- Daily news from the international beverage industry - gathered by Birkner

News Seite 8

News RSS-News
Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on throwaway plastics by 2021

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on throwaway plastics by 2021  (Company news)

-single-use cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers to be banned from 2021
-MEPs added oxo-plastics and certain polystyrenes
-plastics where no alternatives available to be reduced by at least 25% by 2025
-measures against cigarette filters and lost fishing gear

Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks or cotton buds, will be banned in the EU under plans adopted on Wednesday.

These products, which make up over 70% of marine litter, will be banned from the EU market from 2021, under draft plans approved by Parliament.

MEPs added to this list of plastics banned from the EU market from 2021: products made of oxo-degradable plastics, such as bags or packaging and fast-food containers made of expanded polystyrene.

National reduction targets for other non-banned plastics
The consumption of several other items, for which no alternative exists, will have to be reduced by member states by least 25% by 2025. This includes single-use burger boxes, sandwich boxes or food containers for fruits, vegetables, desserts or ice creams. Member states will draft national plans to encourage the use of products suitable for multiple use, as well as re-using and recycling.

Other plastics, such as beverage bottles, will have to be collected separately and recycled at a rate of 90% by 2025.

Cigarette butts and lost fishing gear
MEPs agreed that reduction measures should also cover waste from tobacco products, in particular cigarette filters containing plastic. It would have to be reduced by 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2030.

One cigarette butt can pollute between 500 and 1000 litres of water, and thrown on the roadway, it can take up to twelve years to disintegrate. They are the second most littered single-use plastic items.

Member states should also ensure that at least 50% of lost or abandoned fishing gear containing plastic is collected per year, with a recycling target of at least 15% by 2025. Fishing gear represents 27% of waste found on Europe’s beaches.

Making producers more accountable
Member states would have to ensure that tobacco companies cover the costs of waste collection for those products, including transport, treatment and litter collection. The same goes for producers of fishing gear containing plastic, who will need to contribute to meeting the recycling target.

Frédérique Ries (ALDE, BE), rapporteur, said: “We have adopted the most ambitious legislation against single-use plastics. It is up to us now to stay the course in the upcoming negotiations with the Council, due to start as early as November. Today’s vote paves the way to a forthcoming and ambitious directive. It is essential in order to protect the marine environment and reduce the costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe, estimated at 22 billion euros by 2030.”

Next steps
The report, drafted by Frédérique Ries (ALDE, BE), was adopted with 571 votes to 53 and 34 abstentions. Parliament will enter into negotiations with Council when EU ministers will have set their own position on the file.
(European Parliament)

Lecta Presents its Extensive Range of Papers for Beverage Labels at BrauBeviale 2018

Lecta Presents its Extensive Range of Papers for Beverage Labels at BrauBeviale 2018  (Company news)

The world’s largest event for the beverage industry will be held in Nuremberg, Germany, from November 13-15

Lecta will again participate in the BrauBeviale trade show with its extensive portfolio of special papers for beverage labels. It will feature its latest developments in metallized paper, one-side coated paper and self-adhesive materials at this exhibition which last year attracted nearly 1,200 exhibitors and 40,000 beer and other beverage industry professionals.

Lecta’s range of high-vacuum 100% recyclable metallized papers, Metalvac, will be
on exhibit with two special paper lines designed for premium beverage labels and for label converters: Wet-glue labels, for beer, water, spirits and wine labels available with high, medium and low moisture resistance and ideal for returnable and one-way bottles, and Pressure-sensitive labels, papers designed to be transformed into selfadhesive facestock for labels.
The Metalvac range is available in different finishes (plain, pin-head, brushed and linen).

“Endless possibilities” is the swatchbook for Lecta’s Creaset one-side coated paper line, designed for the labels and flexible packaging segment. Its “Labels” range for beverages includes papers specifically designed for beer bottles such as light wetstrength Creaset LWS, for drinks (especially water) and high wet-strength Creaset HWS papers, available with smooth, embossed and now extra-strength embossed finishes, ideal for applications that require a more artisanal touch.

Our Adestor self-adhesive labels from the “Labels to Celebrate” collection feature an excellent and versatile selection of papers and films combined with water-based acrylic adhesives to meet the needs of the most demanding final applications in the beverage sector. The 27 exclusive labels featured in the catalog were manufactured with different printing techniques such as silkscreen, stamping and embossing, highlighting their benefits in terms of machinability and print quality.

“Labels to Celebrate” also includes special facestock such as papers with a natural shade, embossed and gloss pearl finishes and metallized papers highly resistant to moisture and the cold. Combined with the BC361Plus and VR152 acrylic adhesives, they are the ideal solution for all bottles subject to ice-bucket immersion or that need to be recovered in caustic soda baths.

We look forward to seeing you at BrauBeviale, Hall 4 - stand 438, November 13–15th.

Tetra Pak launches Tetra Pak® Plant Secure, total-plant management service ...

Tetra Pak launches Tetra Pak® Plant Secure, total-plant management service ...  (Company news)

... boosting customer profitability​

Tetra Pak has launched Tetra Pak® Plant Secure, a game-changing plant management service that delivers profitability improvements for customers.

The new service starts with a detailed audit of all the equipment and systems across the customer’s value chain. This analysis, combined with Tetra Pak’s deep knowledge of the industry and benchmark data on food manufacturing, enables its specialists to identify opportunities and implement improvements across the customer’s entire operation. All Tetra Pak Plant Secure contracts come with targets around operational expenditure reduction and capital expenditure optimisation.

Dennis Jonsson, President and CEO of Tetra Pak Group said: “Our investment in Industry 4.0 technologies such as artificial intelligence, automation and data velocity has enabled us to better-support our customers in the digital era. Tetra Pak Plant Secure is a great example of how we use new technology to broaden our perspective and deliver bottom-line benefits for our customers.”

​Pilot projects have been carried out in the Americas and in Europe, delivering results that are above customer expectations. For example, an Americas-based dairy producer reduced operational costs by more than 10% in the first year of implementation, and the project continues to deliver further savings. Tetra Pak Plant Secure is being rolled out to all food and beverage companies around the world.
(Tetra Pak GmbH & Co. KG)

Beverage measurement with a gemstone

Beverage measurement with a gemstone  (Company news)

A new process sensor has been on the market since the beginning of September: the Cobrix 2600 is theentry-level model for the simultaneous measurement of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) and sugarcontent in non-alcoholic beverages. The sensor is integrated directly into the production process via a standardized connection and is of interest to producers of carbonated softdrinks who have not previously used process measurement. The sensor is available with and without display; in the latter case, an evaluation unit is required.

The Cobrix 2600 is an advanced version of the Carbo 520 Optical. "Our Cobrix 2600 sensor is the first on the market with which CO2 and sugar can be measured simultaneously," says Jörg Christian Seit, product manager for the Carbo and oxygen process sensors. The special feature of this type of sensor is its smart measuring system, which is based on "attenuated total reflection" (ATR). The core of the measuring system is a "gemstone,“ a ground sapphire crystal, about the size of a thumbnail. The finishing is made precisely in such away that an infrared beam is reflected three times inside this crystal before it hits the detector. If CO2 is present outside the sapphire, the infrared ray (IR) is attenuated. The attenuation is measured at precisely the wavelength at which carbon dioxide absorbs infrared light. Thus, the CO2 content can be determined via the damping of the IR signal. Furthermore, there is a second, equally functioning measuring channel in the crystal to analyze the sugar content.

According to product manager Seit, the production of the sensor units is sophisticated and time-consuming. E.g., the sapphire is connected to the polished stainless steel housing with a gold solder in a clean room. The result is a maintenance-free product that delivers a precise measurement result every four seconds of the production process. However, the sensor is not suitable for alcoholic and sugar-free beverages.
(Anton Paar GmbH)

UNITED CAPS Partners with trio-technik to Streamline Manufacturing Process in Schwerin Plant,...

UNITED CAPS Partners with trio-technik to Streamline Manufacturing Process in Schwerin Plant,...  (Company news)

... Strengthening Market Leadership Position

AirMove transport system delivers increased productivity, helps ensure a high quality standard

UNITED CAPS, an international manufacturer of caps and closures, announced it has installed four trio-technik AirMove transport systems in its Schwerin plant (photo), which primarily serves the German beverage market. The 10,000 m2 facility occupies two production halls, employs 58 people, and produces several billion 28mm and 38mm closures per year for still and carbonated water, juices and milk. Trio-technik will be demonstrating the system using caps and closures from UNITED CAPS at the 26th Fakuma international trade fair for plastics processing, scheduled for 16 to 20 October 2018 in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

“We are pleased to be partnering with trio-technik to demonstrate its innovative AirMove transport system at this important show,” said Olivier Jaillot, Chief Manufacturing Officer for UNITED CAPS. “We implemented this system at the beginning of the year and have been extremely pleased with its performance. At Fakuma, we will be providing trio-technik with red PROSPARK and blue SPARK closures for use in their demonstrations.”

Jaillot explains that after the quality control, which includes the visual check by cameras, the caps must be raised to a height of 1.9 meters for a packing in containers. “If we were to use a conventional conveyor belt system, it would take more space and use more energy. With the trio-technik AirMove system, we only need about one-third of the space a conveyor belt system would require, and we use 20% less energy.”

The trio-technik AirMove system uses special steel pipes that are designed for frictionless movement of parts in order to prevent damage during transport. “Other systems we looked at use plastic tubing,” Jaillot says, “and we could see they would cause erosion of plastic on our caps during transport. We also love the fact that the system is basically maintenance-free since the blower motor is the only moving part in the system, which is a key contributor to our ability to maintain the high level of quality and reliability our customers expect from us. It’s been a great decision for us, and we believe visitors to the trio-technik stand at Fakuma will be as impressed as we have been.”

Trio-technik worked closely with Thoralf Niehusen, Plant Director of the Schwerin location, and the UNITED CAPS R&D Center during the selection and implementation process.

Jaillot explains that the partnership with trio-technik is a good example of UNITED CAPS’ market driven approach based on Relate. Perform. Sustain.
-Relate – We know the brand owner requirements regarding our caps and relate to partners like trio-technik. We gained insights that help us to optimise the quality of our product.
-Perform – The trio-technik partnership is one way we have worked to provide a high quality product that assures the productivity requested by the brand owners.
-Sustain – The trio-technik technology contributes to the UNITED CAPS target to reduce the overall energy consumption

In addition to SPARK and PROSPARK closures, the Schwerin plant also manufacturers PROGLASS and PROSTILL. The trio-technik AirMove system is used to transport all of the caps manufactured in the Schwerin plant through the quality control process.

“Our thanks go to the UNITED CAPS team for their collaboration with us, both in the installation in their Schwerin plant, and for their generosity in providing us with SPARK and PROSPARK caps for use in our Fakuma demonstration, stated Tobias Esau, Project Manager, of trio-technik. “Like UNITED CAPS, we seek to be more than a supplier, and partnerships like the one we have with UNITED CAPS help both of our companies deliver better customer service.”
(United Caps)

Soft Drinks For Lowering Cholesterol

Soft Drinks For Lowering Cholesterol  (Company news)

At Hydro One, one of our goals is to offer ideal soft drinks for lowering cholesterol. That’s why we created TRÜE Sugar Free Green Tea. TRÜE is made from all natural ingredients, and offers both great taste and numerous heart health benefits, including helping to lower cholesterol.

When you’re looking to keep your heart, mind and body healthy, it’s important to properly manage both your diet and lifestyle. Staying active, eating healthier, reducing blood sugars, and managing your weight and blood pressure are all great habits for a healthy heart.

In addition to regular exercise and eating healthy, it’s just as important to choose the right drinks too. Regular soft drinks are loaded with sugar and can damage your heart health, but diet soft drinks made with sugar substitutes can be unhealthy too. A recent study conducted by Hannah Gardener, Sc.D., epidemiologist in the Miller School’s Department of Neurology, showed that people who drink diet soft drinks on a regular basis are 43% more likely to suffer a vascular event than those who don’t drink any.

TRÜE Sugar-Free Green Tea was developed by scientists and is made from plant sterols and cognitive enhancer agents, all of which helps you lower your cholesterol, keep your heart healthy, boost your brain function, even manage your weight. Best of all, it tastes great! TRÜE can be served hot or cold, and it’s ideal for diabetics too.

If you’re looking for a great tasting, heart-healthy beverage, Hydro One’s TRÜE Sugar-Free Green Tea is just one of our specially created soft drinks for lowering cholesterol and other health benefits.
(Hydro One Beverages LLC)

The Nation chooses the taste of Pepsi MAX® over the best selling Cola

The Nation chooses the taste of Pepsi MAX® over the best selling Cola  (Company news)

This summer, Pepsi MAX® put its taste credentials to the test against the UK’s biggest selling cola as it asked consumers to choose their favourite during the Pepsi MAX Taste Challenge. The results have been revealed and 61% of participants chose the taste of Pepsi MAX over the biggest selling cola in the UK market.

“This is great news for Pepsi MAX and retailers. The results clearly demonstrate the potential revenue power of Pepsi MAX as part of a complete retail soft drinks offer,” said Bruce Dallas, Marketing Director at Britvic GB, the brand’s producer in the UK and Ireland for over 30 years. “The Pepsi MAX Taste Challenge has undoubtedly heightened visibility and trial of the brand through the heavyweight support package of TV, outdoor and social advertising alongside the pop-up taste test events this summer.”

“Pepsi MAX has contributed more absolute value growth (+£57.1m vs YA) to the Grocery and Impulse Cola category than any other brand in the last year3 and we will be focusing on developing plans that drive this growth even further for retailers in the coming months,” added Dallas.

The Pepsi MAX Taste Challenge toured the country, with approximately 24,000 participants taking part in controlled blind taste tests to decide the better tasting cola.
(Britvic Plc)

SIG wins the German Packaging Award  for SIGNATURE PACK

SIG wins the German Packaging Award for SIGNATURE PACK  (Company news)

SIGNATURE PACK from SIG impressed the jury. The world's first aseptic carton pack with a clear link to 100% plant-based renewable materials has now been awarded the prestigious 'German Packaging Award' in the sustainability category.

This year, participants from ten nations applied for the coveted award, which is regularly submitted at FachPack in Nuremberg – a total of 226 entries were received. The German Packaging Award is an international, cross-industry and cross-material competition. Every year, the German Packaging Institute (Deutsches Verpackungsinstitut - dvi) awards the prize for innovative and creative packaging ideas. The dvi is the only network in the packaging industry that unites companies from all stages of the value chain as members.  

Dr. Bettina Horenburg, dvi board member and responsible for the German Packaging Award: "Packaging is a central factor in our infrastructure. That is why it is justifiably at the centre of public interest. The constantly increasing demands in areas such as sustainability, efficiency and convenience can only be met through continuous innovation”.

Added-value packaging
SIGNATURE PACK from SIG, which has now been awarded with the German Packaging Award, is such an innovation that brings added value for the industry and at the same time meets the expectations of consumers who place increasing importance on environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging. The polymers used for laminating the paperboard and making the closure of the SIGNATURE PACK originate from renewable European wood sources and are certified by recognized and approved certification systems (ISCC PLUS and TÜV SÜD CMS71) via a mass balance system. This means that for the polymers used in the SIGNATURE PACK, an equivalent amount of bio-based feedstock went into the manufacturing of the polymers. Tall oil was selected as the feedstock because, as a by-product of paper production, it is a waste material rather than an agricultural crop that requires land and resources to grow.

The jury's verdict states: "SIGNATURE PACK sets a clear mark for sustainability. The packaging is characterised by the use of renewable raw materials, the conservation of fossil resources and the reduction of the CO2 emissions compared to conventional packaging".

Nora Wigand, Marketing Account Manager D-A-CH, and Udo Felten, Manager Product Related Global Environmental Sustainability & Affairs at SIG, have received the award on behalf of SIG at the award ceremony in Nuremberg. "We are pleased that after the World Beverage Innovation Award, the German Packaging Award has now also been given to our SIGNATURE PACK. The commitment to environmentally friendly products and sustainable packaging solutions is one of the most relevant topics for industry and consumers both nationally and internationally. We are proud that our SIGNATURE PACK is seen and appreciated as a milestone in the aseptic packaging sector. It drives the replacement of conventional plastics from fossil fuels with certified and sustainable plant-based polymer materials".
(SIG Combibloc GmbH)

Bell's Double IPA joining year-round lineup; exclusive, new releases coming to our General Store

Bell's Double IPA joining year-round lineup; exclusive, new releases coming to our General Store  (Company news)

Two brand new Bell’s beers have been announced for 2019, but we have more in store for our craft beer fans this fall.

Hopsoulution (photo), one of our Double IPAs, is joining our year-round lineup in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Hopsoulution was previously a limited, specialty release for our entire distribution area.

Twelve-ounce bottles, packaged in 6-packs, along with kegs of Hopsoulution will start shipping in September. It will remain a specialty release for the remaining 35 states in our distribution footprint (plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico), returning in the spring of 2019.

“Our fans have been asking for a Double IPA to be a part of our year-round portfolio. We’re going to start with the Great Lakes region and re-evaluate other markets in the future,” Larry Bell, President and Founder of Bell’s Brewery said.

Remarkably drinkable for a beer with an 8% ABV, Hopsoulution is brewed with several hop varieties for massive aromas of tropical fruit, citrus and pine. A mild caramel malt character and dry finish provide balance.

Also debuting this fall will be two brand new, but limited, specialty releases!

Side Yard Ale (6.8% ABV), a fresh-hopped New England style IPA, will be available exclusively for purchase at the Bell’s General Store and on tap at Bell’s Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo. Packaged in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans, the beer will be brewed with Chinook hops freshly harvested from our Hop Yard located right next to our Comstock Brewery.

Each can will feature one of three labels, each showing a different image of the Hop Yard including one from last year’s harvest. It will be released in early October.

Tessie’s Golden Ale (5% ABV) will also be a Bell’s General Store and Cafe exclusive. The bottle label features Larry Bell’s Yellow Labrador, Tessie, wearing an Oberon dog collar. It will also leave the brewery in late October.

Both beers will be brewed using our brand new pilot brew system. Tessie’s Ale will be bottled using our new specialty bottling line. Both are part of a brand new innovation pipeline – a 12.8-barrel pilot brew system and specialty packaging line designed to fill 12 oz. and 750 mL bottles.

This Pilot Brewery is located where our original Comstock Bottling Hall was located, the same space where all Bell’s bottled beers were packaged from 2003 until 2016. Bell’s newer and primary Bottling Hall is capable of filling 750 bottles-per-minute.
(Bell's Brewery Inc.)

Sidel Group to champion market-tailored innovations at China Brew China Beverage – CBB 2018

Sidel Group to champion market-tailored innovations at China Brew China Beverage – CBB 2018  (Company news)

At China Brew China Beverage 2018, taking place in Shanghai from the 23rd to 26th of October, Sidel and Gebo Cermex will present solutions that help Greater China producers, co-packers and brand owners achieve long term superior performance throughout the lifecycle of their packaging lines.

With an expected 2.1% growth of all packaging materials in Greater China between 2018 and 2021 , the soft drinks, beer, food, home & personal care producers in the region need to be ready to address trends like packaging mass customisation in a fast-changing market environment.

Superior reliability and flexibility without compromising product and brand quality
At Booth 1B31 in Hall W1, Sidel and Gebo Cermex will be showcasing the Group’s commitment to future-proof solutions with the Agility 4.0™ programme – bringing smart factories to life and creating a world of greater choice and unique consumer experience – and performance-based services, which focus on maximum equipment availability and a shorter time-to-market. Key to achieve those benefits is effective maintenance. Both Sidel and Gebo Cermex are showcasing their new modular maintenance agreements at CBB 2018: the ‘Time & Material’ for tailored preventive maintenance and the ‘Fixed Price’ agreement for condition-based maintenance at a fixed cost. These new additions are specifically designed to strengthen the Group’s Services portfolio through a holistic approach to preventive maintenance, which helps customers maintain performance at optimum level throughout their production. Additionally, another highlight at the show will be the Sidel Services Online platform, a user-friendly web interface for fast and easy ordering of original spare parts, options and upgrades.

At CBB 2018, Sidel and Gebo Cermex will highlight their market-tailored innovations, designed to increase reliability, flexibility, and agility in the production process. To name but a few:

- The Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis™, an integrated blow-fill-seal-filler solution with dry preform sterilisation, ensures an aseptic production that is flexible, cost-effective and safe. The company recently received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for this solution.
- Talking packaging innovations, Sidel will put a strong focus on the Base OverStroke System (BOSS), a new, patented base mould system adding versatility to production whilst securing maximum uptime.
- The Sidel Super Combi, which integrates five process steps into one single system: preforms feeder, blowing, labelling, filling/capping and caps feeder. By encompassing equipment intelligence, it helps water and CSD producers gain continuous production optimisation and enhanced performance.
- The new EvoFILL Can from Sidel, offering a high degree of flexibility and improved hygienic conditions for the filling of top quality, aluminium cans. Having undergone a complete redesign, the new solution is able to manage a wider range of cans, filling various temperatures and beverage types, thus bringing great filling performance to high quality beverages, like low-carbonated drinks or flash pasteurised beer.
- Gebo Cermex’s AQFlex®, an all-in-one product handling technology, able to accommodate any product, whatever the application, whatever the market, in all container materials, formats and shapes, full or empty, while also enabling automatic changeovers and ensuring total care of product integrity. Thanks to its radically new approach of conveying and accumulation, AQFlex delivers unprecedented packaging line performance. It offers this, together with unique agility and smooth contactless product conveying and accumulation, in a very compact space.

Talking competitiveness, Laurent Bousselet, Zone VP Greater China, Gebo Cermex, comments on the Group’s EIT® (Efficiency Improvement Tool). This market-leading data acquisition and plant intelligence system, currently installed in more than 70 countries, is another company highlight at the show: “The system automatically records 24/7 raw production data, calculates a wide array of KPIs to help measure performance, analyses production issues, detects efficiency loss sources and performs root cause analyses. Designed to ultimately decrease unplanned downtime, it reduces waste and costs, and increases the plant’s output, as it gives employees at all levels real-time access to relevant and actionable information on production-related issues.”

Performance through Understanding
Scarlet Chen, VP Sales, Sidel Greater China, concludes, “Sidel has been supporting beverage producers in Greater China for over 20 years: China Brew China Beverage 2018 will provide an excellent live platform to explain the promise that we – as a Group – make to our clients every day: ‘Performance through Understanding’ and the strategy behind it. Our customers can really benefit from Sidel and Gebo Cermex working together, as the respective strengths and expertise of the two business units are perfectly combined to answer specific requirements of manufacturers based in this region.”
(Sidel International AG)

Molson Coors Canada and HEXO Launch Truss

Molson Coors Canada and HEXO Launch Truss  (Company news)

Brett Vye (photo) to lead cannabis-infused beverage joint venture

Molson Coors Canada (MCC), the Canadian business unit of Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP; TSX: TPX), and HEXO Corp. (TSX: HEXO) announced that they have closed the transaction announced on August 1, 2018, to form a joint venture to pursue opportunities to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalization.

The joint venture, Truss, will be led by former Molson Coors executive, Brett Vye, in the role of Chief Executive Officer. Vye will report to the Truss board of directors consisting of three members appointed by MCC and two members appointed by HEXO.

“With the backing of two partners with deep Canadian roots, proven success, and market-leading experience in the respective beverage and cannabis industries in Canada, Truss will hit the ground running,” said Brett Vye, Chief Executive Officer at Truss. “When consumable cannabis is legalized in Canada, Truss will be ready to make its mark as a responsible leader in providing high-quality beverages for the Canadian consumer. Why “Truss”? We are joining together the extensive experience and excellent practices of each partner to build a powerful foundation for the future.”

Vye brings a decade of experience in leading successful brand building and integration efforts, as well as executing long-term growth strategies. Vye served as the Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer for the fast-growing International division of Molson Coors from 2015 to September 2018. Previously, he served as Chief Commercial Officer of Global License and as Managing Director of IOP Sales at Molson Coors. Vye has also worked in a number of commercial roles internationally for Colgate Palmolive/Hills Pet Nutrition.

Truss is structured as a standalone company with its own board of directors and independent management team. MCC has a 57.5% controlling interest with HEXO holding the remaining 42.5%. The five-member board of directors for the joint venture will initially comprise Frederic Landtmeters, President and CEO of MCC; Paul Holden, VP of Legal and Industry Affairs of MCC; Scott Cooper, VP, Global Innovation of Molson Coors (Chairman of the Truss Board); Sebastien St-Louis, CEO and co-founder of HEXO, and Ed Chaplin, CFO of HEXO.

In connection with the closing of the transaction, HEXO has issued to MCC 11,500,000 warrants, each of which is exercisable to purchase one common share of HEXO at an exercise price of $6.00 for a period of 3 years.

MCC has been advised by Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, and HEXO has been advised by Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP.
(Molson Coors Brewing Company (Canada))

Britvic moves to 100% renewable electricity in new deal with E.ON

Britvic moves to 100% renewable electricity in new deal with E.ON  (Company news)

Britvic is pleased to announce that from October 2018, every Britvic manufacturing site in GB, from its offices to warehouses and factories, will be powered by 100% renewable electricity.

The move forms part of a new four-year deal with energy provider E.ON, which will provide power needs for the whole of Britvic’s business operations in Great Britain, including 100% wind generated electricity, sourced from the UK.

Britvic’s decision to move to 100% renewable electricity is driven by its ambition to minimise the environmental impact of its operations. The switch to renewable electricity will save over 17,000 tonnes CO2e per year - equivalent to taking more than 3,300 cars off the road for a year. It forms a key part of Britvic’s sustainable business strategy, ‘A Healthier Everyday’ which puts healthier people, healthier communities and a healthier planet at the heart of its business.

The ‘A Healthier Everyday’ strategy is already making a difference in Ireland and Brazil, where Britvic’s operations are powered purely by renewable electricity, and in France where Britvic uses low carbon energy sources across all sites.

Alison Rothnie, Senior Sustainability Manager at Britvic commented: “We believe that businesses have a role to play in tackling the global climate change challenge, and energy efficiency and emissions reductions have been a priority area for our supply chain operations for a number of years in all the countries where we operate.

“The move to renewable electricity in GB through our partnership with E.ON is a significant step, not only in helping us to minimise the environmental impact of our operations and reduce our carbon emissions, but also supporting the development of a low carbon future for the UK.”

Iain Walker, Director of Business Energy Sales at E.ON commented: “An increasing number of businesses are looking at ways to reduce their carbon footprint and a Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO)-backed supply provides a guarantee that consumption is offset by energy produced from renewable sources.

“We are proud our bespoke solutions are contributing to the ongoing energy security of Britvic’s site and in reducing the environmental impact - by providing our expertise and services when it comes to energy solutions we can allow the business to get on with what they do best – providing quality drinks for consumers.”

As part of the new agreement, Britvic will also benefit from E.ON’s Portfolio Solution (EPS), it’s in-house risk management service specialising in helping customers navigate the wholesale energy market and manage exposure to the often volatile markets. The EPS team have been instrumental in assisting Britvic in implementing a hedging strategy, enabling budget certainty while being able to take advantage of opportunities from the market.

As well as focusing on renewable electricity, Britvic is championing other low carbon fuels to reduce emissions across its global operations. For example, in Brazil where Britvic produces and sells Cashew Juice under the Maguary and DaFruta brands, the company uses the waste cashew shells to generate power in its Brazil factories. Britvic has also increased the number of electric and alternative fuel vehicles across its company car fleet in GB to more than 20%.

Britvic’s sustainable business strategy, ‘A Healthier Everyday’ is designed to ensure its sustainability programme is focused on the issues that matter most to its stakeholders, delivering solutions that can make a real difference. The programme is fully embedded in Britvic’s broader business strategy, and is helping to deliver the company’s overarching purpose to ‘Make Life’s Everyday Moment’s More Enjoyable’.
(Britvic Plc)

The Indian Beverage and Liquid Food Market

The Indian Beverage and Liquid Food Market  (drinktechnology India 2018)

Dynamic Development is Reflected at drink technology India

- The Indian beverage and liquid food market continues to grow in all areas
- drink technology India cements its position as a driving force for the industry
- Rapid rise in demand for alcoholic beverages and edible oils

Whether it is soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, dairy products or edible oils: the demand for beverages and liquid food products in India has been on the rise for years. Significant growth is also expected in the future. With more than 300 exhibitors and an extensive supporting program, drink technology India (dti) showcases the trends of the industry and provides impetus for the industry in India. dti will take place from October 24 to 26 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai.

The Indian beverage market is continuing to grow. The reasons for this include the rising population, a growing and consumption-oriented middle class and the continuing urbanization. The continuing spread of modern trade structures, such as supermarkets, also favors the growth in the beverage and liquid food sector.

In the process, demand from Indian consumers is increasing in all beverage and liquid food segments. According to the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association, the total demand for beverages is expected to increase by around 89 percent by 2022: from more than 27 billion liters in 2017 to over 50 billion liters. Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association, explains: “Local beverage production grew by 63 percent over the period from 2012 to 2017 and reached a value of approximately 13.8 billion euros in 2017. Further growth of nine percent per year is expected over the next few years.” In order to meet demand and continue to grow, Indian companies need appropriate machinery for the production, processing and packaging of beverages and liquid food. According to the VDMA, India is one of the most important sales markets in Asia for companies manufacturing such equipment. For Clemens, dti plays a key role for the Indian beverage and liquid food industry: “dti will provide numerous stimuli for investments into the growth industries.”

Alcoholic beverages are becoming increasingly popular
India currently ranks ninth among the ten largest buying countries for alcoholic beverages. Here, beer and spirits rank first and second. Beer is becoming increasingly popular, especially among the younger Indian population. According to the VDMA, sales are expected to increase by 22 percent by 2022. India is already the world's second largest market for spirits behind China. Here, the VDMA is expecting growth of just under 14 percent over the same period.

The supporting program of dti provides important stimuli with regard to the subject of alcoholic beverages. The place2beer, which takes place at dti for the first time, provides a comprehensive overview of the latest developments. It is an indispensable program item for microbreweries, medium-sized and industrial breweries as well as suppliers to catch up on the trends relating to beer brewing.

The second day of the Round Table Talks will be dedicated to trends and developments with regard to alcoholic beverages. Numerous speakers have already announced their presentations on the subject of “Trends and Developments in Alcoholic Beverages in India”. Representatives of companies and experts from research institutions will be among the participants. One of them will be Yogesh R. Bhandane, CEO of Boroton Research Centre Pvt. Ltd., with a presentation on the trends and needs of the Indian wine industry. A comprehensive overview of the Indian wine market will be presented by Gorakh Gaikwad, Associate Vice President at Sula Vineyards Pvt. Ltd. K. N. Gopalakrishnan, Head of Brewery & Processing at Carlsberg India Pvt. Ltd., will present the current trends in the Indian beer industry.

Continuing demand for edible oils
In India, the topic of fats and oils is on the rise. The demand for edible oils in India is currently growing rapidly. According to the VDMA, demand is growing faster than the country’s own production. Sales more than doubled between 2012 and 2017. The VDMA anticipates further growth in demand over the next five years: from just under 13 million tonnes (2017) to more than 19 million tonnes (2022). This corresponds to an increase of 58 percent.

dti is responding to this trend with the oiltech Forum. It will take place for the first time during the trade fair as part of the Oiltech Pavilions, powered by oils+fats. The Oil Technologists' Association of India (OTAI) is supporting the organization and design of the program. A half-day seminar will take place on the first day of the trade fair. Under its central theme ‘Challenges in Packaging of Edible Oils and Other Related Products‘, the seminar is subdivided into the topics ‘Regulatory Requirements, Current and Tomorrow’, ‘Latest Technology and Advancements’ and ‘Consumer and Brand Owner’s Perspective’. Leading experts from industry and research will provide insights into the world of oils and fats.

Growth in all segments of the beverage and liquid food industry
In addition to alcoholic beverages and edible oils, there are also indications of increased demand for other product categories. According to the VDMA the total sales of soft drinks, for example, are expected to more than double to 43 billion liters by 2022. For bottled water, the VDMA even forecasts an increase in sales by 156 percent. India is the third largest market for dairy products behind the USA and China—and at the same time the world's largest milk producer. According to the VDMA, an average annual increase in the demand for dairy products of 4.4 percent is expected for the period from 2017 to 2022.

The dynamic growth of the Indian beverage and liquid food market is reflected at the trade fair. The most important topics and trends of the industry will be highlighted in the supporting program. Visitors can find solutions and innovations to meet the developments of the Indian market from the approximately 300 exhibitors representing the entire process chain of the beverage and liquid food industry.
(Messe München GmbH)

Robinsons ramps up its ranges with two new seasonal launches

Robinsons ramps up its ranges with two new seasonal launches   (Company news)

Following the successful launch of its Robinsons Fruit Cordials and Fruit Creations ranges, Britvic has announced plans to extend the ranges from the no.1 branded squash in the UK, with the addition of two new exciting flavours. Landing in stores from the 1st October, Robinsons Fruit Creations Strawberry & Watermelon and limited-edition Fruit Cordials Crushed Apple & Cinnamon (photo) variants aims to attract even more shoppers to the growing premium squash category.

In November Britvic announced the biggest shake-up of its squash portfolio to date with the launch of the new Fruit Cordials and Fruit Creations ranges, which has helped grow the Robinsons brand by 1.5% to be worth £178m. These two new additions offer even further scope for growth by tapping into new flavour trends and the seasonal sales opportunity.

Fruit Cordials
The launch of Robinsons Fruit Cordials marked the brands first entry into the premium cordials sector, one of the fastest growing sectors in the flavour enhancers category4, growing 25%5. Following its category debut, Robinsons Fruit Cordials has already reached £5m in value sales6. The launch of the limited-edition Robinsons Crushed Apple & Cinnamon variant, which can be enjoyed hot or cold, offers the perfect alternative soft drink as the weather turns colder.

The launch will be supported with a £500k sponsorship of James Martin’s Saturday Morning Show, as well as PR and social media activity.

Fruit Creations
Robinsons Fruit Creations offers shoppers a more premium squash drink, with twice the fruit of its core squash range7, and has taken the flavour concentrates category by storm, growing to £14.2m since its launch8. Having already sold over 8 million bottles (that’s one bottle every 3 seconds9) it is likely to be one of the biggest FMCG launches of 2018 and one of the biggest soft drinks launch in the last 5 years. Britvic aims to continue this run of success by building on the growing watermelon flavour trend being seen in the market, with its new Strawberry & Watermelon flavour.

Bruce Dallas, GB Marketing Director at Britvic, commented: “The last three years have been transformational for Robinsons, with the brand moving into new occasions and innovating to meet new consumer trends; a journey which started in 2015 with the launch of Squash’d to target consumers on the go. This was followed in 2016 by taking the brand into dispense in a number of foodservice customers, and the launch of ready to drink Refresh’d made from naturally sourced ingredients.

“The launch of Fruit Cordials and Fruit Creations has really helped transform the Robinsons brand. As well as turning the flavour concentrates category into growth, the new ranges have successfully attracted new shoppers into the brand and category, with 32.8% spend coming from new shoppers10. Our new variants will offer two enticing flavour combinations, paving the way for further growth for these successful ranges.”
(Britvic Plc)

New safety guarding for more flexibility and safety

New safety guarding for more flexibility and safety  (Company news)

With its newly developed EN ISO 14120-compliant safety guarding, ENGEL offers a significant safety boost. In addition to this, the modular solution enables particularly easy configuration and installation. ENGEL is presenting the new development at Fakuma 2018 from 16th to 20th October in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

Photo: The new modular EN ISO 14120-compliant safety guarding improves safety in production.

EN ISO 14120 "Safety of machinery – Guards – General requirements for the design and construction of fixed and movable guards" places even higher demands on the strength of protective guards than its predecessor EN 953. Above all, the external load capacity is defined in concrete terms. In the pendulum test, the safety guarding must withstand a 90 kilogram sandbag.

Modular and highly flexible
ENGEL's goal in developing the new safety guarding was not only to reliably meet the requirements of the new standard, but also to ensure greater flexibility for users. The result is a modular design matrix with an extensive selection of protective panels and control elements such as openings, control cabinets, cable conduits, and revolving and sliding doors. Individual layouts can also be implemented in a cost-efficient way. In addition, the new solution can be adapted and extended to changing requirements at any time. In many cases, one person is all it takes to assemble the safety guarding in a short period of time.

Easier to maintain
In order to simplify maintenance and servicing, the electrotechnical area has been optimised. The electronics of the safety doors, for example, are no longer located in the door frame, but in easily accessible door connection boxes.

The new TÜV-approved safety guarding is offered as standard for both stand-alone injection moulding machines with a conveyor belt and integrated and automated production cells. It is consistently styled in the continuous and functional ENGEL design and is very easy to clean. In combination with an options package, the new safety guarding also meets requirements for clean room production.

ENGEL at Fakuma 2018: hall A5, stand 5204
(Engel Austria GmbH)

CHINA BREW CHINA BEVERAGE is in the starting blocks


- Leading event for the beverage and liquid food industry in Asia with 92,000 square meters exhibition space
- CBB establishes itself as a driving force on the Asian market
- The CBB Forum picks up on the key issues of sustainability and

CHINA BREW CHINA BEVERAGE (CBB) draws on the success of 2016: Just under three weeks before the beginning of the exhibition, the halls of the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre (SNIEC) are almost fully booked. The exhibition space of the international companies is once again increasing. This underlines the importance of the event as an international trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry. The extensive supporting program, including the CBB Forum, Round Table Talks and the International Beer Smart Factory & Brewing Technology Forum, will additionally shed light on what is moving the industry today and tomorrow.

CBB, which takes place from October 23 to 26, is the most important meeting point for the beverage and liquid food industry in Asia. Thanks to its wealth of topics and offerings, it provides visitors comprehensive insights into trends and developments. “As a leading technology platform, CBB promotes the exchange of information within the industry. The presentations of the exhibitors on the one hand and our supporting program on the other provide for a complete and forward-looking overview of the beverage and liquid food market”, said Petra Westphal, Project Group Leader Messe München.

Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association, also underlines the importance of the event: “The Chinese beverage market is continuing to grow. Over the next five years, a further annual growth of nine percent is expected. Therefore, we expect CBB to provide considerable impetus for the industry.” More than 860 exhibitors have already registered. Among them are national and international industry leaders such as Alfa Laval, GEA, Husky, KHS, Krones, SACMI, Sidel and Siemens located in the international exhibition halls. And GDXL, HGM, Lehui, Newamstar, Tech-Long and Zhongya in the national exhibition halls.

The CBB supporting program: Key issues of sustainability and digitization
In addition to industry solutions from exhibitors, attendees can look forward to the unique CBB supporting program. This year, the CBB Forum will focus on the topics of sustainability and digitization. First-class speakers will provide insights and outlooks, including Dr. Ning Ding, General Manager of the Food & Beverage Division at Siemens. In his presentation, the expert will show how digital twins support the digital transformation of the food and beverage production. Another presentation on digitization comes from Sylvain Charlebois, Dean of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University. Charlebois will address crypto currencies and blockchain technologies that offer huge potential for the agricultural and food sector. He will raise the question: “To address lurking food safety and fraud concerns, can blockchain technologies be the answer?” Prof. William Chen, Director of the Food Science and Technology Programme at Nanyang Technological University Singapore is going to deal with sustainability. The title of his presentation is: “Fermentation for Upcycling of Brewer's Spent Grains: Potential for Zero Waste Food Processing and Circular Economy.” Further presentations on digitization and sustainability will be given by Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association, and Winston Boyd, Technical Director at Gold Coast Ingredients Inc.

Another highlight of the supporting program are the newly introduced Round Table Talks. Here, industry experts will discuss important topics relating to PET and the developments on the Chinese beer and beverage market today and in the future. Representatives of companies like AB InBev, Snow, Suntyech Process Engineering, Tsingtao and Voss (Hubei) Water & Beverage will talk about dairy trends, innovative product concepts as well as opportunities and challenges regarding packaging and beer trends and many other topics.

Visitors can discover even more about beer. At CBB, every brewer should be able to find what he or she is looking for. The International Beer Smart Factory and Brewing Technology Forum will also address the needs of the local brewing industry, whether it is micro breweries, medium-sized or industrial breweries — at CBB they will all make their finds.
(Messe München)

Beverage carton industry: ambitious policy implementation and industry initiatives for ...

Beverage carton industry: ambitious policy implementation and industry initiatives for ...  (Company news)

... increased recycling

Recycling of beverage cartons is growing in the EU and reached 48% in 2017, according to industry-wide figures. This marks the twelfth consecutive year of increased recovery for recycling. Last year, the total recovery rate reached 76%.

ACE members have a long-standing commitment to recycling. Having very much welcomed the revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and the introduction of mandatory separate collection of packaging waste, ACE is working with national beverage carton associations to support recycling performance across Europe. To this end, the members of ACE - BillerudKorsnäs, Elopak, SIG, Stora Enso and Tetra Pak - have decided to launch a new platform to coordinate the industry’s engagement in recycling across Europe. We are pleased to see that recycling of our cartons is growing each year and we are convinced that this trend will continue with the implementation of EU waste legislation and new industry initiatives,” said Annick Carpentier, ACE Director General.

The new pan-European platform will coordinate and drive EU-wide and country-specific solutions to optimise beverage carton collection and recycling. It will actively seek to establish alliances and partnerships with industry actors sharing similar needs to ensure and scale up recycling solutions.

“From a life cycle perspective, recycling of beverage cartons helps reduce carbon footprint. The beverage carton industry encourages Member States to ambitiously implement EU waste legislation to provide enhanced systems for waste collection and sorting, knowing that efficient separate collection drives the recycling of beverage cartons,” concluded Carpentier.
(ACE (The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment))

Ardagh Group Launches Development Machine - Reduces Product Launch Times by 30%

Ardagh Group Launches Development Machine - Reduces Product Launch Times by 30%  (Company news)

Today’s competitive environment means that packaging design is acknowledged by brand owners as key to the success of any new product launch. Companies that develop and launch new products in the shortest time have a clear advantage in the marketplace.

Ardagh Group, a leading producer of glass containers for the food and beverage industries in the United States, recognizes this and has finalized a multi-million dollar investment in a new Development Machine, allowing brands to unveil new or redesigned products in glass packaging much faster than ever before.

Located in Ardagh Group’s glass manufacturing facility in Port Allegany, Penn., the Development Machine is a highly flexible glass forming system, capable of quick changes, and is contributing to a 30% reduction in new product lead times.

The technology (see it in action), available to customers globally, can simulate nearly every manufacturing condition to make glass bottles and jars of all shapes and sizes, while also incorporating the latest design features such as unique textures and embossing.

Ardagh Group’s overall Vision4GlassSM approach includes a team of in-house designers that collaborate with customers in the earliest design phases to create conceptual designs, technical drawings, 3D renderings and prototype models. The addition of the Development Machine to this process makes it seamless for brand owners to create custom bottle designs, launch new products, or unveil limited edition releases.

“As a leader in glass packaging, Ardagh Group continues to focus on innovation and this flexible facility enables our customers to achieve real reductions in the time taken to get their products to market,” said Alex Robertson, Chief Commercial Officer of Ardagh Group’s North American Glass division.

Companies interested in exploring the Development Machine can contact Ardagh Group directly.
(Ardagh Group)

Top quality products at an advanced performance level: Sidel's new EvoFILL Can is the answer

Top quality products at an advanced performance level: Sidel's new EvoFILL Can is the answer  (Company news)

Cans are projected to constantly grow over the next few years. Manufacturers need greater performance to match the overall rising demand, while guaranteeing absolute food safety, minimising Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and preparing for future production needs. A broader number of SKUs and numerous can sizes on the market call for higher flexibility, requiring swift changes between still and carbonated, as well as hot-, ambient- and cold-filled beverages. The answer to all these challenges is the new Sidel filler, EvoFILL Can.

Top hygiene: a must-have for the best product quality
Addressing top hygienic requirements, EvoFILL Can’s “no base” design, which as a whole is very accessible, ensures an overall easy cleaning and no residual of product in the filling environment. The solution’s improved CO2 pre-flushing system results in utmost food safety, as there is no residue and a cleaner zone. Consuming less CO2 in total, this feature improves beverage quality and leads to greater performance. For beer producers, this means lower O2 pick-up, down to 30 ppb, nonetheless saving resources.

With a single or double can infeed available EvoFILL Can allows for a flexible upstream line configuration. With the solution operating at high speeds of over 130.000 cans per hour (cph), the double infeed allows for the best can quality as containers suffer much less stress and no damages. As hygiene is a key component for the overall product quality, Sidel’s engineers developed a new drive system, enabled by servomotors. It requires no mechanical transmission between the filler and the seamer, thus eliminating any need for lubrication and any moving parts in the filling area.

The new drive system also leads to better accessibility, which speaks to the greater ergonomics of the solution, and minimises TCO through savings on maintenance and energy. Additionally, because no water is needed for the lubrication of rollers, it cannot drip down during the filling process nor remain inside the filling environment, potentially contaminating the product. For utmost hygiene, the design of the solution has been optimised further: it now includes fully cleanable handling parts with reduced top surfaces. Therefore, cleaning is more effective and there is no risk of chemical agent or water residual.

Unique features making the difference
What sets EvoFILL Can apart from other solutions on the market is its external beverage tank and integrated small chamber. This concept ensures a better and more effective cleaning of all parts that come in contact with the beverage. Plus, the chamber is completely full and accommodates the product only, making the cleaning easier and reducing costs of maintenance. On top of this, the external tank acts as an enabler for the Sidel BlendFILL configuration, the compact solution which combines the mixer and the filling buffer tank in one single skid. BlendFILL is a safe and hygienic solution with much fewer components and functions that avoids redundant pressure and level control functions, reduces consumption of CO2, as well as the equipment footprint, and minimises product waste when switching between beverages.

Performance and sustainability: the ideal recipe to reduce TCO
With an efficiency of 98.5%, the new EvoFILL Can significantly reduces TCO: the solution has the best filling accuracy – 1ml standard deviation (≤ 500ml cans) – thanks to the new valve design, which generates less product waste. Additionally, with an increased lifetime of 12,000 hours before replacement, the main components of the filling valves significantly reduce downtime for maintenance and relative costs.

For higher overall line availability, star wheels and guides are built in light-weight sectors for easy and quick replacement, with changeovers possible in less than 30 minutes. Maximum uptime is also secured through the integrated pneumatic box: this feature – an industry first – makes maintenance and access to the filler carousel easier, as there is only one pneumatic box per valve and zero pneumatic pipes in the filling environment. These are only a handful of features that demonstrate how the solution contributes to a sustainable business performance.

Staying ahead with greater beverage and format flexibility
Without compromising the performance of the line, a wide range of beverage temperatures can now be processed: beer can be filled up to 18°C and CSD over 20°C. All of this eliminates the need for a chilling unit, thus achieving massive energy savings.

With 54 to 182 filling valves on EvoFILL Can’s carousel, manufacturers are able to handle a wide range of speeds and can sizes, from 150ml up to 1L. The new valve centring bell design eliminates the need for changeovers of all possible can-end types in the beverage industry – from 200 to 209 – for maximised uptime. Likewise, the varying height of the cans is no longer a challenge, as the carousel adjustment is fully automatic. To further demonstrate its unprecedented flexibility, EvoFILL Can has the capacity to fill CSD at ambient temperature and still drinks in hot-fill, thus accommodating a wide range of beverages via a single piece of equipment.

“At Sidel, product quality and an advanced level of performance are important drivers for our innovations. With the new EvoFILL Can, we are perfectly meeting these requirements: the solution tackles all needs of being sustainable, hygienic and flexible, getting producers ready for future challenges in canned drinks production,” concludes Stefano Baini, Product Manager Filling at Sidel.
(Sidel International AG)


USA: Tariff spat with major trade partners a serious issue for US brewers  (

It is unlikely U.S. government officials considered that the tariff spat with its major trade partners would impact America's some 100 million beer drinkers.
But it has.

Beer industry insiders told Xinhua that their industry is being hit in several ways by the escalating trade disputes with Canada, Mexico and China.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Robert Pease, president of the Brewer's Association (BA), voiced his industry's concerns with the imprudent tariffs policies by U.S. government.

"It's a serious issue for us, it's a serious issue," Pease emphasized.

BA represents 4,465 breweries across the country, and its affiliate, the American Homebrewers Association, has 46,000 members.

Pease made the remarks in Denver when the 2018 Great American Beer Festival was held there on Sept. 20-22 and thousands of beer brewers from across the country met to bemoan the negative impact the tariffs are having on their business.

"We support fair trade, we support free trade, but we oppose these tariffs," said Pease, who has been with BA for 27 years.

Craft beer sales grew eight percent in 2017 and now total 26 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 23 percent of the country's 111.4 billion dollar beer market, BA statistics show.

All told, the craft brewing Industry contributed 76.2 billion dollars to the U.S. Economy in 2017 as well as more than 500,000 jobs.

"The tariffs on aluminum impact beer cans and the steel hikes affect the price of kegs," Pease noted.

His words echoed Molson Coors Chairman Pete Coors's warning in May, when the beer industry mogul wrote an opinion article to the Wall Street Journey saying beer and other drinks packaged in aluminum cans will cost more for consumers because of an aluminum tariff implemented by the administration of President Donald Trump.

Gavin Hattersley, CEO of MillerCoors, the second largest beer producer joint-ventured by SABMiller and Molson Coors, also disclosed his company is bracing for a 40 million dollar hit to its profits due to the tariffs on foreign aluminum and steel.

He said the tariffs force the company to scale back investment, hit the pause button on hiring new employees, and increase beer prices, since the company's shareholders won't simply accept the hit.

Moreover, American Keg CEO Paul Czachor had to explain to local media at the end of August why the tariff hurt the Pennsylvania based keg producer, the only U.S. beer keg maker relying entirely on domestic steel.

He said the tariffs did not create more jobs for the company as the White House planned; on the contrary, it dried up steel imports, causing demand and prices to rise for U.S. steel, which then led the company's old customers to use imported kegs.

Czachor told National Public Radio his company had fired 10 of its 30 employees.

Not only have hikes on steel and aluminum hurt their bottom line, commodity losses in America's field crops, which were used to make beer, have also been affected by the tariff frictions.

Some 1,100 kilometres away from Denver, Montana barley farmer Matt Flikkema told Xinhua he is getting hurt by the increased cost of steel that affects his equipment upgrades and purchases, and by the decreased amount of revenue he gains from selling his product.

"That field of barley goes to Molson-Coors," Flikkema said, pointing to a field of high-grade barley headed to make beer for the world's fifth largest beer company.

But thanks to the trade war, Flikkema will earn much less for the barley he planted. Many wheat and barley farmers are considering alternative crop production, and that could affect the cost and quality of domestic beer.

"We've lobbied our supporters in the U.S. Congress, and tried to educate them about why we think the tariff is not a good policy for small and independent breweries," Pease told Xinhua.

Both Pease and BA Chief Economist Bart Watson emphasized that the tariffs particularly hurt small, independent brewers, who are surviving on tight profit margins.

"We see an annual three-to-five percent closure rate on new breweries," Watson told Xinhua.

Industry officials are holding their breaths to see if more small start-ups fail due to the tariffs.

"The price of steel increasing is not good for our members, especially the smaller businesses," Pease said.

"That's going to inhibit expansions, inhibit innovation, and inhibit job creation in this industry," he added.

Additionally, bigger breweries are holding back on growth and investment due to the tariffs, the industry official said.

"One member told me this week they were looking at an expansion -- that may not be possible because of the big jump in steel prices," Pease said.


UK: AB InBev will launch its Michelob Ultra in the UK  (

Brewing giant AB InBev will launch its Michelob Ultra premium light beer into the UK in a bid to replicate the brand’s US success, the Morning Advertiser reported on September 14.

The brand is currently the fastest-growing beer in the US in both value and volume terms, success that AB InBev hopes to repeat in the UK.

Research suggests Brits are seeking lower-strength beers – those with an ABV of between 0.5% and 3.5% – and bought 61 mln pints of low-alcohol beer in the past 12 months, up 34% for the same period last year, the brewer said.

“The UK launch responds directly to the trend for leading an active lifestyle and demand for reduced-calorie and lower-alcohol options,” said AB InBev.

Michelob Ultra is brewed to 3.5% ABV, has 79 calories per 335ml can and will be rolled out nationwide across the UK off-trade this October, with a bottle format due to appear in the on-trade from spring 2019.

A national multimedia advertising campaign, running across print, digital and out-of-home media, will support the launch and focus on the beer’s light qualities as well as its “functional benefits”.

Following success with its Bud Light relaunch last year, AB InBev will pump resources into sampling activity as well as brand partnerships, all of which will be unveiled shortly.

Michelob Ultra senior brand manager Matt Leadbeater said: “Drinking beer can sometimes seem at odds with living an active life, but it doesn’t have to be.

“The launch of Michelob Ultra signals an exciting new option for retailers looking to cater to increasing consumer demand for products that complement a balanced lifestyle.”

He continued: “Michelob Ultra has been a runaway success in the US and other new markets globally and we’re confident we can replicate that in the UK as more people look to brands that suit their balance of an active and social life.”

The introduction of the beer into the UK market forms part of the brewer’s wider “global smart drinking goals” that include no- or low-alcohol products making up at least 20% of its global beer volumes by the end of 2025.


Malaysia: Carlsberg, Heineken express varying opinions on implementation of Sales and Service Tax  (

Malaysian beer industry leaders Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd (Carlsberg) and Heineken Malaysia Bhd (Heineken)have expressed varying opinions about the implementation of the Sales and Service Tax (SST), reported on September 24.

The SST has been re-introduced in Malaysia from September 1, replacing the unpopular Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Carlsberg Malaysia has expressed deep concerns over the new sales tax.

“We expect the implementation of SST to impact consumer spending on beer negatively, especially in on-trade which is exposed to double-taxation from both 10% sales tax on products at a manufacturer level and 6% service tax at the retail level such as restaurants and bars with annual revenue above RM 1.5 million,” said Carlsberg Malaysia managing director Lars Lehmann to FoodNavigator-Asia

“While off-trade sales are no longer subject to 6% GST, our customers may pass on their additional tax and business costs from the implementation of SST.”

"Taking into account the 10% sales tax imposed on our products and a 6% service tax we incurred from taxable services, we have made a 5.5% adjustment on our products’ price to distributors effective 1st September 2018," he added.

Additionally, the rise in prices could potentially increase the consumption of contraband beer, which holds up to 25% of market share.

“[Any] increase will lead to more influx of contraband beers and losses to government tax revenue,” said Lehmann.

"With the implementation of SST, the price gap between legal beer and contraband beer grows bigger, which increases the risk of contraband growing at the expense of legal beer."

On the other hand, Heineken Malaysia is less concerned about the SST.

“We do not foresee that big of an impact from the SST,” said Heineken Malaysia finance director Szilard Voros.

“However, [contraband beers] is something we need to be careful about. […] We still believe [consumer sentiment] will be high,” he added.

The price increase for Heineken products will commence on September 17, and is expected to remain lower than they were during GST implementation.

Carlsberg Malaysia comprises, amongst others, the Carlsberg, Kronenbourg, Asahi and Skol beer brands. It holds roughly 40% of the Malaysian malt liquor market (MLM).

Heineken Malaysia holds roughly 60% of the Malaysian MLM. It owns the Heineken, Tiger, Kirin, Guinness and Anchor beer brands, amongst others.

Together, both companies dominate almost the entirety of the beer market in Malaysia.

When Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng initially announced the SST reinstatement, the public reacted with fears over the possible raising prices of goods. These fears came true with beer, as both Carlsberg and Heineken announced increases in the prices of their beer, passing on the 10% sales tax burden to consumers.

As it is, Malaysia’s per capita alcohol consumption stands at only 1.7 litres per year as per numbers from the World Health Organisation. This is attributed to Malaysia being an Islamic country, as the religion bans alcohol.

After the Malaysian national elections in May, the newly-elected Pakatan Harapan’s decision to scrap the 6% GST was met with enthusiasm by the public.

Less popular was the decision to bring back SST, which is implemented at 10%, but imposed on the manufacturers and importers instead of on the consumers.

When announcing the SST, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had emphasised on the necessity of taxes for the country.

“While taxes fund the development and administration of the country, they also serve to reduce inequality that exists in our society. And while we impose taxes, we also do not want to tax you to death, but we hope that you are able to pay these taxes to help us save the country,” he told The Star.

The SST implementation is projected to bring in a revenue of US$ 97 million (RM 4 billion).

After the May elections, the new government announced a total US$ 242 billion (RM 1 trillion) worth of government debt left behind by the Najib administration.


India: Per capita alcohol consumption more than doubles from 2005 to 2016  (

Per capita alcohol consumption in India has more than doubled from 2005 to 2016, according to a report by the World Health Organisation.

In India, the consumption of alcohol has increased from 2.4 litres in 2005 to 5.7 litres in 2016 with 4.2 litres being consumed by men and 1.5 litre by women, it said.

The total alcohol per capita consumption (15+ years) is expected to increase in half of the WHO regions by 2025 and the highest increase is expected in the South-East Asia Region. An increase of 2.2 litres is expected in India alone which represents a large proportion of the total population in this region, the report highlighted.

However, increases, although smaller, are also expected in Indonesia and Thailand (with the second- and fourth-largest largest populations).

The second-highest increase is projected for the populations of the Western Pacific Region, where the population of China is the largest, with an increase in per capita consumption of 0.9 litres of pure alcohol by 2025.

Total alcohol per capita consumption has increased globally after a relatively stable phase between 2000 and 2005. Since then, total per capita consumption rose from 5.5 litres in 2005 to 6.4 litres in 2010 and was still at the level of 6.4 litres in 2016, the report stated.


UK: AB InBev to launch Italian craft beer Lisa on trade in October  (

Global brewer AB InBev will bring its Italian craft beer Lisa to the UK on-trade in October, which is being pitched in direct competition to Asahi-owned Peroni, The Morning Advertiser reported.

Jason Warner, AB InBev’s soon-to-be promoted North Europe president, exclusively revealed Lisa’s launch to The Morning Advertiser in an interview at the company’s customer day in Wembley Stadium.

Warner, who will be promoted to AB InBev president of Europe on 1 January next year, said: “The brewer Birra del Borgo is a very premium craft beer brand in Italy, similar to what we have in Camden here in the UK."

He continued: “And what we’ve created is a sessionable lager with the team there, which we’re launching in the UK. An Italian-style beer is an interesting category.”

When asked if it was in direct competition with Peroni, he added: “If the logic is it’s Italian, then sure, but we’re bringing it in as a super-premium craft and Peroni is a scale brand that’s very large and we’re trying to plant the next seed and offer more choice.”

The golden lager comes in at 5% ABV and will be available in the on-trade from October.

Birra del Borgo, which is based in Borgorose in the Lazio region of Italy, sites within ABI’s ZX Ventures, which incubates smaller brewers.

Within Italy, Lisa has seen a 140% sales growth between April and August. The bottom-fermented brew is described as being crisp, but smooth in taste with a citrus finish “thanks to the distinctive Senatore Capelli wheat and orange peel used in brewing,” said AB InBev.

In a statement about the launch, Warner added: “We are thrilled to bring this premium Italian lager to the UK, exclusively to the on-trade in draught.

“We know that consumers are choosing more premium options when going out for food and are happy to trade up to elevate their dining experience. We want to raise the quality standard of Italian beer, to become the number 1 favourite Italian lager.”

Zappar: Creating interactive experiences with SIG cartons

Zappar: Creating interactive experiences with SIG cartons  (Company news)

Picture: Elmhurst’s new plant-based protein drink will sport a “zapcode” at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. Once the zapcode is scanned (or “zapped’) and the device is pointed towards the front of the carton, the consumer unlocks important information about “The Cleanest Protein Shake on the Planet.” via augmented reality (AR) content

- Zappar enables SIG to offer its customers an inventive and unique method to get closer to their end-consumer and engage with them through the brand’s packaging design. This “smart packaging” connects a product with the digital content and rewards consumers with relevant targeted content for taking the time to engage with a brand.
- Elmhurst’s new plant-based protein drink will sport a “zapcode” at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. Once the zapcode is scanned (or “zapped’) and the device is pointed towards the front of the carton, the consumer unlocks important information about “The Cleanest Protein Shake on the Planet.” via augmented reality (AR) content.

Partnering with Zappar, one of the world’s leading developers and providers of augmented reality (AR), SIG is turning carton packs into interactive and engaging experiences. The technology provides a bridge between physical objects and the digital world in real-time. All you need is a smartphone or tablet, the Zappar App and the fun begins: content is brought to life. The technology offers opportunity for a whole range of creative marketing ideas and campaigns that will engage and entertain consumers.

Smart packaging solutions
Zappar enables SIG to offer its customers an inventive and unique method to get closer to their end-consumer and connect with them through the brand’s packaging design. This “smart packaging” links a product with the digital content and rewards consumers with relevant targeted content for taking the time to engage with a brand. Letting the consumer explore hidden content provides brands an excellent opportunity to improve brand awareness and strengthen brand loyalty. These “zapcodes” have allowed SIG to provide customers and brands an added-value solution that answers to a rapidly growing digitized world.

Connected pack: Simpler. Better.
Elmhurst’s new plant-based protein drink will sport a “zapcode” at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. Once the zapcode is scanned (or “zapped’) and the device is pointed towards the front of the carton, the consumer unlocks important information about “The Cleanest Protein Shake on the Planet.” The AR content delivers all the essential details that emphasizes why this is a no-nonsense, free from artificial ingredients, and vegan shake. Along this AR journey, there is information about sustainability with SIG cartons as well as an opportunity for the consumer to take a picture with a personalized face filter to share on social media.

There is also a contact element that allows the consumer to communicate with customer care for additional inquiries. Through a simple “zapcode,” the consumer is entertained and engaged and more importantly, more educated about Elmhurst’s new plant-based protein drink.

Creating interactive packs of the future is part of SIG’s Value Proposition: three value-adding segments to help producers meet increasing industry demands. On-pack “zapcodes” are one of the latest solutions within Connected Pack – a commitment to deliver digital engagement with interactive tools and features such as augmented reality to improve brand awareness.

Yasmin Siddiqi, SIG Marketing Head North America, expressed, “The more interactive and engaging the content is, the more likely it will resonate positively in consumers’ minds. With the aid of AR, brand owners, such as Elmhurst Milked, can expand the experience beyond the product itself, and enable consumers to connect closely with the brand. Ultimately, this has a positive impact on brand image and sales.”
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

Carlsberg launches ground-breaking innovations to reduce plastic waste

Carlsberg launches ground-breaking innovations to reduce plastic waste  (Company news)

Carlsberg announced a series of ground-breaking innovations including its new Snap Pack, which is set to reduce plastic waste globally by more than 1200 tonnes a year - the equivalent to 60 million plastic bags.

The Snap Pack replaces the plastic wrapping used around Carlsberg’s six packs with a pioneering technology that glues its cans together. A world first for the beer industry, it will reduce the amount of plastic used in traditional multi-packs by up to 76%.

Three years in the making, the Snap Pack is just one of Carlsberg’s sustainable packaging solutions that were announced today.

Other improvements include:
- A switch to Cradle-to-Cradle CertifiedTM silver inks on its bottle labels to improve recyclability
- A new coating on refillable glass bottles to extend their lifespan and therefore reduce their environmental footprint
- New caps which remove oxygen to make the beer taste fresher for longer

The innovations represent the first of a series of consumer-facing manifestations of Carlsberg Group’s sustainability programme, Together Towards ZERO, which includes ambitions of a ZERO carbon footprint and ZERO water waste. They will first be applied on the flagship Carlsberg brand to drive constant reappraisal and refinement. This will further substantiate the iconic tagline of ‘Probably the Best Beer in the World´ in a meaningful way - giving consumers a great tasting beer that also helps them reduce their environmental impact.

Cees ’t Hart, CEO of the Carlsberg Group, said:
“It’s an important day for Carlsberg. We are working hard to deliver on our ambitious sustainability agenda and to help tackle climate change.”

"We always strive to improve and today’s launch clearly shows our ambition to follow in our founder’s footsteps towards a better tomorrow. Carlsberg's Snap Pack will significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste, and we look forward to giving our consumers better beer experiences with less environmental impact.”

Carlsberg Group’s supply chain, sustainability and development teams have worked closely with the Carlsberg brand team and external partners to innovate in ways that will make a difference to both consumers and the climate.

To accelerate the implementation of its sustainability ambitions, Carlsberg also announced a strategic partnership with Plastic Change, a Danish environmental organisation, in addition to its long-standing dialogue with the WWF on sustainable issues and their impact on both the environment and the world’s natural resources.

Bo Øksnebjerg, Secretary General in WWF Denmark, said:
”Our wildlife is drowning in plastic – and the problem is unfortunately growing considerably. We therefore need to act now. We need less plastic to end up in nature. That is why we consider it huge progress that Carlsberg is now launching solutions that significantly reduce the amount of plastic in its packaging. With these new solutions, Carlsberg has taken the first big steps on the journey towards a more clean and green future.”

To celebrate the launch of the Snap Pack, Carlsberg unveiled its own unique version of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue made entirely from its new Snap Pack cans. Held together with glue just like the Snap Pack cans, the mermaid ‘canstruction’ embodies Carlsberg’s intent to make beer that is not only great tasting but is also better for the environment.

Three metres high, the new installation features a rising tide of 137 kilograms of plastic – representative of the amount of plastic that Carlsberg will be eliminating every hour (that is 1,200 tonnes a year), thanks to Snap Pack.
(Carlsberg Danmark A/S)

150 years of KHS: from equipment trader from Dortmund to global turnkey supplier

150 years of KHS: from equipment trader from Dortmund to global turnkey supplier  (Company news)

150 years ago to the day, on October 1, 1868, Carl Kappert and Louis Holstein founded the Holstein & Kappert equipment trading company in Dortmund, Germany, thus laying the foundations for KHS.

- KHS predecessor Holstein & Kappert founded 150 years ago
- Rise to one of the beverage industry’s market leaders
- Most recent developments focus on even more sustainability

150 years ago to the day, on October 1, 1868, Carl Kappert and Louis Holstein founded the Holstein & Kappert equipment trading company in Dortmund, Germany, thus laying the foundations for KHS. It took decades, however, for the enterprise to become a worldwide manufacturer of turnkey systems – many years of expansion, fusions and, first and foremost, continuous development of products geared to the future. Today, the KHS Group is one of the market’s leading systems providers for the beverage, food and non-food industries. For years the company has increasingly focused on sustainability in the development of new plant engineering.

“150 years of entrepreneurship and ingenuity have lent KHS the image it enjoys today. They are a central theme throughout our history and form the foundations upon which we now stand,” explains Burkhard Becker, chairman of the KHS Executive Management Board. Rolf Staab, executive vice-president of Human Resources for the KHS Group, also traces the success of the Dortmund systems supplier back to its roots. “Without the creativity, passion and perseverance of many generations of engineers, business personnel and factory workers our company wouldn’t have the international standing it holds today. Without them we wouldn’t enjoy the recognition our customers now show us.”

Pioneers since the first hour
KHS’ rise to worldwide partner to the beverage industry was a continuous process. It all began with the foundation of the Holstein & Kappert company in 1868. The Dortmund equipment trader initially only sold technical apparatus for the beverage industry. At the beginning of the 20th century the company began producing its own machinery which washed bottles and filled and packaged beverages, among other things.

The Seitz-Werke and Enzinger also celebrated their first successes in the second half of the 19th century. With the help of their innovative filters they revolutionized the wine and beer industries.

The fusion between Holstein & Kappert and Seitz Enzinger Noll Maschinenbau AG (SEN) based in Bad Kreuznach and Worms in 1993 was the ultimate milestone in the company’s history. Under the umbrella of the Klöckner-Werke, majority shareholder of Holstein & Kappert since 1979, the two manufacturers merged to form KHS Maschinen- und Anlagenbau AG.

Manfred Rückstein, head of Corporate Communication at KHS from 1991 to 2012, looks back to the time after the merger, which was at first quite turbulent. “We had to make it clear to our customers, who for decades had been loyal to either the one or the other brand, that the products from Bad Kreuznach, Worms and Dortmund were now all on an even par. In order to achieve this goal, it was absolutely essential to start using uniform product names.”

Rise to global supplier of turnkey systems
The fusion and the bankruptcy of the Klöckner-Werke were big challenges for KHS at the beginning of the 1990s. The solution was to have the company grow through further investments and acquisitions to become a turnkey supplier to the beverage, food and non-food industries.

Another factor which proved successful was the group’s early global orientation. At the end of the 19th century KHS’ predecessor companies were already looking for sales opportunities well beyond the German border. In 1893, for example, Lorenz Enzinger presented his innovations at the World Fair in Chicago. In addition to its five plants in Germany KHS today operates production facilities in the USA, Mexico, Brazil, India and China. The company is also represented by an extensive sales and service network on all of the relevant markets worldwide. “The name KHS is now synonymous throughout the globe with powerful filling and packaging systems for the beverage industry,” explains Becker.

Shaping the future with sustainable products
For years the KHS Group has increasingly focused on sustainability in the development of new, future-proof plant engineering. “As one of the market leaders in filling and packaging we’re fully aware of our responsibility to the environment. The issue of sustainability thus plays an important role in the development of our innovative and cost-effective products,” Becker states. Saving on resources is especially important in this context. Companies large and small the world over rely on energy- and resource-saving machinery to fill and package their bottles, cans and kegs. The KHS Group works towards producing lighter and lighter containers in its Bottles & Shapes™ program, to name just one example here. At drinktec 2017, for instance, the company introduced the lightest 0.5-liter PET bottle in the world to date, weighing just 5 grams. KHS also premiered a marketable concept for the forming and filling of plastic bottles which involves just one process step.

Further landmarks pertinent to the topic of sustainability include the development of the Nature MultiPackTM, which bonds bottle and can packs together using dots of adhesive instead of shrink film, and the invention of Plasmax barrier technology, which applies a coating of glass to the inside of PET bottles. Another of the new avenues KHS is exploring together with its customers is the digitization of the production process from 3D line design to virtual commissioning. With these and a number of further innovations in the pipeline the company is looking to the future with much optimism.
(KHS GmbH)

A preconfigured case packer to meet individual requirements - the lightline machine range

A preconfigured case packer to meet individual requirements - the lightline machine range  (Company news)

For the first time at the FachPack trade fair in Nuremberg, Schubert presented its new Cartonpacker – a machine from Schubert’s new lightline range. The Cartonpacker consists of a single module and handles carton packaging in the smallest of spaces – with all the expected high quality and efficiency of a TLM system. The company now provides an attractive and affordable solution with a fast delivery time for packaging tasks that require less flexibility, i.e. that consist of only a few product and format variants. Schubert’s new lightline machine range includes packaging machines for standard packaging tasks with preconfigured system components. Along with the “lightline Cartonpacker”, these also address pick-and-place applications with the “lightline Pickerline” and packaging in flow-wrap bags with the “lightline Flowpacker”.

Schubert is offering its new, preconfigured, very compact case packer in four variants for different types of cartons – boxes, boxes with lids, wrap-around boxes or RSC cartons. Depending on the type of carton, the machine is equipped with a suitable closing tool and laid out for one product at a time, i.e. for bags, boxes, bottles or cans. The lightline Cartonpacker offers flexibility in terms of format variants for every type of carton and product. The machine design distinguishes itself by reduction down to essential functions only, which results in lower energy consumption and therefore reduced costs.

In addition to attractive investment costs, customers in all sectors benefit from very short delivery times and fast commissioning with the lightline Cartonpacker. Since the machine is delivered as a unit, installation is streamlined. Assembly and commissioning can be implemented within a week. This enables customers to respond quickly to market demands. With the Schubert lightline range, the company is targeting customers with packaging tasks that require less flexibility but who also attach great importance to high-quality machine engineering. Proven functional principles and intelligent machine control ensure reliable operation with high system availability over the machine’s entire service life.

All functions in a single module
The case packer presented at the fair will package marzipan chocolate boxes into RSC folding boxes. With a throughput of 125 boxes of chocolates per minute, the machine can process up to six different product formats. In a single machine frame (3,500 x 2,500 mm), RSC boxes are erected, filled with chocolate boxes and closed. At the heart of the machine are three F2 robots from Schubert.

Standardisation for even more customer benefits
The globally recognised leader in top-loading packaging machines continues to standardise its technology to provide optimal solutions to customers with diverse needs. Be it a machine for only a few product and format variants or a machine with maximum flexibility – Schubert always offers an ideal solution to meet a customer’s very specific requirement. Schubert’s packaging machines enable manufacturers of all sizes to access robot-based automation or to expand existing systems.

Especially with standardised packaging tasks, TLM technology with the Schubert lightline machine range offers a cost-effective, long-term solution to significantly increase production efficiency. The flexible addition and extension of the machines is possible at any time and ensures that the machines are a future-proof investment.
(Gerhard Schubert GmbH)

O-I : EXPRESSIONS to Transform Glass Bottle Design

O-I : EXPRESSIONS to Transform Glass Bottle Design  (Company news)

O-I : EXPRESSIONS will create new marketing opportunities for brands through customization and personalization by sculpting glass bottles into multi-dimensional works of art, enabled by digital printing.

Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) launched O-I : EXPRESSIONS, an innovation developed for design agencies, packaging professionals and all food and beverage marketers who want to stand out and offer their consumers new reasons to love and choose their brands. O-I : EXPRESSIONS enables late-stage design, combining the integral benefits and heritage of glass with an agile, marketing-focused capability. The innovation allows O-I's customers to build brand engagement, consumer satisfaction and loyalty as well as demonstrate premium value.

Enabled by digital printing, O-I : EXPRESSIONS will enable brands to create highly personalized and customized glass packaging at flexible volume, industrial speeds, and affordable value, with an unprecedented range of color and design possibilities, compared to traditional decoration solutions. With O-I : EXPRESSIONS, brands will be better equipped to respond to growing consumer demand for personalized and 'made for me' products. Brands will quickly and nimbly be able to develop packaging to support short campaigns, such as seasonal promotions or limited/special editions to mark major events. In addition, O-I : EXPRESSIONS is sustainable. It uses organic inks, not impacting the recyclability of glass, and it helps reduce waste through lower inventories.

A premium version of the service, O-I : EXPRESSIONS RELIEF, named after the sculptural technique, will also offer brands the opportunity to use customized tactile digitally printed effects, such as embossing and coloured embossing. This will enable brands to interact with consumers through the sense of touch through cost-efficient flexible volume runs. O-I : EXPRESSIONS RELIEF takes brands a step beyond what was previously thought possible in terms of customization and premiumization.

Arnaud Aujouannet, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of O-I, said: "O-I : EXPRESSIONS is a valuable step in our continuous commitment to be relevant and agile in meeting the needs of customers and consumers. This innovation is an exciting outcome of O-I's strategic growth agenda and reflects our vision to emphasize high value segments by leveraging new technology and product innovation along with new attractive customized and flexible service offerings."

The O-I : EXPRESSIONS services are planned to be commercially available by mid-2019 in Europe and shortly after in the US. In the meantime, O-I is already available to initiate projects and discuss collaborations.

Vitaliano Torno, President of O-I Europe said: "Europe accounts for 24% of the global personalized packaging market and at the same time Europe is a core market for O-I, so it is fitting that the first step of our journey will take place here. We see the desire for individual retailers to provide unique promotions gaining momentum and brands are increasingly using personalized promotions to differentiate themselves. To execute these types of programs requires fast design and approval cycles with prompt execution. O-I : EXPRESSIONS makes all of this possible."

The Technology
In 2014 O-I invested in a small-scale digital printing equipment to develop the foundations for the O-I : EXPRESSIONS and O-I : EXPRESSIONS RELIEF services and validate them with the market. To bring this new service to market at an industrial scale, O-I is making an initial investment in two direct2glass digital printing industrial lines, enabling contactless direct printing, through a Drop-on-Demand process, which only generates an ink drop when it is required for printing. The use of UV inks enables fast and reliable curing, while the CMYK model opens the door to the spectrum of Pantone hues.

Blast off! Industrial designer showcases O-I : EXPRESSIONS' potential
To mark the launch of O-I : EXPRESSIONS, O-I has invited renowned industrial designer, matali crasset [sic], to experiment with the technology and showcase its potential. matali has created an incredible spaceship installation, out of 90 glass bottles printed using the O-I : EXPRESSIONS service. The installation will be displayed during Paris Design Week. It is evident from her work that the quality and the range of colors and effects available through this innovation will allow marketers and packaging design agencies to unleash their imaginations.
(O-I Owens-Illinois Glass Containers)

Scots call for UK government to support Scotch in new poll

Scots call for UK government to support Scotch in new poll  (Company news)

Nearly three in four Scots (71%) believe tax on Scotch Whisky in the UK should be at least as competitive as European taxes on flagship food and drink products, according to a Survation poll commissioned by the Scotch Whisky Association.

£3 in every £4 spent on the average priced bottle of Scotch Whisky in the UK goes directly to the Treasury in taxation. Scotland's national drink is currently taxed 76% higher than the EU average for spirits. Ironically, it is cheaper to buy a bottle of Scotch in France than it is in the home of Scotch.

The industry recently reported a record 1.9 million visits to distilleries and tourist centres in 2017. Many of those tourists are shocked at the level of taxation of Scotland's national drink in its home market, with distilleries facing the 4th highest rate of spirits duty across the EU. The Scotch Whisky Association is calling on the UK Government to continue to support Scotch Whisky at home through a duty freeze in the Autumn Budget.

The freeze on spirits excise duty announced by the Chancellor in November 2017 has delivered £1.6bn for the Treasury in the period February to July - a 7.5% (£114m) increase on revenues during the same period in 2017.

Nearly three fifths (57%) of those questioned claimed the UK government could do more to support the Scotch Whisky industry, which is responsible for a fifth of all UK food and drink exports, worth over £4 billion a year.

Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said:
"The Scotch Whisky industry is working hard to boost our exports and improve trading conditions for Scotch all over the world. As we do so, we are calling on the government to recognise the contribution we make to the UK's balance of trade in goods and back us at home.

"It is inconceivable France would hamstring its wine industry through heavy taxation. Yet, despite Scotch Whisky generating billions in revenue for the economy, employing thousands of people, and attracting millions of tourists every year, it remains among the most taxed food and drink products in Europe.

"That is why we are calling on the Chancellor to continue to freeze duty on spirits in this year's Budget. The evidence shows that a continued freeze would not only deliver greater revenue for the Treasury, but also help to support an industry that has invested more than £500m in capital projects over the last five years."
(SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)

Diversey BottleCare to Drastically Enhance the Lifespan of Bottle Fleets and ...

Diversey BottleCare to Drastically Enhance the Lifespan of Bottle Fleets and ...  (Company news)

... Protect Beverage Brand Image

Diversey launched the Diversey BottleCare system for returnable glass bottle fleets. The system incorporates DivoMask, an advanced maskant coating to enhance the appearance of returned bottles and DivoBright Defend, for effective removal of labels, soil and the coating during bottle washing without degrading the glass.

“The BottleCare system delivers cost savings while enabling businesses to maintain and improve brand image,” said Wayne Witthoft, Beverage Marketing Director at Diversey. “Combining our innovations with technical support and training improves operational efficiency, extends the life of a bottle fleet and ensures bottles look their best at the point of sale.”

The industry average number of trips for a returnable bottle is 20, with most producers discarding glass when scuffing reaches between 4-9mm. However, the BottleCare system reduces the amount of bottle to bottle abrasion in the bottling line, preventing unattractive scuffs. In fact, the number of trips will be increased to up to – and in some cases exceed – 50 percent.

Built on extensive research with a selection of international and regional brewing and beverage producers, the BottleCare system overcomes the four key challenges of maintaining an effective bottle fleet. DivoMask will deliver Freeze-Thaw to expected levels, ensuring that the maskant is not affected by condensation in the transition from chilled to ambient temperatures. It will pass the 48-hour Ice Challenge, maintaining the coating when submerged in iced water for 48 hours. It will also ensure Quick Drying by delivering a realistic maskant drying time for business, and provide outstanding Visual Coating – proving the system’s efficiency in measuring the coverage of maskant and its ability to cover scuff rings.

“This system is a real game changer for the bottling process,” added Witthoft. “It protects the feel, condensation patterns and label presentation of a product; delivers an exceptional shine on each bottle, even after multiple trips; and ensures the coating is food safe and does not impact the taste of the product.”
(Diversey EMA)




Today’s food and beverage production demands a digital filling line solution that can deliver a highly accurate monitoring system for information management that may be remote but is always using real time data in order to optimise operations and improve productivity. SIG's answer to this is combiLink – a single and flexible information management solution for filling line operation.

Food and beverage production is becoming more challenging, with filling plants facing higher demands, greater competition and ever shorter production cycles. All too often, manufacturers are faced with multiple reporting systems, outdated data, manual data collection and a lack of filling line insights.

By connecting every machine in a filling line, SIG’s combiLink collects unlimited data and shows it in preconfigured or personally designed reports. Customers can view charts showing operational and technical efficiency and view downtime incidents from their desktops, tablets or smartphones. Smart notifications can alert the team to incidents so avoiding bottlenecks and costly downtime.

“56% of companies intend to increase efficiency by more than 20% over the next 5 years,” said Ayed Katrangi, Senior Product Manager Automation and Digitalization at SIG. “combiLink can make a decisive contribution to this. It is a smart factory solution that offers a completely new way of monitoring and analysing the efficiency and productivity of a filling line, enabling customers to take on-time decisions fast and to automate operations to meet the needs of Industry 4.0, improve filling line OEE and optimise TCO, based on ISO 2240 standards.”

With the same connectivity used in IoT applications, combiLink seamlessly connects every machine in a filling line. This means producers get a single end-to-end window to view current and historical levels of efficiency and performance, while also seeing where improvements can be made in the future. combiLink’s connectivity is based on the latest industrial communication standard OMAC, enabling it to collect unlimited data over OPC UA technology from every machine and store it securely.

combiLink can also send out data to MES, ERP and other business intelligence systems. Its open architecture and standards-based interface connect easily to third party applications such as cloud based systems and predictive analysis tools. This two way communication enables unlimited operation applications with the option of customer plug-ins.
Turning the challenges of high speed production into reality, SIG’s smart factory solutions underline its commitment to constant system innovation always bearing the latest customer needs in mind.

combiLink is just one example of how SIG can design and engineer the most advanced and intelligent end to end plants using IoT-enabled systems, data and automation, ensuring that customers can monitor and optimise operations, with rapid intervention for best results.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

Retailers sales set to sparkle with J2O this festive season

Retailers sales set to sparkle with J2O this festive season  (Company news)

J2O’s favourite limited-edition flavour, J2O Glitterberry, is back and this year it will be in-store much earlier than ever before. Available now, this allows retailers to add a festive sparkle to their stores whilst maximising seasonal sales opportunities such as Bonfire Night, Halloween and Christmas.

Last year Glitterberry took the market by storm and climbed the ranks to be the third best-selling SKU in the Adult Soft Drinks category over the festive period. Although available for a limited time each year, Glitterberry made a huge impact in the category in 2017, when £9 out of every £10 spent on the flavour was incremental to the category. This emphasises the huge opportunity for retailers to offer their customers something different for the festive season.

To support the relaunch of Glitterberry, J2O’s brand ambassador, Mojo, a cheeky cockney alpaca, is back again to remind consumers why J2O is at the heart of key social occasions.

In the run up to Christmas, Mojo will be back on air with a new, exciting advertising creative comprising of a 10 second Glitterberry edit that will feature on TV nationwide. This will be supported by a heavyweight shopper campaign, with a variety of in-store initiatives designed to encourage shoppers to ‘Find their Mojo’ with J2O throughout the festive season.

Limited edition Glitterberry is a delicious blend of grape, cherry and winter spice flavours fused with edible gold glitter to provide an exciting festive drinking experience from the number one Adult Soft Drinks brand in the UK.

Phil Sanders, GB Commercial Director, At Home at Britvic commented: “ J2O is growing from strength to strength, with an average of five J2O products being sold every second, so it’s no wonder that customers keep returning, so much so that J2O has the highest loyalty levels within Adult Soft Drinks. We are excited to be on track for another fantastic festive season - especially with £2 in every £5 spent on J2O within the Adult Soft Drinks category in the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas.

“We know consumers are more social in the run up to Christmas, as well as wanting to drink less alcohol over the festive season. This Christmas we want to help retailers make the most of the sales opportunities this presents, as well as other key occasions like Halloween and Bonfire Night. The early return of J2O Glitterberry certainly helps to do this so our advice is stock up now!”
(Britvic Plc)

Flow VIT®: The Automated Analysis Method for Microbiological Quality Control

Flow VIT®: The Automated Analysis Method for Microbiological Quality Control  (Company news)

Powerful detection system combining VIT® gene probe technology and flow cytometry

As part of the BrauBeviale 2018, vermicon AG presents the powerful Flow VIT® Solution, a combination of flow cytometry and VIT® gene probe technology. This new detection system by vermicon AG, which was developed in cooperation with Sysmex Corporation, aims to raise the microbiological quality control to a higher level and to enable a faster and more cost-efficient monitoring of production processes and end products.

The Flow VIT® Alicyclobacillus test kit is the first application for the fully automated VIT® analysis of microorganisms via flow cytometry. The test kit allows producers in the beverage industry to detect microbial causes of offflavors quickly and reliably. Thus, the quality of beverage products is increased and economically damaging recall actions can be prevented. Samples are prepared with the Flow VIT® test kit. The actual evaluation is fully automated and takes only a few minutes thanks to the flow cytometer CyFlow Cube 6*. Additional innovative applications for the beverage industry are currently being developed.

“We want to provide our customers with a fast and comprehensive view into their microbiological samples. This is the only way to guarantee the highest level of microbiological safety”, remarks Dr. Jiri Snaidr, founder and CEO of vermicon AG. “The Flow VIT® Solution is another milestone on our way to profoundly changing industrial microbiology.”

Another innovation by vermicon AG ist the VIT® Beer Screening test kit. This test kit allows an unambiguous identification of individual beer-spoiling lactic acid bacteria in beer and mixed beer beverages. Up to 16 species of bacteria can be specifically identified in a single sample. In contrast to other rapid detection methods, only living cells are detected with VIT® gene probe technology, i.e. dead cells do not cause false-positive results. Finished products as well as samples from all stages of the brewing process, including yeast propagation, can be examined.

BrauBeviale, the capital goods exhibition for the beverage industry, will be held from 13 to 15 November, 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany. vermicon AG will be presenting its innovative solutions for industrial microbiology in Hall 4, Booth 305.
(vermicon AG)

A new approach to service - Learning for the future with virtual reality

A new approach to service - Learning for the future with virtual reality  (Company news)

The high-quality valve, measurement and control components that GEMÜ produces are important elements of a technical processing plant. Proper installation and maintenance are therefore necessary in order for the plant to operate efficiently and in optimal cycles.

In this regard, the best possible form of interaction between manufacturers, plant designers and operators is required so that the product can be operated faultlessly throughout its entire life cycle, from the commissioning through to the servicing.

GEMÜ's Service Business Segment bundles together the activities in the after-sales sector, which can currently be divided into three main areas:

Technical training
Through a multi-stage training system and individual training models, customers are introduced to the functional principle of GEMÜ valve, measurement and control components in thorough detail. This consequently ensures that assembly and service personnel have all the necessary knowledge and tools to install and service these high-quality products. Exceptionally skilled technical trainers with many years of experience in the sector continue to pass on knowledge using the latest teaching methods, whether this takes place in the GEMÜ training centre at our site in Criesbach or at our customers' sites all over the world. An innovative and specially developed VR (virtual reality) training programme for GEMÜ CONEXO is just one example of how we are facilitating even more in-depth (i.e. immersive) learning among our participants. Using an application, the necessary actions can be performed, studied and subsequently tested. Thanks to the complete immersion in the learning content, the knowledge that is passed on can then be summoned even quicker in the field.

The training courses are carried out fully in line with the customer's individual requirements with regard to time, location and content. Training courses that accompany servicing, or take place directly in advance of this, are also possible.

In-house and field service
A well-trained squad of service engineers is not only in an ideal position to advise the customer on site in all matters relating to the commissioning of valve, measurement and control components, but can also support customers in inspections, servicing and upgrades. Repair and maintenance of GEMÜ components can be carried out at the Criesbach service centre or directly on site. To ensure the comprehensive efficiency of your machines, our service specialists are available for valve-related plant screenings and technical questions. If you wish, GEMÜ's qualified fitters can also assume responsibility for the component inventory, data management and retrofitting for CONEXO.
For all questions relating to after-sales service, our experts at GEMÜ can be contacted by telephone or e-mail.
(GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)

Sidel’s Blended Learning platform enhances skills while contributing to a ...

Sidel’s Blended Learning platform enhances skills while contributing to a ...  (Company news)

... sustainable business performance

A proactive, inspired work culture and ongoing skill training are key factors in today’s beverage industry. Shifting demographics, growing urbanisation, globalisation, and digitalisation are all driving consumers’ drinking habits towards increased convenience, sustainability factors, and health benefits. To help manufacturers keep up with this highly demanding market, Sidel introduces its new e-learning portal, designed to train the company’s employees and the staff from customers’ side via a highly customised approach. The tool is an integral part of Sidel’s Blended Learning platform, where teaching is partly carried out digitally and partly face-to-face in hands-on training sessions. This results in greatly improving employees’ skills, safety, and productivity as well as contributing to minimise costs in the long term.

Manufacturers active in the food, beverage, home and personal care industries are continuously investing in training their teams to reap a number of benefits: minimised reaction time, reduced production stops, and increased overall efficiency and safety in the workplace, to mention but a few. Not less important, regularly attending training sessions helps operators increase motivation, engagement, and commitment.

An integrated learning experience
To help customers achieve this, Sidel trains over 5,500 people every year to advance their skill sets and adapt to changes in the production environment. This personalised training includes online courses, on-the-job training, practical and classroom lessons, as well as production simulation via virtual reality by combining the state-of-the-art equipment with the skills of the workforce, getting the best return on investment.

Blended Learning, Sidel’s integrated learning experience, combines face-to-face and online learning sessions in which the traditional face-to-face classroom focuses entirely on students’ development, while basic knowledge is acquired online via e-learning portals – an approach that has led to an impressive satisfaction rating among former participants.

Skill Matrix: tailored training for specific customer needs
The learning process starts with a competence audit, driven by the Sidel training team: customers can make targeted investments and provide training exactly where it is needed most by defining their employees’ roles and evaluating their abilities. They do this by applying the “Skill Matrix”, consisting of a detailed and evolving roadmap of the competences needed to run their lines throughout their lifecycle.

This method provides a clear overview of each operator’s existing skill level and potential gaps to be covered. Once the mapping process is complete, a multi-channel training path is suggested by linking specific courses in the catalogue. As a last step, performance is re-evaluated to ensure the success of the training.

Global knowledge at a local level
This highly customised program helps meet operators’ specific needs, while it is planned around the production schedule, so as not to impede on productivity of the customer’s line. Via personalised accounts on the platform, trainees experience a customised training offering. The Sidel training team guides each user, according to his or her needs, to fine-tune an individual learning plan. Thanks to an optimised and customised dashboard, which can flexibly accommodate different viewers’ profile needs – depending on the type of customer – trainees have a simplified user experience within the portal, making the training even more efficient and enjoyable.

The customisation of the training is not only visible in the online training sessions but is also a key component of the on-site courses. The on-site education – an integral part of the process – is available either directly at the customer’s own facility on their own lines or at one of Sidel Group’s 13 technical training centres that are spread across the globe. There, through a face-to-face learning experience, Sidel experts will help customers complement practically what they previously learned via the e-learning portal.
(Sidel International AG)

SIG plans IPO and listing on SIX Swiss Exchange

SIG plans IPO and listing on SIX Swiss Exchange  (Company news)

SIG Combibloc Group (“SIG” or the “Company”), a leading provider of aseptic carton packaging solutions for the food and beverage industry, announces its intention to launch an Initial Public Offering (the “IPO”) and to list on SIX Swiss Exchange

- A global leader in aseptic carton packaging systems and solutions with exposure to growing and resilient end-markets
- Distinctive business model combining proprietary filling technology with additional services
- Long-term contracts with diversified blue-chip customer base in the food and beverage industry
- Strategy of continued product and solution innovation to support customer needs
- Proven track record of delivering long-term growth, margin expansion and strong cash generation
- Good growth momentum and a further increase in profitability demonstrated by H1 2018 results
- IPO is a natural next step in the Company’s growth strategy
- Investors can expect dividends in line with strong and increasing cash flows
- New board of independent Directors will be elected, chaired by the designated Chairman, Andreas Umbach
- IPO expected to include newly issued shares targeting primary proceeds of approximately €1 billion
- To further increase the Company’s free float, IPO may also include existing shares held by majority owner Onex (TSX:ONEX) and certain members of Management
- Depending on the size of any secondary share component, Onex is likely to retain a post-IPO shareholding of 50% or more
- Listing on SIX Swiss Exchange planned in the coming months, subject to market conditions

Rolf Stangl, CEO of SIG said: “SIG has a heritage as a Swiss industrials company going back over 160 years. Today, SIG is one of only two leading global system suppliers of aseptic carton packaging solutions. The planned IPO is a natural next step in our growth strategy as we continue to bring innovative products to the market and to expand in existing markets and new geographies. Our strong growth prospects and cash flow profile underpin our ability to reward investors with an attractive dividend policy going forward.”

Global leadership in systems and solutions for aseptic carton packaging
With revenue of €1,672 million and Adjusted EBITDA1 of €480 million for the last 12 months to June 30, 2018, SIG is one of only two leading global system suppliers of aseptic carton packaging solutions. The aseptic packaging process allows beverages and liquid food to maintain their taste, appearance and nutritional qualities for up to 12 months without the use of refrigeration or preservatives. In 2017, SIG had an estimated 21% share of aseptic carton packaging volumes produced for liquid dairy, non-carbonated soft drinks and liquid food applications in its core geographies2. With its precision-engineered filling systems, SIG offers customers a high level of flexibility, with fast change-over times between carton sizes and shape formats, as well as the ability to fill a wide range of products with different viscosity levels and particulates. Through its carton sleeve technology SIG has become a market leader in aseptic carton packaging for liquids with particulates, which include fruit or cereal pieces in yogurts and non-carbonated soft drinks as well as chunky soups. These products have been developed to meet fast-growing consumer demand in a number of SIG’s key geographies.

Resilient end-markets benefiting from secular growth trends
SIG’s customers are principally engaged in selling food and beverage products, which are characterised by resilient, low-discretionary consumer demand and are therefore less susceptible to economic cycles than more discretionary products. Aseptic carton packaging is expected to benefit from secular growth trends in the food and beverage industry, such as rising consumption in developing economies, favourable shifts in demographics towards smaller households, premiumisation and increasing consumer demand for convenience and on-the-go consumption. Other significant growth drivers include greater penetration of ambient packaging in higher-growth developing economies due to the lack of a stable end-to-end cold chain infrastructure, increased food and beverage e-commerce sales and growing consumer health and wellness awareness. These drivers favour convenient packaging that preserves the nutritional value of its content without preservatives.

Proprietary and highly engineered full system offering
SIG is the only global aseptic system supplier with a proprietary, sleeve-fed system that has distinct economic and technological advantages over roll-fed systems and non-system suppliers. SIG’s sleeve-fed system can offer its customers a lower total cost of ownership as a result of the flexibility in changing carton sleeve sizes and shape formats on its filling machines, high overall production uptime and output due to the reliability of its system, and low waste rates both of packaging and the filled product. In addition, SIG’s system has superior capabilities for filling a wider range of liquids with different viscosity levels and particulates than the roll-fed systems with which it competes.

Successful business model with recurring revenue and attractive returns on investment
SIG’s business model is based on its proprietary filling machines at its customers’ facilities, which typically can be used only with SIG’s proprietary sleeves and closures. The Company’s installed base of filling machines supports the ongoing sale of sleeves and closures. As of June 30, 2018, there were approximately 1,150 SIG filling machines in the field in over 60 countries, which filled approximately 35 billion sleeves during the preceding 12 months. In addition, over 550 field service engineers provide customer support either from locations within the customers’ facilities or from widespread on-call service locations, helping to ensure a high degree of efficiency and production up-time.

Long-standing partnerships with diversified blue-chip customer base
SIG is a trusted partner for leading blue-chip customers and for established national and regional food and beverage companies. The Company sells its aseptic carton packaging solutions to over 270 customers worldwide and its relationship with its top ten customers is over 25 years on average. SIG is deeply involved in customers’ product development decisions, providing consumer-led innovation and collaborating in product formulation, as well as testing of new product concepts, with the aim of delivering the “Perfect Package” every time.

Strategy of continued product and solution innovation to support customer needs
Part of SIG’s strategy to drive increased customer demand for its products is to continue to introduce new and improved product and solutions offerings. These cover areas such as point-of-sale differentiation and positioning through new shapes and decorative features, consumer appeal and functionality through improved handling and pouring, and new features such as product traceability and digital marketing solutions. Through its formulation and filling capabilities SIG enables its customers to develop a range of products containing particulates. SIG also continually seeks to optimise the weight, format and design of its carton sleeves and closures, as well as to develop higher efficiency filling lines. Examples of recently launched innovations include the new premium packaging platform combismile, an innovative single-serve solution designed to meet growing consumer demand for on-the-go food and beverage consumption; Heat&Go, the leading microwaveability solution among aseptic carton packs capturing demand for easy-to-prepare warm and hot drinks as well as liquid food; and combiblocXSlim, a small-format beverage packaging providing a low-cost option relative to other substrates.

Resilient financial profile with track record of long-term growth, margin expansion and attractive cash generation
SIG’s attractive business model provides resilient, as well as foreseeable and recurring revenue streams. This resilience is evidenced by its long-term track record of revenue and earnings growth, with high and increasing margins and strong cash flow generation. Between 2007 and 2017, SIG’s revenue and Adjusted EBITDA grew organically at CAGRs of 4% and 7%, respectively. The strong business model coupled with continued focus on operational excellence contributed to an increase of 700 basis points in Adjusted EBITDA margins over the last decade (from 20% in 2007 to 27% in 2017).

Strategies in place for continued long-term growth
SIG intends to continue its record of long-term growth through a strategy of penetrating attractive new geographies and fast-growing niche categories and to pursue new, as well as expand existing, customer relationships. Substantial resources have been committed to improving SIG’s go-to market approach and sales force effectiveness, as well as its ability to offer a variety of high quality aseptic packaging products and solutions across regions. SIG’s expansion into attractive geographies where it has little to no presence today will also help to drive future growth.

Proven management team with successful track record and highly experienced Board of Directors
The Group Executive Board - led by Chief Executive Officer Rolf Stangl and Chief Financial Officer Samuel Sigrist - is highly experienced, with its members averaging 11 years with SIG. Together with the global workforce of approximately 5,000 employees, the management team has a strong track record of growing the business by building long-term customer partnerships, developing new technologies and expanding into high-growth countries. At the same time, the team has increased profitability through a focus on operational excellence, continuing cost optimisation initiatives and investing in higher value end-products and regions.

SIG’s Board of Directors is expected to comprise eight members who all have highly relevant experience and will be non-executive directors. The Board of Directors will be chaired by Andreas Umbach with further independent members including Matthias Währen (expected Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee); Colleen Goggins (expected Chairwoman of the Compensation Committee); Werner Bauer, Wah-Hui Chu; and Mariel Hoch. In addition, two Onex representatives are expected to be on the board: Nigel Wright (expected Chairman of the Nomination and Governance Committee) and David Mansell.

Contributing positively to society and to the environment across the value chain
Corporate responsibility is at the core of SIG’s operations. The Company aims to pursue a net positive corporate footprint in the long run by contributing more to society and the environment than it takes out. SIG’s EcoVadis Gold status in the supplier sustainability rating put it in the top 1% of 30,000 participating companies in 2017. This rating is based on a detailed independent assessment of SIG’s policies, processes and performance based on specific criteria relating to the environment, society, ethics and the supply chain. SIG strives for certified sustainable supply of all materials, products and services. All of SIG’s liquid packaging board, its main raw material, is purchased from suppliers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (“FSC”) and, to date, it is the only aseptic carton provider to announce that it offers 100% of its packs with the FSC label on the pack. SIG’s cartons are fully recyclable and have a 70-80% average renewable content. SIG has also launched innovative products such as the EcoPlus pack, which has a 28% improved CO2 emission impact compared to comparable packages in a similar format, and the SIGNATURE PACK, which is the first aseptic carton pack linked to 100% plant-based renewable materials via certified traceability and mass balancing.

Attractive dividend policy
SIG’s goal is to implement an attractive and sustainable shareholder return policy by providing a recurring and sustainable dividend to shareholders. In 2019, SIG expects to pay a dividend of approximately €100 million relating to the financial year ending December 31, 2018. From 2019 onwards, the Company plans a pay-out ratio of between 50% and 60% of Adjusted Net Income3.

Transaction highlights
The intended IPO is expected to consist of a primary offering of approximately €1 billion. The expected net proceeds from the primary offering are intended to be used to delever the Company’s balance sheet to a target leverage ratio of 3.00-3.25x following the closing of the IPO. In order to further increase the Company’s free float, the base offering may be complemented by a potential offering of existing shares held by its current owners, including funds advised by affiliates of Onex and certain members of management. In addition, a standard over-allotment option is expected to be granted on a number of existing shares.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs International are acting as Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners for the planned IPO. Barclays, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and UBS Investment Bank are acting as Joint Bookrunners, while UniCredit Bank AG and Vontobel are acting as Co-Lead Managers. Rothschild & Co. is acting as independent financial adviser to SIG on the IPO.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

Building Brands in Ardagh Cans

Building Brands in Ardagh Cans  (Company news)

Barrio Brewing, led by Arizonans Dennis and Tauna Arnold, has a history that dates back to 1991 when the couple opened up Tucson’s first full mash brewery. Twenty-seven years later the duo is going strong as the longest-running independent brewer in the state and is stepping up its retail reach by packaging its beers in environmentally-friendly aluminum beverage cans from Ardagh.

Key Barrio craft beer brands such as Barrio Blonde, Blanco and Rojo join Citrazona, Mocha Java Stout and many more in providing beer quality enthusiasts a full slate of choices now available in more than a few hundred well-respected bars, restaurants and stores across the state. Strengthening the distribution goals of the company is the choice to package these beers in aluminum cans, which are filled faster and shipped and displayed more efficiently as cans stack easily so there’s no wasted space in trucks or on retail shelves.

Dennis Arnold says he, Tauna and the entire Barrio team are excited to continue to build their presence. "We believe market trends are tending to quality local beers supplanting multi-state regionals but it will still come down to taste and quality in determining what brands will endure and grow,” he said. “We're confident Barrio Brewing will be at the forefront of craft beer growth and, in fact, we’re extending our brand lineup next Spring.”

Claude Marbach, CEO, Ardagh Metal, North America, says the can maker is proud to team with Barrio Brewing in not only helping extend its reach across Arizona but in strengthening its environmental position. “Cans enable brands to tell a strong sustainability story as they are recycled at a high rate and are made with a high recycled content,” he said. “The beverage can’s sustainability advantages are just a few of the reasons cans are increasingly a preferred choice in helping build brands and bottom lines.”
(Ardagh Group)

New partner in Beviale Family network: SEA Brew

New partner in Beviale Family network: SEA Brew  (BrauBeviale 2018)

-Beviale Family now represented in South-East Asia too
-Marketing cooperation takes effect immediately

The Beviale Family is extending its global network in beverage production and welcomes SEA Brew as its official partner with immediate effect. South-East Asia's annual conference and trade fair for the brewing industry is an itinerant event that has already been successfully held four times. The aim of the partnership is to combine the resources of the two established trade fairs and mutually develop new markets. This marketing alliance will allow the Beviale Family to further expand its presence in South-East Asia.

The Southeast Asia Brewers Conference & Trade Fair (SEA Brew) has become established in the South-East Asia region as a professional development event with a concurrent exhibition for brewers and beer distributors. As an itinerant event it has already taken place in Singapore (2015, 2016), Ho Chi Minh City (2017) and Manila (2018). In September 2019 it will be hosted in Bangkok. Its aim is to drive the potential of the evolving Asian beer market and inform brewery owners, brewers and retailers throughout Asia about the latest trends in ingredients, processes and equipment. “This is why SEA Brew is the ideal partner for us in the South-East Asian market,” says Andrea Kalrait, Director Exhibition
BrauBeviale and international product manager for the Beviale Family. “We have been monitoring developments locally for some time now and have determined that there is great potential in the beer and brewing segment. In SEA Brew we have found a partner that is very familiar with the realities of the respective markets and also has excellent networks. We are looking forward to working together to develop new target groups.”

Charles Guerrier, founder of SEA Brew, had this to say: “We are excited to partner with the Beviale Family and be part of their global network of international beverage and brewing trade shows. This cooperation will help grow awareness of the opportunities emerging within Asia for both brewers and industry suppliers and help unlock the region’s potential”.

SEA Brew, the annual Southeast Asia Brewers Conference & Trade Fair attracts brewers, distributors and investors from across the Asian region. They come together to exchange ideas and gain insights from global experts into the latest technological innovations in order to keep up with the fast-paced developments of the industry. The conference and attached trade fair was established in 2015 to support the growing demands on both production and distribution in a rapidly developing industry. In line with being a truly regional event, SEA Brew moves to a new host city every year.
(NürnbergMesse Group)




SIG is the first in the industry to produce all its packs using 100% renewable energy – electricity and gas – at production sites worldwide. By effectively eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from production, this represents a major milestone on SIG’s journey to go Way Beyond Good by contributing more to society and the environment than it takes out.

SIG has met its 2020 goal to source 100% renewable energy and Gold Standard CO2 offset for all non-renewable energy at production plants two years early. The company made the switch to 100% renewable electricity in 2017 and is now sourcing renewable alternatives for the remaining energy used in production that comes from natural gas.

SIG is purchasing biogas certificates that are certified to the recognised GoldPower® standard to offset 100% of the natural gas used at its production sites as of 1 January 2018.

Arnold Schuhwerk, SIG’s Global Category Manager for energy procurement, said: “We achieved a big milestone last year by securing 100% renewable electricity for production. Sourcing renewable alternatives for gas was even more challenging because the market for renewable biogas is not yet well established.”

With no viable option to source renewable biogas directly, SIG is sourcing it indirectly instead by supporting projects to construct and operate waste-to-energy systems in China, Thailand and Turkey that capture gas generated at landfill sites and use it to produce renewable energy.

Landfill gas from decomposing waste includes large amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Preventing this gas from escaping into the atmosphere helps to avoid harmful climate impacts.

The projects are certified to the GoldPower® standard which verifies that they will not only deliver measurable greenhouse gas emissions reductions, but also create benefits for local communities, such as air or water quality improvements or job opportunities.

“We are supporting projects that capture harmful greenhouse gases from landfill and convert these into energy,” said Schuhwerk. “We chose the projects because they are certified to a recognised standard to make sure they have a positive social impact as well as supporting environmental savings.”

All other remaining greenhouse gas emissions from production sites, such as small amounts released in the printing process, are also being offset to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from production.

The switch to renewable gas will save an estimated 28,600 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per year. This will make an important contribution towards SIG’s science-based targets to cut Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 – and by 60% by 2040 – from the 2016 base-year.

By reducing the climate impact of SIG’s solutions, this latest step to go Way Beyond Good will also help customers cut the lifecycle impacts of their products and meet their own sustainability goals.
(SIG Combibloc GmbH)

New CEO and CFO at REHAU

New CEO and CFO at REHAU  (Company news)

The Supervisory Board of the global REHAU Group announces that William Christensen (photo) was appointed the new CEO of REHAU. Christensen was previously the Chief Marketing Officer and is replacing Rainer Schulz, who has run the company since 2010.

“We are very pleased that William Christensen with his international management experience is taking the helm”, says Jobst Wagner, President of the REHAU Supervisory Board. Christensen has been with REHAU since April 2016. The 45-year-old completed his studies in the USA and, prior to joining REHAU, among others served on the Group Executive Board of Geberit, where he was responsible for International Sales.

The new CFO will be Kurt Plattner, taking over the responsibilities of Dieter Gleisberg. Plattner has been with REHAU for 25 years and was recently Head of Treasury, Controlling & Finance at REHAU’s head office in Muri, Switzerland.
(Rehau AG + Co)

Vetropack – first half of 2018: record net sales and improved margins

Vetropack – first half of 2018: record net sales and improved margins  (Company news)

In the first half of the year under review, Vetropack Group exceeded what was already a high level of net sales from the previous year by 12.8%. They amounted to CHF 350.0 million, another new record. The operating margin improved from 9.8% in the previous year to 11.6%.

Consolidated net sales from goods and services rose by 12.8% to CHF 350.0 million (2017: CHF 310.2 million). Adjusted for currency effects, Vetropack Group increased its net sales by 5.3%, with 7.5% attributable to currency effects due to the weaker Swiss franc. Unit sales amounted to 2.61 billion units of glass packaging in the first six months of the year, their best-ever level. Greater demand for high-quality glass packaging enabled Vetropack Group to optimise its sales mix to benefit its net sales and margin. This put consolidated EBIT at CHF 40.6 million, up by 34.0% year on year (2017: CHF 30.3 million). The EBIT margin improved to 11.6% (2017: 9.8%).

The consolidated semi-annual profit of CHF 30.0 million (2017: CHF 24.7 million) was up 21.5% on the same period last year. The good performance also saw the profit margin increase from 8.0% in the previous year to 8.6%. Cash flow also improved, coming in at CHF 71.6 million (2017: CHF 61.3 million) and resulting in a cash flow margin of 20.5% of net sales (2017: 19.8%).

Vetropack Group employed 3,304 individuals during the period under review (2017: 3,316).

Outlook for the second half of 2018
Vetropack Group expects the market environment to remain favourable over the next six months. Sales volumes will be down slightly on the first half of the year because another furnace overhaul, this time at the Austrian plant in Kremsmünster, is slated for the second half of 2018 and it will not be possible to repeat the sell-off of existing stock to the extent seen in the first half of the year. We are therefore forecasting a slight fall in net sales and performance compared with the first half of 2018. The operating result for 2018 as a whole looks likely to exceed that achieved last year by some margin.
(Vetropack AG)

Britvic welcomes local MP to redeveloped Rugby site following multi-million pound investment

Britvic welcomes local MP to redeveloped Rugby site following multi-million pound investment   (Company news)

Leading soft drinks company Britvic at the end of August welcomed Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby and Bulkington, to its site in Rugby to find out more about the company’s investment in the site and for a behind the scenes tour of its redeveloped facility.

Britvic is investing more than £100milllion in the Rugby site as part of a broader £240m three-year investment programme in its GB manufacturing capability. The investment, announced by the company in 2015, is designed to step-change the speed and flexibility of its production lines whilst delivering environmental benefits through greater efficiencies.

As part of the investment in Rugby, Britvic has installed three new PET bottling lines, a new on-site warehouse and an aseptic line to manufacture preservative-free drinks, which will improve logistics planning and reduce road miles, helping the company to reduce its carbon footprint. In addition, the company has introduced three new can lines which are amongst the fastest in the Europe, collectively producing up to 6,000 cans per minute. The state-of-the-art design has led to a reduction in waste, significantly increased production, and gives greater flexibility meaning cans can now be made from aluminium or steel on the same line. This year, Britvic’s steel can formats have also moved to aluminium cans, enabling Britvic to reduce the amount of metal it uses annually by 8,000 tonnes.

Britvic announced earlier this year the creation of c.80 new jobs at the site, which includes technical operators, engineers and team leaders.

Mark Pawsey MP met with Britvic colleagues, including Director of Production Jeremy Howard, and was taken on a tour of the factory which has been home to Britvic for more than 30 years and employs nearly 300 people. Mr Pawsey saw first-hand the production of its iconic brands, which include Purdey’s and Tango, on its can lines.

Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby and Bulkington commented: “I was delighted to join Jeremy and his colleagues today at Britvic’s redeveloped site in the heart of Rugby. Britvic has been a major employer in the constituency for many years and I was very interested to find out more about how their investment is helping to reduce the amount of material they use when manufacturing their world famous brands.”

Jeremy Howard, Director of Production at Britvic, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Mr. Pawsey to our Rugby site today to see our new state-of-the-art manufacturing and logistics capability. It is a proud moment for the team here and for all our partners who have supported us in our ambition to create a world-class manufacturing site.

“Sustainability remains at the heart of our business and this project. Through our GB investment programme, we are investing for the future and remain committed to continuing to make a positive difference to our communities and to the world around us – helping to make it healthier, happier, and more sustainable.”

Britvic’s sustainability strategy, ‘A Healthier Everyday’, is fully integrated into the company’s investment in manufacturing programme. It focuses on three key areas including:

Healthier People: helping consumers to make healthier choices and live healthier lives
Healthier Communities: helping our employees and communities to thrive
Healthier Planet: helping to secure our planet’s future

The ‘Healthier Planet’ element sets out Britvic’s commitment to help secure the planet’s future, ensuring that resources are used responsibly, and the natural world is protected. The focus is on resource efficiency, minimising the environmental impact of packaging and operating a sustainable supply chain.

Recent milestones:

100% of Britvic’s PET plastic bottles are recyclable in the UK recycling system
Recent investment in new bottling lines eliminated over 300 tonnes of plastic bottle packaging in GB
99% of global manufacturing waste generated was diverted from landfill
It achieved a 5% reduction in carbon emissions relative to production compared to 2016
Water ratio (water consumption relative to production) from 2016 was maintained despite the commissioning of new lines
Britvic was shortlisted for the 2017 GreenFleet Awards in the ‘Private Sector Fleet of the Year’ category for its work to promote the use of alternative fuel vehicles across its fleet. Work included installing charging points across its sites in Great Britain, and actively engaging with employees to demonstrate the total cost/benefit of hybrid vehicles.
Britvic was a founding signatory of The UK Plastics Pact, a pioneering agreement which aims to transform the plastic packaging system in the UK and keep plastic in the economy and out of the ocean.
Britvic is investing £850,000 a year in UK recycling infrastructure through its commitment to only purchase domestic Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) from UK recyclers.

2020 Goals:
-Reduce carbon emissions relative to production across Britvic’s global manufacturing sites by 15% vs 2016 baseline (5% emissions reduction achieved in 2017)
-Achieve a water ratio (water consumption relative to production) of 1.4 across its global manufacturing operations (water ratio was 2.15 in 2017)
-Achieve zero waste to landfill across its global manufacturing sites (99% in 2017)
-Reduce the amount of materials used across all packaging formats, introduce recycled PET (rPET) into the GB portfolio at 15% content (300 tonnes of plastic packaging eliminated in GB in 2017).
(Britvic Plc)

Probably the world’s smallest gas detectors

Probably the world’s smallest gas detectors  (Company news)

The MC2 (analog sensor with up to 15 m cable length) from MSR-Electronic can be mounted even in the smallest devices due to its reduced size. In addition to the
electrochemical sensor element with measuring amplifier, a module with microcontroller, analog output and power supply is integrated in the sensor unit. The microcontroller calculates a linear 4-20 mA signal from the measuring signal of the sensor; furthermore it stores the relevant measured values and data of the sensor element. The calibration can be performed directly at the system with the integrated, comfortable calibration routine.

The SC2 (digital sensor, optically identical to the MC2) from MSR-Electronic offers the possibility of being used as a remote sensor, too. In addition to the sensor element and the measuring amplifier, the SC2 includes a microcontroller for measuring value processing. All data and measured values of the sensor element are stored in a fail-safe manner in the microcontroller and are transmitted digitally via the local bus to the sensor board (SB2) or another control board of MSR-Electronic. The microcontroller also includes the calibration management.

The SX1 sensor head as remote version is perfectly suited for direct monitoring of valves or other devices that are too small or angled for larger gas sensors.

The SX1 sensor head was specially developed for harsh environments and consists of 1.4404 CrNi steel with double-sided thread. A splash and weather protection cap is available as an option.

All sensors from MSR-Electronic are available for a large number of gases to be detected (Ex, Tox, Freon, O2, etc.).
(MSR Electronic GmbH)

Precise pressure monitoring in systems and piping

Precise pressure monitoring in systems and piping  (Company news)

GEMÜ's new 3140 series pressure gauges facilitate precision measuring across a wider range of pressures and temperatures. With these latest additions to their product portfolio, Ingelfingen-based valve specialists GEMÜ are modernising their range of measurement systems.

As part of this update to their range of pressure measurement systems, GEMÜ will be replacing the type 3120 with the new pressure transducers and pressure switches of the GEMÜ 3140 series. Compared to its predecessor, the new product range impresses with a far broader measuring scope, as well as a number of electrical design features and important approvals.
The GEMÜ 3140 series is designed for both liquid and gaseous media at pressures of between 0 and 40 bar and temperatures of between -40 and +125 °C. The integrated high-quality ceramic sensor reliably converts the pressure into a proportional electrical signal – at an accuracy of 0.5% FSO in accordance with IEC 60770.

IO-Link for intelligent networking
In order to optimize adaptability for different applications, all the standard electrical and mechanical connections are provided. With an IO-Link interface, the GEMÜ 3140 pressure transducers/switches can be used centrally to automate and monitor processes. This means leakages and gauge pressure can be detected early for instance.

The pressure measurement devices in the GEMÜ 3140 series can be used for a variety of industrial applications. Besides calculating the process pressure and measuring a pressure differential, the GEMÜ 3140 pressure transducers/switches can also be employed to reliably control, measure and monitor the level during filling processes. The integrated sensor is suitable for use with both highly viscous and contaminated media and, thanks to its high-quality material selection, it can even be used with corrosive media, such as for demanding applications with acids and alkalis.
GEMÜ 3140 products have been certified in accordance with UL, SIL2 and IECEx. Both the explosion-proof and the SIL versions are available as options. Depending on the version, the product can also feature a rotatable LED display. This means the user can easily view the current operating parameters via a 4-digit display, no matter where the device is installed.
(GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)


UK: Acquisitions of craft breweries by multinationals could become a wider industry trend   (

New research into the UK’s brewing industry suggests that the spate of recent acquisitions of small craft breweries by multinationals could become a wider industry trend, The Morning Advertiser reported on August 29.

Over the past five years, the number of small UK breweries has risen by 64%, creating an overcrowded marketplace. This rise has been in part due to tax breaks such as Small Breweries' Relief (introduced in 2002), but also due to the popularity of craft beer produced by independent breweries.

The research, provided by financial intelligence provider Plimsoll Publishing, suggests that many of these breweries are trying to compete with rising costs, falling margins and a lack of investment, and hence further buyouts could be on the cards.

David Pattison, senior analyst at financial intelligence provider Plimsoll Publishing, said: “The arrival of such a large number of small companies means the brewing industry has become highly fragmented; 70% companies are run with less than £500,000 of investment."

Pattison continued: “Costs are rising faster than sales and for the first time in nine years, margins have fallen below 4%. This lack of investment means that some companies will struggle to grow, even if demand for their product is high.”

Faced with these dilemmas, an increasing number of breweries are turning to multinationals to finance further expansion and growth. Earlier this summer, Beavertown Brewery sold a minority stake of its business to Heineken while, last month, Fourpure announced it had sold to Australian and New Zealand beverage company Lion.

However, there is no guarantee that small breweries will find a buyer or investor, as larger breweries struggle with declining profits.

Pattinson added: “Among so much competition, small breweries may find attracting a buyer a challenge. What’s more, the increasing popularity of craft beer has also affected the market leaders and 22 of the UK’s 50 largest breweries have seen profits fall.

“Many large brands have already introduced craft-style beers to their ranges in an attempt to capture a share of this demand and boost profits."

One possible solution mooted by Plimsoll Publishing is for more smaller breweries to investigate the possibility of merging, enabling them to benefit from economies of scale and make the transition onto the beer duty escalator less painful.

Pattison said: “We have already seen a trend in the decrease of asset values, suggesting that companies are becoming leaner. But if a number of smaller breweries were to merge, share costs and resources, this could allow them to benefit from economies of scale, allowing them to raise more capital and, ultimately, become more competitive.”


China: Young Chinese consumers increase spending on whiskey  (

Demand from the increasingly urbanized and high-income population, evolving tastes and consumption upgrade is boosting spending on whiskey among young Chinese consumers, the China Economic Net reported on August 30.

Buoyed by the growth, several high-end foreign whiskey retailers are putting more efforts to promote online shopping and sales at restaurants and bars, they said.

Single malt whiskey, made from malted barley and distilled for more than three years from a single distillery, saw the fastest growth in the whiskey segment. The category, which is characterized by distinguished original flavors of different whiskey producing areas, usually comes with expensive price tags.

Total sales of single malt whiskey in China was valued at 45.1 million pounds ($57.9 million) by the end of June last year, up 36 percent year-on-year from 2016, according to data from London-based Diageo Plc.

Gao Shengtian, general manager of French wine and spirits company Pernod Ricard in China, earlier said the company is planning to offer more promotions through social media platforms to boost online sales.

Last year, Pernod Ricard accounted for 31.5 percent market share in China. It was followed by Diageo Plc, which took 15.9 percent, and Suntory Holdings Ltd, Brown-Forman Corp, and Edrington Group, respectively, according to market researcher Euromonitor.

"Whiskey is becoming increasingly popular in the China market. The biggest demographic worth paying attention to is millennials," said Ryan Christianson, owner of Xanthos Wines, a winery in Napa Valley, California, and an industry expert.

"Now, the leaders in the China market are Japanese whiskey and then Scotch and to a lesser extent Irish whiskey. American whiskey has several industry leaders that have done very well in the Chinese mainland, such as Jack Daniels," he said.

He added that US premium brands are gaining popularity in the Chinese mainland, as Chinese consumers are preferring more high-quality products, but US imports have been uncompetitive, due to the dollar strength.

In 2017, total value of whiskey sales in China was 12.97 billion yuan ($1.89 billion), up 5.6 percent year-on-year. The total volume of whiskey sold during the period was 16.56 billion litres, up 6.9 percent year-on-year, according to Euromonitor.

By 2022, whiskey sales in China are expected to be about 19.13 billion yuan, up 38.6 percent from the expected levels this year. Besides, whiskey volumes are foreseen to reach 23.65 billion liters in 2022, expanding 32 percent from this year, Euromonitor said.

Leading cognac producer Hennessy launched its first online flagship store on JD in 2016 and on Tmall, an online shopping platform of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, last year. Its online stores cover various brands and categories with limited editions, as the brewer bets on China's rapidly growing e-commerce market.

On Tmall, Hennessy has also introduced a special 200ml small bottle version. With its cheaper price, the small bottles can cater to demand from young people and their needs to hold parties and enjoy drinks at home, it said.


Japan: Major brewers innovating in ‘colour-free’ beers  (

Japan’s major beer manufacturers have innovated a selection of beer drinks and alcohol-free beer to be ‘colour-free’, the Drinks Insight Network reported on August 31.

These innovations present a significant visual impact and certainly catch the interest of inquisitive Japanese consumers. However, is “colour-free” really right for these products?

Early movers include Asahi Breweries with Asahi Clear Craft, which it made available via selected Asahi-owned bars in a marketing trial. The drink is a transparent colourless happoshu – and happoshu is a beer-related tax category of sparkling low-malt beverage. It’s similar to conventional beer but does not follow the traditional beer recipe of having high malt content.

Suntory’s All-Free All-Time – also an early mover – is a new clear-colour alcohol-free beer. It has been launched as a line extension of Suntory All-Free, which is Suntory’s core alcohol-free beer brand. The drink not only has the interesting colourless visual, but it also comes in a PET plastic bottle which is unusual in the alcohol-free beer category. Similar to its sister All-Free branded products, this new beverage also contains no calories or carbohydrates – so it is in the realms of beer-flavoured carbonated water. Suntory Beer says these new attributes allow consumers to enjoy alcohol-free beer more “freely”, consuming it at work, during their lunch break or after sports – and presumably without drawing the kind of attention that drinking an alcohol-free beer in the office might otherwise attract.

Suntory is no stranger to this space, introducing a clear-colour yoghurt-flavoured drink under its mineral water brand. After witnessing the success of Suntory, many manufacturers released colourless drinks in adjacent drink categories that generally have colour, such as ready-to-drink tea. Even Coca-Cola Japan has launched Coca-Cola Clear zero-calorie transparent cola.

The boom of colourless beverages has been driven by Japanese culture, which highly prizes innovation. The country is known for innovative products not only in beverages but across most consumer goods. Developing eye-catching, cutting-edge innovations is often considered to be high priority in new product development. But is clear beer a step too far?

The first question is whether happoshu – or indeed any beer category products with no colour – are the right direction to innovate in beer? According to Asahi Breweries, the idea of Asahi Clear Craft comes from the desire to develop an extremely light beer drink; to achieve that, eliminating colour is key as drinkers are likely to perceive “full body and rich flavour” because of a beer’s golden colour – even when the taste is actually not so rich. Colourless is a way to offer a refreshing image visually, but beer is a malt- and wheat-based alcoholic beverage, so without its colour it no longer has the identity of beer.

The question of whether colourless alcohol-free beer is actually a beer is even more controversial. In this case the boundaries between alcohol-free beer, soft drinks and sparkling water are becoming blurred. Being a beer-related product without a “beer image” is a key attribute of Suntory All-Free All-Time – the whole idea is that consumers don’t hesitate to drink it at work and after sports.

However, the product is still sold on alcoholic beverage shelves, categorising it as a beer substitute. This is deliberate and it is to avoid encouraging consumers under the legal drinking age to buy or consume conventional beer. But having similar suggested consumption occasions to soft drinks and water makes this a confusing product for consumers.

Another key question is whether eliminating colour from products which originally have colour-giving ingredients is actually safe. Some consumers have a positive image of clear drinks, as they look like water, associating them with health and guilt-free consumption. But these drinks have the same flavour appeal as drinks with colour. This gap between visual and taste is one of reasons that these drinks have become popular, yet these products can present a highly artificial impression too, particularly beer-related products with very low or no malt ingredients.

Both Asahi Breweries and Suntory announced that their innovations have been receiving a positive response from consumers. However, Japan’s clear-colour beverage boom may not last long, and there will be Japanese consumers who become increasingly concerned about this new beverage trend.


USA: Constellation Brands banking on popularity of Mexican beer  (

Cravings for Mexican beer continue to grow at a fast pace in the U.S., while the taste for domestic beers lags. Sales of imports increased 8.4% last year, driven by Mexican beers, which represented about 70% of sales of imported beer, according to data from IRI Worldwide. Nine Mexican beer brands ranked in the U.S. Top 54 by sales, the Motley Fool reported on August 31.

Domestic premium beers like Bud, Coors, and Miller still dominate, with about 40% of sales in the U.S. market. But the premium brands saw sales in dollars erode by 2.9% in 2017, according to information from IRI.

Craft beers and domestic ultra-premiums like Michelob Ultra are attracting consumers, with revenue up 5.6% and 11.3% respectively in 2017. But with IRI data showing craft beers holding 12% of the U.S. market and ultra-premiums 7%, it takes both to roughly equal the sales power of imports.

Constellation Brands sells some of the top-selling Mexican beers in America and isn't content to simply ride the wave of popularity. The company continues to look for new ways to grow.

Constellation Brands held two of the top seven spots in last year's IRI ranking of beer sales with Corona Extra and Modelo Especial. In total, the company saw beer sales up 10% in the fiscal year that ended at the end of February, and first-quarter results were equally bright, with 11% growth. In the last fiscal year, the company attributed the jump in beer sales to the increasing popularity of its Mexican beers and increased pricing on Mexican beers in some markets.

Constellation Brands has the exclusive rights to import, market, and sell in the U.S. Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra, Modelo Chelada, Pacifico, and Victoria. CEO Robert Sands said during the company's June conference call with analysts that the Mexican beer business is "performing very strongly."

The popularity of Mexican beers isn't new. Corona's leadership position started 20 years ago when it took the No. 1 cases-sold spot from Heineken on the import list. It ranked as the top-selling import last year, too. Modelo Especial has enjoyed double-digit gains for 30 years, according to Constellation spokesman Mike McGrew, as quoted by the Chicago Tribune. How have the brands sustained their popularity and growth? It's not just the size of the Hispanic market in the U.S. Hispanics made up about 18% of the U.S. population in 2016 and according to Nielsen consumer behavior data, beer consumption among Hispanics is higher than the U.S. average. But the total U.S. Hispanic population increased just roughly 2% in 2017 (equal to the previous year's uptick), so the brand growth is a bigger story.

The popularity of Mexican beers in the U.S. is fueled by:
Great taste. Mexican beers have been characterized as refreshing, light, and drinkable. When paired with complex food flavors, especially Mexican food, the simpler flavors of Mexican beer are described as complementary to the meal instead of competing with it.

Brand stories. Constellation Brands has created distinct stories around each of its Mexican beer brands. Corona evokes thoughts of sunny, relaxing days at the beach. Modelo is about "fighting spirit," and Pacifico embraces adventure. With each of the brands owning a unique and interesting story, beer fans can connect with all of them depending on the occasion or their craving.

Interest in ethnic flavors. Constellation Brands is benefiting from consumers' exploration of Mexican flavors, which include beers and regional drinks like cheladas and micheladas. The Modelo Chelada beer is flavored with tomato, salt, and lime.

While its core business benefits from good beer, favorable demographics, and great marketing, Constellation Brands is also focused on innovation, acquisition, and expansion.

Corona Premier, the first new Corona brand in almost 30 years, is targeting top-seller Michelob Ultra as a low-calorie, male-targeted premium option.

Corona's two-flavor line of Refresca malt beverages - the company calls the guava-lime and passionfruit-lime drinks "premium spiked refresher[s]" - is a lighter alternative aimed at women. The company is testing the new brand in a few markets. With a low sugar level and less alcohol delivering fewer calories, Refresca may help Constellation gain a share of an "alternative" alcoholic beverages segment that Constellation estimates at $3 billion.

The recent acquisition of Texas-based Four Corners Brewing helps Constellation Brands straddle the heritage of Mexican beer and the adventure of craft beers. Constellation referred to the company in a press release as a "high-performing, dynamic and bicultural (Hispanic and American) brand [that] produces beer that's refreshing, big on flavor and complements Constellation's existing portfolio."

To keep up with demand and its forecast sales growth of 9% to 11% in 2019, Constellation Brands is investing $900 million to boost capacity at its Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, breweries.

Hitting growth and income goals will not be an easy layup for Constellation Brands this year as it faces challenges on the raw material, freight, and transportation fronts. But the company's stars align well with Mexican beer trends, putting it in a better position than many competitors.


USA: Craft beer production growth flattens  (

The heady days of the craft beer industry have given way to slower growth as small and independent brewers face stiffer competition on the retail shelf, especially from the “Big Beer” sector, the Press Democrat reported on September 6.

The news at the fourth annual California Craft Beer Summit in Sacramento on September 6 wasn’t all that bad, though. The United States should reach an all-time high of about 7,000 breweries — the vast majority of them small brewers — by year end and the craft sector is on pace for a 5 percent increase in production compared with 2017, said Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association, the trade group representing independent and craft breweries nationwide.

Yet, the mood inside the Sacramento Convention Center was more subdued than in past years for an industry that posted 18 percent annual production growth as recently as 2014. Industry officials had conceded that level of robust growth would be unsustainable over the long haul for the $26 billion-a-year U.S. craft beer sector.

The smaller growth numbers this year, however, also coincided with some high-profile setbacks, among them San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing Co. scaling back its national distribution ambition to a few Western states due to financial woes that forced the sale of the company.

The North Bay has not been immune to the changing industry currents, as both Mendocino Brewing Co. in Ukiah and Carneros Brewing Co. in Sonoma closed this year. A local investor is attempting to revive Mendocino Brewing on a much smaller scale.

“It’s a slower growth rate. It’s a changing growth rate from what we have seen. The old order is being disrupted. It’s the order that we thought was in place five years ago,” Watson said.

The craft beer slowdown comes as big wholesalers have consolidated to gain greater market share, making it much harder for smaller brewers to secure local, regional and national retail distribution deals. In addition, the two largest U.S. brewers — Anheuser-Busch Cos. and MillerCoors — have in recent years acquired about 20 smaller craft brewers.

“There are a lot of clouds on the horizon,” said Joe Whitney, chief commercial officer for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. of Chico. The family-owned operation is the third-largest craft brewery in the country. “You don’t have to look too far to see what has caused that.”

Still, Sonoma County has a thriving craft beer business with about 30 breweries. By comparison, there are 467 wineries in unincorporated areas of Sonoma County. While the local area is noted for its wine tourism, beer tourism is steadily catching up. For example, 400,000 people visited Russian River Brewing Co.’s downtown Santa Rosa taproom last year even with the October wildfires. And that taproom is one of the county’s top tourist destinations.

Despite the headwinds, more craft beer industry expansion activity is scheduled for the fall in the county to specifically capitalize on beer tourism.

“Visiting breweries has become a great business,” Watson said. “It probably provides the majority of dollars for a few people in this room.”

Russian River will open its more than $30 million brewery and restaurant in Windsor and Seismic Brewing Co. of Santa Rosa will debut its first taproom in Sebastopol. Another entry will be 3 Disciples Brewing Co., slated to open a taproom just north of the reunified Old Courthouse Square by November.

“I have people calling late at night asking where they can find our beers,” said James Claus, a co-founder and brewmaster for 3 Disciples, in a phone interview.

The brewery now has a small production facility in Sebastopol and its beers are only available on tap at a few local restaurants and taprooms. The Santa Rosa taproom should have 12 draft beers with at least half of the selection rotating and featuring sour beers and Belgian-style ales. The plan is to eventually add food service.

The local craft brewing business is much more competitive now than four years ago, Claus said, when he and his partners started planning the brewery. The self-financed 3 Disciples was able to generate good word-of-mouth buzz among local craft beer lovers, making it less risky to open the taproom as opposed to being a new entrant, he said.

“We probably wouldn’t jump in the game now seeing the amount of breweries out there,” Claus added.

Brian Hunt, founder of Moonlight Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, said the sector is ending its phase of “irrational exuberance” — borrowing a phrase former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan used to describe the late 1990’s dot-com bubble.

Hunt sold half of his Moonlight stake to Lagunitas Brewing Co. of Petaluma in 2016 to help secure its future because his children don’t want to operate the business. Lagunitas is owned by international brewer Heineken International.

“There will always be room for more (breweries) and there will always be failures,” Hunt said.

Last database update: 19.08.2019 17:06 © 2004-2019, Birkner GmbH & Co. KG