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    15.01.2018   Beviale Family to collaborate with Doemens and VLB Berlin    ( Company news )

    Company news As of now, NürnbergMesse Group is collaborating with Doemens Akademie in Gräfelfing near Munich and VLB (Research and Teaching Institute for Brewing) in Berlin. The Beviale Family – which includes the events BrauBeviale, Beviale Moscow, CRAFT BEER ITALY, CRAFT BEER CHINA and Feira Brasileira da Cerveja – will now benefit from a framework agreement on international collaboration signed by NürnbergMesse, Doemens and VLB Berlin during the premiere of CRAFT BEER ITALY.

    “We are very proud that we have been able to get these two renowned education and training establishments on board as partners for our product family,” explains Peter Ottmann, CEO of NürnbergMesse Group, underlining the international appeal of both institutes. “We look forward to working with our international sponsors, who will provide inspiration and ideas as they play an active role in shaping our network and Beviale Family events in the future.” Through this alliance, NürnbergMesse is underpinning its expertise in the beverage industry on the worldwide market. “This is the ideal alliance for the ongoing development of our portfolio in beverage technology,” says the CEO of NürnbergMesse Group Dr Roland Fleck.

    Doemens also expects positive synergies in the future. “The collaboration with the Beviale Family on an international stage underscores the international expertise of Doemens Akademie. We are proud to support the internationalisation strategy of the Beviale product family and help drive it forward to the advantage of all parties,” says Dr Werner Gloßner, Managing Director of Doemens Akademie.

    The alliance will open up new avenues for all parties, and VLB Berlin is also looking forward to interesting opportunities. “This new collaboration is an outstanding opportunity to continue to develop our common strengths in the craft beer sector at international level,” says VLB Managing Director Dr Josef Fontaine. “The successful launch of CRAFT BEER ITALY has more than confirmed this view.”

    Beviale Family: International expertise in the beverage industry
    The NürnbergMesse Group demonstrates its expertise in the beverage industry on an international stage. The original 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: raw materials, technologies, logistics and marketing. Other members of the product family are operating 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”. Other projects are in the planning phase.
    (NürnbergMesse GmbH)
    15.01.2018   The world prepares for celebrations to mark International Scotch Day on February 8th    ( Company news )

    Company news Scotch, the world’s favourite whisky, will be celebrated across the globe on Thursday 8th February with a series of events to mark International Scotch Day.

    Now in its second year, the day is a true celebration of Scotland’s greatest gift, cementing Scotch’s status as both the world’s favourite whisky and the perfect drink to be shared with good company, wherever, whenever.

    Celebrations will take place in homes, bars, clubs and events across the world, as Scotch aficionados, enthusiasts and fans alike raise a glass to their favourite whisky.

    Ronan Beirne, Global Brand Marketing Director at Diageo said: “Last year we launched International Scotch Day and its huge success proved what we at Diageo already knew – the world loves Scotch. This year is going to be even bigger, with celebrations taking place globally, from Scotch Whisky tastings to opening the doors to Diageo’s archive in Scotland, free passes to distillery visitor centres and celebrity events in cities from Manila to Johannesburg”.

    International Scotch Day is an opportunity to celebrate the world’s favourite whisky and to shine a spotlight on the entire Scotch Whisky category. The popularity of Scotch has been built through its integrity, quality and authenticity, and no other spirit can offer as diverse a range of tastes, textures and flavours.

    Ewan Gunn, Global Scotch Whisky Master from Diageo commented: ““Scotch is made all the way across Scotland - from the romantic west coast, through the whisky heartland of Speyside, to the vibrant urban central belt of Scotland, and though it is made here, it belongs to the world and is truly the world’s favourite whisky. Hosting International Scotch Day for a second year shows how confident we are about the popularity of this truly international drink.”

    2018 celebrity ambassadors and global locations will be revealed in February.
    (Diageo plc)
    12.01.2018   Molson Coors Acquires Aspall    ( Company news )

    Company news Strengthens Molson Coors’ position in the UK’s fast-growing market for premium cyders and supports Company’s portfolio premiumisation strategy

    Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP; TSX: TPX) announced the expansion of its cider portfolio through the acquisition of Aspall Cyder Limited.

    Molson Coors and Aspall, the award-winning premium cyder1 brand, are pleased to announce they are coming together in what is the latest milestone in the Suffolk cider company’s illustrious history. The acquisition brings together two companies with a passion for building extraordinary brands and similar family-orientated ownership structures, with close to 650 years of combined experience in operating excellence.

    Founded in 1728 by Clement Chevallier and run by the eighth generation of his family, Aspall is an established premium brand of quality and provenance. The company’s high-quality portfolio strengthens Molson Coors’ position in a fast-growing market for premium cider in the UK. Aspall also produces leading specialty vinegars, including Aspall Organic Cyder vinegar, which is made using a fermentation process that is the only one of its kind in the world.

    Aspall operates from a single site in the parish of Aspall, Suffolk, where the Chevallier family first planted the orchards at Aspall Hall. Members of the family will remain part of the business and will play a key role in shaping the strategic direction of Aspall, ensuring that it remains a cornerstone of the surrounding community.

    Through its industry-leading expertise in marketing, distribution and logistics, Molson Coors is ideally positioned to grow the business in the UK and establish a leading presence for the Aspall brand in key markets around the world. Molson Coors will be investing in Aspall’s Suffolk operation, helping further the founding family’s ambition to redefine the cider category by giving more consumers the opportunity to taste and develop an appreciation for the genuinely premium nature of high-quality cider.

    Phil Whitehead, Managing Director of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to add Aspall to the Molson Coors portfolio. Both companies share a similar history that is deeply rooted in family, dedication to customers and a commitment to excellence. The Chevallier’s have been producing cyder for almost 300-years and their range of brands enhances our existing portfolio. We’re now looking forward to helping Aspall become the number one premium cyder in the UK and building on the huge potential of the Aspall vinegars, as part of an ongoing strategy to premiumise our portfolio.”

    Barry Chevallier Guild, Aspall Chairman, said: “This is an important milestone in Aspall’s long history and a proud day for everyone involved with the company. Having been in close discussions with Molson Coors for over a year, we were delighted to find that they share our rich heritage, passion for making quality cyder and vision for the future development of Aspall and its people. Molson Coors is known for respecting the provenance of local brands it has acquired in the past, and has the scale and expertise to accelerate our growth in the premium cider category in the UK and beyond.”

    Henry Chevallier Guild added “There is a real opportunity to elevate and grow the status of English cyder in the UK and abroad both as a beverage and as an excellent partner for food. We believe that Molson Coors investment will provide the catalyst to grow Aspall and build the recognition for quality cider worldwide.”

    Volume of cyder sales at Aspall grew by 10% in 2016. The UK cider market is a substantial industry that is in value growth. The total cider market value grew by over 25% between 2010 and 2015 and is projected to continue that growth through until 2020 according to data from Nielsen2. Aspall will operate as part of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, within the Molson Coors European business unit and will continue to press, ferment, keg and bottle at the Cyder House in Aspall, Suffolk.
    (Molson Coors Brewing Company (UK) Limited)
    11.01.2018   Join ACI's 3rd European Food & Beverage Plastic Packaging Summit taking place on ...     ( Company news )

    Company news ...14th & 15th March 2018 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands!

    This edition will focus on the best strategies for sustainable packaging including recycling and packaging performance, with a stronger focus on the brands and retailers, who will share their thoughts and information on consumer experience and demands for next generation of packaging.

    Furthermore, the conference will also explore the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package, and its impact in the entire supply chain dynamics as well as use of bioplastics, biodegradable & compostable plastics, as well as the latest innovations in the market for printing and labelling.

    Key Topics Include:
    -Market trends for sustainable packaging in 2018 and beyond
    -Latest innovations in design, manufacturing, additive and convertor technology
    -Case studies from retailers/brands on packaging and design needs in the food & beverage industry
    -What does the European Commission circular economy package mean for the plastics packaging supply chain
    -Expectations and targets of EU waste legislation on packaging and packaging waste
    -Analysis and comparison of performance materials in different applications
    -Advancing plastics converters and manufacturer's capabilities and technologies
    -Life cycle assessments and environmental impact
    (Active Communications International (ACI Europe))
    10.01.2018   Douglas Laing Announces Timorous Beastie Special Edition Aged 10 Years Old    ( Company news )

    Company news Douglas Laing & Co, Glasgow-based family Scotch Whisky firm, announces the launch of Timorous Beastie 10 Years Old Limited Edition Highland Malt Scotch Whisky.

    Bottled at 46.8% and offered without colouring or chill-filtration, the special bottling is a marriage of single malts exclusively from the Highland region, packaged in a premium, gun-metal-grey foiled gift tube. Its colour palette is said to reflect the traditional 10 year anniversary metal; aluminium.

    The original Timorous Beastie, immortalised in the famous poem “To a Mouse” was a timid yet characterful field mouse, by whom Scots poet Robert Burns was fascinated. Douglas Laing & Co launched its Timorous Beastie brand in 2014 in honour of the iconic “beastie”, and has since enjoyed global success with its aged limited editions series, including the acclaimed 40 years old edition, rated 91 points by Whisky Fun’s Serge Valentin.

    Commenting on the launch, Chris Leggat, Commercial Director says:
    “The latest addition to our Timorous Beastie family, our 10 Years Old special edition launches at an opportune time for Burns Night celebrations. The exciting new brand extension is a key activation within our global Timorous Beastie strategy for quarter 1, which encompasses a raft of “Malt of the Month” listings for the core brand, a series of whisky-paired Burns Suppers and a comprehensive digital plan that will seek to recruit new consumers to our accessible Highland Malt brand.”

    Timorous Beastie 10 Years Old is available from specialist Whisky retailers globally and coming soon to

    Tasting notes
    The nose is immediately sugary sweet, bursting with warm syrup over sponge and ripe, juicy nectarines. The palate brings creamy honey, warm buttered toast, gentle spice and a distinct cereal character. All that leads to a deliciously full finish of honeycomb, zesty orange and soft fruits.
    (Douglas Laing & Co.)
    10.01.2018   T.I.G. at Interplastica 2018    ( Company news )

    Company news Solutions for digitalisation and Industry 4.0 are of critical importance for plastics processors worldwide.Adherence to schedules, cost reduction and resource optimization are requirements that modern manufacturing companies have to face these days, in order to better survive a world of digital upheaval. Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) play a key role in the factory of the future.

    “authentig” is the modular MES-solution for the plastic processing industry. More than 300 customers from the automotive industry, medical technology, electrical and packaging industry rely on the innovative industry solution of T.I.G. with over 10.000 networked injection moulding machines, rubber machines or recycling machines.

    Focal point: “smart production – solutions”
    “You can really sense the increasing interest in MES”, says Wolfgang Frohner, CEO of Technische Informationssysteme GmbH. At the touch of a button, cockpits customised for specific industries give authentig MES users access to real-time productivity, delivery data and quality information throughout the enterprise. By providing an optimal link between the ERP system and production, authentig integrates all manufacturing-specific data in a single system, thus driving measurable improvements in productivity, reducing the number of rejects and enabling high-quality process documentation.

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

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

    Smart factory becomes reality
    “In the future, plastics processors will have an easy option for setting up communication between injection moulding machines, peripheral devices and the MES,” says Frohner. “They will no longer need special solutions for this.”authentig MES meets all Industry 4.0 requirements, ideally supporting the implementation of forward-looking technologies such as Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Software as a Service. Deploying authentig makes the smart factory a reality. It connects employees, intelligent warehousing systems, machine components and robots. This active machine communication simplifies value creation processes. Manufacturing planning and operational data are organised in a flexible, simple and scalable way to support task-oriented distribution. Innovative driver technology ensures trouble-free machine connections. authentig impresses with state-of-the-art design and an uncomplicated, intuitive user interface.

    As a pioneer and development partner, T.I.G. is the first MES provider to offer software for testing and validating the new EUROMAP-77 interface, which machine manufacturers can download free of charge.

    T.I.G. at Interplastica 2018: Hall 2 (Level 1), ENGEL stand B23
    (T.I.G. - Technische Informationssysteme GmbH)
    09.01.2018   Australia: Leading brewers hit back at calls for ‘radical’ alcohol tax policy changes    ( )

    Australia’s beer barons have hit back at calls for a “radical” policy shift that would hike the tax on draught beer by up to 500 per cent and reduce Australia’s alcohol consumption, the Illawarra Mercury reported on January 4.

    The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) wants draught beer to be taxed at the same rate as bottles and cans, rather than the discounted tax rate it now enjoys. FARE says this would raise an extra A$2.9 billion while cutting alcohol consumption by more than nine per cent.

    But the brewing lobby has blasted the plan as “lazy and flawed”.

    Brewers Association of Australia (BAA) CEO Brett Heffernan said tax was already the “single most expensive ingredient in beer”.

    “Firstly, when it comes to cheap alcohol products, beer is not one of them,” he said.

    “Secondly, price is not a pressure point for those who misuse alcohol. It’s lazy and flawed policy ... it penalises the vast majority who drink responsibly while doing nothing for those few at risk of harm.”

    He claimed Australians already pay heavy tax on beer.

    “Any Aussie venturing overseas who has slicked their thirst with a cleansing ale knows we pay a premium for beer in Australia.”

    BAA represents brewing giants Carlton & United, Cooper and Lion.

    FARE’s plan proposes tax on light beer at pubs be increased five-fold, tax on mid-strength beer be doubled and tax on full-strength beer tax be increased by half.
    09.01.2018   China: Tsingtao, China Resources Beer shares jump on inaccurate report of beer prices hike    ( )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    But these weekly classes are an act of rebellion.

    Home-brewing is illegal in Thailand.

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

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

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

    Most brew in Asia, but not all.

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

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

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

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

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

    "That's my vision."

    Chit's "vision" started with two flops.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    By mid-afternoon, the bar is packed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The risks are starting to pay off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news ... diaphragm valve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news Designed for creative graphic applications and luxury packaging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Tribology Gold Medal Award is also known as the “Tribology Nobel prize”, because it is awarded in a manner similar to the Nobel prize procedure.
    The prize was presented for the first time in 1972 and has been awarded to 38 people from 12 countries.
    (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Company news ... declines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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