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    15.03.2017   SIDEL OPENS NEW OFFICE IN POLAND TO BETTER SERVE CUSTOMERS IN ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

    Picture: Polish Office Reception Area

    Sidel has opened a new office in Wrocław, Poland, to offer an improved service to customers in the Central and Eastern Europe area. Known for its global experience, the leading provider of production equipment and services for liquids in PET, can and glass is equally committed to ensuring genuine local sales and support as part of its continued efforts to build long-term business partnerships. The company’s Poland-based teams moved to the new office in December 2016 and this relocation is already proving a success with existing and potential customers within the area.

    Sidel understands the importance of working in close proximity with customers in the regions in which it operates and in having dedicated offices where the company’s local representatives are permanently located and can readily be contacted. This is part of Sidel’s commitment to better understanding its customers’ products and the markets and value chains in which they operate. It provides the opportunity for more tailored solutions, combining technology, services and expertise to help producers to meet the specific requirements of the local market and its consumer trends. Wrocław, the largest city in western Poland, is recognised as a growing business centre. It stands on the River Oder, with good road and motorway connections to the rest of the country and other parts of the region. The new facility covers approximately 500 square metres and houses 25 of the company’s sales, field services, IT and finance employees.

    Paweł Warszawski, Sales Director DACH, Central & Eastern Europe, Russia & CIS for Sidel says: “We are always looking to improve our offering to customers. This move to bigger premises will provide many benefits including the opportunity to offer an even better support service. We are looking forward to maintaining our high standards while accelerating our growth in Poland and throughout Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Europe and Central Asia proved to be one of several regions in which we over-achieved order intake growth in 2016 and the relocation to this new facility provides an excellent foundation to develop our capabilities even further.”

    In its search for additional growth in the CEE region, Sidel recognises Poland as one of the most dynamic prospects. The packaging market in the country is anticipating a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.4% for drinks bottled in PET over the four-year period from 2016 to 2020, with glass and can forecast to grow respectively by 2.7% and by 1.0% over the same period . In the food, home and personal care market (FHPC), a CAGR of 1.6% is forecast for PET packaging from 2016 to 2020 . From its transparency, which allows the consumer to see the bottle’s contents clearly, to the material’s design flexibility and its strength to survive the supply chain and still provide a great consumer’s experience, PET simply delivers a great, all-around performance. Making it possible to substantially reduce the amount of material needed to produce strong, efficient and innovative bottles, PET offers producers significant cost and sustainability benefits through its capacity for lightweighting. Light yet robust, flexible and easy to transport, it offers the producer several valuable benefits, from preventing beverage and food waste to high levels of sustainability through its complete material recyclability.

    Visitors to Sidel’s new premises in Wrocław, Poland, will also be able to learn more about the company’s latest available packaging innovations, equipment and services. This includes Sidel Services Online, a web interface which enables fast online ordering of Sidel original spare parts. Originally introduced in Europe and Central Asia - where it continues to increase its uptake – the tool will be rolled out soon to other regions. Additionally, Sidel acknowledges the many different, seemingly contradictory demands that producers face – for example, the need to increase the number of stock keeping units (SKUs) manufactured while keeping production simple, efficient and reliable. This is why the company is committed to help them reap the benefits of Industry 4.0, especially when it comes to improve line operations in terms of speed, efficiency, flexibility and versatility. This is leading to the increased use of smart machines, system and data intelligence, digital connectivity and powerful simulation tools, all within a philosophy of sustainable production.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    14.03.2017   Ardagh Group Announces Investment in Rugby Plant    ( Company news )

    Company news Ardagh Group announced an important investment in its Rugby manufacturing plant for the purpose of converting its beverage can production capabilities from steel to aluminium. This venture will serve to support committed partnership agreements with some of the most well-established beverage brands in the world. The timeline for the conversion involves project commencement in Q4 2017 and with an anticipated completion in Q1 2018.

    The investment in the UK plant’s manufacturing capabilities signals a clear intent from Ardagh Group in the continued development of its recently acquired beverage can business. “We look at this conversion as a key move in furthering Ardagh’s overall footprint and are confident it will be welcomed by our customers, the Rugby plant and our other key stakeholders,” said Oliver Graham, CEO Ardagh Metal Beverage.

    The Rugby UK plant was first established in 1989 as a two-line aluminium plant. In 1996, the plant was converted to steel to support customer needs at that time. Processes within the plant are currently being optimised via Ardagh’s Wrexham plant and other locations across Europe to ensure that customer expectations continue to be met during the plant’s downtime.

    Metal is a permanent material meaning it can be infinitely recycled without loss of quality. Universally recognised for its protective qualities, versatility and environmental credentials, metal has the strongest recycling rates of all packaging materials in Europe, thus effectively contributing to the fundamental principles of a circular economy.
    (Ardagh Group)
     
    14.03.2017   Cambodia: Cambodia Brewery Limited expands and adds Heineken to its production line    ( E-malt.com )

    Cambodia Brewery Limited (CBL) on March 6 officially unveiled a $100 million major brewery expansion and announced the addition of Heineken to its production line, the Khmer Times reported.

    Frans Eusman, president of Heineken Asia-Pacific, said his company began operations in Cambodia in 1994 as a joint-venture between Asia Pacific Brewery Limited and Progress Import-Export Company, which is owned by the Vattanac Group, and invested about $56 million to build a brewery in Cambodia.

    Mr. Eusman said the decision to expand the brewery was due to an increasing demand for their products in Cambodia. He said the company invested more than $100 million into the expansion, which was completed by the end of 2016.

    He added that the brewery’s capacity to produce beer is from 80 million to 300 million litres per annum or about 27,000 to 100,000 cases of beer per day.

    Now Cambodia Brewery Limited has been granted authorization from Heineken Company to produce Heineken beer in Cambodia after CBL took up the rights as exclusive distributor of Heineken in Cambodia in 2015,” Mr. Eusman said.

    Industry and Handicraft Ministry secretary of state Sat Samy said that CBL and Asia Pacific Brewery had invested about $56 million on a brewery to produce, import and sell ABC Stout, Tiger, Anchor, Gold Crown and Gold Crown Stout for local consumption since 1994.

    He added that the stability of the economy and politics as well as a solid potential investment climate pushed CBL to expand its operations and start producing Heineken.

    “The expansion project took about two years and was completed by the end of 2016,” Mr. Samy said.

    “The site is about 10,964 square meters. The new production chain can produce about 20,000 bottles of beer per hour and 60,000 cans of beer per hour to supply the domestic market,” he added, saying that the new factory has added nearly 460 jobs.

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, who presided over the grand opening on March 6, welcomed the expansion. He said he was at the ceremony more than two decades ago when CBL invested $56 million to build its initial brewery.

    “The progress of CBL has contributed to strengthening the national economy and reducing poverty since this company has added more than 456 jobs and pays about $100 million in taxes to the state per year,” he said.
     
    14.03.2017   The Netherlands: Heineken to launch its first alcohol-free beer    ( E-malt.com )

    Amsterdam-based brewer Heineken is to launch its first alcohol-free beer, Heineken 0.0, in the Netherlands on March 7. The beer, which has a partly blue label, will be available in Dutch bars and retail outlets ahead of an international launch, DutchNews.nl reported on March 6.

    The new product marks a change of strategy for the company, the Telegraaf reported. Late director Freddy Heineken vowed no alcohol-free beer would ever appear under the Heineken brand name, saying he felt even a light beer would damage the Heineken brand.

    But the present Heineken chief Jean-François van Boxmeer is not afraid of change and he has expanded the company considerably, the Telegraaf said.

    The Heineken brand still accounts for 30% of group profit. ‘The new brand is exciting,’ said Heineken master brewer Willem van Waesberghe. ‘It is the biggest change Heineken has made in years because it is an update of our own brand,’ he told the paper.

    Van Waesberghe, who was formerly director of research at the brewer, said Heineken worked on the formula for two years and that Heineken 0.0 had to fit into the brand’s global offering. He said the market for alcohol-free beer is growing rapidly, already accounting for 10% of beer sales in Spain.
     
    14.03.2017   UK: Special business rates protection for pubs announced in the final Spring budget statement    ( E-malt.com )

    UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced special business rates protection for pubs in England in the final Spring budget statement, Imbibe reported on March 8.

    The measures will see all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 receive a £1,000 discount on their 2017 bill. The move is estimated to cover 90% of pubs in England.

    In the afternoon on March 8, Hammond made further business rates concessions as what he called a ‘reaction to concerns raised by businesses’. Local authorities are to receive a £300 mln fund to deliver discretionary relief to help ease the burden on individual hard cases. Furthermore, any business coming out of Small Business Rate Relief will benefit from an additional cap, that will mean their rates will not increase by more than £50 a month.

    Reacting to the news, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive Kate Nicholls welcomed the news but said that long term reform was still needed to protect the sector.

    ‘It is very encouraging to see the government acknowledge and back the valuable work being carried out by the UK’s hardworking pubs, bars and restaurants,’ she said. ‘Sector-specific relief will help those businesses hardest hit by the revaluation. This much-needed government support will save the sector over £24m and will help safeguard investment and jobs.

    ‘We are pleased to see the government acknowledge the issue and act positively to support a crucial growth champion and a sector with turnover of £60bn employing over 1.5 million. The next step is for the government to instigate the long term, root and branch reform that is needed for pubs and bars and the ALMR is keen to work closely with them to achieve this.’

    In talking about the state of the UK economy, Hammond said: ‘We are focused on keeping Britain at the forefront of the global economy. And our ambition is for the UK to be the best place in the world to start and grow a business.’

    He also conceded that there was ‘scope to reform’ the business rates system in general, with more frequent revaluations. The government will set out its ‘preferred approach’ in due course.
     
    14.03.2017   USA: Case and dollar sales of imported beers increase last year    ( E-malt.com )

    There has never been a better time for Federbräu’s in the Thai market with the premium beer segment witnessing brighter opportunities than ever, the Nation reported on March 10.

    Edmond Neo Kim Soon, CEO Beer product group, pointed out that a recent research work on premium products consumption in Southeast Asia conducted by international research company AC Nielsen shows that Southeast Asian consumers are now likely to spend more on consumer products, particularly in the premium food and beverage segment. The research ranked Indonesia first in the region for this trend, while Thailand came second with a 24 percent increase in consumption of premium foods and beverages last year. The increase is partly because consumers today are willing to pay more for better products.

    Although sales in the Thai premium beer segment currently represent only 5 percent of the entire beer market, considered a small proportion compared to other markets, the research findings clearly reflect the growth trend. Thailand has steadily seen an emergence of new imported premium beer brands. With a total economic value of Bt7.2 billion, Edmond believes Federbräu could succeed in penetrating the Thai premium beer market.

    “We decided to introduce Federbräu to the Thai premium beer market as we believe there is strong growth potential. New-generation consumers want products that help support their image, while favoring beverages with a unique and distinctive taste. Federbräu can fulfill their demands,” the CEO said.

    Toranin Kiatichai, brand director of Federbräu, said Federbräu is imbued with the art and craftsmanship of German brewing. It is produced from German Single Malt, directly imported from Germany, which provides unique flavor and aroma. The beer contains 5 percent alcohol, making it easy to drink. The primary packaging includes a 620-ml bottle, 320-ml small bottle and 320-ml sleek can.

    The word Federbräu comes from the German words of “Feder” meaning feather, and “Bräu” for brew. It reflects the ideals of the contemporary metropolitan male who is passionate about life, seeks perfection and is meticulous in every detail.

    Edmond added that another strength of Federbräu is its competitive price strategy, which he believed would drive sales.

    “Thailand and Southeast Asia are our key markets. We have distributed Federbräu across Thailand using various channels since February 2017. The product is also being distributed throughout Southeast Asia Edmond added.”
     
    13.03.2017   SIDEL PET COMPLETE SOLUTIONS FOR ASEPTIC APPLICATIONS: ENSURE ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... PRODUCT INTEGRITY, OPTIMISE UPTIME, MINIMISE COSTS

    Beverage producers are currently facing multiple challenges. Their packaging solutions need to be innovative and able to offer great consumer experiences. Also, they have to ensure product integrity to meet food safety standards. All of this, without compromising on cost effectiveness. Sidel has worked with liquid dairy products (LDP) and juices, nectars, soft drinks, isotonics and teas (JNSDIT) producers for over 50 years - developing extensive experience and expertise in aseptic packaging. This means that the company can offer all the proven benefits of reliable PET aseptic complete line solutions.

    The increasing consumption rates of JNSDIT and LDP products – growing respectively by 6% and 5% on a yearly basis - provides significant business development opportunities for producers. The use of PET in these market segments continues to increase, with an annual growth of 3% expected for the JNSDIT sector and 8% for LDP by 2020. Producers can enlarge their bottling capacity or diversify their production with more value-added products in PET to maximise this market potential.

    Whatever the industry business goals, one concern stands above all others: food safety. PET bottles offer great physical protection and food barrier benefits that maintain the product’s safety and integrity across the supply chain. Guillaume Rolland, Sensitive Products Category Director at Sidel, comments - “Worldwide, consumers are becoming increasingly health-conscious and moving towards drinks with a more natural taste. This has brought a focus from producers on filling methods that protect the quality, taste and vitamin content of the beverages. Hot fill and aseptic filling solutions maintain the properties of beverages.” Using PET in aseptic packaging solutions offers great business opportunities through bottling sensitive products to be distributed at ambient temperature, preserving organoleptic properties and keeping them free from bacteria. It gives products a shelf life without pasteurisation, hot filling or the use of preservatives or sterilising agents.

    By choosing a PET aseptic complete line solution from Sidel, beverage producers can protect sensitive drinks and differentiate brands, handling a broad variety of products while reducing environmental impact and costs.

    Optimised aseptic production
    By partnering with Sidel, producers work with a single, market-leading supplier and can leverage an extensive 40 years of aseptic packaging expertise. Meeting producers' needs via fully connected aseptic lines requires an approach that is both holistic and flexible. The company’s fully integrated and technically advanced solutions employ the processing equipment and capabilities of Tetra Pak Processing Systems (TPPS) - the original inventor of aseptic technology. Over the years, Sidel and TPPS have been combining competencies and expertise to define and execute almost 100 complete lines projects.

    Sidel’s extensive experience, innovative equipment and professional services, assist customers through the entire production process. This ranges from differentiating and customised bottle and complete line design to fast production ramp-up and beyond. Tackling the challenges of sensitive beverages while maintaining cost-efficiency, the company helps producers package their products with the correct PET solution. It ensures food safety, product integrity and longevity while providing the support to build and differentiate their brand.

    Beverage and packaging solutions qualified by in-house experts
    Sensitive drinks can be affected by various factors when they are packaged – micro-organisms, light, oxygen and temperature. As well as ensuring that these do not detract from the quality of the content, PET also presents real opportunities to enhance the finished product. If Sidel’s scientific expertise on beverage packaging and industrial production is involved early in a new product packaging project, producers will be able to optimise bottle performance while ensuring product safety and quality. They will also achieve faster time to market and bottle designs which stand out on the supermarket shelves.

    Sidel experts in chemistry, microbiology, food science, filling processes and packaging materials help customers to qualify specific packaging solutions. This can involve a number of processes, including evaluating bottle samples and performing physical, chemical and sensory analyses to determine how the liquid interacts with the package. Tests are carried out under supply chain conditions to determine the optimal solution for defined distribution methods and shelf life. Based on the results, Sidel experts then make recommendations on bottle barrier material, weight, shape and type of cap, in order to ensure the product’s desired shelf life.

    Creating value from concept to customer
    At five packaging centres and four in-house R&D laboratories around the world, Sidel aims to create value in every phase of the supply chain. Based on the customer’s individual specifications, supply chain conditions and product goals, Sidel designers provide everything to turn a producer’s wish from idea to reality, creating innovative packaging to protect beverage quality and give the finished product a memorable and differentiating look. Those packaging solutions maintain optimum line performance using less material and energy, yet increasing product shelf life and always delivering a great consumer experience. Every year Sidel works on more than 250,000 new bottle concepts and 8,000 bottle designs.

    For new lines and the conversion of existing lines, the Sidel moulds for these bottles are designed for fast production and optimal performance. Made from quality aluminium or stainless steel and tested using real-world mechanical analysis and virtual stress simulations for maximum uptime, they are engineered to last. The moulds offer great freedom of design with fast, easy changeovers - and can be adapted to all generations of the company’s blowers.

    Scientifically proven dry aseptic solution
    Sidel's unique PET aseptic filling solution with dry preform decontamination ensures product integrity, production flexibility, cost efficiency and sustainability. Based on the obvious fact that it is simpler to decontaminate the preform rather than the blown bottle, Sidel patented this unique technology - Sidel Predis™ - which uses hydrogen peroxide mist to sterilise the preforms. Injected into the preforms just before they enter the oven, the peroxide mist is activated during the existing preform heating stage. The same technology is used for cap decontamination with Sidel’s Capdis™. “By integrating preform decontamination, blowing and filling functions with cap decontamination in a single enclosure, the Sidel aseptic Combi Predis ensures a completely sterile filled and capped PET bottle with a 100% dry aseptic solution”, explains Rolland.

    To ensure food safety on a line, it should be simple, because a line with few critical factors is
    managed more easily and effectively. This is achieved by minimising the sterile zone to reduce risk of contamination, continuously monitoring critical parameters and controlling potential contamination. This process ensures a high level of decontamination up to a Sterility Assurance Level (SAL) of Log 6, without need for blow moulder sterilisation. This aseptic Combi Predis uses membrane-free magnetic filling for safe, hygienic filling with flow meter control for high accuracy. It is also easy to operate and maintain.

    The end result is reliable, simple aseptic beverage production in PET bottles, ideal for products distributed at ambient temperature. Additionally, it can help to lengthen shelf life and reformulate more sensitive beverages that would otherwise need added preservatives to maintain food safety. Suitable for aseptic production ranging from 10,000 to 60,000 bottles per hour, it can handle a broad variety of drinks (still beverages or products with pulps), including those with high or low acidity such as UHT milk and soy or yak milk. “Now with multiple installations throughout the world, the Sidel Combi Predis offers producers the simplest and fastest aseptic solution embedding dry preform decontamination. Compared to traditional aseptic filling systems, it ensures maximum cost-efficiency with the highest uptime”, adds Rolland. By significantly reducing chemicals and not using any water to decontaminate the package, the savings can be substantial. It also contributes to extensive lightweighting possibilities to decrease the amount of PET used. It offers a potential output of up to 2,400 bottles per hour per mould, with a continuous aseptic run of 165 hours between cleaning and sterilisation cycles. Simple, fast and safe changeovers with limited manual intervention are possible with Bottle Switch™, the tool-free system that reduces mould changeover times to 40 seconds each. Liquid changeovers require less downtime too, with only three hours cleaning and sterilisation between bottle-to-bottle production.

    Flexible production line to build end-user engagement
    For the sensitive drinks producer, the challenge lies in ensuring product safety and quality across the supply chain. It is also important for a beverage or dairy brand to stand out on the supermarket shelf to influence consumer purchasing decisions as the choice of a product is made in a matter of seconds. The label and the pack help significantly in attracting consumers’ attention and encouraging them to select one product over another. Sidel’s complete aseptic lines are able to take advantage of a wide range of versatile, reliable labelling and packing solutions to help beverage producers to attract and differentiate, while ensuring sustainable production. Whether roll-fed or sleeve labels are required for aseptic beverages, Sidel labellers can handle any label format with fast, consistent roll-fed labelling or efficient, high-quality, heat-shrink sleeve labelling. Whether shrink-printed film, nested packs or wrap-around cartons are required, it is important to keep this layer appealing, strong and functional. Sidel flexible secondary packing systems offer reliable pack consistency and durable quality, while the company’s palletising solutions and compact robotic solutions, with high production speeds and multiple patterns, handle a variety of products, packs and layers with easy operation and greater line versatility.

    Maximised uptime today and tomorrow
    Even if the ideal packaging solution is implemented, the reality with any production line is that, over time, performance will decline without intervention. “The goal is to maintain and improve an aseptic line’s productivity, efficiency and performance levels throughout its lifetime. Similarly, it is important to upgrade the existing line with new technologies that can boost productivity to new levels and help to lower total cost”, concludes Rolland. The dedicated Sidel Services team offers producers a tailored portfolio that can increase the safety and value of an aseptic production line for long-term success. They will monitor line equipment, plan for downtime and reduce unexpected costs. As Sidel continuously develops and upgrades aseptic solutions to reduce the need for energy, water and raw materials, lowering total cost and improving environmental footprint, producers of LDP or JNSDIT products can ensure their equipment is not left behind. These new technologies - along with Sidel line conversion, training and proactive spare parts management - can also optimise costs and deliver the flexibility to keep up with changes in consumer demand.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    10.03.2017   International Trade Fair for Metal Packaging: World's Leading Fair METPACK Breaks Exhibitor Record     ( Company news )

    Company news More Manufacturers Than Ever Before at Messe Essen from May 2 to 6

    With 263 registered exhibitors at present, the world's leading fair for metal packaging METPACK is achieving a new record. Numerous manufacturers have confirmed their participation. After the past METPACK set standards with an investment volume in billions, Messe Essen will greet more than 60 new exhibitors this year.

    With 29 exhibitor nations, the trade fair will set another record. Over 80 percent of the exhibitors will originate from abroad - METPACK will thus highlight its orientation as one of the most international fairs in Germany. The spectrum of the companies will extend from the highly specialised medium-sized enterprise to the market leader with worldwide activities. Sustainable and cost-efficient solutions for the manufacture, refinement and recycling of metal packaging will determine the range on offer at the trade fair in 2017. Thus, METPACK will present innovations along the entire value added chain in the sector. The best of these will be honoured with the METPACK Innovation Award.

    Exhibition Area is Growing Further
    This year, METPACK is progressing with regard to the marketed exhibition area, too: Until now, Messe Essen has rented out 20 percent more than for the past event. For the first time, not only Halls 1 and 3 but also Hall 2 will be open on the occasion of METPACK. Admission will continue to take place via the proven entrances in the South and West of Messe Essen. Reasons for joy will be supplied not only by the growth with regard to the exhibitors and the area: This year, METPACK will celebrate its 25th birthday: On this occasion, a lot of small and large surprises will await the exhibitors and the visitors.

    International, Innovative and Sustainable: METPACK at Messe Essen
    METPACK is the world's leading fair for metal packaging and takes place at Messe Essen every three years. It is the largest and most significant international trade fair for the manufacturers of metal packaging. With its eighth edition, METPACK impressively confirmed its position as the undisputed number one in the worldwide sector: 243 exhibitors from 27 nations and 7,100 trade visitors from around 100 countries came to Essen in May 2014.
    (Messe Essen GmbH)
     
    09.03.2017   China Supplies DMDC (E 242) – cold sterilant for beverage and wine    ( Company news )

    Company news Preservation has always been a big topic in beverage industry. The application of Dimethyl Dicarbonate (DMDC, INS No. E 242) is approved for a wide range of soft drinks as well as wines in more than 90 countries. With its wide spectrum of application, DMDC technology provides a new alternative sterilization solution for many drinks bottlers and winemakers.

    In comparison to normal physical or chemical preservation DMDC is non-persistent and outstanding with its high cost-efficiency and zero negative effects on the taste, odor or color. In addition, it is compatible with all known forms of packaging materials such as PET and glass bottles, metal. Furthermore, it can be used in a wide spectrum of beverages and wines, including fruit drinks, iced teas, energy drinks as well as the non-carbonated and carbonated flavored waters. It is very flexible for low temperature filling and especially suitable for mobile or multi-purpose bottling lines.

    Recently, companies in China have successfully manufactured high quality and high purity DMDC and thus offer new choices of DMDC supplier for beverage and wine industries. Duessel H Limited is the global distributor representing the manufacturer of DMDC in China with advanced technology in producing DMDC.
    (Duessel H Limited)
     
    09.03.2017   Tetra Pak to open a new closures production facility in Asia​​​    ( Company news )

    Company news ​Tetra Pak is to build a new plant at its Rayong site in Thailand, dedicated to producing closures for carton packaging.​​​

    Photo: Blue cap with Tetra Pak logotype, DreamCap™ 26

    The €24 million investment, which will create around 60 jobs when it opens early in 2018, will be capable of producing more than 3 billion closures every year.

    With demand for well-designed closures on beverage cartons rising all the time, the new facility will provide much-needed local production and essential extra capacity.

    Michael Zacka, Cluster Vice President, Tetra Pak South Asia, East Asia and Oceania (SAEA&O), said: “The new production facility will ensure faster delivery for customers across the region, offering a broad range of exciting closures that meet consumer demand for functionality and convenience.”​​​

    “It’s another sign of the confidence we have in this region, and our commitment to putting our customers’ success at the heart of everything we do. Together with the packaging material factory that we will open in Vietnam in 2019, our fourth in southern Asia alone, our ability to serve customers in this exciting part of the world is growing stronger all the time.”​​​​

    The new production facility will be located within the company’s existing Straws and Strips Plant in Rayong.​​​
    (Tetra Pak AB)
     
    08.03.2017   60 years and Elopak is ready for more growth     ( Company news )

    Company news Elopak celebrated 60th Anniversary on 11th February 2017

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

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

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

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

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

    “For over six decades Elopak has developed both the Pure-Pak® carton and filling machine technology with foresight, innovation and a culture of team work and collaboration. All of this is increasing the value of our products and services for the best of our customers and the consumers. We are continuously developing and expanding our product offerings and will pursue further possibilities by making packaging count and showing how much our customers matter. As we celebrate our 60th anniversary and our many achievements – we are ready for reaching out to even more consumers,” says Niels Petter Wright, CEO of Elopak.
    (Elopak AS)
     
    07.03.2017   China: Shanghai's Boxing Cat craft brewer bought by AB InBev    ( E-malt.com )

    AB InBev, the world's biggest beer brewer, has acquired a significant stake in one of China's best known craft brewers, in a move that shakes up the country's tiny but booming craft beer scene and, the slumping beer giant hopes, its own bottom line, Fortune reported on March 2.

    The company's quarterly earnings announcement on March 2 disappointed investors, who sent the stock falling 3% after AB InBev missed analyst estimates for the seventh quarter in a row. The sluggish results provided further explanation for why AB InBev was willing to spend $103 billion to buy rival SABMiller and why it is pushing hard for growth in markets like China. AB InBev has also been investing in craft brands, buying nine U.S. craft brewers over the past six years.

    Boxing Cat Brewery in Shanghai wasn't the city's first craft brewer when a trio of businessmen - one American, one Canadian, one Chinese - opened it in 2008. But it has survived to become the city's longest lasting. Last year it became the first Chinese microbrewery to win a medal at the World Beer Festival. Its beers share the pugilist theme of its brand name: There's a Ringside Red, Sucker Punch Pale Ale, and Standing 8 pilsner.

    AB InBev confirmed the purchase on March 2, after it had been rumored in China's craft beer circles for a week and reported by the website Drink. "We see great potential for Boxing Cat Brewery to continue to grow and further progress the small craft beer market currently in China," the company said in a statement.

    Boxing Cat's brewmaster and partners said they would remain at the microbrewery. Neither acquirer nor target disclosed financial terms of the deal or the size of AB InBev's stake.

    AB InBev has made inroads in China's small but fast-growing craft beer market, which analysts say may account for as little as 0.1% of the country's $80 billion a year in beer sales, but which may also be growing at triple-digits in the major cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. China's overall beer market has declined since 2014.

    Goose Island, the Chicago-based craft brand AB InBev acquired in 2011, is popping up in bars across Beijing and Shanghai. Meanwhile, AB In Bev is negotiating with distributors and bars to expand it further. AB InBev is hiring top craft industry talent in China, offering bars free or discounted beer, and leaning on those distributors to only carry AB InBev beers.

    It's all part of the beer giant's push to get Chinese (and the rest of the world) to drink more expensive beer. China ranks dead last among the world’s top beer markets for profitability; brewers eke out $2 of profit per hectoliter of beer sold. (Domestic beers sold in America earn profits of $30 per hectolitre.)

    Some of AB InBev's moves have attracted contempt from China's craft beer community, who see it as a deep-pocketed brewer intent on grabbing market share in China after it missed the rise of craft's popularity in the U.S. But others, including Boxing Cat's brewmaster Michael Jordan, say a deep-pocketed investor is just what the tiny market needs. "We wanted and needed a partner that shared our vision for growing the craft community as well as having the resources available to do it with the same emphasis and quality that we have always strived to maintain as a brand," Jordan wrote to Fortune. "I'm hoping this will help tremendously not only for our brand but for the craft market development moving forward as a whole."
     
    07.03.2017   Greece: Greek brewery sues Heineken for abusing position of power in Greece    ( E-malt.com )

    Greek brewery Macedonian Thrace Brewery is claiming 100 million euros from Heineken in a lawsuit filed with the court in Amsterdam. According to the Greek brewery, the Dutch beer giant abused its position of power in Greece, NU.nl reported on February 24.

    Officially the lawsuit is filed against Athenian Brewery, Heineken's Greek subsidiary. Macedonian Thrace Brewer claims that Heineken stalled the competition in the Greek beer market for years by making exclusive deals with retailers. The brewer claims that it could not achieve its growth potential due to Heineken's unfair competition.

    Macedonian Thrace Brewery wants the court to hold Heineken responsible for disrupting the Greek beer market and order the Dutch company to stop its disruptive competitive practices. And to pay 100 million euros in compensation.

    Macedonian Thrace Brewery produces about 200 thousand hectolitres of beer per year. It is a very small player in the market compared to Heineken, which produces about 200 million hectolitres of beer per year.
     
    07.03.2017   UK: AB InBev making second attempt to introduce Bud Light to the UK    ( E-malt.com )

    Bud Light will appeal to young drinkers seeking a lower-alcohol beer with a more contemporary image, according to AB InBev, which is making a second atempt to introduce the US's number one beer brand to the UK, CampaignLive reported on February 24.

    Launching in retailers this weekend, and in pubs from March, the brand will supported by a campaign from lead creative agency Wieden & Kennedy London across TV, digital out of home and social media, that aims to announce the arrival of the brand and introduce its personality.

    "Bud Light is what we call the younger kid brother of Budweiser, with a bit more of a fun personality," said Andre Amaral, senior brand manager for Bud Light.

    "You can expect to see a tone of voice that’s youthful, light hearted, playful, easy going." He confirmed this meant it would shy away from the kind of bold humour and loud personality often employed by Budweiser.

    The drink, said Amaral, was targeted at what he called "aspirers": largely 18- to 24-year-olds who are very urban, like premium brands, are interested in travel and are heavy social media users. He said this set the brand apart from most other lower-alcohol lagers – such as Carling and Foster’s – and meant it was filling a gap in the market.

    Bud Light was previously available in the UK from 1998 to 2000, but sales failed to take off. Amaral said that "a lot has changed since last time we tried to introduce the brand here."

    The version being introduced here is just 3.5% alcohol (compared to 4.2% in the US) and could tap into the current trend for more moderate drinking.

    "The functional proposition of Bud Light is something that is much more catered to the consumer now," said Amaral. "But from the brand point of view, we know that people are looking for brands with a cool and contemporary image."

    Amaral denied that the launch was directly in response to the popularity of Coors Light, another US light beer that has seen sales boom in recent years on the back of an ad campaign featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

    "Regardless of what’s going on in the market, there’s a massive indication that this is the time for Bud Light," said Amaral, pointing to the brand’s consideration level among the target consumer group of 21%.

    Nick Robinson, UK marketing director at AB InBev, added: "Our intention is to inject energy and excitement into the UK beer category and we believe Bud Light is perfectly placed to do so by responding to the evolving preferences of today’s consumer.

    "It is the most popular beer brand in the USA and is vastly popular amongst drinking-age millennials, who view it as the leading lager to accompany relaxation and bonding. A high proportion of UK consumers are already aware of Bud Light and its success stateside, and we are frequently asked when it will be made available here."

     
    07.03.2017   UK: Heineken launches two new beers for 'beer-curious' drinkers    ( E-malt.com )

    Heineken has launched two beers under new brand Maltsmiths, Morning Advertiser reported on February 23.

    The two beers, a Bavarian-style pilsner and an American-style IPA (both 4.6% ABV), were brewed at the company’s Caledonian brewery but will be released under the Maltsmiths brand across the on-trade on 27 March after being unveiled at the Craft Beer Rising festival in London this week.

    Heineken said it wanted to target “beer-curious” drinkers – customers looking for an accessible entrance point into the craft beer market – with the two brews.

    It will be available on draught, in cans (330ml) and in bottles (330ml).

    Sam Fielding, new beer team director at Heineken UK, said: “It’s not for use to define what is or isn’t craft beer. We have brewed two beautiful beers that will appeal to the more curious drinker.

    ”Despite brewing the two beers at Caledonian Brewery, Heineken opted not to release them under the already-established Caledonian brand so it could focus on showcasing the company’s younger brewing talent, he added.

    “We are confident that if you put this in a pub where you haven’t already listed craft beer – it will perform very strongly,” he said.

    “We want to simplify and make this area less confusing for our customers.”

    Heineken launched H41, a lager made from ‘wild’ Patagonian yeast, into Laine Pub Company sites in Brighton and London on draught and in 330ml bottles, with an eye to expanding its presence in the sector if it performed well.

    The company’s eponymous lager was named 33rd in The Morning Advertiser's Top 100 Drinks list. It saw 13% volume and 15% value growth over the past year, reinforced by several sports sponsorships.

    The Competition Markets Authority has launched an investigation into Heineken’s upcoming takeover of 1,900 Punch pubs.

    The first phase of the investigation is scheduled to last until April and will decide whether the acquisition – a joint bid between Heineken and Patron Capital – risks jeopardising competition and consumer choice.
     
    07.03.2017   UK: Heineken to enjoy short-term Brexit benefits in the on-trade    ( E-malt.com )

    Heineken will enjoy the short-term Brexit benefits in the UK on-trade, trade marketing manager, Paul Gordon, was quoted as saying by Imbibe on March 2.

    ‘It has been an interesting 12 months, with the results of the referendum and the change that would bring,’ Gordon said. ‘Bizarrely what we have seen since is actually a pretty good set of results. We are seeing inflation staying quite low and production and manufacturing going up to the highest number in 17 years. We have seen unemployment go down and retail value go up.

    ‘In the short term it has been quite good but we also know behind that there is some other stuff round the corner. We know there is going to be an impact on inflation and the cost of goods if you are bringing things in from outside the UK. There could be an impact on living wage and availability of staff etc. So there is a lot of uncertainty still to come and we have yet to see the real impact of Brexit. It’s one to keep watching but it is one to enjoy the benefits of in the short term as well,’ he said at a Heineken briefing on March 2.

    The trade marketing controller said, for Heineken, it’s about taking all its insight and knowledge and applying it to products and ranges to make sure the company is giving customers the best possible opportunity to drive sales and drive consumers and value.

    ‘We really emphasise it’s about breadth rather than depth of range,’ Gordon said ahead of announcing a number of UK on-trade March launches. ‘We know if you look at the on-trade in the last eight years it has declined by about 13% since 2008. We know that’s been driven by the evolution of pubs and the decline of wet-led community pubs. We also know it’s been offset by the growth in the food areas as well.

    ‘What we have seen in food outlets is quite a lot of saturation. The growth has slowed and the overall decline of the wet-led pub has taken over again and put the whole on-trade into decline again,’ he said. But it’s not all doom and gloom, continuing, ‘The on-trade is very resilient. It has got good at evolving and finding new ways to get value for its consumers.’

    In terms of consumers aged 18-49, the number of categories they are drinking is increasing and their repertoire is growing. ‘What we also know, and are very aware of, is when they go out, the number of drinks they are drinking is declining, and the number of times and occasions they are going out is declining as well,’ he added.

    ‘Those are the positives of the challenges that are coming out of the on-trade at the moment and it is our job as a supplier to give our customers and their consumers the best value possible.’
     
    07.03.2017   UK: Lager accounts for 75% of total beer sales    ( E-malt.com )

    Craft and cask beer may get all the headlines but lager remains the most important style in the UK, accounting for almost three quarters of sales, inapub reported on February 22.

    75 per cent of beer sales in the UK are lager, Mintel analysts said.

    The market has plateaued in recent years but Mintel expect this to give way to "modest growth" over the next few years, with sales reaching £13.1 billion by 2020.

    Tapping into the lucrative "with food" market would help lager's fortunes further, with 30 per cent of beer drinkers already typically drinking beer, rather than wine, with food.

    Changing glassware may also generate growth, with women showing a clear preference for smaller serves and Chalice-shaped glassware, according to Mintel research.

    Classic pint glasses remain popular with other drinkers however, 27 per cent of on-trade beer drinkers saying they prefer a nonic glass and 16 per cent a tulip glass.

    The category continues to benefit from housing some of the biggest retail brands in the UK.
     
    07.03.2017   USA: Boston Beer may have outgrown the craft revolution    ( E-malt.com )

    Sam Adams brewer Boston Beer helped propel the beloved craft beer movement when it first opened for business in 1984. It may have outgrown the revolution, the Fortune reported on February 23.

    On February 22, Boston Beer reported alcoholic beverage shipments are now almost certainly expected to decline in 2017, following a 6% drop in shipments last year to about 4 million barrels as demand dropped for the core Sam Adams beer brand, Angry Orchard cider and the craftier Traveler and Coney Island Brands. With a little over $900 million in annual net revenue, the brewer only commands about 1% of the total U.S. beer market. But to some, that might be too big to be deemed "craft."

    "New craft brewers continue to enter the market and existing craft brewers are expanding their distribution and tap rooms, with the result that drinkers are seeing more choices, including a wave of new beers in all markets," said Chairman and founder Jim Koch.

    During a conference call with investors, Koch explained that retailers were cautious when it comes to buying aggressively on new styles after getting recently burned by the "hard" soda trend that quickly fizzled. Then there is the issue of too much variety: grocery, drug store and convenience stores are maxed out on how many craft brands they can stock in their coolers. Too much variety is also confusing to consumers.

    "I've heard speculation from a couple of retailers that perhaps the fact that there were too many choices has in fact turned customers away from craft," Koch said. "When they can't figure out what craft beer to have, they just say, I'll have a Corona." And in fact, Boston Beer said that 2016 was the first year in a "long time" where there was more growth from existing ales than from new innovation.

    SIG Susquehanna analyst Pablo Zuanic says the brewer's fixation on justifying itself as a craft brewer is actually hindering success. Boston Beers and others in the craft space typically make dozens of different ales each year, though only a few generate a bulk of volume. Zuanic argues Boston Beer should ramp up advertising and distribution on a few core brands, mirroring the success of Constellation Brands (STZ.B) which generates close to 90% of beer sales from Corona Extra and Modelo Especial, which are both performing well even though they are bigger volume styles.

    "We think they have to outgrow their 'craft mentality,'" says Zuanic. He says brands like Boston Lager and Rebel IPA have the most upside with the right strategy.

    Boston Beer and other larger, independent craft brewers that don't have backing from a Big Brewer are in a tough spot. They are having a harder time justifying high price points for their ales when craft beer lovers are always on the hunt for something new. They also don't pump in millions of dollars into advertising like the Big Brewers, nor do they try to compete aggressively on price. Meanwhile, big brewers are scooping up popular craft brands and boosting distribution and marketing in a way that threatens Sam Adams.

    In fact, market share declined for four of the top five "craft" brands tracked by industry watcher Beer Marketer's Insights last year. Boston Beer, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and Craft Brew Alliance all ceded share. Only Lagunitas grew slightly, and that brand is notably backed by big brewer Heineken, which bought a 50% stake in the company in 2015. Goose Island and Ballast Point, now owned by AB InBev and Constellation Brands respectively, also grew share.

    Early sales trends in 2017 indicate that Zuanic may have a point. Boston Beer's early spring seasonal beers have posted a disappointing performance thus far. Sam Adams recently relaunched the Rebel IPA with a new packaging design and new recipe to aim to give that brand a jolt. And Koch's statements indicate he doesn't want to give up on being an innovative brewer just yet."We believe that the history, authenticity and quality of the Samuel Adams brand, our unique beers, and our ability and willingness to continue to invest behind our brand position us well for future growth and we are committed to improving our current trends," he said.
     
    07.03.2017   Vetropack: succession arrangements for the Board of Directors and Group Management    ( Company news )

    Company news The Board of Directors of Vetropack Holding Ltd has appointed Johann Reiter, General Manager of the Business Division Switzerland/Austria, as CEO of Vetropack Group with effect from 1 January 2018. Claude R. Cornaz, who will continue to lead Vetropack Group as CEO until the end of 2017, is stepping back from operational business and will be proposed as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Assembly in 2018. Hans Rüegg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vetropack Group, will stand for election for one more year at the Annual General Assembly on 10 May 2017, but will leave the Board at the Annual General Assembly in 2018, having reached the age of retirement.

    Caption: Claude R. Cornaz, CEO (left), and Johann Reiter, General Manager of the Business Division Switzerland/Austria

    The CEO designate of Vetropack Group, Johann Reiter, has been successfully in charge of the Business Division Switzerland/Austria since 1 November 2010. This division consists of the Swiss company Vetropack Ltd and Vetropack Austria GmbH. As a member of the Group Management team, he is not only very familiar with the situation in both countries, but also knows all about the international challenges facing the glass industry, especially in those countries in which Vetropack Group has a presence. The search for a successor for Johann Reiter in his present role will start immediately.

    “In Johann Reiter, we have chosen a very experienced manager and someone with extensive knowledge of our industry to succeed Claude R. Cornaz,” says Chairman of the Vetropack Board of Directors Hans Rüegg. “We deliberately opted for an internal appointment, because Johann Reiter, as head of our biggest business division, has excellent contacts in the industry and within our group. He is familiar not only with our managers and staff but also with the needs of the markets and our customers.”

    Claude R. Cornaz is to step back from operational business at the end of 2017 and will be proposed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Vetropack Group Annual General Assembly in 2018. In that role he will concentrate mainly on the company’s long-term strategic development.

    “I am very pleased to be able to hand over to Johann Reiter a financially sound Vetropack Group that is in a strategically good place and is led by a strong team,” declares Claude R. Cornaz, who has been CEO for 18 years and has steadily built up Vetropack Group over that time.
    (Vetropack AG)
     
    06.03.2017   Coca-Cola Delivers Greater Variety to Brazilian Consumers with Slimmer Format Beverage Packaging...     ( Company news )

    Company news ...From Crown

    Crown now has the largest beverage can portfolio in the country

    CROWN Embalagens Metálicas da Amazônia S.A. (CROWN Brazil), a joint venture of Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) (Crown) (www.crowncork.com) and Évora S.A. of Porto Alegre, Brazil, has partnered with Coca-Cola to introduce a 220ml sleek style beverage can to local consumers. Produced at Crown’s plant in Cabreuva, the sleek style format addresses consumer demand for smaller portion sizes and greater product variety.

    The functional and sophisticated format will be used for Coca-Cola lines: Coke Zero, Coke Life, Coca-Cola, Fanta, Grape Fanta, Sprite and Guaraná Kuat. It joins Coca-Cola’s line of standard 355ml and 250ml size beverage cans for soft drinks.

    “Helping consumers experience our products in new ways remains a primary goal at Coca-Cola,” stated Mario Sergio Gomes, Global Procurement Director for Latin America. “Crown’s innovative 220ml beverage can format satisfies the preferences of modern Brazilian consumers while also adding noteworthy progression and variety to our product line.”

    Like all aluminum cans, the 220ml can is infinitely recyclable, provides an effective barrier against light and oxygen, and has significant shelf life properties. The can size also meets consumer preferences in terms of it being lighter, easier to hold, transportable and faster to chill than larger sizes.

    “Partnering with Coca-Cola to create a beverage package that not only gives consumers more options, but creates visual impact on the shelf and aligns with consumer demands was a win-win,” said Wilmar Arinelli, President, CROWN Embalagens Metálicas da Amazônia S.A. “We look forward to continued collaboration with Coca-Cola and other regional brands to meet the evolving needs of Brazilian consumers.”

    The 220 ml sleek style beverage can brings CROWN Brazil’s portfolio to ten different sizes – the largest portfolio in the country. Other sizes available on the market are the 250ml slim style, 269ml, 310ml, 355ml and 425ml sleek style cans and 250ml, 355ml, 473ml and 550ml standard cans.
    (CROWN Embalagens Metálicas da Amazônia S.A.)
     
    03.03.2017   Scotch Whisky Association and Scottish Craft Distillers Association launch partnership    ( Company news )

    Company news Recognition of record number of new distilleries

    The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and the Scottish Craft Distillers Association (SCDA) have made a commitment to work in partnership to support the continued success of the entire Scotch Whisky industry and its supply chain.

    The agreement recognises the record expansion of the Scotch Whisky industry with 14 distilleries starting production since 2013 and a further 8 set to open this year. There are currently up to 40 new distilleries at various stages of planning and development across Scotland.

    Industry trade body, the SWA, and the SCDA, an association representing only newer, smaller producers, today (9 February) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) witnessed by Fergus Ewing MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity.

    Scotch Whisky is vital to the Scottish and UK economies, adding £5 billion in value each year, supporting more than 40,000 jobs and exporting £4 billion of Scotch annually to almost 200 markets.

    The SWA and SCDA will support each other, while remaining distinct organisations with their own memberships, to build on Scotch Whisky's long-term, global reputation for provenance and high quality products. The agreement, signed at the new Glasgow Distillery in Hillington, recognises that Scotch Whisky is:

    "a significant Scottish and British cultural asset based on authentic and unvarying local methods of production, with distilleries and brands supporting the communities with which they work; creating jobs and boosting growth".

    The MoU makes it easier for well-established Scotch Whisky companies to share their experience of building brands and opening up overseas markets with newer entrants to the industry. Newer companies can, in turn, offer fresh approaches and ideas to drive continued vitality across the industry.

    The main commitments of the MoU are to:

    work together to grow understanding of the rules surrounding Scotch Whisky, its production, handling and marketing within the industry and through the supply chain, recognising shared interest in the public good of the Scotch Whisky industry;
    encourage shared approaches to stakeholder engagement, including around raising awareness of best practice on responsible marketing and promotion of Scotch Whisky;
    work together to ensure the Scotch Whisky workforce is appropriately skilled;
    improve industry information;
    collaborate amongst existing memberships.

    Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, said:

    "I welcome this initiative between the Scotch Whisky Association and the Scottish Craft Distillers Association. This is exactly the sort of collaboration we want to see in our food and drink sector. Closer co-operation has the potential to benefit both organisations and help ensure the continued success of the Scotch Whisky industry and its supply chain.

    "Craft Distilling has blossomed over the past few years and is becoming an increasingly valuable part of our economy, particularly for those who live in our rural and island communities.

    "Today marks the start of a partnership that will support the industry into the future, building on Scotch Whisky's long-term, global reputation for provenance and high quality products."

    Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive, said:

    "We are seeing unprecedented investment in the Scotch Whisky industry by companies of all sizes. This is a clear sign of optimism in the future, and recognition of the global demand for a high-quality product.

    "The SWA has over a century's wealth of experience and expertise - for example in market access, legal protection, and promoting social responsibility - that we are looking to share more widely with new entrants to the industry. Our collaboration with the SCDA reflects the strong partnership that has developed between new and established distillers."

    Alan Wolstenholme, Scottish Craft Distillers Association chairman, said:
    "Both long-established Scotch Whisky producers and the new wave of smaller distilleries recognise the enormous value and importance of the high regard our national product is held in around the world.
    "This agreement demonstrates both organisations' determination to work co-operatively together to protect and enhance Scotch Whisky's reputation now and in the future.
    "The SCDA warmly welcomes the genuine support and encouragement it has received not only from everyone across the industry, and in particular from the SWA, but also from the Scottish Government and its agencies especially Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
     
    02.03.2017   ENGEL at Koplas 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news „Experience the smart factory“ – this is the theme of the Koplas 2017, which will take place from March 7 through March 11 in Goyang, South Korea. At the ENGEL AUSTRIA exhibition booth, visitors of the plastics trade fair can experience this theme in real time. The injection moulding machine builder and system expert, headquartered in Austria, will provide demonstrative examples of the opportunities created by digitalisation and networking, and how inject 4.0 can help to take advantage of these in a simple fashion.

    Photo: Thanks to its lightweight construction swivel arm, the e-pic pick-and-place robot achieves high dynamics and requires very little space.

    inject 4.0 – this is ENGEL's answer to the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. The goal is a smart factory in which production processes continuously self-optimise through the networking of production systems, the systematic use of machine, process and production data, and the deployment of decentralised, intelligent assistance systems. Producers can thus increase the productivity and quality of their production and respond flexibly to ever faster changing requirements.

    In all three areas of the smart factory – smart machine, smart service and smart production – ENGEL today already offers mature products and solutions that provide an immense benefit individually as well as in the context of an overall digital strategy.

    Compensate for process fluctuations before they result in defects
    In the factory of the future, the human/machine interface plays an even bigger part than today. With processes becoming more and more complex due to increasing integration and automation, steering and controlling them must become that much more simple and intuitive. Self-adapting, decentralised assistance systems increase process capacity and quality, without requiring the machine operator to acquire special expertise. During the five days of the exhibition, in order to clearly demonstrate the functionality of these smart-machine solutions, at its booth ENGEL will be producing inject 4.0 logos on an all-electric, tie-bar-less ENGEL emotion 80 TL injection moulding machine. The CC300 control is capable of simulating process fluctuations; the automatic readjustments by the intelligent assistance systems can then be tracked on the display of the machine. While iQ weight control maintains consistent injected melt volume throughout the entire injection moulding process, iQ clamp control monitors the mould breathing and continuously readjusts the clamping force. This way, fluctuations in the environmental conditions and in the raw material are automatically detected and compensated for within the same shot, before resulting in rejects.

    iQ flow control, the third assistance system that is being presented at the Koplas, is based on e-flomo, the temperature control water manifold by ENGEL that monitors and documents all cooling and temperature control cycles of injection machines and independently regulates either the flow volume or the temperature difference. iQ flow control now connects e-flomo with the temperature control unit, thus the pump speed automatically adjusts to the actual need. This results in higher energy efficiency. ENGEL developed the integrated temperature control unit in cooperation with the Swiss temperature control unit manufacturer HB-Therm, and continues to strengthen its systems competency with the new e-temp line of temperature control units.

    With its ENGEL e-motion 80 TL injection moulding machine and the integrated ENGEL e-pic robot, the production cell being presented at the Koplas also achieves high standards of efficiency and precision in terms of design. The e-motion TL series combines the benefits of ENGEL’s tie-bar-less technology, such as quick setup processes, efficient automation solutions and compact production cells, with all-electric drive technology. Thanks to these characteristics, the e-motion 80 TL is being preferentially deployed in the production of precision components and high-quality optical components in the electronics industry.

    The innovative kinematics of the e-pic pick-and-place robot combines linear movements with a swivel arm, thus requiring very little space. The swivel arm is made of a thermoplastic composite material tailored to the specific requirements of lightweight construction, which additionally increases the energy efficiency and dynamics.

    Machine and robot with a uniform control logic
    ENGEL's second machine exhibit also emphasises the efficiency potential of tie-bar-less technology. On an ENGEL e-victory injection moulding machine, gear components made of TPE will be produced live at the exhibition. These sophisticated products require a high degree of precision, which the tie-bar-less hybrid machine ensures with its electric injection unit and outstanding platen parallelism. During the Koplas, the e-victory will also be working with integrated parts handling. An ENGEL viper linear robot will extract finished parts from the mould and place them on the conveyor belt. Since the RC300 robot control is designed as a subsystem of the CC300 control, the robot and the machine can be programmed and controlled through a uniform control logic. Furthermore, both systems access a common database, which reduces cycle time in many applications since the robot and the machine can precisely coordinate their motion sequences.

    Keeping an eye on production
    Besides the machine exhibits, visitors can dive even deeper into the subjects of automation and inject 4.0 at several Expert Corners in the ENGEL exhibition booth area. The areas of smart production and smart service have their own dedicated Expert Corners.

    The smart production Expert Corner is focused on e-factory, ENGEL's MES (Manufacturing Execution System). Tailored to the specific requirements of the injection moulding industry, it achieves an especially great depth of vertical data integration, down to the level of individual cavities. e-factory creates transparency, for example to optimise the utilisation of a machine pool's total capacity, or to correlate key productivity indicators with economic objectives. It becomes especially interesting when e-factory not only connects the production cells of a single site, but creates an entire worldwide production network. This allows company headquarters to also optimise processes at other sites, and to provide support even to far-away colleagues. The MES has a modular design. The solution can thus be adapted precisely to the individual requirements of the producer, and can be flexibly expanded as needed.

    Avoid unplanned system downtime
    In order to increase the availability of machines and production cells, smart service relies on short paths, remote maintenance, and a view towards the future. The new ENGEL solution e‑connect.monitor thus makes it possible to analyse the condition of process critical machine components during operation, and to generate a reliable failure prognosis. This condition-based, predictive maintenance allows for the maximum use of critical machine components while still avoiding unplanned system downtime.

    ENGEL at Koplas 2017: hall 5, booth P640
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
     
    01.03.2017   Advanced grain cleaning solutions significantly reduce mycotoxin levels     ( Company news )

    Company news Mycotoxins, produced by fungal mold, are a growing health threat to people and animals. With a quarter of the world’s agricultural produce currently contaminated, according to the FAO. Mycotoxins ranks a third most important threat after bacteria and pesticides, which is whymaximum tolerance levels permitted in food and feedstuff are becoming crucial for food and feed producers. Meeting these requirements is possible with the right processes in place. Academic studies within the European project MycoKey and practical experience confirm that a very effective means to significantly reduce mycotoxin levels is via cleaning and optical sorting processes. Bühler solutions improve food and feed safety and product quality, helping customers adhere to regulatory requirements while achieving higher margins.

    The need to protect the health of humans and animals by limiting exposure to mycotoxins from grains is increasingly imperative, particularly in light of a recent United Nations (UN) report which confirmed the impact of climate change on food safety and security. It’s evident that extreme environmental conditions such as drought and rising temperatures have triggered an upsurge in toxic crops. This dangerous progression was identified as an “emerging environmental issue of our time” by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in a 2016 report (Toxic Crops and Zoonotic Disease). Previously more prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical regions, mycotoxin contamination is now on the rise in temperate regions – meaning it will increasingly become a food safety issue for Europe even if global temperatures can be limited to an increase of only 2-degrees Celsius, which UNEP deems unlikely. Climate change is increasing the prevalence of aflatoxin, one of the most poisonous mycotoxins.

    Mycotoxin scares have already been making headlines in Central Europe, such as a scare caused by aflatoxins in 2012-2013. At that time, headlines were dominated with the news that unsafe levels of the toxin were found in milk intended for human consumption as a result of dairy cows feeding on contaminated maize. For example, aflatoxins have been found in Italy, Hungary, and Romania. Mycotoxin levels in grain are a frequent reason to reject raw material for food and feed processing. Scarcity of raw materials, on the other hand, requires the industry to look for new solutions along the value chain.

    Knowing that just a few highly mycotoxin-contaminated kernels could make an entire grain lot unsafe for further use, it’s essential to implement post-harvest measures which reduce mycotoxin levels to ensure safe products, while ensuring economical yields and reducing losses. “Ultimately, it’s the prevention and reliable removal of mycotoxins as early as possible in the value chain that ensures the safety of foodstuffs produced for all consumer groups,” explains Matthias Graeber, expert in mycotoxin reduction and data analytics within Bühler’s Corporate Technology Group.

    Finding solutions to mitigate such food and feed safety issues is of critical importance to Bühler. The company invests roughly 5% of its turnover in research and development every year – creating breakthrough technologies and market-specific solutions to help its customers achieve long-term commercial success despite growing regulatory requirements and regardless of incoming product quality. Bühler has been partnering with science and applied research for many years in order to learn more about the value of integrating cleaning measures along the value chain. One such collaboration is with the experts from the European Horizon2020 project, MycoKey, which was initiated in mid-2016 to develop solutions for reducing major mycotoxins in economically important food and feed chains. The 6.4-million-euro project has partners from 32 organizations from a total of 14 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Together with Bühler and some of our customers, MycoKey, has run multiple, large-scale field tests to collect valuable data on the performance of grain cleaning solutions.

    A recent research activity specifically looked at the case of ergot alkaloids: To support its industrial milling customers in managing the growing risks associated with mycotoxins, Bühler initiated a study performed at two German rye mills to establish how the level of EA’s can be influenced by grain cleaning and milling processes. The study was carried out by Bühler with two industrial partners, a large milling group and an independent food safety laboratory. Applying the official sampling guidelines of the European Union, 10 rye lots at 12 tons each were tested at two mills. “Effective reductions of EA concentrations were found for the processing steps: separation by size (Combi cleaner, rotary screen), optical sorting (SORTEX), and surface treatments (scourer with aspirator). By far the highest statistical significance of EA reduction could be obtained by optical sorting,” Graeber explains. “This confirms the central importance of optical sorting in the rye supply chain, both at grain reception facilities and in mills.”

    The case for reducing levels of mycotoxins of any kind is clear considering the implications on consumer and animal health as well as to the commercial success of milling companies. Bühler technologies help achieve commercially viable yields – regardless of incoming product quality. For example, in a specific case the company has helped an Italian corn producer to recover 70–80 percent of contaminated maize and boost it from biomass to feed grade quality. Besides the obvious commercial sense of utilizing Bühler processes, they also make an important contribution to reducing post-harvest losses on a global level.
    (Bühler AG)
     
    01.03.2017   Brigl & Bergmeister: Changes in Management    ( Company news )

    Company news By February 28th Michael Sablatnig will retire from his position as Managing Director of Brigl & Bergmeister. He will however remain in the Roxcel Group in an advisory role and for specific projects. We thank Mr. Sablatnig for his excellent work in the last years with the B&B Group.

    Until further notice Mr. Bernhard Mayer will act as the sole Managing Director of Brigl & Bergmeister and will also take over the agenda of Mr. Sablatnig. Mr. Mayer joined the company in 1985 and was appointed as Managing Director in the technical field, for both Brigl & Bergmeister and Papirnica Vevče in July 2015.

    Mr. Norbert Peintinger will be appointed as general manager and head of sales and marketing for Brigl & Bergmeister and Papirnica Vevče. Mr. Peintinger has joined the company in 1993 and gained great experience in several roles.
    (Brigl & Bergmeister GmbH)
     
    01.03.2017   Logoplaste Innovation Lab wins the prestigious iF Design Award for its Vimágua water bottle    ( Company news )

    Company news The iF Design Awards are the world standard of quality for exceptional design.

    This year there were 5,575 entries, from 59 countries. To evaluate all these entries, a team of 58 international jurors took 3 full days.

    Logoplaste Innovation Lab’s Design Team is thrilled to have another award for their bottle design.

    The award ceremony will take place in the BMW Welt in Munich, on 10 March 2017.

    As a reminder, this is the 3rd award the Logoplaste Innovation Lab team has received in less than 2 years. The Ecover Ocean Bottle and the EPAL Fill Forever bottle were winners in 2015.
    (Logoplaste Innovationlab)
     
    28.02.2017   Crown Holdings, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter 2016 Results     ( Company news )

    Company news Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2016.

    Highlights
    -Earnings per share $0.47 for the quarter; $3.56 full year versus $2.82 in 2015
    -Adjusted earnings per share $0.71 for the quarter; $3.93 full year versus $3.59 in 2015
    -Cash from operations $930 million; adjusted free cash flow $479 million
    -Share repurchase authorization for $1 billion in aggregate through the end of 2019

    Fourth Quarter
    Net sales in the fourth quarter were $1,923 million compared to $2,027 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, reflecting $77 million of unfavorable currency translation in 2016 compared to 2015 and the pass through of lower raw material costs.

    Income from operations was $192 million in the quarter compared to $201 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Segment income improved to $236 million in the quarter compared to $234 million in 2015. The improvement in segment income compared to the prior year's quarter included benefits from lower corporate costs, offset by $9 million of unfavorable currency translation and lower volumes in Saudi Arabia. Corporate and unallocated costs of $156 million for the full year of 2016 are consistent with the Company's expectations for 2017.

    Commenting on the quarter, Timothy J. Donahue, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are pleased to report another solid quarter and strong year for Crown. Fourth quarter operating results were in line with our expectations, and we exceeded our free cash flow projections due to another quarter of excellent working capital performance. Global beverage can volumes increased three percent for the full year, and in the quarter were level to the prior year as strong performances in the U.S., Brazil and Asia offset softness in Saudi Arabia.

    "Our new beverage can plant in Monterrey, Mexico and the second production line at the Osmaniye, Turkey facility began commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2016. The first beverage can line at the Nichols, New York can plant was commissioned and began commercial shipments in late January of this year and will be followed by completion of the second line in April. In the second quarter, we will also complete the conversion of our Custines, France beverage can facility from steel to aluminum with the start-up of the second high speed line and expand capacity at our beverage can plant in Colombia. In addition to these previously announced projects, we are also constructing a new beverage can facility in Jakarta, Indonesia, our first in that country, that is scheduled to begin commercial production in the third quarter of this year to serve the growing local market, adding a second line at our beverage can plant in Danang, Vietnam that is also expected to begin production in the third quarter, and constructing a new beverage can plant in Yangon, Myanmar and a new glass bottle facility in Chihuahua, Mexico, both scheduled for start-up in the first half of 2018."

    Interest expense decreased to $62 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $68 million in 2015 primarily due to lower outstanding debt.

    Net income attributable to Crown Holdings in the fourth quarter was $65 million compared to $66 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Reported diluted earnings per share were $0.47 in the fourth quarters of both years. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $0.71 compared to $0.70 in 2015.

    A reconciliation from net income and diluted earnings per share to adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share is provided below.

    Full Year Results
    Net sales for the full year were $8,284 million compared to $8,762 million in 2015, and included $277 million of unfavorable currency translation in 2016 compared to 2015 and the pass through of lower raw material costs.

    Income from operations improved to $1,021 million compared to $927 million in 2015. Segment income improved to $1,078 million compared to $1,026 million in 2015, and included $39 million of unfavorable currency translation.

    Interest expense decreased to $243 million in 2016 compared to $270 million in 2015 primarily due to lower outstanding debt.

    Net income attributable to Crown Holdings increased to $496 million in 2016 over the $393 million in 2015. Reported diluted earnings per share in 2016 were $3.56 compared to $2.82 last year. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $3.93 compared to $3.59 in 2015.

    Share Repurchase Authorization
    The Company also announces that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of an aggregate amount of $1 billion of Company common stock through the end of 2019. This new authorization reflects the Company's strong balance sheet and cash flow from operations, allowing investment in the business and return of cash to our shareholders. Share repurchases under this program may be made in the open market, through privately negotiated transactions or other programs, and at times and in such amounts as market conditions allow.

    Outlook
    The Company currently expects 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $3.80 to $4.00 compared to $3.93 in 2016, including a foreign currency translation headwind of approximately $0.12 per diluted share based on current exchange rate levels. Adjusted diluted earnings per share for the 2017 first quarter are expected to be in the range of $0.65 to $0.75 compared to $0.69 in the prior year. These estimates reflect the impact of expected repurchase activity under the newly authorized share repurchase program described above.

    During 2016, the Company repositioned its capital structure by refinancing more than $1 billion of short-term floating rate debt to fixed long-term debt in both euros at 2 ⅝% and U.S. dollars at 4 ¼%. While these fixed rates are near high-yield historical lows they are higher than current short-term rates and as a result the Company expects 2017 interest expense to increase by approximately $13 million, or $.07 per diluted share to approximately $256 million. As reflected in the Company's December 31, 2016 balance sheet, approximately 75% of its debt is in fixed rate instruments.

    Additionally, costs incurred prior to start-up of the three large North American projects (Monterrey, Nichols and Chihuahua) are expected to have a $.06 impact on adjusted diluted earnings per share compared to 2016.

    The effective income tax rate for 2017 is expected to be approximately 26%, similar to the 2016 rate. Cash provided by operating activities is currently expected to be approximately $875 million and management currently forecasts capital expenditures for 2017 of approximately $450 million.

    Mr. Donahue further commented, "Looking back, the last three years have been very productive. We acquired and integrated two exceptional packaging companies, Mivisa and Empaque, and we continued to expand our global beverage platform allowing us to more than offset the currency headwinds faced by many U.S. multinationals. Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased to $3.93 in 2016 from $2.99 in 2013 despite more than $0.70 per share of currency headwinds over the three year period. We generated $1.7 billion of adjusted free cash flow over this period allowing us to delever and begin the process of returning significant cash to our shareholders. As we look forward, it is our past success which gives us confidence that our growth initiatives, underpinned by customer commitments, will continue to enhance the future earnings and cash flow of the Company. At the same time, we remain committed to providing our customers with the highest quality containers and service while controlling costs, improving productivity, increasing operational efficiencies and growing shareholder value."
    (Crown Holdings Inc.)
     
    27.02.2017   ECO KEG     ( Company news )

    Company news Based on the success experienced within Europe and the U.S markets, collecting design awards along the way, the ECO KEG offers the modern brewer the latest technology in beverage packaging.

    The first stainless steel deep drawn keg was introduced to the market over thirty years ago, and using the existing deep drawn stainless body, have mechanically integrated two polypropylene chimes into the steel body, resulting in a lighter, ecologically worthwhile and thus a smarter alternative to conventional all stainless steel kegs.

    Combining innovative design and contemporary materials allows the KEG to be produced to a lower tare weight, in the case of a 30 litre size, some 20% lighter, without compromising strength or safety.
    Reducing the weight of containers has obvious advantages in health and safety, as well as environmentally, as this helps breweries to cut out transport costs of their supply chain.

    In addition to this weight reduction, the ECO KEG will also significantly reduce noise levels, with the KEGs being rolled on the stackable PP rings instead of expanded steel rolling bands which flatten over time. The PP chimes are also stackable for added safety and easy to pick up and stack in the cellar. The chimes themselves are designed in such a way, that, similar to shock absorbers on cars, they can prevent damage on impact.

    The 30 and 50 litre ECO KEG's, with Euro diameter, are manufactured to the same height as the conventional all stainless steel kegs or PLUS KEGs and so will run alongside standard kegs on the keg filling line and fit on the same pallet. Running parallel with existing populations has big advantages for UK craft brewers who use a variety of options in their day to day business. The ECO KEG will always stand out as the property of a particular brewery, making a speedy return more likely.

    Kegs are a major asset for the UK brewery industry, but as millions of pounds in value still go missing each year, their security is of paramount importance, particularly with rising steel prices. Combining materials makes the ECO KEG far less attractive to metal thieves, due to their having to separate the materials and having a significantly lower original stainless steel content.

    To clearly denote a brewery’s ownership of their kegs, ECO KEGs can be individually branded.
    For example, the KEG chimes can be coloured, have a name and logo applied and be equipped with a transponder, which also brings more transparency to logistics and allows comprehensive container management. Neck and base can also be fitted with a permanently integrated coding system, such as character code or barcode. For an easily distinguishable quality image, the body can be branded with an electro-chemical signature, laser printing, silk screening or liner stickers.

    For Brewers concerned about on-going keg maintenance, ECO KEG eliminates the flattening of the rolling bands found on steel kegs, and, with replaceable chimes fitted to the KEG body, there is no need to send KEGs away for repair. Chime straightening and sharp hand holes often found on damaged conventional kegs, are now a thing of the past. This cuts out the need for welding or pickling, resulting in lower overall costs.

    The name is well chosen as the ECO KEG reduces transport costs, decibel levels for your employees and neighbours (and, with a 25-year lifetime, it ticks all the right boxes!) It is produced in a great range of sizes from 10 to 50 litres.
    (SCHÄFER WERKE GMBH)
     
    27.02.2017   Taiyo: New warehouse offers maximum product safety    ( Company news )

    Company news Special storage rooms guarantee the highest quality standards

    Taiyo has relocated its ingredient storage facility in Germany. The logistics company In Time, specialist in the import, storage and transport of food and food ingredients, provides the new warehouse near Hamburg. Taiyo’s customers will now benefit from a smoother supply process and faster, more flexible delivery to the EMEA region.

    The new storage facility guarantees safe import and transport, proper storage and compliance with GMP regulations and HACCP standards. With fully air-conditioned halls that are subject to constant air quality tests, all year round, storage temperatures can be adjusted from 5–24 °C to accommodate specific ingredients and foodstuffs. Taiyo now benefits from a variety of storage rooms for both odorless and pungent products, thus ensuring maximum product purity.

    Computer-assisted, real-time tracking of products during storage and transport makes it possible to query the stock and consignments at any time online, offering logistical advantages that meet individual customer requirements.

    “The need for new storage facilities was driven primarily by our growing portfolio of organic raw materials. With In Time, we have found the ideal logistics partner for our product portfolio. This food-specific and organic-certified storage solution makes it possible to further improve our already high quality standards. With the online warehouse management system, we are able to view and manage our stock of ingredients and individual consignments at our company headquarters at any time," said Dr Stefan Siebrecht, Managing Director of Taiyo GmbH.
    (Taiyo GmbH)
     
    24.02.2017   SIDEL'S ECO BOOSTER: MAXIMISE PROFIT, MINIMISE COSTS, IMPROVE SUSTAINABILITY    ( Company news )

    Company news Sidel is helping beverage producers to maximise cost efficiency while simultaneously improving sustainability with ECO Booster™, a service suitably developed for customers already operating Sidel blowers. ECO Booster, part of the Sidel Services™ portfolio, can provide measurable savings by reducing the consumption of materials, electricity and compressed air.

    "By keeping the use of PET material to an absolute minimum and doing the same with consumption of electrical power and compressed air, Sidel can help beverage producers to make significant savings, minimise running costs and achieve a very fast return on investment (ROI)," explains Samuel Le Guen, Global Maintenance and Line Improvement Director at Sidel. "When it comes to energy efficiency, the blower often offers the biggest opportunity for improvement, accounting for up to 70% of the total line power consumption," he adds. "In recognising this, we have leveraged Sidel's extensive experience in blow moulding technology to develop our comprehensive ECO Booster service."

    Improved monitoring and greater awareness
    The ECO Booster portfolio comprises five modules. The recommended starting point is the ECO Audit performed on the customer’s blower to analyse production conditions and energy consumption. The ECO Audit provides clients with a customised report including an outline of potential gains and predicted cost savings in electricity, heating and air consumption costs.

    Upgrades to reduce consumption
    The ECO Process module provides carefully calculated adjustments and process improvements proposing specific upgrades. The ECO Heating module involves the optimisation of the heating profile with less installed power: available options like the ECO Oven, ECO Lamps and ECO Oven Top Reflectors optimise the blower heating performance to achieve up to 45% electrical consumption reduction. Additionally, the ECO Air module reduces the electricity consumption through the installation of an Air Recovery Kit, leveraging on re-use of up to 40% compressed air during production.

    Lightweight design with heavyweight performance
    While reducing the consumption of both electricity and compressed air during the blowing process, Sidel’s expertise in optimising the bottle design can also bring its own benefits. The ECO Packaging solutions enable producers to transform the shape of their packaging while improving its appeal, performance and safety. With more than 35 years of experience in PET packaging, Sidel can assist beverage customers in achieving more from the production process by reducing the use of PET resin. By saving just one gram on a 0.5 litre PET bottle, overall savings of EUR 350,000 per year can be generated. One step in making these savings in PET bottle production is the reduction of the neck height. Soft drinks bottles can have neck heights reduced to as little as only 12 millimetres high.

    Two packaging innovations can easily demonstrate the company’s ability to solve the dilemma between lightweight PET design and the need to protect the brand experience in the hands of consumers, all without compromising on production costs. Bottles designed following the Sidel RightWeight™ concept can offer improved performance and reductions in material costs, while the implementation of the Sidel StarLite™ base in PET bottles will enable a reduction in air blowing pressure, yet increase the resistance of the base and stability of the bottle.

    Weighing just 7.95 grams, the RightWeight 0.5 litre concept bottle is around 34% lighter than the average commercial bottle for still water and demonstrates an impressive top load performance of 33 kilograms - 32% more resistant than the lightest commercial bottle. Not less important, the RightWeight bottle achieves this rigidity without the use of nitrogen dosing, again minimising costs. Utilising two proprietary PET design innovations, the Sidel StarLite PET bottle base for still drinks has a unique shape that makes the bottom of the container significantly more resistant and stable. Additionally, it offers better protection against extreme temperatures (hot and cold) while reducing energy consumption during production, lowering package weight and improving design flexibility - all without compromising on bottle integrity or product safety.

    Expertise enables optimisation
    Having more than 50 years of experience in blowing, Sidel is able to identify exactly which parts should be replaced and which upgrades would prove most effective in each particular case. As the agreed plan of ECO Booster actions is being implemented, consumption monitoring and process control tools can also be put in place, as well as additional laboratory tests or production-control equipment. Finally, when the servicing is completed and accepted by the customer, a sticker is placed on the machine indicating that it has passed the eco-efficiency test. This has the added, valuable benefit of promoting eco-awareness among the operators at the customer's plant.
    (Sidel International AG)
     
    23.02.2017   Ball Intends to Cease Production at Beverage Packaging Plant in Reidsville, North Carolina    ( Company news )

    Company news Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) announced that it intends to cease production at the company's Reidsville, North Carolina, beverage packaging plant in mid-2017. The plant's customers will be supplied by other Ball facilities in the U.S.

    Ball expects to record an after-tax charge of approximately $18 million, primarily for employee severance, pensions and other benefits, asset impairments, and facility shut down and disposal costs. The majority of this charge is expected to be recorded by mid-2017 and the net, after-tax cash costs are expected to be approximately $5 million.

    "This action will better align our manufacturing footprint to meet the changing needs of our customers and the market, as we actively manage our overall plant system after the addition of seven North American Rexam plants upon close of the acquisition earlier this year," said Daniel W. Fisher, senior vice president, Ball Corporation, and COO, global beverage packaging. "While closing a plant is always difficult, balancing our supply with demand in the highly competitive beverage packaging industry will better position the company for the long-term."

    The Reidsville plant opened in 1978 and was acquired by Ball in 1998 as part of the acquisition of Reynolds Metals Company. It produces beverage cans in a variety of sizes, and employs approximately 150 people. Reidsville employees may be provided benefits and outplacement services in accordance with the bargaining process, and are eligible to apply for job openings within Ball.
    (Ball Corporation)
     
    22.02.2017   New figures show Scotch is biggest boost for UK balance of trade    ( Company news )

    Company news Current UK tax of 77% is 'onerous'
    On Burns' Night Scotch Whisky industry calls for 2% cut in excise

    The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) called for a 2% spirits excise duty cut to boost an industry that creates £5 billion annually for the economy, supports more than 40,000 jobs and is the largest net contributor to the UK's balance of trade in goods, according to new research.

    As millions around the globe prepare to raise a dram to celebrate Burns' Night, research published lately - 'The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK' - reveals that without Scotland's national drink the UK's trade deficit in goods of £115 billion would be 3% larger. The SWA says that the Government's support of the industry in recent years has led to a boost in revenue for the Treasury and supported a wave of new distillery openings - 14 in the past three years.

    But tax remains too high at 77% of the price of an average bottle of Scotch and the SWA is calling for fairer treatment.*

    The research explains that exports of Scotch Whisky are worth around £4 billion each year, while imports in the supply chain, such as packaging for products and casks for maturing spirit, total only £200 million. The Scotch industry's trade balance is therefore £3.7bn.

    The SWA says the research reinforces Scotch Whisky's position as a strategically important industry for the UK in terms of value it adds to the economy, jobs supported, investment and export performance, and should be supported by government.

    The publication of the research on Burns' Night - the anniversary of the Bard's birthday - comes as the SWA calls on the UK Government to 'Stand up for Scotch' in the Budget on 8 March to encourage further investment and job creation.

    The onerous 77% tax on an average priced bottle of Scotch exists despite a freeze in excise in last year's Budget, a 2% cut the previous year and the scrapping of the alcohol duty escalator - which annually increased excise by inflation plus 2% - in 2014. The SWA wants the UK Government to 'pursue a 'Fair Tax for Whisky'.

    As well as boosting the Scotch Whisky industry, the government's changes to excise in the last few years have benefited the public purse. In the 12 months to the end of October this year, the Treasury secured around an additional £100m from spirits duty - including the tax consumers pay on a bottle of Scotch Whisky**. But the industry says it still deserves fairer tax treatment.

    'The Economic Impact of Scotch Whisky Production in the UK' outlines the true contribution of Scotch Whisky to the economy and shows why the industry deserves recognition from government.

    Findings from the research include:
    -Scotch Whisky adds almost £5bn (£4.9bn) to the UK economy;
    -Some 40,200 jobs are supported by the industry across the UK. This includes more than 10,500 people directly employed in Scotland. Almost £1.3bn is paid in salaries in Scotland;
    -Scotch is a significant contributor to rural employment, supporting often fragile local economies. The industry supports 7,000 rural jobs. The Scotch Whisky industry is expanding at historic levels. As well as the 14 new distilleries opened since 2013, existing sites have been expanded, for example with increased production, more warehouses or revamped visitor centres. Up to a further 40 new distilleries are planned across Scotland, with seven expected to open this year alone.

    But the SWA says the uncertainty created by Brexit means that the industry needs more reassurance that it will receive fair treatment from government.

    Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive, said: "Scotch Whisky is one of the UK's most strategically important industries. Without valuable Scotch exports of around £4 billion a year, the UK's trade deficit in goods would be 3% larger. And our research published today emphasises the value of the industry which adds £5bn to the economy annually and supports more than 40,000 jobs. Burns' Night is the perfect time to raise a dram to the success of Scotch.

    "But we are calling on the government to 'Stand up for Scotch' by addressing the high and unfair level of taxation distillers face in their home market. The current tax of 77% on an average priced bottle of Scotch is a burden on consumers and the industry. And the Government's own figures indicate that fairer tax treatment leads to increased revenue for the public purse. We are calling on the UK Government to cut excise by 2% in next month's Budget, supporting a great Scottish and British industry at a time of uncertainty, giving us a stronger domestic platform from which to invest and grow to make a success of Brexit."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
     
    21.02.2017   A record line-up for the start of drinktec 2017    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 1,600 exhibitors to take part in the “World´s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry”

    In September 2017 drinktec will be able to boast the biggest participation figures in its over 60-year history. Around 1,600 exhibitors are expected to take part in the “World´s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry”, taking place from September 11 to 15, 2017 in Munich. With the integration of SIMEI, the world´s leading international trade fair for winemaking and bottling technology, total hall space taken up by drinktec rises to over 150,000 square meters.

    drinktec is the world´s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry, and as such it is the biggest global gathering of this sector—a kind of world summit. From small, family-owned firms to global players, anyone who has anything to say in the sector is putting on a presentation at drinktec 2017. The exhibitors represent the entire process chain: from the manufacture, filling and packaging of beverages and liquid food through to marketing—raw materials, beverage ingredients and logistics solutions included. Specifically drinktec 2017 encompasses the following main exhibition sections: process technology; containers/packing materials; filling and packaging technology; raw materials/ingredients; process automation; energy systems; PET technology; restaurant and catering supplies and equipment; sales promotion and marketing.

    Innovations showcase and spectacular displays
    drinktec is regarded as a platform for innovations. The latest solutions and entire systems are presented in Munich for the first time—and this is a unique selling point of drinktec. This trade fair is renowned for the spectacular displays put on by its exhibitors at their booths. Nothing is too much trouble for them when it comes to making a big impression with the global trade audience. For example, entire filling and packaging lines of all kinds (from low-tech to high-tech) are set up in the halls, bottles run past on conveyor belts, innovative PET bottles are produced live—just like in a real industrial set-up. And all of this is on view and in operation for trade visitors on all five days of the fair.

    SIMEI@drinktec
    In 2017, for the first time, SIMEI will be an integrated component in drinktec (see also the press release on this dated August 6, 2015). Organized by the Unione Italiana Vini (UIV), “SIMEI@drinktec” will have its own dedicated area in Halls C2 and C3. The spectrum of products and technologies on show at drinktec is therefore now expanded to include all areas of wine technology. This creates a globally unique platform for the international wine industry, covering not only the wine business, but also enabling visitors to look beyond their own particular field, and experience what´s new in other segments, such as the beer industry. For the exhibitors at drinktec, around 60 percent of whom also offer solutions for the wine industry, SIMEI is a chance to reach even more potential customers. And in return, the exhibitors in SIMEI@drinktec can present their offerings to a global trade audience. SIMEI retains its two-year cycle, but its venue will alternate in future between Italy and Munich.

    oils+fats – Home&Craft
    Hall C1 at drinktec is shared with oils+fats, Europe´s only specialist trade fair for the oils and fats industry. Here, fifty exhibitors will be presenting their systems, components and auxiliary materials for the production and processing of edible oils, fats and lubricants—along with raw materials and quality control solutions. Also in Hall C1 is a new exhibition section called “Home&Craft”, which features technology and products for home brewing and microbrewing. Rounding off the displays in Hall C1 is a range of product-specific and cross-industry process technology for the beverage and liquid food industry.

    PRO FachHANDEL
    Taking place for the first time as part of drinktec 2017 is PRO FachHANDEL, the leading trade fair for the German specialist trade in beverages and convenience products. PRO FachHANDEL will take up Hall B0 and the foyer of the ICM – Internationales Congress Center München, which is adjacent to the Messe München exhibition center. This trade exhibition is an opportunity for international beverage manufacturers attending drinktec as visitors to find the right trading partners for their entry into the German market. As such PRO FachHANDEL is an ideal enhancement to the offering at drinktec.

    Over 70,000 trade visitors from all over the world
    More than 70,000 trade visitors from all over the world and from all areas of the beverages industry will be coming to drinktec 2017. Around two-thirds of the visitors come from outside Germany. drinktec addresses the entire industry: trade professionals from the soft drinks and fruit juice industry, from brewing, from mineral water producers, dairies, the wine and sparkling wine segment, from the spirits industry, and from beverages wholesale and retail businesses. Employees from manufacturing and production make up the biggest proportion of visitors, closely followed by plant managers and CEOs. Representatives from marketing and sales have also discovered the attractions of drinktec and come along to learn about all the latest developments and trends. In 2013 this group of visitors numbered 12,000, and in 2017 that figure is expected to rise.

    Key themes
    The key themes at drinktec 2017, which are covered in all the exhibition halls and affect almost all sections, are: energy and resource efficiency, water and energy management, hygiene and product safety and process optimization/flexibility (see also the press release on this at www.drinktec.com).

    Highlights from the supporting program
    - Special Area New Beverage Concepts, Hall B1: In a special exhibition area in Hall B1 manufacturers of sweeteners, colorants, ingredients, additives and flavorings, treatment agents and recipes will be presenting their new products and solutions. The “Special Area” has an open and interactive design. Product developers, brand managers as well as marketers and buyers will be able to try out new ingredients and beverage concepts at the bar, and also search the flavor providers for new ideas.
    - Innovation Flow Lounge (IFL): Following its highly successful premiere in 2013, the IFL will be continued in 2017, but with a new concept: High-caliber experts will discuss the topical themes of importance for the future of the industry in the areas of product innovation, packaging and marketing. IFL and the Special Area New Beverage Concepts will have a joint space at the show, so that topics from the area of new beverage concepts, such as beverage ingredients and ideas, are also addressed and dealt with in the IFL. The IFL is targeted at product, brand and innovation managers, as well as decision-makers and managers in the fields of marketing and sales. Thanks to the interactive concept with various action modules, exchange and networking are always in the foreground, for example also at the Beverage Innovation Bar.
    - drinktec Forum: The Forum in Hall A2 is dedicated on all five days of the fair to key issues affecting the future of the sector. Independent experts from research and industry will be giving answers and presenting pioneering approaches and practical solutions. The focus is on themes to do with technology, production processes and automation. In cooperation with the Zentralverband Deutscher Milchwirtschaftler (German Dairy Professionals Association) the last day of the fair is dedicated to the theme of milk. There will be simultaneous interpretation (German-English) of all the lectures. Also in the Forum, on the Monday, is the careers day for the beverage professionals of tomorrow: young_talents@drinktec.
    - place2beer: This is the further development of the Brewers’ Meeting Place, which celebrated its successful premiere at drinktec 2013. At drinktec 2017 the place2beer in Hall B1 is sure to be a big magnet for brewers, beer lovers and all those who have anything to do with beer. And there will be plenty on offer for them here: Beer lovers can taste, free of charge, beers from all over the world and find out about the latest qualities in hops, malt and yeast, while inspecting or trying out the products for themselves. Successful brewers will tell their stories and present their beers at a live tasting. And start-ups will be presenting their innovative ideas to the international trade audience for the first time. In addition, William Reed Business Media will be organizing lectures and panel discussions on themes such as food and beer, women and beer, popular styles of beer, packaging and branding, and lots more.
    - Competitions and award ceremonies: drinktec 2017 also features many competitions and award ceremonies. On the day before the start of the show, the World Championships for Beer Sommeliers will take place. The organizer is the Doemens. Also, the best beers from all over the world will be fighting it out for the title of “European Beer Star”, a competition organized by Private Brauereien Bayern e.V. (an organization of private breweries in Bavaria) and being held at drinktec for the second time. Also presented at drinktec are the “Beverage Innovation Awards” for creative and innovative ideas. The organizer is Foodbev Media.
    (Messe München GmbH)
     
    21.02.2017   Angola: Sagres beer to be brewed in Angola    ( E-malt.com )

    Portuguese beer company Sociedade Central de Cervejas reached an agreement with Angolan beverage distribution company Sociedade de Distribuição de Bebidas de Angola, Limitada (Sodiba) for the production of Sagres beer in Angola, Portuguese financial daily Diário Económico reported on February 9.

    The newspaper also reported that the agreement had been signed for months and provides for Sodiba to produce Sagres beer in Angola to the same standards with which it is manufactured in Portugal, as a result of the approval of this agreement by Sociedade Central de Cervejas and under the supervision of its main shareholder, the Heineken group.

    Sagres will be the first international beer to be produced in Angola and will have the same branding as the beer sold on the Portuguese market.

    The Angolan market has always been considered strategic for Portuguese brewers, but suffered a major setback with the Angolan economic crisis that resulted from a fall in international oil prices and, more specifically, with the entry into force in 2015, of the new customs tariff in Angola, with a resulting increase in taxes on all alcoholic beverages that has had a negative impact on consumption of imported beers.

    For Central de Cervejas, the Angolan market in 2014 was worth about 20% of global exports of the Portuguese Sagres brand but the following year and after the crisis took effect, it accounted for just 13%.

    The new plant built by Sodiba, whose shareholders are Isabel dos Santos and Sindica Dokola, is located in an industrial area of 40 hectares and has an installed annual production capacity of 144 million litres, which could be increased to 200 million litres per year.

    In addition to Sagres beer, Sodiba, whose plant required an investment of US$150 million, will also launch a new 100% Angolan beer, called “Luandina” which will be available in the Angolan market by the end of the first half of 2017.
     
    21.02.2017   Ball Reports 2016 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Highlights
    - Full-year and fourth quarter U.S. GAAP earnings per diluted share of $1.39 and 8 cents, respectively, vs. full-year and fourth quarter 2015 results of $1.99 and 39 cents, respectively
    - Full-year and fourth quarter comparable earnings per diluted share of $3.49 and 87 cents, respectively, vs. 2015 results of $3.48 and 80 cents, respectively; 2016 results reflect higher year-over-year share count
    - Solid global beverage and aerosol can demand and contribution from the Rexam acquisition drove the increase in comparable operating results
    - Aerospace contracted backlog of $1.4 billion at year end
    - Company reaffirms 2017 and long-term financial goals

    Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) reported, on a U.S. GAAP basis, full-year 2016 net earnings attributable to the corporation of $224 million (including the net effect of after-tax charges of $339 million, or $2.10 per diluted share for business consolidation, debt refinancing and other non-comparable costs) or $1.39 per diluted share, on sales of $9.1 billion, compared to $281 million of net earnings attributable to the corporation, or $1.99 cents per diluted share (including the net effect of after-tax charges of $209 million, or $1.49 cents per diluted share for business consolidation costs, economic hedging losses, and debt refinancing and other costs), on sales of $8.0 billion in 2015. Ball's comparable full-year 2016 results were net earnings of $563 million, or $3.49 per diluted share, compared to $490 million, or $3.48 per diluted share in 2015.

    Fourth quarter 2016 net earnings attributable to Ball Corporation were $14 million, or 8 cents per diluted share, on sales of $2.5 billion, compared to $55 million, or 39 cents per diluted share, on sales of $1.8 billion, in the fourth quarter of 2015. On a comparable basis, Ball's fourth quarter 2016 results were net earnings of $155 million, or 87 cents per diluted share, compared to $113 million, or 80 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2015. Earnings per share figures for 2016 reflect the impact of shares issued for the acquisitions of Rexam and Latapack-Ball.

    During the second half of 2016, Ball realigned its operating segments as a result of the Rexam transaction. The company retrospectively adjusted prior period amounts to conform to the current segment presentation; comparable operating results prior to June 30, 2016, exclude the effects of the Rexam transaction. Details of comparable segment earnings, business consolidation activities and other non-comparable costs, as well as descriptions of the company's new business segments, can be found in the notes to the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements that accompany this news release. The company's consolidated statements of cash flows will be provided in the company's Form 10-K expected to be filed by March 1, 2017.

    "Following a very complex and rewarding year, our 2016 comparable results were in line with our expectations. We had previously discussed that the momentum in our existing business combined with the addition of our acquisition would generate sequential momentum as we moved into 2017. This momentum continues to build in all of our businesses and our packaging products are excellently positioned to support our customers' plans to market sustainable packaging to all generations for any occasion," said John A. Hayes (photo), chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We once again reaffirm our financial goals for 2017 through 2019 and expect $150 million of transaction-related synergies to be recognized in 2017 with at least another $150 million expected by the end of 2019."

    Beverage Packaging, North and Central America
    Beverage packaging, North and Central America, comparable segment operating earnings for full-year 2016 were $469 million on sales of $3.6 billion, compared to $402 million on sales of $3.2 billion in 2015. For the fourth quarter 2016, comparable segment operating earnings were $114 million on sales of $959 million, compared to $86 million on sales of $736 million during the same period in 2015.

    Full-year and fourth quarter 2016 segment revenues and operating earnings benefitted from the additional operations from the Rexam acquisition and continued growth in beer, specialty and certain non-alcoholic categories in the U.S. and Mexico, as well as solid manufacturing performance across the segment.

    Beverage Packaging, South America
    Beverage packaging, South America, comparable segment operating earnings for full-year 2016 were $185 million on sales of $1.0 billion, compared to $80 million on sales of $591 million in 2015. For the fourth quarter, comparable segment operating earnings were $85 million on sales of $437 million, compared to $37 million on sales of $184 million during the same period in 2015.

    In South America, full-year and fourth quarter revenues and operating earnings were higher due to the inclusion of operations from the Rexam acquisition. Overall industry demand declined high single digits in the fourth quarter and low to mid-single digits for the full-year 2016 in line with beverage consumption and GDP declines in Brazil. Despite the weakness in the Brazilian economy, beverage cans performed well versus other packaging substrates, and specialty cans continue to represent approximately 45 percent of the package mix for the segment.

    Beverage Packaging, Europe
    Beverage packaging, Europe, comparable segment operating earnings for the full-year 2016 were $217 million on sales of $2.0 billion, compared to $192 million on sales of $1.7 billion in 2015. For the fourth quarter 2016, comparable segment operating earnings were $32 million on sales of $449 million, compared to $43 million on sales of $343 million during the same period in 2015.

    Comparable segment earnings in the fourth quarter and year-to-date reflect the inclusion of operations from the Rexam acquisition. Fourth quarter 2016 segment results were negatively impacted by depreciation associated with fixed asset write-ups from the acquisition in the European segment given its scale relative to other reporting segments involved in the acquisition and the acquired business has more pronounced seasonality versus our legacy European business. Plans have been initiated to address revenue and margin improvement in 2017 and beyond.

    Overall industry demand was up slightly led by solid demand across continental Europe offset somewhat by the normal seasonal slowdown in Russia. To support strong growth for beverage cans on the Iberian Peninsula, the company began construction of a two-line, aluminum beverage can manufacturing facility near Madrid, Spain, with most of the new capacity secured under a long-term customer contract. The plant will be operational in 2018 and produce multiple can sizes.

    Food and Aerosol Packaging
    Food and aerosol packaging comparable segment operating earnings for the full-year 2016 were $109 million on sales of $1.2 billion, compared to $108 million on sales of $1.3 billion in 2015. For the fourth quarter, comparable segment operating earnings were $24 million on sales of $259 million, compared to $18 million on sales of $285 million during the same period in 2015.

    During 2016, segment aerosol volumes increased low-single digits due to demand for personal care products versus segment food can volumes in our system declining mid- to high-single digits. Management remains committed to reducing invested capital and increasing plant efficiencies in its U.S. tinplate operations to align our cost structure with the supply demand situation in the U.S. food can industry.

    Aerospace
    Aerospace comparable segment operating earnings for the full-year 2016 were $88 million on sales of $818 million, compared to $82 million on sales of $810 million in 2015. For the fourth quarter, comparable segment operating earnings were $26 million on sales of $241 million, compared to $21 million on sales of $162 million during the same period in 2015.

    Contracted backlog ended the year at $1.4 billion. To support growth in the business, including the year-over-year doubling of our contracted backlog, the company will expand its Westminster, Colorado, aerospace manufacturing center during 2017. Ball's legacy of delivering technologies and instruments for defense, civil and cyber should result in a step-change in year-over-year financial results in 2017.

    Outlook
    "Our year-end 2016 net debt of $6.9 billion was slightly better than our forecast of $7.0 billion. We continue to expect 2017 free cash flow to be in the range of $750 million to $850 million after capital spending of approximately $500 million," said Scott C. Morrison, senior vice president and chief financial officer.

    "The company is on course to deliver improved free cash flow, EVA dollar growth and comparable diluted earnings per share growth of at least 20 percent in 2017. We are fully executing upon our post-acquisition plans with the completed closure of the former Rexam headquarters, the closure of the Charlotte, North Carolina, regional support center slated for mid-2017, and additional transformative process and footprint work slated for the second half 2017 and beyond," Hayes said.
    (Ball Corporation)
     
    21.02.2017   UK: Carlsberg launches competition for craft brewers    ( E-malt.com )

    Carlsberg UK has launched a competition for craft brewers and importers offering the chance to get their beer listed in its ‘Crafted 2017’ portfolio, the Morning Advertiser reported on February 15.

    Brewers can enter the contest, named 'Your beer, here?' by submitting their beers for evaluation by a judging panel including beer writer Pete Brown, Mark Stretton of Fleet Street Communications and members of the Crafted portfolio team.

    The winning selection will be showcased in the company’s Crafted portfolio and handbook when it launches in April – making it available to thousands of pubs over the next 12 months.

    Carlsberg Crafted marketing manager Adrian Rigby said: “The craft beer category is brilliant, diverse and innovative but, above all, it’s competitive and the route to market can be challenging.

    “As a brewer, we are committed to building the craft beer category and community in the on-trade and believe that through this opportunity and the established profile of our award-winning Crafted handbook, we can give and up-and-coming craft stars a hand.”

    Carlsberg’s 2016-17 Crafted range featured beers from Hiver, Chapel Down and Rooster’s Brewing Co as well as international offerings such as Hitachino Nest White Ale from Japan’s Hitachino brewery and Little Creatures from Australia’s Fremantle Brewery.

    The company recently launched new limited-edition packaging for its well-known flagship lager aimed at attracting younger drinkers.

    The new 300ml bottles, which feature a design based on “an abstract interpretation” of the beer’s ingredients, will be available across the on-trade until September 2017.
     
    21.02.2017   USA: Beer volumes grow 0.3% last year thanks to increased sales of craft and imported beer    ( E-malt.com )

    The US Beer Institute has estimated that category-wide beer volumes grew 0.3 percent last year, thanks in part to increasing sales of craft and imported beer, Brewbound.com reported on February 10.

    In a note to members, sent on February 9, Beer Institute CEO Jim McGreevy said sales of imported beer, particularly brands from Mexico, propelled the category to a positive performance in 2016.

    Import volumes increased 6.8 percent, or 2.1 million barrels, versus 2015, he said.

    That’s in keeping with the long-term trend: Import volumes have grown steadily since 1992, when those brands accounted for just four percent (8.3 million barrels) of all beer sold in the U.S. In 2015, import volumes grew 6.2 percent, to 31.2 million barrels, according to Beer Institute statistics.

    Production of domestically brewed beer, meanwhile, declined 0.8 percent, or 1.4 million barrels, last year. 2016 marked the fourth straight year that domestic beer volumes declined, and the seventh time in the last eight years that domestic brewers failed to help the category grow, according to the BI.

    Despite the downward production trends for brews made stateside, beer produced by more than 5,000 U.S. craft breweries increased seven percent, which McGreevy noted was a “deceleration in that segment’s growth compared to recent years.”

    Indeed, production from craft breweries grew about 13 percent in 2015 and 18 percent in 2014, according to industry trade group the Brewers Association, which represents the interest of small and independent craft breweries.

    That group, however, also estimated midway through last year that craft beer volume growth would continue to decelerate as the segment matured.

    “As craft’s base gets larger, as with any industry, it becomes more difficult for it to grow at the same percentage rate,” BA chief economist Bart Watson said last July.

    In his note to BI members, McGreevy also noted that beer sales at off-premise retail outlets continued to grow while traditional on-premise operators lost sales to brewpubs and taprooms, where volume sales increased an astounding 60 percent.

    But even as total beer volumes grew slightly, the category itself still ceded share within the total beverage alcohol segment, McGreevy said.

    “The wine and liquor categories each outpaced beer last year, growing volume by an estimated 2.0 percent and 2.4 percent respectively,” he wrote. “As a result, beer lost an estimated 0.5 percentage points of share within beverage alcohol volume, which was two-thirds the amount of share that beer lost to wine and hard liquor in 2015.”

    That, he added, means beer companies have “more work to do,” in 2017 in order for the category to continue growing.
     
    20.02.2017   India: Ban on liquor shops on highways could lead to 40% drop in sales of alcoholic beverages    ( E-malt.com )

    United Breweries Ltd (UBL), India’s largest beer maker and majority-owned by Dutch firm Heineken, has said that its sales of the alcoholic beverage could drop by 40 per cent once the Supreme Court ban on liquor shops on highways comes into effect in April, the Business Standard reported.

    The estimates were arrived at after mapping the liquor outlets and sales in these stores, executives of the company said on February 9.

    On December 15, the court, on a petition, ruled that states should cancel the licences of liquor shops in and around the national and state highways, citing increasing road accidents due to drink driving. The ban includes shutting down liquor shops located within 500 metres from highways.

    “We need to find out the specifics of the order. There are a lot of roads in India that run within the city and there are state highways. It is also said that there is a chance that the state highways are exempted,” said Steven Bosch, chief financial officer, UBL, on a conference call.

    Anil Pisharody, senior vice-president, finance, said the challenge was not the renewal of licences but to get a place to relocate.

    “The problem is more of logistics now. They need to relocate to areas nearby, which takes time,” said Pisharody.

    UB controls more than half of India’s annual beer sales of nearly 300 million cases. While it continues to grow the sales of popular brands such as Kingfisher beer, the company would look at expanding premium products from the Heineken portfolio into states outside Karnataka, its main market.

    The company on February 8 asked its non-executive chairman Vijay Mallya, currently in exile in the United Kingdom, to resign from the board.

    UB and liquor maker United Spirits Ltd were sold to foreign rivals Heineken and Diageo, respectively, after Mallya’s civil aviation business went under and put him in deep debt. He has been accused of being an absconder and the government has issued notices to the United Kingdom to extradite him.

    UB’s sales have dipped because of demonetisation even as the company faces bigger challenges in Maharashtra due to higher excise duties, and regulatory changes in Tamil Nadu.

    “We do not know the reason (for irregular orders in Tamil Nadu). We assume it is because of a series of events including the death of the chief minister or a push towards their local products,” said Bosch.

    UB’s primary volumes went down eight per cent in the current quarter, which, the company said, was an impact of demonetisation in November and December. The company said its worst month was December.
     
    20.02.2017   Local Alcohol Action Areas – BBPA welcomes phase two    ( Company news )

    Company news The BBPA has welcomed the second round of the Home Office’s Local Alcohol Action Areas. The two-year Programme was previously announced in the Home Office’s Modern Crime Prevention Strategy. The aims are to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder and diversify local night time economies through strong partnerships between local authorities, the police, health partners and businesses.

    BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:
    “The BBPA welcomes the next phase of the LAAAs which aims to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder and diversify local night time economies through strong partnerships between local authorities, the police, health partners and businesses. It is great to see the scheme expanding and it is a strong endorsement that partnership working in this area delivers results.

    “The BBPA, along with Drinkaware and National Pubwatch, is a key supporter of Local Alcohol Partnerships and is already undertaking activity to raise awareness of the law surrounding serving drunks; a key focus area in the Home Office Strategy, and we look forward to working with the new LAAAs on this initiative. Brewers and pub operators also look forward to working with agencies and stakeholders at a local level to tackle any problems in the night-time economy. This is certainly the best way forward.”
    (BBPA British Beer & Pub Association)
     
    20.02.2017   Malaysia: Heineken Malaysia opts to tighten its belt instead of hiking its beer prices    ( E-malt.com )

    Heineken Malaysia Bhd says it has opted to tighten its belt amid the challenging market condition via various cost management measures and will not increase prices of products any time soon, The Star Online reported on February 16.

    Its finance director Teo Hong Keng said any price increase will only be carried out on the basis of commercial consideration, which among others include commodity price hikes on the backdrop of global uncertainties.

    “We need to weigh it out first to see if the market can accept a price increase. However, in a soft market such as this, we have resorted to tightening our belts to keep costs down,” said Teo at the sidelines of Heineken’s financial results announcement for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2016.

    Heineken last increased price of products in July, 2016 after the implementation of Anti Profiteering Act.

    Teo said because the company was part of Heineken N V, it benefitted them as the group purchased raw materials under the global procurement.

    Hence it wasn’t too worried about the rising raw material prices.

    Despite the subdued economic landscape, Heineken posted a good set of results for its financial quarter ended Dec 31, 2016.

    Its net profit was up 15.2% at RM104.68 mln from RM90.84 mln, a year ago, on improved cost efficiency in commercial spend, benefits from Project Breakout - an integrated system that optimised efficiencies in the entire value chain from brewery to trade as well as savings from global procurement initiatives.

    The market leader declared a final dividend of 60 sen, which will be paid out in May.

    Meanwhile, managing director Hans Essaadi said Heineken’s effective sales execution and robust growth in the off-trade segment and continued volume growth for Heineken and Guinness premium brands were drivers for better revenue growth.

    “We are in a dialogue session with the ministry with regards to the Anti Profiteering Act, as constant freeze in price hikes does have an impact.

    “We will see if it works to raise prices only if input costs go up,” he noted.

    In the meantime, Essadi expects the year to be challenging due to global and domestic economic uncertainties, cautious consumer spending, increase in regulatory requirements and rising demand for contraband products.

    “We will nevertheless continue to leverage on integrated global supply chain, strengthening our iconic portfolio and investing in developing our people,” he concluded.
    (Heineken Malaysia Bhd)
     
    20.02.2017   Thailand: Singha Corp launches new lager U Beer    ( E-malt.com )

    U Beer, a new lager produced by Singha Corp, the original Thai brewery since 1933, is the latest addition to Thailand's domestic beer market, Yahoo Finance reported on February 6.

    Since December, Thailand's local beer lovers as well as international visitors have been able to enjoy the fresh new taste of U Beer, a new brand adding to the Singha and Leo Beer, the market leading brands already brewed by Singha Corp., a company also known as Boonrawd Brewery.

    U Beer, inspired by European lager, offers a smooth taste, brewed for the new generation with its hip modern label design.

    U Beer, a lager with alcohol volume of 5.0%, is available at selected venues around the country in two bottle sizes, 620 Ml and 320 Ml.
     
    20.02.2017   UK: Heineken's deal to acquire pub chain Punch Taverns under antitrust probe    ( E-malt.com )

    Heineken's deal to acquire pub chain Punch Taverns could be under threat as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) probes the agreement, Sky News reported on February 16.

    The CMA has issued an 'invitation to comment' to interested parties as it looks at whether the deal, which will see Heineken take over almost 2,000 pubs in the UK, could result in a "substantial lessening of competition".

    Concerns have already been raised about the deal by parts of the licensed industry, and this move by the CMA will allow them to formally submit their reasons for opposing the deal.

    Heineken clinched a deal to take over the Punch Taverns company in partnership with private equity firm Patron Capital.

    The two firms successfully fought off a counterbid by Punch Taverns' co-founder, Alan McIntosh, by offering to pay 180p-per-share for the company.

    It will see Heineken acquire 1,895 UK pubs on top of the 1,100 it already controls, with Patron securing the remaining 1,329.

    The CMA said it was "considering whether it is or may be the case that this transaction, if carried into effect, will result in the creation of a relevant merger situation" and, if so, "whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition".

    It has allowed until 2 March for comments on the takeover to be submitted, and it will then decide whether to take further action on the issue by 24 April.

    A Heineken spokesman said the CMA's call for comments on the planned takeover was an "important and fully expected stage in the process to finalise our acquisition", and added: "Heineken will be fully co-operating with the CMA."

    Paul Waterson, chief execuive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, has been very vocal in his opposition of the deal and welcomed the news that the CMA will be looking into the takeover.

    "We are delighted that the CMA has chosen to listen to the concerns voiced by so many businesses, organisations and individuals within the pub and brewing industry and open an investigation into Heineken's takeover bid for Punch Taverns," he said.

    "Heineken is a global brewer, with very different priorities to their customers who often rely on hard earned local relationships to make their businesses work.

    "We know from both Heineken's words and actions that they will give preference to their own products across their estate, and this is simply not fair for brewers, publicans or consumers."

    The news comes less than 24 hours after Heineken stated in their company results that they expected the deal to complete by mid-2017.

    The brewer revealed that its profits fell by 15% last year, and that it had taken a £976m hit from global currency volatility including fluctuations in the British pound following the Brexit vote.
    (Heineken UK Limited)
     
    20.02.2017   USA: Two largest brewers trying to boost sales of their cheaper beers    ( E-malt.com )

    For years, US sales of the cheapest beers fell as America’s two largest brewers focused on higher-priced craft brands. Now the neglected suds are back in the spotlight, The Australian reported on February 3.

    Anheuser-Busch InBev plans to air its first Super Bowl ad for Busch, its namesake economy brand. The 30-second spot follows the company’s move last year to shift its Nascar sponsorship back to Busch from Budweiser.

    MillerCoors, the US business unit of Molson Coors, has begun rolling out new ads and redesigned logos for its economy beers, including Miller High Life and Keystone. It is increasing the quantity of beer in some bottles and packages, without raising prices. Both companies are offering price promotions on cheaper brands.

    Sales of so-called sub-premium brews, costing an average $US16 ($21.90) for a 24-pack, have long been in decline. From 2010 to 2015, shipments dropped by 16 per cent to 46 million barrels, while craft beers shipments doubled to 22 million barrels, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.

    But the sub-premium category still represents about one out of every five beers sold in the US. AB InBev and MillerCoors, together accounting for about two-thirds of US beer sold by volume, acknowledge they must stop the slide to achieve their performance goals.

    From consumer surveys, “one of the greater realisations that we have is that as we prioritise other parts of our portfolio for all the right reasons … we also did that at the expense of our economy portfolio,” said Ryan Marek, director of economy brands for MillerCoors. “It’s not only critical to our growth but critical to the health of the entire beer industry.”

    After the merger of InBev and Anheuser-Busch in 2008, the company began raising prices on its lowest-priced beers more sharply than on premium beers, analysts and industry observers said. MillerCoors did the same.

    Those moves boosted revenue for a time but resulted in other consequences: some consumers switched to inexpensive spirits, and the beer industry lost some of its most loyal customers. And young people, for whom cheap brands might be a gateway to a lifetime of beer consumption, increasingly turned to other options.

    “We’ve lost a generation,” said industry consultant Joe Thompson, president of Independent Beverage Group. “And I think we’re going to pay a price for it.”
     
    17.02.2017   Bud Light Debuts New NBA Team Cans Ahead Of All-Star Weekend In New Orleans    ( Company news )

    Company news With NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans fast approaching, Bud Light is tipping-off the celebration in style with an all-new series of special edition cans that celebrate 13 of the league’s teams.

    Bud Light’s focus in 2017 is the value of friendship and the brand understands that friendship among players on the court and fans off of it, are an essential part of NBA culture. As the official beer partner of the NBA, Bud Light worked alongside the league to create cans that speak directly to each team’s passionate fan base, and serve as a way for die-hard supporters to proudly display their allegiance whether they’re cheering courtside or from the couch.

    In this initial phase of the NBA team cans program, fans of the Bulls, Cavs, Grizzlies, Heat, Knicks, Lakers, Mavericks, Pelicans, Spurs, Rockets, Thunders and Warriors can get their hands on these special-edition items, in-store now throughout the remainder of the season.

    In addition to the NBA cans, Bud Light will be celebrating All-Star Weekend in “The Big Easy” with special events and experiences through the weekend of Feb. 17-19.
    (Anheuser Busch InBev)
     
    16.02.2017   Diageo: Stronger performance reflects continued effective execution against our strategy    ( Company news )

    Company news DIAGEO interim results, six months ended 31 December 2016

    Reported net sales (£6,421 million) and operating profit (£2,065 million) were up 14.5% and 28.0% respectively, reflecting accelerated organic growth and favourable exchange
    · Organic growth, across all regions, with 1.8% volume growth and 4.4% net sales growth
    · Organic operating profit grew 4.4%, in line with top line growth, driven by gross margin improvement, good progress on productivity offset by implementation costs and the profit on sale of the UB shares in the prior period
    · Free cash flow continued to be strong at £1,084 million, increasing by £245 million compared to the prior period with net cash from operating activities up £230 million to £1,267 million
    · Basic eps of 60.3 pence. Pre–exceptional eps was 62.0 pence, up 21%, as higher operating profit and associate income along with favourable exchange more than offset the impact of disposals and a higher tax rate
    · Interim dividend up 5% at 23.7 pence per share

    Ivan Menezes (photo), Chief Executive, commenting on the results said:
    “We have delivered a strong set of results with broad based improvement in both organic volume and top line growth and this positive momentum demonstrates continued effective execution of our strategy. Highlights this half include improved performance in our US Spirits business and across our scotch portfolio, driven by our focus on marketing with impact, innovating at scale, expanding our route to consumer, and winning in reserve. Progress on productivity supports growth, margin improvement and consistent strong cash flow generation as well as improving our agility.

    Diageo is building a stronger, more consistent, better performing company. We are identifying consumer trends faster, expanding the reach of our products across markets and developing trade channels to capture these growth opportunities. Our productivity work is on track, driving efficiency and effectiveness across the business. Our work on trade and marketing spend gives us better data enabling smarter, quicker decisions that generate higher returns.

    Our expectations of delivering stronger financial performance this year are unchanged. We are confident of achieving our medium term objective of consistent mid–single digit top line growth and 100bps of organic operating margin improvement in the three years ending 30 June 2019.”
    (Diageo plc)
     
    15.02.2017   Tetra Pak announces science based targets for climate impact reduction    ( Company news )

    Company news Tetra Pak pledged that by 2030, the greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations will be at least 40% lower than in 2015.

    Working with the Science Based Targets (SBT)​ initiative, the company also set a goal that by 2040, emissions will be down 58% compared with a year ago.

    In doing so, Tetra Pak becomes the first company in the food packaging industry to have its climate impact reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative.

    To achieve these targets, Tetra Pak will focus on three areas:
    -Driving energy efficiency, aiming to reduce energy use by a further 12%;
    -Purchasing electricity from renewable sources, investing in renewable energy projects and renewable electricity certificate schemes;
    -Installing onsite renewable energy systems such as solar panels.

    In addition, the company commits to reduce GHG emissions across the value chain by 16% per unit of revenue by 2020 from a 2010 base-year.

    Mario Abreu, Vice President Environment at Tetra Pak, said: “The collaboration with the SBT initiative has helped us accurately define our greenhouse gas emission targets and set a direction for the company in a scientific way. The new targets ensure we are able to openly and accurately demonstrate the contribution we are making to a low carbon economy among customers and other stakeholders.”

    Cynthia Cummis at the World Resources Institute (WRI) said: “The SBT initiative provides a science-based methodology for companies who are serious about incorporating sustainability into their business practice and want to do their part in avoiding the worst impacts from climate change. Tetra Pak is the first packaging company to complete our target review process and we are very pleased to see them join a growing number of companies that understand the benefits of transitioning towards a low-carbon economy.”
    (Tetra Pak Schweiz AG)
     
    14.02.2017   Proven standard: KHS Group ISO 9001:2015 certified worldwide    ( Company news )

    Company news -TÜV Rheinland Cert GmbH audits production sites
    -Certification according to new 2015 revision
    -Employees proud of certification

    With immediate effect the KHS Group’s production sites are now certified according to the new, revised ISO 9001:2015 standard. The current 2015 standard replaces the ISO 9001:2008 norm previously in widespread use. The KHS factory in Ahmedabad in India has been awarded the certificate for the first time. TÜV Rheinland Cert GmbH has now confirmed a uniform standard at all KHS production locations, giving customers of the manufacturer of filling and packaging systems the world over extra assurance.

    “We’re extremely pleased about the successful expansion of the group,” smiles Hans-Joachim Peinemann, head of Quality Management at KHS. It is perfectly normal to have individual sites audited, he continues, but being certified group-wide is “very special”. In addition to its German production sites the KHS Group also manufactures its plant engineering in India, USA, Brazil and Mexico.

    Customers and employees benefit
    ISO 9001 stipulates the requirements made of a company-related system of quality management, the fulfilment of which acts as proof of conformity with defined standards. The practical application of these standards is verified by audits performed by an independent certification body. In the new, revised edition of the quality management standard from 2015 there is now an even stronger focus on continuous improvement and process and customer orientation.

    Tested and verified worldwide
    Standards which are usually easier for Europeans to adhere to can present something of a challenge on a global scale. “The project proved to be quite demanding at some sites. Other non-German plants have already been certified for years,” states Peinemann. He describes certification as a process which takes several years. ISO 9001 confirms that high standards are applied internationally. “Customers like to know for certain that they can rely on certain quality criteria. This certificate objectively confirms the KHS Group’s good system of quality management worldwide,” explains the QM expert.

    Employee motivation has also increased following certification, he adds. Appearing together before a German TÜV auditor has internally heightened awareness of the common aspects the group shares. “For some of our factories it was like being presented with an award,” says Peinemann. For him, however, the standard is just one stage of many. “In the future we don’t just want to keep this standard but to build on it.” There will be time to do just that as the current certification is valid until 2019.

    Supplementary certificates in Germany
    The external auditors from TÜV Rheinland Cert GmbH have also attested to a uniformly high standard being upheld in energy, environmental and occupational health and safety management at all German KHS production sites. The latter are not only certified according to ISO 9001:2015 but also to ISO 14001:2015, BS OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 5001:2011.
    (KHS GmbH)
     
    13.02.2017   DIAGEO TO LAUNCH PREMIUM BLENDED IRISH WHISKEY ROE & CO    ( Company news )

    Company news PLANS ANNOUNCED FOR EXCITING INVESTMENT IN WHISKEY DISTILLERY AT ST. JAMES’S GATE

    Irish Whiskey is the fastest growing spirit in the world with global sales increasing by over 300%

    Diageo is to launch a new premium Blended Irish Whiskey, Roe & Co, the company announced. The move by Diageo into the premium Irish Whiskey category comes as the company announced plans for investment in a whiskey distillery in the once Power Station at St. James’s Gate. The total project investment comes to €25 million (£18.6 million) over three years.

    As seen in other spirit categories in recent years, Diageo identified a clear opportunity in Irish Whiskey to drive overall category growth via premiumisation. Responding to this, Roe & Co was born. The brand has been created to reflect modern, contemporary luxury, in everything from pack to liquid, and with a focus of making Irish Whiskey more prominent in Europe’s booming cocktail culture. Roe & Co is made from the finest hand-selected stocks of Irish malt and grain whiskies and aged in bourbon casks. It has the signature smoothness of Irish Whiskey with remarkable depth of flavor - a luxuriously smooth blend, with a perfect harmony between the intense fruitiness of the malt and the mellow creaminess of the grain whiskies.

    Roe & Co is named in honour of George Roe, the once world-famous whiskey maker who helped build the golden era of Irish Whiskey in the 19th century. His distillery, George Roe and Co extended over 17 acres on Thomas Street in Dublin and was once Ireland's largest distillery. As neighbours for hundreds of years George Roe and Co and Guinness were the two biggest names at the heart of Dublin’s historic brewing and distilling quarter. Diageo will now build on this rich heritage with the creation of a new distillery by converting the historic former Guinness Power House on Thomas Street. The new St. James’s Gate distillery, will be situated just a stones throw away from where the George Roe and Co distillery once stood and subject to planning approval will begin production in the first half of 2019.

    Using her 30 years of experience, Diageo’s Master Blender Caroline Martin and her team set about meticulously sourcing and selecting stocks of the very finest Irish whiskies. Having trialed over 100 prototype blends since December 2014, Caroline has created an extraordinary expression of Irish Whiskey. The high proportion of first-fill casks gives notes of creamy vanilla balanced with its hints of fruit and soft spice and a remarkable depth for such an elegant and refined whiskey. Roe & Co is non-chill filtered and bottled at 45% ABV. The first blend of Roe & Co will be available in key European cities from 1st March 2017 as part of Diageo’s growing Reserve portfolio.

    Speaking about the launch Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD said: “Irish Whiskey is experiencing a renaissance and is truly an Irish success story. It is seeing a return to the success it experienced in its golden era in the 19th Century and is now the fastest growing spirit drink in the world with global sales increasing by over 300% and record exports of over €400 million* in the last ten years. This commitment and investment by Diageo comes at an opportune time for the sector which is experiencing unprecedented global demand. €25 million investment in this project over 3 years will support the local economy, create jobs, and bring a welcome new addition to the City’s tourism offering. The Irish Whiskey market has a great story to tell and today’s announcement marks an exciting new chapter in its development”.

    Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovations, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said, “It is great to see Diageo continue to invest in and further enhance the historical Dublin 8 area to create a fantastic attraction for tourists and locals alike. The proposed distillery will play a major role in the overall regeneration of the Liberties through the repurposing of the St James’ Gate Power House.

    “Irish produced whiskey has never been as popular, garnering international acclaim and recognition. Diageo’s decision to move into the premium Irish whiskey category and its plans to invest in a new distillery will further enhance Ireland’s reputation as one of the finest premium whiskey producers in the world”.

    Commenting on the launch, Tanya Clarke, General Manager of Reserve Europe said: “This is a wonderful project for us at Diageo, highlighting the opportunity we see to develop the premium segment of Irish Whiskey and contribute to the category’s growth as it sees new investment and entrepreneurial interest. In crafting Roe & Co we explored the demands of today’s consumers for more premium drinking experiences and the desire of bartenders for an adaptable, flavourful whiskey that works in both traditional and new cocktails.”

    Colin O’Brien Operations Director of Diageo said: “The planned distillery will provide employment in the coming years – both at construction and operation stages. It will complement what is already the country’s most popular tourism offering, The Guinness Storehouse. This investment further demonstrates Diageo’s commitment to the growing vibrancy of The Liberties, one of the City’s most dynamic districts and the home of Irish Whiskey during the original golden age of Irish distilling. We are excited that the planned distillery will help revive the proud tradition of distilling in the Liberties.”
    (Diageo plc)
     
    10.02.2017   Intralogistics at drinktec 2017 - The road to the smart supply chain    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 In 2015 German intralogistics companies had a combined production volume of more than 20 billion euros. That makes intralogistics a major economic force in Germany. And in the brewing, beverages and liquid food industry it is increasingly becoming an important competitive advantage. For two reasons: Firstly, it is an area in which there is real potential for rationalization. And secondly, “smart logistics” opens the way to completely new business models. The technology and solutions on offer will be showcased at drinktec 2017, the “World´s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry”, which takes place from September 11 to 15, 2017 in Munich.

    What precisely does the term intralogistics cover? Basically intralogistics, like logistics, is about the handling and flow of goods and materials. But with intralogistics, this takes place not on the roads, but instead within a company site. The processes include the packaging of goods in crates, wraparounds or baskets, sorting them onto pallets for the individual orders and then dispatching them. And also, the raw materials or new glass bottles have to be brought from the stores to the point of use.

    Fast, flexible and down to batch size 1
    Over the years this in-company flow of goods has changed from being a “necessary evil” into an important factor in the creation of added value in a company. Because only companies who can deliver the product fast and with flexibility, and without tying up or using capital unnecessarily, will win out against the competition. In terms of speed: Ordered today, delivered tomorrow? In many applications even this is no longer enough. “Same day delivery” is now almost a must, especially in online food retail. To achieve this, delivery chains have to be adaptable. Because the markets themselves are changing all the time. Also: The order quantities are getting ever smaller. Batch size 1 is a serious goal. For beverage or food manufacturers the number of different packagings will therefore continue to rise. And with it, so, too, will the need to package, palletize and transport the variety demanded by the customer more efficiently.

    Packaging and labeling in logistics is a sensible choice
    In this context, a shift from production into logistics is being seen, as Thomas Lehmann, Managing Partner of BMS Maschinenfabrik GmbH, explains: “Aiming to realize this tremendous variety inline is something for the really big companies. They can process such large-sized batches that it is worth switching over an entire filling or packaging line.” For small and medium-sized businesses—they make up around 60 percent of the trade visitors to drinktec—Lehmann suggests therefore another way: “In this case we place the filled product with the highest efficiency into the standard crates, then drive these to the logistics center where the products are repackaged as required for transport or final sale in a compact and highly flexible repackaging system.” The advantages of this solution include: optimized transport routes, greater efficiency and reduced handling processes in the bottling hall, improved planning security thanks to demand-oriented repackaging with the latest expiry date and no layer of dust on the packaging. Lehmann identifies another process step that could be shifted to the repackaging area: “Labeling could also be a job for logistics. In this case the repackaging system takes on the task of unpacking the bottles and then places for example the just-in-time labeled bottles destined for the export market into the dispatches packaging.”

    In terms of beverages dispatch: Here, too, drinktec will be showcasing interesting solutions, in particular for returnables. These include on the one hand beverage crates that are compatible with lots of different returnable multipack variants. A second solution—which is already popular in Austria—is what´s known as “carrier trays”. These flat re-usable trays are filled with standard bottles or multipacks, then stacked and finally delivered to the sales floor for use as a kind of shelf replacement. Also, once the produce has been sold, these carriers can be used for returning the empties.

    4.0 is bringing new impetus
    But back to intralogistics: IT and automation solutions have long been a firm component here. Luigi Panzetti, Managing Director of the Italian System Group, for example, noted at drinktec 2013: “The beverage world is increasing its interest in automated systems for intralogistics, and the level of investment is growing. We believe this fair is the best opportunity to meet customers from the beverage industry, to discuss strategic issues related to their future developments, including automation to support growth and efficiency."

    Currently a theme with global impact is giving new impetus in this area. “On the user side, Industry 4.0 is coming ever more strongly into focus,” is how Sascha Schmel, Managing Director of the VDMA Materials Handling and Intralogistics Association, summed up the current developments. And that means essentially: The beverage and liquid food industry is increasingly prepared to take on integrated and automated solutions. Some of these 4.0 ideas have long been a reality in intralogistics, too: transport systems that organize their in-company routes autonomously, and palletizing robots that identify empty slots in real time and fill them up. These are just two examples of intralogistics solutions that, thanks to innovative IT, can become internal “full-service providers”—and organize their operations autonomously.

    The “Internet of Things” as the missing link
    So, what can we expect next? The future is certainly going to belong to continuous integration all along the “smart supply chain”, from raw material through to the final customer. This is being made possible by the “Internet of Things”: Worldwide already 20 billion items have their own IP address and are fitted with a chip or sensor and connected to the internet. These items can thus be localized and identified. But they can also interact autonomously with each other. For example, the fridge that when informed via a weather app that it will be a very hot night, independently orders beer and meat for the barbecue—the production and delivery of this order is then also organized and processed autonomously. This vision is not as far off as it seems. A few months ago in the US, the first self-driving truck delivered 2,000 cases of Budweiser beer a distance of 120 miles. True, this is an example of external logistics, and not intralogistics. But in this field, too, the current trends and future developments will be on show at drinktec 2017. And that makes drinktec also very interesting to retail distributors. An attraction that is further enhanced by the leading trade fair for the entire German specialist retail trade in beverages and convenience products—PRO FachHandel. In 2017 this event is being held for the first time in parallel with drinktec in Munich. PRO FachHANDEL will be taking up Hall B0 and the foyer of the ICM—Internationales Congress Center München, which is adjacent to the Messe München exhibition center. Alexander Berger, the CEO of GES (the organizing company) and responsible for PRO FachHANDEL: “The trade fair platform is becoming even more attractive for visitors and exhibitors from the entire retail industry with the collaboration. PRO FachHANDEL with its special areas of Newcomer Market and Beer Live fits perfectly in the supporting program of drinktec.”
    (Messe München GmbH)
     
    10.02.2017   O-I Reports Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2016 Results    ( Company news )

    Company news Entering next phase of transformational journey as Company delivers
    strong financial performance for 2016

    Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) reported financial results for the full year and fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2016.

    -For the full year 2016, the Company recorded earnings from continuing operations of $1.32 per share (diluted), which compares favorably with $0.85 per share in 2015.
    -Excluding certain items management considers not representative of ongoing operations, adjusted earnings[1] were $2.31 per share. This was up 15 percent compared with prior year and in line with guidance of $2.27 to $2.32 per share.
    -The Company continues to generate strong cash flows. Cash provided by continuing operating activities for 2016 was $758 million compared with $612 million for 2015. Adjusted free cash flow1 for 2016 was $429 million, up 23 percent compared with the $348 million reported last year. Adjusted free cash flow excludes asbestos-related payments.
    -Global volumes for 2016 were up 9 percent compared to the prior year. Key contributors to growth were the acquired business, Europe, legacy North America, as well as Australia and New Zealand. On a global basis, volumes of all major end use categories grew year-on-year. Excluding the overall decline in shipments in Asia Pacific, organic growth increased approximately one percent.
    -Earnings from continuing operations before income taxes were $356 million for the year compared with $268 million for 2015. Segment operating profit of reportable segments1 for 2016 was $882 million, an increase of 19 percent compared with prior year. While all regions except Asia Pacific posted higher segment operating profit compared with prior year, the increase was largely driven by the acquired business.
    -Strategic initiatives, primarily in manufacturing, contributed approximately $55 million to segment operating profit for the year, consistent with commitments made by management at investor day in early 2016.
    -The Company's disciplined capital allocation continues to favorably impact its debt structure. Total debt in 2016 declined $245 million, primarily due to debt repayments as well as the favorable impact of foreign currency.
    -The Company improved its debt profile in the fourth quarter through the issuance of a 500 million euro, eight-year, fixed-rate bond with a very favorable coupon of 3.125 percent. This transaction increased the proportion of fixed-rate debt to nearly two-thirds, augmented the natural hedge to foreign currency exposure, repaid higher-cost floating-rate debt and extended the Company's debt maturity profile.
    -In 2017, the Company expects to deliver higher earnings from continuing operations mainly driven by higher segment operating profit. Earnings from continuing operations, and adjusted earnings, are expected to be in the range of $2.40 to $2.50 per share. Cash provided by continuing operating activities is expected to be approximately $730 million, whereas adjusted free cash flow for the year 2017 is expected to be approximately $365 million.

    CEO Andres Lopez stated, "Our multi-year transformation is off to a strong start - we achieved the key financial targets that we outlined at investor day in early 2016. Margins[2] expanded more than 100 basis points, due to the benefits of our strategic initiatives and the acquired business. We are executing on our strategy, overcoming visible external challenges from Brazil macros, the Brexit vote and the strengthening U.S. dollar.
    "Looking ahead, we expect continued improvement in our top-line and bottom-line results as we advance to the next stage in our transformational journey - from stability to agility. We will augment our ability to adapt to market changes and invest in new capabilities. In all, we are one enterprise solely executing on one plan with focus, rigor and discipline everywhere to further enhance shareholder value."

    Fourth Quarter 2016 Results
    For the fourth quarter 2016, the Company recorded a loss from continuing operations of $0.43 per share (diluted), which compares with earnings from continuing operations (diluted) of $0.04 per share in the same period of 2015. Loss from continuing operations before income taxes was $39 million in the quarter, which was unfavorable by $87 million compared with the same period in prior year. These figures include significant items that management considers not representative of ongoing operations.[3] In the fourth quarter, the Company incurred restructuring and impairment charges of $110 million, primarily driven by anticipated restructuring activity in Europe, Latin America and at corporate, as well as a settlement charge of $98 million related to actions to de-risk pension liabilities.

    Excluding certain items management considers not representative of ongoing operations, adjusted earnings were $0.50 per share. Adjusted earnings increased 25 percent, or $17 million compared with prior year, a great achievement in light of ongoing currency headwinds and recognizing that both periods reflected results from the acquired business.

    Net sales in the fourth quarter of 2016 were $1.6 billion, up 1 percent from the prior year fourth quarter. Price was up $27 million on a global basis, primarily driven by price adjustments that reflect cost inflation. Currency translation adversely impacted net sales by $16 million, or 1 percent.

    Global sales volumes increased 1 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. Shipments in Europe increased 3 percent, mainly due to gains in beer and food shipments. In Latin America, shipments increased nearly 3 percent with higher shipments in all product categories except wine, which was down slightly. North America volumes were similar to the prior year with higher non-alcoholic beverage and spirits shipments offsetting lower food and beer shipments. Fourth quarter shipments in Asia Pacific were 6 percent below the same period of 2015. In the mature markets of Asia Pacific, sales volumes were similar to prior year, despite lower in-country production volumes due to planned engineering activity. Sales volumes in mature markets in Asia Pacific were supported by shipments from China; in turn, domestic sales there declined.

    Segment operating profit was $201 million in the fourth quarter, 8 percent higher than prior year fourth quarter.
    -Europe reported segment operating profit of $45 million, which was $17 million, or 61 percent higher than the prior year quarter. The gain in sales volume and benefits from manufacturing initiatives more than offset price-cost pressure in the region. Europe received an energy credit in the quarter that had been delayed for legislative reasons since 2015. Excluding the energy credit, Europe posted approximately 25 percent higher segment operating profit than the fourth quarter of 2015.
    -Segment operating profit for North America was $52 million in the quarter. This was $1 million higher than fourth quarter of 2015. The business benefited from further contributions from strategic initiatives.
    -Latin America's segment operating profit of $75 million was on par with the prior year quarter. Strong shipments by the Mexican business more than offset lower shipments in Brazil and Ecuador related to the challenging economic situation in those countries. The management team continues to successfully control costs.
    -Asia Pacific reported segment operating profit of $29 million, down $3 million compared with the prior year. This was mainly due to the aforementioned lower sales volumes and the costs for higher intra-regional shipments. The region is in a strong position exiting 2016, due to the high number of furnace rebuilds during the year.

    Full Year 2016 Results
    Full year net sales were $6.7 billion, up $546 million from 2015. The acquired business contributed $608 million in incremental sales (excluding organic growth from September through December 2016) which was partially offset by $108 million in adverse currency translation. Prices were 1 percent higher on a global basis, mainly due to price adjustments resulting from cost inflation. Global shipments increased 9 percent in 2016. Key contributors to growth were the acquired business, Europe, legacy North America, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

    Shipments in Europe increased nearly 2 percent, primarily due to favorable beer and wine volumes. In North America, sales volumes improved nearly 7 percent compared to the prior year period, mainly due to the acquired business, and higher shipments in all major end uses except beer which was on par with the prior year. Full year shipments for Latin America rose 41 percent, primarily due to the acquired business and growth in Colombia and Peru which was partially offset by the negative impact of economic weakness in Brazil and Ecuador. Overall, Asia Pacific shipments declined low single digits. In mature markets in Asia Pacific, sales volumes increased approximately 3 percent, primarily due to beer and wine. Sales volumes in China declined as domestic production was exported to support sales elsewhere in the region.

    Segment operating profit was $882 million in 2016, compared with $740 million in the prior year, an improvement of 19 percent.
    -In Europe, segment operating profit was $237 million, an improvement of $28 million over the prior year period, or 13 percent. The region profited from higher sales volumes and improvements in operating performance. These benefits were partially offset by lower average selling prices that were not fully offset by energy deflation. Europe received an energy credit in the fourth quarter that had been delayed for legislative reasons since 2015, which essentially offsets the adverse impact of the Brexit vote for the year.
    -North America's segment operating profit increased $34 million, or 13 percent. Approximately 80 percent of the increase was due to the acquired business. The legacy business also benefited from contributions from strategic initiatives and from higher sales shipments.
    -Segment operating profit in Latin America rose $86 million compared to prior year, an increase of 47 percent. The acquired business provided an incremental $94 million of segment operating profit for the region. Unfavorable currency translation and lower sales volumes in Brazil and Ecuador negatively impacted Latin America's segment operating profit.
    -Asia Pacific reported segment operating profit of $77 million which was $6 million below the prior year. The favorable impact from currency was more than offset by the costs for higher intra-regional shipments and lower production volume resulting from planned engineering activity, similar to the situation noted in the fourth quarter.

    Retained corporate and other costs were $98 million in 2016, which is in line with the past five-year average.

    Net interest expense in 2016 was $272 million, higher than the prior year primarily due to acquisition-related interest expense.

    The Company's effective tax rate from continuing operations for 2016 was approximately 33 percent, compared with almost 40 percent for 2015. The effective tax rate on adjusted earnings was approximately 24 percent for 2016 which is similar to approximately 25 percent in 2015.

    In 2016 and 2015, the Company recorded several significant items impacting reported results as presented in the table entitled Reconciliation to Adjusted Earnings and Constant Currency. Management considers these items not representative of ongoing operations. Charges in 2016 include restructuring and impairment charges of $129 million, primarily driven by restructuring activity in Europe, Latin America and at corporate.

    Cash provided by continuing operating activities was $758 million for 2016. After deducting additions to property, plant and equipment of $454 million, and adding back asbestos-related payments of $125 million, adjusted free cash flow was $429 million, in line with management guidance of $425 million.

    Outlook
    The Company expects earnings from continuing operations, and adjusted earnings, for the full year 2017 to be in the range of $2.40 to $2.50 per share. The midpoint of this range represents a 10 percent compounded annual growth rate in adjusted earnings per share since 2015. The Company expects cash provided by continuing operating activities for 2017 to be approximately $730 million and adjusted free cash flow to be approximately $365 million. As previously communicated, the decline in adjusted free cash flow from 2016 is mainly related to the non-recurrence of a VAT refund of approximately $130 million, partially offset by higher segment operating profit and stronger contributions from working capital.

    Despite the significant strengthening of the U.S. dollar, the earnings and cash flow guidance ranges are entirely consistent with targets conveyed by senior management during investor day in early 2016. The earnings and cash flow guidance ranges reflect uncertainty in macroeconomic conditions and currency rates, among other factors.
    (O-I Owens-Illinois Glass Containers)
     
    09.02.2017   Want to reduce the risk of unplanned GPHE downtime? This is the best advice you will get all year    ( Company news )

    Company news Getting the best plate heat exchanger performance requires preventive maintenance, especially for hygienic applications within the food, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical and home & personal care industries. Each process system, however, is different with different parameters that affect the heat transfer and sealing efficiencies of the plates and gaskets.

    Photo: Alfa Laval gasketed plate heat exchanger

    A gasket, its material properties and its construction are specifically selected to provide optimal sealing performance for its intended application. Knowing exactly when to replace gaskets is almost impossible since the timing varies, depending on the application. But over time, all gaskets wear due to natural aging as well as the temperature, pressure and stress of normal operating conditions.

    Without preventive maintenance, you risk unplanned downtime that can be costly.

    Things to consider:
    • Temperature and pressure: Higher operating temperatures and pressure cause more wear and tear on the gaskets.
    • Compression: Gaskets are subjected to local stress from the moment you first clip them on to and tighten the plates.
    • Store spare gaskets in a sealed bag, in a dry, cold and dark place, and away from ozone-producing equipment such as machines or light armatures.
    Alfa Laval Kolding A/S)
     


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