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    02.05.2018   Vietnam: Experts speak against ban on sale of alcoholic drinks at night    ( )

    Experts spoke out against a proposed ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks at night during a conference on April 18, the VnExpress International reported.

    The proposal aims to restrict the sale of alcohol and advertising after 10 p.m. in Vietnam, excluding international airport terminals and areas designated for food, entertainment and tourism.

    The proposed ban would lead to binge drinking, said Dau Anh Tuan, head of the legal department at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

    "Some countries have approved this regulation, but it doesn't really work. We can ban labelled products, but not home brew,” Tuan said.

    The regulation needs to be looked at again, otherwise genuine brands might suffer while small home brew makers who don't pay tax could benefit, Tuan added.

    The term “areas designated for food, entertainment and tourism” in the proposal is not specifically defined, said Matt Wilson, director of foreign affairs for Heineken Vietnam LTD.

    Wilson said the ban might affect big entertainment events like the annual Heineken Countdown, which attracts a lot of young people on New Year's Eve.

    “I think the government’s goal can be entirely achievable by self-regulatory regulations,” Wilson said, citing that 40 percent of the world’s major markets have been successful in self-regulation as they believe in the advertising industry as well as its economic benefits.

    The enforcement of the draft law also raised concerns at the conference. “Who will carry out this law? And will they be able to?” asked Do Van Ve, former member of the 13th National Assembly. Ve said he was worried that with too many regulations that aren't actually enforced, people will start taking the law for granted.

    Other experts at the meeting also said that a ban on alcoholic drinks advertisements was not in line with the Advertisement Law, which would eventually confuse people as they wouldn’t know which laws to follow.

    The draft law, proposed by the health ministry, aims to prevent the adverse effects of alcoholic drinks with a volume of greater than 15 percent, which are widely consumed in Vietnam, a country famous for its beer drinking culture.

    The country spends on average $3.4 billion on alcohol each year, or 3 percent of the government’s budget revenue, according to official data. The figure translates to $300 per capita, while spending on health averages $113 per person, according to the health ministry.
    01.05.2018   Symrise Retains its Leading Position in the Ethibel Sustainability Index Europe     ( Company news )

    Company news • Company’s sustainability performance confirmed once again
    • Independent rating agency assesses commitment to environment and society

    The Ethibel Sustainability Index (ESI) Europe has reaffirmed Symrise as a sustainable company. The fragrance and flavoring manufacturer from Holzminden impressed the international sustainability experts of the Belgian nonprofit organization “Forum Ethibel” once again with its commitment. The index includes 200 companies from throughout Europe.

    Symrise racked up points in all four reviewed categories. These include internal social policy, environmental policy, external social policy and ethical-economical policy. The index uses data from Vigeo Eiris, a leading European sustainability rating agency, which evaluates companies, countries and public institutes according to a catalog of criteria. The index is reviewed twice a year based on this data and adjusted as needed.

    Environmental Protection Along the Value Chain
    “The inclusion of Symrise in the ESI Europe once again is an important confirmation for us that we are on the right path with our corporate sustainability management,” says Hans Holger Gliewe, Chief Sustainability Officer at Symrise. “The aim of sustainable corporate development is an integral part of the Symrise corporate strategy. We work hard on this every day. It is our express goal to continue to be one of the most successful and sustainable manufacturers of fragrances and flavorings in the world.”

    How Symrise drives sustainable activity successfully is detailed in the recently published Corporate Report “Unfolding Strengths.” By last year, the company had already reached its objective of reducing its carbon emissions in relation to value added from 2010 to 2020 by one third. Symrise has also achieved palpable success once again in other key figures, such as the reduction of sensitive waste and increased resource efficiency.
    (Symrise AG)
    30.04.2018   Australia: Wine most popular, but beer most drunk by Australians - report    ( )

    The Roy Morgan Alcohol Currency Report has found that 69.3 per cent of Australians aged 18 and over drink alcohol in an average four-week period, the Food Magazine reported on April 12.

    According to the report, of all Australians 18+ years old, 44.5 per cent consume wine, 39.1 per cent consume beer, 27.5 per cent consume spirits, and 13.6 per cent consume cider.

    When looking at drinkers by gender, men are the predominant consumers of alcohol, with 74 per cent consuming alcohol in an average four-week period, compared to 65 per cent of women.

    Women had the highest incidence of wine consumption, with nearly 50 per cent of all women drinking wine in an average 4 weeks compared to 39 per cent of men. Wine skews to older drinkers, with the highest incidence among 50+ and 35-49 year olds.

    In contrast, beer is consumed by 59 per cent of men in an average 4 weeks, compared to only 20 per cent of women. Beer is fairly constant across age, increasing slightly from 18-49, but declines for the 50+ age group.

    Cider is fairly evenly split between the genders with a slight skew towards women, but it is heavily skewed to younger Australians compared to old, with 27 per cent of 18-24 year olds consuming cider in an average four weeks compared to 7.8 per cent of 50+.

    In Australia, 128.8 million glasses of alcohol were consumed by 11.6 million drinkers in an average seven-day period in 2017.

    Beer has the highest Share of Throat across Australia, accounting for 44 per cent of all alcohol volume consumed by drinkers, compared to wine at 32 per cent. And while cider has experienced an increase in popularity over the last decade, it still represents only 3.3 per cent of all alcoholic volume.

    “While wine is the most popular choice of alcoholic drink among Australians, it’s interesting to note the largest volume of alcohol is beer, representing 44 per cent of all alcohol in a 12 month period. There has been a decline in alcohol consumption among men, who in the last five years have gone from 76.5 per cent consuming alcohol to 73.9 per cent in an average four week period,” said Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan.

    “This is contrasted by the rise of women consuming alcohol, which has increased from 64.1 per cent to 64.8 per cent. Young people have also declined in alcohol consumption, with 18-24 year olds decreasing from 71.8 per cent alcohol consumption to 68.1 per cent in an average four weeks. This is compared to 50+, who have increased from 69.4 per cent to 70.2 per cent.”
    30.04.2018   Flexible and compact: KHS systems at the Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, TN    ( Company news )

    Company news KHS USA, Inc. will be presenting its compact, efficient systems at this year’s BrewExpo America® which is staged as part of the Craft Brewers Conference. The machinery has been specially designed for small and medium-sized breweries, with operators profiting from the tried-and-tested technology of the system supplier’s high-performance plant equipment. The trade show focus will be on the Innofill Can C (photo), a compact volumetric can filler which outputs 10,000 to 40,000 cans per hour. KHS will be exhibiting at Booth #1044 from May 1–3, 2018.

    Craft beer continues to triumph worldwide, with the United States pioneers in this sector. KHS USA, Inc. has provided brewers with systems tailored to their specific requirements since the very start of the craft beer movement. Thanks to its 150 years of experience and established high-performance filling and packaging technology the manufacturer is able to satisfy the special demands made of quality and reliability in this field.

    Keg filler for various capacity ranges
    The CombiKeg R5 processes kegs with a volume of between seven and 58 liters – from internal and external washing through filling to conveying and on-board media tanks. It is therefore not just suitable for beer but also for soft drinks and wine.

    For breweries which require a compact, semi-automatic system, keg washing and filling technology is available in the form of the Innokeg AF1-C1 which outputs up to 35 returnable and non-returnable kegs every 60 minutes.

    Can filler for craft brewers
    The filling and packaging technology specialist will also be exhibiting its Innofill Can C at the upcoming trade show; this produces between 10,000 and 40,000 volumetrically filled cans an hour. The compact combination of filler and seamer is manufactured as a plug-and-produce system at the local KHS factory and can thus be commissioned without the need for elaborate installation.

    In addition to its show exhibits the KHS portfolio includes further machines for the reliable and flexible filling and packaging of beer and other beverages. The flexible Innofill Can DVD can filler for up to 132,000 cans per hour is just one of many examples. A dense network of local KHS employees ensures that the machinery is appropriately serviced and maintained.
    (KHS USA Inc.)
    30.04.2018   India: Kingfisher Beer continues to top India's most trusted alcoholic beverage brands list    ( )

    Beleaguered Vijay Mallya may be embroiled in controversies but Kingfisher Beer brand, owned by Mallya-promoted United Breweries, continues to top the most trusted alcoholic beverage brands list, the Business Standard reported on April 18.

    As per the Brand Trust Report 2018, Kingfisher Beer, Black Dog and Budweiser are the top three most trusted alcoholic beverage brands.

    Kingfisher Beer has maintained its leadership position ...and remain the unmitigated leader for the last eight years of the Brand Trust Report, TRA Research CEO N Chandramouli said.

    Kingfisher is the flagship brand of United Breweries Ltd. In August last year, United Breweries announced its Chairman Vijay Mallya had ceased to be director of the company following market regulator Sebi's order against him.

    Mallya, who had fled to the UK in March 2016, is also wanted in India for Kingfisher Airlines' default on loans worth nearly Rs 9,000 crore and some other matters.

    Royal Stag, Signature, Johnnie Walker ranked number four, five and six, respectively. Carlsberg, Blenders Pride, Tuborg and Imperial Blue are the other brand which figure in the top 10 list.

    Over 2,450 respondents participated in the survey conducted by TRA Research across 16 cities and its findings have been compiled in The Brand Trust Report 2018.

    As per the latest brand trust report, South Korean consumer durables firm Samsung, followed by Sony and LG are India's most trusted brand. Tata Group, the only Indian company to feature in the top five and US-based Apple occupy the fourth and the fifth ranking.

    Among India's 1,000 Most Trusted brands, the categories with the maximum brands were food and beverage and FMCG contributing to 25.6 per cent of the total brands in the listings.

    When compared to last year, 320 new brands made it to the list, 368 brands fell in rank, 307 brands rose in rank, and five brands retained their ranks, it said.
    30.04.2018   Latin America: Corona edges out Skol from the position of Latin America's most valuable brand    ( )

    Mexican beer Corona is the most valuable brand in Latin America, overtaking Brazil's Skol, which has held the title for the past two years, according to the sixth-annual BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands announced on April 27 by WPP with data prepared by Kantar.

    Corona took the top spot in the ranking after seeing an 8% brand value growth to $8.292 billion, edging out Skol, which grew by just 1% to $8.263 bln. The brand is sold in more than 180 countries and its success and global growth have been helped by Corona's ability to generate an affiliation with the "fun-loving" attributes associated with Mexican and Latin culture.

    The overall Latin America Top 10 ranking is mainly represented by beer (four brands – Corona, Skol, Brahma, and Aguila), followed by financial institutions (two brands), retail (two brands) and communications providers (one brand).

    Over the years the beer segment has been dominant in this ranking, but this year, four beer brands are present in the Top 10, rather than five. In addition, brands in the financial institutions category have achieved their best positions in the Top 10 since 2012.

    The four beer brands in the Top 10 this year together posted a 5 percent increase in their combined brand value compared with 2017.
    30.04.2018   The Democratic Republic of Congo: Beer industry likely to survive in spite of all difficulties ...    ( )

    ...and calamities

    The Bralima brewery in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is an island of modernity in a city where chaos is the norm. Inside a building near the docks where barges begin the journey up the Congo river, conveyor belts rattle as thousands of glass bottles are washed and filled with amber liquid. A generator hums to power the new brewing machinery, creating enough booze to fill 28,000 crates every two days, The Economist reported on April 19.

    Yet the real achievement of Bralima, which is owned by Heineken, a Dutch brewer, is not making the beer. It is what happens when it leaves the factory. Congo is one of the worst-connected, most dysfunctional countries on Earth. Four times the size of France, it has almost no all-weather roads. In large parts of eastern DRC, the state is a fiction and rebels control the roads. Yet there is scarcely a village where it is impossible to get a beer.

    Bralima was founded in 1923. Its main competitors, Bracongo and Brasimba, both owned by Castel, a secretive French family firm that operates across Africa, have been there almost as long. They are among the only surviving companies from the colonial era. By his fall, and the start of the first Congo war in 1997, Mobutu Sese Seko, Congo’s flamboyant post-independence dictator, had looted almost everything else. Today Congo is falling back into conflict. Can the industry survive? And what can other companies learn from it about doing business in such a trouble spot?

    Almost every other processed food in Congo is imported. Milk is brought in from France. But beer is patently local. Bralima, including its sales and the production of its raw materials, accounts for 2% of GDP, reckons its boss, Rene Kruijt. That is far less than mining, which makes up 22% of output. But with about 2,500 workers, the firm claims it is the biggest private-sector employer in the country. Primus, its main brand, labelled in the light blue and gold of the national flag, is “a source of national pride”, says Mr Kruijt, not implausibly.

    Castel’s operations may be as large. The two compete fiercely. David Van Reybrouck, a historian of Congo, records how just a few years after a peace agreement in 2003, Bralima was instructing its marketeers to fight a war for business.

    During the worst of the fighting itself, the real war and the war for business were arguably intertwined. Some even talk about “conflict beer”, on the same lines as conflict minerals. In 2013, when M23, a new rebel movement, emerged, two academics, Jason Miklian and Peer Schouten, estimated that third-party truckers selling Bralima’s beer might have been making payments to rebel groups of as much as $1 mln a year.

    Today, no large towns are rebel-controlled but the work is almost as difficult. In 2012 Castel opened a brewery in Beni, a small city in the north-east of the country, at a cost of $125 mln. A year later, Beni suffered the first of dozens of massacres that have killed up to 1,000 people over the past five years. The roads out of the city are among the least secure in the world. Nonetheless, Tembo and Skol—Castel’s brands—are sent from Beni to markets far and wide.

    Even moving in the peaceful parts of the country is expensive. Travelling 1,000 km can take a lorry three weeks, at a cost of thousands of dollars. Producing beer in the DRC is also pricey. Heineken estimates that the cost of water alone is five times that in neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville. Even in Kinshasa, electricity is unreliable, making the Bralima generator—big enough to power a small cruise liner—necessary. They in turn have to be fuelled with imported fuel. And then there are the taxes and shakedowns.

    Yet the companies also have impressive marketing and distribution operations. Beer companies in Congo are huge sponsors of music (so too are mobile-phone companies). The most popular stars can command large sums in exchange for endorsing Primus or Tembo—so much so that it has corrupted Congolese musicians, complains Lexxus Legal, a rapper. Meanwhile, the firms’ distribution networks are unparalleled. On the Congo river, barges operated by Bralima are among the only vessels left operating a regular schedule. Outside of the big cities, distribution is outsourced—presumably to people able to limit the extortion.

    Can it last? In February, Heineken declared a €286 mln ($353 mln) impairment loss for 2016 in Congo, after closing down two of its factories. In western Congo, Angolan beer in cans—less tasty but cheaper than Primus or Tembo—has flooded the market. It is not sold at cost since the smugglers’ main aim is to acquire dollars to trade on the black market in Angola. In the east, as Joseph Kabila, Congo’s president since 2001, refuses to leave office, the violence is worsening. In South Sudan, another conflict-ridden failed state, the only brewery was forced to close in 2016. The South Sudanese now drink beer imported from Uganda and Kenya.

    But in all likelihood, brewing in Congo will survive. Without Primus or Tembo, Congo would hardly be the same place. Even in wartime, the music plays—and who can listen to rumba without a beer?
    30.04.2018   USA: Big brewers struggling to tap into shifting consumer trends    ( )

    Once the undisputed kings of beer in the US, AB InBev and MillerCoors are struggling to curtail a multi-year slump in sales of their top brands and re-energize brews that have failed to keep pace with changing consumer tastes and trends, Food Dive reported on April 26.

    "If you could go back in a time machine you would say, 'Shoot, I wish back then that we had started to follow those trends that were growing,' ...but we recognize it now and we're fixing it," Greg Butler, vice president of Miller Brands at MillerCoors, told Food Dive. "We held on to the equation for too long."

    The major beer producers are facing threats on several fronts as Americans move away from domestic lagers in favor of Mexican imports, craft beers and wine and spirits. A growing number of consumers are also turning to low-calorie and no- or low-alcohol brews as part of a broader health and wellness trend sweeping the food and beverage industry.

    Despite a host of new products tied to these preferences and trends, the big players in U.S. beer continue to struggle to curtail slumping sales and stem the loss in market share. Total beer shipments declined 1.3% in 2017, led by sharp drops among flagship products including Budweiser (-6.8%), Coors Light (-4.1%), Miller Lite (-2.8%) and the most popular U.S. brand, Bud Light (-5.7%).

    But while the market-leading beers are still providing lucrative sources of revenue and product volume for their owners, manufacturers are not oblivious to the fact that for the industry — and their bottom lines — to rebound, they need to reinvent these beverages, giving consumers more reasons to drink them instead of competitors.

    "If we can't get our big legacy brand stabilized, the math just doesn't work," Butler told attendees at the Beverage Forum in Chicago, noting a 1% drop in Coors Light requires a 12% increase in the company's Blue Moon brand to offset the decline. "The thing we always hear across CPGs is, 'How do you rebuild a legacy brand from a different generation for today's generation, especially when consumer needs are changing, and what consumers are looking for are changing?' "

    The major beer manufactures have expanded their presence in many of the trends impacting the industry through acquisitions and internal innovation.

    Executives at the AB InBev, the world's largest brewer, have gobbled up craft breweries in recent years — including Wicked Weed, Devils Backbone and Karbach Brewing. They've worked to position Stella Artois as a premium brand; introduced Bud Light Orange flavored with real orange peels, and partnered with Jim Beam to create a limited-edition beverage aged in bourbon barrel staves called Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager.

    And AB InBev has continued to benefit from growth in its Michelob Ultra brand, a pricier, low-calorie beer that has boosted sales annually since 2011. With a 21% increase a year ago, it's the fastest-growing beer in the country during the last few years — showing if the product meets the needs of the consumer, sales will follow. AB InBev recently expanded the brand by adding 7-ounce bottles to attract more weeknight consumption and introduced Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, which is made with organic grains and has slightly fewer calories and carbs than the original.

    For its part, MillerCoors introduced a new light beer called Two Hats in lime and pineapple flavors. It has a tagline of "Good, Cheap Beer" and quirky ads to appeal to millennial drinkers who are less status conscious and more budget conscious. Molson Coors, which owns MillerCoors, also has added craft players to its lineup and expanded its reach into other beverages after purchasing Aspall Cider, a nearly 300-year-old maker of premium ciders and specialty vinegars.

    So far, MillerCoors and AB InBev have struggled to generate meaningful consumer traction from these and other investments. AB InBev's volume share of the U.S. beer market, by far its largest, has fallen from 49.8% in 2009 to 41.5% a year ago. MillerCoors has seen its position erode during the same period to 25%, a drop of 5.1%, according to trade group data.

    "You see these consumer trends and our portfolio not being adjusted to this. You see that the market is moving in a direction and we need to catch up,” Michel Doukeris, who began overseeing AB InBev's Anheuser-Busch division in January, told Food Dive. “Trends are very brutal because they change directions, and if your portfolio is not very well aligned with those trends, you end up being behind.”

    Doukeris expressed concern about the company's recent struggles and loss of market share, but was confident the steps it is taking are positioning it for future growth.

    ”I think we always need to do more,” he said. "At the end of day, the [sales] results, they're a very clear expression as to whether you are doing enough.”

    Brian Sudano, a managing partner with the Beverage Marketing Corporation, said at the Beverage Forum that AB InBev's focus on health and wellness — and commitment to have 20% of its sales volume coming from its low- or no-alcohol portfolio by 2025 — were among the signs that the beer giant is on the right track.

    “There are a lot of things going on that point to a competitor that is starting to gain their footing,” Sudano said at the conference.

    Analysts speaking at the Beverage Forum applauded the job Constellation Brands has done marketing its Mexican brands — including Corona and Modelo Especial — to stand out from its competitors and give people a reason to pay up for the products. Constellation, which controls 90% of the premium beer market, posted robust volume growth of 8.9% in 2017, its fourth straight year leading the industry.

    “If you look at the marketing job that Constellation has done, it has really been phenomenal in terms of differentiating their brands and getting people to buy those particular beers that tend to be lagers," Robert Ottenstein, senior managing director at Evercore ISI, said at the conference Wednesday. "This is really great marketing, and I don’t think we should sell short marketing with these companies.”

    Paul Hetterich, president of Constellation's beer division, said the company's success isn't so much tied to its Mexican beers, but is about the steps it has taken to establish them as premium brands attractive to the consumer. The company hasn't overhauled its label, formula or how it markets the products. It only recently launched a new higher-priced, low-calorie light beer called Corona Premier — its first new Corona-branded product in 29 years.

    “We probably wouldn't sell as much Corona today if it were priced the same as domestic light beers, which I know sounds crazy," Hetterich said at the conference. "The consumer wants to trade up. They want ... a premium product for certain occasions.”

    Even craft beer, which rose 5% in 2017, is starting to experience its share of growing pains as the industry and its estimated 6,000 players mature. Some craft breweries have experienced a drop in sales as more competitors enter the segment and deep-pocketed megabrewers muscle themselves into the space.

    The shakeout is proving to be especially damaging to the major beer companies who have collectively spent billions to boost their craft portfolios, only to find that growing these brands beyond their core markets can be difficult as consumers demand more locally made products.

    In a study released at the conference, the Beverage Marketing Corporation found 60% of 3,900 bartenders surveyed said a beer was not craft if it was owned by a big brewery, mass produced or had no local connection. This could have long-term implications because bartenders may be less inclined to sell or recommend a beer owned by a major brewery if they don't believe it's craft.

    “This creates another set of issues, which makes it difficult for the major brewers to extend craft beers beyond the local market and that might be behind some of the challenges we see,” Sudano said.

    In an interview, Miller Brands' Butler echoed a common theme repeated by beer executives who spoke at the Beverage Forum. Consumers have an increasingly wide array of beverages to choose from — including thousands of beers ranging from craft to the flagship macrobrews. They need to be given reasons to want the product, whether that's through meaningful marketing or specific attributes of the brand.

    "Consumers do care about their beer and what they're drinking," he said. "Choice is important and you have to have a compelling difference and you have to stand for something. For us, it's simply can we offer a better value proposition in our portfolio to" grow?
    27.04.2018   New, droplet-shaped lightweight bottle - Small but strong    ( Company news )

    Company news In many tropical countries, particularly in Asia, small water beakers made of PET are in widespread use. Sealed with a removable film/foil, they supply the on-the-go market for a quick thirst-quencher betweentimes. Airlines, too, like using these non-returnable beakers. Krones has now developed an attractive and practical alternative: a flexible, reclosable small lightweight bottle.

    The droplet-shaped PET bottle holds 200 millilitres, and with a weight of just 4.4 grams is extremely light. It can be produced using a standard blow-moulding machine that is also suitable for lightweight formats. Moreover, the container offers an option for pressurising it with nitrogen after filling, thus stabilising it for storage and transportation.

    In terms of dress, too, the PET bottle offers abundant design versatility: different labelling processes enable different designs to be achieved. This means the beverage producers can market the bottle in different price segments and retailing structures.

    Not only is the droplet shape an eye-catcher, its geometry additionally stabilises the lightweight bottle. The container features a 26/22 neck finish typical for water bottles, and can be closed with a normal screw-cap.

    High demand
    At the drinktec 2017, Krones showcased more than 2,000 of these small PET containers on a large illuminated wall. During the fair, and afterwards as well, there were numerous conversations and inquiries concerning this development project. They show that there is keen interest in replacing the widely used water beakers by a more attractive and easy-to-handle variant.

    The small, droplet-shaped PET bottle has been developed by Krones’ Packaging Development and Consulting Department. This unit creates innovative packaging designs and assists clients in translating an idea for a container/pack concept into technically feasible, marketable reality. Krones’ experts offer customised solutions, e.g. on the basis of finite-element analysis, or material-specific consultancy for complex packaging projects.

    -Weighs only 4.4 grams
    -Stable thanks to nitrogen pressurisation
    -Iconic design for mini- bottles
    -Reclosable thanks to screw-cap
    -An abundance of different labelling options
    -Can be produced using standard blow-moulding machines
    (Krones AG)
    26.04.2018   The successful KHS Innopouch Bartelt® K series concept: flexible systems for pouch packaging    ( Company news )

    Company news -Machine with full range of servo equipment
    -Format changeovers in less than 15 minutes
    -Optional blocking with KHS palletizers

    Flexibility, precision, ease of operation and hygienic safety: with its Innopouch Bartelt® K series KHS presents a pouching machine with a full range of servo equipment. With an ever increasing variety of products to be processed this system offers the beverage and food market many advantages with its short setup times and high level of productivity. It can also be combined with the KHS Innopack Bartelt® CMC cartoner for a pouch packaging line from a single source.

    Consumers appreciate their low weight and easy handling, producers above all their low cost, as less material is needed for production: the pouch is definitely up to the minute. To date its growth in popularity was most discernible in the USA, yet demand for the practical pack is now also on the increase in Europe and parts of Asia. The best examples are smoothies or candies which are hitting supermarket shelves in this type of packaging with increasing frequency.

    KHS offers customers its Innopouch K series poucher in two versions: an FS (fill and seal) machine for pouch filling and an FFS (form, fill and seal) variant for pouch production and filling. “The production stage can be flexibly retrofitted from the FS to the FFS version at a later stage as the machine is modular,” says Thomas Brooker, senior product manager at KHS USA.

    Large variety of pouches
    The horizontal, cyclic packaging system makes stand-up, flat and bottom gusset pouches from film laminate. It can run in both simplex (one pouch per machine cycle) and duplex (two pouches per machine cycle) operation. The Innopouch K-400 changes formats at the press of a button using linear servotechnology. “This takes less than 15 minutes,” explains Brooker. “We’ve simplified and automated the time-consuming simplex and duplex conversions common to mechanical machines.” For example, the grippers in the filler area can be adjusted to new pouch widths as quickly as they can be switched between simplex and duplex operation.

    The machine produces up to 150 pouches per minute in duplex operation measuring between 100 and 380 millimeters in height and 100 and 400 millimeters in width. The maximum weight is 2.5 kilograms. “We thus give our customers the best possible flexibility during production,” states Brooker. With the Innopouch K series not only can large pouches be produced, such as for pet food, but also small bags for salty snacks or dried fruit. “Especially pouches which can be reclosed with a zipper are becoming more and more popular with consumers,” Brooker informs us. “Anything can be packaged – from ground coffee to mini salami roals.”

    The standard version of the machine has four filling stations connected in series which can be added to as required. The dosing systems are selected according to the product to be filled, with volumetric systems, such as auger fillers, table feeders and sliding gate fillers, and gravimetric systems like multihead weighers all possible.

    Extremely hygienic design
    One special area of focus on the K series is its hygienic design. Thanks to the open construction there are no mechanical components beneath the grippers which require elaborate cleaning. In the machine housing spacers are used in place of the usual rubber seals. The film dispenser is also fully enclosed. These benefits considerably shorten the cleaning process.

    The concept of the pouching line can also be further developed in combination with the KHS Innopack Bartelt® CMC cartoner. “This enables turnkey pouching lines to be provided from a single source,” smiles Brooker. The machine, configured as a horizontal cartoning system with continuous operation, has a servodrive controller for increased operational reliability and faster format changeovers.

    KHS not only provides on-site service for the Innopouch K series but also remote maintenance by specialized engineers.
    (KHS GmbH)
    25.04.2018   Vetropack publishes 2017 Sustainability Report    ( Company news )

    Company news Sustainability is a top priority for Vetropack Group, which is why, for the fourth time now, it has published a report designed to inform its business partners, customers and the general public about its economic, environmental and social activities. The 2017 Sustainability Report is in line with the GRI G4 Reporting Guidelines – option “core”.

    Vetropack Group is one of the leading manufacturers of glass packaging for the food and beverage industry in Europe. It operates sites in Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Ukraine and Italy.

    Quality and service standards secure economic success
    The Group has been focusing on sustainable financial management for many years. The same high quality and flexible approach to customer requests at all companies in the Group is a key element of this strategy. A willingness to invest in technologies for improving our quality and efficiency is fundamental here. The European market environment developed favourably on the whole in 2017: demand grew and production volume went up. This is mainly accounted for by the enormous popularity of European wines and beers outside the continent itself, which stimulated exports and caused the demand for glass packaging to rise.

    Contribution to the environment
    Environmental protection is more than just an empty phrase, which is why Vetropack takes action such as calculating the carbon footprint of its customers’ glass packaging. We apply the “cradle-to-cradle” approach, which takes account of the entire life cycle. Production technology, weight, cullet percentage, transport distances and transport methods are significant factors influencing the carbon footprint. By partially switching over to rail transport, for example, we have managed to reduce the number of lorry trips required in Switzerland by around 5,500. In doing so, we have succeeded in saving an estimated 2,900 tons of carbon dioxide.

    In its efforts to reduce the eco-footprint of its products and services, Vetropack Group is sending out a clear message: investments are being made in product development, logistics, measures to raise the percentage of cullet in its melted material and the energy consumption of the melting furnaces.

    In 2017, the percentage of recycled glass used in producing green glass was 67 per cent, while amber and flint glass containers consisted of 48 per cent and 43 per cent used glass respectively. In some glassworks, used glass makes up as much as 83 per cent of the raw material. The average figure was 53 per cent. Overall, 2,482 GWh of energy was consumed in 2017. Thermal energy for the furnaces accounted for more than 60 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions generated during production.

    New paths in training and education
    The Group-wide training centre in Pöchlarn was officially opened in 2017. Vetropack employees at all facilities can receive training in all production steps at the hot end here. The investment in the training centre will pave the way for Vetropack to train specialists itself in the long term.

    Satisfied staff and satisfied customers
    Integrity, reliability and transparency are key pillars when it comes to working with others at Vetropack – not only towards fellow staff but also in relation to customers, suppliers, neighbours and the local community.

    An employee survey was carried out at our plants in Kremsmünster, Pöchlarn (both in Austria), Bülach and St-Prex at the end of 2016. The survey focused on the perceived attractiveness of our workplace culture.

    Vetropack also conducted a customer survey in Croatia, Switzerland and Austria in 2017. The extensive positive feedback received from this demonstrates a consistently high level of customer satisfaction. It also provided an opportunity to identify new customer requirements, such as the need to expand smaller production series. This constructive criticism is a crucial driver for the ongoing development of Vetropack Group.
    (Vetropack SA)
    24.04.2018   Ball to Build Beverage Can Plant in Paraguay, Expand Capacity in Argentina    ( Company news )

    Company news Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) has announced plans to build a one-line beverage can and end manufacturing plant in Asunción, Paraguay, and to add capacity in its Buenos Aires, Argentina, facility. The investment in Argentina is the third in two years. These investments will allow the company to serve the growing beverage can market in Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina, and to support various customer demands with multiple can sizes. The Asunción plant is expected to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2019 and its capacity is contracted under long-term agreements.

    "The economy is growing and demand for aluminum beverage packaging is increasing in Paraguay and surrounding countries, as more people are consuming beer and other refreshing drinks and more customers are converting to more sustainable, infinitely recyclable beverage cans," said Carlos Pires, president, beverage packaging South America. "In Argentina, cans will continue to grow and volumes will likely double from 2016 to 2019. These investments will allow us to broaden our geographic reach into a new and growing market, as well as be closer to our customers in the area, which aligns with our long-term vision for growth."
    (Ball Corporation)
    23.04.2018   New Lightweight Bottle Design for Tiche's Nymph    ( Company news )

    Company news Tiche’s Lithuanian mineral water bottle offers exceptional strength and attention to detail in its new 750ml bottle. Ardagh Group’s in-house design team developed the new bottle profile in response to Tiche’s detailed brief at their glass factory in Gostyn, Poland, where the bottle was also produced.

    The new, larger 750ml bottle features the iconic Tiche crest, embossed with its ancient Nymph, carrying crystalline water straight from the heart of the Earth. This embossing has been optimised for the Narrow-Neck Press and Blow (NNPB) production method, which also reduces the weight of the glass packaging by 32%, helping to reduce environmental impact - an ongoing driver for Ardagh Group.

    A key requirement was for the bottle to withstand a high carbonation pressure of 7g per litre, which was a challenge with the thin wall production method.

    Barbara Macialczyk, Marketing Manager at Ardagh Group explains:
    "The combination of two critical requirements – thin glass walls and high durability - was achieved using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) technology. Working in close collaboration with the customer, our sales and design teams have achieved an elegant and curvaceous bottle with a tapered label panel. It features the symbol of the Tiche Nymph and is embossed with the number ’689’ on the opposite side, indicating the depth of the source from which the water is extracted.

    “We're delighted with how we’ve achieved a premiumised look through the embossed crest, whilst retaining strength in this new, lightweight bottle.”
    (Ardagh Glass Gostyï S.A.)
    20.04.2018   Brewing hoppy beer without the hops    ( Company news )

    Company news Hoppy beer is all the rage among craft brewers and beer lovers, and now UC Berkeley biologists have come up with a way to create these unique flavors and aromas without using hops.

    The researchers created strains of brewer’s yeast that not only ferment the beer but also provide two of the prominent flavor notes provided by hops. In double-blind taste tests, employees of Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California, characterized beer made from the engineered strains as more hoppy than a control beer made with regular yeast and Cascade hops.

    Photo: Charles Denby and Rachel Li, UC Berkeley researchers who created strains of yeast that produce a hoppy flavor without the use of hops.

    Bryan Donaldson, innovations manager at Lagunitas, detected notes of “Fruit Loops” and “orange blossom” with no off flavors.

    Why would brewers want to use yeast instead of hops to impart flavor and aroma? According to Charles Denby, one of two first authors of a paper appearing this week in the journal Nature Communications, growing hops uses lots of water, not to mention fertilizer and energy to transport the crop, all of which could be avoided by using yeast to make a hop-forward brew. A pint of craft beer can require 50 pints of water merely to grow the hops, which are the dried flowers of a climbing plant.

    “My hope is that if we can use the technology to make great beer that is produced with a more sustainable process, people will embrace that,” Denby said.

    Hops’ flavorful components, or essential oils, are also highly variable from year to year and plot to plot, so using a standardized yeast would allow uniformity of flavor. And hops are expensive.

    A former UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow, Denby has launched a startup called Berkeley Brewing Science with Rachel Li, the second first author and a UC Berkeley doctoral candidate. They hope to market hoppy yeasts to brewers, including strains that contain more of the natural hop flavor components, and create other strains that incorporate novel plant flavors not typical of beer brewed from the canonical ingredients: water, barley, hops and yeast.
    Using DNA scissors

    The engineered yeast strains were altered using CRISPR-Cas9, a simple and inexpensive gene-editing tool invented at UC Berkeley. Denby and Li inserted four new genes plus the promoters that regulate the genes into industrial brewer’s yeast. Two of the genes – linalool synthase and geraniol synthase – code for enzymes that produce flavor components common to many plants. In this instance, the genes came from mint and basil, respectively. Genes from other plants that were reported to have linalool synthase activity, such as olive and strawberry, were not as easy to work with.

    The two other genes were from yeast and boosted the production of precursor molecules needed to make linalool and geraniol, the hoppy flavor components. All of the genetic components – the Cas9 gene, four yeast, mint and basil genes and promoters – were inserted into yeast on a tiny circular DNA plasmid. The yeast cells then translated the Cas9 gene into the Cas9 proteins, which cut the yeast DNA at specific points. Yeast repair enzymes then spliced in the four genes plus promoters.

    The researchers used a specially designed software program to get just the right mix of promoters to produce linalool and geraniol in proportions similar to the proportions in commercial beers produced by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, which operates a tap room not far from the startup.

    They then asked Charles Bamforth, a malting and brewing authority at UC Davis, to brew a beer from three of the most promising strains, using hops only in the initial stage of brewing – the wort – to get the bitterness without the hoppy flavor. Hop flavor was supplied only by the new yeast strains. Bamforth also brewed a beer with standard yeast and hops, and asked a former student, Lagunitas’s Donaldson, to conduct a blind comparison taste test with 27 brewery employees.

    “This was one of our very first sensory tests, so being rated as hoppier than the two beers that were actually dry-hopped at conventional hopping rates was very encouraging,” Li said.
    From sustainable fuels to sustainable beer

    Denby came to UC Berkeley to work on sustainable transportation fuels with Jay Keasling, a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology and a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. The strategy developed by Keasling is to make microbes, primarily bacteria and yeast, ramp up their production of complex molecules called terpenes, and then insert genes that turn these terpenes into commercial products. These microbes can make such chemicals as the antimalarial drug, artemisinin, fuels such as butanol, and aromas and flavors used in the cosmetic industry.

    But the brewing project “found me,” Denby said

    “I started home brewing out of curiosity with a group of friends while I was starting out in Jay’s lab, in part because I enjoy beer and in part because I was interested in fermentation processes,” he said. “I found out that the molecules that give hops their hoppy flavor are terpene molecules, and it wouldn’t be too big of a stretch to think we could develop strains that make terpenes at the same concentrations that you get when you make beer and add hops to them.”

    The final hook was that a hoppy strain of yeast would make the brewing process more sustainable than using agriculturally produced hops, which is a very natural resource-intensive product, he said.

    “We started our work on engineering microbes to produce isoprenoids – like flavors, fragrances and artemisinin – about 20 years ago,” said Keasling. “At the same time, we were building tools to accurately control metabolism. With this project, we are able to use some of the tools others and we developed to accurately control metabolism to produce just the right amount of hops flavors for beer.”

    Denby and Li first had to overcome some hurdles, such as learning how to genetically engineer commercial brewer’s yeast. Unlike the yeast used in research labs, which have one set of chromosomes, brewer’s yeast has four sets of chromosomes. They found out that they needed to add the same four genes plus promoters to each set of chromosomes to obtain a stable strain of yeast; if not, as the yeast propagated they lost the added genes.

    They also had to find out, through computational analytics performed by Zak Costello, which promoters would produce the amounts of linalool and geraniol at the right times to approximate the concentrations in a hoppy beer, and then scale up fermentation by a factor of about 100 from test tube quantities to 40-liter kettles.

    In the end, they were able to drink their research project, and continue to do so at their startup as they ferment batches of beer to test new strains of yeast.

    “Charles and Rachel have shown that using the appropriate tools to control production of these flavors can result in a beer with a more consistent hoppy flavor, even better than what nature can do itself,” Keasling said.

    The work was funded from grants awarded by the National Science Foundation. These include an initial grant awarded to UC Berkeley to use synthetic biology in yeast to produce industrially important products, and subsequent funding from a Small Business Innovation Research grant to Berkeley Brewing Science.

    In addition to Denby, Li, Costello, Keasling, Donaldson and Bamforth, other coauthors are Van Vu of UC Berkeley, Weiyin Lin, Leanne Jade Chan, Christopher Petzold, Henrik Scheller and Hector Garcia Martin of the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville, which is part of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Joseph Williams of UC Davis.
    (University of California, Berkeley)
    19.04.2018   Nestlé Pure Life® Launches New Bottle Made From 100% Recycled Plastic    ( Company news )

    Company news Company aims to inspire consumers to recycle by debuting new bottles made entirely from recycled ones

    Nestlé® Pure Life® Purified Water, the world's leading bottled water brand, is announcing the introduction of a 700-mL bottle made from 100 percent food grade recycled plastic, known as rPET. The new package is available starting this month on retail store shelves in North America.

    Nestlé Waters North America is the original bottled water company in the U.S., and environmental sustainability is an integral part of our company’s purpose and heritage,” said Antonio Sciuto, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Nestlé Waters North America. “This new bottle made from 100 percent recycled plastic for our namesake brand is the latest way we’re satisfying consumer demand for healthy hydration on-the-go and inspiring consumers to recycle.”

    The new Nestlé® Pure Life® bottles feature a modern, premium design, along with the new branding launched last year under the banner of “Pure Life Begins Now™” that aims to elevate the importance of quality water in people’s lives. The launch of a bottle made entirely from recycled plastic reinforces the brand's leadership and purpose: to inspire a healthier and brighter future that starts with water.

    The Nestlé® Pure Life® 700mL bottle will be featured in a short video highlighting its use of recycled materials, and encouraging consumers to recycle the bottle so that it can be made into a new one. The video can be found on the brand’s social media channels and website. The product can be purchased at grocery, mass, and convenience stores across the country.

    Since 2005, the company has reduced the amount of PET plastic in Nestlé® Pure Life® half-liter bottles by 40 percent. Today, the introduction of Nestlé® Pure Life® rPET bottles to consumers nationwide, complements our efforts to inspire and make it easier for consumers to recycle, building on last year’s move to begin adding How2Recycle information on the labels of our major U.S. bottled water brands. These labels include a reminder for consumers to empty the bottle and replace the cap on the bottle before recycling.

    To date, we have undertaken many initiatives to reduce waste and reuse materials in packaging across our portfolio of beverages:
    -Current use of recycled plastic: Today, one hundred percent of our single-serve bottles of Arrowhead® Brand Mountain Spring Water and Nestlé® Pure Life® Purified Water produced in California are made with 50 percent recycled plastic. To accomplish this, we work with a number of strategic suppliers including CarbonLITE, one of the largest producers of food-grade, post-consumer recycled PET. We are also expanding our roster of suppliers to purchase even more recycled plastic, which we plan to use in our other bottled water brands across the country.

    -Investments and collaborations to promote environmental sustainability: Through global alliances such as the Trash Free Seas Alliance, founding of the bio-PET NaturALL Bottle Alliance, and investments in large-scale organizations like Closed Loop Fund, Keep America Beautiful and start-ups like RecycleUp, Nestlé Waters is collaborating with stakeholders across the PET value chain to create shared solutions to one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues.
    (Nestlé Waters North America)
    18.04.2018   Flexible and low on space: KHS presents innovative block systems for the sensitive range    ( Company news )

    Company news -Hygienic filling of sensitive beverages
    -Modules for individual customization
    -KHS’ new chunk dosing unit

    Yoghurt is no longer spooned out of the pot but drunk. Breakfast is no longer just eaten at the kitchen table but also on the hoof. And it should all be as healthy and sustainable as possible. This is one of the reasons why the demand for smoothies, milk and dairy products is steadily growing. KHS now provides its linear aseptic fillers for the bottling of these sensitive products also as a space-saving block system (photo). The Dortmund systems supplier is also expanding its portfolio to include a new modular system for filling sensitive products on rotary machines. The systems can all be tailored to suit individual customer requirements and are convincing with their high level of flexibility and microbiological safety.

    There is a noticeable trend towards foodstuffs which are healthy and sustainable – and for breakfast on the go. Genetically unmodified milk and functional dairy products in unbreakable plastic bottles are becoming ever more popular. With its Innosept Asbofill ABF KHS provides a tried-and-tested linear filling system for the hygienic filling of products such as these. A number of new developments are now making these systems even more powerful. The machine is designed to fill up to 12,000 bottles per hour – or a maximum of 24,000 bottles every sixty minutes on the Twin version – holding between 0.25 and 3.0 liters.

    “The great strength of this filler lies in its flexibility,” says Thomas Niehr, head of Aseptic Filling Technology at KHS. “The machine consists of a number of different modules and can thus be perfectly adapted to customer specifications.” The modular system permits later retrofits or components to be exchanged which is practical when market requirements change. A new transfer module also enables the Innosept Asbofill ABF to be blocked with a standard stretch blow molder from KHS. Thanks to neck handling, which at the same time gives operators maximum freedom of design regarding the bottle shape, the dimensions of the hygienic or aseptic zone can be kept down to an absolute minimum.

    Microbiological safety, little space required
    Another advantage of the linear system is that it is particularly efficient where there are frequent format changeovers and smaller product batches. It also reliably sterilizes bottles and closures. “The filler can be combined with a screw capper, film/foil sealer, nitrogen application or the new chunk dosing unit as required,” Niehr informs us. The KHS dosing module provides bottlers with flexible product design options by adding chunks to the beverage, such as whole cherries, strawberries, vegetables or cereals with a length of up to ten millimeters.

    New modular system for rotary machines
    Besides the new developments for its linear filler KHS also offers a new modular system for its rotary machines for high-performance filling. The new concept can process between 24,000 and 36,000 and in the future even up to 54,000 bottles per hour depending on the bottler’s required production capacity. The system offers plenty of scope as regards the bottle size, with container volumes ranging from 250 milliliters to 1.5 liters. With the new KHS concept the machines can be adapted in the form of standardized modules for three hygiene categorization classes specified by the German Engineering Association or VDMA. Ultraclean KHS filling machines (UCF) satisfy the requirements of VDMA class III, extended shelf life fillers (ESL) those of class IV and KHS aseptic filling machines those stipulated by VDMA class V. “In the future a KHS filler can be configured depending on which hygiene class a beverage producer’s products fall under and precisely tailored to suit the individual specifications of the customer,” says Niehr.
    (KHS GmbH)
    17.04.2018   Ardagh Launches Matte Effect on Steel Cans with Krombacher's Fassbrause    ( Company news )

    Company news Ardagh Group is pleased to announce the production of a beverage can incorporating its ‘Matte Impact’ effect on steel for Krombacher’s Fassbrause. This is the first time that Ardagh has produced its matte finish on a steel can, offering both eye-catching appearance and a unique feel to represent the high quality of the product: ‘Fassbrause’, a spiced lemonade which is trending across Germany.

    The new finish, which is now available for the entire steel beverage can range, comprises a special basecoat in the colours white or clear. “We wanted to take advantage of the matte white basecoat, which showcases colours in an intense but very natural way,” says Lars Dammertz, Head of Product Management at Krombacher’s Fassbrause.

    Ardagh’s latest innovation follows the success of ‘Matte Impact’, which was previously only available for aluminium cans. “The market for matte packaging designs keeps expanding, as the food and beverage industries increasingly seek this type of effect,” says Dirk Schwung, Sales Director at Ardagh Metal Beverage. “We are delighted to add this sought-after solution to our steel portfolio and meet our customers’ growing demand for dynamic finishes. We continue to invest in both aluminium and steel solutions to remain a leading supplier of inherently sustainable packaging.”

    The matte effect is now available on 330 ml standard steel cans from Krombacher’s Fassbrause with the flavour profiles “lemon” and “cola-orange” in the German market.
    (Ardagh Group)
    17.04.2018   UNO 38mm, the newest sport closure by Aptar    ( Company news )

    Company news Revolutionizing aseptic packaging by providing options beyond traditional flat caps

    The new sportcap named UNO 38mm is a 1-piece closure made of PP to suit the requirements and performance of the flip-top design and to provide the option of translucent or opaque colors. UNO provides one-hand opening and reclosing and is available in two 38mm neck finishes: 3-lead and 2-lead thread starts.

    The development in this larger, wide mouth neck finish is driven by the combination of three factors: - the continuous growth of aseptically processed, shelf stable beverages such as juices, drinkable dairy, Ready-To-Drink coffees and teas, preservative free drinks and water - the dynamic growth of on-the-go beverage consumption in single serve packaging formats - and the increasing consumer demand for on-the-go beverage convenience, hygiene and resealablity provided by a flip-top sport cap with a larger neck finish for superior hydration.

    To address these customer and consumer needs, Aptar has developed UNO, a liner-less flip top, plug-seal sport closure for PET bottles, based on the success and market acceptance of the Original sport closure family, offering a visible tamper evident and comfortable drinking spout.

    UNO 38mm is suitable for H2O2 sterilization for Juice and Dairy beverages, using the following aseptic equipment suppliers: Krones, Serac, KHS and GEA.
    Uno also fits Claranor Puls’Full Cap® sterilization with pulsed light. The closure perfectly passed the test and is therefore adapted for ESL>60 days and high acid aseptic lines.

    UNO 38mm by Aptar provides safety and convenience for on-the-go beverage consumption for children and active adults alike. Consumers looking for natural and healthy beverages can now enjoy convenience, in today’s traditional premium water brand packaging.

    Brand equity is maintained and superior drinking experience is achieved within the UNO 38mm sport closure design.
    (Aptar Food + Beverage)
    16.04.2018   Vetropack Group 2017: operating result up by 30%    ( Company news )

    Company news Vetropack Group can report broad-based growth. It increased its net sales of goods and services by 5.0% to CHF 631.5 million, while unit sales rose by 4.0% to a new record high of 5.07 billion units of glass packaging. The Group grew consolidated EBIT by 30.0% year on year to CHF 64.1 million, which meant an improved EBIT margin of 10.1% (2016: 8.2%).

    Financial key figures for 2017:
    • Net sales: CHF 631.5 million (2016: CHF 601.7 million)
    • EBIT: CHF 64.1 million (2016: CHF 49.3 million)
    • EBIT margin: 10.1% (2016: 8.2%)
    • Consolidated profit: CHF 57.0 million (2016: CHF 42.6 million)
    • Net liquidity: CHF 68.3 million (2016: CHF 16.9 million)
    • Cash flow: CHF 126.3 million (2016: CHF 105.1 million)
    • Cash flow margin: 20.0% (2016: 17.5%)
    • Equity ratio: 73.8% (2016: 72.0%)

    Under favourable market conditions, Vetropack Group increased net sales from goods and services by 5.0% to CHF 631.5 million in the 2017 fiscal year (2016: CHF 601.7 million). This equates to growth of 3.4% in local currencies. Unit sales rose by 4.0% to 5.07 billion units of glass packaging over the same period (2016: 4.87 billion units), bringing Vetropack Group over the 5 billion unit threshold for the first time and marking a new record for unit sales. All Vetropack companies contributed to the increase in turnover and unit sales. The relationship between domestic sales and exports remained virtually unchanged in unit terms, with the former making up 56.6% (2016: 56.5%) and the latter 43.4% (2016: 43.5%) of the total.

    Significant improvement in operating performance capacity and consolidated profit
    Vetropack Group increased its consolidated EBIT by 30.0% year on year to CHF 64.1 million (2016: CHF 49.3 million). The EBIT margin was thus well above the previous year’s figure of 8.2% at 10.1% of net sales. This pleasing development reflects the positive market environment, greater production capacity and stable production costs in the reporting year. The strong operating performance and exchange rate gains on euro-denominated credit balances pushed consolidated profit up by an impressive 33.8% to CHF 57.0 million (2016: CHF 42.6 million), while the profit margin climbed to 9.0% (2016: 7.1%).

    Increased liquidity
    Cash flow rose by 20.2% to CHF 126.3 million (2016: CHF 105.1 million), equating to a cash flow margin of 20.0% (2016: 17.5%). Vetropack Group’s investments were in the fiscal year CHF 67.3 million (2016: CHF 95.8 million). These were mainly directed towards scheduled repairs to a furnace and the installation of a modern glass-blowing machine at the Ukrainian plant. New glass-blowing machines were also put in place at the Swiss, Czech and Croatian plants, increasing capacity utilisation of the furnaces and improving production flexibility. In Italy, meanwhile, Vetropack Group invested a substantial amount in infrastructure maintenance and in a new sorting system equipped with powerful inspection machines for a production line. All investments were fully financed by the Group’s own funds. Liquid assets grew by CHF 43.9 million (2016: CHF 28.0 million), pushing the Group’s net liquidity up accordingly to CHF 68.3 million (2016: CHF 16.9 million).
    With an equity ratio of 73.8% (2016: 72.0%), Vetropack Group’s balance sheet remains very healthy.
    At the end of the reporting year, Vetropack employed 3,257 members of staff (31 December 2016: 3,243).

    Outlook for the 2018 fiscal year
    As things stand, the Board of Directors and Management Board expect the packaging industry to continue enjoying positive market conditions in 2018. Consumption and demand appear to be stabilising at a slightly higher level. In this market environment, Vetropack Group looks set to be able to utilise all its capacity to the full and increase slightly its net sales. It is anticipating an operating result on a par with last year due to higher expenses incurred on two furnace projects. Consolidated profit, by contrast, looks set to come in below last year's level, as repeating the high exchange rate gains seen in 2017 looks unlikely. As in the past, however, the exchange rate development could have a significant impact on the Group’s results.
    (Vetropack AG)
    13.04.2018   Europac presents alternative to conventional beer packaging    ( Company news )

    Company news -A sheet of die cut cardboard that can be folded to become a bottle carrier instead of the traditional box-style packaging
    -Outstanding shelf visibility from the high-quality flexographic printing and the structural design, which allows the product itself to be seen
    -Strong commercial potential in a solution that can be used for the beer sector or other bottled products, such as cold drinks, water or fruit juices

    Grupo Europac’s goal to become a strategic packaging partner for its clients is based on the development of packaging solutions that bring value to its clients’ businesses as well as those of its clients’ clients.

    With that philosophy in mind, the company has developed an alternative to the conventional beer packaging product. This ready to take solution serves both transportation and point of sale display purposes for a six-pack of bottled beers. It comprises a sheet of die cut cardboard that can be folded to become a bottle carrier.

    This design reduces the amount of cardboard used when compared with the classic box-style packaging solutions. Furthermore, visibility is enhanced and the ability to tell this product apart from others on the shelf is increased due to the high-quality flexographic printing and its structural design, which allows the product itself to be seen. Finally, this solution offers incredible functionality for end customers via a handle that has been designed to make it easier to carry.

    Pierrick Vincelot, Product Development Manager at Europac, highlights “the commercial potential for this alternative to standard packaging solutions, which can be used for both the distribution and sale of beer or any other bottled product, such as cold drinks, water or fruit juices”.
    (Europac Papeles y Cartones de Europa S.A.)
    13.04.2018   Frank Schuster is the new Vice President of Packaging at ENGEL    ( Company news )

    Company news As of April 1, 2018, Frank Schuster (Bild) has taken over as the Vice President of the Business Unit Packaging at the injection moulding machine manufacturer and system solution provider ENGEL, headquartered in Schwertberg, Austria. He succeeds Michael Feltes, who is transitioning to China within the group of companies.

    Frank Schuster has been with ENGEL for two years and, as the Sales Manager of Packaging, has made significant contributions during this time to the very successful development of the division and the continued strengthening of the ENGEL brand in the worldwide packaging industry. Prior to his time with ENGEL, Schuster was already active in leading sales positions in the field of plastic machinery manufacturing with a focus on packaging. We are happy to be able to fill this position with a very experienced packaging expert, and in-house, more¬over", says Dr. Christoph Steger, CSO of the ENGEL Group. "This ensures our customers of a high level of continuity."

    Michael Feltes, the previous Vice President of the Business Unit Packaging, is transitioning within the ENGEL Group of companies, becoming President Sales & Service for the WINTEC subsidiary in Changzhou, China.
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    12.04.2018   Ardagh Enhances Beverage Can Ends Offering with Investment in Deeside Plant    ( Company news )

    Company news Ardagh Group announced, following the recent completion of a significant investment project, it will now supply two additional beverage ends from its Deeside plant: the 200 B64 and the 202 CDL ends. This follows the conversion of its final 202 B64 module to the more sustainable 202 CDL end.

    “Our goal is to remain a leading supplier of inherently sustainable packaging by continuously pursuing superior solutions,” said Oliver Graham, CEO Ardagh Metal Beverage. “This significant investment in Deeside strengthens Ardagh’s position in the market place and allows us greater flexibility in end sizes to support both existing and new customer requirements.”

    The Deeside UK plant was established in 1988 to produce 206 diameter ring pull ends. In 1994, the plant converted to 202 B64 aluminium ends to support new can sizes and introduced the CDL end in 2010 for the first time. For the past decade, the plant sends zero waste to landfill.

    Metal is a permanent material which can be infinitely recycled without loss of quality.

    Universally recognised for its protective qualities, versatility and environmental credentials, metal has the highest recycling rates of all packaging materials in Europe, thus effectively contributing to the fundamental principles of a circular economy.
    (Ardagh Group)
    12.04.2018   India: AB InBev to launch Beck's, relaunch other brands in attempt to ramp up investments in India    ( )

    Anheuser-Busch In-Bev plans to introduce global lager brand Beck’s in India and relaunch others in an attempt to ramp up investment in the country, which it expects could become the largest beer-consuming market in the world, the Economic Times reported on March 22.

    The company’s shipments in India increased at a double-digit rate, putting it among the fastest-growing territories for the world’s biggest brewer. Premium brands Budweiser, Hoegaarden and Corona are driving this growth, Ben Verhaert, the company’s India president, said in his first interview after joining the country’s second largest brewer last year.

    “India has the second-largest consumer base and is one of the top priorities for the parent company. It is a country where we want to invest more. We have the most diverse portfolio and are extremely strong towards premium — the leader in this segment,” said Verhaert.

    The new brand, Beck’s Ice, will be first launched in Maharashtra and then rolled out nationwide. While AB InBev has been importing brands, this will be the first brewed-in-India brand launch in more than a decade.

    AB InBev, which produces one in four beers around the world, was a fringe player until two years ago in the Indian market, where United Breweries controlled a 51% share. In 2016, it took over second-ranked SABMiller, which had a quarter of the market. Carlsberg has almost 17%.

    Although India is one of the world’s largest beer markets, growth has declined and brands such as Kingfisher and Tuborg make it difficult to muscle in. “In every market where we operate, we have competition. We believe our portfolio is the most diverse one and would like to leverage the positive trend towards premiumisation that will help us expand our reach to major markets across the country. As a country, we are committed to be successful in India,” Verhaert said.

    AB InBev’s portfolio in India includes Stella Artois, Leffe and Corona, which are imported, premium brands in a market where strong beer accounts for almost 80% of the segment. The company is relaunching Haywards 5000 in West Bengal and Maharashtra as well as Knockout in Karnataka. India is also the first country globally to host Bud X, an electronic music lab and a flagship event by Budweiser Experiences.

    Beer sales in India have declined in the past two consecutive years after bans and price increases in some states.

    “The industry will witness single digit growth in 2018. People are willing to trade up in prices and the choice we are making now will enable us to stay focussed on the premium market,” said Verhaert.

    India remains one of the largest beer markets, with more than 20 million people entering the legal age for drinking every year. However, the alcoholic beverages industry is heavily regulated, with excise and other taxes forming an important source of revenue for state governments.
    12.04.2018   Ireland: Heineken betting big on new non-alcoholic lager in Ireland    ( )

    Heineken is hoping the trend towards lower alcohol consumption is more than just a passing fad by betting big on a new non-alcoholic lager in Ireland, the Irish Times reported on March 28.

    The world’s second largest beer-maker is looking to cash in on a surge in sales of alcohol-free drinks globally, with Heineken 0.0, a bottled lager that has been double-brewed so that when the booze is removed the taste remains.

    Details of the lager were first announced last May when it was unveiled at an event in Barcelona. It has since gone on sale in a number of markets, with the drinks giant planning on making it available across Europe.

    According to the research group Canadean, the European non-alcoholic beer market grew roughly 5 per cent each year from 2010 to 2015.

    Heineken is just one of a number of brewers looking to meet consumer demand for low and no-alcoholic drinks.

    Rival AB InBev, which makes more than a quarter of the world’s beer and has about 400 brands including Budweiser and Stella Artois, has previously said it is aiming to make a fifth of its beer either low or zero alcohol by 2025. This is up from less than 10 per cent currently. Closer to home, Guinness recently introduced Pure Brew, its first non-alcoholic craft lager in Ireland.

    Willem van Waesberghe, global craft and brew master at Heineken, said the new lager, which contains half the calories of regular beer, was selling strongly in a number of countries, including the Netherlands, Spain and Russia. “We are a little bit amazed by its success.”

    The recipe for the new lager was achieved by combining different brews made by four working groups within Heineken. Two different beers were selected and then blended together to create the final product.

    “Unlike most alcohol-free beers which often have a malty sweet taste, ours doesn’t,” said Mr Van Waesberghe.
    12.04.2018   Jamaica: Red Stripe Jamaica weighing plans to brew non-alcohol version of Heineken    ( )

    Jamaica’s Desnoes & Geddes Limited, which trades as Red Stripe Jamaica, is weighing plans to brew a non-alcohol version of Heineken in this market, the Jamaica Gleaner reported on March 28.

    Heineken 0.0 would be targeted at trendsetters from both genders, within the 25-34 age range, the brewery told the Financial Gleaner on March 26, assuming positive results from its feasibility review.

    The non-alcoholic beer segment reportedly continues to grow at a time when core beer markets are estimated to have shrank globally between 2010 and 2015, according to a study by research group Canadean.

    Jamaica, however, does not fit into that trend, said Red Stripe, when quizzed on the report. But there are also few, if any, non-alcoholic beers distributed on a consistent basis in Jamaica.

    "We are definitely considering Heineken 0.0 as a line extension. Feasibility will be conducted," said the Kingston-based brewery, which makes Heineken under licence. Red Stripe is also owned by Heineken International.

    The brewery said it would determine the launch date for the product after getting the okay from its quality department.

    Heineken 0.0 is at the core of Heineken International's campaign that 'when you drive, never drink', and would also align with Red Stripe Drink Responsibly campaign.

    The Heineken group has launched two lower level alcoholic beverages - Heineken light and Heineken 0.0 - in global markets. The drink company's latest annual report indicates that Heineken 0.0 is available in 16 markets and is delivering ahead of expectations.

    "Further roll-out is planned for 2018," it added.
    12.04.2018   Japan: Change in legal definition of beer could give some boost to Japan's stagnant market    ( )

    The legal definition of beer in Japan changed on Sunday, April 1st, and the nation’s major breweries are looking to shore up their shrinking customer bases by introducing new products with a wider variety of flavors to shake up the stagnant market, The Japan Times reported.

    Under the old definition, beers need to be made from water and hops and have a malt content of 67 percent or higher. But that has now been lowered to 50 percent, marking the first change in 110 years.

    Furthermore, a wide range of items have been added to the approved list of secondary ingredients, which is currently limited to grains like rice, wheat and corn. The new ingredients include fruit, spices, herbs and flowers. Seaweed, oysters and bonito flakes are also included.

    The change in definition gives beer makers more flexibility to produce beer with unique tastes and aromas and enables them to officially market the finished product as beer. Under the previous definition, such low-malt beverages were called happōshu (quasi-beer), and were cheaper because they were less heavily taxed.

    For consumers, the crucial question is whether prices will rise with the change.

    The answer — for now — is no. The government plans to make the higher tax on beer and the lower tax on happōshu and so-called third-sector no-malt beverages the same by 2026. This will take place by reducing the levy on beer and raising the tax on happōshu and third-sector beer in stages — which will bring the three closer to each other in price.

    But for now, major beer makers are trying to take advantage of the change to introduce new products and appeal to younger consumers.

    “The change in the legal definition of beer is a huge opportunity to revitalize the market,” said Jin Yoshioka, a spokesman for Asahi Breweries Ltd., which plans to start marketing Asahi Gran Mild, a new beer infused with lemon grass to create a lighter and fresher flavor.

    “We will be working on experimenting with the newly approved ingredients and maximizing the technology we have to create innovative flavors,” he added.

    “There’s no denying the beer market in Japan is fast declining. The price wars that took place between the major beer makers factored into that decline, and the exploration of new and unique beer flavors was hindered” because companies were so focused on lowering prices, said Tetsuji Otani of Kirin Co., which plans to release a new type of Grand Kirin beer flavored with coriander seeds and orange peel.

    Shipments of beer and third-sector drinks by the five major domestic breweries have been declining for the past decade or so.

    In 2017, the figure fell for the 13th straight year to 404 million cases, down 2.6 percent from the previous year.

    Over the years, beer has become an “old guy’s drink, unappealing to younger people, which resulted in a stagnant market,” Otani said.

    “The definition change is a great opportunity to make beer more accessible to younger generations,” he said. “We want them to understand that the world of beer is full of variety and flavor.”

    But some experts are not so sure it will stimulate the market.

    “We’re not expecting a major change in the beer market just yet, given that the change in definition simply means that what was previously sold as low-malt beer or happōshu will be sold as regular beer,” claimed a market researcher who wished to remain anonymous.

    “However, we do expect the breweries to capitalize on this change to market new products,” he said, acknowledging that whether beer makers can boost sales will depend on their marketing skills.
    12.04.2018   Portugal & Angola: Sagres beer expected to double production volume in Angola this year    ( )

    Production of Portugal’s Sagres beer was launched in Angola in March 2017 and the total volume brewed over the 12 months amounted to around 11 mln litres, Dinheiro Vivo reported on March 26.

    The brand’s owner, Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas (SCC), hopes to double the output in 2018.

    “We don’t export to Angola, the beer is brewed locally thanks to the contract we have with Sociedade de Distribuição de Bebidas de Angola (SODIBA),” said company Communications Director Nuno Pinto Magalhaes.

    Sagres is the first international brand to be produced under license in Angola, he added.

    The Portuguese company also exports to Angola via SODIBA its dark beer, a radler, and a range of Heineken-owned ciders.
    12.04.2018   USA: Beam Suntory and AB InBev to create limited-edition collaboration beer    ( )

    Beam Suntory and AB InBev’s Jim Beam and Budweiser brands will collaborate for the first time to create a new limited-edition beer for the US market, which will go sale later this year, reported on April 4.

    The collaboration will see the creation of the Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager, which will be released to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the end of prohibition in the US.

    Set for release in September, the lager will be brewed using two-row barley before being aged in Jim Beam barrels to give the drink an oaky aroma and a slightly nutty taste.

    Ricardo Marques, vice-president of marketing for Budweiser said: “We are very excited about this partnership not only because both brands share common history but also an obsession for quality and a decade’s long connection to America.

    “This is a truly unique partnership and innovation that will surely drive excitement with our drinkers.”

    Rob Mason, vice-president of marketing for Jim Beam added: “This partnership feels especially natural given our brands’ common values and the pivotal roles they’ve both played in American history.

    “Our family distillers have produced ‘America’s Native Spirit’ since 1795, using traditions and techniques passed down through the generations. This is another exciting milestone in Jim Beam’s history.”
    12.04.2018   USA: Craft beer export volume up 3.6% in 2017    ( )

    The Brewers Association (BA) — the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers of the United States — reported on April 3 export growth data for the American craft beer industry in 2017.

    Supported by the BA’s Export Development Program (EDP), craft beer export volume increased by 3.6 percent in 2017, now totaling 482,309 barrels and valued at $125.4 million.

    Growth was seen in major markets including in the Asia-Pacific region (not including Japan) which grew 7.4 percent; Japan, which was up 2.6 percent and Western Europe which saw exports increase by 1.3 percent.

    Meanwhile, Canada was again the leading international market for American craft beer, accounting for 51.3 percent of total exports. Other leading importers were the United Kingdom, accounting for 10.5 percent; Sweden, 6.7 percent; Korea, 4.6 percent; Australia, with 3.8 percent; and China, with 2.5 percent of exports.

    “From innovative styles to international distribution, American craft beer is breaking boundaries,” said Steve Parr, export development program manager, Brewers Association. “Through the Brewers Association Export Development Program, we’re able to take the success of local brewers and showcase them on a global scale.”

    The EDP, which generates exposure for American craft beer through trade shows, festivals, seminars, media outreach and competitions, among other activities, was initiated in 2004 with funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Market Access Program (USDA MAP). There are currently more than 100 small and independent brewers exporting their beers from the U.S., by EDP estimates.

    11.04.2018   Rotkäppchen-Mumm to acquire Eggers & Franke    ( Company news )

    Company news On May 1st 2018 Rotkäppchen-Mumm Sektkellereien GmbH, a global leader in the production of sparkling wine, spirits and wine will acquire the Eggers & Franke Group, one of Germany’s leading providers of high-quality wines and spirits. The acquisition is still subject to the approval by the German antitrust authorities.

    Together with its subsidiaries, Eggers & Franke Group will continue to operate independently under the leadership of its longstanding management team. Christoph Meier, Eggers & Franke owner, will oversee the transition and continue as a consultant to the business.

    ’We couldn’t have wished for a better partner for the future of our successful company. Like Eggers & Franke, Rotkäppchen-Mumm stands for sustainable entrepreneurship with a sense of proportion and continuity. This is an excellent basis for writing the next chapter of the Eggers & Franke success story together with our global partners,’ says Meier.

    Rotkäppchen-Mumm CEO, Christof Queisser states ‘We are delighted to welcome such a traditional and successful company into our fold. Both family-run businesses complement each other perfectly. The Eggers & Franke Group will become another important pillar on the national core market of Rotkäppchen-Mumm.’

    Details of the transaction remain confidential. 
    (Rotkäppchen-Mumm Sektkellereien GmbH)
    10.04.2018   Scotch Whisky industry to set out clear calorie information to consumers    ( Company news )

    Company news The Scotch Whisky Association has welcomed joint proposals by European alcoholic beverage producers on how the industry will provide consumers with nutrition and ingredient information.

    The proposal, submitted to Commissioner Andriukaitis today in Brussels, commits the beer, wine and spirits industries to provide nutrition and ingredient information to consumers by 2022. This follows the European Commission's 2017 report which asked producers from different alcoholic beverage sectors to put forward a joint proposal to provide consumers with meaningful, clear and easy to understand information.

    Plans are being taken forward by Scotch Whisky producers to provide energy information on-label, showing consumers how many calories are in a standard 25ml serving of Scotland's national drink.

    Commenting, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association Karen Betts (photo) said:
    "The SWA and the industry want all consumers to enjoy Scotch Whisky responsibly. So it's important that consumers have the information they need to make the right choices that fit with a healthy lifestyle, including on calorie intake.
    "We're very pleased to endorse today's commitment to provide calorie information on labels, and to report on progress in October 2019.
    "We believe this information should be provided in a format that is easy to understand and linked to serving sizes."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
    09.04.2018   Flying ink drops: printing 2000 products per minute    ( Company news )

    Company news Label & Print 2018 in Zurich: Leibinger is presenting the JET3up industrial inkjet printer (Hall 4, Stand H14)

    At a bottling plant, a mineral water bottle speeds along a conveyor belt moving at 36 km/h. A few milliseconds later, the best-before date appears as if by magic on the bottleneck. This is made possible by Leibinger’s JET3up industrial inkjet printer, which prints up to 2000 products per minute with flying drops of ink.

    Photo: The JET3up in operation: the ink drops fly out of the print head, directly onto the product. They dry in less than a second.

    Information such as best-before date, batch number and data matrix codes have become an integral part of most products. You can find the small letters and graphics on water bottles, milk cartons and beverage cans, on printed circuit boards for computers and on transparent medication packaging. If manufacturers call back batches, this information needs to be easy to read for consumers – smudged fonts cannot be tolerated by a manufacturer. The challenge is to guarantee imprint quality even at high line speeds.

    The JET3up prints products that speed by at 36 km/h
    At the Label & Print 2018 trade fair in Zurich (11.-12. April 2018), Leibinger will be showcasing the JET3up – an industrial inkjet printer that keeps up with belt speeds of 600 meters per minute. “The printer is fast enough to mark up to 2000 products per minute in passing,” explains Christina Leibinger, CEO of Paul Leibinger GmbH & Co. KG. “In spite of these high belt speeds, an exceptionally good typeface quality is guaranteed."

    The JET3up is used, for instance, in the food and beverage industry, in electronics and cable production, and in car manufacturing facilities. It can print not only up to five-line small fonts, but also graphics, barcodes and all common data matrix codes with a print height of up to 16 mm. Operation is via a 10.4” touchscreen that is as intuitive to use as a smartphone. If the user integrates the printer into the company network, he or she can control the machine from literally any point on the globe and monitor it with a PC, smartphone or tablet.

    The principle of flying ink drops
    The JET3up prints without having to touch any products. How is this possible? With a cylindrical print head mounted next to or above the conveyor belt – with which a head pipe of up to ten meters in length is connected to the hydraulic system in the printer housing. The heart of the so-called continuous-injection (CIJ) technology works inside the print head. 120,000 electrically charged ink drops per second shoot through a nozzle in the direction of a collecting tube. When printing, two deflection electrodes come into play. They change the trajectory of individual drops, so that they land as an image point or pixel on the product surface. The remaining drops fly into a catcher tube and circulate in the system.

    Printing 160 million characters with one liter of ink
    Non-contact printing always produces good results – with convex and concave, rough and smooth, flat and relief-like product surfaces alike. Smudging is ruled out since the ink dries on glass, plastic, metal, steel and wood in less than a second. The JET3up is also economical in consumption. One liter of ink is sufficient for printing up to 160 million characters.

    Leibinger’s CIJ printers are considered to be the most reliable in the world. This is ensured, among other things, by Leibinger’s unique Sealtronic nozzle sealing system. “With many CIJ print heads, the nozzle and catcher tube remain open when the printer is out of service or in standby mode. The ink dries up, the nozzle clogs, so that the next time it starts up, it can lead to a diffuse spluttering or ink and an indistinct typeface,” explains Christina Leibinger. “This is not the case with Leibinger. With our patented Sealtronic sealing system, the catcher tube moves to the nozzle during production breaks and seals the system airtight. When re-starting, the typeface is instantly clear and stable – without cleaning and rinsing cycles, production starts again immediately. This is a must in any efficient production environment.”
    (Paul Leibinger GmbH & Co. KG)
    09.04.2018   Symrise fulfills 2017 targets and dynamically starts into current fiscal year    ( Company news )

    Company news — Sales up by 3.2 % to € 2,996.3 million – adjusted for portfolio and currency effects organic growth of 6.3 %
    — EBITDA increase to € 630.3 million
    — EBITDA margin at a very healthy 21.0 %
    — Net income up 2 % to € 270.3 million
    — Dividend increase to € 0.88 per share proposed

    Symrise AG achieved profitable growth in the fiscal year 2017 and reached all of its targets. The Group increased sales by 3.2 % to € 2,996.3 million (2016: € 2,903.2 million). Excluding portfolio and currency effects, organic sales growth even amounted to 6.3 %. Symrise profited especially from the dynamic performance of the Flavor and Nutrition segments and strong demand in the EAME and Latin America regions. Despite currency effects and investments into the expansion of capacities, the Group raised its EBITDA by 1 % to € 630.3 million (2016 normalized: € 625.2 million). With an EBITDA margin of 21.0 %, Symrise exceeded its 20.0 % target and was once again one of the most profitable companies in the industry (2016 normalized: 21.5 %).

    "2017 was yet again a successful year for Symrise. For the twelfth year in a row we achieved very satisfactory increases in sales and earnings, especially in terms of organic growth. Despite further investments into our expansion, volatile exchange rates and rising raw material prices over the course of the year, we operated yet again highly profitable. To allow our shareholders to participate in this success, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board will therefore propose a dividend of € 0.88 at the Annual General Meeting," said Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG. "We are also optimistic about our prospects in 2018. We have made a dynamic start and feel confident that, with our strong market position, increased internal sourcing of raw materials, and the targeted expansion of capacity, we are very well positioned."

    Dynamic organic growth in sales
    Symrise increased its sales to € 2,996.3 million (2016: € 2,903.2 million) and benefited from strong organic growth of 6.3 %. Taking portfolio effects into account – in particular the sale of the industrial activities of Pinova in December 2016 and the acquisitions of Nutraceutix, Nutra Canada and Cobell – as well as exchange rate effects, sales grew by 3.2 %.

    Strong demand especially in Latin America and EAME
    The largest sales growth was realized in Latin America, where sales were up by a substantial 7.6 %. Sales in North America showed a 4.1 % year-on-year decrease due to the divestment of Pinova's industrial activities in December 2016. The Asia/Pacific region achieved a modest increase of 1.4 %. With a strong 7.4 % rise in sales, the EAME region showed an even more dynamic development than in the previous year.

    The share of Emerging Markets in the Group's total sales was slightly higher, at 44 % (2016: 43 %). Symrise achieved an overall 7.6 % increase in sales at local currency in those countries.

    High profitability maintained
    Despite unfavorable currency effects, higher costs for raw materials and investments in expansion, Symrise was able to increase its EBITDA to € 630.3 million (2016 normalized: € 625.2 million). At the same time, the Group was highly profitable, with a very good EBITDA margin of 21.0 % (2016 normalized: 21.5 %).

    Net income of the Group increased 1.8 % to € 270.3 million (2016 normalized: € 265.5 million). Earnings per share improved to € 2.08 (2016 normalized: € 2.05). The Executive Board and Supervisory Board will therefore propose an increase in the dividend from € 0.85 to € 0.88 per share at the Annual General Meeting on 16 May 2018.

    Increase in operating cash flow
    The Group grew its operating cash flow by approximately 17 % to € 396.2 million (2016: € 338.8 million), mainly as a result of higher earnings and a lower increase in working capital.

    At the reporting date, net debt including provisions for pensions and similar obligations was € 49.2 million lower, at € 1,921.6 million (2016: € 1,970.8 million). The ratio of net debt, including provisions for pensions and similar obligations, to EBITDA stood at 3.0 (31 December 2016: 3.1). Due to the realized acquisitions, the value is temporarily above Symrise’s target corridor of 2.0 to 2.5.

    The equity ratio increased from 36.4 % at the end of 2016 to 37.8 % at 31 December 2017. Therefore, Symrise has a solid capital base to continue advancing the Group's future sustainable development.

    Scent & Care segment
    The Scent & Care segment achieved total sales of € 1,263.1 million (2016: € 1,311.3 million). This yearon-year decrease of 3.7 % resulted from the sale of the industrial activities of Pinova in December 2016 and a slower first half of the year. Adjusted for portfolio and exchange rate effects, the segment reported healthy organic growth of 3.9 % – buoyed in particular by the strong fourth quarter, with an increase of 5.8 %. The strongest growth was posted by the Cosmetic Ingredients division. Strong demand was seen especially in the Asia/Pacific and EAME regions.

    EBITDA in the Scent & Care segment amounted to € 248.1 million (2016 normalized: € 257.8 million). The 3.8 % decrease reflects higher raw material costs, the sale of the Pinova industrial activities and expenses for research and development. The EBITDA margin remained stable at 19.6 % (2016 normalized: 19.7 %).

    Flavor segment
    Sales in the Flavor segment increased to € 1,101.9 million in the year under review (2016: € 1,015.9 million). The segment achieved very strong growth of 8.5 %. Excluding the portfolio effect from the acquisition of Cobell and currency effects, organic growth amounted to a very healthy 9.3 %.

    All regions and application areas contributed to the positive sales development. The segment continued the successful trend of recent years, particularly in Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME) as well as in North America. Growth was particularly strong in the Sweets and Beverages application areas as a result of new business with vanilla flavorings.

    EBITDA in the Flavor segment amounted to € 242.9 million (2016: € 233.8 million). This represents a 3.9 % increase as compared with 2016. The EBITDA margin was a very satisfactory 22.0 % (2016: 23.0 %).

    Nutrition segment
    Nutrition posted a substantial 9.6 % year-on-year plus in sales to € 631.3 million (2016: € 576.0 million). Adjusted for portfolio and currency effects, organic sales growth in the segment amounted to 6.5 %.

    The pet food application area was again one of the strongest growth drivers, with at least single-digit and sometimes even double-digit sales growth in local currency in all four regions.

    The segment increased its EBITDA by 4.3 % to € 139.4 million (2016: € 133.7 million). The EBITDA margin was at an outstanding 22.1 % (2016: 23.2 %).

    Confident outlook for 2018
    After a dynamic start in the first quarter, Symrise is confident for the further development in the fiscal year 2018. The Group is expecting a healthy global economic growth. However, the debt situation of some countries will continue and some currencies will remain volatile. Moreover, Symrise expects overall raw material costs to increase significantly. The Group has been actively pursuing backward integration in key natural raw materials for years. As a result, Symrise is in a good position through close cooperation with producers and long-term contracts.

    For the current fiscal year, Symrise remains committed to its target of growing faster than the relevant market at Group and segment levels. Estimates place worldwide market growth in the 3–4 % range. Moreover, despite the currently tense raw material situation, Symrise intends to maintain its strong profitability, and is therefore targeting an EBITDA margin of around 20 %.

    Symrise is also reaffirming its objectives set for the end of the fiscal year 2020: a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5–7 % and an EBITDA margin in the range of 19–22 %.
    (Symrise AG)
    06.04.2018   KHS exhibits extended PET portfolio at NPE2018 in Orlando    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: White wine in a FreshSafe PET® bottle - Sensitive products can also be filled into transparent plastic packaging thanks to KHS’ FreshSafe PET® coating method

    Extremely light single-serve formats, wide-neck and oval packaging solutions and powerful, compact machines.

    - Wide-neck containers and oval packaging solutions
    - FreshSafe PET® coating method for optimum protection
    - Extremely light PET bottle for still water

    Extremely light single-serve formats, wide-neck and oval packaging solutions and powerful, compact machines: from May 7–11, 2018, the KHS Group will be presenting its extended PET portfolio at Booth S12045 at the NPE Plastics Show in Orlando, Florida.

    “A clear trend can be detected within the beverage industry," says Frank Haesendonckx, head of Sales and Technology at KHS Corpoplast in Hamburg, Germany. “The demand for single-serve packs holding between 250 and 800 millimeters is on the rise. We’ve thus developed a new version of our tried-and-tested InnoPET Blomax stretch blow molder especially for this segment.” The system is more compact and at the same time more powerful. The central new feature are its small mold carriers which enable up to 2,500 containers per hour and station to be manufactured.

    The stretch blow molder is available as a modular design. Depending on user requirements it can be blocked with other KHS systems – such as the Innosept Asbofill for the hygienic filling of sensitive products, for instance. The new KHS chunk dosing unit for flexible product design can also be integrated into the system. This permits fruit, vegetables or cereals up to 10 x 10 x 10 millimeters in size to be added. “We’re vastly expanding the application options and are thus supplying systems for new markets,” claims Haesendonckx.

    At NPE2018 KHS will also be presenting its extremely light packaging solutions. The Dortmund systems provider expects its Factor 100 0.5-liter PET bottle for still water to attract plenty of attention. With its expertise in lightweighting KHS offers its customers holistic consultancy from the design through the technical engineering to the production of their PET bottles. This produces individual containers tailored to suit the required functionality and load. “This allows users to make vast savings in materials while providing the best possible bottle stability,” states Haesendonckx.

    Extremely precise neck handling
    Further developments as regards preferential heating will also be in focus at the trade show. This setup enables the production of oval containers with an efficient distribution of materials and wide-neck containers with openings measuring up to 70 millimeters and permits extremely precise neck handling – while ensuring a high bottle quality and low energy consumption in the stretch blow molding process. “Wide-neck systems and special packaging forms are also gaining in significance,” explains Haesendonckx. The reason for this lies in the known advantages over glass: unbreakability, a lower weight and the option of inline production, as containers no longer have to be supplied to the plant but can be produced on site.

    Optimum protection for sensitive products
    Another KHS development which will be on show is FreshSafe PET®. This gives sensitive juices and carbonated soft drinks perfect protection by covering the inside wall of the PET container with a wafer-thin layer of silicon oxide (SiOx). “With our innovative barrier technology beverages have a shelf life which is comparable to those bottled in glass,” says Haesendonckx. This coating method also protects sensitive foods such as tomato sauce, fruit and vegetables – even in transparent PET containers.
    (KHS USA)
    05.04.2018   SIG and Amcor push responsible aluminium sourcing further    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: Most of SIG’s carton packs are on average made of 75% paper board, 21% polymers and 4% aluminium. Following its responsibility approach entitled WAY BEYOND GOOD, the company is committed to sourcing 100% of its direct materials from only certified sources. Photo: SIG

    Following its responsibility approach entitled WAY BEYOND GOOD, SIG is committed to sourcing 100% of its direct materials from only certified sources. Working together with value chain partner Amcor, the partnership aims to assure that the aluminium foil supply chain is working towards the performance standard of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI, Amcor, a global leader in responsible packaging, is one of SIG's main suppliers for aluminium in Europe.

    A razor-thin aluminium layer is used in most of SIG’s carton packs to protect the food from light, oxygen and external odours.

    The new ASI performance standard reveals principles that must be met along the supply chain of aluminium and covers the main sustainability risks and potential impacts such as significant energy use and the release of greenhouse gases in the process to converting bauxite ore into aluminium, impacts on local communities and natural habitats from mining, and the potential for water pollution from production waste.

    ASI has recently launched a new Certification programme for the aluminium value chain, which focuses on responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of this important industrial metal. The new program aims at addressing and reducing the impacts of aluminium production: from mines, smelters and casting to semi-fabrication and manufacture of products containing aluminium.

    Both SIG and Amcor support ASI’s initiative as very effective in creating long-term consensus on standards. Such initiatives often take considerable time to be adopted throughout the industry, however, so to start this important work as early as possible SIG and Amcor engaged the trusted third party verification body DNV GL to conduct pilot assessments.

    Collaborative approach
    Dr Christian Bauer, Manager Environmental Affairs and Product Related Sustainability, of SIG said: “Our aim is clear. This is not a pass/fail exercise, but a collaborative approach to share industry best practices and ensure we are at the forefront of sourcing aluminium foil that will meet or surpass the ASI performance standards, ensuring continuous environmental improvement as well as best in class ethical practices.”

    The pilot looks at the value chain of aluminium foil all the way to the bauxite mines and is intended to provide a snapshot of performance against the ASI Performance Standard. Dr Colin Morgan, Principal Consultant at DNV GL, said: “Engaging suppliers on improving sustainability performance from mine to manufacturing is a challenging task. We are proud to work together with SIG and Amcor to bring visibility over their supply chains, build capacity and help all stakeholders to get ready for ASI through our pilot audits. This is a pioneering approach to multi-tier engagement that delivers value and benefits for all involved.”

    In 2017, collaborative assessments with value chain partners were completed in Europe and Asia for the manufacturing of aluminium foil and foil stock. The pilots provided a readiness check to close gaps against ASI standard requirements, and acknowledged any existing certifications the sites already have – ensuring a streamlined approach and value creation for everyone.

    Dr Gerald Rebitzer, Sustainability Director at Amcor said: “What we found was that the performance of the assessed sites generally aligns very well with the requirements of the ASI performance standard, and we are already working with the suppliers to close any gaps. The results are very encouraging.”

    At the forefront
    In 2018, SIG and Amcor will go further down the value chain. With this ongoing program and the subsequent planned ASI certification, both SIG and Amcor are confident that they will be well prepared to be at the forefront of offering packaging with responsibly sourced aluminium foil. SIG has already been at the forefront of sourcing from responsibly managed forests with 100% of its liquid packaging board from paper mills with the FSCTM Chain of Custody certification and 89% made with wood from FSCTM certified forests (FSCTM trademark licence code: FSCTM C020428). Since 2017 SIG is also certified according to ISCC PLUS in view of sourcing of renewable feedstock for polymers.

    This new collaboration with Amcor to push responsible aluminium sourcing further is another important step on SIG’s net-positive journey of going WAY BEYOND GOOD. The company is focusing on three core areas in which it can do the most for society and the environment, with responsibility at the centre of this: how SIG runs the company, sources its materials, and manufactures its products.
    (SIG Combibloc Group AG)
    04.04.2018   Symrise AG: Executive Board contract of CFO Olaf Klinger extended ahead of schedule    ( Company news )

    Company news Picture: Olaf Klinger

    — Supervisory Board reaffirms Olaf Klinger as CFO until January 2024
    — Recognition of successful work in finance department
    — Symrise relies on commitment to continuity and stability combined with further growth

    The Supervisory Board of Symrise AG approved an early contract extension for CFO Olaf Klinger at its meeting on March 7, 2018. With his profound knowledge and extensive experience in the field, Olaf Klinger will continue to manage the finances of Symrise for another five years until January 2024. Through the renewal of the CFO's contract, Symrise is ensuring continuity and stability in the Executive Board.

    The Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Dr. Thomas Rabe, said: "We are delighted to have Olaf Klinger on board to lead the financial department for another five years. By extending his contract now, we are demonstrating our long-term orientation, and we are also showing our recognition for his strong past
    performance. Olaf Klinger did an outstanding job in addressing the increasing challenges of the international capital markets and enjoys an excellent reputation within our financial community."

    As a member of the Executive Board, Olaf Klinger (52) has been heading Symrise’s finance department since January 2016. Since his appointment, he has successfully supported the Company in numerous strategic growth initiatives. He provided for instance a diverse range of financing instruments for the sale of the Pinova industrial activities in November 2016 and the acquisition of the British beverage specialist Cobell in May 2017. Symrise also benefited from his extensive knowledge of transactions and integration processes. In addition, Olaf Klinger utilized the positive market environment to carry out the successful placement of €400 million in convertible bonds in June 2017.
    (Symrise AG)
    03.04.2018   ENGEL automation on show at Chinaplas 2018    ( Company news )

    Company news At Chinaplas 2018, which takes place in Shanghai from April 24th to 27th, ENGEL will showcase its expertise in automation at a special Expert Corner. On show will be the compact e-pic B and e-pic Z robots – integrated, with expanded software functions –, the new viper 20 speed for high-speed applications and the new 10-inch hand-held unit, which will be making its first appearance in front of an Asian audience.

    Photo: 30 percent faster than the conventional viper: the new viper 20 speed offers removal times of well under 1 second.

    For many years, robots have been relied on in China to provide process stability, fast cycles and high efficiency. From standardised robot cells to customised, integrated system solutions, ENGEL meets the specific automation needs of injection moulding businesses to the letter. It achieves this through a comprehensive portfolio of robots, high levels of special automation expertise and local expertise. At its large-scale machine manufacturing plant in Shanghai, ENGEL runs an automation centre for clients in China.

    “On many projects, success depends on short distances, which means fast project planning and commissioning,” says Gero Willmeroth, Sales and Service President at ENGEL Machinery Shanghai. “That’s why we have invested so heavily in local expertise over the past few years. Now we are ideally placed to handle the increasingly complex demands of our customers. Feedback from the market has been excellent. We have been able to strengthen the trust that our customers have in us.”

    At Chinaplas, ENGEL’s entire automation team in Asia will be on hand to speak to customers. They will use four technically sophisticated applications to demonstrate live the full spectrum of ENGEL’s automation experience. ENGEL will also present all new robot-related developments in a special Expert Corner.

    Integrated e-pic robots
    Small e-pic robots, the latest products in ENGEL’s automation range, are offered in two versions: as linear pick-and-place robots (e-pic Z) and servo sprue pickers (e-pic B). The main feature of the e-pic series is the robots’ lightweight swivel arm in place of a conventional x-axis. This new kind of kinematic system – a USP of ENGEL – significantly increases dynamism and energy efficiency while facilitating a highly space-saving installation on the injection moulding machine. The swivel arm requires less space than a linear axis when moving towards both the injection and clamping sides.

    In a new development, ENGEL will be equipping its e-pic robots with efficiency control. This further improves energy efficiency as the robots adapt the speed of their movements to the cycle of the injection moulding process with the aid of software. Efficiency control has been an established feature of viper linear robots for years.

    At Chinaplas, ENGEL will present the integrated version of its e-pic robots, clearly illustrating how efficiency potential can be maximised by combining injection moulding machines and robots. Within the integrated solutions, the CC300 control unit for ENGEL injection moulding machines becomes the main operating panel for the whole manufacturing cell; this means uniform parts data and alarm management as well as a unified look and feel. Consistent operating logic significantly simplifies activation and programming as well as control of robots and the manufacturing cell as a whole. Of course, robots can be connected subsequently to injection moulding machines by means of a EUROMAP 67 interface, regardless of machine brand.

    viper 20: now even faster
    There will also be an Asian premiere for viper linear robots at Chinaplas. The new viper 20 speed offers removal times of well under 1 second. The enhanced servo-electric drive technology and the reduced weight of the robot’s axes are responsible for the step up in performance. Developed for applications with total cycle times of around 4 seconds, the viper 20 speed is mainly used in the medical and packaging sectors, areas in which top-entry robots tend to offer very high flexibility.

    The viper 20 speed will demonstrate its impressive performance by handling cups at the trade fair. It will work in tandem with an ENGEL easix articulated robot that will take the cups from a moving conveyor belt and stack them in a magazine. In this application both robots – the viper linear and the easix articulated robot – are integrated into a CC300 control unit. It makes no difference whether the CC300 is controlling linear or rotary axes. The additional movement instructions for the multi-axis robot integrate seamlessly with the graphical interface, which simplifies operation significantly. To allow for simple and fast parameterisation despite the complexity of the overall system, the control unit provides different user levels, from a simple view to a fully object-oriented visualisation of the sequence.

    10” for easier operation
    Another highlight of ENGEL’s Expert Corner on automation will be the new C10 10-inch hand-held unit for robots in the ENGEL series; this will replace the 7-inch units in the C70 series over the course of the year. Visitors to Chinaplas will gain a foretaste of the easier operation of the new hand-held unit, which provides a clearer overview.

    ENGEL at Chinaplas 2018: Hall 5.1, stand E71
    (Engel Austria GmbH)
    02.04.2018   EAFA: Export surge drives aluminium foil deliveries from Europe to new record in 2017     ( Company news )

    Company news Strong demand from overseas aluminium foil markets in the final quarter of 2017 saw aluminium foil deliveries from European foil rollers reach a new record tonnage for the full year, according to figures released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).

    Overall deliveries for the full twelve-month period were at 886,300t (2016: 874,900t), even higher than pre-crisis levels for the second year running. Thinner gauges, used mainly for flexible packaging and household foils added 1.8% year on year, while thicker gauges, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, slightly increased by 0.3 percent. Total domestic deliveries were ahead by 0.6% in the period, while exports improved strongly, by 5.7 percent.

    The final three months of 2017 saw deliveries to non-European markets increase by 37.2%, with domestic deliveries going down by 2.2 percent. After a buoyant 2016, demand for thicker gauges has climbed by 1.0%, whereas deliveries of thinner gauges have gone up by 2.8%. At 214,800t in total, Q4 deliveries were 2.2% ahead.

    Bruno Rea, EAFA President and Roller Group Chairman, commenting on the figures said, “These results indicate a satisfying full year 2017. High demand seems set to continue, both at home and abroad, meaning our members carefully forecast a positive outlook for 2018.”

    “We are seeing an improvement in domestic markets, as well as some local structural supply issues in key overseas markets. These offer good opportunities for increasing output and sales from European suppliers,” he added.
    (EAFA - European Aluminium Foil Association e.V.)
    29.03.2018   Britvic celebrates brand successes for Pepsi MAX and Refresh'd    ( Company news )

    Company news Britvic is pleased to be celebrating the start of 2018 with success for two of its leading brands; Pepsi MAX (photo) ended 2017 with record high market share and Robinsons brand extension, Refresh’d, was the number one Soft Drinks innovation of last year. As consumers continue to prioritise health and wellness and opt for low and no sugar soft drinks, Britvic’s recent brand innovations are rising to the challenge of meeting the ever-changing needs of consumers, and driving growth within the category as a result.

    Pepsi MAX
    Britvic has experienced strong sales growth for Pepsi MAX, which achieved a record market share at the end of 2017. With its ‘maximum taste, no sugar’ positioning, Pepsi MAX has been the core focus of all Pepsi advertising in 2017 and in fact the brand has led with its sugar-free variant for several years. The brand has successfully responded to the growing number of consumers looking for low and no sugar options with new flavour innovation within the MAX brand, including Ginger and Cherry. In fact, Pepsi MAX Cherry is now the No. 1 flavoured cola across the Off-Trade. In terms of volume, Pepsi MAX is now the biggest low or no sugar cola across the convenience & impulse sector, signifying the growing demand for great tasting drinks with reduced sugar content, as consumers become more health conscious.

    Robinsons Refresh’d
    Britvic is also delighted to announce that, according to Nielsen data, Robinsons Refresh’d was named the No.1 soft drinks NPD launch in 2017 and exceeded £7.4m value in retail sales during 20176. Refresh’d is an on-the-go format extension of the No. 1 GB Squash brand7, Robinsons.

    Available in three tasty flavour combinations - Raspberry & Apple, Orange & Lime and Apple & Kiwi – and containing real fruit and no artificial colours, Robinsons Refresh’d has appealed to health-conscious consumers looking for more interesting and lower sugar fruit drink options.

    Paul Graham, GB Managing Director at Britvic, commented: “This is a key moment for Pepsi MAX, which has been consistently taking market share, in a growing category, for many years now. With consumers increasingly seeking great tasting no and low sugar options, it is great to see how successfully Pepsi MAX is taking advantage of that trend, through new flavour innovations and a bold ATL campaign.

    “We’re also thrilled that Robinsons Refresh’d has been so well received. By extending the trusted Robinsons name into an on-the-go format, we’re able to capitalize on the hydration trend and offer an exciting, new product that’s also exempt from the sugar levy.”

    Britvic has led the industry in taking steps to help consumers make healthier choices, through a long term and extensive reformulation programme, an innovation pipeline focused on healthier products, and marketing responsibly. These new results demonstrate its commitment to producing healthier products that cater to changing consumer trends and that its portfolio is well positioned ahead of the impending Soft Drinks Sugar Levy when it comes into place in April 2018.
    (Britvic Plc)
    28.03.2018   Protecting Scotch in the age of Brexit    ( Company news )

    Company news The UK is preparing for a time of great change as we approach Brexit. Leaving the European Union will undoubtedly have a major impact on British industries and exporters, including Scotch Whisky.

    We have a team of specialists at the Scotch Whisky Association working hard to ensure the industry is ready for Brexit and that our voice is being heard. One area of great importance is looking at what Brexit might mean for the legal protection of Scotch Whisky, including its geographical indication (GI) status.

    Our Director of Legal Affairs, Alan Park (photo), considers how Brexit might affect the legal protection of Scotch Whisky.
    "Scotch Whisky has been defined in UK law since 1933. Brexit is not going to change that. Scotch Whisky is also recognised as a GI and has been since the concept was introduced by World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules in 1994.

    A GI has unique characteristics and a reputation associated with its origin. Brexit will not alter the fact that Scotch Whisky is a GI. There is an obligation on members of the WTO, the vast majority of nations, to protect GIs from misuse. Some WTO members do that by providing a register for GIs in the same way countries provide a trade mark register. Scotch Whisky is recognised as a GI in this way from the Dominican Republic to Thailand.

    Other countries choose to protect GIs in other ways and the SWA has taken advantage of those different approaches.For example, Scotch Whisky is specifically protected in the domestic legislation of many markets, such as the recognition given to Scotch Whisky in the US Federal Code. Brexit is not going to affect that either.

    Where Brexit will have an impact is in the protection given to Scotch Whisky in some bilateral agreements between the EU and third countries. We want the UK to negotiate the continued benefits of those agreements but, in the meantime, the SWA is already taking steps to ensure that Scotch Whisky is recognised and protected in those markets in the range of ways available to it.

    The key fact to remember is that the SWA has been protecting Scotch Whisky around the world before GIs were defined by the WTO in 1994, and before the EU existed, so whatever changes Brexit brings, the SWA will continue to do what it has done for many decades: stop the sale of any products unfairly taking advantage of the reputation of Scotch Whisky.

    This means the consumer can continue to enjoy Scotch Whisky knowing that it is a well protected and high quality drink."
    (SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)
    28.03.2018   SIG reports progress on its Way Beyond Good journey - Corporate Responsibility Performance Update...    ( Company news )

    Company news ... published for 2017

    SIG’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) Performance Update for 2017 reports progress on its bold Way Beyond Good ambitions to contribute more to society and the environment than it takes out.

    Highlights include several milestones on SIG’s responsibility roadmap:
    • The innovative SIGNATURE PACK is the first aseptic carton linked to 100% renewable forest-based materials.
    • More than 60 billion SIG packs have now been sold with the FSCTM label and the share of SIG packs carrying the FSCTM label hit 88% by the end of 2017, showing good progress towards its 100% target for 2020.
    • SIG has established a partnership with BRAC, a development NGO, to pilot its flagship Cartons for Good project in Bangladesh that will use SIG technology to help communities preserve surplus food at harvest time with a specially designed mobile filling unit.

    SIG’s CEO Rolf Stangl said: “Our bold Way Beyond Good ambitions are driving progress across all three of our responsibility pillars: company, sourcing and products. We have a long way to go, but I am enormously proud of the strides we have made in 2017. The latest rating from EcoVadis recognises our progress, placing SIG in the top 1% of the 30,000 or more businesses assessed on wide-ranging corporate responsibility topics.”

    Partnering for progress
    The CR Performance Update reinforces SIG’s commitment to the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and emphasises its support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    SIG stood alongside the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) and other leading businesses in 2017 to pledge support for the Vancouver Declaration to ensure their use of forest materials contributes to the SDGs.

    Through initiatives such as the Net Positive Project, SIG continues to work with partners to help drive progress in its own business and beyond. The company is also inviting input from external stakeholders through its new Responsibility Advisory Group.

    Commitment to transparent reporting
    Transparency is integral to SIG’s ethos as a responsible company. The company is committed to report regularly on performance related to its most material corporate responsibility issues, as identified through a detailed materiality assessment.

    The CR Performance Update for 2017 provides an interim report on progress against the 2020 targets set out in SIG’s responsibility roadmap, including data on key performance indicators and key achievements from the year. It supplements the companies biennial full Corporate Responsibility Report, produced in accordance with guidelines from the Global Reporting Initiative, which offers more detail on how SIG manages social and environmental issues.

    SIG’s Head of Corporate Responsibility Michael Hecker said: “The CR Performance Update tells our story of the year. It showcases what we have achieved, but it also shows where we have more work to do. I am looking forward to reporting further progress in our full CR Report next year.”
    (SIG Combibloc GmbH)
    27.03.2018   Nestlé Waters North America Launches New Line of Healthy Flavored Sparkling Water    ( Company news )

    Company news More and more American consumers are seeking healthy alternatives to sugary sodas and juices, including water, which does not contain any calories. However, some consumers want a bit of added flavor and fizz.

    Nestlé Waters North America is launching a new Regional Spring Water Brand Sparkling portfolio with 10 flavors in new vibrant and colorful packaging, with no added sugar, sweeteners or colors – just fresh spring water with natural flavors and bubbles, so that consumers can enjoy a guilt-free refreshing beverage.

    There are six brands in Nestlé Waters’ new Regional Spring Water Brand Sparkling line – Poland Spring®, Deer Park®, Zephyrhills®, Ozarka®, Ice Mountain® and Arrowhead®.

    Not only will Nestlé Waters be offering this new line in sleek vintage glass-like bottles, the beverages will also be available in cans. Both the bottles and cans will have fruit graphics, vivid colors and more prominent branding. The new colored caps will distinguish the new line from other brands. For those who would like to try a variety of flavors, there will also be a rainbow pack, with 24 bottles or cans in a combination of flavors, so that consumers can try them all and pick their favorites.

    The sparkling water category was up 70% from 2011 to 2016 in the U.S., and is expected to reach $3.1 billion by 2022, according to Euromonitor International.

    "Following rapid growth over the past few years, the sparkling water category is now mature enough for us to make a significant investment in developing this extensive line of mainstream sparkling offerings from our regional spring water brands, each of which is the top-selling still spring water brand in its market," said Antonio Sciuto, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Nestlé Waters North America.

    With Nestlé Waters’ rich history in providing premium sparkling water to consumers with their brands Perrier® and S. Pellegrino®, and the current strength of our regional spring water brands as a $103MM player with extremely high household penetration, we are well positioned to bring these products to the market for consumers to enjoy.
    (Nestlé Waters North America)
    26.03.2018   Tetra Pak delivers more than half a billion fully renewable packages    ( Company news )

    Company news World’s first fully renewable package featured in new display at the Museum of Brands

    Tetra Pak has now delivered more than half a billion packs of Tetra Rex® Bio-based, the world’s first beverage carton to be manufactured entirely from renewable materials. The landmark event was announced at the Museum of Brands, in London, where the package, is featured in a new sustainability display.

    Photo: Tetra Rex® carton package with TwistCap OSO34

    Tetra Rex® Bio-based, which was launched in October 2014, is manufactured solely from Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™) certified and controlled sources paperboard, together with plastics derived from sugar cane, all traceable to their origins.

    Packages made from renewable materials are essential for preserving the environment for future generations. Renewable resources can be replenished naturally over time and enable a move away from fossil fuel-based materials, reducing the environmental impact as well as improving resource efficiency.

    Christina Chester, Product Director at Tetra Pak said, “We are delighted to see the growing popularity of Tetra Rex Bio-based among customers. Packages made entirely from renewable materials are not only good for the planet, but also good for brands that seek to differentiate themselves with stronger environmental messages. With everything traceable to its plant origin, consumers are assured that the package they hold in their hands is derived entirely from plants.”

    Chris Griffin, CEO, Museum of Brands said: “It is good to hear about the significant progress Tetra Pak is making in terms of delivering fully-renewable packages. They are offering brands more sustainable packaging at a time when environment is top-of-mind among consumers, and people want to make more environmentally sound choices.”

    The Sustainable Packaging display opens today at the Museum of Brands, and will be showing a selection of initiatives that help reduce the burden of packaging on the environment.
    (Tetra Pak Schweiz AG)
    23.03.2018   Preventive maintenance of aseptic machines: KHS offers fixed modules at fixed prices    ( Company news )

    Company news The standards of quality in hygienic filling are high – as is the cost of production downtime.

    -Unplanned downtimes avoided
    -Longer machine service lives and greater production reliability
    -Fixed prices for all maintenance modules

    The standards of quality in hygienic filling are high – as is the cost of production downtime. It is thus important to carry out preventive maintenance on machines in order to detect any possible wear and microbiological risks in good time – and to avoid them. For high standards of quality and safety in the long term KHS provides a proven preventive maintenance system for both the linear and rotary version of its Innosept Asbofill aseptic filler – with fixed modules at fixed prices.

    The established, optimized system is an important component in KHS’ holistic range of services, giving bottlers the safety and reliability they need in the production process. “In this way failure through wear is avoided, risks to product safety are detected well in advance and the availability of the system is ensured,” states Thomas Niehr, head of Aseptic Filling Technology for KHS in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. “Should just one single part of the machine fail, the financial and material loss can be vast if the bottler has a sterile product in the tank which has to be processed quickly, for instance.” For this reason KHS offers special maintenance modules which Niehr describes as being comparable to a service for a car. The intervals are always gauged by certain time cycles and machine operating hours, with KHS providing the material packages and engineers.

    Overall machine state inspected
    During maintenance not only are smaller wear parts replaced; the overall condition of the machine is inspected and settings are corrected where applicable. The customer is given detailed information on all results in a concluding machine status report. The Dortmund systems supplier provides fixed maintenance packages for all of its aseptic machines at a set price which varies depending on the required intensity of maintenance and fulfillment of certain service tasks by KHS. “If KHS takes on the entire management during servicing, this has many benefits for the customer. The replacement of wear parts can’t be avoided. Preventive maintenance, however, ensures smooth production as all processes and machine data are consistently read out and monitored by our engineers,” says Niehr. “We then coordinate the entire maintenance management process together with the customer. This again increases machine and production safety and reliability. A dairy, for instance, can’t afford long downtimes." The more regularly and intensively a system is monitored by KHS, the shorter any downtimes are. The practiced course of events executed between the bottler and KHS’ engineers also cuts down on the amount of administrative effort, thus further reducing costs, claims Niehr.

    This generates a number of calculable advantages for the operator, as fixed costs also enable budgets to be securely planned, with identical installments paid at pre-specified intervals. Niehr emphasizes, “Customers know exactly how much maintenance costs them. It’s also possible to compute costs according to the number of bottles filled, with a fixed allocation of maintenance costs to product giving bottlers planning security.” As an option KHS also supplies additional spare part and emergency packages beside the replacement of wear parts within the scope of its maintenance modules.

    “Preventative maintenance thus has many benefits,” smiles Niehr. By avoiding unplanned downtime the overall cost of production is lowered in the long term. Unlike an unscheduled system standstill, preventive maintenance can be sensibly integrated into the production plan. “It’s a prudent investment,” concludes Niehr, who also points out that KHS is constantly further developing its system of maintenance. “The aim is to fully equip the machines with sensors in the future so that they’re monitored online by the electronics. With this form of preventive maintenance the amount of downtime will be reduced even further and production will become even more efficient and cost effective.”
    (KHS GmbH)
    23.03.2018   Symrise Demonstrates Taste Solutions for the Regional Market at Nigeria agrofood    ( Company news )

    Company news • The company exhibits at the Nigeria agrofood trade show
    • Products for customers in West Africa

    Symrise is boosting its operations in the West African market. The global supplier of fragrances and flavorings will present its products at agrofood Nigeria with its own booth at the Landmark Centre – Hall 1 1C.1.10. The trade show, which will be held in Lagos from March 27 to 29, 2018, addresses the entire value chain, from farm to table. Additional trade show topics include the food processing and flavor industries.

    At the largest food trade show in West Africa, Symrise will be offering visitors to its booth a wide range of concepts for beverages, sweets and other foods that have been developed to fit the region’s specific preferences. For example, guests will have the opportunity to learn more about palm wine, cherry mints, beef and chicken bouillon cubes, and mango-baobab juice. These products highlight the local expertise of the Holzminden based company, its strong connection to the West African market and its in-depth knowledge of consumer wishes.

    There are plenty of reasons for Symrise to exhibit at agrofood Nigeria. “We’ve been active here for a long time and want to strengthen our local presence,” says Dr. Alexander Lichter, Vice President Sales Flavor Division EAME at Symrise. “We want to demonstrate our expertise to our customers in Nigeria and West Africa: creating natural and authentic flavor experiences for the people who live here using state-of-the-art technology.” With a population of nearly 190 million, Nigeria is one of the most important markets in the region, Lichter explains. The country has shown very promising development, both demographically and economically. Symrise has been active throughout the country for more than 30 years.

    Naturalness and Authenticity for Customers in West Africa
    Symrise has registered rising demand for natural, regional and authentic foods – among its customers as well as consumers. “That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to fulfilling these wishes,” says Dr. Alexander Lichter, Vice President Sales Flavor Division EAME. “Our company does this by perfecting how it processes raw materials, which are sourced in line with high ethical standards and the principle of sustainability. That’s why the Group can deliver products with an extraordinarily authentic flavor that contributes to well-being.”

    In addition to its solutions for authentic flavor experiences, Symrise also offers natural food colorings. This is produced by Symrise’s Diana Food division, a specialist in functional food ingredients.
    (Symrise AG)
    22.03.2018   Caffeinated Stimulants get a WakeUp! Call    ( Company news )

    Company news Plant-based Alertness Formula Receives U.S. Patent

    InnoBev Ltd., has received a U.S. patent for WakeUp!®, its plant-based alertness formula. The patent describes a method for providing an “awakening effect “as well as for compositions of plant extracts that help improve well-being.

    The WakeUp formula is designed to counteract “post-lunch dip,” the time of day when fatigue, drowsiness and foggy thinking can stunt productivity. It can help provide a lift on slow mornings and evenings as well.

    The formula incorporates functional extracts of guarana, ginkgo biloba, and elderberry, and is sweetened by a low-glycaemic fruit extract. The non-caffeinated beverage answers a growing demand among today’s, health-conscious consumers who want to perform at optimal levels throughout the day, without the jitteriness, crash, and other drawbacks of caffeine.

    “This Inno-Bev patent approval comes at a time when energy drinks are under renewed scrutiny due to concerns over negative health effects associated with overconsumption, and when major beverage brands are investing huge sums in healthy, science-based beverages,” says Eli Faraggi, founder and CEO of Inno-Bev. “Our internal clock helps regulate sleep patterns, feeding behavior, hormone release, and blood pressure. WakeUp alertness drink is designed to help consumers balance that internal clock.” WakeUp recently won “Best Functional Drink” awards in Europe and the US.

    Four clinical research studies conducted with third-party partners indicated that WakeUp can help counteract fatigue and balance the body’s circadian rhythm. “In randomized controlled trials, WakeUp was shown to overcome the post-lunch dip/morning inertia, and improve vigilance, focus, and work performance with no tolerance effect or the side effects, such as those associated with caffeinated beverages and other stimulants,” explains science and regulatory specialist Risa Schulman, PhD, following an expert scientific review of Inno-Bev’s formulations. “In addition, when consumed consistently over a 30-day period, it could help improve brain function.”

    Faraggi notes that InnoBev originally sought only a solution to the post-lunch dip phenomenon. “Following the first clinical study, we quickly understood that we had developed an effective, safe, and clinically supported way to improve wakefulness throughout the day,” he explains.

    The company now has two formulas: WakeUp, for dietary supplements, and Rhythm™, for beverages. Analysis of new product launches, tracked by Innova Market Insights from 2013-2017, sees “green” energy drinks that feature natural energy sources, as having a major impact on the energy drink/alertness/stimulation category moving forward.

    Additional clinical research is being conducted on WakeUp by Giora Pillar, PhD, head of sleep laboratory at Israel’s leading science institute, the Technion Faculty of Medicine, Haifa. The studies are scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2018.

    “The timing for launching WakeUp in the U.S. and elsewhere is based on the important milestones already achieved, new research in the pipeline, and InnoBev’s long-term commitment to innovative science-based food and beverage development,” says Faraggi. The WakeUp formula can be integrated into cereals and dairy yogurts for a comprehensive range of “BioWaker” solutions.

    Inno-Bev currently is seeking partnerships with leading U.S. beverage and supplement companies. “We believe our scientifically supported and ready-to-market approach will disrupt the energy category,” Faraggi states. “Our business model includes joint-ventures and licensing of the Inno-Bev IP, either by application or by market segment. WakeUp also can be readily integrated into existing consumer brands.”
    (Inno-Bev Ltd)
    21.03.2018   Beviale Family – SIBA's BeerX: Here's to a great partnership!    ( Company news )

    Company news -BeerX becomes part of the Beviale Family network
    -Marketing collaboration now in place

    SIBA’s BeerX, Britain’s largest trade fair for all aspects of beer and brewing, is now an official partner of the Beviale Family. After five successful events in Sheffield, BeerX took place in Liverpool for the first time on 14 and 15 March 2018. The aim of the new partnership is to network existing successful events with one another and to work together to develop the respective target markets. This marketing collaboration enables the Beviale Family to expand its worldwide network in beverage production, so that it is now represented in the UK as well as in Russia, China, Italy, India and Brazil.

    Photo: Andrea Kalrait, NürnbergMesse, and Nick Stafford, SIBA, are looking foraward to a good collaboration. // © Barclayimaging

    The United Kingdom is the second-largest beer producer in Europe, where only Germany brews more beer. Moreover, according to market research company Statista (2016), the UK has 2,250 breweries, the largest number in Europe, followed by Germany with 1,408. SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) represents the interests of the growing number of independent brewers in Britain and is therefore the ideal partner. “We have been working successfully with SIBA for some time now in conjunction with BrauBeviale,” explains Andrea Kalrait, Exhibition Director BrauBeviale and international product manager for the Beviale Family. “This is why we are very pleased that we managed to get SIBA on board as a partner for the Beviale Family. The independent brewers of Britain are a perfect match for us. We work together as equals and are looking forward to a successful partnership on this basis!”

    “SIBA are delighted to be partnering with Beviale Family and becoming part of their global network of industry-leading beer and brewing trade events. British independent craft beer continues to be in huge demand and brewers are increasingly looking to international export to grow their business – our partnership with Beviale Family helps open opportunities for our British brewing members thinking on a global scale,” adds Nick Stafford, Operations Director SIBA.

    Beviale Family: International expertise in the beverage industry
    The NürnbergMesse Group demonstrates its expertise in the beverage industry on an international stage. Its “parent event” is BrauBeviale, the international capital goods exhibition for the beverage industry in Nuremberg. This is where, for over 40 years, the sector has been showcasing all aspects of the production process chain for beverages, such as raw materials, technologies, logistics and marketing. Other members of the product family operate in important growth markets worldwide. Beviale Moscow, for example, is the first and only trade fair for the entire beverage industry in Eastern Europe. CRAFT BEER CHINA in Shanghai is becoming established as the gathering place for the Chinese craft beer community, while CRAFT BEER ITALY in Milan is the B2B platform for the Italian sector. The Beviale product family is also represented in Brazil, as the Feira Brasileira da Cerveja in Blumenau is “supported by BrauBeviale”. The latest edition to the family is CRAFT DRINKS INDIA in Bangalore.
    (NürnbergMesse GmbH)
    21.03.2018   Frutarom Now in the Top 5 Suppliers of Natural Colors     ( Company news )

    Company news Frutarom opens €5 million formulation center to answer growing demand for natural colors

    Frutarom has become one of the top five suppliers of natural colors worldwide following its acquisition of several natural colors companies, and major investments in building fully integrated, safe, and controlled supply chains. The company has experienced double-digit growth annually in the natural colorants segment.

    “Frutarom has taken full control of the supply chain through reverse integration in order to ensure safe, natural colorants, with complete traceability,” says Ori Yehudai, President and CEO of Frutarom. “Placing the customer at the focal point of our business allowed us to effect true change in how the company engages with partners and farmers, while maintaining complete transparency.”

    Frutarom initiated dozens of agriculture collaborations with local farmers in multiple locations and countries to ensure the supply of continuous and sustainable natural sourcing of pigments and food colorings. In addition, the company has increased the technical competencies for its already expansive extract capabilities. Frutarom-owned facilities located near the farms. This is how the company ensures transparency and traceability from the farm to the final product, as well reducing environmental impacts and ensuring responsible sourcing to customers. The company can assure secure supply, meet volume demands, safeguard product quality, and provide seamless service at every juncture.

    “This strategic move to become a major player in natural colors globally took only three years but we put immense efforts and investments to do it right, and beneficial to the local farmers and our employees,” adds Yehudai.

    Frutarom recently opened a natural color formulations center at its Etol plant in Celje, Slovenia, to provide its European customers full, customized service. The center will help clients with natural colors application, creating natural flavor combinations, and utilization of its advanced beverage compound technologies for creating innovative, sustainable food and beverage products with an eye on the competitive edge. Frutarom invested €5 million in advanced equipment and technology for the new facility.

    The new formulation hub will serve 15,000 Frutarom’s customers in Europe—about 50% of the company’s global customers. The Etol facility provides extensive expertise in flavors and formulation development. The 90-year-old company was acquired by Frutarom in 2012.

    “Etol has a solid reputation of successful cooperation with food and beverage customers in creating new flavor solutions,” says Yehudai. “Frutarom Etol is expanding its offerings to include a full range of natural colors manufactured with advanced technologies. Natural colors are much more challenging than synthetic colors in terms of their sensitivity, and if not incorporated correctly can be less stable in food and beverage applications.”

    “Frutarom makes it possible to bridge the gap between consumers who want natural, sustainable products in which they can understand and identify each ingredient with food manufacturer’s need to create a new, functional, tasty product with natural coloring,” explains Yehudai.
    (Frutarom Industries Ltd)
    20.03.2018   Crown's Thermochromic 'Reveal' Ink Technology Makes Commercial Debut With Coca-Cola    ( Company news )

    Company news As competition for consumer attention and loyalty intensifies, brands are increasingly turning to packaging to achieve differentiation on retail shelves and enhance engagement. To deliver an interactive experience to consumers before, during and after consumption, Coca-Cola has rolled out cans of Coke, Coke Zero, Fanta and Sprite in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia featuring Reveal temperature sensitive inks.

    The result of collaboration between Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East and Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI), Reveal inks allow graphics to change to ‘reveal’ specific imagery and messaging during consumption. Two thermochromic inks appear at the same time when the can is cold, but as the cold product is consumed, one ink disappears. This technology provides one ambient ‘original’ image, one ‘cold’ image and as the consumer drinks the contents of the can, a third image appears, offering the perfect vehicle to hide a message.

    Coca-Cola featured four specific messages - one per brand – to engage with its customers in a fun, unique manner. Cans are decorated to include either a person or cartoon-style animal, from which a speech bubble emanates to hold the thermochromic messaging which appears when the can is chilled. An interactive quick response (QR) code beneath the image links to exclusive video content, driving traffic to the brand’s website.

    The application represents the first commercial use of Reveal inks.
    (Crown Holdings Inc.)
    19.03.2018   Australia: AB InBev's Carlton and United Breweries to invest heavily in its Cascade brewery    ( )

    Australia’s Carlton and United Breweries, part of AB InBev, has announced a A$10.3 mln (US$8 mln) capital investment in Cascade to create a ‘craft brewing hub’ for the Asia Pacific region, reported on February 27.

    The investment will significantly increase Cascade’s brewing capability at its Tasmania base and ‘launch Cascade as one of Australia’s leading craft breweries’, according to the company. Production will increase by 65%.

    “Cascade will expand its craft brewing options, including brewing experimental beers for our Australian and Asia Pacific region operations,” says Carlton and United Breweries.

    “It will also brew a number of beers from some of the world’s leading craft brands.”

    Established in 1824, Cascade Brewery Co is Australia’s oldest brewery, and uses Tasmanian water from Mount Wellington and Tasmanian grown hops and barley.

    Carlton and United Breweries says the investment demonstrates its long-term commitment to the brand and to Tasmania, with the expansion securing existing jobs and creating five full-time positions.

    The Tasmanian Government made a A$1 mln contribution to the upgrade.

    Beers brewed at Cascade will be distributed across Australia, as well as being exported to Asia Pacific.

    Anita Holdsworth has been appointed as Cascade’s brewery manager: the first female to hold the position.

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