic S7-1500 controller and therefore support reliable plant operation and a high level of system availability. The new software option is also based on standardized production sequences as per ISA-88 and can be scaled for small or large plants thanks to the range of module sizes. The pre-built visualization control and the function modules supplied in the TIA Portal ensure a high degree of engineering efficiency by reducing commissioning and test times for the user.
(Siemens AG, Process Industries and Drives, Process Automation)



Pat and Mike Murphy picked up a sixpack of Hayburner at Losson Road Wegmans on June 6th and discovered the elusive Buffalo-area can by June 11th.

They stopped in to claim their prize - the equivalent of one case of Hayburner a month for a year - and enjoyed a patio lunch with us on Monday June 15th. Congrats Pat and Mike! Good luck with your new found popularity, haha!

Thanks to everyone who "played" over the last few months. We hope this contest was a fun distraction from an otherwise tough time for so many of us. And for those that didn't win - who knows? Maybe we'll try this stunt again someday! Thanks for your support.
(Froth Brewing Company)

Diageo announces creation of world's first ever 100% plastic free paper-based spirits bottle

Diageo announces creation of world's first ever 100% plastic free paper-based spirits bottle  (Company news)

Diageo has created the world’s first ever 100% plastic free paper-based spirits bottle, made entirely from sustainably sourced wood. The bottle will debut with Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one Scotch Whisky, in early 2021.

It has been created through a new partnership with Pilot Lite, a venture management company, to launch Pulpex Limited, a new world-leading sustainable packaging technology company. To ensure that the technology can be used in every area of life, Pulpex Limited has established a partner consortium of world leading FMCG companies in non-competing categories including Unilever, and PepsiCo, with further partners expected to be announced later in the year. The consortium partners are each expecting to launch their own branded paper bottles, based on Pulpex Limited’s design and technology, in 2021.

“We’re proud to have created this world first. We are constantly striving to push the boundaries within sustainable packaging and this bottle has the potential to be truly ground-breaking. It feels fitting that we should launch it with Johnnie Walker, a brand that has often led the way in innovation throughout its 200 years existence.” (Ewan Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer, Diageo PLC)

Pulpex Limited has developed a ‘first-of-its-kind’ scalable paper-based bottle designed and developed to be 100% plastic free and expected to be fully recyclable. The bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams. The technology will allow brands to rethink their packaging designs, or move existing designs into paper, whilst not compromising on the existing quality of the product.

Pulpex Limited’s technology allows it to produce a variety of plastic-free, single mould bottles that can be used across a range of consumer goods. The packaging has been designed to contain a variety of liquid products and will form part of Diageo’s commitment towards Goal 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’.
(Diageo plc)

BrauBeviale 2020 set to launch in Nuremberg as special edition

BrauBeviale 2020 set to launch in Nuremberg as special edition  (Company news)

-Modified concept to meet current safety and hygiene requirements
-Special Edition supportsfuture viability of the industry
-Digital extras

Let’s start with some good news: BrauBeviale will take place this year! The event concept has been modified due to the current circumstances. In consultation with the relevant authorities, safety and hygiene concepts were developed to ensure a safe and effective trade fair experience for all participants. This year, the international capital goods fair for the beverage industry will therefore take place at Exhibition Centre Nuremberg from 10 to 12 November as a “BrauBeviale Special Edition”. This decision was taken in close consultation with our exhibitors, visitors and partners and therefore specifically meets their requests for the organisation of a physical platform before the end of the year to facilitate dialogue and foster business.

“The decision to hold BrauBeviale this year was not just down to us as the organiser but was taken in close consultation with our exhibitors, visitors and partners,” explains Andrea Kalrait, Executive Director BrauBeviale at NürnbergMesse. “The message that we kept getting in our discussions was that our customers still wanted to have their annual gathering in 2020, all the more so as it was probably the only opportunity for such a meeting this year, not just at national and European level but internationally. So I am really looking forward to welcoming as many visitors as possible in person to our event in Nuremberg!”

The key theme of the current three-year BrauBeviale cycle is the future viability of the beverage industry. This year in particular, which has also forced a lot of companies in the beverage sector to face unprecedented and difficult challenges, the future viability of the industry is more important than ever. The BrauBeviale Special Edition is therefore very much about showing solidarity. As a partner to the entire beverage sector, this year’s event will send out a message and provide an attractive, successful and at the same time safe platform to allow industry stakeholders to share information, network and join forces to emerge from this difficult situation in a stronger position.

BrauBeviale Special Edition – tailored hygiene concept
Andrea Kalrait explains the principle behind the Special Edition: “Naturally, protecting our customers is always a top priority for us, so together with the relevant authorities we developed a safety and hygiene concept tailored to BrauBeviale, to ensure the greatest possible degree of safety for all trade fair participants.” The main protection objectives and the cornerstones of all measures implemented are to make it possible to observe current social distancing rules and facilitate contact tracing and good hand hygiene. The supporting programme was also adapted to meet these requirements: The Craft Drinks Area, BrauBeviale Forum and brau@home will make the necessary adjustments to the way they communicate and provide information so as to ensure the safety of the participants.

“Except for stand parties, things can happen in the usual way but subject to the prescribed conditions that we are all familiar with meanwhile from our daily routines,” says Andrea Kalrait, summing up the concept for the BrauBeviale Special Edition. “There will be a one-way system to direct visitor flows through the halls. Wherever it is not possible to observe social distancing, masks must be worn, and the exhibition stands have to comply with the necessary safety and hygiene standards. In addition, the contact details of all exhibitors and visitors will be collected to ensure the necessary traceability. Because we cannot use the same hall configuration as last year, I encourage all visitors to do a bit more preparation for their trade fair visit this time round.” An obligatory part of this preparation will be to register in advance online. To make sure that the admissible number of visitors per day is not exceeded, only day tickets will be available this year. So each visitor has to decide on a specific day and then register for it. The tickets are available on mobile devices and allow contactless access to the exhibition grounds.

There is positive news from Beviale Family in China about the successful restart of the trade fair business. This is not just pointing the way forward for the exhibition industry worldwide, but also for Nuremberg as a trade fair venue and consequently, for BrauBeviale. CRAFT BEER CHINA took place in Shanghai from 1 to 3 July 2020 and was a professional event that did an excellent job in implementing the necessary distancing and hygiene rules.

Online option: the regular industry gathering on the internet
Considering the current travel restrictions, BrauBeviale has also undertaken to enable trade visitors and companies to participate in the BrauBeviale Special Edition even if they cannot come to Nuremberg in person. Alongside work on implementing the modified event concept at the exhibition centre, preparations are also in full swing for the digital dialogue platform “” ( It will dovetail the analogue and digital worlds and will also be available to the BrauBeviale community the whole year round after the trade fair is over. For the event the BrauBeviale Forum programme, among other things, will also be put online. Thanks to this online option, trade fair participants will have the opportunity to watch and even interact with interesting presentations live from their homes. In addition, it will be possible to live-stream contributions by high-calibre speakers who are not able to attend the event in person. “So I urge all of you to make a firm note of the dates 10 to 12 November 2020 in your calendar and take your place at the industry’s regular gathering! Whether in person at the Nuremberg venue or in virtual space from your PC at home, we have a wide-ranging programme to offer you!” says Andrea Kalrait in an appeal to all industry players.
(NürnbergMesse GmbH)

Buffalo Trace named Distillery of the Year by Tasting Panel Magazine at 2020 ...

Buffalo Trace named Distillery of the Year by Tasting Panel Magazine at 2020 ...  (Company news)

... San Francisco World Spirits Competition

The Spirits Produced at the Distillery Received 19 Awards

With expansions underway everywhere you look at Buffalo Trace Distillery, the whiskey maker is expanding its status as World’s Most Award Winning Distillery. The Distillery was just named Tasting Panel Magazine’s Distillery of the Year at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This prestigious award recognizes the single distiller earning the most points, measured by the number and level of awards won in a given year. That honor is bestowed to Buffalo Trace Distilleryi n 2020 after its spirits garnered a total of 18 medals and a Best in Class designation. This includes five Double Gold medals, four Gold medals, six Silver medals and three Bronze medals and the title of Best Small Batch Bourbon 11 Years and Older for its Eagle Rare 17 Year Old.

“Our focus has always been on making quality spirits, so this honor motivates us to continue thehard work and maintain the high standards we’ve set for ourselves,” Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley said. “This is an ongoing team effort. We’re very proud and thankful for the work every one of our team members puts forth for our whiskies to reach this level of recognition.”

Garnering more than 1,000 awards overthe years, this Distillery of the Year title further underscores Buffalo Trace’s commitment to produce excellent spirits. As its collection of honors continues to grow, so too is the popularity of Buffalo Trace’s whiskies and spirits. With the second phase of its Distillery expansion underway, Buffalo Trace is making significant progress on its $1.2 billion investment to expand its distilling capabilities and make more award-winning whiskey.

Double Gold medals went to:
-Eagle Rare 17 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon (Bild)
-William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon
-Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight American Rye Whiskey
-Stagg Jr. Kentucky Straight Bourbon
-Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Gold medals were awarded to:
-Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bottled-in-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon
-Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel Bottled-in-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon
-Weller Special Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
-Weller Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Silver medal recipients were:
-Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
-Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon
-George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon
-Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Bottled-in-Bond Straight American Rye Whiskey
-Weller CYPB (Craft Your Perfect Bourbon) Kentucky Straight Bourbon
-Weller 12 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Bronze medals went to:
-Weller Antique 107 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
-Wheatley Vodka
-Buffalo Trace Distillery Bourbon Cream Liqueur
(Buffalo Trace Distillery)

Meet Super Combi Compact: more performance, less space!

Meet Super Combi Compact: more performance, less space!  (Company news)

Two years after the introduction of the Super Combi to the industry for compact lines’ solutions, today, Sidel presents a bolder, next-generation solution Super Combi Compact that, as indicated in its name, is even more compact. Allowing up to 30% footprint reduction compared to the previous model, the solution also excites with the efficiency enhancement it assures for still water production thanks to the new filling technology embedded in the Sidel EvoFILL HS Still that guarantees a 30% faster performance.

Considering that customers worldwide are seeking for possibilities to optimise resources and space required for production, Sidel has developed a ready-made solution to fit any production site as footprint as well as line integration and planning are important drivers at the very centre of Sidel’s technological advancement. With Super Combi Compact Sidel presents an innovative product designed and engineered to deliver the lowest total costs of ownership (TCO) and production costs per square foot.

Growing demand for packaged water
“We see that the water category has been seeing an unprecedented growth fuelled by a worldwide increase in demand. Due to consumers’ rising health consciousness paired with the trend towards so called “better-for-you drinks”, the packaged water category has remained at the forefront of consumer purchasing decisions since 2018,” explains Stefano Baini, Product Manager Filling and Super Combi at Sidel, identifying why the company has invested in the development of a compact line solution for still water production. This green trajectory throughout the water category was globally influenced by a large hike in tourism along with extremely warm weathers not only in warm climate countries, but in parts of Western Europe too.

Enhanced performance and utmost productivity
Similarly to its predecessor, Super Combi Compact is integrating five process steps – preform feeder, blower, labeller, filler/capper and cap feeder – into an all-in-one, smart system. What describes the new solution the best is the continuous top-level performance it provides up to 54,000 bottles per hour (bph) in a reduced space. Furthermore, its ergonomics and the latest technologies support easy access, operation and maintenance while ensuring high end-product quality.

The overall higher level of efficiency of the solution is achieved by providing maximum uptime and consistent production output at medium to high speed. Maximum productivity of the line is reached particularly due to improvements at the blowing, filling and labelling stages. To highlight some of the most important improvements, the blower can produce up to 2,700 bph per mould. Furthermore, a robotic arm solution for automatic mould changeover is now available to drastically reduce change-over time and improve safety conditions by not requiring any human intervention. Labelling is assured by a single-aggregate labelling system, ensuring reliable production as well as fast and easy label-reel auto splicing. What’s more, Super Combi Compact’s labeller technology features faster changeovers and easy replacement of parts as well as an automatic label vacuum extractor for maximised uptime. In addition, the labeller can accommodate different labels and technologies (Roll-fed, PSL).

The star of the solution – Sidel EvoFILL HS Still filling technology
Sidel EvoFILL HS Still without a doubt is the most impressive part of the new Super Combi Compact. This new filler with proportional filling valves, controlled by electro-magnetic actuators, guarantees a 30% faster filling with total control and accuracy when it comes to dosing the liquid into its designated container. The improved and completely dynamic filling technology allows for highest precision in modulating the beverage flow, as the plunger inside the filling valve can individually be moved to an infinite number of positions, resulting in maximum freedom in terms of different beverage types to be filled, and different optimum filling speeds and levels. Furthermore, the new hygienic valve design with no beverage membrane assures beverage quality with no flavour carry-over.

EvoFILL HS Still is a simplified solution characterised by fewer components and functions, resulting in less maintenance costs, and a highly reduced filler footprint with less filling valves. Additionally, the filler features an onboard beverage tank further contributing to minimise the required floor space. It might also be equipped with an Integrated Cleaning System (ICS), cutting down on water and chemical consumption for internal cleaning as well as – again – on floor space by rendering the need for an external Cleaning in Place system and additional tanks unnecessary.

In total, with saving up to 30% of precious floor space while, at the same time, boosting production efficiency by another 30%, and delivering maximum speeds of up to 54,000 bph, the new Super Combi Compact is a perfect fit for producers of PET bottled water. Stefano Baini concludes: “Its new, compact design and innovative filling technology makes it an ideal solution for maximising production and increasing line efficiency at the best TCO per square foot – allowing producers to make the most of their existing space or new greenfield projects."
(Sidel Blowing & Services)

Kerry Releases Botanicals Collection ZERO

Kerry Releases Botanicals Collection ZERO   (Company news)

Range of premium extracts for low-/no-alcohol drinks

The Botanicals Collection ZERO range of distillate from botanical sources enables the creation of great-tasting low- or no-alcohol beverages to address consumer demands for moderation without compromising on taste

Kerry, the Taste & Nutrition company, is pleased to officially release Botanicals Collection ZERO, an extensive range of high-quality, authentic botanical extracts — containing 0% ethanol — designed specifically for the low- and no-alcohol beverage markets. The portfolio currently includes 15 standard products (and 35 others…), e.g., juniper, rosebud, elderflower, cocoa, turmeric, cinnamon and others, with investigations ongoing to add more exciting tastes both producers and consumers will love. With Botanicals Collection ZERO, beverage producers can now create sophisticated low-alcohol spirits and no-alcohol options with the taste of gin, rum, cocoa, ginger, etc., all while meeting emerging clean-label and quality requirements. The result: a premium drinking experience for those seeking to moderate their alcohol consumption.

Amid a growing global trend to moderate and control alcohol intake that looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, consumers are seeking authentic-tasting drink taste options beyond simply soft drinks. This makes low-alcohol spirits or no-alcohol beverages a growth market, with trade sales in the area expected to record a 41% increase over the period 2015–21. With botanical extracts in alcohol beverages already a US$500 million business and growing by 9% per annum, producers that can offer tasty and healthier upscale beverage choices will see a significant and growing market opportunity in the years to come.

“Kerry is pleased to make available the Botanicals Collection ZERO range of high-quality authentic botanical distillates to beverage producers interested in producing more refined and better-tasting low- or no-alcohol drinks,” said Michel Aubanel, Flavour Ingredients Global Development Manager for Kerry. “Consumer expectations are currently not being met by mocktails and other no-alcohol options due to the fact that products often resemble juices rather than alcohol. Increasingly, consumers want the upscale experience of the glass, ice and taste, but without the alcohol content. The Kerry Botanicals Collection ZERO portfolio can deliver a premium drink that tastes great.”

The Kerry Botanicals Collection ZERO range offers many advantages: it’s fully traceable, clean-label, halal-certified, kosher-suitable and, most important, ethanol-free and also free of any alternative solvent. The portfolio allows manufacturers to maintain a low (or zero) alcohol content and permits a “0.0%” claim. In comparison to other ethanol-free technologies, the Collection ZERO range is more stable, with no haze, no sedimentation, and a fresher botanical taste and mouthfeel. Kerry’s extensive expertise and experience in natural extraction fosters innovative “fusion distillates” that are based on a proprietary capability to blend natural botanicals (leaves, flowers, seeds, etc.) and then magnify taste by running a distillate following a period of slow maturation. This allows for tailored extracts or blends that can be made to order to suit specific local and regional tastes and requirements.

The Collection ZERO range contains more than 45 single distillate profiles and five fusions distillates that can be blended and tailored to suite specific markets and create unique winning tastes. Some of the available botanical taste sources include juniper, ginger, rose bud, chamomile, lemon, mint, orange, dandelion, cola nut, rhubarb, burdock, elderflower, black tea, cocoa, cumin, fennel, turmeric, and cinnamon, among others.
(Kerry Group plc)

Stephan Bergler appointed as a further Managing Director

Stephan Bergler appointed as a further Managing Director  (Company news)

As per 1 July 2020, Stephan Bergler (photo= has been appointed as a further Managing Director of IREKS GmbH. The Board now starts the second half of the year with six managing directors.

Stephan Bergler (53), who holds a Diploma as a Master Brewer as well as a Diploma in Business Administration, joined IREKS GmbH in the summer of 2017 as Project Manager Speciality Malts after many years of activity as Managing Director and owner of a malt factory in Middle Franconia. In the autumn of 2017, he was assigned the commercial management of the malt department. The appointment as an Authorised Officer for IREKS GmbH and the appointment as Managing Director of IRUSO GmbH took place as per 1 July 2018.

From 1 July 2020, Stephan Bergler will be responsible as Managing Director for the whole malt business “from Farm to Brewery”. In March 2020, he was elected by the general assembly to the executive committee of the Deutscher Mälzerbund e. V., headed by Stefan Soiné as president to this date.

The company wishes Mr Bergler all the best and every success for the many and varied activities he is responsible for to the benefit of our Company Group.

Finsbury relaunch and line extension Finsbury Wild Strawberry

Finsbury relaunch and line extension Finsbury Wild Strawberry  (Company news)

Finsbury, one of the world’s oldest gin brands still in production today, shares exciting news: the launch of a new bottle design for Finsbury London Dry Gin and Finsbury 47 as well as the launch of the product innovation Finsbury Wild Strawberry. Both the revised bottle design for Finsbury London Dry Gin and the product innovation will be launched on 1st of July 2020 by the Hamburg based family business BORCO-MARKEN-IMPORT, brand owner of Finsbury London Dry Gin, in selected food retailers and specialist shops as well as online retailers in Germany.

The launch of the new bottle design of Finsbury 47 is to follow in September 2020, with both new designs to be rolled out additionally in BORCO’s export markets in the coming months. Finsbury Wild Strawberry is to be added to the national and international gin portfolio of the Hamburg based company in the long term.

Dr. Tina Ingwersen-Matthiesen, part of the BORCO owner family Matthiesen and member of the board is delighted about the impetus provided by the relaunches and the gin novelty: “The Finsbury brand stands for the highest quality and excellent British gin enjoyment par excellence. The gin category has been showing a remarkable positive development in recent years, characterised by an extraordinary dynamic and creativity regarding recipes. The Finsbury relaunch and the new Finsbury Wild Strawberry are our response to the increasing consumer demand for a contemporary brand image, new flavours and the continuing flavoured gin trend. We are delighted to continue Finsbury’s success story with the relaunch and line extension – two projects that involve a great deal of passion and expertise”.

In line with a more modern, fresh and urban brand image, the relaunch also introduces a new brand claim for the umbrella brand, „London, since 1740“, which highlights the traditions and rich history of the brand, whose origins date back to the 18th century. For the Finsbury London Dry Gin communication initiatives such as social media activations the claim „Yellow, since 1740“ will be used, which focuses on the unmistakable yellow colour of the label that has always been associated with the exquisite taste and high quality of Finsbury, in addition to the brand’s long history. Accordingly, the claim “Platinum, since 1740″ will be used for the online and offline communication of Finsbury 47 and „Pink, since 2020“ for Finsbury Wild Strawberry.

The new bottle designs in detail

In line with the newly formulated brand claim, Finsbury’s iconic yellow as one of the core elements of the brand image continues to dominate the design of the Finsbury London Dry Gin bottle. The new design is inspired by the urban, colourful hustle and bustle in London’s diverse neighbourhoods. For a more modern appearance and improved bottle handling, the bottle shape has been significantly slimmed down and now appears more angular, but still retains its shape with a major recognition value. The contemporary appearance is supported by a front label reduced in size, on which the Finsbury lettering is found in a slightly adapted blue look. To further emphasise Finsbury’s roots in the British capital, the label is adorned with an illustration of the London skyline with the „Palace of Westminster“ and „St. Paul’s Cathedral“ as eye-catchers. A striking placement of the founding date in a noble silver tone under the brand name as well as Joseph Bishop’s name as the founding father of the distillery aesthetically rounds off the focus on the traditional heritage of Finsbury.

In addition to Finsbury London Dry Gin, Finsbury 47 also features a new design, carried by a reworked, more angular bottle shape, which gives this special gin classic a premium look and makes it stand out in the backbar. The simpler appearance is primarily intended to appeal to bartenders in trendy and mixologist bars. As with the Finsbury London Dry Gin, a playful font will be dispensed and a clean, modern font will be used from now on. Details in linear shape, which can also be found on the label, impressively decorate the upper and lower bottle front as a relief, creating a timeless look. The date of foundation also adorns the bottle as a relief, thereby further underlining the history of Finsbury London Dry Gin.

Pink, since 2020: Finsbury Wild Strawberry supplements the Finsbury portfolio

In addition to the relaunches, consumers and gin lovers can look forward to a novelty in the Finsbury family. Shimmering in noble pink nuances, Finsbury Wild Strawberry combines the sweetness of fresh strawberry notes, framed by red berries and a harmonious finish of subtle juniper and citrus notes that have been characteristic of Finsbury London Dry Gin for over 250 years. Finsbury Wild Strawberry presents itself as a tasteful walk through the flowery Finsbury Park in the lively district of the same name in the north of the British capital – one of the many streets and squares in London that still proudly bear the name of the distillery built by Joseph Bishop.

The basis for Finsbury Wild Strawberry is the classic recipe of the Finsbury distillery, unchanged since 1740, which is based on the interplay of ten botanicals, including dried orange zest and cinnamon bark. Only natural fruit flavours of highest quality are used in the production process, which are harmoniously integrated into the taste profile of Finsbury London Dry Gin after it has been produced in copper stills which are more than 100 years old. The result is a perfect balance and a beguiling twist with the sweetness of red berries, which are pleasantly revealed with an ABV of 37.5% Vol..

The pink color shades of the gin are picked up by the similarly coloured label. The addition „Wild Strawberry“, designed in a playful typography, contrasts with the modern Finsbury lettering and is therefore an eye-catcher on the shelf. At the same time, the typography underlines the floral character of Finsbury Wild Strawberry, which is rounded off by fine illustrations of strawberries on the bottle cap.

Perfect Serve: Paired with Tonic Water and garnished with fresh berries, Finsbury Wild Strawberry offers a refreshing and masterful gin experience, rewarding the palate with a lingering and balanced taste to be remembered.

Finsbury Wild Strawberry is since 1st of July 2020 for an RRP of €9.99 (0.7l) in Germany, before being available in international markets in the upcoming months. Price on request for international markets.
(Borco-Marken-Import Matthiesen GmbH & Co. KG)

Introducing ‘Close the Glass Loop’ - The European ambition to collect glass more ...

Introducing ‘Close the Glass Loop’ - The European ambition to collect glass more ...  (Company news)

...and better, together

‘Close the Glass Loop’ is an industry platform to unite the glass collection and recycling value chain, and to establish a material stewardship programme that will result in more bottle-to-bottle recycling. We aim to increase the quantity and quality of available recycled glass – so that people don’t just recycle, but recycle more and better.

We want to achieve:
- 90% average EU collection rate of used glass packaging by 2030 (up from the current average of 76%)
- Better quality of recycled glass, so more recycled content can be used in a new production loop

A platform for a healthier planet
Glass is already Europe’s most recycled food and beverage packaging material – latest figures put the collection rate at 76%. Most ends up back in the production loop: the average batch contains 52% recycled content. Yet new glass containers could be produced with more recycled glass, and we want to make that happen. By recycling more and better, we can progress on new EU 2030 recycling targets and the UN Sustainable Development Goals – particularly SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption – and achieve sustainable growth opportunities in the Circular Economy.

Recent European legislation has set new real recycling targets. The revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive is a major step forward, increasing recycling targets for glass packaging to 70% by 2025, and 75% by 2030 per country. Most importantly, new EU targets now measure the actual recycling of packaging materials – not just collection rates. This means that to achieve these real recycling targets, we will need to make more effort to increase and improve collection.

‘Close the Glass Loop’ aims to increase the recycled content available to the industry, by collecting more and better glass upfront. The whole value chain is involved in recycling: from the glass producer, to the brand owner and the filler, to the consumer and glass treater passing by the EPR and Waste Management Schemes, as well as collectors and municipalities. Our vision is to achieve full actual recycling of collected glass packaging, by working in partnership with the whole value chain to make sure our Circular Economy works better.

With ‘Close the Glass Loop’ currently taking shape, together we will define a joint approach, design European and national action plans and implement them. We are ambitious about having foundations built in time for a 2020 launch, together with our partners.
(FEVE The European Glass Container Federation)

UPM Raflatac partners with Vellamo for bottled water industry’s first and only wood-based...

UPM Raflatac partners with Vellamo for bottled water industry’s first and only wood-based...   (Company news)

...clear plastic label material

UPM Raflatac is partnering with Vellamo, Finland’s award-winning natural mineral water for a truly innovative sustainable label. Vellamo’s bottles feature UPM Raflatac Forest Film PPTM, the world’s first and only wood-based polypropylene plastic label material. This transparent label material is constructed from UPM BioVerno naphtha, a 100 percent wood-based solution made from tall oil, a residue of pulp production, originating from sustainably managed forests.

“This is an ideal collaboration to showcase how labels matter when it comes to sustainable packaging,” says Timo Kekki, Vice President, Films Business, UPM Raflatac. “Our innovative labeling material answers brand owners’ needs to replace traditional fossil-based virgin materials with renewable ones.
The collaboration with Vellamo is an excellent example of how we are labeling a smarter future beyond fossils together with our partners.”

Forest Film PP offers companies like Vellamo an efficient and impactful way to reach beyond their sustainability goals without compromising on product performance. It is made from 100 percent renewable wood-based raw materials in an ISCC certified value chain and has identical quality and performance as conventional fossil-based films.

“Vellamo is one of Mother Nature’s perfect creations and we’re excited to share how we’ve taken great measures to ensure our unique taste, purity and sustainability for the health of our customers and planet by achieving a neutral carbon footprint across production, packaging and logistics,” says Petteri Ahonen, CEO, Ice Age Water Ltd.

Vellamo adheres to strict natural mineral water standards to maintain its official seal of approval and high-quality status of being naturally pure, unique in taste, bottled at the source, and containing no environmental pollution or added minerals or sweeteners. The high-quality, sustainable label is an integral part of the Vellamo water brand and supports Vellamo’s CO2ZERO Sustainability Program which aims to reduce CO2 emissions during the product’s lifecycle to zero.

The label also features UPM Raflatac’s RafMore, an innovative smart label solution that allows consumers to scan the label unique to every Vellamo bottle and access real-time product lifecycle and carbon footprint data. UPM Raflatac recently expanded its Forest Film product range with the industry’s first wood-based polyethylene label film for home and personal care labeling applications.
(UPM Raflatac Oy)

drinktec 2021: strong topics and strong demand

drinktec 2021: strong topics and strong demand  (drinktec)

- Four main topics focusing on the future of the industry
- High demand from abroad

With one and a half years left until drinktec 2021 kicks off, preparations are well and truly in full swing. The world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry will provide insights into the industry’s future by focusing on four main topics: Sustainable Production & Packaging, Consumer World & Product Design, Water & Water Treatment, and Digital Solutions & Digital Transformation. Despite the coronavirus crisis, demand both within Germany and from abroad is stronger than ever, with the majority of the available floorspace having already been snapped up. drinktec will be held from October 4 to 8, 2021, at the Munich trade fair.

“Despite the fact that drinktec has been postponed until October 2021 and despite the coronavirus crisis, demand for the available floorspace, primarily from abroad, is considerably higher compared to the same point in time for the previous event”, explains Exhibition Director Markus Kosak. “It is clear that our clients have high hopes that the event, set to take place in the fall next year, will boost international business. It goes without saying that the earlier clients register, the greater their chance of securing the area that they want.” Companies keen on registering can still do so online.

Four main topics focusing on the future of the industry
In view of recent market developments, the exhibition team and the drinktec Advisory Board have, together with the Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association of the VDMA (German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association), identified four main topics. These will have a huge influence on the content of drinktec 2021 and will shape the special focus areas, the exhibition area and the expert panel discussions in the forums.

Main topic: Sustainable Production & Packaging
Do paper bottles already exist?
Beverage producers are already adopting a proactive approach as energy-efficient machines are an absolute must in production. Individual components that can also be retrofitted at any time have the power to improve consumption data. Innovative lubricants, for example based on algae, could potentially also turn out to be game changers in the future.

Sustainability is also the name of the game when it comes to beverage packaging: PET bottles made from 100% recycled material, the material used for caps, and the recycling of bottles which feature direct-to-bottle printing will also have a bearing on the industry in 2021. Packaging developers are also increasingly thinking outside of the box. Paper bottles, which are currently still at the prototype stage, have the potential to provide an innovative and environmentally-friendly form of packaging. As fully recyclable materials, glass and metal continue to be attractive options. It will be interesting to see if cardboard and bag-in-box solutions become more popular, in particular in light of ever-changing consumer behavior.

Main topic: Consumer Landscape & Product Design
Juices that are more like teas
Natural ingredients, a reduced sugar content and organic products are currently on trend with consumers and influence their purchasing decisions. Market researchers from Mintel Group are reporting that producers are blurring the lines between juices and teas as well as smoothies and cold soups. Vegan protein shakes are also set to provide new and inspirational flavor profiles. At the same time, people are increasingly enjoying beverages at home as a result of restrictions imposed due to the spread of the coronavirus. This has led to increased demand for wine as well as new and creative beer styles. This is having a positive effect on the alcoholic product segment. It is still difficult to say whether and exactly how consumer behavior will change due to and after the spread of the coronavirus. However, one thing is for sure: beverage producers need to factor in people’s desire for transparency. Ingredients and their origins need to be consistently tracked along their journey all the way through to consumers – for example with blockchain solutions.

Main topic: Water & Water Management
Industrial water 4.0
Water management is one of the most urgent and pressing issues for many beverage producers who have to deal with limited availability of this precious raw material. There are two key points regarding beverage production which will be of particular interest to drinktec attendees: the treatment of product water and the economical use of process water.

Cloud solutions and real-time monitoring of the production systems involved provide opportunities for carrying out swift analyses and interventions. These measures can all be grouped under the term “industrial water 4.0”, which for example involves the use of improved sensor technology and process simulations to provide practical criteria for making swift decisions and to enable flexible approaches to using facilities.

Main topic: Digital Solutions & Digital Transformation
Artificial intelligence-led production
Connectivity is becoming increasingly important even in classic beverage production processes. Tools for simulating machine designs have already made a good name for themselves. Beverage producers are given an extensive insight into machine designs well before they are installed. In order to achieve highly automated production, data from the environment (such as the weather and its influence on beverage consumption) are incorporated into production with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) calculations. Digital solutions ultimately ensure that all the participants along the supply chain are connected: machine manufacturers with beverage producers, and beverage producers with their logistics providers, suppliers and, not least, consumers.

More background information on the main topics will be continuously provided in the drinktec blog and via the drinktec social media channels.
(Messe München GmbH)

Cancellation of Beviale Moscow 2020

Cancellation of Beviale Moscow 2020  (Company news)

In view of the current development in Russia regarding the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), Beviale Moscow 2020 must finally be cancelled. The event has initially been postponed to Wednesday September 2nd to Friday September 4th 2020.

The Moscow Government has decided to transform the “Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center” into a temporary hospital until the end of this year, in order to cushion potential new infection outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic in Moscow / Russia. Due to these circumstances, it is impossible to organize the exhibition as scheduled.

A new date for Beviale Moscow 2021 is to be scheduled soon. Negotiations are still ongoing.

“We sincerely hope to have all our exhibitors, visitors and partners aboard for Beviale Moscow 2021 again as we have missed not only its 5th anniversary but also its most successful edition this year” says Thimo Holst, Manager Beviale Moscow. “We are open and thankful for any kind of concerns, questions or remarks.”

Beviale Family: International expertise in the beverage industry
NürnbergMesse Group demonstrates its expertise in the beverage industry on an international stage: BrauBeviale in Nuremberg is one of the world’s most important capital goods fairs for the beverage industry. The Beviale Family is also active in about ten countries around the world in a number of event formats and cooperative marketing arrangements, all tailored to the individual target market. Members of the Beviale Family and network partners are operating in the key growth markets. The “international sponsors” of the Beviale Family are Doemens Akademie and the VLB (Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei), the Berlin-based teaching and training institute for brewing. Other projects are in the planning phase.
(NürnbergMesse GmbH)

SIG makes ASI-certified aluminium standard for customers in Europe

SIG makes ASI-certified aluminium standard for customers in Europe  (Company news)

SIG announces another milestone in its ambition to go Way Beyond Good for society and the environment by offering ASI-certified aluminium as standard for all SIG packs in Europe.

Another industry first from SIG
SIG is the first in the industry to obtain certification to both the ASI (Aluminium Stewardship Initiative) Performance and Chain of Custody standards and is the only aseptic carton producer to offer ASI-certified aluminium in its packs.

The first ASI-labelled cartons were launched by customers such as B-Better® (from Unilever’s Better Future Platform), Riedel and DRINKS3 in 2019. Now, ASI-certified aluminium will come as standard for all SIG packs in Europe. The new aluminium standard will be introduced in June, starting with customers launching new products or designs.

„ASI certification helps to drive improvements for people and the environment throughout the aluminium value chain,” said Carsten Haerup Christensen, Vice President Cluster Europe at SIG. “And it offers SIG customers another credible label, alongside FSCTM certification for paper board, to show consumers that they are committed to responsible sourcing of their packaging.”

As part of its commitment to offer customers 100% renewable packaging, SIG has already developed the industry’s first aluminium-free solutions and is working to eliminate aluminium from its packs. But an ultra-thin barrier layer of aluminium foil (ten times thinner than a human hair) is still needed for a number of shelf-stable products filled in SIG packs to protect them from light and oxygen, and keep products like fruit juices safe and nutritious.

Certification to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) standards demonstrates that aluminium comes from responsible sources. ASI certification aims to enhance traceability and responsibility in the aluminium supply chain through audits against strict standards on ethical, environmental and social criteria.

To help track responsibly sourced aluminium, SIG has a tracking system in place that is audited to maintain certification.

Responsible sourcing commitment
Sourcing raw materials from certified responsible sources is an established pillar of SIG’s commitment to go Way Beyond Good for society and the environment. The company’s target is to source 100% of the key raw materials in its packs from certified sources by the end of 2020.

Since 2016, customers have been able to include the FSCTM label on any of SIG’s cartons to show that the wood used to manufacture the paper board is from sustainably managed forests and other controlled sources.

With ASI-certified aluminium as standard from now on, SIG customers in Europe have the option to include the ASI label on packs, to show consumers that they are using responsibly-sourced aluminium in their packaging. This adds value for SIG customers by further enhancing the sustainability credentials of their packaging in the eyes of consumers.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

BIOTECON Diagnostics launches Real-Time PCR Cycler Dualo 32® for optimal quality control...

BIOTECON Diagnostics launches Real-Time PCR Cycler Dualo 32® for optimal quality control...  (Company news)

... in the beer and beverage industry

Highly sophisticated yet compact instrument enables simultaneous detection of 30+ beer spoilage organisms

BIOTECON Diagnostics is pleased to announce the release of its own newly developed real-time PCR cycler, the Dualo 32®, a robust 32-well solution that has been optimized for all beer and beverage applications. It not only offers convenience but also facilitates process and end-product quality control by answering multiple questions in a single run. The Dualo 32® in combination with our foodproof® Beer Screening Kits and foodproof® Spoilage Yeast Detection Kits can detect more than 30 of the most important beer spoilage bacteria and several spoilage yeasts.

“With the ever-expanding brewing industry, there is a definite need for quality management and early preventative controls to reduce the risk of product spoilage. We have long been in the business of developing and introducing kits and instruments to the market that alleviate the impact of contamination. Our new Dualo 32®, with its small footprint, is capable of dealing with the entire complexity of our PCR diagnostics portfolio for the brewing industry, which includes all relevant beer-spoiling bacteria, spoilage yeasts, Legionella and Alicyclobacillus,” said Dr. Kornelia Berghof-Jäger, CEO of BIOTECON Diagnostics.

“Operating with high end technology for outstanding instrument performance and reproducible results, the Dualo 32® is perfect for maintaining consistent quality control at all stages of the brewing process. It has everything a brewer needs and can run multiplex kits with up to four channels. The full spectrum optics of the user-friendly Dualo 32® enable the flexible use of hydrolysis as well as hybridization probes, so it is able to identify all the main beer spoilers by melting curve analysis. With a faster time to result, its accessible functionality, clear data interpretation and intuitive technology, the Dualo 32® truly is the perfect lab companion,” concluded Dr. Kornelia Berghof-Jäger.

In addition to cyclers, detection and screening kits, BIOTECON Diagnostics also provides several DNA extraction kits for all kinds of brewery matrices and for different sample throughput rates such as the foodproof® StarPrep Two Kit, which has higher sensitivity, includes mechanical disruption and is also suitable for users who work with foodproof® Spoilage Yeast Detection LyoKits; or the foodproof® StarPrep Three Kit that has an easy and fast protocol but excludes mechanical disruption.

Key Features of the Real-Time PCR Cycler Dualo 32®:
- Robust 32-well instrument optimized for BIOTECON Diagnostics’ foodproof® Kits and LyoKits
- Simple workflow – intuitive software, preinstalled protocols for all testing parameters and automated report generation
- Dual technology - full spectrum optics for hybridization and hydrolysis probe assays
- Small footprint – perfect for labs with minimal space and small to medium throughput
- Competitive pricing - ideal entry model for labs introducing real-time PCR methods to ensure constant high quality of beer and beverages
(BIOTECON Diagnostics GmbH)

The Naked Collective strips drinks to the clean essentials

The Naked Collective strips drinks to the clean essentials  (Company news)

A new range of premium health drinks from UK beverage company The Naked Collective, based on a ‘clean and simple’ philosophy, are to be launched in infinitely recyclable 33cl Sleek aluminium cans from Ardagh Group.

Brewed from plants, vitamins and water – nothing else – The Naked Collective’s So-Beer non-alcoholic lagers and Mude isotonic drinks will appeal to the increasing number of consumers who are looking for alcohol-free and low-sugar options that actively meet specific health needs. The Light Lager and Grapefruit flavoured So-Beers boast minerals and complex B vitamins that arise naturally during the brewing process, while the Mude range is ‘built around your day’ with vitamin-based functionalities – chill, work, play, sleep, and immunoboost.

This emphasis on simplicity, health and premium positioning is reflected in the clean lines of Ardagh’s tall, slender 33cl Sleek can manufactured in the UK, which The Naked Collective has adopted for its whole product range. The Mude cans all have a white shell and blue tab, with each of the five flavours distinguished by a single, rich, nature-inspired colour on the can body, brought to new heights by a stunning ombré effect. The So-Beer packs are characterised by clean pastels on a high-impact black background, with Ardagh’s unique matte finish ensuring they stand out from existing health drink designs.

This head-turning, simple but sophisticated packaging was developed in partnership with Ardagh’s UK Graphics team. “The team at Ardagh have been outstanding,” says The Naked Collective Founder Niall Phelan. “The level of support, responsiveness and the general feeling that we are working with a true partner has made the entire process fun. So, as we extend our range and expand our market, we’re delighted Ardagh will be our partner on that journey.”

Dirk Schwung, Sales Director at Ardagh Group’s European Metal Beverage Business Unit, echoes this sense of partnership: “We’re proud to have helped The Naked Collective develop this fantastic aesthetic which communicates the premium product inside. Since the aluminium can is infinitely recyclable, it’s also great to see our pack contribute to this customer’s clean, minimalist philosophy and carbon-neutral stance.”

The aluminium can is also light to transport, and offers protection from air, light, leakage and breakage – extending product shelf life and reducing waste – making it the natural choice for a company with such strong green credentials. The Naked Collective also fills locally for both the Irish and UK markets to further reduce its transport emissions.

The Naked Collective’s Mude and So-Beer range will be introduced online in June and in major retailers in the UK and Ireland in July.
(Ardagh Metal Beverage UK Limited)


USA: More than half of America’s top 50 craft brewers posted volume growth in 2019  (

More than half of the top 50 Brewers Association-defined craft brewing companies posted volume growth in 2019, according to data published in the May/June edition of the not-for-profit trade group’s New Brewer magazine, Brewbound reported.

2019’s volume gains broke a streak of three consecutive years in which the majority of regional craft brewing companies — defined as those producing between 15,000 and six million barrels of beer annually — did not grow. In 2019, 27 of the top 50 small and independent breweries by volume posted positive volume growth, while 23 companies either declined or remained flat. In fact, regional breweries collectively posted 1% volume growth in 2019.

The total craft category, as defined by the BA, held steady at 4% volume growth in 2019, to a total of 26.3 million barrels. The growth number has hovered around 4% over the last three years, but continued growth remains uncertain due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. craft brewing industry.

The two largest craft breweries by volume in 2019 — D.G. Yuengling and Son and Boston Beer Company — both recorded volume declines in 2019. Yuengling’s nearly 2.7 million barrels were more than double Boston Beer’s estimated beer production of 1.75 million barrels. Sierra Nevada (+1%) was the only other BA-defined craft brewery producing more than 1 million barrels of beer.

The BA’s production figure for Boston Beer includes the Samuel Adams brand, but does not include those of its offerings such as Truly Hard Seltzer (the second best-selling hard seltzer on the market) and Twisted Tea, or offerings from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, which is ranked separately as the 13th largest craft brewery, growing 1%, to 277,727 barrels. Boston Beer and Dogfish Head completed their merger last July.

Boston Beer reported in February that it shipped a total of 5.3 million barrels of its entire portfolio of products in 2019.

Six of the top 10 craft breweries posted volume growth, including the aforementioned Sierra Nevada, New Belgium (+4%, 886,500 barrels), Firestone Walker (+16%, 525,294 barrels), Bell’s Brewery (+5%, 494,081), the Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective (+14%, 479,476 barrels) and Artisanal Brewing Ventures (+2%, 317,688 barrels).

2019 will be the final year in which New Belgium will be counted within the craft brewer data set as it no longer meets the BA’s definition after selling to Kirin-owned Lion Little World Beverages.

The only other top 10 craft breweries to record negative volume growth in 2019 were Shiner maker the Spoetzl Brewery (517,443 barrels) and Stone Brewing (395,000 barrels), which each declined 1%, which amounted to a loss of between 4,000 and 5,000 barrels for each brewery.

Firestone Walker accounted for all 10% of Duvel Moortgat USA’s growth, as volumes declined at both Boulevard Brewing (-3%) in Kansas City, Missouri, and Brewery Ommegang (-14%) in Cooperstown, New York.

Bend, Oregon-headquartered Deschutes Brewery fell out of the top 10 in 2019, as volumes declined 7%, to 2090,932 barrels. Brooklyn Brewery’s 282,000 barrels in 2019 was flat year-over year.

Other top 20 craft breweries growing volumes in 2019 included Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing (+7%), Wisconsin’s New Glarus Brewing (+2%), Minhas Craft Brewery (+19%), and Fort Collins, Colorado-headquartered Odell Brewing (+5%).

On the flip side, New York’s Saranac Brewery (-2%) and Boston’s Harpoon Brewery (-5%) both declined in 2019.

Growth was also harder to achieve for past fast-rising craft breweries. Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist Brewery, which crossed the 100,000-barrel threshold in 2018, increased volumes 6%, to 106,024 barrels in 2019. Popular Pennsylvania brewery Tröegs posted low single-digit growth of 3%, producing 105,096 barrels.

Iconic Portland, Maine craft brewery Allagash crossed the 100,000-barrel line in 2019, increasing volumes 8%, as did Rhode Island’s Narragansett Brewing Company.

Indiana’s Three Floyds (+15%, 97,750 barrels) and Seattle’s Georgetown Brewing (+16%, 96,579 barrels) both edged closer to the 100,000-barrel milestone.

Three top 50 craft breweries — Alaskan (-10%), 21st Amendment (-10%) and Shipyard (-25%) — recorded double-digit declines.

For many of the top 50, the story was steady mid- to low single-digit growth, such as San Diego’s Karl Strauss (+2%), Massachusetts’ Wachusett Brewing (+5%) and Houston’s Saint Arnold (+1%).

San Diego’s Modern Times Beer Co. rocketed into the top 50, growing volumes 36%, to 70,150 barrels. And after a year of flat volumes, Lost Coast Brewery grew 12%. The fortunes weren’t as good for other California breweries Bear Republic and North Coast, which declined 11% and 15%, respectively, and fell outside of the top 50 breweries.

Massachusetts continued to be a hub of craft growth, as Massachusetts’ Jack’s Abby (+15%), Lord Hobo (+25%), Night Shift (+21%), Wormtown (+27%) and Trillium (+32%) each recorded strong double-digit growth.

Volumes at Tree House Brewery declined an estimated 3%, to 43,000 barrels. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the company’s sales were made directly to consumers at its destination brewery, and Tree House ranked as the BA’s top taproom brewery by volume, nearly doubling the volume of the next largest taproom brewery, Covington, Kentucky’s Braxton Brewing Company, which increased its own volumes 96%, to 23,500 barrels.

Collectively, taproom breweries increased production 26% in 2019, the first year in which the BA broke out taprooms as a new brewer class — defined as those companies selling more than 25% of their beer onsite, lacking significant food service and producing fewer than six million barrels a year.

Among the sharpest of declines was for Utah’s Uinta Brewing, which declined 40%, to 47,540 barrels, after retrenching in recent years. San Diego’s Green Flash also continued its tumble, declining an estimated 26%, to 33,338 barrels, down from its peak in 2015 of 81,287 barrels.

Within the top 100 breweries, there were still pockets of strong double- and triple-digit growth, including Georgia’s Creature Comforts (+28%), New York’s Montauk Brewing (+23%), California’s Drake’s Brewing (+20%), Oregon’s Pelican Brewing (+20%), California’s Belching Beaver (+23%) and New Mexico’s Santa Fe (+17%). Scottish craft beer maker’s BrewDog continued their fast ascent in the U.S., increasing volumes 77%, to 43,559 barrels of beer.

California’s Russian River doubled production to 34,943 barrels in 2019, with the addition of its new facility in Windsor, growing 105%.

Outside of the top 100, fast movers included Oregon’s PFriem Family Brewers (+46%, to 29,095 barrels), New Jersey’s Cape May (+72%, to 27,922 barrels), Vermont’s Fiddlehead Brewing (+32%, to 26,628 barrels), Georgia’s Scofflaw Brewing (+86%, to 26,000 barrels), New York’s Sloop Brewing (+250%, to 25,300 barrels), Connecticut’s New England Brewing (+63%, to 25,000 barrels), Maine Beer Co. (+28%, to 24,996 barrels), New York’s Singlecut Beersmiths (+71%, to 24,000 barrels), Washington’s Reuben’s Brews (+47%, to 20,826 barrels) and Colorado’s Denver Beer Co. (+33%, to 20,808 barrels).

Microbreweries, companies producing fewer than 15,000 barrels, collectively grew volumes 6%. Just one of the top 10 microbreweries by volume declined in 2019: Minnesota’s Bent Paddle Brewing, down 17%.

The top four microbreweries — Ohio’s Jackie O’s (+7%), New York’s Other Half (+12%), Utah’s Moab Brewery (+11%) and California’s Almanac (+66%) — each produced 14,500 barrels. Other top 10 micros were also carving out strong growth, including California’s Heretic (+30%) and Dust Bowl (+23%) and North Carolina’s Sycamore (+113%), and each above 14,000 barrels.

The BA also shared volume data for regional craft breweries owned by large beer manufacturers, such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Molson Coors, Constellation Brands, Craft Brew Alliance, Sapporo, Mahou San Miguel, Heineken and FIFCO USA. In 2019, those companies collectively produced an estimated 7.95 million barrels, a 2% decline from 2018.

A-B’s craft portfolio increased volumes 3%, to more than 2 million barrels. All but four of A-B’s 12 craft brands recorded volume growth in 2019. A-B’s two largest craft brands — Goose Island (-2%) and Shock Top (-24%) — as well as Blue Point (-2%) and Platform Beer Co. (-4%), which the company acquired in 2019, were all in decline.

Seattle-based Elysian continued its expansion (+11% to 245,000 barrels), as did Los Angeles’ Golden Road Brewing, which increased volumes 50%, and topped the 200,000-barrel mark for the first year, finishing 2019 at 240,000 barrels.

Other A-B brands growing included 10 Barrel (+10%), Breckenridge (+16%), Four Peaks (+14%), Devils Backbone (+6%), Karbach (+5%) and Wicked Weed (+50%).

Craft Brew Alliance, which A-B will acquire pending regulatory approval, increased volumes 1%, to 761,000 barrels, driven by the Kona brand.

Molson Coors’ craft brands collectively declined 5%, to 2.9 million barrels, as the company’s top two brands — Blue Moon (-3%) and Leinenkugel’s (-15%) — were both in the red.

Molson Coors’ other craft brands posted mixed results, with Saint Archer (+30%), Terrapin (+11%) and Hop Valley (+8%) in growth mode, and Revolver (-3%) in decline.

Heineken-owned Lagunitas increased volumes 3%, keeping the brand above the 1 million-barrel mark for the second consecutive year.

Michigan’s Founders Brewing Company, which is majority owned by Mahou San Miguel, posted modest 3% growth after years of double-digit growth. Founders closed out 2019 at 578,400 barrels. Mahou’s other U.S. craft brand, Colorado’s Avery Brewing, finished 2019 flat, at 54,732 barrels.

Constellation Brands, which offloaded San Diego’s Ballast Point to upstart Kings and Convicts, didn’t report production numbers for the brand in 2019, which had been steadily declining since peaking in 2016 at 430,917 barrels. Constellation’s other acquired craft brands — Florida’s Funky Buddha and Texas’ Four Corners — each grew 31% and 42%, respectively.

San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing, which was acquired by Japanese brewing company Sapporo Holdings in 2017, posted double-digit declines for the third consecutive year, dipping 25 percent, to 67,500 barrels, well below the company’s high water mark of 159,000 barrels in 2014.


EU: Up to a million of pre-paid beers waiting for consumers as soon as bars reopen  (

As bars across Europe gradually reopen, up to a million free or pre-paid beers are waiting to lure back wary consumers, WHTC News reported on June 4.

Beer makers from global giant Anheuser-Busch InBev to smaller craft brewers have set up schemes for consumers to buy drinks in advance to support shuttered bars with, in some cases, the reward of free beer when the doors reopen.

AB InBev launched its first scheme "Cafe Courage" in Belgium and has since sold over 200,000 Stella Artois, Jupiler and other brands. It also started similar schemes in 20 other markets across Europe and from Brazil to Hong Kong, raising over $6 million for pubs, bars and restaurants.

World number two Heineken put the number of drinks sold through its various voucher schemes at 270,000.

Now the bars are opening, consumers have had their first chance to redeem coupons or vouchers.

Danish friends Arendse Rohland and Thomas Hoffner Lovgren were among those to profit from free beers after bars re-opened there on May 18.

Danish brewer Carlsberg offered lagers in a bar to consumers who bought bottles or cans from stores in its "Adopt a Keg" scheme. The idea was to lure drinkers back with free drinks and hope that they would then buy more. Hoffner Lovgren and Rohland both seemed willing to do so.

"I rarely only drink one beer," Roland said after collecting a free drink at Carl's Ol & Spisehus in a Copenhagen suburb.

Drinkers elsewhere are now in line. France became the latest country on Tuesday to allow bars and restaurants to operate after the Netherlands on Monday. Ireland and Belgium are expected to follow later this month, with Britain in July.

Julian Marsili, Carlsberg global brand director, said its campaign would even continue into the summer.

"Travel will not be massive, at least outside Denmark, so we are encouraging people who want to adopt kegs to explore Denmark further in bars in the tourist places," he said.

The schemes have helped, but not made up the shortfall. In Britain, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said pubs could have recorded their best April in a decade, selling 745 million pints in unseasonably warm and sunny weather.

The issue is acute for brewers, with about a third of beer typically consumed in pubs, bars or cafes. In value terms, that can rise to 60-65%, according to Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, secretary general of the Brewers of Europe.

Beer sales in stores have risen, but well below the rate of wine and spirits and not enough to make up for the loss of on-premise drinking, according to U.S. data from marketing research firm Nielsen.

Reopened bars and restaurants will clearly not operate as they did before the coronavirus closures, with limited time at the bar or table service, shorter hours and measures to minimise contact between staff and customers and to keep customers apart.

Emma McClarkin, BBPA chief executive, said the social distancing gap made a big difference. Two metres, currently used in Britain, might only allow only a third of Britain's 47,000 pubs to reopen while a one-metre rule, deemed safe by the World Health Organization, would allow 75% to operate, she said.

Brewers have also been helping with some of the new hardware involved and learning from China, where restaurants and bars reopened from March.

Jan Craps, chief executive of Budweiser Brewing Co APAC, said the AB InBev Asian subsidiary had sent "welcome kits" including hand sanitizer, gloves, masks and advice to 50,000 bars and restaurants across China and 1,000 plastic screens to help smaller venues separate groups of customers.

Craps said the kits were being replicated in many other countries, such as the Americas where the brewer has its largest markets.

A study for the brewer of British pub-goers found 93% were keen to revisit their local and over a third intend to visit within a week of reopening. A majority also wanted to keep 2 metres away from strangers.

Business will not resume as before. Belgian cafe and restaurant owners expect on average 45% fewer customers as a result of social distancing measures and consumer wariness.

"It's not a back to normal situation... establishments now reopening will be reopening under pretty special conditions," Bergeron said.


Japan: Suntory Holdings predicts 20% of bars and restaurants could fail due to ...  (

... coronavirus pandemic

Takeshi Niinami, the head of Japanese drinks and food group Suntory Holdings and a government adviser, predicted on June 5 that more than 20% of bars and restaurants could fail due to the coronavirus pandemic, WHTC News reported.

Japan's vibrant dining scene, from tapas style izakaya pubs and restaurants to Tokyo's high-end eateries boasting the largest number of Michelin stars of any city, mostly shut down in April as the government declared a state of emergency.

Even with the emergency status lifted, many restaurants are reopening with caution and with limiting seating and opening hours as customers remain wary of dining out. Niinami said he feared the country's eating-out culture could be hurt for good.

"If you ask me how much will return, I'd say roughly, around 80% will be back," Niinami, an economic adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, told Reuters in an interview.

Niinami said that while the government's $1.1 trillion extra spending package approved last month was substantial, the government needed to be ready to provide more if a second wave of infections were to hit.

"I think it would be good to have 80% of them return, although of course I really want 100% back," he said. "Given the current coronavirus situation, what I'd like to see is for them to make it through the next two to three years until we can allow for more noisy, intimate get-togethers."

Privately-owned Suntory is dependent on the survival of Japan's dining industry, worth 25 trillion yen ($229 billion) by some estimates, as an outlet for its drinks including Yamazaki whisky and Laphroaig single malt Scotch as well as Premium Malt's beer.

The company is backing a new dining app called Saki-meshi, meaning meal in the future. It allows consumers to support their favourite restaurants by paying for meals up to 180 days in advance, to provide restaurants with much needed cash to survive until business returns.

Niinami added his weight to calls for easier access to coronavirus tests, to allow people to more confidently resume business activity.

The Japanese government has been widely criticised at home for its lack of testing, although the country appears so far to have escaped an explosive outbreak with around 910 deaths so far.

Safe installation and commissioning of diaphragm valves with GEMÜ PPF multifunction adapters

Safe installation and commissioning of diaphragm valves with GEMÜ PPF multifunction adapters  (Company news)

Picture: GEMÜ PPF multifunction adapter

GEMÜ PPF (Pressure, Passivation, Flushing) multifunction adapters can be used to prevent the penetration of foreign particles when installing diaphragm valves, resulting in enormous cost savings.

It is a basic fact that all installation work involving piping, such as the installation of valves, poses a risk of contamination. The entry of foreign matter or contaminants into piping systems can lead to the need to discard an entire batch of medicine, which can have a substantial impact on business. Even more serious, however, is the risk of contamination not being detected in time which could lead to patients being harmed.

Apart from the human risk, there is the added economic risk that foreign matter can cause plant components such as pumps and heat exchangers to become blocked or even damaged, resulting in interruptions to the process and impacting scheduling.

With static GEMÜ PPF (Pressure, Passivation, Flushing) multifunction adapters in 1.4435 stainless steel, the penetration of foreign particles during the installation of diaphragm valves is prevented. Immediately following disassembly of the actuator and diaphragm, the adapter is mounted on the valve body, thereby offering protection for the seat. The GEMÜ PPF must be removed after installation is complete but before sterilization of the plant. The sealing over the weir and to the outside is created by an EPDM seal, which is approved according to FDA and USP Class VI. The fixing method, as we know from diaphragm valves, uses four screws, or for a diaphragm size 100, eight screws. After the multifunction adapter has been mounted on the valve body, this can be used as a weld gas pipeline for welding the body. The subsequent introduction or conveying of the passivation media to protect the surface against corrosion can also be performed via an adapter.

For an endoscopic examination, a camera can be introduced into the piping system via the GEMÜ PPF connections, just as a tube can be connected for flushing. Because the adapter is constructed using the full spigot diameter, this design enables an optimal rinsing process. This can take place in both flow directions. A final pressure test can be performed with GEMÜ PPF up to an operating pressure of 16 bar.
The reusable multifunction adapters have been designed for various membrane sizes and are available from diaphragm sizes MG 8 to MG 100. This enables GEMÜ to offer a safe, convenient solution to prevent contamination or the penetration of foreign matter when installing valves in piping.
(GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)


Australia: Brewers Association calls for beer excise freeze  (

The Brewers Association has called for the Australian government to freeze excise in advance of the next scheduled increase, due in August, Australian Brews News reported on June 9.

The statement calling to ‘put a cap on Australia’s beer tax’ from the peak body representing the interests of CUB, Lion and Coopers, described the price of a beer in Australia as ‘already over-the-top’.

“Now is not the time to be ramping up taxes on consumers,” Brewers Association of Australia CEO Brett Heffernan said yesterday in a media release.

“With more and more Aussies out of work and everyone counting their pennies, jacking up beer tax would be another blow to punters and publicans, alike.

“August 1 is the deadline for averting the next hip-pocket slug to Australians doing it tough.”

“Tax accounts for 42% of the price of a stubby. On a typical A$52.00 carton, A$22.05 goes to the taxman. When it comes to taxing a drink, Aussies pay the fourth highest beer tax in the industrialised world.

“We’re not asking for a tax cut at this time … just don’t increase the tax. That would spare punters further pain, take pressure off hospitality venues and, because it’s revenue neutral, won’t cost Treasury a cent.

“Putting up the tax in August would be another hit to pubs, clubs and the hundreds of thousands of Australians they need to re-employ once they can re-open in full. Higher taxes will only make that challenge harder when so many are on their knees.”

The BA’s calls for an excise freeze were broadly supported by the Independent Brewers Association.

“The financial impost on brewers in this country is certainly not enabling the industry to prosper and grow so in that respect, I agree with Brett’s comments,” Independent Brewers Association General Manager Kylie Lethbridge said.

“Obviously the impact of this current tax regime on independent brewers is somewhat greater as most are small, family-owned businesses where every cent counts.”

The broad agreement over excise appears to be as far as the agreement goes, with Heffernan recently criticising the IBA’s arguments for more targeted support as ‘concocted’.

Heffernan made the comments in a letter to the editor while responding to an article in the Canberra Times in which IBA Chair Peter Phillip set out the challenges facing independent brewers.

“Indie brewers are at a massive competitive disadvantage to the multi-national mega-brewers because our beer is handcrafted, which means we employ 15 times the number of employees per litre of beer,” Phillip said in the article.

In his response, titled All Froth, No Beer, Heffernan dismissed the small brewers employment case as being ‘concocted’.

“It goes some way to explaining why indie beer is so expensive. It also illustrates the lengths you have to go to in order to concoct an economic argument,” he wrote.

“The call for wine-type tax rebates isn’t the answer. This perpetual handout is distortionary, rewards mediocrity and does nothing for punters. Governments of all persuasions have learned that costly lesson. They are loath to repeat it,” he argued.

“The best thing government can do for everyone looking for relief and recovery – consumers, brewers and hospitality – is freeze the next round of beer tax increases for a year.”

The Independent Brewers Association has previously called for the Federal government to introduce excise rebates for small brewers that match the A$350,000 tax relief provided to wine makers.

While the Brewers Association highlighted Australia’s high rate of excise as being the reason for Australia’s ‘over the top’ beer prices, AB InBev last year also noted Australia’s highly concentrated beer market was amongst the most profitable in the world as it looked to sell its local operations.


USA: Craft Brew Alliance plans divestment of Kona Brewing operations in Hawaii to get ...  (

... approval for merger with AB InBev

Craft Brew Alliance announced on June 10 plans to divest of its Kona Brewing operations in Hawaii in an effort to gain regulatory approval for its planned merger with Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brewbound reported.

Contingent upon CBA’s combination with A-B closing later this year, Kona’s operations in Hawaii — including its brewpubs in Kailua-Kona and Honolulu, as well as its under-construction 30,000 sq. ft., 100,000-barrel brewery — would be sold to PV Brewing Partners, a partnership between former A-B president Dave Peacock and Overland Park, Kansas-based family office VantEdge Partners.

The rights to the Kona brand in the other 49 states and international markets would go to A-B in the CBA deal. The world’s largest beer manufacturer would manage the Kona brand, its brewing, production, innovation and distribution outside of Hawaii.

“We are committed to working with regulators and facilitating the successful review and close of our expanded partnership with A-B,” Andy Thomas, CEO of CBA, said in a press release. “We are delighted to have found a strong buyer that will continue to nurture the spirit of the Kona brand in Hawaii and offer its employees, who will remain part of Kona’s Hawaii operations, further opportunities for growth and development.”

Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis, president of A-B’s Brewers Collective, added in the release: “While our shared vision for the expanded partnership between CBA and A-B did include CBA’s Hawaii operations, we are still optimistic about the ability of CBA and A-B to offer more consumers, in more communities, even more choices as a result of this expanded partnership. We are confident that PV Brewing will continue investing and driving economic growth in Kona’s communities in Hawaii.”

A-B agreed to purchase the remaining shares in CBA for $16.50 per share in November 2019. In early February, the U.S. Department of Justice requested additional information about the merger. A-B and CBA expect their combination to receive approval by the end of 2020.

VantEdge Partners is led by Paul Edgerley and Terry Matlack. Their investment portfolio includes a stake in the Kansas City Royals, as well as 260 quick-serve restaurants, including Dunkin’, Taco Bell and Jamba Juice.

According to VantEdge’s website, the firm’s investment focus is to make initial equity investments between $20 million and $75 million or invest that much as a company grows. The transaction price is expected to be disclosed in an 8K filing.

PV Brewing marks Peacock’s return to the brewing industry as an investor. Peacock, who served as president of A-B from November 2008 through February 2012 and worked for the brewing giant for more than a decade, is the chairman of VantEdge subsidiary Vitaligent, the largest Jamba Juice franchisee. Peacock is also an advisory board member for the Schnuck Markets grocery chain, which operates 112 stores in the midwest.

“In the same way that CBA carried on the legacy of what Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa built at Kona, our number one priority is supporting Kona’s future on the Islands and ensuring the success of the brand there,” Peacock said in the release. “We are energized by this unique opportunity and are proud to support the continued growth of Kona in Hawaii with a new state-of-the-art brewery.”

Speaking with Brewbound, Thomas said the proposed deal has a two-fold outcome, facilitating the overall merger of CBA and A-B and then putting Kona in its home market in the hands of people who will “nurture the brand” and invest in it locally.

Thomas noted that a deal like this is not new in the brewing industry, citing the import brands such as Labatt (sold in the U.S. by FIFCO USA but owned globally by A-B), Modelo and Corona (sold in the U.S. by Constellation Brands by owned globally by A-B), and even CBA’s ownership of the Cisco Brewers brand everywhere but on Nantucket island in Massachusetts.

“We believe there’s aligned interest in working together to build the brand that’s good for Hawaii and good for outside of Hawaii,” Thomas explained. “So they’ll have full autonomy in Hawaii. They’ll be able to innovate. They’ll be able to create new local brands and new local beers that are appropriate to the market there. And if we’re so inclined, we might take those brands and do something with them elsewhere, and vice versa.

“We’ll continue to build and nurture the brand on the mainland and international markets, and they can choose to use some of that locally, if they want to, but they will not be required to. And there will be a set of agreed upon brand guidelines that will act as guardrails for how the brand is treated in his home market in Hawaii.”

Thomas told Brewbound that CBA discussed a potential sale of Kona’s Hawaii operations with several parties but was most intrigued by the interest from PV Brewing.

“When they kind of became part of the process we got really excited given Dave’s background, his understanding of beer, his understanding of the industry and VantEdge’s wherewithal to invest in consumer goods to understand the value of building brands locally,” Thomas said.

Upon completion of the deal, PV Brewing will employ Kona’s staff in Hawaii, including general manager Billy Smith, who will continue to lead the brewery’s operations. Additionally, PV Brewing will enter into a distribution agreement with A-B’s whole owned distributor in Hawaii.


Mexico: Grupo Modelo launches versions of Corona and Victoria beers containing ...  (

... just 1.8% alcohol

The Grupo Modelo beer company, which makes 17 brands of beer including Pacífico, Modelo and Corona, has added two new brands to its portfolio, versions of Corona and Victoria containing just 1.8% alcohol, the Mexico News Daily reported on June 9.

“At Grupo Modelo we are always looking to transform ourselves in order to give our consumers a wide variety of products for different consumption occasions,” said president Cassiano de Stefano on Monday. “Today a unique segment is born in Mexico that is characterized by its low alcohol content and that represents a historical event for two of the most important brands in the country.”

It’s not a coincidence that the two new brands were released during the coronavirus pandemic. Beer with less than 2% alcohol content is not considered an alcoholic beverage by the federal government and is thus marketable in municipalities that have enacted dry laws due to the coronavirus.

Victoria Chingones was also designed to help support more than 4,000 farmers affected by the halt to beer production after it was deemed a nonessential business, Grupo Modelo said.

Between 2013 and 2018, the total amount of beer consumed in Mexico, regardless of alcohol content, grew 56.2% with constant annual growth of 9.3%, a trend which is expected to continue in the future.


USA: Brewers bringing fewer new products to market amid coronavirus pandemic  (

Brewers are bringing fewer new products to market amid coronavirus concerns and a slowing economy, according to Sovos ShipCompliant label registration data for the months of April and May 2020, indicating these producers are doubling down on their existing product lines, reported on June 15.

Overall, producers and wholesalers in the beer, wine and spirits business registered 16,164 products through Sovos ShipCompliant’s Product Registration Online (PRO) system, while many bars, retailers and tasting rooms remained closed due to stay-at-home orders. This represents a drop of 2% over February and March and a 0.3% decrease year-over-year.

However, brewers felt the decline most sharply with 43.4% fewer new product registrations in April and May compared to the same time last year.

“The closure of tasting rooms beginning in mid-March left many industry producers struggling to make ends meet. Breweries, in particular, appear to have rallied around their core products rather than investing in seasonal or limited releases, as a way to cut costs,” said Larry Cormier, vice president, general manager of Sovos ShipCompliant. “Craft beer innovation takes place in the taproom. With limited retail shelf space, many newer brewers focus on taproom sales rather than traditional distribution. So when tasting rooms closed, the newest and smallest brewers took the biggest hit.”


Belgium: AB InBev launches new Victoria beer  (

AB InBev has launched a new beer, with a marketing story that attacks Duvel beer head-on, The Brussels Times reported on June 8.

The new beer, called “Victoria” is a blond beer with 8.5% alcohol that referments in the bottle. The label shows an angel holding the devil to the ground, and the marketing story behind the new beer has several references to the devil, such as a story of the victory of Archangel Saint Michael over the devil.

Additionally, AB InBev promotes Victoria as “100% natural” and also refers to “the evil, false and artificial,” which is “characteristic of the ways of the devil.”

“This is just an open attack,” beer sommelier Jeroen Peeters of the Antwerp pub Dr. Beer told Het Nieuwsblad. “They also choose the former name of Duvel. Anyone who knows anything about beer history knows that it was once called ‘Victory Ale’,” he added.

Duvel, the iconic blond specialty beer of the Moortgat brewery, has always been very successful, and it is not the first time other breweries try to beat it.

“We have established that the segment of strong, blond beers is growing,” AB InBev spokesperson Karolien Cloots told Het Nieuwsblad. “We follow this consumer trend, and therefore complete our range with this new type of beer,” she added.

When Brewery Van Honsebrouck brought the ‘Filou’ beer on the market, the Moortgat brewery even started a lawsuit, as Filou copied the taste and appearance of Duvel too much, according to them. The beer was also in a brown bottle, and had a white label with red letters. However, the judge did not rule in favour of Moortgat, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

Other beers, such as ‘Hapkin’ by the Alken-Maes brewery, ‘Sloeber’ from brewery Roman, and ‘Satan gold’ from De Block brewery all target the segment in which Duvel is market leader.


South Korea: Competition heating up in non-alcoholic beer market  (

With the hot summer season close at hand, competition is heating up in South Korea’s non-alcoholic beer market, the Korea Bizwire reported on June 19.

China’s Tsingtao Brewery Co. recently threw its hat into the ring to make a play in a market that has been led by HiteJinro Co. and Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co.

Oriental Brewery Co., the No. 1 brand in South Korea’s beer market, also plans to steer into this market by the end of this year.

According to industry sources on June 18, HiteJinro introduced non-alcoholic beer first in South Korea.

The company released Hite Zero 0.00 in Nov. 2012 and renovated the taste and package design in March 2016.

Hite Zero features a 0.00 percent alcohol content and only 60 kilocalories (kcal) per 355 milliliter can. Since Hite Zero 0.00 was first released, about 54 million cans have been sold.

Sales of Hite Zero 0.00 in the April-May period marked a robust year to year growth of 29 percent. During this period, the monthly average sales volume jumped by 34 percent compared to the figures recorded in the first quarter of this year.

Lotte Chilsung joined the market as a late comer in June 2017 with Cloud Clear Zero, which also has a 0.00 percent alcohol content and a low calorie count of only 30 kcal per 350 milliliter can.

In the first four months of this year, sales of Cloud Clear Zero rose by 50 percent from a year ago.

More recently, Tsingtao Brewery stepped into the market with Tsingtao Non Alcoholic. The brewery said that Tsingtao Non Alcoholic is an alcohol-free beer with an original lager taste.


New Zealand: Huge push to buy local paying dividends for small brewers  (

A huge push to buy local in post-lockdown New Zealand is paying dividends for small breweries, but only if they’ve done the hard yards with customers first, the Australian Brews News reported on June 22.

The interest in local producers is exemplified by the growth of a New Zealand Made Products Facebook page, launched during lockdown.

A meteoric climb to more than 500,000 members has driven sales for a number of Kiwi brands. And Buy NZ Made, which licences the official Kiwi-branded trademark, saw a surge in applications during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul Croucher of Rotorua’s Croucher Brewing says local support for his brewery and pub is critical in a town that relied heavily on tourism numbers.

When lockdown hit, Croucher was worried whether he’d taken his local audience for granted but was pleasantly surprised at the level of support. He attributed the support to the groundwork the brewery had done over the years with sponsorship of events and charities.

The brewery sponsors mountain bike races and ultramarathons but also supports the local hospice, a breast cancer trust, the Rotorua SPCA and the Rotorua-based national kiwi hatchery.

“What we did during lockdown was to repackage keg beer into flagons and target our local market, rekindling that relationship that we had feared had staled over the years,” Croucher said.

“But some of the events that we had supported almost altruistically over the years had their membership show us a good deal of reciprocal support.

“We now realise that our support, and thus our relationship with our community, is appreciated more than ever.”

That relationship will be critical to the brewery’s ongoing survival over the next two years, with New Zealand likely to keep tight border controls in place.

“We have a fair bit of uncertainty and trepidation looking into the next 18 months,” he said.

“Tourism has been critical for the Rotorua and losing that market is going to redefine us.

“It is going to be increasingly important to appreciate local and everything it brings to our culture and society like that cool bike shop, that great bakery not to mention that local brewery!”

Further south in another tourist town, Eddie Gapper of Queenstown’s Altitude Brewing noticed a massive spike in local custom when restrictions ended, a payback for the legwork the brewery did during the two months of lockdown.

“Our main activity during lockdown was delivering fresh tap beer to local customers,” Gapper said.

“It was labour intensive but delivered vital cash and provided a great opportunity to shout pleasantries at our customers from the end of their drives.

“Reopening the tap room showed us how well supported we are locally. Since Level 2 started we have been doing summer numbers which is extraordinary in May.”

Gapper said that other local Queenstown breweries, Cargo and Searchlight, were also reporting a similar surge in local support not being seen at the traditional tourist bars in town.

No need to imagine the most sustainable carton - it’s here! Elopak launches Pure-Pak® Imagine

No need to imagine the most sustainable carton - it’s here! Elopak launches Pure-Pak® Imagine  (Company news)

Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment for liquid food, has launched the Pure-Pak® Imagine, its most environmentally friendly carton to date. The new carton is a modern version of the company’s original Pure-Pak® carton, designed with an easy open feature.

“Increasingly, we see that our Pure-Pak® carton system is the natural solution to the global need to reduce the usage of plastic bottles,” says Elopak’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Patrick Verhelst.

Beverage cartons already have the lowest CO2 footprint among liquid food packaging today. Using renewable, recyclable and sustainably sourced materials, Elopak provides innovative packaging solutions that offer a natural and convenient alternative to plastic bottles and fit with a low carbon circular economy.

“With the launch of Pure-Pak® Imagine, Elopak is supporting the critical causes that represent the issues of our times – but the call to action is timeless,” Verhelst added.

Elopak’s strong focus on sustainability, alongside food safety and consumer convenience, has seen the company record a number of important environmental milestones in recent years. Carbon neutral since 2016, Elopak uses 100 per cent renewable electricity and has reduced emissions by 70 per cent over the past decade. With cartons manufactured from responsibly managed forests and FSC™ (FSC™C081801) certified material, Elopak offers customers 100 per cent renewable cartons that use wood-based renewable plastics, rather than relying on petroleum-based plastics.

“We wish to play our part in the global shift towards a low carbon circular economy and have therefore created the most environmentally friendly carton possible,” Verhelst explains.

“The Pure-Pak® Imagine carton has no plastic screw cap and is 100% forest based made with Natural Brown Board. The carton is fully renewable and carbon neutral, creating the perfect low carbon, circular economy approach,” he continues.

Many will recognize the easy-to-open feature from the 70’s and 80’s before the screw cap was first introduced. The Pure-Pak® Imagine carton’s unique top fin helps guide consumers how to open the carton. In combination with the modern functionality of the easy-pour and easy-fold features, the new carton design sets a new benchmark in reducing plastics.

The Pure-Pak® carton historically is the iconic fresh beverage pack, and with the new shape of the top fin introduced with the Pure-Pak® Imagine, Elopak adds a further important point of differentiation. Shape is the first recognition point for consumers, so this is especially important in markets less familiar with the easy opening feature. The design of the Pure-Pak® Imagine carton will create recognition on shelves across our markets and is currently available for the fresh dairy category.

“With Pure-Pak® Imagine we aim to help consumers make conscious environmental choices. The carton’s easy opening gives the environmentally-minded consumer a more sustainable pack, with less plastic and more natural renewable materials,” concludes Verhelst.
(Elopak AS)

Blue Moon and Blue Moon LightSky rocket to top four growth brands in craft

Blue Moon and Blue Moon LightSky rocket to top four growth brands in craft   (Company news)

Blue Moon Brewing Co. began 2020 optimistic about its 25th anniversary. With momentum from a highly touted new ad, the nation’s leading craft brand was preparing to launch Blue Moon LightSky, a new low-carb tangerine wheat ale, while continuing to grow its flagship, the top-selling craft beer in the country.

Like all brewers, Blue Moon took a hit with the evaporation of on-premise sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. But with about half of its volume sold in the on-premise, which includes bars, taverns and restaurants, the brand experienced an outsized blow.

Yet despite what could be a doom-and-gloom story, the brand has maintained momentum through difficult times, posting 17% growth in off-premise sales volume year-to-date, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data through June 6, the most recent information available. Over the last four weeks, it’s up a whopping 29%.

What’s more, Blue Moon has two of the four top growth brands in the craft segment, and its new entrant, Blue Moon LightSky, is the best-selling new craft brand released in 2020 by a substantial margin, per Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data through May 30. And, when on-premise locations re-open widely across the United States, Blue Moon is poised to retain its spot on the leader pole, says Lester Jones, chief economist for the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

“When you fold in the on-premise channels, Blue Moon is the leader because it has such a strong national on-premise business model,” Jones says. “Once the on-premise starts coming back, it’s going to reestablish itself as the leader.”

Across the country, one of the common themes in the coronavirus era has been consumers turning to large packs of trusted brands. The craft segment is no different, with Blue Moon’s largest national packaging – 15-packs of Blue Moon Belgian White Belgian-Style Ale – posting 75% year-over-year growth. Its strength in the off-premise puts the franchise second only to New Belgium in the craft segment in annual growth, and a close third to Sierra Nevada for the last four weeks.

“Our 15-pack cans used to represent a very small portion of our business, but that’s what’s driving all of our growth right now,” says Michelle Ahbe, senior marketing manager for Blue Moon. “Our recent sales data in the off-premise has been off the charts.”

Overall, the brand has thrived during the pandemic (measured by Nielsen as the period between Feb. 29 and May 30, the most-recent date for which data are available), up 28.9% in case volume growth, outpacing both the craft segment (+18%) and the beer industry overall (+16.6%), each of which have seen their own substantial gains.

Other regional and national craft brands also have been lifted in the off-premise during the pandemic, including those in Molson Coors’ Tenth & Blake portfolio. Regional craft partners — Terrapin, Hop Valley, Saint Archer, Revolver, AC Golden and Atwater — are up 20% combined year-to-date and 24% in the most-recent 13 weeks, per Nielsen. And Leinenkugel’s, which finished last year down, has clawed back this year to nearly flat, helped by a +3% performance over the past 13 weeks.

While consumers have been quick to pick up packs of Belgian White, the brand has also been lifted by the hot performance of its newest entrant, Blue Moon LightSky, which the brand has positioned as a daytime drinking option, as opposed to the happy hour occasions where Belgian White performs best.

At 95 calories and 3.6 carbs, LightSky is an easy-drinking, lower-alcohol alternative to Belgian White, and is 2020’s No. 1 beer innovation by sales, per Nielsen. Brewed with real tangerine peel, the 4% ABV wheat beer comes in slim white cans and delivers a familiar citrus flavor associated with the Blue Moon brand, in addition to a touch of malt sweetness, finishing clean with a hint of tropical fruit.

“LightSky has absolutely been flying off the shelves,” says Ahbe. Already Blue Moon’s second-best seller behind Belgian White, LightSky is the year’s best-selling new craft brand and top-30 craft brand, overall, according to Nielsen.

Blue Moon LightSky has far outpaced other new brands released this year. Nielsen reports it has booked $12.1 million in sales at retail, compared to $3.7 million for Elysian Contact Haze IPA, the next-highest new craft brand released this year (Bud Light Assorted Peels and Bud Light Lemonade Lager rank 2nd and 3rd with $5.2 million and $3.9 million in sales, respectively). LightSky has benefited from the Blue Moon halo effect, as well as being displayed next to Belgian White in off-premise locations, Ahbe says. But that’s not the only reason for its success: It’s a response to drinkers’ demands.

“We kept hearing from consumers that they wanted a beer that has the flavor expected of (Belgian White), but that is a bit easier to drink for those daytime occasions, and so we developed LightSky,” Ahbe says. “We listened to consumers and our distributors were immediately on board with the sessionable lower-calorie option as well.”

Still, the positive growth Blue Moon has seen since the pandemic disrupted American life is not enough to make up for the decline in on-premise sales, Ahbe says. Blue Moon is not alone is experiencing that reduction in sales, as overall industry volume is down 1% through April, Jones says.

Blue Moon’s task as consumers begin returning to venues will be to hold back the competition, Jones says, pointing to the strength of New Belgium’s Fat Tire Belgian Ale and Sierra Nevada, whose 18% annual growth in off-premise sales bests Blue Moon by a less than a point.

“Off-premise (sales are) going to start slowing down as the on-premise starts gaining again and as drinkers start drifting back,” Jones says. “Blue Moon is going to be right there because they are widely known and widely distributed.”
(Blue Moon Brewing Company)

Michael König elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG

Michael König elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG  (Company news)

• Michael König (photo left) succeeds Dr. Winfried Steeger, who retires from the Supervisory Board
• Michael König has long-standing management experience
• Peter Vanacker (photo right) appointed as a new member of the Supervisory Board

At its ordinary meeting following the virtual Annual General Meeting, the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG elected Michael König (56) as its new Chairman. Michael König succeeds Dr. Winfried Steeger (70), who, as previously announced, is stepping down upon reaching the retirement age specified in the Supervisory Board's Rules of Procedure. The Hildesheim District Court had appointed Michael König to the Supervisory Board, effective as of 15 January 2020, following the departure of Dr. Thomas Rabe. In addition, the Annual General Meeting elected Peter Vanacker (54) as a new member of the Supervisory Board.

Michael König, the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG, said: "On behalf of the entire Supervisory Board I would like to thank Dr. Steeger for his commitment and the trusting working relationship. At the same time, we are pleased to welcome Peter Vanacker to the Supervisory Board. With his many years of management experience both in Germany and internationally, he represents an outstanding addition to our Supervisory Board."

Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG, added: "Over the past eight years, Dr. Steeger was always available to support the Management Board with his extensive knowledge and expertise. On behalf of the entire company, I would like to express my sincere thanks for the excellent cooperation. At the same time, I look forward to working with Michael König and Peter Vanacker. They have both built impressive track records during their successful careers in different industries. Their strong interest in the long-term development of businesses, with a special focus on innovation and sustainability, will greatly benefit our company."

Michael König is the CEO of the publicly traded Elkem ASA, a leading global supplier of silicone-based high-performance materials based in Oslo. Prior to this, he spent four years as CEO of China National Bluestar, a supplier of new chemicals and animal nutrition products, and 25 years in various management roles in Germany and China with Bayer AG.

Peter Vanacker is the President and CEO of Neste Corporation, one of the world's leading manufacturers of sustainable product solutions, such as renewable fuels for road and air transportation and renewable hydrocarbons for the chemical industry, headquartered in Finland.

Dr. Winfried Steeger was appointed to the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG in 2012 and served as its Chairman from August 2019 onward.
(Symrise AG)

Metsä Board and Esbottle are developing a new concept for an ecological ...

Metsä Board and Esbottle are developing a new concept for an ecological ...  (Company news)

... paperboard flute cup for celebration drinks

Metsä Board, a leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards and part of Metsä Group, and the Finnish start-up company Esbottle have been jointly developing an ecological and appealing paperboard flute cup concept that meets the need to reduce the use of plastic. The newly designed paperboard cup is a stylish solution for celebration drinks, as well as lightweight and easy to transport and recycle. It can be personalised using traditional printing methods and special effects.

Esbottle, based in Espoo, develops innovative, responsible and high-quality solutions for the beverage and food industry. The innovative shape of the paperboard cup is the result of collaboration between Esbottle and Metsä Board's packaging design team. The classic flute shaped design consists of two parts enabling the cup and base sections to be stored inside each other so they can be transported and recycled efficiently.“Together with Esbottle, we are now testing the concept and researching material options, while exploring the market interest and other potential uses. I think this innovative paperboard cup is an excellent example of combining paperboard potential, design and new technology in an ecological way,” says Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services Director of EMEA & APAC, Metsä Board.
(Metsä Board Corporation)

Scotch Whisky Industry Continues to Make Progress Towards a Low-Carbon Economy

Scotch Whisky Industry Continues to Make Progress Towards a Low-Carbon Economy  (Company news)

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has released its latest report tracking progress in achieving the Scotch Whisky industry’s sustainability targets, as set out in its ambitious Environmental Strategy.

The Scotch Whisky Industry Environmental Strategy, created in 2009 and the first of its kind to cover an entire sector, listed a range of targets across the industry and its supply chain.

The 2020 report, using data from 2018, is the latest indication of the Scotch Whisky industry’s advancements in sustainability, and cover key areas that include responsible water use, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and improvements to consumer packaging.

Among the successes revealed by the latest data was a 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at Scotch Whisky production sites. The Scotch Whisky industry now sources over a quarter of its primary energy from non-fossil fuel sources, up from 21% in 2016. Water efficiency in the Scotch Whisky industry has improved by 22% since the 2012 base year, more than double the 10% improvement target.

The Scotch Whisky industry has made further progress in reducing waste to landfill. The latest data shows only 1% of waste is now being sent to landfill, down from 4% in 2016.

Reducing overall packaging weight has proven more challenging. Overall weight has increased by 2.6% since 2012, due in large part to the premiumisation of many Scotch Whisky products, particularly glass bottles.

Welcoming the report, Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the SWA, said: “This report shows how seriously we take the sustainability of the Scotch Whisky industry. Scotch Whisky is made from natural ingredients in some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes and we know we have a huge responsibility to protect the environment.

“It’s great to see the progress we are making, including significant reductions in fossil fuel use and in recycling and reusing waste. This work is going on hand-in-hand with our supply chain too, and together we are leading the way to a sustainable future for our sector.

“What is critical now, including as we look to re-building our industry and Scotland’s economy in the wake of COVID-19, is that we can work closely with government to ensure that the right policy framework and right incentives are in place to enable us and other key sectors to continue to take bold steps to tackle climate change.”

This year, the SWA is further reviewing the strategy to ensure it can drive progress towards net-zero targets and a low-carbon economy, with publication expected later in 2020. Among the revised targets will be a commitment to sustainable land use, including the implementation of a Peat Action Plan and commitments to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Terry Ahearn, CEO of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said: “This progress report powerfully shows that the SWA and its members are businesses that understand that environmental excellence is essential to commercial success. SEPA applauds the sector for its achievements and looks forward to continuing to work with the sector on its ongoing efforts to innovate for environmental progress.”

Ross Johnston, Deputy Director of Sustainable Development for Scottish Natural Heritage said: “We welcome SWA’s commitment to their environmental strategy, and we look forward to working with them on sustainable land use and their Peat Action plan.”
(SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)




Intermarché is first to launch SIG’s paper straw solution in Europe

SIG’s fully recyclable and renewable paper straw solution for aseptic carton packs is being launched for the first time in Europe by Intermarché, one of the most popular retail chains in France.

Intermarché is the first company in France to launch paper straws with aseptic carton packs. By offering this solution across its three brands – Paquito, Look and top Budget – it will save 10 tonnes of virgin plastic per year.

The company will be offering the juices and beverages of these brands in combiblocMini packs with SIG’s 6mm straight paper straw solution – one of several options available in SIG’s paper straw portfolio. The cartons are filled at Antartic, a production unit belonging to Agromousquetaires, a food-processing subsidiary of Groupement Les Mousquetaires.

„At Intermarché, our commitment to sustainable development is a priority,” said Alain Plougastel, Adhérent Intermarché. “We decided early on to introduce SIG’s paper straw solution for aseptic carton packs to offer consumers a more sustainable alternative to plastic straws, while maintaining the on-the-go convenience of small-size packs.”

Leading the industry
SIG was the first in the industry to offer a market-ready paper straw solution for aseptic carton packs, enabling customers to meet the urgent need for alternatives to plastic drinking straws – which will be banned across Europe from the beginning of 2021 in line with the Single-Use Plastics Directive.

SIG’s paper straws offer a more sustainable solution that is renewable and fully recyclable. They are an ideal companion for SIG’s fully recyclable carton packs, which are mainly made of renewable paper board.

The paper used to make SIG’s paper straws originates from FSCTM-certified forests and other controlled sources. The blister for the straw has also been redesigned to help prevent litter by remaining attached to the pack to be recycled together.

„Sustainable product innovation is at the heart of SIG’s business,” said Mélanie Revolte, Marketing Manager France at SIG. “Our packaging solutions already offer significantly better environmental performance than many alternatives and we are continually working to improve them further. Aseptic carton packs are made mainly from paperboard and we were the first to offer paper straws to go with them. Just like our packs, our paper straws are renewable and recyclable: the perfect match!”

Sustainable and practical solution for customers
SIG offers both straight and U-shaped paper straws. Paper straws are available for use with SIG’s combiblocSmall or combiblocMini packs to maintain the convenience of small-size formats for consumers looking for on-the-go beverages.

The innovative structure and diagonal cut make the straw robust enough to pierce the closed straw hole of the carton. Positive results in consumer tests showed no compromises in convenience compared with conventional plastic straws. Customers can use existing straw applicators to attach them to packs.

SIG’s paper straw solutions enable customers to meet forthcoming regulations, demonstrate their commitment to the environment and respond to growing consumer demand for more sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging. This is just one of the ways SIG’s sustainable product innovation is contributing to the company’s commitment to go Way Beyond Good for society and the environment.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

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