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    Company news Technological Innovation Award SIMEI 2017 to Gai S.p.A. and to Gruppo Bertolaso S.p.A.
    The prize-giving ceremony at SIMEI@drinktec in Munich on 12 September

    “Technological creativity and innovation are the pillars, on which the Innovation Challenge SIMEI “Lucio Mastroberardino” is founded. This award was established by Unione Italiana Vini to offer recognition to the innovations in the enological and bottling field, which can be useful for encouraging new ideas and bring the sector to higher and higher levels. As shown by the technological solutions that entered the contest and especially by the award-winning ones, Italian technology once again proved to be up to its leading role in the innovation of the wine-making sector”.

    This is how Paolo Castelletti, Secretary-General of Unione Italiana Vini (UIV), commented the results of the selections for the Innovation Challenge SIMEI “Lucio Mastroberardino”, whose prize-giving ceremony will take place during SIMEI, the most important exhibition for enology and bottling techniques that will be held from 11 to 15 September 2017 in Munich, in strategic partnership with drinktec, world leader trade show in the field of liquid food and beverage.

    It was possible to enter the Innovation Challenge “Lucio Mastroberardino” for all exhibitors, registered for SIMEI 2017, having a system, a machine or a product considered as state-of-the-art for the sector and capable of contributing to the development of the segments related to the vineyard-winery and beverage production chain.

    The technologies in the contest were evaluated by a Technical Scientific Committee, composed of authoritative experts belonging to the enological and to the viticultural world, to the scientific community. It also included some member-wineries of UIV, which announced the winners some days ago.

    The prestigious “Technological Innovation Award SIMEI 2017”, a "special mention" for the projects that are considered as the outcome of a great scientific competence, combined with field experiences - but especially as the fruit of genial minds, able to work "outside the box" and create knowledge synergies - was given to the Bottle Sorting Machine by GAI S.p.A., and to the Optimised-Weight Level Bottling Plant by GRUPPO BERTOLASO S.p.A..

    "This recognition is really important for our company, taking into account that our product is the only award-winning one in the sector of bottling lines. Our bottle sorting machine is upstream in the process, preceding the bottling phase - commented the engineer Guglielmo Gai. Developed by our R&D department, in synergy with some customers, who asked for our help in solving some practical problems in their production process, our bottle sorting machine is the fruit of a demanding, but really exciting and rewarding work. This award encourages us to continue on the path of technological research, which has always been our philosophy."

    "We are really proud to be able to compete with the big players and offer innovative and interesting solutions. Every year, Gruppo Bertolaso invests a large amount of its income to study and propose solutions in the market that may provide our clients with replies not only to the questions of today, but also to the queries of tomorrow - stated Cristina Bertolaso. In this view, the Award is part of a development process, which Gruppo Bertolaso undertook across-the-board for all its machines, in order to offer its customers not only productivity and quality, but also innovation and replies to the documentary and traceability needs that arise in each enterprise every day".

    Moreover, four companies have won the “New Technology SIMEI 2017”, dedicated to projects which imply such process and product innovations that, as a result, significant improvements in wine production and preservation may be expected. The winners were: AMORIM CORK ITALIA S.p.A. UNIPERSONALE with Ndtech, a technology of individual quality control for a quick industrial-scale analysis of corks; GARBELLOTTO with Precision Casks & Barriques, manufactured with DTS-digital-control toasting; LALLEMAND GMBH with Malotabs, selected Oenococcus oeni active bacteria in tablet format for a safe and simple inoculation with a highly active bacterial culture; VELO ACCIAI with Unico, a multi-phase, tangential filtration system for heterogeneous blends of different food matrices.

    “It is a recognition attesting how years of investments in research and development were able to produce something unique in the world" – commented Carlos Veloso dos Santos of Amorim.

    Piero Garbellotto, owner of the company Garbellotto S.p.A. is thinking along the same lines: "We acknowledge that technology is the means and research is an absolute value to achieve the preset targets and meet the increasingly more precise customers' needs".

    Jacopo Velo of Velo Acciai stressed the importance of investing in technological creativity: "This recognition rewards not only our company, but also our courage to invest in research and innovation. Today it is necessary to go above and beyond to be able to compete in the international markets".

    "We would like to congratulate UIV and the other award-winners of the Innovation Challenge contest - concluded Patrick Ramette, General Manager of Lallemand Oenology - for this important contribution to the progress in the field of wine production and we are proud to have played our part".

    The prize-giving ceremony will take place in the Hall C2 during SIMEI@drinktec at Messe München in Munich on 12 September at 5.00pm.
    (Unione Italiana Vini)
    12.07.2017   Thailand: Beer sales up 10% in May    ( )

    In Thailand, beer sales registered a 10% growth in May, the Singapore Business Review reported on July 3.

    RHB noted that Thailand's volume of beer sales has registered positive YoY growth of 5% and 10% in April and May, a stark turnaround from the 17% decline year-on-year in October last year after the passing of the late King.

    According to RHB, this could mean that beer consumption has already normalised in the country.

    "We expect 2H17 to continue to see positive growth in beer volumes. According to management, Thai Beverage (ThaiBev) has maintained its 40% market share in the beer segment as at April 2017. As such, we expect ThaiBev’s beer segment to perform in line with the market," the brokerage firm noted.

    On the other hand, whilst there is no market data released on spirits, RHB reckoned that the recovery in beer consumption can also be seen as a proxy for the consumption of spirits.

    "We anticipate the decline in spirit volumes to dissipate in 2H17. In addition, we note that agents stock up on spirits inventories in anticipation of a tax hike during January-March 2016, which resulted in strong sales number for ThaiBev in 2Q16. We expect a similar restocking phase by agents given that the new excise tax is scheduled to be implemented in September 2017," RHB noted.
    12.07.2017   USA: 2017 seen as 'especially slow' for craft beer so far    ( )

    Despite the fact that the number of beer brands has proliferated in the US, the number of drinkers has not. Sales have been flat for a few years and 2017 has been especially slow so far, the Economist reported on July 6.

    The volumes of beer sold at stores for the three months to June 17th were 1% lower than in the same period last year, according to Nielsen, a market-research firm. Brewers are now waiting with some anxiety for data about sales during the July 4th holiday. “The start of the year has been as bad as I can remember,” says Trevor Stirling of Sanford C. Bernstein, a research firm.

    The dip is the result of two problems, one old and one new. First, the consumption of wine and spirits is growing more quickly than that of beer, and has been for nearly 20 years. Women are drinking more booze but often prefer wine and spirits. Men are turning to a wider range of drinks, including whisky and wine.

    The second difficulty is that after years of effervescent growth, craft beer has gone flat. Volumes grew in 2016, but half as quickly as in 2015. In the 13 weeks to June 17th craft-beer sales and volumes both dropped, by 0.7% and 1.5%, respectively. It may be that craft beer has reached its natural limit, both because there are only so many people who want to buy it and because there is only so much shelf-space that stores can provide.

    Olivier Nicolai of Morgan Stanley, a bank, notes that many distributors and retailers are weary of dealing with a jumble of brands, with some cases of beer going bad before they can be sold. It is hard for retailers to know which beers to stock because consumers, spoiled for choice, have proved fickle. Sales of Saison farmhouse beers, a spicy pale ale, for example, rose by 28% in 2015, according to Nielsen, only to fall in 2016.

    As the market loses its fizz, debates are intensifying about whether independent beer companies can thrive in the shadow of behemoths such as AB InBev, which controls about half the American beer market. Last year the group, which is backed by 3G Capital, a New York-based private-equity firm, bulked up further by buying Britain’s SABMiller. By some measures AB InBev’s American division, Anheuser-Busch, looks less than intimidating. It is experiencing a much steeper drop in beer demand than craft brewers. In the four weeks to June 17th its Bud Light and Budweiser brands each saw volumes drop by more than 8%, declines not seen since 2009, in the depths of the financial crisis.

    But small brewers still fret about its scale. It has recently shown interest in buying small brands as well as big ones, downing nine American craft brewers in just the past three years. Some small brewers worry that AB InBev’s craft brands will push aside their own. Bob Pease of the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado, which represents independent beer firms, argues that AB InBev’s expanding portfolio of beer makers and its relationships with distributors may mean that few rivals make it onto delivery trucks. His group introduced a new seal in June to help consumers find properly independent brewers.

    João Castro Neves, head of AB InBev’s American business, disputes the idea that his company has a stranglehold on the market. “There is no way that Anheuser-Busch or anyone else can impose a beer on the consumer,” he insists. Brewers both large and small may find that increasingly hard to contest.
    12.07.2017   USA: The Brewers Association launches new seal for truly independent craft brewers    ( )

    The craft beer waters are muddied with beer giant Anheuser-Busch buying some small brewers and private equity firms having a hand in others, the Denverite reported on June 27.

    The Brewers Association recognizes it might be difficult for some beer drinkers to know if they’re really sipping craft beer. That’s why the Boulder-based promoter of the industry unveiled a new seal aimed at identifying beers that are independently produced.

    The seal is available for use free of charge by any of the more than 5,300 small and independent American craft brewers that have permission from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to operate. Brewers must also meet the Brewers Association’s definition of a craft brewery to use the seal, but they don’t have to be members of the nonprofit.

    In order to qualify as a craft brewer, breweries have to be less than 25 percent owned or controlled by an alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer, according to the Brewers Association. Colorado’s largest craft brewery, New Belgium Brewing Co., meets that threshold. AB-owned Breckenridge Brewery and 10 Barrel Brewing Co. do not.

    Independence has long been a hallmark of the craft brewing industry.

    “As big beer acquires former craft brands, beer drinkers have become increasingly confused about which brewers remain independent,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the Brewers Association.

    “Beer lovers are interested in transparency when it comes to brewery ownership. This seal is a simple way to provide that clarity — now they can know what’s been brewed small and certified independent,” Peas said in a statement.

    The fight over what kind of beer people are drinking partly boils down to money. Craft brewers are fighting to carve out a larger share of beer sales while beer giants are working on the opposite end to retain their dominance over the industry.

    While small and independent craft brewers represent 99 percent of the more than 5,300 breweries in the U.S., they make just 12 percent of the beer sold in the country, according to the Brewers Association.

    “Craft brewers build communities and the spirit of independent ownership matters,” said Rob Tod, chair of the Brewers Association Board of Directors and founder of Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland, Maine.

    “When beer lovers buy independent craft beer, they are supporting American entrepreneurs and the risk takers who have long strived not just to be innovative and make truly great beer, but to also build culture and community in the process,” Tod said in a statement.

    Company news How services help to build, maintain and improve beverage producers’ line performance throughout their asset lifecycle will be a key highlight for Sidel and Gebo Cermex services teams, exhibiting jointly as part of the Sidel Group at Drinktec 2017 (11-15 September).

    With the marketplace growing ever more competitive and with ever-changing consumer demand for greater flexibility, beverage producers are pushing the limits of their production equipment to their very maximum. This increasingly emphasises the need to secure optimum performance throughout their asset lifecycle.

    Jean-François Tourrenc, Gebo Cermex Vice President Services, comments – “Beverage producers need to be able to focus on their core business – achieving the productivity levels and meeting the quality targets that are key to profitability. In order to do that, they need to rely on continuous performance throughout the whole production process. Clearly, each stage of production comes with specific requirements: after designing and building a piece of equipment or a line, a fast and safe start-up allows the benefits of the asset to be realised more quickly through well trained operators. Once production has started, the main objective is to maintain and enhance the value of the investment made in the equipment, getting the most out of it. This is where stable and continuous performance is required, to achieve total control and predictability of line output and operational costs over time. Throughout the assets’ lifecycle, longer-term competitiveness is secured, continually ensuring that installed solutions are flexible enough to accommodate evolving consumers’ needs and technology developments, while constantly reducing environmental footprint and TCO (total cost of ownership).”

    Continuous performance means maximum production uptime and constant availability of materials, technical and field support. Tourrenc continues – “We will showcase how the Sidel and Gebo Cermex Services portfolio can help beverage producers to secure no-stop operations, via a real partnership with their OEM (original equipment manufacturer). Today leading organisations are leaving behind reactive maintenance: they understand that more proactive approaches can lead to more predictability over production output and costs over time. A close partnership with the OEM is crucial in adopting such a path.”

    Among the new Sidel and Gebo Cermex services launched at Drinktec are:
    - Modular maintenance solutions, evolving from existing support and supervision packages, offering tailored answers to customers’ needs. This enables manufacturers to achieve maximum availability and reliable production, while controlling costs.
    - Customised training solutions, helping beverage producers build their teams’ performance. This allows a shorter time-to-market and a safe vertical start-up, together with reduced long-term Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) for better efficiency.
    (Sidel International AG)
    10.07.2017   Aptar Food + Beverage Invites You to Discover our Extended Product Line at Drinktec 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news Aptar Food + Beverage is dedicated to developing innovative delivery systems designed to provide value to the food and beverage packaging industries.
    At Drinktec, Aptar invites you to take a closer look at the well-known Original family of flip-top sport closures, available in different neck finishes and valve capable. Also, Contender 38mm bi-injected, part of the Original family, is a liner-less flip-top sport cap designed for the hot fill bottling process. The closure’s innovative bi-injected sealing system delivers good product protection but without the added foil liner.

    Also based on the Original sport closure platform, Uno, a one-piece sport cap suitable for cold and ambient filling is already available worldwide in 28mm PCO 1881 and will be soon available in 38mm neck finish with a two-start or a three-start version.

    Aptar Food+Beverage and GualapackGroup combined their expertise and consumer-trusted products into one unique package solution, the No-Spill Pouch fitment shown for the first time at Interpack in Dusseldorf, Germany in early May 2017. It offers the safety and convenience of Aptar’s SimpliSqueeze® valve in the squeezable, eye-catching and fun-to-use Gualapack’s CheerPack® spouted pouch.
    Aptar will also unveil more innovative dispensing systems at Drinktec such as a closure for large PET beverage containers and the new sport cap generation with a visible and non-detachable tamper evident system. For instance, the new sport closure Avantage actually uses an intuitive press button tamper evidence system. Inside is the affordable value-added sport closure that differentiates itself in a competitive market. Guardian sport closure brings a safe consumer experience that will generate repeated purchases. All three of them are SimpliSqueeze® valve capable.

    Plan today to visit Aptar at Drinktec - Hall 4 stand number 210.
    To receive a free entry pass, please send an e-mail to
    Delivering solutions, shaping the future.
    (Aptar Food + Beverage)
    10.07.2017   SIG Combibloc launches a new digital solution for traceability, digital marketing and ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... supply chain optimisation

    SIG Combibloc, one of the world’s leading solution providers for the food and beverage industry, in partnership with Languiru, Rio Grande do Sul’s second largest production cooperative, is launching an unprecedented digital solution. This solution provides transparency for quality and food safety, optimises production processes and enables personalised digital marketing promotions.

    The project started with the launch of the Languiru “Qualidade do início ao Fim” (“Quality from Beginning to End”) dairy line. The filled aseptic carton packs from SIG Combibloc are printed with individual and unique QR codes at the time of production. In addition, the trays are printed with unique QR codes; the pallets with barcodes. This provides a convenient digital solution to monitor the supply chain and the quality process from the collection of raw material up to the milk’s industrialisation and commercialisation via a single platform. It ensures operational traceability from the raw product to the point of sale. This means that Languiru can prove the quality of their products to consumers in a fast, practical and accessible way.

    Using this new digital solution, Languiru can locate every single packaged product at any point in the supply chain, whether for quality crosscheck or for recalls (if necessary), resulting in greater value and protection of its brands.

    To provide further convenience to consumers, when the QR code is read they are automatically directed to the website relevant for the product inside that packaging. The website is an integral part of this SIG solution and contains information on the customer’s quality system, the product and the production process, as well as an interactive interface.

    “The launch of this new digital platform represents our response to three consumer mega-trends: connectivity – consumers are increasingly aware and want to receive information anywhere at any time; authenticity and trust – through total transparency of quality information, food safety and procedures to prevent fraud; and finally, natural products with a certificate of origin that are free from chemicals, genetically modified crops, among other things,” says Ricardo Rodriguez, President and General Manager SIG Combibloc Americas.

    The advantages of this new technology, to be exported to more than 65 countries supplied by SIG, include the fact that it also maintains the control and management of production lines. This maximises the plant’s overall efficiency and cuts operational and investment costs by means of a specific information intelligence tool known as Power BI.

    The unique QR codes also allow the simplification and customisation of promotions, such as those developed for a specific chain of supermarkets or in a specific region of the country. For this type of campaign, SIG has developed a unique application that will allow the development of rich databases for marketing and sales analysis.

    Packaging with QR Code will be available for the following Languiru products: UHT whole milk, skimmed milk, semi-skimmed milk, zero lactose and UHT chocolate milk. The packages have an ergonomic and modern shape. The screw cap allows for opening in a single twist and closes perfectly. The visible seal still offers high security against tampering.

    Other distinctive features
    A proprietary application connected to the MES (Manufacturing Execution System) was developed to track the product in the supply chain. Inside the factory, the information is collected via interfaces with the client’s ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning), data entries, tablets and data collectors. RFID technology is used to incorporate quality information from the packaging.

    The platform developed by SIG is open, enabling connection to equipment from different suppliers. The interfaces are efficient both for capturing information and for performing process data analysis to optimise manufacturing efficiencies and reduce operating and investment costs. QR codes are printed with antifraud paint.

    “We have no doubt that from now on we will have a greater competitive advantage within the market compared to many other brands. The new technology enables us to offer differentiated products. Our consumers are able to trace the origin of the products right to the shelf,” says Dirceu Bayer, president of Languiru. “Besides that, we benefit from detailed end-to-end value chain performance monitoring, which will support us to continuously improve operations and logistics. SIG understood our demands and developed a tailor-made product for Languiru specifically to demonstrate this quality and thus add value to our brand”.
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)

    Company news ... AT DRINKTEC

    Exhibiting as part of the Sidel Group, along with Gebo Cermex, Sidel will be introducing a number of breakthrough packaging solutions at Drinktec 2017 (stand A6.330), to help producers meet the challenges of ever-changing demands in beverage markets.

    Frédéric Sailly, Executive Vice President for Product Management and Development at Sidel, comments – “Beverage producers, brand owners and co-packers need to stay competitive in an evolving and demanding market, with easy-to-use, smart, flexible and customised solutions. At Drinktec 2017 we are looking forward to showing how this understanding of our customers’ needs and the trends in the liquid packaging industry enables us to deliver greater performance for bottling lines. The future-proof technologies and market-tailored innovations on display on our stand are designed to achieve these goals while optimising total costs of ownership (TCO) and ensuring high product quality and enhanced versatility.”

    Among the global launches taking place at Drinktec (11-15 September) are:
    - The Sidel Super Combi - an all-in-one system for water and carbonated soft drinks (CSD) production that delivers ready-to-sell products at very high speed, with maximum uptime and ease of operation – all at the lowest TCO. Integrated equipment intelligence means it continuously self-optimises for the best possible performance and efficiency, making it one smart solution.
    - The new modular labeller which has the flexibility to accommodate different labelling technologies applicable to both glass and PET containers, for easy and quick format changeovers and increased productivity.
    - The new Sidel can and glass fillers, based on the proven Sidel Matrix™ platform, offer producers of beer and CSD improved hygienic conditions, maximised efficiency and high flexibility. This allows the production of top quality drinks that meets strict standards in terms of sustainability.

    Another highlight at Drinktec 2017 will be the Sidel Group Agility 4.0™ framework. This offers customers digitally-aided understanding, enhanced performance and packaging mass customisation opportunities. Additionally, solutions to handle aseptic and hot fill production in PET will be a particular focus on the stand with experts available to discuss these technologies. Recently, Sidel received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Aseptic Combi Predis™ FMa blow fill seal filler. This solution is the world’s first aseptic PET filling equipment with dry preform sterilisation validated for low acid manufacturing and commercial distribution in the United States and other FDA markets. Recognising the importance of services, Sidel will also be highlighting its Sidel Services™ portfolio which helps customers to build, maintain and improve the performance of bottling lines throughout the production lifecycle.
    (Sidel International AG)
    06.07.2017   UNITED CAPS New Automated Warehouse in Wiltz Celebrated    ( Company news )

    Company news Grand opening celebration featured the Honourable Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy, Minister of Internal Security, and Minister of Defence

    Photo: New fully automated warehouse in action.

    UNITED CAPS, an international producer of innovative caps and closure solutions and a global industry reference for the design and production of high performance plastic caps and closures, today reported it held a grand opening celebration at its brand-new fully automated warehouse that increases its storage capacity by 30%, from 3,000 palettes to 4,500.

    “We opened our plant in Wiltz 25 years ago and have made significant investments in the operation each year,” says Benoît Henckes, CEO. “It is the largest UNITED CAPS plant and arguably one of the most productive and technologically advanced in Europe. The addition of this new fully automated warehouse facility is the latest masterpiece to complete the factory. It is designed to support our manufacture of more than nine billion high-performance closures and caps each and every year. Our special thanks go to the authorities of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg who have been unerring in their support for our efforts. This development, plus our plans to break ground on our first non-European site in Malaysia in 2018, are signs of our healthy growth and our dedication to our ‘Close to You’ strategy designed to strengthen ties with our key customers around the globe.”

    Close to You: Customer Advantages
    In addition to increasing storage by 30%, the new warehouse brings a number of customer advantages, including:
    -Significantly improved logistical quality with quality inspections conducted during the entire storage and loading process. Industry-leading automated inspection processes have been implemented.
    -100% First-In-First-Out automatic management of inventory ensures best quality products.
    -The two aisles, each 50 x 10 meters with multiple levels featured products symmetrically in both aisles ensuring accurate delivery even should a breakdown be experienced.

    Henckes adds, “The new warehouse also enables faster loading of trucks – we can now load 10 trucks per day. It also improves our environmental sustainability by eliminating the need to move product to an external warehouse and by virtue of the fact that its state-of-the-art energy management system results in very low power consumption. Open house attendees were able to see all of this first-hand, and I believe they were quite impressed!”

    Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy honoured the event
    UNITED CAPS was especially pleased that the Honourable Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy, Minister of Internal Security, and Minister of Defence took time from his busy schedule to speak at the event. “Minister Schneider has been particularly supportive of our efforts,” Henckes adds. “Although Wiltz is a relatively small city, it is projects such as this one from UNITED CAPS that validate the spirit of innovation that permeates the City. It is initiatives like this, and the support of Grand Duchy authorities, that make Wiltz an increasingly attractive destination for businesses of all types.”
    (United Caps)
    05.07.2017   A new method for producing plant-based drinking bottles from FDCA    ( Company news )

    Company news VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed an environmentally sound and economical method for producing furan dicarboxylic acid (FDCA) from plant sugars for the production of drinking bottles, paints and industrial resins, for example. This technology enables production of plant-based products.

    The main production material of drinking bottles is still oil-based PET although there has been news on alternatives based on renewable materials during the last few years. VTT's new method provides a new route for the packaging and beverage industries to expand the use of renewable materials in their production.

    VTT has patented the method for producing furan dicarboxylic acid (FDCA), the monomer for PEF polymers, from sugar or sugar waste. Thanks to the solid acid catalyst and biobased solvent with short reaction time, the method provides a considerable reduction of toxic waste compared to traditional methods.

    The method can be scaled-up to industrial purposes without substantial investments, and it has already raised a lot of interest in industry.

    The R&D work has been funded by VTT and Tekes.

    VTT will present the method in its "Green Plastics without the bio-premium" webinar on 27th September, 2017.
    (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)


    Sidel has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Aseptic Combi Predis™ FMa blow fill seal filler following tests run at a dairy customer in North America. This means that the Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis FMa PET filler is validated for low acid manufacturing and commercial distribution in the United States market. The Sidel Aseptic blow fill seal solution is the world’s first aseptic PET filling equipment with dry preform sterilisation approved by FDA.

    “We are particularly proud of this FDA acceptance”, explains Guillaume Rolland, Sensitive Products Director at Sidel. “It confirms our Aseptic Combi Predis design is compliant with the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements.” This FDA approval officially qualifies the Sidel aseptic solution with dry preform sterilisation technology to produce and distribute shelf-stable low acid products in PET bottles for the US market.

    Independent evaluation from experienced organisation
    The Process Authority for the Sidel aseptic filler was Dover Brook Associates (DBA). DBA applied their 30 years of professional experience in sterile processes to validate the scheduled processes of the Aseptic Combi Predis. Using a scientific-based approach of specific tests and acceptance criteria, DBA was able to prove that the scheduled processes were in compliance with the predicate rules and expectations of the FDA so that the equipment could produce a commercially sterile low acid product.

    The successful completion of this extensive and exhaustive evaluation process confirms the performance of the other 100 Combi Predis lines in operation worldwide. Sidel’s key accounts, along with co-packers and local brands, have been manufacturing low and high acid products using PET line applications for nearly 10 years. This regulatory acceptance demonstrates how the Sidel patented technology is 100% safe for the packaging of UHT milk, soymilk, coconut water, or teas in PET bottles, sold through the ambient chain market in the US and the rest of the world.

    A scientific approach for regulatory validation
    The Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis merges dry preform sterilisation with aseptic blowing, filling and sealing functions within a single production enclosure and respects the fundamental concept which underpins state-of-the-art aseptic packaging rules: producing a commercially sterile product, filled in a sterile zone, in a previously sterilised package. It differs from traditional aseptic technology because the package sterilisation takes place at the preform rather than at the bottle phase.

    DBA conducted a detailed review of the design, critical factors, and the sterile zone boundaries. The stringent validation tests were performed on a commercial filler producing aseptic UHT milk, and all the tests were successfully passed. “We accumulated more science from these tests performed with DBA. They challenged and validated the process and the technology itself”, explains Arnaud Poupet, Aseptic Product and Platform Manager at Sidel. DBA concluded that the minimised sterile zone provided a safe and successful aseptic process that produced a commercially sterile, hermetically sealed bottle. “DBA’s testing demonstrated that the sterile zone during the blowing process was the critical component, not the blow-moulding zone itself, which was due to the Sidel patented dry-preform sterilisation technology”, comments Poupet. The scheduled processes require minimal critical factors, which have to be monitored during the production, cleaning and sterilisation phases of the aseptic process. The critical parameters are continuously monitored to ensure full production sterility, beverage integrity and food safety. “Our best warranty for food safety is simplicity, because a line with a small sterile zone and minimal critical factors is managed more safely, easily and effectively,” continues Poupet.

    “We partnered with one of the major dairy producers in North America who was confident of the safety and efficiency of the Aseptic Combi Predis. He invested in the solution to introduce new UHT liquid dairy products in PET bottles. Under the coordination of DBA, we went through a rigorous FDA qualification process at the FDA registered customer site”, explains Poupet. The Aseptic Combi Predis approved by the FDA is very similar to the existing machines installed for aseptic production in customers’ plants worldwide.

    A proven technology successfully implemented worldwide
    Sidel’s reputation is built on a long history and experience with sensitive products: 40 years in aseptic beverages and dairy bottling solutions, more than 35 years in PET packaging and 50 years in blowing. Sidel was a pioneer in preform sterilisation, allowing the first production of PET bottles for UHT milk on a Sidel aseptic Combi with this dry preform sterilisation technology in 2002. With its proven and patented solution, Sidel Predis, Sidel continues to enjoy a leading position in sensitive beverages and liquid dairy production technology. Sales of Sidel Predis have grown steadily as companies throughout the world have recognised the benefits it offers: safety and simplicity, cost-effectiveness, no water and use of very few chemicals (offering significant environmental advantages). More than 100 Combi Predis installations worldwide are a clear endorsement of this technology by major beverage and dairy companies, many of which produce leading national and international brands. The high level of customer satisfaction is ultimately the best indicator of the reliability of the technology.
    (Sidel International AG)
    04.07.2017   Successful across the board: KHS Group again boosts turnover in 2016    ( Company news )

    Company news -Total sales rise to €1.18 billion
    -Further development of existing and launch of new systems in 2016
    -Positive outlook for current year with clear areas of focus

    The KHS Group has ratified its successful development of the previous year and again boosted its turnover, with sales totaling €1.18 billion last year. Its operating profit (EBT) significantly rose thanks to contributions from internal improvement programs to this end. Especially successful projects in Asia and Central America and a heavy demand for PET and can filling systems helped to promote sales. In the current business year the Group wishes to score further with innovations at the leading international drinktec trade show taking place from September 11 – 15, 2017, in Munich, Germany.

    The ongoing development of resource-saving technologies and packaging systems will play a significant role here. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer (photo), chairman of the Executive Management Board, places the focus on the Group’s role as an innovative driver of the industry. “Besides the very pleasing business generated by our existing systems and in service we now find ourselves on a broader footing compared to a few years ago thanks to the successful market launches of our innovations.” KHS’ service organization has been built up worldwide, for example, and consumables are now again directly included in the company portfolio. This added value, coupled with the Group’s reliable and very efficient lines, has generated a number of significant orders in all business areas. There is a growing demand across the entire range of filling and packaging machinery offered by the systems supplier: from PET through cans to glass and kegs, in practically all sectors from beer through soft drinks to water or sensitive beverages for hot filling. “This shows that we’re not only strong in one area but throughout the entire line business, where thanks to a high level of standardization we offer a very attractive portfolio,” emphasizes Niemeyer.

    Examples of this include the growing demand for glass and canning lines on the company’s home market of Germany, successful implementation of PET block systems in the USA, India and Indonesia and the sale of several high-performance hot filling PET lines to South America and Africa. For many of the projects concluded in 2016 follow-up orders have also already been placed. According to KHS, this is primarily thanks to the consistent standardization of their product portfolio and the high level of expert advice given when answering customer queries.
    Positive outlook for the current year

    KHS wishes to boost the result it has again improved on even further. “We want to continue to be convincing, above all with powerful products and innovations which are geared towards our customers’ requirements and work reliably at their plants,” Niemeyer explains. In this context the systems provider also makes reference to its commitment to all of its stakeholders and will publish a new sustainability report this year.
    (KHS GmbH)
    03.07.2017   HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICATION – Latest lubrication technology in field test    ( Company news )

    Company news Last month we started to test our latest conveyor belt lubrication technology HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICATION. The first results are promising.

    Belt lubrication systems are a must for conveyor belts. Especially in the food and beverage industry, in addition to the optimal functioning, hygienic conditions must also be observed. We are proud of the result of more than 30 years of experience. HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICATION (HPL) is a combination of the ULTRA DRY and the established LOEHRKE dry lubrication system. HPL was designed especially for high filling rates and difficult bottle shapes.

    The control via an user-friendly app makes it easy to apply the lubricant exactly where it is needed. This enables the operator to reduce consumption to a minimum, it protects the environment and is lowering operating costs. Another major plus is the absence of fresh water. This means no waste water issues, preserves resources and the conveyor belts and floors stay dry. Dry equipment and floors is an important precondition to avoid microbiological growth while work safety is improved highly.

    The innovative LOEHRKE HIGH PERFORMANCE LUBRICATION allows the application of a minimum amount of lubricant without aerosol formation. By means of the special nozzles, an extremely fine application is possible with uniform distribution over the entire width of the conveyor belt. The combination with the brushes allows application of a metered quantity of liquid, which is released slowly. The concentrated lubricant is distributed uniformly as a very thin film on the surface of the conveyor belt. In this case, the film can be so thin that the application does not accumulate on the deflection rollers below the transporter.

    Visit us at the DRINKTEC September, 11. – 15. 2017, Messe München, Hall A3.111.
    (Jürgen Löhrke GmbH)
    30.06.2017   Ardagh Group – Only U.S. Glass Container Manufacturer to Earn ENERGY STAR® Certifications    ( Company news )

    Company news Ardagh Group, Glass – North America, a division of Ardagh Group (NYSE: ARD) and a leading producer of glass containers for the food and beverage industries in the United States, was awarded three ENERGY STAR® plant certifications for superior energy performance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – the only U.S. glass container manufacturer to earn this recognition.

    The three Ardagh Group manufacturing facilities, located in Bridgeton, N.J.; Dunkirk, Ind.; and Madera, Calif.; have demonstrated best-in-class energy performance and perform within the top 25 percent nationwide for energy efficiency when compared to similar plants across the country. This is the third consecutive year for Bridgeton, the fourth consecutive year for Madera, and the fifth consecutive year for Dunkirk to be awarded ENERGY STAR plant certifications.

    “Ardagh Group is honored to remain the only U.S. glass container manufacturer to earn the prestigious ENERGY STAR plant certifications,” said John Riordan, President and CEO of Ardagh Group, Glass – North America. “Through this achievement, we have demonstrated our dedication to the environment by continuing to maximize the use of recycled materials at our facilities and optimizing our manufacturing operations to improve energy performance.”

    Meeting strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA, Ardagh Group’s three recognized glass facilities have improved in four key areas:
    -energy performance by upgrading and optimizing furnaces;
    -utilizing recycled glass;
    -installing energy-efficient lighting fixtures; and
    -repairing air compressor leaks.

    Since 2010, nine Ardagh Group, Glass – North America facilities have received 29 ENERGY STAR plant certifications.

    ENERGY STAR was introduced by the EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products, as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. For more than twenty years, American families and businesses have saved a total of nearly $362 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR.

    “Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s industrial facilities is critical to protecting our environment,” said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the plant floor to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their facilities more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”
    (Ardagh Glass Inc.)
    30.06.2017   EcoVadis Again Assigns Gold Status to Symrise for Sustainability Management    ( Company news )

    Company news Symrise among the top three percent of all rated companies
    — Company awarded gold status for third time for its corporate social responsibility
    — Top marks in environment and procurement

    For the third time in a row, the sustainability rating agency EcoVadis has awarded the fragrance and flavor manufacturer Symrise the gold status for outstanding sustainability management. In terms of ecological, social and ethical sustainability, the Holzminden-based company was once more among the top three percent of all manufacturers evaluated by EcoVadis in its category.

    In the overall rating of its corporate social responsibility of 72 out of 100 possible points, Symrise achieved a rating far above the sector average and exceeded its own top score from the previous year by four points. In the environment section, the Group was again among the top two percent of its category with 80 points. Symrise improved its production practices to 70 points, therefore ranking among the best four percent in its category.

    “We are delighted that we have been able to further improve our production of fragrances and flavors,” says Hans Holger Gliewe, Chief Sustainability Officer of Symrise AG. “Every employee who has contributed to this progress can be particularly proud of this result.”

    CSR Rating Assesses 21 Criteria
    EcoVadis analyzes and rates the sustainability performance of companies according to 21 criteria in the areas of the environment, social aspects, ethics and sustainability in the supply chain. The aim is to make it easier to integrate sustainability criteria into business relationships. That would allow companies to determine quickly whether their suppliers fulfill relevant sustainability standards. Key companies in the consumer goods industry in particular use the EcoVadis online portal to evaluate suppliers in this regard.

    “With the CSR rating from EcoVadis, Symrise is able to transparently present its sustainability services to both existing and new customers while establishing itself as a preferred partner”, explains Gliewe.

    Making CSR Comparable
    EcoVadis analysts first compare the achievements of the company in the four areas environment, social aspects, ethics as well as sustainability in the supply chain. The results are shown for each area using an index value between 0 and 100 points. These sub-results are then weighted based on the industry and the size of the company to determine the overall CSR rating. The companies in the industry that were evaluated received an average of 43 of 100 possible points as in the previous year.
    (Symrise AG)
    29.06.2017   Now available: Pigor Mortis    ( Company news )

    Company news The territorially disputed island of San Juan on the USA/Canada border, was peacefully inhabited by both US & British settlers until 15th June 1859, when Lyman Cutter shot Charles Griffiths' pig for raiding his potatoes.

    The ensuing dispute escalated to the point where by August 10, 1859, 461 Americans with 14 cannon were opposed by five British warships mounting 70 guns and carrying 2,140 men.

    Not until 1872 was the situation resolved in favour of the USA. To this day the event is commemorated by the flying of the Union flag at the British camp site in Garrison Bay.

    Hops used are USA Warrior & Jaryllo v English Challenger.
    (Burton Bridge Brewery)
    28.06.2017   Nothing to be desired    ( Company news )

    Company news SCHÄFER Container Systems at the drinktec, with SSI Schäfer, new KEG sizes and an interactive zone

    SCHÄFER Container Systems, the manufacturer of reusable beverage container systems (KEGs), IBCs and special containers will be presenting its complete portfolio for the beverage and liquid food industry at the drinktec from 11 to 15 September. The new DIN type ECO KEG is making its first appearance at a trade fair as a 50 l version. At SCHÄFER’s almost 300 m² stand no. 502 in hall A1, visitors and other interested participants are also invited to try out the new KEG App in an interactive zone and to enjoy a selection of Czech beers with beer sommelier Karl Schiffner. The range on show is completed by expertise from sister enterprise SSI Schäfer, a full-range supplier and manufacturer of components for logistics solutions, conveyor systems and logistics software.

    This extensive product portfolio doesn’t only cover the large family of KEGs for beer, wine and soft drinks, but also the many useful and important additions and accessories that go with these well-known reusable container systems. For example, SCHÄFER Container Systems will be presenting conceptual solutions for the increasingly important transponder technology. In addition, the company has set up an interactive zone at its stand, where people can test the new KEG App. The settings entered on the tablet are to be shown live on the big screen erected behind it, to provide visitors with much clearer visualization of the design and customization potential of SCHÄFER’s enormous KEG variety.

    “For us, a world leading trade fair like the drinktec, is one of the highlights of 2017. We are really looking forward to being able to have the expertise and portfolio of SSI SCHÄFER as part of our exhibition this year. With our sister enterprise’s logistics concepts and know-how, we’re not only showing just how far the expertise and solutions provided by the SCHÄFER GRUPPE actually go, we’re also offering manufacturers an attractive and, above all, cross-divisional product range for the entire beverages and liquid food markets, that leaves nothing to be desired”, says Guido Klinkhammer, Business Unit Sales Director at SCHÄFER Container Systems.
    28.06.2017   Save time and lost revenue with this easy valve matrix solution    ( Company news )

    Company news Processes in hygienic industries - such as beverage, food, dairy, pharma and personal care - are becoming increasingly complex. Some of the challenges include higher volumes, increased efficiency, reduction in water and energy use. That is why it is essential to optimize flow management without compromising flexibility, plant safety, product quality or hygiene.

    A valve matrix - also known as valve cluster - is a great option for maximizing process efficiency through optimized flow management. Each stage of the design and installation process is an important component to fully realizing potential in your process by saving time and avoiding lost revenue associated with production downtime.

    Compared to traditional flow plates, a valve matrix is designed to allow simultaneous circulation of liquids - including CIP - on several levels with the exact number of lines and rows to match the specific requirements of your process. The matrix ensures the flexibility for you to run multiple products to multiple destinations, while other lines are being cleaned.

    Installing a valve matrix with Alfa Laval Unique Mixproof Valves brings you outstanding product safety with good cleaning conditions and no risk of cross-contamination. It rules out the opportunity of human errors, which can occur using manual connection of lines and handling of swing bends.

    Pre-built matrices customized to meet your specific requirements
    In Alfa Laval, we are specialists in providing pre-built valve matrices customized to meet specific, individual requirements. Our expertise helps ensure you the most efficient flow management, using as few components as possible and dealing effectively with key issues that include thermal cycling, cleanability, drainability and flow control.

    Alfa Laval valve matrices can be supplied pre-assembled and pre-tested as well as fully wired and with all the necessary pneumatic tubing, junction boxes and control panels pre-connected. This means you can bring even complex installations online as quickly as possible, saving time and avoiding lost revenue associated with on-site assembly, troubleshooting and downtime.
    (Alfa Laval Kolding A/S)
    27.06.2017   Ardagh Embraces 'Crossover Innovation' To Create High Definition Glass Embossing    ( Company news )

    Company news Technology traditionally used in the chocolate industry has been adapted by Ardagh’s Design Team to create differentiation through high definition glass embossing, adding textures and feature enhancement to a standard never seen before in glass packaging.

    Unlike regular, two-dimensional embossing, the new process known as Sculptured Embossing allows glass sculpting to be achieved on multiple levels, creating intricate, lifelike detail, depth and dimension, enabling the premiumisation of glass bottles and jars. This technology has recently been used to replicate different texture effects including wooden planking and citrus peel, as well as to enhance the definition of scripted text and other branding icons.

    In the spirit sector, the technology has been used for Whyte and Mackay’s Claymore Whisky bottle. A more premium look and feel has been achieved by replicating the crest artwork on the label with an intricately embossed crest on the back of the bottle. This detailed new design features embossing across five different depths to add definition to the swords, scrolling, rose petals and banner.

    Robert McIndoe of Whyte and Mackay says:
    “We are delighted with the new embossing, it looks terrific and improves the shelf stand-out and aesthetic appeal of our packaging.”

    The technology has also been used in the food sector to add texture and expression to glass packaging in a way that is incredibly lifelike. A recent example is the new Duerr’s Citrus Jar, which is sculpted to look like a citrus fruit with its peel effect.

    Duerr’s Managing Director, Mark Duerr who originally presented Ardagh with the challenge to create a tactile jar with a peel effect, was delighted with the result, saying: “The Ardagh design team applied their expertise and embraced new technology to find a balance between meeting the aesthetic of the design brief with the practicalities of volume production.”

    It’s just one example of Ardagh’s exploration into crossover innovation, by embracing technologies and techniques from other industries. John Oczabruk, (OEG Mould Design Engineer - Glass Europe), explains how it works: “We use a haptic device to tug, pull, carve and smooth the on-screen 3D model by hand, and feedback lets us feel how we’re sculpting the design. It means we can add so much more artistic flair to create lifelike texture and expression, which isn’t possible with conventional embossing.”

    This new innovative technology has also delivered benefits in terms of quality at the design stage: the 3D model is fully relieved with no undercuts and all sharp mould edges are removed, so Ardagh can give mould suppliers the exact model of the embossing design, ready for machining.

    Carsten Berkau (OEG Design Manager - Glass Europe) comments: “The technology has brought benefits in terms of both design aesthetic and quality improvement, which has made it a real win with our customers.
    “Following its success and positive customer feedback, we have invested in two in-house design licenses for the Sculptured Embossing software, which are available to our glass customers worldwide.”
    (Ardagh Group)
    26.06.2017   EAFA: Strong domestic demand drives up alufoil deliveries in first quarter     ( Company news )

    Company news The year started with strong demand for all grades of aluminium foil in European markets. Production increased to 226,900 tonnes in the first quarter of 2017, 1.5 percent higher than the same period last time, according to the latest figures released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA). Exports continued to be volatile, showing a downturn in Q1 compared to the previous year, after a strong finish to 2016.

    Deliveries of both thicker foils, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications - ahead by 0.7% - and thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils - up 1.5% - confirm a continued steady recovery in the economies of the EAFA region, where total domestic shipments were up by 3.6% in the three months to March 2017.
    Strong competition from overseas foil rollers continues to affect aluminium foil exports from Europe, which dipped by 14% compared with the same quarter in 2016. But some of the influences which have had an adverse impact, such as currency factors, are now moderating, offering European manufacturers more opportunities.

    EAFA’s Executive Director, Guido Aufdemkamp confirmed that the prospects for the rest of the year are positive, “Certain factors, such as strong domestic demand from the flexible packaging sector and for technical applications, show an underlying strength in key markets for aluminium foil. This enables us to feel more confident about the upward trend we are seeing. Even exports, which remain harder to predict, are showing signs of recovery,” he added.

    Aluminium foil characteristics are strength, formability and barrier properties which have made it an essential part of many flexible packaging and container applications. Other uses of aluminium foil include automotive and heat exchange components, insulation material and many industrial applications.
    (EAFA - European Aluminium Foil Association e.V.)
    23.06.2017   Südzucker increases result substantially in fiscal year just ended    ( Company news )

    Company news Südzucker AG confirms last fiscal year’s preliminary numbers released on 24 April 2017. Südzucker group consolidated revenues for fiscal 2016/17 (1 March 2016 to 28 February 2017) came in at EUR 6,476 (previous year: 6,387) million. The consolidated group operating result rose considerably to EUR 426 (previous year: 241) million during the same period. All segments contributed to the increase, but especially the sugar segment. Group consolidated net income climbed to EUR 312 (previous year: 181) million.

    Dividend proposal
    The executive and supervisory boards will recommend to shareholders at the annual general meeting on 20 July 2017 that a dividend of EUR 0.45 (previous year: 0.30) per share be paid for fiscal 2016/17. Based on 204.2 million shares in circulation, the total dividend distribution will be EUR 91.9 million. Last year the total distribution was EUR 61.3 million.

    Sugar segment revenues fall but operating result clearly positive
    The sugar segment’s revenues declined to EUR 2,776 (previous year: 2,855) million, due especially to lower quota sugar volumes, but also falling non-quota sugar volumes because of the weaker 2015 harvest. Rising sugar sales revenues over the course of the fiscal year more than offset the lower volumes starting the second half of the year.

    The operating result improved substantially, to EUR 72 (previous year: -79) million, driven mainly by higher quota sugar sales revenues. Moderately rising prices since the beginning of October 2015 initially impacted the result at the beginning of the fiscal year. In addition, spot market income continued to rise in an overall positive market environment during the remainder of the year. This factor has now been driving all markets higher since October 2016.

    Expanded cultivation area and better yields lead to higher sugar production levels
    A significantly expanded cultivation area and an above average beet yield led to a higher total beet volume of 28.6 (previous year: 23.7) million tonnes in 2016/17. Production performance was almost the same as the year prior and the average campaign duration for all factories was 107 (previous year: 89) days. Thanks to mild, dry weather, the campaign progressed mostly problem free at all factories right into the winter months. Dry weather did hamper sugar beet pulling at some locations, which adversely affected factory deliveries, but only at the very start of the campaign.

    The group’s total sugar production rose to 4.7 (previous year: 4.2) million tonnes, of which 4.4 (previous year: 3.8) million tonnes was sugar produced from beets and 0.23 (previous year: 0.43) million tonnes sugar refined from raw sugar cane.

    Special products segment's revenues and operating result higher
    The special products segment's revenues rose from EUR 1,791 to 1,819 million. The increase was driven in part by the startup of the wheat starch plant at the Zeitz site, but above all, steady volume growth, so that declining sales income, caused in part by currency exchange factors, could be more than offset. Depreciation of the British pound following the BREXIT vote had a particularly negative impact on a number of the segment’s companies.

    The operating result was up again, to EUR 184 (previous year: 171) million, even beating last year's exceptionally high number. The continued sales volume growth in almost all business units was higher than the adverse impact of the startup of the starch plant in Zeitz and declining sales income.

    CropEnergies segment reports also higher revenues and operating result
    The CropEnergies segment's revenues rose to EUR 726 (previous year: 658) million, driven mainly by higher bioethanol production volumes, as well as food and animal feed, as a result of the restart of the plant in Wilton. This more than offset the reduced trading volumes due to higher in-house production and lower ethanol sales revenues.

    The division’s operating result again improved considerably despite declining ethanol sales revenues, beating last year's unusually strong result and hitting a record of EUR 98 (previous year: 87) million. Key drivers were sharply higher production and sales volumes and declining net raw material and energy costs.

    Fruit segment benefits especially from higher sales revenues for fruit juice concentrates
    The fruit segment's revenues rose to EUR 1,155 (previous year: 1,083) million. This increase was driven by slightly higher volumes, and especially higher sales revenues for apple juice concentrates.

    The segment's operating result improved year over year, rising to EUR 72 (previous year: 62) million. This increase is due to higher sales revenues and margins, combined with volume growth in the fruit juice concentrates division. However, the positive impact of volume and sales revenue growth in the fruit preparations division was not enough to completely offset higher costs.

    Workforce expands slightly
    The number of persons employed by Südzucker Group as of 28 February 2017 was 16,908 (previous year: 16,486), up 2.6 percent from last year's record date. The special products segment's higher headcount was mostly attributable to the Freiberger and starch divisions. For example, over 200 new jobs were created at the British pizza factory in Westhoughton, as capacity utilization expanded. Campaign operations at the sugar factories and in parts of the special products segment, together with the seasonality of the fruit business, cause the size of the workforce to fluctuate over the course of the fiscal year.

    Südzucker named favorite food products sector employer
    In a survey titled "Deutschlands beste Arbeitgeber im Vergleich" [comparing Germany's best employers], conducted by the German news magazine FOCUS in cooperation with Statista GmbH and Kununu, Südzucker placed second in the "food and luxury items, animal feed and drugstore products, medical consumables" category. First place went to a company outside the food products sector. The evaluation considered the following parameters, among others: opinion of the company's own employees, opinion of other workers in the same sector and employer rating as captured by the website.

    Outlook for the current 2017/18 fiscal year
    Südzucker is forecasting consolidated group revenues of EUR 6.7 to 7.0 billion (fiscal 2016/17: 6.5) for the current 2017/18 fiscal year (1 March 2017 to 28 February 2018). We expect the sugar and fruit segment’s revenues to increase moderately and the special products segment’s to rise slightly. Südzucker expects the CropEnergies segment's revenues to range between EUR 725 and 800 (fiscal 2016/17:726) million.

    Südzucker expects the operating result to rise further. It should come in at between EUR 425 to 500 (fiscal 2016/17: 426) million, driven mainly by better sugar segment results. After the records set in 2016/17, the company expects a significant retreat in both the special products and CropEnergies segments. Südzucker expects a year-over-year increase in the fruit segment.
    (Südzucker AG)
    23.06.2017   Symrise expands presence in British beverage market through acquisition of Cobell Limited    ( Company news )

    Company news - Cobell as number one supplier for juices in Great Britain ideally complements Symrise’s activities
    - Symrise to increase customer proximity in the British beverage market segment
    - Cobell and Symrise to become the leading single source for beverage ingredients and formulations

    Symrise AG will strengthen its position in the British market segment for beverages. The Company has signed an agreement to acquire Cobell Limited from the Managing Partners. Cobell, which was established in 1999, is the largest supplier of processed fruit and vegetable juices in Great Britain and a leading supplier across Europe. Cobell ideally complements the activities and will enhance Symrise’s local presence and customer proximity.

    "Knowhow meets innovation – this is the guiding principle of our acquisition of Cobell. The Group is firmly anchored in the British market and operates with extremely high customer orientation. It thus represents an ideal match for Symrise. In recent years, we have seen increased demand for innovative beverage solutions. Together with Cobell we prepare the ground for accelerated growth and expand our footprint. By combining Cobell’s impressive application and manufacturing capacities with our strong portfolio of natural flavors and our joint technological knowhow we will become a driving force. In addition, we will significantly enhance our customer proximity and act as single source for beverage ingredients and formulations in Great Britain,” said Dirk Bennwitz, President Flavor Segment EAME.

    Symrise has been active for more than five decades in Great Britain and is a highly valued supplier to the Food and Beverage industry. After significantly growing the sweet and savory activities in the past, Symrise now aims to further drive growth in the British beverage market category which comprises annual sales potential of more than £ 100 million. Cobell’s state-of-the art manufacturing sites will play a decisive role in reducing lead times and make Symrise a partner that is even closer to its customers.

    Cobell runs a modern plant in Exeter covering the full production cycle from sourcing ingredients, developing customer-specific recipes to blending and packaging products on an aseptic basis. The product range comprises juices, purees, cordials, concentrates and alcoholic drinks. Cobell generated sales of about £ 50 million (€ 58 million) in 2016 and employs 56 people. Symrise will continue to run Cobell’s activities under the well-established Cobell brand.

    "We are delighted to have found a strong new owner for Cobell. Symrise shares the same mindset culturally and from a business perspective. Cobell will benefit from Symrise’s strong access to an impressive range of natural ingredients, as well as additional technologies, such as in taste modulation. Symrise on the other hand will be able to enhance its local supply chain and benefit from Cobell’s specialist sourcing and global supply base. Together we will be able to significantly increase our offering and differentiate ourselves in the market with tailor made solutions that fully respond to local consumer needs," said Nick Sprague, Chairman and founder of Cobell.

    Both parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the acquisition. Closing of the transaction is expected to take place at the beginning of July 2017.
    (Symrise AG)
    22.06.2017   Collaboration and innovation recognised as Amcor secures three awards in ...    ( Company news )

    Company news ...DuPont Packaging Awards 2017

    Amcor’s customer-focused approach and accomplishment in collaboration and innovation has been recognised three times over by the 2017 DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.

    The global packaging company received a gold award in the Technological Advancement and Responsible Packaging categories for its Vento™ coffee packaging; silver for the 20-ounce Vitaminwater® bottle in the Responsible Packaging category; and – in partnership with Crown Holdings Inc. – a gold award for Peelfit™ in the Technological Advancement and Responsible Packaging categories.

    “Our global expertise is regularly producing packaging that is more functional, appealing, and cost effective for our customers and their consumers, and more sustainable for the environment,” said Brian Carvill, Vice President of Research, Development and Advanced Engineering for Amcor’s Rigid Plastics business.

    Dr. Carvill said it was an honour to have three Amcor products recognised this year by the DuPont Awards.
    “These products reflect Amcor’s commitment to collaboration and innovation with our customers, and demonstrate the company’s deep knowledge of customer processing and supply chain needs,” he said.

    The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) Vitaminwater bottle uses two Amcor innovations to improve performance, while weighing less than conventional hot-fill containers. The base of the bottle features Amcor’s PowerStrap™ technology to strengthen its structure and increase vacuum absorption during filling. The sidewall incorporates the company’s ActiveHinge™ technology to further improve rigidity. Besides reducing the weight of the package, these technologies also improve labelling efficiency and stacking strength.

    A second award was given for Vento, Amcor’s high-performance laminate for ground coffee and whole beans. The innovative packaging allows coffee producers to capture the flavour and aroma of freshly roasted coffee without the need for hard valves, extra machinery, and extra processing steps, explains Luca Zerbini, Vice President of Marketing, R&D and Sustainability for Amcor's Flexibles division in Europe.

    “Coffee roasters want to reduce the cost and complexity of packaging while increasing the speed of their operations,” said Mr. Zerbini. “The Vento degassing system is integrated into the laminate, provides more packaging design flexibility, runs on all coffee packing machines, and can increase the speed of the packaging process.”

    Vento maintains barrier integrity and product freshness, weighs less, and has a reduced carbon footprint compared to coffee packaging with hard valves. It removes the need to purchase and apply traditional valves, and allows coffee to be packed immediately after roasting with no additional equipment or steps.

    The third honoured product, Peelfit™ was developed by Crown Holdings Inc. using Amcor’s CanSeal Pro. Peelfit is designed for dry-food markets to address demands for greater convenience, reduced packaging weight, and increased product protection.

    “Peelfit is the result of work by Crown’s talented designers and engineers with our strategic packaging partner Amcor,” said Olivier Aubry, Business Development and Marketing Director, Crown Food Europe.

    Amcor’s CanSeal Pro is a revolutionary flexible membrane, which allows Peelfit™ to use less metal while maintaining performance and functionality. Sustainability benefits include the elimination of the rigid steel ring typically required in double seaming applications, making the container 16 percent lighter than conventional foil seam cans.

    The DuPont Awards for Packaging is an international, independently-judged competition that honors innovations in packaging design, materials, technology and processes throughout the entire packaging value chain. The judging panel evaluated more than 140 entries from 24 countries.

    Amcor has won DuPont Awards for a number of packaging solutions in recent years, including Formpack® Ultra, cold form blister packaging for the pharmaceutical industry, and a PET bottle for Method Products which contains 100-percent post-consumer recycled PET resin.
    (Amcor Limited)
    21.06.2017   UK: Carlsberg UK releases this year's Crafted portfolio and handbook    ( )

    Carlsberg UK has released this year’s Crafted portfolio and handbook featuring a new selection of craft beers including ‘Your beer, here?’ winner, Toast Ale, The Drinks Business reported on June 5.

    This year, Carlsberg UK has worked with beer writer Pete Brown to create its craft beer offering and accompanying handbook, Crafted. It boasts 65 beers and ciders, including five new draught beers and 12 new packaged world, craft and speciality beers.

    Toast Ale, launched in January 2016 on Channel 4’s Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s Friday Night Feast, uses unsold bread from bakeries and sandwich makers to brew beer. The UK’s first ‘bread to beer’ ale, it replaces a third of the barley used in the traditional beer production process with bread, while all profits are given to Feedback, a charity that aims to eradicate food waste. Toast Ale was awarded a ‘special commendation’ in last year’s Green Awards, impressing the judges with its striking business concept that highlights the importance of recycling.

    ‘Your beer, here?’ was launched by Carlsberg UK in February to give craft brewers and importers the opportunity to have one of their brews listed in Crafted 2017. This in turn made the winning beer available to be stocked in thousands of pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK for a year.

    Rob Wilson of Toast Ale, commented: “We are thrilled to have won Carlsberg UK’s first Your beer, here? competition. Although we are a relatively young company, we are ambitious and see this as a fantastic chance to share our brew and message with an established and wide network of national contacts.

    “Although we have formed a strong and loyal customer base in the off-trade, we hope our new partnership with Carlsberg UK will create an opportunity for us to conquer the on-trade”.

    Crafted 2017 also includes beers from Brooklyn Brewery following its partnership with Carlsberg UK. In addition to Brooklyn’s Lager and East India Pale Ale, Crafted features four new beers (American Ale, Sorachi Ale, ½ Ale, and Scorcher IPA) in packaged and draught formats.

    Adrian Rigby, marketing manager for Crafted at Carlsberg UK, commented: “We are incredibly excited about the fantastic range of craft beers that make up this year’s Crafted portfolio. We are committed to developing and growing the craft beer category, which has seen huge growth in popularity over recent years.

    “Through significant investment and innovation, Carlsberg UK has successfully attracted new drinkers to the broader beer category.”

    “We couldn’t be happier that Toast Ale is the winner of our Your beer, here? competition. It’s a unique beer that embodies and reflects our values and ambition at Carlsberg UK”.

    Company news Gebo Cermex, part of the Sidel Group, will showcase a range of innovative material handling solutions at Drinktec 2017 (stand A6.330), including the latest developments in automation and connectivity to help secure greater performance from bottling lines in evolving and demanding markets.

    Ludovic Tanchou, Vice President Strategy, Products and Innovation at Gebo Cermex, said – “Producers operating in the beverage market need performance across their supply chains which delivers in several areas: reliability and predictability, flexibility and agility, low total costs, product and brand quality, low resource use and environmental impact. At Drinktec we will be demonstrating how Gebo Cermex can help customers secure performance over time via future-proof solutions and market-tailored innovations.”

    Among the latest developments on show at Drinktec (11-15 September) are:
    - AQ Flex® - a breakthrough universal all-in-one conveying solution which delivers unprecedented packaging line performance, unrivalled output speed and unique agility.
    - EvoFilm™ - a robust, high speed, flexible modular shrink-wrapping solution. It meets today’s sustainability and energy-saving challenges, while ensuring product integrity and finished pack quality.
    - The cobotic version of FlexiLoad™ - a magazine loading solution that ensures automatic, flexible and safe corrugated magazine feeding on any case packer and erector, to reduce the source of musculoskeletal disorders while allowing natural interactions between the fenceless machine and the operators.
    - Cobots on Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) - cobots add high precision and cost-effectiveness to simple and repetitive tasks, thus increasing the added value operators can bring. By making them “mobile” - implementing them on AGVs - their efficiency will be spread across the line.
    - EIT™ - the Efficiency Improvement Tool that uses comprehensive line monitoring to accurately detect the causes of unplanned stoppages and help increase operators’ responsiveness.
    - OptiFeed™ - a new crown and cap feeder which optimizes cap/crown availability at the capper through its unrivalled efficiency, in addition to ensuring the quality of the caps and their compliance with the relevant specifications.

    Tanchou continues – “The packaging industry is looking to find new ways to realize the potential of the fourth industrial revolution by creating a digital factory that can increase performance while reducing non-productive sequences and keep costs to a minimum. As part of our award-winning Sidel Group Agility 4.0™ programme, we will show how manufacturers can achieve this and meet consumer demands for more customized products, shifting from mass production to mass customization and gaining the many benefits of Industry 4.0, without compromising on key performance criteria such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), total cost of ownership (TCO) and sustainability.”
    (Sidel International AG)
    19.06.2017   Financial statements 2016/2017: Nordzucker ready for challenges of the market    ( Company news )

    Company news Earnings improved significantly / Financial position further strengthened / Continued growth expected

    Photo: Axel Aumüller(Chief Operating Officer ), Hartwig Fuchs(Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer), Dr. Michael Noth(Chief Financial Officer ), Dr. Lars Gorissen(Chief Agricultural Officer)

    ·Net income improves considerably to EUR 99 million
    ·Revenues up by 6 per cent to EUR 1,708 million
    ·Equity ratio increases further to 65 per cent
    ·Dividend proposal of EUR 1.10 per share

    Significant increase on the previous year: Nordzucker closed the 2016/2017 financial year with net income of EUR 99 million. Increased sales and improved prices for sugar were contributing factors. Cost savings from the efficiency programme also had a positive impact once again. The sugar producer expects earnings to at least be at the same level again in the coming financial year.

    Nordzucker generated consolidated revenues of EUR 1,708 million in the 2016/2017 financial year (reporting date: 28 February), 6 per cent higher than in the previous year (EUR 1,607 million). The operating result (EBIT) came to EUR 131 million (previous year: EUR 16 million) and consolidated net income improved considerably year on year to EUR 99 million (previous year: EUR 15 million).

    As expected, the overall earnings position is significantly better than in the previous year. The Supervisory Board and the Executive Board of Nordzucker AG will propose a dividend of EUR 1.10 per share (previous year: EUR 0.10) to the Annual General Assembly. Speaking at the press conference on the financial statements in Braunschweig, CEO Hartwig Fuchs said: “We’ve achieved a lot, even if we haven’t accomplished everything yet. Nordzucker shares can once again be described as an investment that pays off. And we are very pleased about this.”

    Nordzucker takes advantage of upturn in sugar market
    Global sugar consumption exceeded production in both the 2015/2016 and the current marketing year (each of which runs from 1 October to 30 September). This deficit has led to a fall in sugar stocks, causing sugar prices on the global market to increase significantly over the past year.

    EU market prices eventually rose as well. Nordzucker was able to benefit from this and increase its volumes sold as a result of successful sales activities.

    Recovery in animal feed
    Revenues from animal feed produced from beet were virtually unchanged overall. The difficult situation on the dairy market impacted on sugar beet pellets and cossettes in the first half of the financial year. The situation stabilized in the second half of the year, allowing prices and sales to recover.

    Sales of molasses were stable in terms of volume. However, cheap imports put pressure on prices. Molasses is used primarily in the yeast and alcohol industries as well as for animal feed.

    Prices of bioethanol fuel were subject to strong volatility in the past financial year. Since Nordzucker produces bioethanol exclusively from sugar beet, the company was able to respond flexibly to the prices.

    Efficiency programme on track
    The company continued to successfully optimize its processes throughout the Group in the past financial year. The programme is generating cost savings in all areas, with a focus on procurement and administration, for example. The FORCE efficiency programme has already led to cost savings of more than EUR 30 million over the last two years. The target is EUR 50 million.

    Solid capital resources for growth and investment
    Nordzucker has a stable net assets and financial position. Equity rose to EUR 1,375 million (previous year: EUR 1,278 million). The equity ratio also improved to 65 per cent (previous year: 63.5 per cent), which is well above the target figure of 30 per cent. The company remains debt-free, and its net capital investments went up significantly to EUR 308 million.

    Nordzucker continues to invest heavily, spending EUR 84 million in the past financial year. The capital expenditure was focused on areas that affect customers directly – such as service, quality, logistics and IT – as well as on further improving the plants’ performance and energy efficiency. Capital expenditure of EUR 87 million is planned for the current financial year.

    With its capital resources, Nordzucker is well prepared for further growth; even in the difficult market environment, the company can gain market share and take advantage of growth opportunities.

    Outlook: ready for a new era
    The end of the European sugar market regime in its current form in October 2017 will herald a sea change.

    CEO Hartwig Fuchs is looking to the future with optimism: “We need good ideas and courage. We have these, and we are certain that beet has a future and will remain competitive. Increased sugar yields and flexible growing conditions beyond 2017 will ensure a solid economic foundation for farms in the long term. Together with our growers, we have laid the groundwork for the future success in a free market.”

    Nordzucker is in an excellent position and will continue to systematically pursue its course of growth: “Demand in the EU is stagnating. We will play an active role in shaping consolidation within the European sugar market and seize opportunities on the global market – step by step and acting with good judgement,” says Fuchs, and emphasizes: “With sustainable production and a high level of service and quality, we can provide our European and international customers with genuine added value. We will take advantage of our specific export opportunities and open up international markets.”

    The changes in the market make it more difficult to predict future earnings. However, Nordzucker expects its overall earnings in the current financial year to be at least on a par with the previous year’s level.
    (Nordzucker AG)
    19.06.2017   Mild sweetness combined with the benefits of fiber    ( Company news )

    Company news Vitafoods 2017: Taiyo introduced new Sunfiber® varieties

    During Vitafoods, Taiyo presented new varieties of its all-natural, soluble dietary fiber Sunfiber®, which can now also be used as a sweetener. At the same time, the company showed solutions that contribute to balanced blood sugar levels. The sugar-like, mild taste profile of Sweet-Sunfiber® and Sunfiber®-Matcha honey, as well as their special technological properties, give end products a pleasant sweetness and texture. In addition, consumers benefit from the health-boosting advantages of the prebiotic fiber.

    The Sweet-Sunfiber® compound combines Sunfiber® with isomalto-oligosaccharide, a natural component of honey or sugar cane, which provides foods with a sugar-like sweetness profile. Due to its non-cariogenic properties, isomalto-oligosaccharide is tooth-friendly and convinces with a low glycemic index. It gets metabolized more slowly than normal sugar, which is why blood glucose levels rises less sharply too. This healthy alternative to conventional sugars helps to reduce blood sugar spikes and decrease the amount of insulin released in the body. Especially important for diabetic patients, a lower insulin reaction is also a prerequisite for effective weight management.

    In addition, the fiber in the functional compound has various prebiotic properties, promoting the growth of short-chain fatty acids in the colon, which, in the long-term helps to prevent nutrition-related diseases.

    The Sunfiber® range also offers optimized technological benefits. The ingredients are highly water soluble, stable at different pH levels and temperatures, and can therefore be used for a variety of applications, such as dairy and bakery products, meats and sausages, beverages, ice-creams and confectioneries.

    The bio-certified Sunfiber®-Matcha Honey convinces with an exciting mixture of sweetness and a refreshingly herbal green tea flavor. In addition, it is a healthy alternative to saccharose; Matcha is known for its antioxidant activity, whereas honey has antibacterial properties.

    Dr Stefan Siebrecht, Managing Director of Taiyo GmbH, comments: "Whether for health reasons or as a part of a diet, more and more consumers are reducing their sugar consumption. As a result, the demand for reduced sugar products or foods with alternative sweetening solutions is increasing. Taiyo recognizes these consumer demands and now offers sweet Sunfiber® varieties, functional ingredients that have a balanced sweet profile. At the same time, they provide well-tolerated dietary fibers and can be used in many applications."

    The Sunfiber® portfolio qualifies as an organic material, is non-GMO and a 100% gluten-free product. It is Kosher and Halal certified and perfectly suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
    (Taiyo GmbH)
    16.06.2017   Japan & Taiwan: Japan's largest craft brewer Yo-Ho Brewing enjoys strong sales in Taiwan    ( )

    Fresh off the success of a limited-time partnership with 7-Eleven in Taiwan, Japan's Yo-Ho Brewing plans to make its Yona Yona Ale and other signature beers available in all of the chain's convenience stores on the island. Permanently, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on June 4.

    It is also collaborating with a local craft brewer to create a beer just for Taiwan.

    Yo-Ho, Japan's largest craft brewer, enjoyed strong sales in Taiwan during last year's trial run. The success prompted the chain to ask Yo-Ho to supply beer to all 5,000 or so of the republic's 7-Elevens year-round. The brewer has decided to acquiesce to this request, perhaps by the end of this year.

    Other products in the range include Aooni India pale ale and Suiyoubi no Neko Belgian White.

    Masafumi Morita, in charge of brewing at Yo-Ho, explained the brewer's popularity in Taiwan. "In addition to a feeling of trust in made-in-Japan products," he said, "many [Taiwanese] buy our beers for the distinctive packaging."

    The company is also developing a special beer with Taihu Brewing, a Taiwanese craft brewer.

    One recipe under consideration calls for Japanese hops and yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit, as well as a native Taiwanese citrus called liu ding.

    "Japan-grown hops are rare in foreign countries," Morita said. "So it will be a good chance for us to promote Japanese craft beer."

    In Taiwan, craft beer accounts for less than 1% of all beer sales. But the popularity of these flavorful alternatives to corporate brews is spreading, mainly among young people, allowing more small brewers to take a crack at the market.

    It is a market in which one brand, Taiwan Beer, accounts for some 80% of all sales. "The current situation is similar to that in Japan a few years ago," Morita said. "That's when a huge number of Japanese began seeing craft beer as a fresh concept."

    Other small Japanese beer makers - such as Kiuchi Brewery in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo, known for its Hitachino Nest Beer, and Niigata-based Echigo Beer - have started exporting their beverages to Taiwan.

    These brewers appear to be slaking a thirst for little-known Japanese beers.
    16.06.2017   Symrise Launches New Asia-Pacific Innovation and Technology Centre    ( Company news )

    Company news — Innovation-centric expansion to boost regional and local food manufacturing
    — To contribute to Singapore’s vision of becoming Asia’s regional food & nutrition hub

    Global leader in flavors and fragrances, Symrise AG, on 23 May 2017 unveiled its new Asia-
    Pacific Flavor Innovation and Technology Centre. It was officially opened by Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG. The Centre marks the completion of the company’s over 30 € million expansion of its regional headquarters in Singapore, which aims to boost local food manufacturing capabilities and to contribute to Singapore‘s vision of becoming Asia’s regional food & nutrition hub. Partners, customers and guests from around Asia attended the event.

    “Asia is fast becoming one of the main global sources of influence and inspiration for innovative food products. And major centres for business, lifestyle, technology, health and nutrition like Singapore will be at the heart of this megatrend“, said Dr Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, Chief Executive Officer of Symrise AG. “Similarly, Singapore will continue to be within the heart of our growth story and I believe the new research and innovation facilities will ignite greater collaboration, connectivity and creativity among industry stakeholders. That will further develop Singapore’s food research and manufacturing industry
    capabilities“. Based in the company’s new state-of-the-art regional HQ building, the centre houses several facilities that have been designed in accordance with Symrise’s R&D strategy which focuses on connecting megatrends, consumer needs, customer requirements, sustainability, innovation and cost efficiency.

    “Recognising that Asian consumer tastes are the future drivers of the global flavor industry, I am pleased to announce that Symrise will be the first major firm to base its Global Sensory and Consumer Insight function and teams in Asia,” added Mr Lionel Flutto, President, Flavor, Asia Pacific, Symrise. “This emphasises both, our commitment to Asia, and forming the foundation of our future innovations research, technology and development.”

    Helping local and regional firms decipher evolving Asian tastes
    The Flavor Innovation and Technology Centre is the latest Symrise initiative to help food manufacturing, FMCG, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical companies gain insights into the tastes and preferences of Asia’s increasingly influential consumers. Research and technology capabilities will be applied to discover new flavor compounds, create new natural and sustainable products that meet the preferences and cultural requirements of Asian consumers and to demonstrate how these new products can be applied in shelf-stable manufactured foods. This research will be applied to develop both, food flavor innovation for customers in Asia, and also to support innovationdriven projects for key global customers.

    The intention is to evolve industry expertise within Symrise Asia Pacific to a level that will allow the creation of new technologies for Singapore and regional customers. With the launch of the new Centre, Symrise Asia Pacific will also be able to mirror the capabilities available at the company’s global headquarters in Germany, and accelerate the development of new products for Singapore companies
    looking to grow across Asia.

    Looking to the Future
    The next phase in the expansion and enhancement of Symrise regional operations here in Singapore will focus on the expansion and restructuring of Scent and Care (S&C) innovation, creation, oral care, life essentials and aroma molecules. The expansion will allow for the establishment of a new S&C Consumer Insights Centre. This centre will enable S&C to develop deeper market understanding, in order to create commercially effective branding campaigns, which is one of S&C’s core competencies.
    (Symrise AG)
    15.06.2017   Belgium: Belgian beer officially gains UNESCO World Heritage status    ( )

    Belgian beer is drinking to its recent success. The UNESCO representative in Brussels, Paolo Fontani, on May 19 gave to ministers having responsibility for culture in Belgium a certificate attesting to recognition of the production of Belgian beer. As a consequence, this is now considered to have UNESCO intangible cultural world heritage status, The Brussels Times reported.

    An official ceremony took place in the Brussels Town Hall. Present were Alda Greoli (of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation), Isabelle Weykmans (of the German-speaking community) and Sven Gatz (from the Flemish community).

    All participants stressed the strong collaboration upon this issue of these three Belgian communities. UNESCO made its official decision on November 30th last year.

    The nomination of Belgian beer had been launched two years ago, by the intervention of the German-speaking community. This thus avoided the long queue of applications, which the nomination would have stuck in if it had been introduced by Belgium as a nation.

    The Belgian request was backed up by the entire brewing sector: the Belgian Brewers association, professional brewers and tasters, and industry training institutions.

    Those who wrote the UNESCO application say that it is the unmatched diversity of the art of Belgian brewing and the intensity of the actual beer production that are vital. These “make it both an integral part of our daily life and all of our country's celebrations,” thus leading to this recognition, when compared to other beer-producing countries.

    The next major event for Belgian beer and Brussels will involve the opening of a so-called “Beer Temple” in the La Bourse building (the old Brussels Stock Exchange). The Alderman for Tourism, Philippe Close, emphasised that this is scheduled to take place in 2020.
    15.06.2017   Cambodia: Cambodia's Kingdom Breweries now contract-brewing for a dozen companies ...    ( ) Southeast Asia

    As the craft beer craze sweeps from West to East amid intensifying demand for diverse, flavorful beers, a microbrewery in Phnom Penh is positioning itself as one of the leading producers in the region, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on June 5.

    Kingdom Breweries, launched in 2010 alongside the Tonle Sap river in the Cambodian capital, has gone from producing own-brand craft beers for the domestic market and Bruntys cider for local brand Asia Pacific Cider to making around 30 beverages for a dozen companies in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and the Philippines that lack their own breweries.

    In Thailand, where strict rules block independent brewing, beer makers are increasingly looking to contract brewers to cope with expanding demand and to legitimize their operations.

    "Going to Kingdom allows us to bring beer and sell it legally," said Mike Roberts, founder of Outlaw Brewing, which launched in 2015 as a brewpub in Thailand's northeastern Loei province and recently contracted Kingdom to produce its American-style India Pale Ale.

    "A lot of us are getting busy, so we need to take the steps for volume, and brew at a proper brewery," said Roberts. He currently produces around 1,000 litres a month at his brewpub, but recently contracted Kingdom to make an additional 3,000 to 3,500 litres a month to cope with brisk demand.

    Kingdom recently ramped up total production to around 100,000 litres a month, about 50% of which is brewed for other companies, making it the leading craft beer producer in Southeast Asia, according to Lawrence Mackhoul, Kingdom Breweries CEO.

    "We want to be Southeast Asia's brew hub for quality beers," said Mackhoul, who is also an associate partner at Leopard Capital, a private equity firm that has a 55% stake in Kingdom and investments in Asia and Haiti. The remaining 45% is owned by a trio of Hong Kong-based private investors.

    In Cambodia, the company controls a negligible share of the beer market. But regionally, Kingdom has become the leading craft brewery, producing more than double the beer volume achieved by its main competitors in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Mackhoul told the Nikkei Asian Review.

    "For Southeast Asia, we are most likely contract brewing more than any other contract brewer," he said, estimating that there are about five contract craft brewers in the region. Mackhoul declined to reveal financial details about the company, but said it was "financially sound."

    The big shift in the company's operations comes as the craft beer revolution, which began in the U.S. and Europe about 30 years ago, gains ground in Asia. "Tastes are changing, people are more receptive to new flavors, to bolder tasting beers," said Mackhoul.

    Cambodia's beer and bar industries are showing signs of diversity with the arrival of brewpubs such as Hops Brewery, Botanico and Cerevisia Craft Brewhouse in Phnom Penh. But when Kingdom launched, the country's beer scene was uninspiring and dominated by huge breweries, reflecting none of the excitement around beer in places such as Singapore and Bangkok.

    Mackhoul said Kingdom was not trying to compete with mass-market beers such as Angkor, made by Cambrew, part of the Carlsberg group, and Anchor, brewed by Heineken Asia Pacific, formerly Asia Pacific Breweries, which also produces the Heineken and Tiger brands.

    But the big brewers' aggressive marketing and pricing strategies have made it difficult to win over the palates and purses of consumers used to paying 2,000 to 8,000 riel ($0.50 to $2) for a glass of beer. Kingdom's own-brand bottled beers, which include its flagship Kingdom Pilsner, a dark lager, and IPA brands, sell for around $3 or more.

    "The big guys will give the bar a contract to put their beers on tap," Mackhoul said. In return, the bars get sponsorship deals and other promotions. "They make it challenging to get into certain bars."

    Makkara Iv Thoun, owner of Barbados, a Phnom Penh bar popular with expatriates, said she stopped stocking Kingdom after buying a consignment about four years ago. Makkara said that "not enough customers asked for it," while locals "never drink it." However, she said awareness of Kingdom was low at the time, and its prices prohibitively expensive.

    Mackhoul said the company's entry into the Cambodian market may have been a little early, but its potential was stifled more by management woes than market forces. "The idea was there; we had a good product; the timing was perhaps a little bit early, but the biggest issues were management."

    In those early years, the company was being steered toward economy and standard products in a "deviation from our strategy," Mackhoul said.

    In 2014 Leopard put its stake in Kingdom up for sale as part of its investment strategy to exit funds after a certain period. The offer drew a few interested buyers, and the company came close to sealing the deal with one party that was given a period of exclusivity in which to make the purchase. "But they were not able to come up with the full amount of funding required for the buyout in the allotted time," said Mackhoul.

    After the deal fell through Kingdom decided to take the company off the market and overhaul its management. Leopard hired British brewmaster Ian Leigh, who had more than 30 years' experience at big breweries including Scottish & Newcastle and Carlsberg China. Leopard also installed Mackhoul as Kingdom CEO. He scrapped the low and mid-range products, and turned the company's focus back to the premium segment.

    With an established factory kitted out with top-of-the-range German equipment, a seasoned brewer, and a booming industry, offers soon began flooding in for contract brewing.

    Brian Bartusch, co-founder of Bangkok's largest craft beer importer, Beervana, said Asia's beer industry is "very young and fresh, but far from its infancy," with Kingdom in a key position to capitalize on this growth if it can continue to produce high quality beers at reasonable prices.

    Bartusch said Kingdom must also be open to "more experimental recipes beyond classic lagers," adding that, "a flexible brew house, qualified labor, easy shipping and [the liberal] tax and export restrictions of Cambodia are all factors" for success.

    In the last couple of years, Kingdom has been pushing its own beer in Australia and Europe, with the U.K. now its biggest market after Cambodia. About 90% of the beer Kingdom produces is exported.

    While there are still plans to crack more of Asia, entering new markets depends on finding good distributors and executing good marketing campaigns. "There is still a long way to go and a huge untapped market, further afield and in the small shops and rural areas where the cost of craft beer is still very prohibitive," Mackhoul said.

    Most importantly, the company needs to find a partner that "believes in the brand," he said.
    15.06.2017   Canada: Brewers lobby group Beer Canada upset about new taxing ways    ( )

    Beer Canada, the brewers lobby group that styles itself as “the national voice of beer,” is not happy with the federal government and its taxing ways, Maclean’s reported on June 8.

    In its recent 2017 budget, Ottawa hiked excise taxes on beer, wine and spirits by two per cent. No big deal there. Canadians are used to sin tax hikes at budget time. What’s new is that the federal Liberals have now given themselves the right to increase this tax every year by the rate of inflation—without the bother of having to include the future tax hikes in subsequent budgets.

    “We weren’t expecting this at all,” says Luke Harford, president of Beer Canada, of the permanently escalating tax. “It’s pretty cynical.”

    Nearly 50 per cent of the price of beer in Canada, on average, is tax: either federal or provincial excise and sales taxes, or provincial liquor board markups. It’s one of the highest overall beer tax rates in the world. And now Ottawa’s take is going up automatically every year on April 1. Forever.

    On a cash basis, the amounts involved appear modest. That two-per-cent increase is about 5 cents more per case of 24 beers. But Harford is quick to point out that due to the “tax on tax on tax” feature of beer pricing, the effective total government haul is doubled. Plus, it all adds up: Over the next five years, Ottawa projects it will raise an additional C$470 million from its inflation-adjusted alcohol excise tax hike.

    Unlike sales taxes, excise taxes are imposed at the manufacturer level. And inflation-indexing of such taxes have caused big problems in the past. A similar policy in the early 1980s led to widespread shut-downs in the Canadian distillery business during a period of high inflation, and hobbled the domestic spirits industry for decades.

    This time around, the beer industry is worried the ever-increasing tax will exacerbate headwinds already affecting their own market segment. “We’ve seen an 11 per cent decline in per capita beer consumption in Canada over the past ten years,” says Harford. “And taxes are a big part of that.” Wine consumption in particular has been growing strongly at beer’s expense. (Wine from Canadian-grown grapes is exempt from the federal excise tax.) And with competition from a legalized marijuana industry looming, brewers are getting nervous about their future share of Canadian’s relaxation budget.

    The entire alcohol industry has also latched on to the notion of parliamentary responsibility in making its case against the inflation escalator. Building in perpetual increases for excise taxes allows Ottawa to avoid public scrutiny in future budgets while reaping the reward of higher revenues. “Canadians will never again have a chance to talk about this tax increase,” says Harford. It’s a legitimate concern. To head off this possibility, Beer Canada has been lobbying federal senators of all parties to encourage them to exercise their new-found independence by rejecting the inflation adjustment aspect of the tax. A possible Senate v. House of Commons showdown over beer taxes could come later this month.

    Whatever happens, however, Canadian beer drinkers shouldn’t fool themselves into thinking this battle has anything to do with them, or how much they pay for beer.

    That’s because while the “national voice of beer” is leading the crusade against this particular inflationary beer tax, Beer Canada is also a longtime supporter of a larger and even more pernicious form of government-mandated beer price increases—what’s known as social reference pricing.

    In every province except Alberta, there exists a provincially mandated floor price for beer—based on a standard case of 24 bottles, inclusive of tax and deposit—that ranges from C$26.83 in Manitoba to C$45.58 in Prince Edward Island. These minimum prices are intended to protect Canadians from our own baser instincts; making beer expensive is supposed to prevent us from over-indulging on cheap suds. It’s a holdover from the Prohibition era that enjoys broad support from politicians, lobby groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving—and big beer companies.
    For the vast majority of Canadians who enjoy beer in a responsible manner, however, it’s a punitive and regressive policy.

    The beer industry happily backs social reference pricing because it avoids nasty price wars, reduces competition and keeps profits up. What’s more, Beer Canada thinks adjusting minimum beer prices annually to account for inflation is a great idea.

    A July 2015 report from Canada’s National Alcohol Strategy advisory committee—a document that features Harford’s name on the cover, by the way—specifically recommends that “social reference prices need to be updated annually to keep pace with inflation.” In fact, government-mandated minimum beer prices tend to rise even faster than inflation.

    In Ontario, for example, the minimum price for 24 bottles of beer was an even C$24 in 2008; today, it’s C$30.70. That’s an increase of 28 per cent over a time when the cumulative inflation rate has been less than 15 per cent. When it comes to making Canadians pay more for beer, the federal excise tax hasn’t a patch on minimum pricing policies.

    Asked about Beer Canada’s position on social reference pricing, Harford says, “we are not opposed to it. It’s a policy that governments use to encourage moderation.” Of course, you could say the same thing about excise taxes.

    To recap: the beer industry is upset over Ottawa’s inflation-adjusted tax hike of approximately 10 cents per case. But they’re “not opposed” to other government policies that raise the price of beer by much bigger amounts, and which already include annual inflation adjustments. Both measures force consumers to pay more for their beer. But only one improves beer industry profitability.
    15.06.2017   Germany & UK: Germany’s Radeberger Group entering the UK market    ( )

    Germany’s biggest brewer, the Radeberger Group, is entering the UK market with its best-selling Pilsner, which distributor Copestick Murray said had the potential to be “huge” in the UK market, the Drinks Business reported on June 6.

    Radeberger Pilsner was established in 1872 and is brewed by the Frankfurt-based Radeberger Group, Germany’s largest brewery, which has a 14.7% share in the German beer market and reported a total group turnover of around €2 billion in 2016.

    The beer brand is one of the top five Pilsners in the German market, but until now has not attempted to enter the competitive UK market, despite building “substantial” sales in the domestic market, the US, Canada, Europe and being in a total of 87 export markets. But its UK distributor Copestick Murray said it was the “perfect time” to launch the brand in the UK, and it was the “natural partner” to take it to the UK market. The German brewery group is owned by the Oetker Group, and is a sister company of Copestick’s parent company Henkell & Co, the Oetker Group’s sparkling wine, wine and spirits division.

    “As with wine, people are drinking less but better, so there is a trend of people trading up to a slightly more premium beer,” Copestick said. “This is a new beer [to the UK, but comes] with a massive heritage, so there is that immediate trust, and the best of both worlds.”

    The Pilsner was unveiled by Copestick Murray at the London Wine Fair last month ahead of its UK launch.

    Beer consumption in Germany has fallen from around 145 litres per capita in 1980 to around 105 litres per head in 2015, according to statistics database Statistica and the market is historically very fragmented. Despite the company’s size in Germany (it is the biggest brewery in Germany with an output of around 11.8 million hl in 2015), it ranked 23rd in the global beer market the Barth Report of global brewing 2015-16 (down from 21st the previous year), with a 0.6% share of the total global beer production, compared to AB InBev and SABMiller’s combined market share of 31.8%.

    But Copestick said the pilsner had the backing and potential to be “huge” in the UK, adding that the launch strategy and route-to-market for the beer in the UK would be slightly different to that of Copestick’s wine portfolio, which includes the ‘I heart wine’ brand, due to the fact that “beer has different rules”.

    “If you are starting a new wine brand, it is such a congested playing field it would be difficult to break through,” he noted. “In wine, with something like I heart, you would chose to go the multiple route, and therefore not the specialists, but beer can cross every channel if you price everything properly, so I see the same beer products in Tesco as I do in my local wine merchant or restaurant.”

    Copestick said it would be a case of managing the brand “properly”.

    “We are not excluding any players, but we will put a lot of emphasis on brand management and building the brand up. Because Radeberger is such a successful company, we are under no pressure to sell 200 million cases to justify our existence, their biggest concern is that we build the brand properly, make a slow start and build the brand the right way.”

    “But if we have success, they will back us all the way,” he added.

    There were, he said, a number of on-trade, premium and convenience retailers already interested in stocking the German pilsner, but it was also looking at the UK off-trade.

    “One thing that has helped Copestick Murray is that we are not classed as an agent anymore, more of a brand owner and direct supplier, so when it comes to Mionetto or Radeberger Pilsner, it is part of our company. In the same way that you would only go to Accolade Wine to get Mud House, you’d only come to us to get Mionetto, and Radeberger fits with that,” he said.

    Speaking about the wider company, Copestick said it had not ruled out further acquisition or expansion.

    “We have ambitious growth targets, and that might be by acquisition or just through organic growth,” he told db. “One thing we want to do is more in the on-trade and we have created an on-trade division with wines only available to the on-trade, such as Survivor, which we had before. But it is growing quickly. And we have gone into premium mixers (with the Indi botanical range) and spirits (with Wint Gin) and will be selling Radeburg Pilsner too which could be very big.”
    15.06.2017   Japan: Government move to protect small liquor shops could further damage Japan's beer market    ( )

    A move by a group of lawmakers to protect small neighborhood liquor shops could end up further drying out the beer market in Japan, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on June 2.

    The revised liquor tax law took effect on June 1, leading to higher beer prices at some major retailers and triggering much grumbling among beer lovers.

    One supermarket in Tokyo’s Adachi Ward raised the price of a six-pack of 350-milliliter cans of beer by 150 yen ($1.35).

    “The situation facing beer is a very severe one because sales stop suddenly when prices rise even by a few yen,” said the employee in charge of alcoholic beverages at the supermarket.

    An 80-year-old woman who buys three six-packs of beer a week said the law might force her to switch to the harder stuff.

    “I am searching for the cheapest beer by going to different supermarkets in the neighborhood,” she said. “I may cut back on beer and change to shochu.”

    The revised liquor tax law is designed to help small mom-and-pop retailers compete against large supermarkets and discount liquor shops that have attracted customers with lower prices.

    The revisions essentially ban sales of beer products at prices that are less than the costs involved in retailing them. Business operators that egregiously violate the law will not only be publicly named and fined, but some could also lose their liquor sales licenses.

    And to show it is not messing around, the National Tax Agency plans to establish a specialist post in July to monitor liquor sales in connection with the revised law.

    Major breweries have paid rebates to retailers to encourage them to sell their beer at discounted prices. Some breweries have already cut back on these rebates in light of the revised law.

    At the same time, ambiguities in the law have retailers scratching their heads over what would constitute an illegally low price.

    For example, personnel costs must be included in calculating the sales price. That calculation might be easy for neighborhood shops but not for major supermarkets with various sales corners.

    A group of ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers bent on protecting neighborhood liquor shops pushed for the revisions. The bill was passed in May 2016, a few months before the Upper House election.

    Beer lovers may feel that they and their wallets are being unfairly targeted.

    The Anti-Monopoly Law already contains provisions that ban sales at prices below cost.

    Other retail sectors, such as grocers and electronic shops, face competitive pressure from major outlets that regularly offer large discounts. But those sectors have not received the same protection offered to neighborhood liquor shops.

    Some beer retailers have managed to offer low prices by engaging in normal business practices, such as finding new wholesalers or supply routes. But such efforts to lower prices could also end up being targeted by the revised law.

    The higher prices will do little to turn around the fortunes of the beer market.

    Sales have fallen for 12 straight years in the beer sector, which included real beer, low-malt “happoshu” and zero-malt third-category beer.
    15.06.2017   Japan: Japan's brewers racing to develop new uniquely flavoured beers ahead of changes in tax laws    ( )

    Japan’s craft beer makers and major brewers are racing to develop new uniquely flavored malt beverages to take advantage of pending changes in the nation’s tax law governing alcohol production, The Japan Times reported on June 9.

    The use of fruits, spices and other ingredients such as dried bonito will be allowed in beer production starting in April 2018, following a change under the liquor tax law defining of what constitutes an alcoholic beverage.

    Currently, beer ingredients are limited mainly to malt, hops, corn and rice. Beverages that include other materials are currently available, but they have to be labeled happoshu (quasi-beer).

    Under the new definition, products using newly permitted ingredients can be categorized as beer unless the proportion of the ingredient to the amount of malt exceeds 5 percent.

    Both regional craft beer makers, many of which are experienced at making unique products, and major brewers are moving to take advantage of the expanded definition, at a time when the domestic beer market has been slumping.

    After the deregulation, “Suiyoubi No Neko,” a beverage made by Yo-Ho Brewing Co. in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, using orange peel and coriander seeds will likely be reclassified as beer from happoshu.

    “Labeling has effects on sales and brand images,” Yo-Ho Brewing President Naoyuki Ide said, welcoming the upcoming change.

    Prices of products undergoing such reclassification are expected to remain almost unchanged, as many of these beverages use a lot of malt and will thus continue to be treated as beer in terms of taxation, industry sources said.

    Kirin Brewery Co. also believes that diversity in beer ingredients will be a boon for the industry.

    The company currently sells Daydream, a happoshu product using yuzu citrus fruit and sansho pepper.

    “We want to make beverages with interesting tastes from such ingredients as konbu kelp and dried shiitake mushroom that are used to make dashi broth,” said Tomohiro Tayama, master brewer at Kirin Brewery.

    The planned change in the definition of beer is aimed at encouraging new products using local specialties as a tool for revitalizing regional economies.

    “We want brewers to try to make beer offering a wide variety of tastes,” a Finance Ministry official said.
    15.06.2017   Pro Mach Strengthens Decorative Labeling Capabilities with Acquisition of P.E. Labellers    ( Company news )

    Company news Integrated packaging solutions leader Pro Mach, Inc. announced it has acquired global high-speed labeling solutions provider P.E. Labellers SpA. The addition of Italy-based P.E. Labellers expands Pro Mach’s capabilities to provide high-speed decorative labeling and integrated solutions worldwide. All global subsidiaries and management teams of P.E. Labellers join the Pro Mach team.

    P.E. Labellers has been a technology leader in automatic high-speed rotary and linear labeling equipment for more than 40 years and provides a wide range of innovative labelers and solutions for consumer and industrial packaged goods companies from more than 10 facilities worldwide. P.E. Labellers’ solutions are completely modular and include self-adhesive, hot melt, cold glue, roll-fed, and sleeve labeling technologies. Full modularity and a universal machine body give users flexibility to easily install and swap different labeling systems depending on need and production environment. P.E. Labellers’ innovative ADHESLEEVE technology, which uses pre-glued films, has received industry-wide acclaim for its reliability, efficiency, sanitary design, and overall environmental friendliness, as well as reduction of costs and downtime. P.E. Labellers has more than 10,000 rotary and linear labelers installed worldwide.

    “We’re pleased to welcome P.E. Labellers founder Bruno Negri and his global team to Pro Mach,” says Mark Anderson (photo), Pro Mach President and CEO. “With the addition of P.E. Labellers, Pro Mach now has a very complete labeling solutions portfolio for almost any customer. Along with our other industry leading brands NJM Packaging, Weiler Labeling Systems, Axon, EPI Labelers, and ID Technology we now have a full-range of primary, secondary, and tertiary labeling solutions for virtually any application, including high-speed production lines, custom packaging, e-commerce, and complex pharmaceutical requirements.”

    Bruno Negri, co-founder and Chairman of the Board of P.E. Labellers, along with Nicola Schinelli, Vice Chairman of P.E. Labellers, will continue to lead the P.E. Labellers team, spanning over 400 employees across the world.

    “Pro Mach and P.E. Labellers bring together a great deal of experience and success in complementary and diverse markets,” says Mr. Negri. “Together we have many outstanding opportunities to better serve our mutual customers and introduce new ones to some of the packaging industry’s most innovative solutions across the entire packaging line. We remain fully committed to providing the global marketplace with the best labeling technology and customer support and I firmly believe with Pro Mach we have the ideal partner to help us continue our tremendous growth. We share a common strategic vision for the long-term future and will be adding new facilities to help us continue our focus and commitment to actively improving our already exceptional quality and service. I very much look forward to continuing to lead the P.E. Labellers team as we enter the next chapter of our story.”

    Pro Mach has grown rapidly into a leading single-source provider of high-performance packaging lines and integrated solutions. It continues to add complementary packaging and processing machinery solutions and engineering services to advance its integrated systems capabilities worldwide. Since 2010, Pro Mach’s installed base of machinery solutions has more than doubled and sales outside of the United States have more than tripled. Pro Mach supports a global customer base with operations in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. With more than 30 equipment brands sold around the world, Pro Mach continues to look at opportunities in global markets to strengthen its position as the preferred supplier of complete high-performance packaging lines.

    “Many of our global customers want a single source provider of machinery solutions and integrated systems that will help them simplify line development, achieve optimum performance, reduce risks, and better manage costs,” says Barry Heiser, Pro Mach President, Global Filler and Integrated Solutions. “The core keystone systems that many of our high production customers want to integrate first are filling, capping, and labeling. The addition of P.E. Labellers advances our high-speed capabilities and helps us better serve these customers worldwide.”
    (Pro Mach Inc.)
    15.06.2017   USA: Molson Coors signs deal to import and distribute Heineken's Mexican Sol beer    ( )

    Molson Coors has tapped Heineken to ensure the Big Beer producer behind Miller Lite and Coors Light can participate in swelling American interest for Mexican-produced ales.

    On June 5, Molson Coors announced that it signed a 10-year import deal to allow it to import, market and distribute the Mexican-made Sol brand to the U.S. market beginning this fall. Sol, which is a brand that was established in 1899, is a pale lager with an ABV of 4.5% that has been part of Dutch brewer Heineken's U.S. portfolio since 2004. Heineken has owned the brand outright since 2010, when it paid $7.6 billion to buy a handful of Mexican beer assets including Dos Equis and Tecate.

    "Given the steady growth of the Mexican import segment in the US over the past few years, the addition of Sol represents a key addition to our portfolio," Molson Coors CEO and President Mark Hunter said in a statement.

    The deal will give Molson Coors access to a strong-performing Mexican beer import business that has benefited both Heineken and Corona and Modelo Especial maker Constellation Brands. Mexican-made beers have been strong sellers in recent years because they are easy to drink, much like many U.S.-made light lagers, but don't stir the same scorn that some beer drinkers have for domestic beer brands like Bud Light and Miller Lite. As a result, they've done a stellar job stealing market share. Industry tracker IWSR last week reported consumption of Mexican beer imports rose 6% in 2016, while the overall beer business declined.

    Until the deal with Heineken, Molson Coors had not yet participated in the Mexican import business, making it the only major Big Beer company to compete in the U.S. that didn't compete in the space. Market leader Anheuser-Busch InBev last year began to sell Estrella Jalisco to the U.S. market, a move that came after AB InBev sold some key Mexican beer import assets to Constellation Brands to win U.S. approval for a deal to buy Mexico's Grupo Modelo. That deal has helped Constellation Brands report the strongest beer growth among the "Big Four" brewers.

    Molson Coors says the Sol deal will benefit both brewers: it will combine Sol's existing brand equity with Molson's sales, marketing and distribution arms. Heineken, meanwhile, can focus more resources on the two fast-growing Mexican beers it has already placed a big bet on (Tecate and Dos Equis). Sol will continue to be brewed in Mexico. After the completion of the 10-year pact between the Big Beer companies, Heineken will have the rights to reacquire the import rights for Sol. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
    14.06.2017   drinktec 2017 breaking new ground in visitor services with Solution Directory and ...    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 ... Innovation Guide - Innovations go directly to your smartphone

    drinktec 2017, the World's Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry, and the VDMA Association for Food Processing Machinery and Packaging Machinery are offering two new digital services that are unique in this form: the Solution Directory and the Innovation Guide. Both online tools help the user to quickly find the exact solutions and new developments that they are looking for and are tailored to suit the industry's specific needs. That gives drinktec's exhibitors and visitors significant added value.

    What is it about?
    Plenty of visitors are familiar with the situation: You have a problem and are looking for a suitable solution. In many cases, your only alternative is to tediously go from one exhibitor's stand to the next. Conventional product directories don't get the desired results if visitors don't know which products to even consider. And if the problems or requirements are complex, only system solutions—not individual products—will do.

    When it comes to innovations, the situation is quite similar: Every visitor attending the fair looks for them, but in actual practice, they are difficult to identify in the trade-fair “jungle”—at least the ones that are tailored to application requirements and could be just what you're looking for. On top of that, many (potential) customers have their doubts when it comes to exhibitor announcements in flowery “marketing speak.”

    drinktec developed the new services based on these considerations as well as surveys and interviews with experts and customers (exhibitors and visitors). They are digital, mobile and immediately available. The Solution Directory and the Innovation Guide, which are linked to one another, will further improve networking between exhibitors and visitors.

    Solution Directory
    What are solutions?
    Together with the VDMA Association for Food Processing Machinery and Packaging Machinery, drinktec defined approximately 50 solution criteria that exhibitors can select from. Examples include:
    - Switching products flexibly and easily
    - Processing and filling products with care (e,g. vitamin content)
    - Efficient, sustainable use of water
    - Conserving packaging materials
    - “Free of” ingredients (allergen free, gluten free, lactose free, GMO free, dairy free)

    How does the Solution Directory work?
    Exhibitors select the categories that apply to the solutions that they offer. They are then listed as a provider under the respective category both in the online catalog (Exhibitor Directory) and in the new Matchmaking tool. Those who want to quickly find exhibitors that are relevant to their needs can search the entire range of exhibits according to solutions.

    What are the advantages for exhibitors?
    - Having an entry in the Solution Directory ensures that your areas of expertise are visible in the respective category.
    - Visitors who are interested in the solutions in your portfolio will find you more easily.
    - More contacts and more potential customers at your stand.

    What are the advantages for visitors?
    - You find exhibitors who have solutions for your application sector more quickly.
    - You can contact the respective exhibitors directly.
    - The Solution Directory is also available to you after the fair is over.

    Innovation Guide
    What are innovations?
    Together with the VDMA Association for Food Processing Machinery and Packaging Machinery and other industry representatives, drinktec identified corresponding criteria for innovations.
    - They are based on ideas, developments and/or inventions.
    - They facilitate improvements and/or new developments.
    - They may be related to products, techniques, processes, technologies, services or business models.
    - They are successful on the market and benefit the customer economically.
    - They take social trends into account and may offer the end consumer added value.

    How does the Innovation Guide work?
    The Innovation Guide is part of the drinktec App. It allows exhibitors to indicate what innovations they have available and are exhibiting at drinktec. The innovations of a given exhibitor are not visible to visitors until they enter the hall in question. This prevents information about the exhibitors' innovations from being released before the fair.

    What are the advantages for exhibitors?
    - The innovation entry can be linked to a sector, solution category or product category. This makes it possible to find specific exhibitors more quickly.
    - Exhibitors can market their innovations on a mobile device and contact interested customers directly at the fair.
    - Exhibitors have more contacts and more potential customers at their stands.
    - Exhibitors who have an entry in the Innovation Guide also get an “Innovation Icon” in the online catalog.
    - Exhibitors' innovations are only visible to visitors who have actually been in the respective hall at the fair.

    What are the advantages for visitors?
    Linking innovations to sectors, product categories and solution categories allows visitors to search for specific exhibitors that meet their needs before the fair even begins.
    - However, visitors do not find out which concrete innovations an exhibiting company has in its portfolio until they enter the hall in question. When they do, innovation entries are sent to their smartphones and they can experience the innovations directly at the stands.
    - Predefined innovation routes are visible on a virtual hall diagram before the fair begins, which makes its easier for visitors to plan their visit to the fair.
    - In the online catalog (Exhibitor Directory), an “Innovation Icon” appears next to the entries of exhibitors who have innovations on display at the fair.
    - Exclusively for drinktec visitors: Only those who attend drinktec are actually informed about innovations directly.
    (Messe München GmbH)
    14.06.2017   Scotch Whisky exports return to growth    ( Company news )

    Company news Optimistic outlook for Scotch, but uncertainties around Brexit

    Scotch exports increased last year by 4% to more than £4 billion, with the value of Single Malts exceeding £1bn for the first time. This success marks a return to growth for Scotch exports, following a few years of levelling off and small declines as a result of economic headwinds and political uncertainty in some markets.

    Last year, Scotch remained the biggest net contributor to the UK's balance of trade in goods. In 2016, without the impact of Scotch Whisky, the UK trade in goods deficit would have been 2.8% larger at almost £139bn. Scotch Whisky accounts for over a fifth of the UK's total food and drink exports.

    Scotch also continues to lead the way for the rest of Scotland's food and drink sector. The 'national drink' makes up 73% of total Scottish food and drink exports.

    The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has analysed the reasons for the resurgence of exports and the outlook for the future.

    While the industry is optimistic about renewed demand for Scotch, there are challenges as well as opportunities on the horizon, including the seismic changes that Brexit brings to an increasingly competitive global marketplace. The weakness of sterling, for example, had a significant impact on exports in the second half of last year. This short-term positive currency impact should be seen in the context of continuing uncertainties around Brexit in the longer term.

    Scotch Whisky exports - key facts
    -Up 4% in customs value on 2015 to £4,008,927,149 - worth £127 per second
    -Volume up almost 5% to more than 1.2 billion bottles - almost 39 bottles exported every second
    -Single Malt Scotch exports worth more than £1bn for the first time - up almost 12% to £1.02bn. This is the equivalent of 113m bottles shipped overseas
    -Scotch was directly exported to 182 countries, up from 174 - showing its truly global nature

    What categories of Scotch Whisky are growing?
    All categories of Scotch Whisky grew last year, but Bottled Blended Scotch Whisky is still by far the biggest. It accounted for 69% of all Scotch volumes and values exported in 2016. Bottled Blended Scotch has traditionally been the largest category of Scotch and last year value increased for the first time since 2012 by 1.4% to £2.75bn.

    Single Malt was a stand-out performer last year. With Single Malt exports growing at a faster rate than that of Scotch overall, market share is increasing. It now makes up just over a quarter of the total value of Scotch exports.

    Scotch Whisky is popular across the globe and demand is from a diverse range of markets. In terms of regions, the European Union remains the top destination for exports, worth around £1.2bn of the total. North America is the second largest, taking exports worth more than £1bn, followed by Asia with shipments of £768m.

    The USA remains the number one market by value, growing 14% to reach £865m. Consumers are seeking out premium products and Single Malts benefited from such trends - value was up 22% to £267m.

    There was increased demand from a number of larger European markets, including Spain, the fourth biggest market, up almost 10% to £167m; Germany, the number five market, up 13% to £164m and Poland, up 19% to £63m. This reflects some improved economic performance and continued growing popularity of Scotch across parts of Europe.

    India is becoming increasingly significant with value of exports up almost 14% to £97m to make it the ninth biggest market for Scotch. But its full potential will not be realised until its 150% import tariff is reduced. The SWA is encouraging the UK Government to pursue a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), including measures to cut the tariff, with India as priority after Brexit. Exports to China increased 0.5% to £41m with the market continuing on an upward trend following some decline due to austerity and political decisions.

    We are also calling on the Government to secure existing EU trade deal benefits, such as the South Korea FTA and the Colombia/Peru agreement that have created a more level playing field for Scotch in those markets. Some £87m of Scotch was exported to Korea last year and Colombia grew 14% to £27m

    This is an uncertain time for all business with a UK General Election on 8 June and Brexit negotiations getting underway. While we expect demand for Scotch Whisky to grow in markets around the globe, we need support from governments at home and abroad. The industry's continued success cannot be taken for granted by government and policy makers.

    The Scotch Whisky industry was, for example, disappointed by the near 4% increase on spirits duty excise announced in the spring UK Budget and is calling for fairer treatment in future fiscal statements. The SWA would like to see an overhaul of the domestic excise system when the UK leaves the EU.

    The industry has set out five key objectives for Brexit:
    -As open a trade policy as possible, securing existing EU trade deal benefits and developing an ambitious agenda of new and refreshed FTAs.
    -Robust legal protection of Scotch Whisky in the UK, EU and global markets.
    -Business certainty and consistency by transposing EU single market legislation of relevance to Scotch Whisky into UK law.
    -Scoping out opportunities where a distinct UK approach could benefit domestic industry
    -A domestic tax and regulatory agenda that delivers a platform for international growth.

    Julie Hesketh-Laird, Scotch Whisky Association acting chief executive, said: "With Scotch Whisky exports returning to growth and rising to more than £4 billion, and Single Malts exceeding £1bn for the first time, we're feeling optimistic about the future. Demand is rising in mature markets, such as the USA, and newer markets, including China. This confidence is reflected in the number of new distilleries - 14 have been opened in the last few years and we know of about another 40 in at various stages of planning.

    "However, we have to be alert to the challenges, as well as the opportunities, of Brexit and political changes in the UK and across the globe. Industry success can't be taken for granted and we need both the UK and Scottish Governments to work in partnership with us to deliver a business environment - at home and overseas - that supports sustainable growth. At home, for example, we are calling for a 'sector deal' for Scotch as the new UK industrial strategy develops, recognising our economic significance to communities across the country. And we have clearly set out our objectives for Brexit to support jobs and growth in the industry in an increasingly competitive global market."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)

    Company news ...AGILITY 4.0 PROGRAM

    As a key player in the Factory of the Future movement, Gebo Cermex - world leader in packaging line engineering and material handling - will be returning to ProPak Asia 2017, demonstrating the latest advanced performance systems and innovative solutions for the beverage, food, home and personal care markets.

    On booth BW01 (Hall 104) at Asia’s leading processing and packaging event that takes place 14 - 17 June in Bangkok, the company will be demonstrating its portfolio based on its Agility 4.0™ Advanced Production System program.
    Guido Ceresole, Zone VP SEAP for Gebo Cermex, comments “With our recently unveiled program, Agility 4.0™, we are bringing the 'Smart Factory' to life in order to create a world of greater choice and unique consumer experience driven by packaging mass customization and product diversity.”

    Encompassing 'Smart Machines', system and data intelligence, digital connectivity and powerful simulation tools, Agility 4.0™ is designed to enable producers to manufacture small production batches at cost levels typically associated with mass production, without compromising on key performance criteria such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and sustainability.
    A main focus for the ProPak Asia booth will be the leading role that Gebo Cermex plays in the implementation of cobots in packaging applications, helping make previous manual ancillary tasks fully automatic while enabling complete interactive human/machine relationships. These developments in collaborative robots - demonstrated by a cobot operating on the booth - provide reliability and, importantly, eliminate the potential for operators’ musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). As Gebo Cermex leads the packaging industry in the use of virtual reality, the booth will also offer a great immersive and interactive experience to visitors. The main purpose will be to demonstrate innovative ways of training operators and maintenance personnel, as well as providing an insight into how the future of packaging lines will look via an engaging tour of a production facility.

    Other innovative modules covered on the Gebo Cermex booth at ProPak Asia 2017, will include:
    • Connected machines that are easy to operate and manage across the whole organization via user-friendly design interfaces
    • EIT™ - the Efficiency Improvement Tool that uses comprehensive line monitoring to accurately detect the causes of unplanned stoppages and help increase operators’ responsiveness.
    • Remote video assistance, which - in the event of breakdown - uses video and audio technology with augmented reality to allow Gebo Cermex experts to view the line as if on-site, to secure a rapid recovery

    In Bangkok, Gebo Cermex will be presenting many new solutions developed to make Industry 4.0 opportunities a reality for packaging producers within the South East Asia Pacific region, in areas such as line design, services and asset optimization. Ceresole explains: “One of the key aspects of the Agility 4.0™ program is the ability to use high-precision simulation and modelling tools to allow customers to both visualize and forecast, so that they can make all the right decisions and thus keep their Operating Expenditure (OPEX) to an absolute minimum. At ProPak Asia this year, we will be showing how our approach – based on a unique integration business model – is able to ensure high performance, cost-effectiveness, high productivity and greater agility for packaging lines of today and tomorrow.”
    (Gebo Cermex)
    13.06.2017   Trouble-free recycling: Nature MultiPack™ granted interim approval by the EPBP    ( Company news )

    Company news Following tests on the Nature MultiPack™ the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) has confirmed that it can be fully recycled.

    -European PET Bottle Platform tests Nature MultiPack™
    -Recyclability of adhesive dot bottles confirmed
    -Adhesive has no impact on rPET quality

    Following tests on the Nature MultiPack™ the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) has confirmed that it can be fully recycled. The adhesive specially developed and supplied by NMP Systems and KHS has thus been granted interim approval for further market tests in Europe until June 30, 2019. The adhesive on the unique Nature MultiPack™ packaging system has no adverse effect on the rPET. Further tests shall be run to enable permanent approval to be granted.

    As a form of packaging for PET bottles which does not require any visible secondary film packaging, Nature MultiPack™ attracted much attention during its presentation. The PET bottles are held together by dots of adhesive; there is thus no film obstructing the view of the bottle. In 2016 the system won the German Design Award for outstanding communication design and sustainable packing. Considerable savings in materials and practical handling distinguish the pack from all other existing packaging variants. With the interim approval granted by the EPBP an independent body has now also confirmed that in tests the specially developed adhesive for the dots of glue on the bottles has no negative impact on the quality of the recycled PET.

    The tests showed that the dots of adhesive are removed as intended by friction during the washing process. The adhesive is then separated from the PET flakes as it floats to the surface of the cleaning medium. EPBP’s interim approval is valid until June 30, 2019. Further tests which are to culminate in the issue of permanent approval will follow in the coming months.

    The EPBP is a voluntary, industry-related initiative which provides PET bottle design guidelines for recycling, among other information. It assesses new PET packaging systems and technologies as regards their effect on the recycling process and tests and certifies these according to strict guidelines.- It thus supports the European PET value chain with respect to economic and ecological sustainability.
    (KHS GmbH)
    12.06.2017   Britvic PLC 2017 Interim results    ( Company news )

    Company news “A strong first half performance, confident of meeting market expectations for FY17”

    Group Financial Headlines:
    -Revenue increased 11.5% to £756.3m
    -Pre-exceptional EBITA* increased 6.7% to £73.6m
    -Organic revenue* increased 3.7% and organic pre-exceptional EBITA* increased 5.1%
    -Profit after tax decreased 4.9% to £38.6m, impacted by £5.8m of exceptional and other items
    -Adjusted earnings per share* increased 9.2% to 18.9p
    -Interim dividend per share of 7.2p, an increase of 2.9%

    Strategic highlights:
    -Strong revenue growth, with all business units in growth compared to last year
    -Organic pre-exceptional EBITA margin* increased 10bps
    -Successful management of cost inflation through disciplined revenue management and cost efficiency
    -Actions taken to deliver £5m overhead savings in FY17
    -Complementary bolt-on acquisition of Bela Ischia completed in Brazil, integration underway and on track to deliver R$10m of cost synergies
    -Building quality distribution of Fruit Shoot in the USA
    -Business Capability Programme, on track to deliver substantial cost benefits and commercial flexibility

    Simon Litherland (photo), Chief Executive Officer commented:
    “Britvic has delivered a strong first half performance driven by organic revenue growth in all our markets and successful management of input cost inflation. We have continued to make progress delivering our strategic priorities and have exciting commercial plans for the second half of the year. I am confident that we will deliver full year performance in line with market expectations.”
    (Britvic Plc)
    12.06.2017   Study shows effects of soda on appetite     ( Company news )

    Company news A recent study on the effects of carbonated drinks on human weight by Biology and Biochemistry professor Johnny Stiban (photo) indicates that carbonated beverages lead to increased food consumption in mammals, resulting in excessive weight gain in comparison to flat drinks.

    Stiban, who heads the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at Birzeit University and is the director of the MA program in Environmental Biology, said that the research was carried out with students Dureen Samandar Eweis and Fida’ Abed. The study was carried out on male rats in the university laboratories.

    The experiment, published in Obesity Research and Clinical Practice Journal, looked at the effects of carbon dioxide on the secretion of the hormone ghrelin in male rats and humans. Male rats were fed different categories of drinks and evaluated for over a year. Experiments were undertaken to evaluate the amount of ghrelin secreted with different beverage treatments.

    Rats that consumed carbonated beverages over a period of approximately one year gain weight at a faster rate than control rats given flat beverages or tap water, due to elevated levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and a resulting greater food intake. The study showed an increase in liver lipid accumulation among rats treated with carbonated drinks as opposed to control rats treated with flat beverages or tap water.

    After doing the experiment on rats, 20 male students were tested for their ghrelin levels after ingesting different beverages, thereby proving the study’s results. “The result of the study implicates carbon dioxide gas in soft drinks as playing a major role in inducing weight gain and the onset of obesity via ghrelin release and stimulation of the hunger response in male mammals,” found the research.
    (Birzeit University)
    09.06.2017   Sale of brewing & brands business by Charles Wells Ltd to Marston's    ( Company news )

    Company news Charles Wells Ltd has on 18 May 2017 agreed terms to sell its brewery and brand sales interests to Marston’s PLC for a cash consideration of £55 million, plus working capital adjustments.

    The other Charles Wells assets – pubs in the UK and France, are not included in the sale.

    The Bedford brewery site is the home of leading ale brands Bombardier, Courage, and McEwan’s and the sale also includes the UK distribution rights for Kirin Lager, Estrella Damm, Erdinger and Founders and the exclusive global license of the Young’s brand. In addition, Cockburn & Campbell, the wine merchants, will also transfer. Charlie Wells and John Bull beers will remain part of Charles Wells Ltd. Employees at the brewery in production, national sales, and brands marketing will transfer to Marston’s.

    In the next couple of years Charles Wells will invest in a small new, Bedford based, brewery to supply beers to its pub customers in the UK and Europe, and brewing and supply agreements will be made with Marston’s for interim brewing and longer term exclusive pub distribution services. The Charles Wells pub estate will have the benefit of the wider beer and wine range available from Marston’s.

    The strategy of Charles Wells has been to develop specialty ale and lager brands and a high-quality pub estate which is either tenanted or managed according to location. Today’s announcement signals an exit from higher volume national sales in favour of a more local and smaller scale brewing future in Bedford. The key focus will become the expansion of the managed pub businesses in the UK and France through acquisition, alongside additional investment in the leased and tenanted estate.

    Justin Phillimore, Chief Executive of Charles Wells Ltd, commented: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Marston’s to acquire our brewery and become a close trading partner. After a detailed review of our strategy we had decided to re-balance the company more towards retail investment and that meant finding a partner we could work with for the future. There are opportunities for both companies in this deal and we look forward to bringing them to life”

    Ralph Findlay, Chief Executive Officer of Marston’s PLC, commented: “Marston’s is delighted to have reached this agreement with Charles Wells and is absolutely committed to the future of brewing in Bedford. This agreement offers us opportunities to extend our trading area into new areas. The acquisition of the Charles Wells brewing business builds on Marston’s established brewing prowess and is a further step in our objective to develop the leading premium beer business in the UK market, something that Bedford’s Eagle Brewery will play an important part in.”
    08.06.2017   Z-ITALIA: POST EXHIBITION INTERPACK 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news On the occasion of the exhibition Interpack 2017 that took place in Düsseldorf (D) on April 2017, Z-Italia exhibited a rotary labelling machine Z-Adhesive and a reel labelling machine RollFed rotary Z-Roll.

    The adhesive labelling machine Z-Adhesive has an adhesive group, intentionally oversize, in order to guarantee a maximum precision during the application of the labels in the bottle.

    The adhesive labelling machine exhibited is equipped with the optic orientation with fiber in order to direct the logo in glass on the bottle.

    It is particularly interesting is the cutting group of the labels of the labelling machine RollFed which ensures a cut of over 200.000.000 labels without the replacement of the knives.

    In addition to the Z-Adhesive and Z-RollFed labelling machines, Z-Italia completes its series of labelling machines with the following models:
    - Z-ColdGlue: rotary labelling machines for partial cold glue paper labels
    - Z-HotMelt: rotary labelling machines for wrap around paper labels

    Z-Italia labelling machines series are ideal for glass and plastic bottles and cans with a speed from 5.000 to 60.000 bph.
    (Z-Italia srl)


    SteadyEDGE™ is a unique, patented base solution which offers Food, Home and Personal Care (FHPC) producers enhanced brand differentiation options together with maximum production efficiency.

    The use of PET is steadily gaining market share in FHPC markets traditionally dominated by HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and PP (Polypropylene). In 2016, PET packages accounted for 29 billion units for Food, 7 billion units for Personal Care and 8 billion units for Home Care . These figures are expected to grow by an average of 3% for all three sectors until 2020. Within these highly competitive markets, Sidel's new SteadyEDGE base offers chances to accelerate the take-up of PET containers. Along with innovative and attractive PET package design variants it ensures stable and cost-efficient production.

    Creative and distinctive package
    With SteadyEDGE, brands will appear exactly as intended. The new base technology is designed to meet the challenge of producing flat, oval and rectangular containers in PET, which all require a specific production process that delivers the optimum material distribution of PET to achieve a top quality package. “It makes it possible to achieve premium-quality containers in PET, with sharper edges which have a radius as little as only 1mm, compared to a previous minimum of 2.5mm,” explains Pierrick Protais, Packaging Innovation Leader at Sidel. These sharper edges actually increase design freedom and facilitate the production of more elegant containers with bases which are less curved. Also, they open up particular marketing opportunities for containers with complex shapes and large labelling surfaces. The technology also ensures maximum container quality by way of accurate processing, optionally reinforced by a monitoring system of visual control of base movement on individual blowing stations.

    More stable package for optimum uptime
    The sharper edges possible on the package are used to effectively flatten and increase the 'standing ring' area of the base. “In this way the package is much more stable, preventing unwanted rocking and reducing the possibility of containers being knocked over," adds Protais. "The application of SteadyEDGE to any design can enhance the package's stability by as much as 35%.” This is beneficial on the supermarket shelf and also in the home, as well as improving reliability on the production line. As packages are far less likely to fall while they are being conveyed between various machines, this results in fewer costly stoppages and greatly improved uptime.

    Cost-efficient and sustainable production
    This innovative packaging solution optimises productivity and low total cost of ownership (TCO) while product quality and reliability are maintained to a high standard. Benefits include lightweighting possibilities of up to 10% through the improved material stretch on the base. A reduction in blowing pressure decreases energy consumption by up to 20% during production when limitation is linked to base design. The solution has been achieving higher output rates which are also up to 10% faster - from 1,800 bottles per hour per mould for flat containers with a standard base to 2,000 bottles per hour per mould with SteadyEDGE. Such greatly improved line performance typically contributes to a return on investment (ROI) in less than a single year.

    Smarter blowing and quick changeover
    The specific sharp base design is achieved using the new Sidel patented base mould system: the Base OverStroke System (BOSS). BOSS is a piston activated in the blowing phase to stroke the base. This mechanical element allows for the raising and lowering of the base during the bottle-forming process independent of the opening and closing of the two half-shells of the mould.

    BOSS provides flexible and versatile production with the option to implement quick mould changeovers and ensure maximum production uptime. A BOSS-to-BOSS changeover can be performed in just 3 minutes; BOSS-to-other can be performed in 11 minutes. Easy to implement and to retrofit, Sidel's new BOSS solution is fully compatible with Sidel Universal blowing machines. It is currently in use by customers in different parts of the world, with over 200 million containers already produced, and will shortly also be available for Sidel Matrix™ blowing machines.
    (Sidel International AG)
    06.06.2017   UNITED CAPS to Open Manufacturing Facility in Malaysia    ( Company news )

    Company news UNITED CAPS, a global reference for the design of high performing plastic caps and closures, announced an investment in the development of manufacturing capabilities in Malaysia. The company will be building a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to meet increasing customer demand in the region for its advanced caps and closures.

    “We are experiencing significant growth in Southeast Asia,” said Benoît Henckes, CEO. “In keeping with our ‘Close to You’ strategy, this expansion of manufacturing capabilities allows us to continue to capitalise on the dynamic growth opportunities in the region and better serve our local customers. Localising production of our pioneering closure technologies in the Southeast Asian marketplace is the next logical step in our business expansion.”

    UNITED CAPS conducted an extensive search and determined that property in the Kulim High Tech Park provided an optimum location for the new manufacturing facility, expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2018. “This investment will initially create more than 20 new jobs in the region,” Henckes added, “and enable the local production of about 300 million closures in the first year. We are excited about the opportunity to bring our advanced technology to the new facility, and also to support the local community with jobs and other opportunities.”
    (United Caps)
    02.06.2017   drinktec 2017: Highlights from the supporting program    ( drinktec 2017 )

    drinktec 2017 drinktec, the “World's Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry”, has much to offer, not just in terms of the presentations by the exhibitors. The specialist supporting program explores the future of the sector, picks up on key current themes and offers exhibitors and visitors a great deal of real added value—all free of charge and right in the middle of the action at the show. Below is a preview of the conferences, forums, special exhibitions and networking platforms, competitions and awards to expect in this supporting program:

    Special Area New Beverage Concepts
    In Hall B1 and a part of Hall B2 drinktec 2017 is dedicating over 11,000 square meters of exhibition space to the section on raw materials, ingredients, agents and additives. Located in this environment is the Special Area on “New Beverage Concepts”. Here manufacturers present sweetening, coloration and aroma strategies as well as ingredients (fortification) and recipes. The Special Area New Beverage Concepts is directed at product and brand managers and marketing responsibles. Here they can try out the innovative ingredients and beverage concepts and look for new ideas from the flavor experts. This area is designed in an open and interactive way. The exhibitors´ booths are grouped around a “marketplace”, and the bar area in the middle ensures communication and exchange while also offering a tasting area for products.

    Innovation Flow Lounge
    The Innovation Flow Lounge, which was a big hit at its very first presentation at drinktec 2013, is a kind of discussion and information-exchange platform especially for visitors from the sales and marketing area (12,000 of them attended drinktec 2013). For drinktec 2017 the Special Area “New Beverage Concepts” and the Innovation Flow Lounge will share a common communication and bar area in Hall B1. Beverages manufacturers will be reporting on future themes from the sector in the field of product innovation, packaging and marketing. The themes scheduled for discussion in the Innovation Flow Lounge include:
    -Influencing the influencers—Use social networks for brand success
    -Augmented Reality—Sales support on new pathways
    -Digitally driven drinks—How digital transformation will change beverage markets
    -How to sell European beverages in Far East Asia
    -How national brands become globally successful

    Further exchange and networking opportunities are provided by a range of action modules, from the “Talking Table” to a “Speakers Corner”. The language of the lectures and for exchange is English.

    drinktec Forum
    For the fifth time, the drinktec Forum in Hall A2 will be an integral and important part of the supporting program.

    Independent experts from research and development will be providing answers and presenting groundbreaking ideas and practical solutions.

    The overall themes are:
    -Process technology for safe beverages
    -New raw materials
    -Industry 4.0
    -Batch size 1

    The themes and speakers are listed in detail at The last day of the Forum is dedicated to the theme of milk. All the lectures in the Forum are included in the price of an entry ticket to drinktec, and simultaneous interpretation (German/English) is provided at all of them.

    5 o’ Clock Theme
    A special new highlight takes place each day of the fair, at the end of the day in the Forum: The 5 o’ Clock Theme. Here, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, at 17:00, visitors can experience visionary keynote lectures on future scenarios. The speakers include some of the most innovative minds in the industry. Among them, for example, is the German trend researcher Sven Gábor Jánszky, Director of 2b AHEAD ThinkTank, speaking on “Rule Breaker—How people think whose ideas change the world”. Kishor Sridhar, bestselling author, management consultant and CEO of Verum Unternehmensentwicklung GmbH, will give a talk on the topic “One Step Ahead: Success is made by execution.” Furthermore: Sahar Hashemi, founder of the British coffee bar chain “Coffee Republic” and author of the book “Anyone can do it”.

    This is a great opportunity for drinktec visitors to gather fresh ideas for developing their own market and business strategies.

    water-technology@drinktec Symposium
    The water-technology@drinktec Symposium takes account of the increasing importance of water technology and water management for sustainable beverage production—a topic that has a strong focus at drinktec. The symposium features lectures, panel discussions and information about the subject of water on all days of the exhibition. Here trade fair visitors will find out more about innovative solutions, integrated concepts and practical examples for sustainable water management in the brewing, beverage and liquid food industry. Exhibitors, representatives from the manufacturing companies and experts from research and development will be giving the audience the benefit of their knowledge and expertise in short lectures and panel discussions. The symposium is organized by the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association, the conceptual sponsor of drinktec.

    Beer highlights
    place2beer: place2beer is a new format, a conceptual development from the Brewers’ Meeting Point, which was introduced at drinktec 2013. In Hall B1, on around 500 square meters of exhibition space, the place2beer is a gathering place for brewers and all those who are involved in the world of beer.

    A place to experience, experiment and interact—with tastings of beer from all over the world, with lectures (e.g. on the themes of food and beer, packaging and branding), panel discussions and presentations by start-up companies. At the place2beer visitors can also try the next generation of “Orange Spirit”—a beer brewed by none other than the drinktec team!

    Home & Craft: In Hall C1, this new section of the exhibition, designed for craft and hobby brewers, showcases equipment, ingredients and trends. In short: Everything craft and hobby brewers need to brew beer. Lectures on techniques and raw materials round off this offering.

    European MicroBrew Symposium: This event specifically addresses brewpubs and craft breweries. It is held on September 11, in the Internationales Congress Center München (ICM). The topics covered there mainly deal with the technical and technological aspects of brewing craft beer. The organizer is VLB.

    PETnology Europe Technical Conference
    This conference takes place at the same time as drinktec, in the adjacent ICM, and focuses on topics along the entire value chain for PET technology. PET innovations and developments are presented and discussed in detail there. More than 30 international speakers from the suppliers’ and end-users’ sides will be delivering lectures on themes such as: Saving materials and energy; Technology and convenience for bottles and closures; Decoration of bottles and closures; Direct printing; and Recycling technology. The focus will be on the top trends of digitalization and the circular economy. The organizers is PETnology/tecPET GmbH.

    Championships, competitions and awards
    European Beer Star: One of the toughest competitions in the sector.

    The three best beers in 57 different categories will be selected. The audience tasting is held on September 12, the presentation of the awards on September 13, 2017.

    World Beverage Innovation Awards @ drinktec: Celebrating excellence and innovation across every category of the global beverage industry. The categories range from finished products and packaging to technology, marketing and sustainability. The award ceremony takes place on September 14, 2017.

    World Cup for Beer Sommeliers: Crowning the world´s best beer experts. The World Cup takes place ahead of drinktec, on September 10, 2017 at the exhibition center. The final six participants who have won through the international rounds, will be pitting their skills against each other in the final in front of a high-caliber jury.

    Events as part of SIMEI@drinktec
    SIMEI Knowledge & Innovation Area: The European viticulture association CEEV (Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins) will present the results of an initiative to establish new rules regarding the product environmental footprint (PEF) of wine products. The latest developments that pertain to bottle filling lines and food contact compliance rules will be presented and discussed by the Glass Experimental Center research team. The “Maremma—Land of Wine” project shows how wine producers can have themselves and their products certified by adopting an innovative approach.

    SIMEI Innovation Challenge: Launched by the Unione Italiana Vini (UIV), this challenge is aimed at promoting innovation and technological creativity in wine growing. On September 12, exhibitors in SIMEI@drinktec will be competing against each other with their state-of-the-art systems, products and machinery. The winners will be presented with the Lucio Mastroberardino Innovation Award.
    (Messe München GmbH)
    02.06.2017   ENGEL grows worldwide    ( Company news )

    Company news ENGEL continues to grow. The Austrian injection moulding machine manufacturer, automation expert and systems supplier has increased its annual revenues for the third time in a row. The group of companies closed fiscal 2016/2017 at the end of March with sales of 1.36 billion euros, 8.6 percent up on the previ-ous year. It started the new business year 2017/2018 with a workforce of 5,900 – another new record.

    Photo: “Asia developed faster than average in fiscal 2016/2017,” says Dr Christoph Steger, Chief Sales Of-ficer of the ENGEL Group.

    “The markets in Asia have played a big role in the success of the ENGEL Group,” say the directors of ENGEL at the start of the Chinaplas 2017 trade fair, where ENGEL traditionally announces its annual results. “Asia grew faster than average in the last fiscal year, primarily due to China. On top of this, we are benefiting from the strong momentum in Southeast Asia,” says Chief Sales Officer Dr. Christoph Steger in Guangzhou. At the same time, growth in Europe continues unchecked and demand in North America increases further. The directors of the ENGEL Group expect further growth in the new business year, albeit at a somewhat lower level than in the recent past.

    Main growth driver: customised solutions
    ENGEL delivers both individual injection moulding machines as well as integrated turnkey solutions worldwide, the latter accounting more and more for incoming orders around the globe. “Customised solutions are currently our main driving force for growth,” says Steger. “Here, too, Asia, and China in particular, grow at above-average rates.” Apart from injection moulding machines, robots and other automation solutions, the system solutions tailor-made to meet the requirements of the respective applications include process technologies, periph-eral systems, moulds as well as software solutions for digitalisation and networking. ENGEL unlocks the potentials for efficiency and quality particularly well by adapting all components in the manufacturing cell to each other exactly right from the start, thereby strengthening the competitiveness of its customers.

    Increased industry expertise in America and Asia
    The development of customised injection moulding solutions necessitates not only especially deep technological know-how, but also an understanding of the particular industry, which ENGEL ensures with its business unit structure. At its headquarters in Austria, ENGEL main-tains separate teams dedicated wholly to the requirements of the automotive, technical moulding, teletronics, packaging and medical industries respectively.

    More than two years ago, ENGEL also started to entrench industry-specific know-how locally at its customers’. In a first step, unit managers were appointed in North America for the five business units, and at present ENGEL is introducing a business unit structure in Asia. “We will then also have industry know-how available to us for Asia at our site in Shanghai, thereby enabling us to grow our market position in the five business units further,” says Gero Willmeroth, Sales and Service President at ENGEL Machinery Shanghai. “This is an im-portant step in our efforts to strengthen our technological expertise here in Asia.” “The global trends in manufacturing and increasing process integration or Industry 4.0 mean that we work ever-more intensively with our customers over the complete lifecycle of the machines and manufacturing cells,” Christoph Steger underlines. “More and more, we are becoming part-ners in the endeavour of continuous process optimisation. We are implementing our new structures to meet the needs of this development.”

    Remote maintenance and condition-based predictive maintenance are just two of the possibil-ities leading to closer cooperation in after-sales. At Chinaplas, ENGEL presents both its estab-lished as well as new innovative smart service solutions. “Industry 4.0 is rapidly gaining im-portance here in China,” says Willmeroth. “The major international players have been tackling this issue for a long time and have first successes to show. Many other companies still find it difficult to deal with digitalisation and networking. This is where we see our role to support our customers with their very special problems to enable them to make full use of the fourth in-dustrial revolution and to accompany them on their road to becoming smart factories.” ENGEL has fully developed products that have proven themselves time and again around the world for all three parts of the smart factory – smart machine, smart production and smart service – thereby enabling it to fall back on vast experience in this field.

    Bigger service teams
    ENGEL is changing its organisational structure and hiring new staff worldwide not only in its sales department, but also in service. It appointed a service manager for Southeast Asia for the first time as of 1 April. Dave Lock comes from Great Britain, has lived in Thailand for five years and has a wealth of experience in production in both Asia as well as Central America and Europe to contribute to his new role. He will henceforth coordinate the service teams in the various countries of Southeast Asia and remain in constant contact with headquarters in Austria.

    ENGEL has realigned itself completely in Southeast Asia and established a regional hub in Bangkok to this end. “The new structure has already produced successes,” says Steger. “We have been able to strengthen our position in Southeast Asia further in the last months.” One important task of the hub is to supply customers with spare parts. The new spare-parts store started work in May. “We now have spare parts worth 8 million euros in stock on site in Southeast Asia,” says Steger. “We can deliver stock parts to the important industrial centres of the ASEAN region within 24 hours.” In the past, spare parts for Southeast Asia came main-ly from China. The new concept of a Free Trade Warehouse Zone (FTWZ) has eliminated trade barriers in operational business. In this way ENGEL will achieve significant time and cost benefits for its customers.

    100 million euros annually for extension of plants
    ENGEL is currently investing more than 100 million euros per year in the extension and mod-ernisation of its plants. One of its largest projects worldwide is the expansion of its headquar-ters in Schwertberg. Additional space of 10,000 square metres has been erected in the south-ern part of the premises. It includes offices, a childcare centre for the children of staff mem-bers and an even bigger and more modern apprenticeship workshop. In the next step, the production shop at the northern end of the factory site, built in 2013, will be expanded and a new customer technology centre built.

    At the same time, the two large-scale machine plants in St. Valentin and Shanghai will be en-larged. “Building work in Shanghai progressed well over the winter,” says Willmeroth. “We plan to inaugurate the new production hall together with our customers and partners in Sep-tember.” This is already the second major expansion since ENGEL Machinery Shanghai was established exactly 10 years ago. A new apprenticeship workshop has also been built in Shanghai as part of the expansion project. At present, 45 apprentices are training there as CNC, mechatronic and plastics technicians.

    Workforce to top 6,000 soon
    ENGEL is counteracting the increasing lack of skilled labour worldwide effectively by training young people in technical jobs. Around 180 young men and women are currently in appren-ticeships in the company’s Austrian plants. In addition to this, ENGEL trains its own upcoming stock of skilled workers in China, the Czech Republic and Germany and is increasing its in-volvement in the advanced education and training of graduates with a special international sales trainee programme.

    Towards the end of fiscal 2016/2017, ENGEL employed more than 5,900 personnel world-wide, more than ever before in the company’s history. The workforce has grown by 10 per-cent on average over the last three years. “We will pass the 6,000 mark in the first quarter of the new business year,” Christoph Steger announces. ENGEL is increasing its workforce to meet the needs from growing sales and changing requirements in the plastics industry. “In-dustry 4.0 means we will need more highly qualified personnel in future,” said Steger.
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    02.06.2017   Sinalco now delivering to retailers in Greece    ( Company news )

    Company news Until now consumers in Greece could only refresh themselves with a cool Sinalco in one of the many hotels on the Aegean Islands. But from this month the Cult soda is available throughout the country.

    The Georgos Marvrikos distillery began producing Sinalco drinks as bag-in-box concentrates for hotels and restaurants in 2006. The brand is now a firm favourite in major hotel chains on the Greek islands. And it is fitting that the cult thirst-quencher is most popular where people from all over the world are at home on holiday. What could be better than an ice-cold Sinalco by the pool or on the beach?
    Because the brand has been so well received, distribution has been expanded to country. This required a major investment: building a bottling plant for PET bottles on Rhodes.

    The new factory has been built with expansion in mind. The launch – on time for the 2017 tourist season – is being made with Sinalco Cola, Sinalco Orange and Sinalco Lemon. These three classic varieties can be enjoyed in 0.5 litre bottles for quick refreshment, or 1.5 litre bottles to take home.
    The first extensions to the range have already been decided. Calorie-aware Greek consumers will soon discover sugar-free Zero varieties of Sinalco Cola, Sinalco Orange and Sinalco Lemon on the shelves next to their classic cousins.

    “Mr. Mavrikos has fulfilled a dream by building his own Sinalco factory,” says Mongi Goundi, Managing Director of Sinalco International Brands. “The first step was reached in 2006, when his company became a Sinalco partner and invested in machinery required to produce bag-in-box concentrates. Now Mr. Mavrikos has taken the next step and is launching Sinalco throughout Greece.”

    Negotiations with major retailers are well underway and the first listings have already been agreed. Tastings are being organised throughout the country to introduce consumers to Sinalco. The launch is being supported primarily by various point-of-sale activities to help draw attention to Sinalco where it is being sold.

    “We are very happy that we are well prepared in time for the summer season,” explains Mongi Goundi. “Greece is an important market with demanding and discerning consumers. We aim that our high quality and great flavour will convince them.”
    (Sinalco International GmbH & Co. KG)

    Buyers' Guide:
    Raw materials
      Raw materials for malt and beer production
      Raw materials for non-alcoholic beverages production
    Machines and installations
      Malt production machines and installations
      Beverage production machines and installation
      Pub breweries machines and installations
      Filtration and separation
      Filling and cleaning equipment
      Packing and transportation systems
      Machines and installations, misc.
      Labelling and finishing mach., recording equipment, hardware
    Operating and laboratory equipment
      Measuring equipment
      Regulation systems
      Control and processing systems
      Measurement and control technology, misc.
      Containers, tanks and accessories
      Fittings and pumps
      Disinfection and cleaning equipment, CIP systems
      Laboratory equipment
      Drive components, drives, couplings
    Energy management, working and packaging materials
      Energy management: supply and disposal
      Process materials
      Labelling, packing materials and aids
      Beverage containers and packages
      Environmental protection, recycling and industrial safety
    Catering equipment
      Dispensing systems and vending machines
      Catering furniture and accecories
      Tents and accessories
    Transport and sales vehicles
      Dispensing and sales vehicles
      Transport vehicles and equipment
    Organization and advertising
      Organization, logistics, EDP and consulting services
      Advertising media and promotional articles
    Trade press, associations, institutes, institutions
      Trade journals
      Associations, institutes, institutions

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