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    09.01.2018   China: Tsingtao, China Resources Beer shares jump on inaccurate report of beer prices hike    ( E-Malt.com )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But these weekly classes are an act of rebellion.

    Home-brewing is illegal in Thailand.

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

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

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

    Most brew in Asia, but not all.

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

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

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

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

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

    "That's my vision."

    Chit's "vision" started with two flops.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    By mid-afternoon, the bar is packed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The risks are starting to pay off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news ... BEVERAGE PLANT IN ASIA PACIFIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news ... diaphragm valve

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

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

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

    The valve body of the GEMÜ 677HP PurePlus is available both in a 2/2-way version and in a T-body configuration with a nominal size of DN 15 to DN 100. A lockable, low-maintenance bonnet ensures operational safety, and can be delivered with an integrated electrical position indicator upon request.
    (GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)
     
    28.12.2017   SIDEL LAUNCHES THE VERSATILE ASEPTIC COMBI PREDIS FOR HIGHLY FLEXIBLE PRODUCTION    ( Company news )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news Designed for creative graphic applications and luxury packaging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Tribology Gold Medal Award is also known as the “Tribology Nobel prize”, because it is awarded in a manner similar to the Nobel prize procedure.
    The prize was presented for the first time in 1972 and has been awarded to 38 people from 12 countries.
    (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)
     
    15.12.2017   SIDEL PARTNERS COCA-COLA IN DEVELOPING NEW DESIGN FOR FANTA BOTTLE IN PET    ( Company news )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A widely deployed design
    A similar bottle shape has been deployed for the whole Fanta bottle family and it is now available for 500 ml, 1L, 1.5L and 2L formats. When it comes to the 1.5L and 2L bottles, the Spiral design offers easier gripping and an improved pouring experience for the consumer. Leveraging the successful cooperation with Sidel, an alternate 500ml Spiral bottle has been developed to ensure stability specifically for gravity-fed inclined shelves which are typically implemented in cold chain distribution. This required specific design rules to be adopted, with very precise bubble numbers and locations around the ribs which constitute the spiral. A consideration throughout the development of the PET bottle was the capability to also transfer the new shape to the glass bottle, an objective which was also successfully achieved. Today, the new Spiral Fanta bottle in PET is sold in Italy, Poland, Malta, Serbia, Finland, Romania and the UK, with plans for global roll-out over the coming months.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    14.12.2017   Corrosion resistant membrane housings with ETFE coating    ( Company news )

    Company news Extreme pH values, high concentrations of chlorides or both - our ResiLine® membrane housings combine the mechanical strength of stainless steel with the excellent corrosion resistance of fluorinated polymers.

    The unique rotational sinter lining creates a durable bond between stainless steel and the polymer coating. Therefore, ResiLine® membrane housings are available in Frontport and Sideport configuration and can operate under vacuum.

    Due to the highly corrosion resistant coating, high alloy steels or special materials are only required for the end flanges of the housings. This opens a wide range of applications where housings completely made in special materials cannot be used for economic reasons.
    ResiLine® membrane housings are available in 4“ and 8“ with up to 4 membrane spaces and an operating pressure up to 100 bar. End flanges can be made in materials such as AISI 904L or Hastelloy.

    Assessment according to the European Pressure Equipment Directive DGRL 2014/68/EU, Cat. I to Cat. IV can be done according to your specifications. Other certifications (ASME, SELO, CRN) on request.
    (Sommer + Strassburger GmbH & Co. KG)
     
    13.12.2017   Japan: Kirin Brewery to raise prices of some of its beers and other products    ( E-malt.com )

    Kirin Brewery Co. said on November 28 that it will raise the prices of some of its food service-use beer and quasi-beer, and liquor products, starting with shipments on April 1, 2018, The Japan News reported.

    The price hike, the first in some 10 years for the Kirin Holdings Co. unit, reflects rising distribution costs and a liquor tax law revision. The amended law, which took effect in June, prohibits sales of alcoholic beverages at excessively low prices.

    The hike will affect some of Kirin’s barreled and bottled beer, “happoshu” low-malt quasi-beer and so-called third-segment beer-like drinks, and liquor-based beverages for restaurants.

    Prices of bottled beer products for liquor shops will also be raised. Retail prices of large bottled beer are expected to rise by some 10 percent.

    Meanwhile, Kirin will keep the prices of its canned products unchanged.

    Among rivals, Asahi Breweries Ltd. and Suntory Holdings Ltd. earlier announced their plans to conduct price hikes next spring.
     
    13.12.2017   New research reveals demand for soft drinks is set to soar this Christmas as alcohol consumption ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... declines

    Brand new research from Britvic reveals that almost half of consumers (45%) are set to buy more soft drinks at Christmas1 as figures show that over a fifth (21%) plan to drink less alcohol. With 37% also planning to spend more on soft drinks at Christmas than previous years, increasing to over half (56%) of consumers aged 16-24, seasonal soft drinks sales are set to soar this Christmas and Britvic is advising leisure operators to be prepared.

    The research, conducted by Censuswide UK, also indicates that of those consumers planning to reduce their alcohol consumption this Christmas, 39% now drink less alcohol all year round, increasing to 41% in those aged 25-34 and to 46% in those aged 55+. While there is clearly a seasonal sales opportunity that operators need to be prepared for, with figures showing a big decline in alcohol consumption all year round, it’s also important to stock a dynamic range of soft drinks throughout the year to cater for this growing consumer interest in soft drinks.

    Interestingly, figures revealed that for over half (54%) of those that will be drinking alcohol this Christmas, the tipple of choice will be spirits. With over three in five (63%) of spirits drinkers using mixers, ensuring the bar is fully stocked with an enticing and great tasting selection ideal for mixing, like Britvic’s range of Mixers and Juices, will be key to capitalising on this seasonal sales opportunity. As interest in premium spirits continues to rise, offering the right mixer to perfectly complement and balance the flavour is now just as important as the spirit. Having recently been awarded a prestigious International Taste & Quality Institute Three-Star Superior Taste Award, Britvic’s Indian Tonic Water is the perfect product to allow operators to do just that.

    The results also showed that almost a quarter (21%) of consumers don’t think there are enough premium soft drinks to choose from. This increases to 27% amongst those aged 25-34 and highlights a major gap in the market that operators can fill by stocking premium ranges such as J2O Spritz to make their sales sparkle this Christmas.

    Russell Goldman, Commercial Director, Licensed and Foodservice at Britvic, commented: “It’s clear from our research that there’s going to be a real shift towards moderate drinking this Christmas and as a result, there is likely to be a high demand for soft drinks throughout the season. Offering a range of inspiring serves and using products like Teisseire to create sensational experiences for customers, both with and without alcohol, will enable leisure operators to cater for this peak in demand over the festive period.”
    (Britvic plc)
     
    13.12.2017   Spain & USA: Spanish Mahou San Miguel acquires minority stake in US craft brewer Avery Brewing    ( E-malt.com )

    Avery Brewing, which has been one of Colorado's most unconventional beer makers for the past 25 years, has sold a minority stake of its business to Spanish brewing conglomerate Mahou San Miguel. The billion-dollar company also owns a 30 percent stake in Michigan's Founders Brewing, which it bought into in 2014, Westword reported on November 28.

    "At this time, we cannot disclose the financial details of the agreement, but I want to reiterate that it is a minority investment, and Adam Avery and Larry Avery will still continue to lead our brewery," brewery spokeswoman Vanessa Cory said in a statement, adding that Mahou San Miguel is also a family-owned company.

    The deal isn't a surprise. Avery spent $30 million on a state-of-the-art brewing campus and restaurant, which it opened in 2015, just as sales for many medium-sized and large breweries began to slip in the face of increasing competition. Avery has also streamlined its portfolio over the past two years, jettisoning many of the unusual seasonal releases it had used to build its reputation in favor of more marketable year-round offerings.

    “Dad and I decided two years ago that in order to fulfil our vision of the new brewery and all of Avery Brewing’s potential, it made a lot of sense to seek a partner,” says brewery founder Adam Avery in a statement.

    At that time, the father and son established criteria for a perfect partner: privately held and family-owned, offering a long-term investment and strategic advantages, made up of good people with shared values, and agreeable to purchasing only less than 50 percent of Avery. "Mahou San Miguel emphatically checked all of those boxes for us and is our ideal partner for continued growth, remaining faithful to our beers and our culture," Adam Avery continues. "It is with great satisfaction that we stand side by side such a respected family company with a dedicated focus on brewing and the future.”

    Avery is far from the first Colorado brewery to sell off a stake of its business. Oskar Blues Brewing in Longmont, Funkwerks Brewing in Fort Collins and Renegade Brewing in Denver have all taken on outside investments, while Breckenridge Brewery was purchased outright by Anheuser Busch InBev.

    First founded 127 years ago, Mahou San Miguel has 3,000 employees working at seven plants in Spain and one in India (along with a water bottling business). In 2016, the company made roughly 11.5 million barrels of beer, including Mahou Cinco Estrellas, San Miguel Especial and Alhambra Reserva 1925.

    “This new alliance, between two family companies, has been possible thanks to the passion we share for beer and tradition, and that we have similar values," Mahou San Miguel CEO Eduardo Petrossi added in a statement. "We share the commitment with the communities in which we are present, our long-term vision, concern for the development and well-being of individuals and our aim of doing things right, placing the consumer always at the center of our decisions. Avery Brewing stands out due to the excellence of its beers, recognized on numerous occasions, with a focus on tradition, but also innovation, ingenuity and creativity."
     
    13.12.2017   UK: Carlsberg UK launches its first limited-edition Christmas beer    ( E-malt.com )

    Carlsberg UK launches its first Christmas beer - a first for the brand, which has not done a festive brew before, Inapub reported on December 6.

    The limited edition will be exclusively available on draught in 29 Northampton pubs, with proceeds from sales donated to local charity, the Northamptonshire Community Foundation.

    Master brewer Jon Elks has brewed the festive lager in the company's Northampton brewery.

    It is described as having a, "full bodied taste with a balance of sweetness and bitterness" and is flavoured with Christmas spices, orange peel and cinnamon.

    "This is the first time Carlsberg UK has brewed a Carlsberg beer for Christmas. We were inspired by our colleagues in Denmark, where the famous Tuborg Christmas beer, Julebryg, is so popular this time of year," said Liam Newton, vice president marketing at Carlsberg UK.

    "We think beer-drinkers in Northamptonshire deserve a unique brew of their own and our brewers were proud to craft it for them."

    The Christmas beer also has its own limited edition stemmed glass.
     
    13.12.2017   USA: Boston Beer’s exotic Utopias beers not helping the company out of its predicament    ( E-malt.com )

    Boston Beer founder and Chairman Jim Koch is both one of the brewer's greatest assets and also one of its biggest liabilities. His love of craft beer is evident in his willingness to use the best, sometimes most expensive ingredients to create great-tasting beverages, but his inability to stay focused seemingly keeps Boston Beer from being able to turn its business around, The Motley Fool reported on November 25.

    The introduction of the 10th edition of Samuel Adams Utopias is a case in point. A high-end beer that's only brewed every other year, it challenges the notion of what a beer can become. It's more like a fine liqueur, and at $200 a bottle is not something everyone can afford. Or get their hands on. Only 13,000 bottles of Utopias are expected to hit the shelves 2017, and they typically sell out right away.

    One of the more notable features of the Utopias is their alcohol content, which clocks in at 28% by volume and makes it illegal in about a dozen or more states. To put that into context, Anheuser-Busch InBev's Budweiser is 5% ABV, the same as Samuel Adams Boston Lager, while wine can run around 11% ABV. Mead can be as high as 20%, though is often less, and liquor will put you into the mid-30% range.

    Samuel Adams Utopias begin with a special blend of two-row pale malt and Munich and Caramel 60 malts to which three varieties of German Noble hops -- Spalt Spalter, Hallertau Mittelfrueh, and Tettnang Tettnanger - are added. Then both champagne yeast and a high-alcohol-tolerant "ninja yeast" are used to ferment this beast of a brew, followed by barrel-aging in single-use bourbon casks. The resulting beverage is "reminiscent of a rich vintage Port, old Cognac, or fine Sherry."

    This is obviously a labor of love from a master brewer and shows the kind of dedication Koch brings to the craft. As Koch himself noted in a statement announcing the release of what he calls "the lunatic fringe" of brewing, Utopia's purpose "was to push the boundaries of craft beer by brewing an extreme beer that was unlike anything any brewer had conceived."

    It's also a silly, quixotic romp that does absolutely nothing to correct the very many real problems Boston Beer is currently facing.

    Revenue in the third quarter was down 3% as depletions, or shipments to distributors and retailers, fell 3.5%, The primary reason is the decline of its flagship brand, Samuel Adams, which has suffered through nearly three straight years of falling depletions, which is often viewed as an industry proxy for demand.

    Recently Boston Beer announced it was introducing several new beers, a newly concocted blend of an ale and a lager, called Sam '76, and its own version of a New England IPA, a beer style that's suddenly become trendy.

    The problem is the beers are simply derivative of things other brewers are doing and not innovative enough to make beer drinkers notice Samuel Adams. Without question, Boston Beer has garnered a lot of media attention with the release of Samuel Adams Utopias, but it's not the kind of development that's going to help the business. It's sizzle with no steak, or perhaps more aptly, all foam and no beer. It's not going to get people drinking Samuel Adams again, however creative and off the charts this line of beer is.

    And that's why Koch may be Boston Beer's biggest problem. For all the craftsmanship he brings to the brewery, he's equally as interested in this esoterica as he is in righting the brand, and the brewery needs all of its attention focused on moving more barrels. Instead of me-too brews like the New England IPA or the rarefied Utopias, Koch should put his many talents to crafting a Samuel Adams beer more of the masses want to drink.

    There may be nothing Boston Beer can do to change the trajectory the brewery has been on, at least not until there is a shakeout in the industry. There are more than 5,000 craft breweries in operation today, taking shelf space from Samuel Adams and clamoring for the attention of increasingly disloyal beer drinkers who are forever on the hunt for the new, new thing.

    Samuel Adams Utopias are a different brew altogether, and as much of a novelty as they are and however bright the spotlight they briefly shine on the brewer, they're not doing anything to help Boston Beer out of its predicament.
     
    13.12.2017   USA: MillerCoors CEO says Miller Lite has passed Budweiser for third most popular beer nationally    ( E-malt.com )

    For MillerCoors, there's still a long way to the top to reach the domestic dominance of AB InBev's signature offering, Bud Light.

    Still, MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley excitedly shared on December 8 that Miller Lite has passed AB InBev's "Great American Lager," Budweiser, for third most popular nationally, behind Bud and Coors light brands. Hattersley said that Miller Lite and Coors Light have been steadily gaining in domestic markets, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported.

    "Between Miller and Coors Light, we've taken share in the premium light category away from Bud Light," Hattersley told an audience of more than 350 Milwaukee-area business executives at the Milwaukee Business Journal's Power Breakfast at The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. "We've been doing that now for two-and-a-half years, every single quarter."

    Hattersley partially chalked that up to the way MillerCoors portrays its two main premium light beers in the market.

    "We think our positioning of Miller Lite being the 'Original Lite Beer' and Coors Light being 'The World's Most Refreshing Beer' are great positions and we're building on those," Hattersley said.

    It's not all about the two signature brews at MillerCoors these days however, and Hattersley was sure to point out the other beers making inroads domestically for the company, including Miller High Life, the company's third-most popular option.

    "Miller High Life has just been around for so long and it's enjoying a resurgence, particularly amongst the millennials," he said. "We brought back the old jingle, the old commercials for Miller High Life that you would've seen back in the '80s. Miller High Life is one of the brands that reacts the best to advertising and we're seeing that right now."

    Hattersley also cited Blue Moon, the "largest craft beer in the country," and "our homegrown Wisconsin favorite," Leinenkugel's, as big successes for MillerCoors.

    "Nine out of 10 shandy beers consumed in the United States are Leinenkugel's," Hattersley said. "Those are our two focus brands."

    The company's craft brewery acquisition program has also yielded benefits. Hattersley said they've been strategic, acquiring craft breweries in various parts of the country, such as Terrapin in Georgia, Hop Valley in Oregon and Revolver in Texas.

    "Local beers are important from a growth point of view," Hattersley said. "We've found partners that we think will add value to us with brands that we think can travel."

    MillerCoors remains committed to Milwaukee, he said, as evidenced by a new regional global business services center that will employ an additional 150 people in the coming years, as well as a $50 million expansion of the Tenth Street Brewery and $45 million in upgrades to the main Milwaukee brewery.

    "We've certainly added capabilities to the Milwaukee brewery," Hattersley said. "As we turn the business around and grow volume, that will certainly require us to add employees."
     
    12.12.2017   An on-the-go packing solution for mobile consumers combismile: SIG creates new possibilities for...     ( Company news )

    Company news ...producers with its innovative on-the-go pack

    SIG has developed a new generation of packaging called combismile – an innovative on-the-go solution to help producers meet the growing consumer demand for mobile, healthy and individual food and beverage experiences. The market innovation has been introduced at the China International Beverage Exhibition on Science and Technology (CBST 2017) in Shanghai.

    With its curved, modern shape and easy-grip corners, combismile is designed to increase the drinking comfort and convenience of consumers. The pack is re-closable due to its innovative single-action spout. And to flexibly cater to individual market needs, two straw hole sizes are available for both small and large footprints as well as different straw types.

    Increasing consumer demand
    SIG has created combismile to answer the increasing consumer demand for high-quality, authentic and convenient packaging solutions that are easy to use, enhance their experience and reduce their impact on the environment. With these new consumer needs, food and beverage producers are being challenged to create more innovative, sustainable and differentiated products.

    “Today’s on-the-go consumers are more demanding from the products they buy,” said Markus Boehm, CMO of SIG. “They are looking for more than just standard products with novel, individual and healthy-minded products high in demand. But they need to be convenient and easy to consume – anywhere and anytime. With combismile, producers can attract mobile consumers with more targeted on-the-go products that truly stand out at the point of sale.”

    In addition to offering added value in convenience and differentiation, SIG’s combismile is the ideal partner for premium products due to its smart and elegant appearance. And with SIG’s built-in drinksplus solution, it can hold more healthy ingredients and real food pieces, such as fruit, vegetables and cereal grains.

    Unique shape
    The unique combismile shape and smile is formed directly within the filling machine. Each combismile filling machine has an output of 24,000 packs an hour and comes with a number of benefits, including high-speed performance, volume flexibility and drinksplus capability added by spout and straw applicators. Together, this represents SIG’s most complete line solution.

    SIG’s combismile is part of the company’s new Value Proposition: three value-adding segments to help producers meet increasing industry demands. combismile is one of the latest solutions within Product Innovation & Differentiation – a commitment to deliver innovative product and packaging solutions to meet changing consumer needs.

    “As part of SIG’s end-to-end solution approach, combismile will create new possibilities for differentiation, convenience, premiumisation and flexibility,” added Markus Boehm. “This means producers can not only offer more on-the-go solutions but open up new market possibilities, create new product concepts and meet new consumer demands – now and in the future.”

    Disclaimer: combismile is currently not available in Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy and Japan.
    (SIG Combibloc Group AG)
     
    11.12.2017   Aluminium foil deliveries stay positive in Q3 despite continuing drag on exports     ( Company news )

    Company news Continuing recovery in European markets more than offset volatility in exports of alufoil products, according to figures just released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA). Deliveries of all gauges rose 0.5% year on year, in the three months to September 2017, with domestic deliveries ahead by 1.4% compared with last year. Exports performance continues to be weak, falling 2.8% in that period.

    In the first nine months, total deliveries improved 0.9% to reach 671,000 tonnes (2016: 664,700t) +0.9%, maintaining the positive performance seen in the first two quarters. Thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils, rose by 1.4%, while thicker foils, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, were just 0.1% better – but maintaining this upward momentum is encouraging, given the big jumps seen last year after a long period of declining demand.

    Overall domestic deliveries added 1.5% in the year to date, a modest improvement on the same period in 2016, with exports, while decreasing by 3.1%, offer some encouragement, as this is far less than the double digit fall recorded in 2016, indicating the demand for European materials in overseas markets is stabilizing.

    Guido Aufdemkamp, Executive Director of EAFA commented, "We reach the end of the year these figures offer the prospect of a good year in total. Demand for alufoil products is expected to grow in line with economic developments, which remain promising and continue to improve generally. However the climate for recovery also depends on factors such as US trade policy, competition from other producers and circumstances in other markets, particularly Asia."
    (EAFA - European Aluminium Foil Association e.V.)
     
    08.12.2017   SWA comment on UK Government's Industrial Strategy white paper    ( Company news )

    Company news Commenting on the UK government's white paper on Industrial Strategy, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association Karen Betts said:

    "The Industrial Strategy is right to highlight the UK's thriving food and drink sector. With Scotch Whisky making up 20% of the UK's food and drink exports, we welcome the UK government's commitment to work with the sector by establishing the Food and Drink Sector Council.

    "The Scotch Whisky industry looks forward to playing a full part in the proposed food and drink manufacturing sector deal, utilising decades of experience and expertise to boost exports and drive productivity. Then, by going beyond this, we are eager to work with government to develop a specific UK spirits sector deal which will build on the success of Scotch Whisky and other UK spirits by supporting growth in an increasingly competitive global market place.

    "The challenges of Brexit require a new dialogue between industry and government. The Industrial Strategy presents an opportunity for long-term structural issues in the economy that hold business back to be addressed. We look forward to working with the UK and Scottish governments together to ensure the benefits of the industrial strategy reach right across Britain, especially in the rural economy which the Scotch Whisky industry helps to support."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
     
    07.12.2017   Angola: New brewery to produce Portuguese beer Sagres in Angola    ( E-malt.com )

    Sociedade de Distribuição de Bebidas de Angola (Sodiba), which has as its shareholders the businesswoman Isabel dos Santos and her husband, Sindika Dokolo, has invested US$85 million in the construction of a brewery with capacity to produce 144 million litres per year in two filling lines, the Angolan press reported.

    One of the two filling lines is intended for the production of Portuguese beer Sagres, under an agreement reached in February this year with Portugal’s Sociedade Central de Cervejas (Centralcer) and under the supervision of its main shareholder, the Heineken Group.

    The businesswoman, who on November 16 was removed as chair of the Board of Directors of state oil company Sonangol, attended the inauguration of the plant on the outskirts of the Angolan capital.

    Sagres will be the first Portuguese beer to be produced in Angola, and the product manufactured will have the same image as its namesake beer brand that is available on the Portuguese market.
     
    07.12.2017   UK: Beer in cans now makes up a quarter of craft beers sold in off licences and multiple grocers    ( E-malt.com )

    Gone are the days of stigma around ‘tinnies,’ as a quarter of the UK’s craft beer is now sold in cans, according to new figures, The Drinks Business reported on November 17.

    The latest figures from consumer research firm Nielsen show that cans now make up a quarter of craft beers sold in the UK in off licenses and multiple grocers, increasing by 327% from January – August in 2017.

    Part of this rise in popularity can be attributed to consumers’ changing attitudes, according to Nielsen.

    Consumers, particularly millennials, are increasingly looking for lightweight packaging that with standout designs which is easily recyclable.

    Metal is a permanently available material that can be recycled again and again, without losing any of its structural integrity.

    Martin Constable, chairman of industry trade body Can Makers, said the canned craft beer market’s growth has “exceeded expectations and has paved the way for other craft drinks’ makers to enter the market.”

    He added that the trend is not exclusive to craft beer, and many drinks makers worldwide are choosing to store wine and pre-made cocktails in aluminium cans over glass bottles.

    “Craft brewers have understood that choosing the can is the best packaging option for retaining the product’s quality and authenticity,” he said.

    “It has inspired other drinks and majors to take a fresh look at their packaging and how they can use it to be innovative and stand out on the shelf to the consumer.”

    Consumers and drinks makers are increasingly turning to recyclable packaging. In 2016, seven out of every ten aluminium drink cans sold in the UK were recycled.

    The reputation of canned beer has also improved significantly in recent years, even gaining recognition from CAMRA. In September 2016, the regulatory beer body approved a Bristol brewery’s canned beers as Real Ales for the first time in history.

    The organisation carried out tests on the Moor Beer Company’s canned ales at the recent Great British Beer Festival and concluded that as they contained live yeast and any carbonation was the result of natural secondary fermentation, they could indeed be termed ‘Real Ales’.

    Speaking at the time, national chairman of CAMRA Colin Valentine, said: “There have been a lot of developments in the brewing industry and CAMRA has been working hard to make sure that we understand them and how they fit with our real ale definition.”
     
    06.12.2017   Scan VIT® - The revolutionary microbiological system for a specific, quantitative and automated ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...single cell detection

    Up to now, microbiology meant being dependent on cultivation. Even a lot of modern methods require a pre-enrichment step. The speed propagated for modern methods, however, is almost always achieved at the expense of specificity. In addition, the detection limit is usually significantly above 1.000 cells per mL.

    Scan VIT® is revolutionizing microorganism detection:
    -Firstly – detection takes a maximum of 4 hours (sampling to result).
    -Secondly - detection is highly specific.
    -Thirdly - detection is independent from cultivation, individual cells are analyzed directly.
    -And fourthly – its sensitivity is 1 cell per sample volume, which can usually amount to up to 100 mL or, depending on the sample material, even larger volumes.

    All of the experience gathered over 20 years of our company’s activity in industrial microbiology went into the long years of development work for this disruptive technology.

    Specific and quantitative detection of single cells
    With a detection limit of 1 cell per sample volume, the new Scan VIT® technology is the long-awaited, necessary revolution in microbiology! Whenever liquid samples have to be tested for microorganisms, a statement about the presence, number and kind of microorganisms in the entire sample volume can be made within a maximum of 3-4 hours. For with the new Scan VIT®, single cells in up to 100 mL sample volume can be detected without cultivation, quantitatively and with high specificity. Hence, the new Scan VIT® can be applied in the beverage sector as well as with drinking or process water – basically, wherever microorganisms have to be detected in liquid matrices. Whether in end product control, control of raw materials or in process control – applying Scan VIT® quickly provides maximum safety.

    The advantages
    -Detection of single cells
    -No cultivation/pre-enrichment required
    -Highly specific: cells are identified
    -Extremely high sensitivity: 1 cell per sample volume
    -Up to 100 ml sample volume can be analyzed
    -Also applicable for sample volumes > 100 ml
    -Absolute quantification: every single cell is detected
    -Completely automated scan of the entire volume within a maximum of 2 hours
    -Intelligent signal and cell recognition due to artificial intelligence
    -High-performance VIT® Vision Software for scan control and evaluation

    Technological development
    The new Scan VIT® system consists of three fundamental technological components:
    1. VIT® gene probe technology: reliable, tried and tested, scientifically valid and highly specific
    2. The Scan VIT® scanner: extremely fast, automated scanning of the sample volume
    3. VIT® Vision: artificial intelligence for automated evaluation of completed scans

    The incentive for this disruptive innovation was our ambition to be able to provide our customers with a technology that is able to reliably detect a single living cell in a large sample volume specifically and quantify it absolutely. As a result, contaminations can be detected even faster and with higher accuracy.

    How does Scan VIT® work?
    The Scan VIT® technology is used for analysis and absolute quantification of microorganisms in liquid samples. In contrast to conventional methods, the new Scan VIT® method is characterized by an extremely high sensitivity, with a detection limit of only 1 cell per sample / filtration volume. Consequently, pre-enrichment of the sample is no longer required.

    The analysis workflow is simple and short. A defined liquid volume is filtrated and hybridized with the specifically programmed VIT® gene probes. The gene probes bind with high specificity to the individual microorganisms. The filter is scanned sequentially and automatically with the Scan VIT® scanner. Scan control and evaluation of received signals is performed by the VIT® Vision software. With the aid of artificial intelligence, microorganisms are identified specifically and quantified reliably.

    Max. 4 hours pass between sampling and results. The evaluation time for positive samples is even shorter.

    Artificial intelligence
    The VIT® Vision software is the centerpiece of the new, patented Scan VIT® technology. In order to make the ultra-fast, highly specific analysis and evaluation possible, we have programmed a completely new software with a powerful learning algorithm. Due to its integrated artificial intelligence, VIT® Vision recognizes labelled cells specifically and is able to differentiate them from the background. In order to perfect the software’s ability for highly specific cell recognition, several years and around one million learning scans have been invested in the development of the algorithm.

    VIT® Vision’s learning algorithm is based on the principles of artificial intelligence. The system learns autonomously how best to recognize a cell specifically!

    The Scan VIT® products
    The first product able to use the entire power of the new Scan VIT® technology is Scan VIT® E.coli/Coliforms. It allows to test samples for the presence of Escherichia coli and coliform bacteria in a very short time.

    In sample volumes of up to 100 mL or more, even a single cell is detected. Identification and quantification of the entire sample is fully completed after max. 4 hours.

    New products are already being developed. In the next weeks and months, new products for application with the new Scan VIT® technology will continuously be made available to our customers.
    (vermicon AG)
     
    05.12.2017   SIDEL GROUP SHOWCASES ITS COMPLETE LINE SOLUTIONS FOR LATIN AMERICA AND ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... CARIBBEAN MARKETS AT ANDINA PACK

    At Andina Pack, the International Fair for the Converting, Processing and Packaging Industry, the Sidel Group presented its latest innovations and complete line solutions for the industry in South America.

    The Sidel Group - which is formed by the union of two strong brands, Sidel and Gebo Cermex - is a leading provider of equipment and services for packaging liquid, food, home and personal care products in PET, can, glass and other materials. At the event held in Bogotá, Colombia over four days from 7- 10 November, the Group demonstrated its innovations in services, equipment, engineering and end-of-line solutions - highlighting its very latest technological breakthroughs. These included: from Sidel - the Super Combi and from Gebo Cermex – AQFlex®.

    The use of PET as a packaging material continues to grow, with its share of the Latin American beverage industry forecast to increase by 4% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over the period 2014-2018. In terms of specific beverage sectors, bottled water is expected to provide the biggest growth at 6%, with CSD registering 2% . Bogotá, as the capital of Colombia, provides the economic driving force for the country - some 25% of the total Colombian GDP is generated here - as well as the city being a centre for the production of packaged food and a pivotal point in linking Central and South America for import/export with its major cargo air hub.

    Optimising the cost and performance of lines at every step
    From Stand 2529 (Hall 18-23), Ruben Ramos, Account Manager at Sidel in charge of Colombia, explained the reasons for Sidel advocating complete line solutions: “With consumer demand constantly changing, the key today for producers looking to increase both performance and longevity is to take a more holistic approach to production. The best solutions go beyond the simple choice of equipment. It starts at the very outset of any production line - with optimum results coming from the technical and technological know-how and packaging expertise of a full solution partner like Sidel.”

    By partnering with the packaging expertise and experience of Sidel, producers get a thorough understanding of the entire supply chain, from current market trends and consumer tastes to distribution challenges and local regulations. Sidel will help producers choose the most appropriate equipment at each step of the production process - from blowing, filling and packing through to flexible palletising - ensuring that the line can be adapted to get the most out of the producer’s investment for any beverage type.

    Single smart solution with continuous self-optimisation
    A focus on the stand was the Sidel Super Combi. With its data-driven intelligence and advanced automation, it provides the answers for those producers of water and CSD beverages who simply want a solution that thinks and acts on their behalf. It is a ‘next generation solution’ integrating five process steps: preform feeder, blower, labeller, filler/capper and cap feeder. It has been engineered as a single smart solution - with intuitive interfaces, ergonomic design, compact footprint and clear guidance for ongoing high levels of performance and uptime. Autonomous regulation is achieved via Sidel Intelli-adjust™ controlling the system’s performance and automatically applying adjustments wherever they are needed. To ensure even more sustainable production, it has also been designed to minimise the use of resources.

    With a strict focus on hygiene, packaging quality and beverage integrity, Sidel Super Combi ensures maximum food safety. The integration of innovative new technologies also minimises changeovers, which can be guided for improved speed and efficiency to keep the line running smoothly with minimal downtime. It is the ideal solution for maximising water and CSD production, increasing line efficiency and reducing TCO (total cost of ownership).

    A step forward towards the factory of the future
    Gebo Cermex - the Sidel Group’s business unit which is globally renowned for its expertise in line engineering and end-of-line solutions - also took the opportunity provided by Andina Pack to showcase the world’s first all-in-one product handling solution: AQFlex.

    This new, intelligent solution delivers unprecedented packaging flexibility and performance. Encompassing all the advantages of existing conveying systems, AQFlex accommodates any product, whatever the application, whatever the market, in all container materials, formats and shapes, full or empty. It is even able to process fragile, unstable or premium containers. For optimum product traceability and continuous control of production quality, it works to an operating principle of ‘first-in, first-out’ (FIFO).

    AQFlex offers a unique agility with smooth, contactless product conveying and accumulation in a very compact space. Most impressive is its ability to operate at any speed, from 1,000 to 100,000 containers per hour and deliver energy savings of up to 60%, without compromising high efficiency (99.5% even at high speeds) or sustainability, which is unprecedented. Product integrity is ensured
    by combining the single-lane, contact-free product handling and accumulation with advanced robotics based on a proven logic motion technology and centralised system architecture.

    At Andina Pack, Sidel and Gebo Cermex have shown producers how they can elevate their performance levels with future-proof solutions, market-tailored innovations and performance-based services.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    04.12.2017   Market Study: Plastic Containers - Europe    ( Company news )

    Company news Plastic containers are available in the most diverse designs, shapes, and materials and can be used in a wide variety of applications. These products of daily life are the result of continuous research and optimization; the requirements are constantly increasing. This study focuses on plastic containers. Bags or similar flexible packaging are not included in the market data. In many applications, plastics replace other materials such as glass or metal due to their many useful properties: Ceresana forecasts the European market of plastic containers to reach a volume of more than 12.4 million tonnes in 2024.

    PET Discovers New Areas of Application
    PET packaging already reached high market shares in the segments CSD (carbonated soft drinks) and packaged water. Now, PET bottles and other containers also enter other segments, such as food, fruit juices, and household chemicals (e.g. detergents). Their positive properties are the reason for that: They weigh comparatively little, are recyclable, do not break, and offer high clarity. The gas barrier properties and protection against UV radiation continue to improve. Especially in the segment food, PET containers are a growth market. Thus, Ceresana’s analysts expect demand for PET containers in this segment, for example, in Poland to rise by an impressive 4.6 % per year.

    State Regulations Change the Market
    Time and again, new laws and regulations bring about changes for the market. For manufacturers and dealers, it is crucial to make decisions at an early stage and to quantify their consequences. An example are the new regulations for PET bottles for alcoholic beverages in Russia.

    Convenience and Sustainability
    Besides overall state regulations and economic development, the market for plastic containers is subject to a range of further influences. The beverage market in particular, including the packaging structure, income development, and social trends, must be taken into account. Urbanization and demographic change are accompanied with changing consumption patterns. In some segments, plastics are replacing traditional materials. At the same time, rigid plastic containers also face an increasing competition by bags and other flexible plastic packaging solutions. Other trends such as convenience, rising number of women in employment, sustainability or light weighting also influence the market and require an intensive examination of the market mechanisms.
    (Ceresana eK)
     
    01.12.2017   Highlighting its agave expertise: BORCO adds Mezcal Marca Negra and Mezcal Meteoro to portfolio    ( Company news )

    Company news The family-owned spirits company BORCO unveils a newly formed, global partnership with the renowned Mezcal producer Marca Negra, which has already been introduced at this year’s Bar Convent Berlin, one of the leading international trade fairs for the bar and beverages industry. As from January 1st, 2018 BORCO is taking over the global distribution (except USA, Canada, Mexico) of their ultra premium Mezcal brands MARCA NEGRA (photo) and METEORO.

    Rooted in Mexican culture and produced from different agave varietals, Mezcal is known to be the cult drink besides Tequila in its home country Mexico and is enjoying growing popularity globally. The integration of these two brands from Oaxaca that are already very well established abroad and are distributed in currently more than 25 countries worldwide allows BORCO to leverage its longtime agave expertise.

    Dr. Tina Ingwersen-Matthiesen, member of the owner family and member of the board of the family-run spirits company BORCO-MARKEN-IMPORT, is looking forward to the thrilling opportunities that this partnership entails: “We are proud of the partnership with Marca Negra. As market leader throughout Europe our flagship SIERRA Tequila has been shaping the Tequila category with innovative ideas like no other. We are excited to not only be able to support this expertise in producing excellent agave spirits, but also to highlight our passion for high quality and authentic Mexican culture. The Mexican lifestyle in all its different colors and the diverse Mexican cuisine are currently flourishing. As premium mezcals are reflecting Mexican traditions in design, flavor profile as well as origin, they are indispensable in offering an authentic Mexican experience.”

    BORCO has always been committed to offer consumers the most exciting, authentic Mexican flavors. This succeeds not least because of SIERRA Tequila which offers unique taste profiles, emerging from the different degrees of maturation of the different qualities within the range. This diversity, representing the manifold Mexican culture, is supplemented by integrating Mezcal Marca Negra and Mezcal Meteoro into the BORCO portfolio. Constantly seeking the most artisanal and diverse Mezcal varieties, Marca Negra manages to provide a wide range of agave varietals with different flavor profiles which establish a fascinating Mezcal universe, deeply rooted in Mexican tradition. For this reason, both brands top off the portfolio perfectly and take a different part of Mexico to the modern bar scene across the globe. Whereas every drop of SIERRA Milenario reveals a piece of Jalisco, Mezcal Marca Negra and Mezcal Meteoro underline the features of Oaxaca. The distribution produces synergistic effects among the agave spirits of the BORCO portfolio which will undoubtedly be providing new impulses in the spirits business.
    (Borco-Marken-Import Matthiesen GmbH & Co. KG)
     
    30.11.2017   Sharp drop in pub beer sales adds to urgent calls for a beer tax rethink    ( Company news )

    Company news Sales of beer in Britain’s pubs suffered a worrying, 3.6 per cent drop in the third quarter, the worst Q3 performance for five years. The news has prompted urgent calls for a halt to yet more beer tax rises in the Budget on 22nd November. The figures are released in the Quarterly ‘Beer Barometer’, from the British Beer & Pub Association.

    The 3.6 per cent drop in on-trade sales from July to September, represents an astonishing 35 million fewer pints sold in Britain’s pubs, bars and restaurants. when compared with the same period in 2016. Beer sales have been hit by a substantial, 3.9 per cent tax rise in the March Budget, yet the Chancellor plans yet another increase in his second Budget, in November.

    Coupled with pressure from sky-high business rates, the move would see many more pubs closing, says Brigid Simmonds Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, who is instead calling for a one penny cut in duty in the Budget:

    Brigid Simmonds comments:
    “When the Government was cutting or freezing beer duty from 2013-15, sales of British beer stabilised, after years of steep decline. With sales down this quarter, following the Budget tax hike, urgent action from the Chancellor is needed.

    “Beer has had a 39 per cent tax rise in the past decade. With tax rates 14 times higher than in Germany, these levels are unsustainable.

    “We need fair taxes for British beer, so that brewers and pub operators can invest in thriving pubs, and take advantage of new opportunities to export more beer around the world as we leave the EU.”
    (BBPA#British Beer & Pub Association)
     
    29.11.2017   FSC announces the Bonn Initiative at COP23: SIG supports the development of scientifically ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... rigorous methodologies to quantify the climate benefits of FSC certification

    Demonstrating how the private sector can play a major role in mitigating climate change, the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) announced at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn the support from IKEA of Sweden and SIG Combibloc aiming to document the positive impacts of wood sourcing and forestry.

    Photo: Udo Felten (left) and Kim Carstensen announcing the Bonn Initiative from FSC at COP23.

    Demonstrating how the private sector can play a major role in mitigating climate change, the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) announced at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn the support from IKEA of Sweden and SIG Combibloc aiming to document the positive impacts of wood sourcing and forestry.

    The Bonn Initiative is a joint effort to develop scientifically rigorous methodologies that will help quantify the benefits, such as improved carbon sequestration, that FSC certified forests contribute to mitigate global warming and fight climate change.

    This data will allow companies to specifically identify the climate benefits derived from sourcing forest products from FSC certified forests in the fight against global warming. It can also help governments with specific knowledge of the amount of carbon storage in responsibly managed forests, offering them better information on their progress towards meeting their UNFCCC Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) within the framework of the Paris Agreement.

    FSC will set up a task force based on earlier work to develop methods that will indicate through scientifically backed data the positive impacts of FSC certification as compared to conventional forest management practices.

    “By protecting and restoring forest ecosystems and improving forest management practices, FSC has a direct positive impact on curbing global warming. Specifically quantifying these positive impacts will allow companies and consumers to better understand the importance of responsible forest management in helping to prevent global warming and eventually become a catalyst for increased demand of products that come from these sources,” says Kim Carstensen, Director General of FSC International.

    “We want to be net positive by contributing more to society and the environment than we take out. We call that going WAY BEYOND GOOD. An important part of our net positive commitment is supporting global action on climate change as well as on the regeneration of natural resources. Since 2009, SIG has led the industry in providing FSC-certified carton packs. Today, more than 80 per cent of SIG carton packs are carrying the FSC label. More than 60 billion SIG packs have now been sold with the FSC label. Showing the climate benefits of FSC-certified carton packs in a scientifically robust way will further support our target of 100% FSC labelled packs,” says Udo Felten, Manager Product Related Global Environmental Sustainability & Affairs at SIG.

    As important carbon sinks, forests play an essential role in reducing carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. Responsible forest management, as embodied by FSC, has the capacity to mitigate global warming through specific measures that aim, among others, to improve forestry practices, reduce forest damage, increase restoration and reforestation or avoid specific negative impacts such as forest fires.

    A step beyond the Vancouver Declaration
    The Bonn Initiative follows the Vancouver Declaration launched during FSC’s General Assembly held in Vancouver (Canada) in October this year and already supported by over 60 global companies. The Vancouver Declaration recognizes the importance of FSC as a responsible forest management certification scheme and commits the signatories to prioritize sourcing FSC certified forest products on a global scale.

    This new initiative is a next step to specifically quantify the contribution that the signatories to the Vancouver Declaration have in reducing carbon emission through responsible forest management.

    The Bonn Initiative will equally be open to companies willing to follow-up on their earlier pledge through the Vancouver Declaration.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
     
    29.11.2017   Portugal: Portugal's leading brewer changes its name to Super Bock Group    ( E-malt.com )

    Portuguese beverage company Unicer has changed its name to Super Bock Group (SBG), ESM reported on November 13.

    This change of the corporate identity incorporates the name of its most famous brand, Super Bock beer, which is celebrating 90 years of production this year.

    The company is the market leader in Portugal and is present in over 50 countries, while the annual beer production surpasses 300 million litres.

    During the year 2017, the company's beer exports to China have doubled, while overall exports have grown by 25%, reports daily Expresso. SBG is available at 5,000 points of sale in China, across three provinces boasting 200 million people, and is served by a local distributor.

    China has become the company's main foreign market, accounting for 40% of SBG’s exports – i.e. 12% of global revenue (€451 million in 2016). Exports will account for 30% of turnover in 2017. Over the past two years, the company has seen its Angolan market slip back however.

    The biggest shareholder in the company is Portugal’s Grupo Viacer (consisting of Violas, Arsopi and BPI), which holds 56%, while the remaining 44% is owned by the Carlsberg Group.
     
    28.11.2017   An exhibition section at drinktec becomes an annual platform for amateur and micro brewers    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 Home&Craft goes to Stralsund!

    The “Home&Craft” section at drinktec, introduced with great success in 2017, is now to be a separate exhibition. drinktec, the “World´s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry”, is thus setting up an annual platform for amateur and micro brewers. “Home&Craft” it taking place for the first time as an independent exhibition on September 29, 2018 in Stralsund, in parallel with the second German Amateur Brewers Championships. Messe München, the organizer of drinktec, signed an agreement to this effect with Störtebeker Braumanufaktur, which organized the first German Amateur Brewers Championships in its brewing headquarters, on July 29, 2017.

    The organizers of the trade fair drinktec, the “World´s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry”, are therefore continuing what they started at drinktec 2017 with the new exhibition section called “Home&Craft”. In this section amateur and craft brewers found everything they needed for brewing small or very small quantities of beer. The range of products and services on show here was an instant hit. In the survey of visitors 97 percent of respondents had words of praise for the “Home&Craft” section. And one in five brewers who attended drinktec 2017 came from the craft brewing segment.

    In future, both drinktec and the annual German Amateur Brewers Championships will be offering ambitious amateur and home brewers a dedicated platform at which to engage in dialog with other enthusiasts and acquire all the equipment needed to pursue their passion. The exhibition part will be organized by the drinktec team. Around 30 companies are expected to come along to exhibit in Stralsund for the premiere of “Home&Craft” at Störtebeker´s brewing headquarters. Accompanying the exhibition, similar to drinktec 2017, there will be a lecture program covering themes on home and micro-brewing.

    In parallel Störtebeker Braumanufaktur will again be looking for the best amateur brewers in the second German Amateur Brewing Championships. “With the combination of championships and exhibition, our beer festival will be even more attractive,” explains Jürgen Nordmann, owner of Störtebeker Braumanufaktur. “Then we will be able to offer brewers truly everything they need for their hobby: characterful beers, suitable brewing equipment, interesting talks and of course tasty food.”

    Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Deputy CEO of Messe München, sees Home&Craft as a bridge to drinktec: “The borderline between an amateur brewer and a craft brewer, in other words from producing for own consumption to commercial production, are becoming ever more fluid. After all many of the stars of the craft brewing scene started out very small. Today they of course come to drinktec and at this exhibition find not only technical equipment but also everything they need to know about raw materials and ingredients. That is why we also want to reach out also to amateur and home brewers, all of them potential drinktec visitors, and give them an attractive annual platform. Störtebeker Braumanufaktur is the best partner for this.”

    Around 80 amateur brewers from all over Germany took part in the first German Amateur Brewers Championships, on July 29, 2017. In total the beer festival in Störtebeker´s brewing headquarters recorded around 750 visitors who tasted roughly 150 types of beer. The overall German Champion was Nico Leffler, a trainee brewer from Erzhausen in Hessen.
    (Messe München GmbH)
     
    28.11.2017   ENGEL at Plast Eurasia 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news 'Experience the smart factory' will be ENGEL's slogan for Plast Eurasia 2017, which takes place in Istanbul, Turkey, from December 6th to 9th. In Hall 12 (stand 1216), the injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solutions provider with headquarters in Austria will demonstrate the opportunities that digitalisation and networking present for the plastics processing industry, and how these can be applied to maximum effect with inject 4.0.

    Photo: Thanks to its lightweight swivel arm, the e-pic Z pick-and-place robot delivers high dynamism and requires minimal space.

    inject 4.0 is ENGEL’s answer to the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. The aim is to realise the smart factory, in which production processes continually self-optimise through the networking of production systems; the systematic usage of machine, process and production data; and the deployment of intelligent assistance systems. In this way processing firms can increase the productivity and quality of their production operations while responding to demands – which are changing ever more quickly – with maximum flexibility.

    At a very early stage, ENGEL focused on the trend towards networking and digitalising production processes by developing an integrated digitalisation strategy for its own production as well as its customers. "Many of our inject 4.0 products and solutions have already been successfully deployed at customer sites for many years," reports Abdulkadir Topucar, Managing Director of ENGEL Enjeksiyon Makineleri in Istanbul. "At the same time, we are consistently working to develop the range. We are inviting trade fair visitors to experience both established and new products and solutions at our stand, and try them out first hand." In particular, it is the modularity of ENGEL's inject 4.0 approach that makes it extremely easy for plastics processors to start working towards the smart factory step by step. Even individual stand-alone solutions can add great value.

    Compensating for process fluctuations before rejects are produced
    As integration and automation make injection moulding processes ever more complex, managing and controlling them also needs to be simpler and more intuitive. Self-adapting, intelligent assistance systems make a major contribution towards this objective as they boost process capability and quality without requiring operators to acquire special skills. To clearly demonstrate the way these assistance systems work, ENGEL will be producing inject 4.0 logos at its stand over the four days of the fair using an all-electric and tie-bar-less ENGEL e motion 80 TL injection moulding machine. Fluctuating process conditions will be simulated in the machine's CC300 control unit, giving trade fair visitors the opportunity to track the automatic readjustment by the intelligent assistance systems live on the machine's display. While iQ weight control keeps the injected melt volume consistent throughout the injection moulding process, iQ clamp control determines mould breathing in order to set the correct clamping force for good mould venting. This means that fluctuations in ambient conditions and raw materials are automatically detected and compensated for in a single shot, before rejects can be produced.

    Efficient, precise and space-saving
    The design of the e-motion 80 TL also meets the strictest efficiency and precision requirements. The model range combines the benefits of ENGEL tie-bar-less technology, such as fast tooling processes, efficient automation solutions and compact production cells with all-electric drive technology. Thanks to these qualities, the e motion 80 TL can be used, for example, to manufacture precision parts and premium optical components in the electronics industry.

    At Plast Eurasia, an integrated e-pic Z robot will remove the parts from the mould. The innovative kinematic system of the pick-and-place robot in the ENGEL product portfolio combines linear movements with a swivel arm, and thus requires minimal space. The swivel arm comprises a tailor-made, lightweight, thermoplastic composite material which also raises energy efficiency and dynamism.

    Managing multi-component processes with LSR
    ENGEL will also underline the efficiency potential of its tie-bar-less technology with its second trade fair exhibit. Over the four days of the event, ENGEL will use a victory 200H/200L/160 combi injection moulding machine with integrated viper 40 linear robot to produce two-component pressure accumulator membranes used in pressure compensation containers. In a single workstep, the machine will process PBT and LSR simultaneously in a two-component mould. The integrated injection process in this application makes it possible to bond thermoplastics and silicone in stable layers.

    Because the tie-bar-less clamping unit fully uses the mould mounting platen to the edge, the bulky two-component mould for the pressure accumulator membranes can be installed on a relatively compact 160-ton machine, thus keeping down both the investment costs and the operating expenses. Moreover, the linear robot can access the cavities directly from the side, without having to negotiate obstacles, and operate safely in that area. The third efficiency factor is the very high level of process consistency ensured by the tie-bar-less design of the clamping unit. The patented force divider enables the moving mould mounting platen to follow the mould in a precisely parallel manner while clamping force is building up and ensures that the clamping force is evenly distributed across the platen. This way, both the outer and inner cavities are kept closed with exactly the same force, which reduces mould wear and raises product quality. “To manufacture high-tech products of liquid silicone in a cost-effective way, you need burr-free, waste-free, fully automated processing of LSR with no reworking required,” says Topucar.

    Keeping an eye on production
    The two injection moulding machines at the ENGEL trade fair stand are linked to each other. Machine states and process data can be tracked in real time using a central computer. In this way, ENGEL will showcase further products from its inject 4.0 range at the Istanbul fair. For example, e-connect.24 enables remote maintenance of injection moulding machines and production cells, even at distant production locations. Qualified ENGEL service engineers can be contacted directly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As soon as they receive a service request, they use a secure remote connection to start troubleshooting and providing specific online support. In many cases, the problem can be resolved directly via the internet, thus saving the user a time-consuming and expensive on-site call by a service engineer while increasing the production line's availability.

    One special highlight of the ENGEL trade fair stand will be the presentation of the new e connect customer portal, the future platform for communication between ENGEL and its customers. The fully revised version supports the optimum use of inject 4.0 products while providing an overview of the machine park, the processing status of service and support orders and the prices and availability of spare parts – any time and anywhere. "We are offering visitors to the trade fair an exclusive preview of the amazingly clear design, intuitive navigation and the new features of our customer portal," says Abdulkadir Topucar in the run-up to Plast Eurasia. As of April 2018, e-connect will be available in Turkey.

    ENGEL at Plast Eurasia 2017: Hall 12, stand 1216.
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
     
    27.11.2017   China: Asahi Group to begin distributing Pilsner Urquell and Peroni beer in China    ( E-malt.com )

    Asahi Group Holdings will begin distributing two European beer labels under its umbrella in China by next spring as the Japanese group seeks a bigger gulp of the world's biggest market for the drink, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on November 22.

    Asahi will market Czech beer brand Pilsner Urquell and Italy's Peroni mostly in Shanghai and other mainland metropolises, targeting younger drinkers who frequent upscale supermarkets and restaurant. Pricing has not been set, but Pilsner Urquell and Peroni are expected to be more expensive than Asahi's Japanese top-seller Super Dry lager, which already costs about three times as much in China as local brands.

    Asahi acquired the two brands earlier this year from Anheuser-Busch InBev as part of an asset buyout in five European countries. Global industry leader AB InBev needed to divest a portion of its portfolio to secure its mega-merger with SABMiller.

    Although Pilsner Urquell and Peroni are well known in Europe, they are hard to find in China. But China's thirst for premium beer is growing, even as the overall mainland beer market has shrunk from its 2013 peak. Premium beers - a price range that includes Super Dry - are forecast to hold a 13% market share in 2020, up from 6.6% in 2015, data from Euromonitor shows.

    Meanwhile, Asahi confirmed last month that it is moving to dissolve its capital tie-up with China's second-ranked Tsingtao Brewery, a partnership launched in 2009. Chinese sales of Super Dry have jumped by roughly 20% by volume, and now the Japanese company aims to leverage the European brands to expand in the market on its own.
     
    27.11.2017   Grand opening of the new CANPACK beverage cans factory in the Netherlands    ( Company news )

    Company news On November 3, 2017 the grand opening of a new investment by CANPACK Group in the Netherlands – a beverage can factory in Helmond – was celebrated.

    The grand opening ceremony was honored by the presence of the Ministry, Chief of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland – Mrs Halina Szymańska, who read a letter on behalf of the President Mr. Andrzej Duda and representatives of the Dutch authorities – Mr. Ernst Noorman, Director International Programs, Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Mr. Bert Pauli, Vice-governor of the province of Noord-Brabant. In addition to the owner of Giorgi Global Holdings, Inc., Mr. Peter Giorgi, and the CANPACK Group management we had the honor to host as invited guests CANPACK Group customers, local government authorities, supporting financial institutions, contractors, suppliers of machinery and equipment and suppliers of raw materials.

    The aluminum beverage can factory in Helmond is an investment of over 100 mln Euro. The production facility and the factory warehouse with a total area of 40,000 m2 are equipped with two production lines with annual production capacity of 2 billion cans in various sizes. The factory in Helmond is the biggest Polish production investment in the Netherlands. It is considered in the industry as one of the most energy efficient and most technologically advanced plants in the world. The company will produce beverage packaging for customers in the Benelux, Germany and France and will significantly increase employment in the province of Noord-Brabant, the Netherlands.
    (Can-Pack S.A.)
     
    27.11.2017   India: Belgian beers Chimay and Delirium coming to India    ( E-malt.com )

    It’s brewed by monks within the walls of an abbey and profits from it go to charity. Now, Belgium’s Trappist beer Chimay will be available in India. Livemint reported on November 9.

    Chimay is entering the Indian market at a time the Belgian royal couple King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are in India to mark 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

    Along with Chimay, Belgian beer Delirium, with its famous pink elephant logo, is also entering the Indian market. India will be the 60th market for Chimay and Delirium—two of the finest makers of ales in the world.

    Both Chimay and Delirium will be imported, distributed and marketed in India by New Delhi-based Hema Connoisseur Collections Pvt. Ltd, an importer and distributor of some of top international liquor brands.

    “India is probably the most difficult market. But the potential is huge. The beer market in India has matured in recent years, and a section of the society is exposed to Belgian beers which are known for quality, tradition and sustainability. We feel this is the right time,” said Alain de Laet, chief executive officer, Huyghe Brewery that owns the Delirium brand.

    Delirium and Chimay have co-marketing arrangements and share a common brand ambassador for marketing their beers.

    “Chimay and Delirium will be the most expensive beers in India. These are premium specialty beers. We are not into the volume game. We don’t just sell bottles, we sell good moments. We are here because we feel India is ready for our beer,” said Edwin Dedoncker, managing director, Bières et Fromages de Chimay that owns Chimay beer.

    Both Chimay and Delirium will be priced Rs550 a pint bottle (retail) in India. Initially, the two Belgian beers will be available across selected eight retail outlets in New Delhi, six top hotels, a few restaurants and 18 pubs, including 12 units of Beer Café. “Within a few weeks, we’ll have similar presence in Mumbai and Pune. There is no immediate plan to expand further,” said Amit Agarwal, chief executive officer, Hema Connoisseur Collections.

    Chimay and Delirium will focus on brand building at restaurants and pubs through sampling, and organize tasting events. “The marketing will be focused and we hope word-of-mouth to drive demand,” added Dedoncker.

    Initially, the companies will sell two variants of Chimay—Gold (4.8% alcohol) and Red (7% alcohol), and Delirium’s Tremens and Nocturnum (both 8.5% alcohol) in India. Chimay Tripple, which comes with 8% alcohol content, will be launched in India soon.

    While more than 80% of beers sold in India are variants of “strong” (more than 5% alcohol content), consumers have been shifting toward mild versions in the past couple of years after the concept of craft spread to India. In 2016, the size of India’s beer market stood at 2.92 billion litre, up from 2.74 billion litre a year ago.

    Belgian beer is not new to Indians. Ankur Jain, founder of B9 Beverages Pvt. Ltd, made Indian drinkers aware of Belgian brands after he launched Bira91 in 2015. Bira was initially brewed in Belgium, and imported, bottled and sold in India as the country’s first handcrafted beer.

    Before Bira, Jain had been importing about 50 craft beers from Europe (a bunch of them from Belgium) to sell in India since 2007. Jain closed the import business soon after he launched Bira. And he still loves Chimay.

    “Love the brand. I will be one of the first buyers of their products once it hits retail,” Jain said. However, the Bira founder believes Chimay is unlikely to have volumes because of the price.

    Owners of Chimay and Delirium are not looking for volumes either. “We’ll be happy with 1,500 hectolitre in the first year for each of the brands,” said Dedoncker.

    The Delirium CEO, however, believes that India can be as big as China for both the brands. In China, Chimay sells about 8,000 hectolitre and Delirium 12,000 hectolitre a year. “In the longer term, India can become the fourth largest market (outside the home market) for both the brands,” said the Delirium CEO. At present, the US, China, France and Canada are the top markets for Chimay and Delirium.

    Annually, Chimay exports about 60% of the 190,000 hectolitre of beer it produces while Delirium exports 81% of 200,000 hectolitre of beer it brews a year. Typically, the two brand increase production by 10% annually.

    Beer pubs are upbeat. “Chimay is one of the most prestigious Trappist beers in the world. At Beer Café, these are the most premium beers on the menu. We have already witnessed a sense of exuberance among beer aficionados,” said Rahul Singh, founder and chief executive of Beer Café.
     
    27.11.2017   Myanmar: Up to 30% of all beer sold in Myanmar is illegal - report    ( E-malt.com )

    Global research firm Euromonitor International released on November 20 its independent study on the prevalence of the illicit trade of beer in Myanmar. In a country which has an import ban of beer, up to 30% of all beer sold is illegal, a size of nearly 1 million hectolitres in 2016. Of this, 96% is beer that is smuggled across borders by land or boat. Based on the research which included store checks across 4 cities, 95% of illicit beer is well-known, mainstream Thai brands.

    The research firm estimates the loss of tax revenue for the government caused by the illicit trade of beer as 48 - 52 million USD in 2016. This is the amount which could be earned by the government if legitimate beer producers in Myanmar could instead make up the volume.

    Euromonitor has unprecedented experience quantifying illicit trade and understanding its drivers, with reports produced in more than 30 markets to date. Specifically, research findings in Myanmar suggest that affordability is the key driver for consumption of smuggled beer, which is on average about 35% cheaper than locally produced beer for a 330ml can, based on store check findings.

    Commenting on the report, a spokesperson from the Brewers Association of Myanmar said, “The high prevalence of illicit beer as highlighted in the Euromonitor report is a concern not only for local beer producers but also for consumer safety, Government revenues, and the economic development of Myanmar. Smuggled beer is a third cheaper than locally produced beer because it pays no tax. On the contrary, the local beer industry paid 150 billion kyats in Special Goods Tax last year and is proud to invest and provide jobs in Myanmar. The Brewers Association of Myanmar is willing to work with all stakeholders to raise awareness and support the Government in its increasing law enforcement efforts to help tackle illicit trade.”

    The report cites that 75% of smuggled beer is packed in can, due to its ease of transportation. It is estimated that 80% of smuggled beer is passing through the Thai border, with 20% through the Chinese border. The proportion of illicit beer sold in retail is highest in areas near the borders.

    A spokesperson of the Brewers Association of Myanmar added, “Compared to other countries where counterfeit beer, home-brewing or parallel trade is high, identifying illicit beer in Myanmar is relatively easy – it is all brands not produced in Myanmar. Beer producers in Myanmar offer a range of local and international brands, and consumers can check the labels on their beer to confirm it says ‘Made in Myanmar’.”
     
    27.11.2017   Vietnam: Beer industry forum warns against further tax hikes    ( E-malt.com )

    Taxes on alcohol and soft drinks should not be hiked again in the next few years since successive hikes in special consumption tax have had a strong impact on the market, a round table organised by the Viet Nam Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Association heard in HCM City on November 22.

    Since 2013 the special consumption tax on alcoholic beverages and beer has been raised four times.

    From next year it will be 65 per cent.

    Speaking to Viet Nam News on the sidelines of the forum, Nguyen Van Viet, the association chairman, said the growth of the beverages market in the first eight months of this year was 7 per cent, the same level as previous years.

    “The growth was mainly due to soft drinks, which have not been affected by the tax. Alcoholic drinks saw no growth while beer witnessed low and steady growth.”

    The impact of the tax hikes would be clearer a year or two down the line and so the growth next year would not be higher than in 2017, he said.

    Experts cited the example of Japan, which takes around 10 years to bring in a new policy, saying Viet Nam too should be consistency in policy making.

    The tax on beer and spirits has been increased by 20 per cent in just five years, they lamented.

    Trieu Quang Thìn, vice chairman of the Ha Noi Association for Anti-counterfeiting and Trademark Protection, warned that as the huge tax hikes push up prices, consumption would decline and companies would look for ways to evade taxes.

    Furthermore, it could give rise to smuggling and fake products, he said.

    Shivam Misra of the EuroCham Wine and Spirits Sector Committee concurred with him, telling the forum the Government could actually lose revenues due to the tax hikes.

    Higher taxes would give rise to illegal products, he explained.

    But assuring they would not evade taxes, delegates called for a road map with taxes hiked at a slower rate so that companies have time to prepare and avoid shocks.

    The beverages sector is one of the biggest in the country and accounts for 5 per cent of the Government’s revenues.

    The sector has grown consistently for many years, and exports many products.
     


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