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drinktec 2021: strong topics and strong demand

drinktec 2021: strong topics and strong demand  (drinktec)

- Four main topics focusing on the future of the industry
- High demand from abroad

With one and a half years left until drinktec 2021 kicks off, preparations are well and truly in full swing. The world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry will provide insights into the industry’s future by focusing on four main topics: Sustainable Production & Packaging, Consumer World & Product Design, Water & Water Treatment, and Digital Solutions & Digital Transformation. Despite the coronavirus crisis, demand both within Germany and from abroad is stronger than ever, with the majority of the available floorspace having already been snapped up. drinktec will be held from October 4 to 8, 2021, at the Munich trade fair.

“Despite the fact that drinktec has been postponed until October 2021 and despite the coronavirus crisis, demand for the available floorspace, primarily from abroad, is considerably higher compared to the same point in time for the previous event”, explains Exhibition Director Markus Kosak. “It is clear that our clients have high hopes that the event, set to take place in the fall next year, will boost international business. It goes without saying that the earlier clients register, the greater their chance of securing the area that they want.” Companies keen on registering can still do so online.

Four main topics focusing on the future of the industry
In view of recent market developments, the exhibition team and the drinktec Advisory Board have, together with the Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association of the VDMA (German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association), identified four main topics. These will have a huge influence on the content of drinktec 2021 and will shape the special focus areas, the exhibition area and the expert panel discussions in the forums.

Main topic: Sustainable Production & Packaging
Do paper bottles already exist?
Beverage producers are already adopting a proactive approach as energy-efficient machines are an absolute must in production. Individual components that can also be retrofitted at any time have the power to improve consumption data. Innovative lubricants, for example based on algae, could potentially also turn out to be game changers in the future.

Sustainability is also the name of the game when it comes to beverage packaging: PET bottles made from 100% recycled material, the material used for caps, and the recycling of bottles which feature direct-to-bottle printing will also have a bearing on the industry in 2021. Packaging developers are also increasingly thinking outside of the box. Paper bottles, which are currently still at the prototype stage, have the potential to provide an innovative and environmentally-friendly form of packaging. As fully recyclable materials, glass and metal continue to be attractive options. It will be interesting to see if cardboard and bag-in-box solutions become more popular, in particular in light of ever-changing consumer behavior.

Main topic: Consumer Landscape & Product Design
Juices that are more like teas
Natural ingredients, a reduced sugar content and organic products are currently on trend with consumers and influence their purchasing decisions. Market researchers from Mintel Group are reporting that producers are blurring the lines between juices and teas as well as smoothies and cold soups. Vegan protein shakes are also set to provide new and inspirational flavor profiles. At the same time, people are increasingly enjoying beverages at home as a result of restrictions imposed due to the spread of the coronavirus. This has led to increased demand for wine as well as new and creative beer styles. This is having a positive effect on the alcoholic product segment. It is still difficult to say whether and exactly how consumer behavior will change due to and after the spread of the coronavirus. However, one thing is for sure: beverage producers need to factor in people’s desire for transparency. Ingredients and their origins need to be consistently tracked along their journey all the way through to consumers – for example with blockchain solutions.

Main topic: Water & Water Management
Industrial water 4.0
Water management is one of the most urgent and pressing issues for many beverage producers who have to deal with limited availability of this precious raw material. There are two key points regarding beverage production which will be of particular interest to drinktec attendees: the treatment of product water and the economical use of process water.

Cloud solutions and real-time monitoring of the production systems involved provide opportunities for carrying out swift analyses and interventions. These measures can all be grouped under the term “industrial water 4.0”, which for example involves the use of improved sensor technology and process simulations to provide practical criteria for making swift decisions and to enable flexible approaches to using facilities.

Main topic: Digital Solutions & Digital Transformation
Artificial intelligence-led production
Connectivity is becoming increasingly important even in classic beverage production processes. Tools for simulating machine designs have already made a good name for themselves. Beverage producers are given an extensive insight into machine designs well before they are installed. In order to achieve highly automated production, data from the environment (such as the weather and its influence on beverage consumption) are incorporated into production with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) calculations. Digital solutions ultimately ensure that all the participants along the supply chain are connected: machine manufacturers with beverage producers, and beverage producers with their logistics providers, suppliers and, not least, consumers.

More background information on the main topics will be continuously provided in the drinktec blog and via the drinktec social media channels.
(Messe München GmbH)

Cancellation of Beviale Moscow 2020

Cancellation of Beviale Moscow 2020  (Company news)

In view of the current development in Russia regarding the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), Beviale Moscow 2020 must finally be cancelled. The event has initially been postponed to Wednesday September 2nd to Friday September 4th 2020.

The Moscow Government has decided to transform the “Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center” into a temporary hospital until the end of this year, in order to cushion potential new infection outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic in Moscow / Russia. Due to these circumstances, it is impossible to organize the exhibition as scheduled.

A new date for Beviale Moscow 2021 is to be scheduled soon. Negotiations are still ongoing.

“We sincerely hope to have all our exhibitors, visitors and partners aboard for Beviale Moscow 2021 again as we have missed not only its 5th anniversary but also its most successful edition this year” says Thimo Holst, Manager Beviale Moscow. “We are open and thankful for any kind of concerns, questions or remarks.”

Beviale Family: International expertise in the beverage industry
NürnbergMesse Group demonstrates its expertise in the beverage industry on an international stage: BrauBeviale in Nuremberg is one of the world’s most important capital goods fairs for the beverage industry. The Beviale Family is also active in about ten countries around the world in a number of event formats and cooperative marketing arrangements, all tailored to the individual target market. Members of the Beviale Family and network partners are operating in the key growth markets. The “international sponsors” of the Beviale Family are Doemens Akademie and the VLB (Versuchs- und Lehranstalt für Brauerei), the Berlin-based teaching and training institute for brewing. Other projects are in the planning phase.
(NürnbergMesse GmbH)

SIG makes ASI-certified aluminium standard for customers in Europe

SIG makes ASI-certified aluminium standard for customers in Europe  (Company news)

SIG announces another milestone in its ambition to go Way Beyond Good for society and the environment by offering ASI-certified aluminium as standard for all SIG packs in Europe.

Another industry first from SIG
SIG is the first in the industry to obtain certification to both the ASI (Aluminium Stewardship Initiative) Performance and Chain of Custody standards and is the only aseptic carton producer to offer ASI-certified aluminium in its packs.

The first ASI-labelled cartons were launched by customers such as B-Better® (from Unilever’s Better Future Platform), Riedel and DRINKS3 in 2019. Now, ASI-certified aluminium will come as standard for all SIG packs in Europe. The new aluminium standard will be introduced in June, starting with customers launching new products or designs.

„ASI certification helps to drive improvements for people and the environment throughout the aluminium value chain,” said Carsten Haerup Christensen, Vice President Cluster Europe at SIG. “And it offers SIG customers another credible label, alongside FSCTM certification for paper board, to show consumers that they are committed to responsible sourcing of their packaging.”

As part of its commitment to offer customers 100% renewable packaging, SIG has already developed the industry’s first aluminium-free solutions and is working to eliminate aluminium from its packs. But an ultra-thin barrier layer of aluminium foil (ten times thinner than a human hair) is still needed for a number of shelf-stable products filled in SIG packs to protect them from light and oxygen, and keep products like fruit juices safe and nutritious.

Certification to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) standards demonstrates that aluminium comes from responsible sources. ASI certification aims to enhance traceability and responsibility in the aluminium supply chain through audits against strict standards on ethical, environmental and social criteria.

To help track responsibly sourced aluminium, SIG has a tracking system in place that is audited to maintain certification.

Responsible sourcing commitment
Sourcing raw materials from certified responsible sources is an established pillar of SIG’s commitment to go Way Beyond Good for society and the environment. The company’s target is to source 100% of the key raw materials in its packs from certified sources by the end of 2020.

Since 2016, customers have been able to include the FSCTM label on any of SIG’s cartons to show that the wood used to manufacture the paper board is from sustainably managed forests and other controlled sources.

With ASI-certified aluminium as standard from now on, SIG customers in Europe have the option to include the ASI label on packs, to show consumers that they are using responsibly-sourced aluminium in their packaging. This adds value for SIG customers by further enhancing the sustainability credentials of their packaging in the eyes of consumers.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

BIOTECON Diagnostics launches Real-Time PCR Cycler Dualo 32® for optimal quality control...

BIOTECON Diagnostics launches Real-Time PCR Cycler Dualo 32® for optimal quality control...  (Company news)

... in the beer and beverage industry

Highly sophisticated yet compact instrument enables simultaneous detection of 30+ beer spoilage organisms

BIOTECON Diagnostics is pleased to announce the release of its own newly developed real-time PCR cycler, the Dualo 32®, a robust 32-well solution that has been optimized for all beer and beverage applications. It not only offers convenience but also facilitates process and end-product quality control by answering multiple questions in a single run. The Dualo 32® in combination with our foodproof® Beer Screening Kits and foodproof® Spoilage Yeast Detection Kits can detect more than 30 of the most important beer spoilage bacteria and several spoilage yeasts.

“With the ever-expanding brewing industry, there is a definite need for quality management and early preventative controls to reduce the risk of product spoilage. We have long been in the business of developing and introducing kits and instruments to the market that alleviate the impact of contamination. Our new Dualo 32®, with its small footprint, is capable of dealing with the entire complexity of our PCR diagnostics portfolio for the brewing industry, which includes all relevant beer-spoiling bacteria, spoilage yeasts, Legionella and Alicyclobacillus,” said Dr. Kornelia Berghof-Jäger, CEO of BIOTECON Diagnostics.

“Operating with high end technology for outstanding instrument performance and reproducible results, the Dualo 32® is perfect for maintaining consistent quality control at all stages of the brewing process. It has everything a brewer needs and can run multiplex kits with up to four channels. The full spectrum optics of the user-friendly Dualo 32® enable the flexible use of hydrolysis as well as hybridization probes, so it is able to identify all the main beer spoilers by melting curve analysis. With a faster time to result, its accessible functionality, clear data interpretation and intuitive technology, the Dualo 32® truly is the perfect lab companion,” concluded Dr. Kornelia Berghof-Jäger.

In addition to cyclers, detection and screening kits, BIOTECON Diagnostics also provides several DNA extraction kits for all kinds of brewery matrices and for different sample throughput rates such as the foodproof® StarPrep Two Kit, which has higher sensitivity, includes mechanical disruption and is also suitable for users who work with foodproof® Spoilage Yeast Detection LyoKits; or the foodproof® StarPrep Three Kit that has an easy and fast protocol but excludes mechanical disruption.

Key Features of the Real-Time PCR Cycler Dualo 32®:
- Robust 32-well instrument optimized for BIOTECON Diagnostics’ foodproof® Kits and LyoKits
- Simple workflow – intuitive software, preinstalled protocols for all testing parameters and automated report generation
- Dual technology - full spectrum optics for hybridization and hydrolysis probe assays
- Small footprint – perfect for labs with minimal space and small to medium throughput
- Competitive pricing - ideal entry model for labs introducing real-time PCR methods to ensure constant high quality of beer and beverages
(BIOTECON Diagnostics GmbH)

The Naked Collective strips drinks to the clean essentials

The Naked Collective strips drinks to the clean essentials  (Company news)

A new range of premium health drinks from UK beverage company The Naked Collective, based on a ‘clean and simple’ philosophy, are to be launched in infinitely recyclable 33cl Sleek aluminium cans from Ardagh Group.

Brewed from plants, vitamins and water – nothing else – The Naked Collective’s So-Beer non-alcoholic lagers and Mude isotonic drinks will appeal to the increasing number of consumers who are looking for alcohol-free and low-sugar options that actively meet specific health needs. The Light Lager and Grapefruit flavoured So-Beers boast minerals and complex B vitamins that arise naturally during the brewing process, while the Mude range is ‘built around your day’ with vitamin-based functionalities – chill, work, play, sleep, and immunoboost.

This emphasis on simplicity, health and premium positioning is reflected in the clean lines of Ardagh’s tall, slender 33cl Sleek can manufactured in the UK, which The Naked Collective has adopted for its whole product range. The Mude cans all have a white shell and blue tab, with each of the five flavours distinguished by a single, rich, nature-inspired colour on the can body, brought to new heights by a stunning ombré effect. The So-Beer packs are characterised by clean pastels on a high-impact black background, with Ardagh’s unique matte finish ensuring they stand out from existing health drink designs.

This head-turning, simple but sophisticated packaging was developed in partnership with Ardagh’s UK Graphics team. “The team at Ardagh have been outstanding,” says The Naked Collective Founder Niall Phelan. “The level of support, responsiveness and the general feeling that we are working with a true partner has made the entire process fun. So, as we extend our range and expand our market, we’re delighted Ardagh will be our partner on that journey.”

Dirk Schwung, Sales Director at Ardagh Group’s European Metal Beverage Business Unit, echoes this sense of partnership: “We’re proud to have helped The Naked Collective develop this fantastic aesthetic which communicates the premium product inside. Since the aluminium can is infinitely recyclable, it’s also great to see our pack contribute to this customer’s clean, minimalist philosophy and carbon-neutral stance.”

The aluminium can is also light to transport, and offers protection from air, light, leakage and breakage – extending product shelf life and reducing waste – making it the natural choice for a company with such strong green credentials. The Naked Collective also fills locally for both the Irish and UK markets to further reduce its transport emissions.

The Naked Collective’s Mude and So-Beer range will be introduced online in June and in major retailers in the UK and Ireland in July.
(Ardagh Metal Beverage UK Limited)


USA: More than half of America’s top 50 craft brewers posted volume growth in 2019  (

More than half of the top 50 Brewers Association-defined craft brewing companies posted volume growth in 2019, according to data published in the May/June edition of the not-for-profit trade group’s New Brewer magazine, Brewbound reported.

2019’s volume gains broke a streak of three consecutive years in which the majority of regional craft brewing companies — defined as those producing between 15,000 and six million barrels of beer annually — did not grow. In 2019, 27 of the top 50 small and independent breweries by volume posted positive volume growth, while 23 companies either declined or remained flat. In fact, regional breweries collectively posted 1% volume growth in 2019.

The total craft category, as defined by the BA, held steady at 4% volume growth in 2019, to a total of 26.3 million barrels. The growth number has hovered around 4% over the last three years, but continued growth remains uncertain due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. craft brewing industry.

The two largest craft breweries by volume in 2019 — D.G. Yuengling and Son and Boston Beer Company — both recorded volume declines in 2019. Yuengling’s nearly 2.7 million barrels were more than double Boston Beer’s estimated beer production of 1.75 million barrels. Sierra Nevada (+1%) was the only other BA-defined craft brewery producing more than 1 million barrels of beer.

The BA’s production figure for Boston Beer includes the Samuel Adams brand, but does not include those of its offerings such as Truly Hard Seltzer (the second best-selling hard seltzer on the market) and Twisted Tea, or offerings from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, which is ranked separately as the 13th largest craft brewery, growing 1%, to 277,727 barrels. Boston Beer and Dogfish Head completed their merger last July.

Boston Beer reported in February that it shipped a total of 5.3 million barrels of its entire portfolio of products in 2019.

Six of the top 10 craft breweries posted volume growth, including the aforementioned Sierra Nevada, New Belgium (+4%, 886,500 barrels), Firestone Walker (+16%, 525,294 barrels), Bell’s Brewery (+5%, 494,081), the Canarchy Craft Brewery Collective (+14%, 479,476 barrels) and Artisanal Brewing Ventures (+2%, 317,688 barrels).

2019 will be the final year in which New Belgium will be counted within the craft brewer data set as it no longer meets the BA’s definition after selling to Kirin-owned Lion Little World Beverages.

The only other top 10 craft breweries to record negative volume growth in 2019 were Shiner maker the Spoetzl Brewery (517,443 barrels) and Stone Brewing (395,000 barrels), which each declined 1%, which amounted to a loss of between 4,000 and 5,000 barrels for each brewery.

Firestone Walker accounted for all 10% of Duvel Moortgat USA’s growth, as volumes declined at both Boulevard Brewing (-3%) in Kansas City, Missouri, and Brewery Ommegang (-14%) in Cooperstown, New York.

Bend, Oregon-headquartered Deschutes Brewery fell out of the top 10 in 2019, as volumes declined 7%, to 2090,932 barrels. Brooklyn Brewery’s 282,000 barrels in 2019 was flat year-over year.

Other top 20 craft breweries growing volumes in 2019 included Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing (+7%), Wisconsin’s New Glarus Brewing (+2%), Minhas Craft Brewery (+19%), and Fort Collins, Colorado-headquartered Odell Brewing (+5%).

On the flip side, New York’s Saranac Brewery (-2%) and Boston’s Harpoon Brewery (-5%) both declined in 2019.

Growth was also harder to achieve for past fast-rising craft breweries. Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist Brewery, which crossed the 100,000-barrel threshold in 2018, increased volumes 6%, to 106,024 barrels in 2019. Popular Pennsylvania brewery Tröegs posted low single-digit growth of 3%, producing 105,096 barrels.

Iconic Portland, Maine craft brewery Allagash crossed the 100,000-barrel line in 2019, increasing volumes 8%, as did Rhode Island’s Narragansett Brewing Company.

Indiana’s Three Floyds (+15%, 97,750 barrels) and Seattle’s Georgetown Brewing (+16%, 96,579 barrels) both edged closer to the 100,000-barrel milestone.

Three top 50 craft breweries — Alaskan (-10%), 21st Amendment (-10%) and Shipyard (-25%) — recorded double-digit declines.

For many of the top 50, the story was steady mid- to low single-digit growth, such as San Diego’s Karl Strauss (+2%), Massachusetts’ Wachusett Brewing (+5%) and Houston’s Saint Arnold (+1%).

San Diego’s Modern Times Beer Co. rocketed into the top 50, growing volumes 36%, to 70,150 barrels. And after a year of flat volumes, Lost Coast Brewery grew 12%. The fortunes weren’t as good for other California breweries Bear Republic and North Coast, which declined 11% and 15%, respectively, and fell outside of the top 50 breweries.

Massachusetts continued to be a hub of craft growth, as Massachusetts’ Jack’s Abby (+15%), Lord Hobo (+25%), Night Shift (+21%), Wormtown (+27%) and Trillium (+32%) each recorded strong double-digit growth.

Volumes at Tree House Brewery declined an estimated 3%, to 43,000 barrels. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the company’s sales were made directly to consumers at its destination brewery, and Tree House ranked as the BA’s top taproom brewery by volume, nearly doubling the volume of the next largest taproom brewery, Covington, Kentucky’s Braxton Brewing Company, which increased its own volumes 96%, to 23,500 barrels.

Collectively, taproom breweries increased production 26% in 2019, the first year in which the BA broke out taprooms as a new brewer class — defined as those companies selling more than 25% of their beer onsite, lacking significant food service and producing fewer than six million barrels a year.

Among the sharpest of declines was for Utah’s Uinta Brewing, which declined 40%, to 47,540 barrels, after retrenching in recent years. San Diego’s Green Flash also continued its tumble, declining an estimated 26%, to 33,338 barrels, down from its peak in 2015 of 81,287 barrels.

Within the top 100 breweries, there were still pockets of strong double- and triple-digit growth, including Georgia’s Creature Comforts (+28%), New York’s Montauk Brewing (+23%), California’s Drake’s Brewing (+20%), Oregon’s Pelican Brewing (+20%), California’s Belching Beaver (+23%) and New Mexico’s Santa Fe (+17%). Scottish craft beer maker’s BrewDog continued their fast ascent in the U.S., increasing volumes 77%, to 43,559 barrels of beer.

California’s Russian River doubled production to 34,943 barrels in 2019, with the addition of its new facility in Windsor, growing 105%.

Outside of the top 100, fast movers included Oregon’s PFriem Family Brewers (+46%, to 29,095 barrels), New Jersey’s Cape May (+72%, to 27,922 barrels), Vermont’s Fiddlehead Brewing (+32%, to 26,628 barrels), Georgia’s Scofflaw Brewing (+86%, to 26,000 barrels), New York’s Sloop Brewing (+250%, to 25,300 barrels), Connecticut’s New England Brewing (+63%, to 25,000 barrels), Maine Beer Co. (+28%, to 24,996 barrels), New York’s Singlecut Beersmiths (+71%, to 24,000 barrels), Washington’s Reuben’s Brews (+47%, to 20,826 barrels) and Colorado’s Denver Beer Co. (+33%, to 20,808 barrels).

Microbreweries, companies producing fewer than 15,000 barrels, collectively grew volumes 6%. Just one of the top 10 microbreweries by volume declined in 2019: Minnesota’s Bent Paddle Brewing, down 17%.

The top four microbreweries — Ohio’s Jackie O’s (+7%), New York’s Other Half (+12%), Utah’s Moab Brewery (+11%) and California’s Almanac (+66%) — each produced 14,500 barrels. Other top 10 micros were also carving out strong growth, including California’s Heretic (+30%) and Dust Bowl (+23%) and North Carolina’s Sycamore (+113%), and each above 14,000 barrels.

The BA also shared volume data for regional craft breweries owned by large beer manufacturers, such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, Molson Coors, Constellation Brands, Craft Brew Alliance, Sapporo, Mahou San Miguel, Heineken and FIFCO USA. In 2019, those companies collectively produced an estimated 7.95 million barrels, a 2% decline from 2018.

A-B’s craft portfolio increased volumes 3%, to more than 2 million barrels. All but four of A-B’s 12 craft brands recorded volume growth in 2019. A-B’s two largest craft brands — Goose Island (-2%) and Shock Top (-24%) — as well as Blue Point (-2%) and Platform Beer Co. (-4%), which the company acquired in 2019, were all in decline.

Seattle-based Elysian continued its expansion (+11% to 245,000 barrels), as did Los Angeles’ Golden Road Brewing, which increased volumes 50%, and topped the 200,000-barrel mark for the first year, finishing 2019 at 240,000 barrels.

Other A-B brands growing included 10 Barrel (+10%), Breckenridge (+16%), Four Peaks (+14%), Devils Backbone (+6%), Karbach (+5%) and Wicked Weed (+50%).

Craft Brew Alliance, which A-B will acquire pending regulatory approval, increased volumes 1%, to 761,000 barrels, driven by the Kona brand.

Molson Coors’ craft brands collectively declined 5%, to 2.9 million barrels, as the company’s top two brands — Blue Moon (-3%) and Leinenkugel’s (-15%) — were both in the red.

Molson Coors’ other craft brands posted mixed results, with Saint Archer (+30%), Terrapin (+11%) and Hop Valley (+8%) in growth mode, and Revolver (-3%) in decline.

Heineken-owned Lagunitas increased volumes 3%, keeping the brand above the 1 million-barrel mark for the second consecutive year.

Michigan’s Founders Brewing Company, which is majority owned by Mahou San Miguel, posted modest 3% growth after years of double-digit growth. Founders closed out 2019 at 578,400 barrels. Mahou’s other U.S. craft brand, Colorado’s Avery Brewing, finished 2019 flat, at 54,732 barrels.

Constellation Brands, which offloaded San Diego’s Ballast Point to upstart Kings and Convicts, didn’t report production numbers for the brand in 2019, which had been steadily declining since peaking in 2016 at 430,917 barrels. Constellation’s other acquired craft brands — Florida’s Funky Buddha and Texas’ Four Corners — each grew 31% and 42%, respectively.

San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing, which was acquired by Japanese brewing company Sapporo Holdings in 2017, posted double-digit declines for the third consecutive year, dipping 25 percent, to 67,500 barrels, well below the company’s high water mark of 159,000 barrels in 2014.


EU: Up to a million of pre-paid beers waiting for consumers as soon as bars reopen  (

As bars across Europe gradually reopen, up to a million free or pre-paid beers are waiting to lure back wary consumers, WHTC News reported on June 4.

Beer makers from global giant Anheuser-Busch InBev to smaller craft brewers have set up schemes for consumers to buy drinks in advance to support shuttered bars with, in some cases, the reward of free beer when the doors reopen.

AB InBev launched its first scheme "Cafe Courage" in Belgium and has since sold over 200,000 Stella Artois, Jupiler and other brands. It also started similar schemes in 20 other markets across Europe and from Brazil to Hong Kong, raising over $6 million for pubs, bars and restaurants.

World number two Heineken put the number of drinks sold through its various voucher schemes at 270,000.

Now the bars are opening, consumers have had their first chance to redeem coupons or vouchers.

Danish friends Arendse Rohland and Thomas Hoffner Lovgren were among those to profit from free beers after bars re-opened there on May 18.

Danish brewer Carlsberg offered lagers in a bar to consumers who bought bottles or cans from stores in its "Adopt a Keg" scheme. The idea was to lure drinkers back with free drinks and hope that they would then buy more. Hoffner Lovgren and Rohland both seemed willing to do so.

"I rarely only drink one beer," Roland said after collecting a free drink at Carl's Ol & Spisehus in a Copenhagen suburb.

Drinkers elsewhere are now in line. France became the latest country on Tuesday to allow bars and restaurants to operate after the Netherlands on Monday. Ireland and Belgium are expected to follow later this month, with Britain in July.

Julian Marsili, Carlsberg global brand director, said its campaign would even continue into the summer.

"Travel will not be massive, at least outside Denmark, so we are encouraging people who want to adopt kegs to explore Denmark further in bars in the tourist places," he said.

The schemes have helped, but not made up the shortfall. In Britain, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said pubs could have recorded their best April in a decade, selling 745 million pints in unseasonably warm and sunny weather.

The issue is acute for brewers, with about a third of beer typically consumed in pubs, bars or cafes. In value terms, that can rise to 60-65%, according to Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, secretary general of the Brewers of Europe.

Beer sales in stores have risen, but well below the rate of wine and spirits and not enough to make up for the loss of on-premise drinking, according to U.S. data from marketing research firm Nielsen.

Reopened bars and restaurants will clearly not operate as they did before the coronavirus closures, with limited time at the bar or table service, shorter hours and measures to minimise contact between staff and customers and to keep customers apart.

Emma McClarkin, BBPA chief executive, said the social distancing gap made a big difference. Two metres, currently used in Britain, might only allow only a third of Britain's 47,000 pubs to reopen while a one-metre rule, deemed safe by the World Health Organization, would allow 75% to operate, she said.

Brewers have also been helping with some of the new hardware involved and learning from China, where restaurants and bars reopened from March.

Jan Craps, chief executive of Budweiser Brewing Co APAC, said the AB InBev Asian subsidiary had sent "welcome kits" including hand sanitizer, gloves, masks and advice to 50,000 bars and restaurants across China and 1,000 plastic screens to help smaller venues separate groups of customers.

Craps said the kits were being replicated in many other countries, such as the Americas where the brewer has its largest markets.

A study for the brewer of British pub-goers found 93% were keen to revisit their local and over a third intend to visit within a week of reopening. A majority also wanted to keep 2 metres away from strangers.

Business will not resume as before. Belgian cafe and restaurant owners expect on average 45% fewer customers as a result of social distancing measures and consumer wariness.

"It's not a back to normal situation... establishments now reopening will be reopening under pretty special conditions," Bergeron said.


Japan: Suntory Holdings predicts 20% of bars and restaurants could fail due to ...  (

... coronavirus pandemic

Takeshi Niinami, the head of Japanese drinks and food group Suntory Holdings and a government adviser, predicted on June 5 that more than 20% of bars and restaurants could fail due to the coronavirus pandemic, WHTC News reported.

Japan's vibrant dining scene, from tapas style izakaya pubs and restaurants to Tokyo's high-end eateries boasting the largest number of Michelin stars of any city, mostly shut down in April as the government declared a state of emergency.

Even with the emergency status lifted, many restaurants are reopening with caution and with limiting seating and opening hours as customers remain wary of dining out. Niinami said he feared the country's eating-out culture could be hurt for good.

"If you ask me how much will return, I'd say roughly, around 80% will be back," Niinami, an economic adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, told Reuters in an interview.

Niinami said that while the government's $1.1 trillion extra spending package approved last month was substantial, the government needed to be ready to provide more if a second wave of infections were to hit.

"I think it would be good to have 80% of them return, although of course I really want 100% back," he said. "Given the current coronavirus situation, what I'd like to see is for them to make it through the next two to three years until we can allow for more noisy, intimate get-togethers."

Privately-owned Suntory is dependent on the survival of Japan's dining industry, worth 25 trillion yen ($229 billion) by some estimates, as an outlet for its drinks including Yamazaki whisky and Laphroaig single malt Scotch as well as Premium Malt's beer.

The company is backing a new dining app called Saki-meshi, meaning meal in the future. It allows consumers to support their favourite restaurants by paying for meals up to 180 days in advance, to provide restaurants with much needed cash to survive until business returns.

Niinami added his weight to calls for easier access to coronavirus tests, to allow people to more confidently resume business activity.

The Japanese government has been widely criticised at home for its lack of testing, although the country appears so far to have escaped an explosive outbreak with around 910 deaths so far.

Safe installation and commissioning of diaphragm valves with GEMÜ PPF multifunction adapters

Safe installation and commissioning of diaphragm valves with GEMÜ PPF multifunction adapters  (Company news)

Picture: GEMÜ PPF multifunction adapter

GEMÜ PPF (Pressure, Passivation, Flushing) multifunction adapters can be used to prevent the penetration of foreign particles when installing diaphragm valves, resulting in enormous cost savings.

It is a basic fact that all installation work involving piping, such as the installation of valves, poses a risk of contamination. The entry of foreign matter or contaminants into piping systems can lead to the need to discard an entire batch of medicine, which can have a substantial impact on business. Even more serious, however, is the risk of contamination not being detected in time which could lead to patients being harmed.

Apart from the human risk, there is the added economic risk that foreign matter can cause plant components such as pumps and heat exchangers to become blocked or even damaged, resulting in interruptions to the process and impacting scheduling.

With static GEMÜ PPF (Pressure, Passivation, Flushing) multifunction adapters in 1.4435 stainless steel, the penetration of foreign particles during the installation of diaphragm valves is prevented. Immediately following disassembly of the actuator and diaphragm, the adapter is mounted on the valve body, thereby offering protection for the seat. The GEMÜ PPF must be removed after installation is complete but before sterilization of the plant. The sealing over the weir and to the outside is created by an EPDM seal, which is approved according to FDA and USP Class VI. The fixing method, as we know from diaphragm valves, uses four screws, or for a diaphragm size 100, eight screws. After the multifunction adapter has been mounted on the valve body, this can be used as a weld gas pipeline for welding the body. The subsequent introduction or conveying of the passivation media to protect the surface against corrosion can also be performed via an adapter.

For an endoscopic examination, a camera can be introduced into the piping system via the GEMÜ PPF connections, just as a tube can be connected for flushing. Because the adapter is constructed using the full spigot diameter, this design enables an optimal rinsing process. This can take place in both flow directions. A final pressure test can be performed with GEMÜ PPF up to an operating pressure of 16 bar.
The reusable multifunction adapters have been designed for various membrane sizes and are available from diaphragm sizes MG 8 to MG 100. This enables GEMÜ to offer a safe, convenient solution to prevent contamination or the penetration of foreign matter when installing valves in piping.
(GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)


Australia: Brewers Association calls for beer excise freeze  (

The Brewers Association has called for the Australian government to freeze excise in advance of the next scheduled increase, due in August, Australian Brews News reported on June 9.

The statement calling to ‘put a cap on Australia’s beer tax’ from the peak body representing the interests of CUB, Lion and Coopers, described the price of a beer in Australia as ‘already over-the-top’.

“Now is not the time to be ramping up taxes on consumers,” Brewers Association of Australia CEO Brett Heffernan said yesterday in a media release.

“With more and more Aussies out of work and everyone counting their pennies, jacking up beer tax would be another blow to punters and publicans, alike.

“August 1 is the deadline for averting the next hip-pocket slug to Australians doing it tough.”

“Tax accounts for 42% of the price of a stubby. On a typical A$52.00 carton, A$22.05 goes to the taxman. When it comes to taxing a drink, Aussies pay the fourth highest beer tax in the industrialised world.

“We’re not asking for a tax cut at this time … just don’t increase the tax. That would spare punters further pain, take pressure off hospitality venues and, because it’s revenue neutral, won’t cost Treasury a cent.

“Putting up the tax in August would be another hit to pubs, clubs and the hundreds of thousands of Australians they need to re-employ once they can re-open in full. Higher taxes will only make that challenge harder when so many are on their knees.”

The BA’s calls for an excise freeze were broadly supported by the Independent Brewers Association.

“The financial impost on brewers in this country is certainly not enabling the industry to prosper and grow so in that respect, I agree with Brett’s comments,” Independent Brewers Association General Manager Kylie Lethbridge said.

“Obviously the impact of this current tax regime on independent brewers is somewhat greater as most are small, family-owned businesses where every cent counts.”

The broad agreement over excise appears to be as far as the agreement goes, with Heffernan recently criticising the IBA’s arguments for more targeted support as ‘concocted’.

Heffernan made the comments in a letter to the editor while responding to an article in the Canberra Times in which IBA Chair Peter Phillip set out the challenges facing independent brewers.

“Indie brewers are at a massive competitive disadvantage to the multi-national mega-brewers because our beer is handcrafted, which means we employ 15 times the number of employees per litre of beer,” Phillip said in the article.

In his response, titled All Froth, No Beer, Heffernan dismissed the small brewers employment case as being ‘concocted’.

“It goes some way to explaining why indie beer is so expensive. It also illustrates the lengths you have to go to in order to concoct an economic argument,” he wrote.

“The call for wine-type tax rebates isn’t the answer. This perpetual handout is distortionary, rewards mediocrity and does nothing for punters. Governments of all persuasions have learned that costly lesson. They are loath to repeat it,” he argued.

“The best thing government can do for everyone looking for relief and recovery – consumers, brewers and hospitality – is freeze the next round of beer tax increases for a year.”

The Independent Brewers Association has previously called for the Federal government to introduce excise rebates for small brewers that match the A$350,000 tax relief provided to wine makers.

While the Brewers Association highlighted Australia’s high rate of excise as being the reason for Australia’s ‘over the top’ beer prices, AB InBev last year also noted Australia’s highly concentrated beer market was amongst the most profitable in the world as it looked to sell its local operations.


USA: Craft Brew Alliance plans divestment of Kona Brewing operations in Hawaii to get ...  (

... approval for merger with AB InBev

Craft Brew Alliance announced on June 10 plans to divest of its Kona Brewing operations in Hawaii in an effort to gain regulatory approval for its planned merger with Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brewbound reported.

Contingent upon CBA’s combination with A-B closing later this year, Kona’s operations in Hawaii — including its brewpubs in Kailua-Kona and Honolulu, as well as its under-construction 30,000 sq. ft., 100,000-barrel brewery — would be sold to PV Brewing Partners, a partnership between former A-B president Dave Peacock and Overland Park, Kansas-based family office VantEdge Partners.

The rights to the Kona brand in the other 49 states and international markets would go to A-B in the CBA deal. The world’s largest beer manufacturer would manage the Kona brand, its brewing, production, innovation and distribution outside of Hawaii.

“We are committed to working with regulators and facilitating the successful review and close of our expanded partnership with A-B,” Andy Thomas, CEO of CBA, said in a press release. “We are delighted to have found a strong buyer that will continue to nurture the spirit of the Kona brand in Hawaii and offer its employees, who will remain part of Kona’s Hawaii operations, further opportunities for growth and development.”

Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis, president of A-B’s Brewers Collective, added in the release: “While our shared vision for the expanded partnership between CBA and A-B did include CBA’s Hawaii operations, we are still optimistic about the ability of CBA and A-B to offer more consumers, in more communities, even more choices as a result of this expanded partnership. We are confident that PV Brewing will continue investing and driving economic growth in Kona’s communities in Hawaii.”

A-B agreed to purchase the remaining shares in CBA for $16.50 per share in November 2019. In early February, the U.S. Department of Justice requested additional information about the merger. A-B and CBA expect their combination to receive approval by the end of 2020.

VantEdge Partners is led by Paul Edgerley and Terry Matlack. Their investment portfolio includes a stake in the Kansas City Royals, as well as 260 quick-serve restaurants, including Dunkin’, Taco Bell and Jamba Juice.

According to VantEdge’s website, the firm’s investment focus is to make initial equity investments between $20 million and $75 million or invest that much as a company grows. The transaction price is expected to be disclosed in an 8K filing.

PV Brewing marks Peacock’s return to the brewing industry as an investor. Peacock, who served as president of A-B from November 2008 through February 2012 and worked for the brewing giant for more than a decade, is the chairman of VantEdge subsidiary Vitaligent, the largest Jamba Juice franchisee. Peacock is also an advisory board member for the Schnuck Markets grocery chain, which operates 112 stores in the midwest.

“In the same way that CBA carried on the legacy of what Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa built at Kona, our number one priority is supporting Kona’s future on the Islands and ensuring the success of the brand there,” Peacock said in the release. “We are energized by this unique opportunity and are proud to support the continued growth of Kona in Hawaii with a new state-of-the-art brewery.”

Speaking with Brewbound, Thomas said the proposed deal has a two-fold outcome, facilitating the overall merger of CBA and A-B and then putting Kona in its home market in the hands of people who will “nurture the brand” and invest in it locally.

Thomas noted that a deal like this is not new in the brewing industry, citing the import brands such as Labatt (sold in the U.S. by FIFCO USA but owned globally by A-B), Modelo and Corona (sold in the U.S. by Constellation Brands by owned globally by A-B), and even CBA’s ownership of the Cisco Brewers brand everywhere but on Nantucket island in Massachusetts.

“We believe there’s aligned interest in working together to build the brand that’s good for Hawaii and good for outside of Hawaii,” Thomas explained. “So they’ll have full autonomy in Hawaii. They’ll be able to innovate. They’ll be able to create new local brands and new local beers that are appropriate to the market there. And if we’re so inclined, we might take those brands and do something with them elsewhere, and vice versa.

“We’ll continue to build and nurture the brand on the mainland and international markets, and they can choose to use some of that locally, if they want to, but they will not be required to. And there will be a set of agreed upon brand guidelines that will act as guardrails for how the brand is treated in his home market in Hawaii.”

Thomas told Brewbound that CBA discussed a potential sale of Kona’s Hawaii operations with several parties but was most intrigued by the interest from PV Brewing.

“When they kind of became part of the process we got really excited given Dave’s background, his understanding of beer, his understanding of the industry and VantEdge’s wherewithal to invest in consumer goods to understand the value of building brands locally,” Thomas said.

Upon completion of the deal, PV Brewing will employ Kona’s staff in Hawaii, including general manager Billy Smith, who will continue to lead the brewery’s operations. Additionally, PV Brewing will enter into a distribution agreement with A-B’s whole owned distributor in Hawaii.


Mexico: Grupo Modelo launches versions of Corona and Victoria beers containing ...  (

... just 1.8% alcohol

The Grupo Modelo beer company, which makes 17 brands of beer including Pacífico, Modelo and Corona, has added two new brands to its portfolio, versions of Corona and Victoria containing just 1.8% alcohol, the Mexico News Daily reported on June 9.

“At Grupo Modelo we are always looking to transform ourselves in order to give our consumers a wide variety of products for different consumption occasions,” said president Cassiano de Stefano on Monday. “Today a unique segment is born in Mexico that is characterized by its low alcohol content and that represents a historical event for two of the most important brands in the country.”

It’s not a coincidence that the two new brands were released during the coronavirus pandemic. Beer with less than 2% alcohol content is not considered an alcoholic beverage by the federal government and is thus marketable in municipalities that have enacted dry laws due to the coronavirus.

Victoria Chingones was also designed to help support more than 4,000 farmers affected by the halt to beer production after it was deemed a nonessential business, Grupo Modelo said.

Between 2013 and 2018, the total amount of beer consumed in Mexico, regardless of alcohol content, grew 56.2% with constant annual growth of 9.3%, a trend which is expected to continue in the future.


USA: Brewers bringing fewer new products to market amid coronavirus pandemic  (

Brewers are bringing fewer new products to market amid coronavirus concerns and a slowing economy, according to Sovos ShipCompliant label registration data for the months of April and May 2020, indicating these producers are doubling down on their existing product lines, reported on June 15.

Overall, producers and wholesalers in the beer, wine and spirits business registered 16,164 products through Sovos ShipCompliant’s Product Registration Online (PRO) system, while many bars, retailers and tasting rooms remained closed due to stay-at-home orders. This represents a drop of 2% over February and March and a 0.3% decrease year-over-year.

However, brewers felt the decline most sharply with 43.4% fewer new product registrations in April and May compared to the same time last year.

“The closure of tasting rooms beginning in mid-March left many industry producers struggling to make ends meet. Breweries, in particular, appear to have rallied around their core products rather than investing in seasonal or limited releases, as a way to cut costs,” said Larry Cormier, vice president, general manager of Sovos ShipCompliant. “Craft beer innovation takes place in the taproom. With limited retail shelf space, many newer brewers focus on taproom sales rather than traditional distribution. So when tasting rooms closed, the newest and smallest brewers took the biggest hit.”


Belgium: AB InBev launches new Victoria beer  (

AB InBev has launched a new beer, with a marketing story that attacks Duvel beer head-on, The Brussels Times reported on June 8.

The new beer, called “Victoria” is a blond beer with 8.5% alcohol that referments in the bottle. The label shows an angel holding the devil to the ground, and the marketing story behind the new beer has several references to the devil, such as a story of the victory of Archangel Saint Michael over the devil.

Additionally, AB InBev promotes Victoria as “100% natural” and also refers to “the evil, false and artificial,” which is “characteristic of the ways of the devil.”

“This is just an open attack,” beer sommelier Jeroen Peeters of the Antwerp pub Dr. Beer told Het Nieuwsblad. “They also choose the former name of Duvel. Anyone who knows anything about beer history knows that it was once called ‘Victory Ale’,” he added.

Duvel, the iconic blond specialty beer of the Moortgat brewery, has always been very successful, and it is not the first time other breweries try to beat it.

“We have established that the segment of strong, blond beers is growing,” AB InBev spokesperson Karolien Cloots told Het Nieuwsblad. “We follow this consumer trend, and therefore complete our range with this new type of beer,” she added.

When Brewery Van Honsebrouck brought the ‘Filou’ beer on the market, the Moortgat brewery even started a lawsuit, as Filou copied the taste and appearance of Duvel too much, according to them. The beer was also in a brown bottle, and had a white label with red letters. However, the judge did not rule in favour of Moortgat, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

Other beers, such as ‘Hapkin’ by the Alken-Maes brewery, ‘Sloeber’ from brewery Roman, and ‘Satan gold’ from De Block brewery all target the segment in which Duvel is market leader.


South Korea: Competition heating up in non-alcoholic beer market  (

With the hot summer season close at hand, competition is heating up in South Korea’s non-alcoholic beer market, the Korea Bizwire reported on June 19.

China’s Tsingtao Brewery Co. recently threw its hat into the ring to make a play in a market that has been led by HiteJinro Co. and Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co.

Oriental Brewery Co., the No. 1 brand in South Korea’s beer market, also plans to steer into this market by the end of this year.

According to industry sources on June 18, HiteJinro introduced non-alcoholic beer first in South Korea.

The company released Hite Zero 0.00 in Nov. 2012 and renovated the taste and package design in March 2016.

Hite Zero features a 0.00 percent alcohol content and only 60 kilocalories (kcal) per 355 milliliter can. Since Hite Zero 0.00 was first released, about 54 million cans have been sold.

Sales of Hite Zero 0.00 in the April-May period marked a robust year to year growth of 29 percent. During this period, the monthly average sales volume jumped by 34 percent compared to the figures recorded in the first quarter of this year.

Lotte Chilsung joined the market as a late comer in June 2017 with Cloud Clear Zero, which also has a 0.00 percent alcohol content and a low calorie count of only 30 kcal per 350 milliliter can.

In the first four months of this year, sales of Cloud Clear Zero rose by 50 percent from a year ago.

More recently, Tsingtao Brewery stepped into the market with Tsingtao Non Alcoholic. The brewery said that Tsingtao Non Alcoholic is an alcohol-free beer with an original lager taste.


New Zealand: Huge push to buy local paying dividends for small brewers  (

A huge push to buy local in post-lockdown New Zealand is paying dividends for small breweries, but only if they’ve done the hard yards with customers first, the Australian Brews News reported on June 22.

The interest in local producers is exemplified by the growth of a New Zealand Made Products Facebook page, launched during lockdown.

A meteoric climb to more than 500,000 members has driven sales for a number of Kiwi brands. And Buy NZ Made, which licences the official Kiwi-branded trademark, saw a surge in applications during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul Croucher of Rotorua’s Croucher Brewing says local support for his brewery and pub is critical in a town that relied heavily on tourism numbers.

When lockdown hit, Croucher was worried whether he’d taken his local audience for granted but was pleasantly surprised at the level of support. He attributed the support to the groundwork the brewery had done over the years with sponsorship of events and charities.

The brewery sponsors mountain bike races and ultramarathons but also supports the local hospice, a breast cancer trust, the Rotorua SPCA and the Rotorua-based national kiwi hatchery.

“What we did during lockdown was to repackage keg beer into flagons and target our local market, rekindling that relationship that we had feared had staled over the years,” Croucher said.

“But some of the events that we had supported almost altruistically over the years had their membership show us a good deal of reciprocal support.

“We now realise that our support, and thus our relationship with our community, is appreciated more than ever.”

That relationship will be critical to the brewery’s ongoing survival over the next two years, with New Zealand likely to keep tight border controls in place.

“We have a fair bit of uncertainty and trepidation looking into the next 18 months,” he said.

“Tourism has been critical for the Rotorua and losing that market is going to redefine us.

“It is going to be increasingly important to appreciate local and everything it brings to our culture and society like that cool bike shop, that great bakery not to mention that local brewery!”

Further south in another tourist town, Eddie Gapper of Queenstown’s Altitude Brewing noticed a massive spike in local custom when restrictions ended, a payback for the legwork the brewery did during the two months of lockdown.

“Our main activity during lockdown was delivering fresh tap beer to local customers,” Gapper said.

“It was labour intensive but delivered vital cash and provided a great opportunity to shout pleasantries at our customers from the end of their drives.

“Reopening the tap room showed us how well supported we are locally. Since Level 2 started we have been doing summer numbers which is extraordinary in May.”

Gapper said that other local Queenstown breweries, Cargo and Searchlight, were also reporting a similar surge in local support not being seen at the traditional tourist bars in town.

No need to imagine the most sustainable carton - it’s here! Elopak launches Pure-Pak® Imagine

No need to imagine the most sustainable carton - it’s here! Elopak launches Pure-Pak® Imagine  (Company news)

Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment for liquid food, has launched the Pure-Pak® Imagine, its most environmentally friendly carton to date. The new carton is a modern version of the company’s original Pure-Pak® carton, designed with an easy open feature.

“Increasingly, we see that our Pure-Pak® carton system is the natural solution to the global need to reduce the usage of plastic bottles,” says Elopak’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Patrick Verhelst.

Beverage cartons already have the lowest CO2 footprint among liquid food packaging today. Using renewable, recyclable and sustainably sourced materials, Elopak provides innovative packaging solutions that offer a natural and convenient alternative to plastic bottles and fit with a low carbon circular economy.

“With the launch of Pure-Pak® Imagine, Elopak is supporting the critical causes that represent the issues of our times – but the call to action is timeless,” Verhelst added.

Elopak’s strong focus on sustainability, alongside food safety and consumer convenience, has seen the company record a number of important environmental milestones in recent years. Carbon neutral since 2016, Elopak uses 100 per cent renewable electricity and has reduced emissions by 70 per cent over the past decade. With cartons manufactured from responsibly managed forests and FSC™ (FSC™C081801) certified material, Elopak offers customers 100 per cent renewable cartons that use wood-based renewable plastics, rather than relying on petroleum-based plastics.

“We wish to play our part in the global shift towards a low carbon circular economy and have therefore created the most environmentally friendly carton possible,” Verhelst explains.

“The Pure-Pak® Imagine carton has no plastic screw cap and is 100% forest based made with Natural Brown Board. The carton is fully renewable and carbon neutral, creating the perfect low carbon, circular economy approach,” he continues.

Many will recognize the easy-to-open feature from the 70’s and 80’s before the screw cap was first introduced. The Pure-Pak® Imagine carton’s unique top fin helps guide consumers how to open the carton. In combination with the modern functionality of the easy-pour and easy-fold features, the new carton design sets a new benchmark in reducing plastics.

The Pure-Pak® carton historically is the iconic fresh beverage pack, and with the new shape of the top fin introduced with the Pure-Pak® Imagine, Elopak adds a further important point of differentiation. Shape is the first recognition point for consumers, so this is especially important in markets less familiar with the easy opening feature. The design of the Pure-Pak® Imagine carton will create recognition on shelves across our markets and is currently available for the fresh dairy category.

“With Pure-Pak® Imagine we aim to help consumers make conscious environmental choices. The carton’s easy opening gives the environmentally-minded consumer a more sustainable pack, with less plastic and more natural renewable materials,” concludes Verhelst.
(Elopak AS)

Blue Moon and Blue Moon LightSky rocket to top four growth brands in craft

Blue Moon and Blue Moon LightSky rocket to top four growth brands in craft   (Company news)

Blue Moon Brewing Co. began 2020 optimistic about its 25th anniversary. With momentum from a highly touted new ad, the nation’s leading craft brand was preparing to launch Blue Moon LightSky, a new low-carb tangerine wheat ale, while continuing to grow its flagship, the top-selling craft beer in the country.

Like all brewers, Blue Moon took a hit with the evaporation of on-premise sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. But with about half of its volume sold in the on-premise, which includes bars, taverns and restaurants, the brand experienced an outsized blow.

Yet despite what could be a doom-and-gloom story, the brand has maintained momentum through difficult times, posting 17% growth in off-premise sales volume year-to-date, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data through June 6, the most recent information available. Over the last four weeks, it’s up a whopping 29%.

What’s more, Blue Moon has two of the four top growth brands in the craft segment, and its new entrant, Blue Moon LightSky, is the best-selling new craft brand released in 2020 by a substantial margin, per Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data through May 30. And, when on-premise locations re-open widely across the United States, Blue Moon is poised to retain its spot on the leader pole, says Lester Jones, chief economist for the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

“When you fold in the on-premise channels, Blue Moon is the leader because it has such a strong national on-premise business model,” Jones says. “Once the on-premise starts coming back, it’s going to reestablish itself as the leader.”

Across the country, one of the common themes in the coronavirus era has been consumers turning to large packs of trusted brands. The craft segment is no different, with Blue Moon’s largest national packaging – 15-packs of Blue Moon Belgian White Belgian-Style Ale – posting 75% year-over-year growth. Its strength in the off-premise puts the franchise second only to New Belgium in the craft segment in annual growth, and a close third to Sierra Nevada for the last four weeks.

“Our 15-pack cans used to represent a very small portion of our business, but that’s what’s driving all of our growth right now,” says Michelle Ahbe, senior marketing manager for Blue Moon. “Our recent sales data in the off-premise has been off the charts.”

Overall, the brand has thrived during the pandemic (measured by Nielsen as the period between Feb. 29 and May 30, the most-recent date for which data are available), up 28.9% in case volume growth, outpacing both the craft segment (+18%) and the beer industry overall (+16.6%), each of which have seen their own substantial gains.

Other regional and national craft brands also have been lifted in the off-premise during the pandemic, including those in Molson Coors’ Tenth & Blake portfolio. Regional craft partners — Terrapin, Hop Valley, Saint Archer, Revolver, AC Golden and Atwater — are up 20% combined year-to-date and 24% in the most-recent 13 weeks, per Nielsen. And Leinenkugel’s, which finished last year down, has clawed back this year to nearly flat, helped by a +3% performance over the past 13 weeks.

While consumers have been quick to pick up packs of Belgian White, the brand has also been lifted by the hot performance of its newest entrant, Blue Moon LightSky, which the brand has positioned as a daytime drinking option, as opposed to the happy hour occasions where Belgian White performs best.

At 95 calories and 3.6 carbs, LightSky is an easy-drinking, lower-alcohol alternative to Belgian White, and is 2020’s No. 1 beer innovation by sales, per Nielsen. Brewed with real tangerine peel, the 4% ABV wheat beer comes in slim white cans and delivers a familiar citrus flavor associated with the Blue Moon brand, in addition to a touch of malt sweetness, finishing clean with a hint of tropical fruit.

“LightSky has absolutely been flying off the shelves,” says Ahbe. Already Blue Moon’s second-best seller behind Belgian White, LightSky is the year’s best-selling new craft brand and top-30 craft brand, overall, according to Nielsen.

Blue Moon LightSky has far outpaced other new brands released this year. Nielsen reports it has booked $12.1 million in sales at retail, compared to $3.7 million for Elysian Contact Haze IPA, the next-highest new craft brand released this year (Bud Light Assorted Peels and Bud Light Lemonade Lager rank 2nd and 3rd with $5.2 million and $3.9 million in sales, respectively). LightSky has benefited from the Blue Moon halo effect, as well as being displayed next to Belgian White in off-premise locations, Ahbe says. But that’s not the only reason for its success: It’s a response to drinkers’ demands.

“We kept hearing from consumers that they wanted a beer that has the flavor expected of (Belgian White), but that is a bit easier to drink for those daytime occasions, and so we developed LightSky,” Ahbe says. “We listened to consumers and our distributors were immediately on board with the sessionable lower-calorie option as well.”

Still, the positive growth Blue Moon has seen since the pandemic disrupted American life is not enough to make up for the decline in on-premise sales, Ahbe says. Blue Moon is not alone is experiencing that reduction in sales, as overall industry volume is down 1% through April, Jones says.

Blue Moon’s task as consumers begin returning to venues will be to hold back the competition, Jones says, pointing to the strength of New Belgium’s Fat Tire Belgian Ale and Sierra Nevada, whose 18% annual growth in off-premise sales bests Blue Moon by a less than a point.

“Off-premise (sales are) going to start slowing down as the on-premise starts gaining again and as drinkers start drifting back,” Jones says. “Blue Moon is going to be right there because they are widely known and widely distributed.”
(Blue Moon Brewing Company)

Michael König elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG

Michael König elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG  (Company news)

• Michael König (photo left) succeeds Dr. Winfried Steeger, who retires from the Supervisory Board
• Michael König has long-standing management experience
• Peter Vanacker (photo right) appointed as a new member of the Supervisory Board

At its ordinary meeting following the virtual Annual General Meeting, the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG elected Michael König (56) as its new Chairman. Michael König succeeds Dr. Winfried Steeger (70), who, as previously announced, is stepping down upon reaching the retirement age specified in the Supervisory Board's Rules of Procedure. The Hildesheim District Court had appointed Michael König to the Supervisory Board, effective as of 15 January 2020, following the departure of Dr. Thomas Rabe. In addition, the Annual General Meeting elected Peter Vanacker (54) as a new member of the Supervisory Board.

Michael König, the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG, said: "On behalf of the entire Supervisory Board I would like to thank Dr. Steeger for his commitment and the trusting working relationship. At the same time, we are pleased to welcome Peter Vanacker to the Supervisory Board. With his many years of management experience both in Germany and internationally, he represents an outstanding addition to our Supervisory Board."

Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram, CEO of Symrise AG, added: "Over the past eight years, Dr. Steeger was always available to support the Management Board with his extensive knowledge and expertise. On behalf of the entire company, I would like to express my sincere thanks for the excellent cooperation. At the same time, I look forward to working with Michael König and Peter Vanacker. They have both built impressive track records during their successful careers in different industries. Their strong interest in the long-term development of businesses, with a special focus on innovation and sustainability, will greatly benefit our company."

Michael König is the CEO of the publicly traded Elkem ASA, a leading global supplier of silicone-based high-performance materials based in Oslo. Prior to this, he spent four years as CEO of China National Bluestar, a supplier of new chemicals and animal nutrition products, and 25 years in various management roles in Germany and China with Bayer AG.

Peter Vanacker is the President and CEO of Neste Corporation, one of the world's leading manufacturers of sustainable product solutions, such as renewable fuels for road and air transportation and renewable hydrocarbons for the chemical industry, headquartered in Finland.

Dr. Winfried Steeger was appointed to the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG in 2012 and served as its Chairman from August 2019 onward.
(Symrise AG)

Metsä Board and Esbottle are developing a new concept for an ecological ...

Metsä Board and Esbottle are developing a new concept for an ecological ...  (Company news)

... paperboard flute cup for celebration drinks

Metsä Board, a leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards and part of Metsä Group, and the Finnish start-up company Esbottle have been jointly developing an ecological and appealing paperboard flute cup concept that meets the need to reduce the use of plastic. The newly designed paperboard cup is a stylish solution for celebration drinks, as well as lightweight and easy to transport and recycle. It can be personalised using traditional printing methods and special effects.

Esbottle, based in Espoo, develops innovative, responsible and high-quality solutions for the beverage and food industry. The innovative shape of the paperboard cup is the result of collaboration between Esbottle and Metsä Board's packaging design team. The classic flute shaped design consists of two parts enabling the cup and base sections to be stored inside each other so they can be transported and recycled efficiently.“Together with Esbottle, we are now testing the concept and researching material options, while exploring the market interest and other potential uses. I think this innovative paperboard cup is an excellent example of combining paperboard potential, design and new technology in an ecological way,” says Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services Director of EMEA & APAC, Metsä Board.
(Metsä Board Corporation)

Scotch Whisky Industry Continues to Make Progress Towards a Low-Carbon Economy

Scotch Whisky Industry Continues to Make Progress Towards a Low-Carbon Economy  (Company news)

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has released its latest report tracking progress in achieving the Scotch Whisky industry’s sustainability targets, as set out in its ambitious Environmental Strategy.

The Scotch Whisky Industry Environmental Strategy, created in 2009 and the first of its kind to cover an entire sector, listed a range of targets across the industry and its supply chain.

The 2020 report, using data from 2018, is the latest indication of the Scotch Whisky industry’s advancements in sustainability, and cover key areas that include responsible water use, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and improvements to consumer packaging.

Among the successes revealed by the latest data was a 34% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at Scotch Whisky production sites. The Scotch Whisky industry now sources over a quarter of its primary energy from non-fossil fuel sources, up from 21% in 2016. Water efficiency in the Scotch Whisky industry has improved by 22% since the 2012 base year, more than double the 10% improvement target.

The Scotch Whisky industry has made further progress in reducing waste to landfill. The latest data shows only 1% of waste is now being sent to landfill, down from 4% in 2016.

Reducing overall packaging weight has proven more challenging. Overall weight has increased by 2.6% since 2012, due in large part to the premiumisation of many Scotch Whisky products, particularly glass bottles.

Welcoming the report, Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the SWA, said: “This report shows how seriously we take the sustainability of the Scotch Whisky industry. Scotch Whisky is made from natural ingredients in some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes and we know we have a huge responsibility to protect the environment.

“It’s great to see the progress we are making, including significant reductions in fossil fuel use and in recycling and reusing waste. This work is going on hand-in-hand with our supply chain too, and together we are leading the way to a sustainable future for our sector.

“What is critical now, including as we look to re-building our industry and Scotland’s economy in the wake of COVID-19, is that we can work closely with government to ensure that the right policy framework and right incentives are in place to enable us and other key sectors to continue to take bold steps to tackle climate change.”

This year, the SWA is further reviewing the strategy to ensure it can drive progress towards net-zero targets and a low-carbon economy, with publication expected later in 2020. Among the revised targets will be a commitment to sustainable land use, including the implementation of a Peat Action Plan and commitments to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Terry Ahearn, CEO of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said: “This progress report powerfully shows that the SWA and its members are businesses that understand that environmental excellence is essential to commercial success. SEPA applauds the sector for its achievements and looks forward to continuing to work with the sector on its ongoing efforts to innovate for environmental progress.”

Ross Johnston, Deputy Director of Sustainable Development for Scottish Natural Heritage said: “We welcome SWA’s commitment to their environmental strategy, and we look forward to working with them on sustainable land use and their Peat Action plan.”
(SWA The Scotch Whisky Association)




Intermarché is first to launch SIG’s paper straw solution in Europe

SIG’s fully recyclable and renewable paper straw solution for aseptic carton packs is being launched for the first time in Europe by Intermarché, one of the most popular retail chains in France.

Intermarché is the first company in France to launch paper straws with aseptic carton packs. By offering this solution across its three brands – Paquito, Look and top Budget – it will save 10 tonnes of virgin plastic per year.

The company will be offering the juices and beverages of these brands in combiblocMini packs with SIG’s 6mm straight paper straw solution – one of several options available in SIG’s paper straw portfolio. The cartons are filled at Antartic, a production unit belonging to Agromousquetaires, a food-processing subsidiary of Groupement Les Mousquetaires.

„At Intermarché, our commitment to sustainable development is a priority,” said Alain Plougastel, Adhérent Intermarché. “We decided early on to introduce SIG’s paper straw solution for aseptic carton packs to offer consumers a more sustainable alternative to plastic straws, while maintaining the on-the-go convenience of small-size packs.”

Leading the industry
SIG was the first in the industry to offer a market-ready paper straw solution for aseptic carton packs, enabling customers to meet the urgent need for alternatives to plastic drinking straws – which will be banned across Europe from the beginning of 2021 in line with the Single-Use Plastics Directive.

SIG’s paper straws offer a more sustainable solution that is renewable and fully recyclable. They are an ideal companion for SIG’s fully recyclable carton packs, which are mainly made of renewable paper board.

The paper used to make SIG’s paper straws originates from FSCTM-certified forests and other controlled sources. The blister for the straw has also been redesigned to help prevent litter by remaining attached to the pack to be recycled together.

„Sustainable product innovation is at the heart of SIG’s business,” said Mélanie Revolte, Marketing Manager France at SIG. “Our packaging solutions already offer significantly better environmental performance than many alternatives and we are continually working to improve them further. Aseptic carton packs are made mainly from paperboard and we were the first to offer paper straws to go with them. Just like our packs, our paper straws are renewable and recyclable: the perfect match!”

Sustainable and practical solution for customers
SIG offers both straight and U-shaped paper straws. Paper straws are available for use with SIG’s combiblocSmall or combiblocMini packs to maintain the convenience of small-size formats for consumers looking for on-the-go beverages.

The innovative structure and diagonal cut make the straw robust enough to pierce the closed straw hole of the carton. Positive results in consumer tests showed no compromises in convenience compared with conventional plastic straws. Customers can use existing straw applicators to attach them to packs.

SIG’s paper straw solutions enable customers to meet forthcoming regulations, demonstrate their commitment to the environment and respond to growing consumer demand for more sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging. This is just one of the ways SIG’s sustainable product innovation is contributing to the company’s commitment to go Way Beyond Good for society and the environment.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

Feldmuehle produces vegan paper

Feldmuehle produces vegan paper  (Company news)

Feldmuehle GmbH, leading manufacturer of label and flexible packaging papers, produces vegan paper.

Photo: LabelSet – The Wet Strength Leader

More and more consumers and manufacturers are refusing to buy products that contain animal ingredients. Since this topic is also very important to us, we would like to point out that all papers made by Feldmuehle are vegan.

No animal substances (such as protein or gelatine) are used in the production of our one-sided coated papers. Genetically modified raw materials are also not used in production. As an FSC® certified company (FSC®C124501) we are obliged to use only materials that come from well-managed sources.

Since we take our responsibility towards society and the environment very seriously, we attach great importance to always being able to offer our customers ecologically and socially sound products.
(Feldmuehle GmbH)

Comprehensive range of measuring technology for hygienic systems and processes

Comprehensive range of measuring technology for hygienic systems and processes  (Company news)

Picture: With maximum precision, AFRISO makes welding seams with a surface roughness of ≤ 0.8 using laser technology. This is required by 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. and EHEDG

Innovations and fast development characterise the production processes in the beverages and food industries as well as in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The production processes in these industries are particularly demanding. Specific product properties need to comply with special hygienic requirements. Stringent international directives such as PED, ATEX, SIL as well as standards stipulated by, for example, EHEDG, FDA and 3-A Sanitary Standards Inc. specify the requirements and application possibilities of process instrumentation equipment. Compliance with all these standards requires partners who are at home in the industry of their customers, who can offer a standardised product range, and who lead the way to the future of technology with innovative concepts and products. AFRISO taps its comprehensive know-how and expertise in the industry to make its customers' processes simpler, safer and more competitive.

AFRISO components and solutions are adapted to suit specific production processes and comply with the pertinent hygienic regulations and recommendations to meet stringent requirements. The robust measuring instrument deliver reliable measurement results, and monitor and control processes from simple to highly complex. Sophisticated kit systems and innovative ideas such as the seal-free design of diaphragm seals, pressure transmitters and thermometers help in the continuous optimisation of production facilities.

As a full-line supplier with a complete portfolio in the areas of pressure, temperature and level measurement technology, AFRISO offers a comprehensive, high-quality product range from a single source. The range extends from pressure gauges, chemical seals and pressure transducers to a large number of electronic and mechanical temperature measuring devices and control units as well as level indicators, which, depending on the application, are based on a wide variety of measuring principles. The following measure ranges are covered: pressure from 0/2.5 mbar bis 0/4,000 bar, temperature from -50 °C to +1,100 °C and level from 0/20 cm to 0/250 m; almost all parameters such as ranges, geometry, colour, connection can be specified according to customer requirements.

In the adaptation of these peripheral system components, the stringent directive and standards are always in focus, so that a hygienic design of machines and systems is supported in an optimum manner. AFRISO supports compliance with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) required for the production of pharmaceuticals, food and animal feed, for example, by continuous quality assurance measures, such as a constant review of the production processes. The ISO 9001-compliant quality management system as well as certification according to the environmental standard DIN EN ISO 14001 serves as the basis for efficient GMP compliance. Ever since the early 1990s, AFRISO has focused on these topics to ensure compliance with production process specifications and to lay the foundation for the protection of health and environment.

The materials used in hygienic AFRISO measuring systems meet FDA requirements for contact with food and drugs as per CFR (Code of Federal Regulations), part 21. These materials comprise metals as well as elastomers for seals or oils for transmission in chemical seals. The EHEDG recommendations are also taken into account in the design of hygienic measuring instruments. AFRISO has been a member of EHEDG since 2010; divers process connections are certified as per EL - Class I. Precision turning and polishing assure a surface quality of the wetted parts with a medium surface roughness of Ra ≤ 0.8 μm. This surface roughness can be improved to values of Ra ≤ 0.4 μm on customer request.

In closed systems, the components can be cleaned by means of CIP or SIP procedures – perfect cleanability from the outside is attained with stainless steel housings with a degree of protection of up to IP 69. In addition to this very extensive product range, AFRISO also offers the appropriate supply and evaluation units for the instrumentation equipment.

SIG opens state-of-the-art AutoStore warehouse for spare parts

SIG opens state-of-the-art AutoStore warehouse for spare parts  (Company news)

SIG’s newly built, state-of-the-art and fully automated AutoStore® spare parts warehouse for SIG filling machines, implemented by Hörmann Logistik, has now been put into operation and ensures that its customers receive highly efficient supplies. Located at the company’s machine assembly site in Linnich, Germany, the new AutoStore warehouse plays an integral part in SIG’s global spare parts management.

As food and beverage products continue to diversify, it is essential that production schedules run smoothly and to maximum capacity without downtime. The new AutoStore warehouse enables SIG to adapt and respond flexibly to changing customer needs in the quickest possible time, guaranteeing speedy delivery of spare parts to keep the versatile equipment running efficiently. This seamless service means continuous and optimum performance of SIG’s filling systems, maximum technical availability and precisely tailored maintenance.

The new warehouse uses a modular system, where stockable box containers are loaded, stored and then unloaded by robots, guided by routing software. The system comprises the storage, warehousing and order picking processes for all items that can be stored in containers. The storage processes and retrieval are performed vertically. This closed system prevents unwanted material removal and ensures effectual 24-hour operation. The robots are extremely energy efficient with a consumption of just 0.1 kW/h, saving energy by more than 90 percent compared to more conventional solutions.

Franz-Josef Mines, Global Assembly & SCM Director at SIG, commented: “With our new, fully automated warehouse system, SIG is well positioned for the future and is able to deliver spare parts quickly and efficiently. We’ve significantly reduced picking times compared to our previous system and can meet any customer order requirements at short notice, no matter how small.”

SIG’s AutoStore warehouse puts customers and their production targets as priority. The smooth running of equipment means maximum production capability and timely product delivery to retailers. Both are vitally important for future growth, profitability and competitive advantage.
(SIG Combibloc GmbH)

Celli Deutschland: the new German office is operational!

Celli Deutschland: the new German office is operational!  (Company news)

The Celli Group is a global leader in the design and production of professional solutions for drink dispensing and other relevant technical assistance services.
The company, founded in 1974, is based in San Giovanni in Marignano (Rimini). It has approximately 600 employees in 6 production plants located in Italy and the United Kingdom. It exports its products to over 100 countries worldwide. Already present with companies in the UK and with branches in Singapore and Moscow, the Group continues its international path of consolidation despite the current pandemic that has resulted from the Covid-19 virus.

The Celli Group firmly believes in the strategic nature of the German market and for this reason, it has announced the opening of the new Celli Deutschland branch in Dusseldorf. The new headquarters gains Celli a foothold in a market, in effect, the German market, which is strategic and full of unique characteristics. This is a market in which the company has already been present in all product categories (beer, soft drinks, and water) for quite some time. The development plan of Celli Deutschland is based on the opening of offices, a logistics warehouse, and the construction of product stock in order to serve customers with an adequate lead time.

For a strategic market like Germany, the Celli Group has created a product proposal dedicated to the world of beer. The exciting news is the creation of a new family of coolers. They are at the forefront both in terms of technical performance and respect for the environment. This is thanks to energy-saving solutions and the R290 gas. They are available in four different sizes to meet every requirement with regard to space. In addition, the new range can be equipped with IntelliDraught which is the most advanced IoT platform for beverage dispensing systems. It allows for the remote and real-time monitoring of the progress of all draughting systems in order to manage the consumption and functioning of the entire equipment installed. In addition to the new family of coolers, the Celli Group is already a reference point in the market for columns, taps, and accessories hence guaranteeing the end customer a complete product offer.

Celli also boasts important collaborations in the world of soft drink, thanks to its portfolio of post-mix systems for both above and below the counter. In addition, it has its own smart dispensing towers which today embody the maximum expression of interaction with the consumer.

The new branch of Celli Germany is backed by a Board of Directors that is made up of Mauro Gallavotti, Antonino Fresolone, Valerio Marchi, and Adalberto Pizzi as well as a new team of professionals with experience in various sectors. As of the last few days, Sascha Gerlach has joined the team as a DACH sales manager (Germany, Switzerland, and Austria). He will be the local contact person for all business related to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Thanks to his consolidated knowledge of German-speaking markets, (which began in 1989 as a master brewer), and to many years of technical experience, he has also enriched his experience relating to sales from 2006. He has been able to integrate his technical knowledge alongside more commercial expertise.

“I am particularly attracted to the mix of technology, customer contact, project work, and problem- solving that I have seen in the Celli Group”, - says Sascha Gerlach –“ and I have been very impressed by both the strong know-how and the profound attitude towards innovation. I accept this new challenge in which I deeply believe ”.

The new German branch will also allow for the development of the water market. This market is increasingly growing today thanks to the Cosmetal product and service offer of 100% Made in Italy coolers. It has one of the most extensive ranges in the sector for both types of water supplied: room-temperature, cold, hot, sparkling, and for models available. In support of the water business in Germany, the Celli Group team has been collaborating for a couple of years with the experienced Senol Agac. He demonstrates work experience in the world of consultancy and in important multinationals in the world of water.

"My support will be fundamental to create the link between the market and Celli Group in order to serve German customers in a more present and punctual way," - says Senol Agac - ” I strongly believe in the potential of the Acqua Alma brand both in the world of restaurants/cafes and in the domestic market ".

The entire Celli Deutschland team is at your complete disposal for further information:
Sacha Gerlach
tel +49 160 / 2123096

Senol Agac
tel + 49 (0) 176 / 7072 8350
(Celli S.p.A.)

'Pouring Digital': BCB 2020 takes place as a Special Edition

'Pouring Digital': BCB 2020 takes place as a Special Edition  (Company news)

The Bar Convent Berlin 2020 will break new ground and bring its community together in the form of a BCB Special Edition. Due to the current regulations, the fair cannot take place as originally planned from 12 to 14 October at the Exhibition Centre Berlin. With the new "Pouring Digital", the BCB team is working on an alternative concept combining live and digital events.

"We are aware of our responsibility, as a trade fair that unites many thousands of people in one place, but also as part of a globally networked bar scene. A bar scene that is possibly facing its greatest challenge ever," says BCB Director Petra Lassahn. "So we will be offering an alternative event format in the autumn. If our exhibitors and visitors can't come to us, then we will go to them."

The BCB team is working together with partners on a concept for how the spirit of the BCB, the lectures, events and togetherness can take place live and virtually this year. Online will play a big role, but we are also examining how bars - as the heart of the fair and who act as alternative locations - can be included. Many exhibitors across the industry wanted an alternative, a place where they can exchange ideas and get together, especially in these times of crisis. "Precisely because the industry worldwide is suffering from the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to ‘meet’ to gain strength and learn from each other and to exchange ideas in a safe and innovative environment. We want the opportunity to get ourselves ready to grow and look forward to the future with confidence," Lassahn continued.

The BCB team will provide timely information on further plans for 2020. In 2021, the BCB is planned to take place at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds with its new City Life Spirits concept, which was originally planned for this year.
(Reed Exhibitions Deutschland GmbH)

BrauBeviale 2020: #StrongerTogether for a strong beverage industry

BrauBeviale 2020: #StrongerTogether for a strong beverage industry  (BrauBeviale 2020)

BrauBeviale is one of the most important capital goods trade fairs for the international beverage industry. In 2019 it attracted around 40,000 German and international trade visitors who wanted to find out all about the beverage industry process chain from the 1,086 exhibitors, 54 percent of them from outside Germany. In a year in which the coronavirus crisis is imposing major challenges on the exhibition industry and other sectors, the BrauBeviale team is again working flat out to ensure that a beverage industry gathering will be able to take place in Nuremberg from 10 to 12 November 2020, because in these trying times the sector needs its “meeting place” more than ever. Through its #StrongerTogether project, BrauBeviale is already trying to support, encourage and inspire the industry.

“We are currently reworking the trade fair concept to adapt it to the given circumstances and necessary requirements, but also to incorporate the needs of the industry to the best possible extent,” says Andrea Kalrait, Director BrauBeviale. “At the moment we are talking with a lot of exhibitors and visitors and yes, the underlying framework needs to be different and it will not be the BrauBeviale that we know and love. But we have been given a clear message that the industry still wants to have a gathering in November, all the more so as it seems to be probably the only opportunity this year.”

Together we are strong
Under the hashtag #StrongerTogether, BrauBeviale has launched a project to support and encourage the industry not to give up in these difficult times and possibly to even exploit them as an opportunity. Under, it is supporting independent breweries, bars, pubs and retailers that are now offering services like pick-up, delivery and shipping or other activities like online tastings or voucher promotions. Under #FindYourLocal, you will find a list of breweries and other suppliers of beer or linked with beer, sorted by region, that would very much welcome such support. Under #ListYourLocal, other breweries, bars or retailers not yet included can add themselves to the list. This list is starting with offers for Germany, but other countries, primarily Beviale Family locations like Russia, Mexico, Italy, China and India, are already being prepared for inclusion.

The BrauBeviale team would be delighted to receive feedback, suggestions and other input from the beverage sector community at “I call on all beverage industry stakeholders to make good use of this email address,” says Andrea Kalrait. “This is the only way to ensure that we prepare this regular industry get-together in a way that ideally meets the needs of all players. I wish you all continued good health and fortitude!”
(NürnbergMesse GmbH)

Symrise opens production site in China

Symrise opens production site in China  (Company news)

• biggest individual investment of € 50 million in flavor and fragrance production
• partly virtual opening via video conference
• underlines growth plans in China for the future

On May 18, 2020, Symrise experienced a premiere in a number of ways. The company opened its biggest individual investment and invested € 50 million in the construction of the new production site for flavorings and fragrances in Nantong. In addition, the Executive Board, senior staff, plant workers and guests opened the facility virtually – in a video conference – for the first time. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram and Chief Financial Officer Olaf Klinger conveyed their greetings via live video from Holzminden.

The decision to build at this location, in the industrial park on the green field, was made back in 2016. The site convinced the company with its versatile potential. Modern infrastructure, an attractive business environment and a number of sustainability aspects were the deciding factors in the plans for the site near Shanghai. Symrise celebrated its topping out ceremony two years ago. Already then, you could tell by its dimensions that the Group was building a state-of-the-art production facility geared toward the future and growth.

The expansion of the production of fragrances and flavorings in the rapidly expanding Chinese market makes sense, because the world’s second-largest economy has great potential to soon become number one. This development correlates with the history of Symrise in the country. In the past ten years, the company has grown around eight percent per year on average. With a six-percent share of total sales, China follows the USA and Germany as the third-strongest revenue-generating market for Symrise.

In this environment, Symrise is sending a clear signal for future growth in the region with its modern plant in Nantong – especially in light of the current situation. The company wants to build on its success with its proven strategy and dedicated team. The subsidiary Tesium, specialist in technology, safety and the environment, assisted the local Symrise experts in planning and implementation.

“The celebratory and partially virtual opening of our plant in Nantong demonstrates our trust in the Chinese market, and we are consciously committing ourselves to the world’s strongest growth region. Of course, we are also keeping a close eye on how the COVID-19 situation is progressing here,” comments CEO Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Bertram on the strategic approach. “From these observations, we enacted measures and were successful in keeping our entire business running and opening our plant as planned. Ultimately, we want to reliably serve our customers in China and grow with them. A big thank you therefore goes to the flexibility and extreme dedication of our employees.”
(Symrise AG)

Change in the Group Management of Bühler

Change in the Group Management of Bühler  (Company news)

Picture: Samuel Schär has taken over the responsibilities as Head of the global SAS organization, in addition to his current function as CEO of the Advanced Material Business

Bühler’s Executive Board member Dieter Vögtli has passed away last Friday, June 5, due to a short but major illness. Dieter Vögtli headed the global Service & Sales (SAS) organization of the company and was previously responsible for Bühler’s business in Asia. “We lose a great entrepreneur, a powerful leader, and a very close friend,” says Stefan Scheiber, CEO at Bühler Group. Samuel Schär, in addition to his current function as CEO of Bühler’s Advanced Materials business, has taken over the responsibilities as head of the SAS organization.

Dieter Vögtli, a mechanical engineer who graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), started his career as a global power plant commissioning engineer at the Swiss-based Brown Boveri Co. He joined Bühler in 2004, first as country head China, and from 2009 onwards also as head of Bühler Group Asia Pacific. With his entrepreneurial attitude and deep market understanding, combined with strong empathy for customers and employees, he was fundamental to the success and growth of Bühler over the past 16 years, especially in Asia. In his functions, Dieter Vögtli has also served as a member of the Bühler Group Executive Board. After handing over his responsibilities to his successor in Asia, he relocated with his family back to Switzerland in 2018. Dieter Vögtli passionately cared for his customers, employees and for the Bühler company. “Through this, he has created a great reputation for Bühler and for himself. We are ever thankful to Dieter Vögtli for his 16 years of service to the company. Our thoughts are with his wife and family,” says Stefan Scheiber.

Samuel Schär has assumed responsibilities as head of Service & Sales
Samuel Schär has taken over the responsibilities as head of the global SAS organization, in addition to his current function as CEO of the Advanced Materials business. This internal succession solution had been in preparation for a longer time. Samuel Schär graduated as a physics engineer from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and joined Bühler in 2002. He took charge of the then newly founded Nanotechnology Business Unit in 2005 and was later responsible for the Business Area Grinding & Dispersing. In 2013, Samuel Schär was promoted to Bühler's Executive Board as the CEO of the Advanced Materials business. “We consider ourselves fortunate to ensure continuity for our important global Service and Sales organization with Samuel Schär, who is a very successful and experienced member of our team. We wish him the best of success in this new role,” says CEO Scheiber.
(Bühler AG)

Strong signal for Dortmund: KHS invests €20 million in site modernization

Strong signal for Dortmund: KHS invests €20 million in site modernization  (Company news)

-Measures to boost competitiveness
-Automation and digitalization of production processes
-Employees benefit from modernization

The KHS Group has invested €20 million in modernizing its headquarters on Juchostraße in Dortmund, Germany. In a bundle of measures underway since 2015 the company has built a huge, approximately 4,300-m2 production shop and fully renovated another. As one of the world's leading providers of filling and packaging systems for the beverage industry KHS is thus ensuring that it stays competitive in the long term.

Photo: With its new production shop KHS is increasing its production capacities. In an area measuring 4,300 square meters the systems supplier has now merged the relevant technology for container and pack conveyors.

The last construction machines will disappear in the spring, marking the end of the extensive process optimization and other measures at the KHS production site in Dortmund. According to plant manager Dr. Joachim Konrad these were absolutely essential to strengthen KHS’ competitiveness. “As a company active worldwide we find ourselves in a competitive situation and want to carry on manufacturing in Germany. We’ve therefore further digitalized and automated our infrastructure and processes in Production.”

Here, key elements of the modernization included extending the production area and renewing the machine park. At its production site on Juchostraße KHS has erected a completely new production shop. In an area measuring 4,300 square meters the systems supplier has now created conditions that enable the relevant technology for container and pack conveyors to be merged and order processing to become more efficient. KHS has also modernized one of the oldest production buildings on the company premises. With an investment volume of six million euros for this project alone the engineering company has not only renewed the shop floor and roof; it also optimized its Sheet Metal Manufacturing Department housed in the hall, incorporating new technology that includes a faster, more efficient fiber laser, a combined punching/laser machine and a larger, fully networked sheet metal warehouse.

This yields many benefits for KHS customers in the beverage industry, among them leading brands from around the globe. “Demands are becoming more complex. Like when you configure a new car nowadays, we can customize our filling and packaging systems to suit the precise requirements of the respective customer,” states Konrad. “We cater for the huge individualism of each customer with our cleverly compiled, standardized product modules that allow systems to be designed and constructed in automated processes.” Production sequences have again been considerably simplified during the course of numerous optimization measures.

Strong signal to the regional economy
Local employees also profit from the site’s extensive modernization. KHS has now renewed the factory canteen and various office complexes, including the workstations in various company departments. With around 1,200 personnel the company in Dortmund manufactures machines for labeling, pasteurization and bottle washing, among other equipment, plus container conveyor technology for industrial beverage production.

For KHS, the modernization is a big commitment to the production facilities on Juchostraße, says Konrad. “The Dortmund plant is extremely important to the KHS Group, also because of its standing as our international company headquarters. With our investments we’re making it fit for the future. This sends out a strong signal to the regional economy.”

KHS also aims to make local commitments above and beyond this. The enterprise is helping to devise a Science 2.0 master plan that the Dortmund council adopted in November of last year. In the field of production technology KHS is engaged in an exchange of expertise together with representatives from other companies and the TU Dortmund. “We’re pleased to be doing our bit for a strong regional economy and can apply our practical experience in this area. As a large industrial employer we also benefit from well-trained specialist workers,” Konrad concludes.
(KHS GmbH)

UPM Raflatac RW85C PET wash-off solution receives recognition at the 2020 Australasian...

UPM Raflatac RW85C PET wash-off solution receives recognition at the 2020 Australasian...   (Company news)

...Packaging Innovation & Design Awards

The UPM Raflatac RW85C PET wash-off solution, which is part of the UPM Raflatac SmartCircle™ sustainable product offering, has received recognition at the 2020 Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design Awards (PIDA). Developed in partnership with Kiwi Labels, a New Zealand pioneer in digitally-printed labels, the sustainable solution for cherry punnet rPET packages was nominated in two categories, ultimately taking home bronze in the 2020 Sustainable Packaging Design Special Award-Retail Pack category. The award came as a high mark of recognition for leadership in innovative, sustainable packaging.

According to the NZ Packaging Council, New Zealanders consume about 735 000 tonnes of packaging every year and recycle only about 58 per cent. The New Zealand market is facing an urgent need to develop more sustainable products and solutions to reduce plastic waste. Through continuously improving its innovative product portfolio, Kiwi Labels found the RW85C PET wash-off label adhesive solution to be a truly sustainable way to maximize the recyclability of PET containers, thereby helping brand owners to achieve their sustainability targets.

“We always face the problem that the standard label solution hinders the recycling process as it sticks on the recyclate. With most of the recyclers using old machinery, label choice matters. UPM Raflatac’s RW85C wash-off solution really works well. It enhances the efficiency of the PET recycling process without requiring any changes to our existing labeling equipment,” states Guy Phillips, General Manager at Kiwi Labels.

With a strong commitment to labeling a smarter future beyond fossils, the RW85C PET wash-off adhesive is an ideal film labeling solution meeting the needs of the circular economy. Unlike traditional label materials, the wash-off solution separates easily during the industrial washing process, floating away from the high-value clean PET flakes and allowing a greater yield to be recovered without contamination. These flakes can be converted into new pellets for PET packaging, reducing waste, and improving the efficiency of the plastic recycling process.

“With increased awareness of the environmental issues caused by plastic waste, more and more brand owners recognize sustainability as a key factor in their packaging decisions. We are pleased that our PET wash-off solution can help to build-in and maximize the recyclability of their packaging, thereby enhancing their brand’s value in an increasingly competitive market,” says Philip Bracey, Country Manager of UPM Raflatac New Zealand.
(UPM Raflatac NZ Ltd)

Aquarelle, a line of vodka-based canned drinks, launches across Canada with ad blitz

Aquarelle, a line of vodka-based canned drinks, launches across Canada with ad blitz  (Company news)

Aquarelle, Molson Coors Beverage Co.’s line of vodka-based canned drinks, has launched across Canada with a multimillion-dollar marketing blitz.

The ready-to-drink beverages, available only in Canada, will be backed by a large-scale marketing campaign. Aquarelle is a key part of Molson Coors’ efforts to grow its footprint in the beyond beer segment, says Leslie Malcolm, brand director for Aquarelle.

The still water version of Aquarelle, which contains 100 calories in each 355-mililiter can and checks in at 5% alcohol by volume, represents the first-to-market vodka-still water ready-to-drink beverages available in Canada. It’s available in mango and blackberry, while the vodka soda version comes in three flavors: lime, passionfruit and berry pomegranate.

Unlike other beverages in the category, Aquarelle has differentiating flavors, but won’t overwhelm drinkers’ taste buds, says Maddie Gillmeister, assistant brand manager for Aquarelle, says.

“The flavors are subtle. You won’t get that intense flavor common to the category,” she says. “Flavor expectations are so important for the consumer to understand as they enter and experiment in this category.”

Made with natural flavors and with zero grams of carbohydrates, Aquarelle is available in singles, six-packs of individual flavors, and mixed 12-packs, depending on the region. The brand is available nationwide with the exception of Quebec, where it hopes to launch with the same flavors, using a similar recipe later this year.

Aquarelle’s vodka-soda variant plants a flag in Molson Coors’ beyond-beer aspirations in Canada. With hard seltzers and other ready-to-drink options proving a necessary addition to beverage makers’ rosters, “we realized we needed to make some more noise and put a bigger stamp on Aquarelle,” says Gillmeister.

In response, Aquarelle beefed up its original ad spend, betting big on a plan that includes paid media, digital, influencers, and eventually on- and off-premise marketing. The campaign began last week with digital ads; television, online video and other platforms will launch this summer, Gillmeister says.

The new, multi-platform campaign features work from Canadian artists. It is poised to reach millions of Canadians over the coming months, fending off challenges from competitors including Nutrl and newly available White Claw in a fast-growing ready-to-drink segment that continues to post consistent double-digit growth.

In the new campaign, Aquarelle encourages Canadians to “embrace their realness,” says Gillmeister. “It’s really about you finding your flavor, expressing yourself and being positive about yourself.”

And while many Canadian beer and liquor stores are operating with limited hours as the nation grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, ready-to-drink beverages continue to grow, presenting Molson Coors with an opportunity to win over more consumers, including traditional beer drinkers, Malcolm says.

She cites the explosive entrance of Molson Coors’ AriZona Hard Green Tea, which is selling so well that retailers are scrambling to keep their shelves stocked.

“People are flocking to simple pleasures and the at home drinking occasion very much remains relevant,” Malcolm says. “It’s shown us people are still keen to try new things and this is the category they want to experiment in. We think the future for Aquarelle is bright.”
(Molson Coors Brewing Company (Canada))

Lighter and more sustainable - the new ‘Specjal’ beer bottle from Ardagh Group

Lighter and more sustainable - the new ‘Specjal’ beer bottle from Ardagh Group  (Company news)

Ardagh Group has created a new, sustainable 500ml glass bottle for the popular Polish ‘Specjal’ beer brand from the Żywiec Group. The new bottle, together with a refreshed label design, not only emphasises the local character of the beer but is also more environmentally friendly.

The Specjal brand places great emphasis on the importance of regionality, including local traditions and cooperation with suppliers, all in the region of Elblag. Hence, new icons have been incorporated into the labelling, depicting the Elblag Specjal Brewery, the Malthouse, the local barley used in the beer, the printing and engraving of the signature of local brewers and the City's coat of arms.

The new bottle has a unique shape and characteristic engraving on the glass. "This is an important element of the brand for us, which makes us visually different from other beers on the shelf. Its shape also emphasises the uniqueness and regionality of ‘Specjal’, and though we’ve refreshed the labelling, it is still dominated by black and gold, the characteristic colours of this brand” says Barbara Rychel, Specjal Brand Manager.

The returnable bottle is 10g lighter than its previous design - an important pro-environmental move that’s in line with the Friends of Glass educational campaigns on sustainable packaging.

Barbara Maciałczyk, Marketing Manager at Ardagh Group comments: "A 10g reduction may seem subtle, but in terms of the entire distribution, it’s a significant weight reduction that translates into reduced CO₂ emissions and overall carbon footprint. It’s been great to work on another project with the Żywiec Group, as we share the same positive views on sustainability.”
(Ardagh Glass Gostyï S.A.)

DS Smith turns pallet of canned beer into container ship

DS Smith turns pallet of canned beer into container ship  (Company news)

Full brand speed ahead

The beer can is experiencing a revival. Especially younger consumers are increasingly prone to buy the handy aluminium packaging. The Hamburg-based Holsten brewery pushed the sales of its canned bear specialities at the point of sale with an original special placement by the display and packaging strategists of DS Smith. The highlight: Only three parts and a few hand movements are required to turn a palette with stacked trays of cans into an original container ship. The protruding crane broom with an attached Holsten Pilsener can is the central eye-catcher of the identity-strong POS decoration. Thanks to 3 D and motion effects, the crowner grabs the attention of the consumers from far away and serves as a clear indication of the brand's origin. At the same time, the open design encourages every beer enthusiast to unload the aromatically fresh freight.

3.51 billion beverage cans were sold in Germany in 2018. According to the latest figures of Forum Getränkedose this is an increase by almost a quarter as compared to the previous year. With over 41 per cent, the largest share of the growth can be attributed to beer cans. Their popularity is growing steadily. As is the interest of consumers in regional beers.

Holsten is one of the most popular brands in Northern Germany. In order to draw attention to its Premium Pilsener in the half-litre can in food retail trade, the traditional Hamburg brewery, which is part of the Danish Carlsberg Group, developed an identity-strong secondary placement in the form of a cargo vessel in close cooperation with DS Smith. The reference to the port stresses the origin of the brand, which has been brewing in Hamburg since 1879 and is associated with the Hanseatic city as hardly any other beer.

Can trays stacked on the pallet act as the freight of the original POS presentation. In tune with the look and feel of the brand, they form the containers of the extraordinary vessel, which, thanks to its open design, directs the attention completely to the products accessible from all sides. The protruding crane broom of the almost two-metres-high display with its attached beer can draws shoppers already from far away and invites each beer enthusiast to "unload" some freight.

In addition to increased sales, DS Smith's smart development offered extremely simple handling. The complete setup of the display made 100 % of corrugated cardboard can be done within little time and by only one person. Only three parts are required to transform the pallet of canned beer into an attention-grabbing container ship with a high branding factor.
(DS Smith Packaging Division, Display/Packaging/Service)

Coors Slice marks 2020 debut in Canada with introduction of lime flavor

Coors Slice marks 2020 debut in Canada with introduction of lime flavor  (Company news)

Coors Slice heralded its return and the introduction of a second flavor that leans into the brand’s citrus vibe: Coors Slice Lime.

The launch of Coors Slice’s lime flavor comes off the successful debut last year of Coors Slice, which combines the classic Coors Light flavor with a hint of orange. At 4.2% alcohol by volume, Coors Slice Lime hits the same “sweet spot, offering extreme sessionability, inviting familiarity and just a hint of sweetness,” says Kate Hanrahan, marketing manager for the Coors trademark in Canada.

Coors Slice, which helped change the trajectory of flagship Coors Light and recruit new female drinkers to the brand in its seasonal appearance last year, is becoming a year-round brand for 2020 in some regions of the country. It will be sold in stand-alone packs of each flavor as well as a variety 12-pack, which includes four cans of each Coors Slice Orange, Coors Slice Lime and Coors Light.

The brand will be backed by a campaign that includes national TV, digital and social media, and a PR plan anchored by a unique Coors Slice-branded clothing line launch by Hayley Elsaesser, a Canadian fashion designer known for her bright, bold prints with subtle subversion.

The new 15-second TV spots, which began airing earlier this month, introduce drinkers to Coors Slice Lime and celebrate the return of Coors Slice Orange. The product-oriented spots feature a female voiceover that offers in no uncertain terms that Coors Slice Lime has “juuuuust a hint” of citrus flavor.
(Molson Coors Brewing Company (Canada))

'Successful open-heart surgery': Pyraser Landbrauerei invests in a KHS glass bottle filler

'Successful open-heart surgery': Pyraser Landbrauerei invests in a KHS glass bottle filler  (Company news)

-Low Innofill Glass DRS consumption figures convincing
-Automated cleaning processes and format part changeovers
-Pyraser Landbrauerei boosts efficiency in production

Like the KHS Group, Pyraser Landbrauerei from the Franconia region of Germany looks back on a turbulent company history – one that began at practically the same time as KHS’. The success story of the Dortmund specialist for filling and packaging systems started in 1868. Just two years later Pyraser launched its first country beers to the local market. About 150 years on, the two traditional companies are now writing history together, with the Landbrauerei investing in an efficient, automated glass filler from KHS.

Photo: Pyraser Landbrauerei has gradually renewed its bottle cellar and in the process invested in a KHS Innofill Glass DRS glass bottle filler.

Seven days from ingress to production start was the clear instruction from Pyraser Landbrauerei – one that KHS followed to the letter. “It was successful open-heart surgery where nothing was allowed to go wrong,” smiles master brewer Helmut Sauerhammer. The brewery had gradually renewed its bottle cellar and in the process invested in a KHS Innofill Glass DRS glass bottle filler. Among other aspects, the decision-makers at the Franconian brewery were quickly convinced by the machinery’s consumption values and the low-oxygen filling process so essential when bottling beer. The patented KHS DRS-ZMS filling system uses just 210 grams of CO2 per hectoliter of beer. “We need a lot less carbon dioxide than the usual quantity common to the market to yield the same or even better residual oxygen values,” states Mike Herrmann, KHS Sales Germany and the man responsible for the project.

Another special feature at the country brewery is that Pyraser closes its beer bottles with aluminum caps. Because of this and the greater volume more oxygen would normally be pressed into the bottle compared to the amount required with classic crown corks; this would be detrimental to the beer as the product would then age more rapidly. To minimize oxygen pickup, the KHS glass filler therefore blasts the aluminum roll-on caps with CO2 in the capper. This joint development with the brewery means that the very good oxygen values in the bottle are the same as those for crown corks.

Efficiency boosted by automated CIP caps
Furthermore, the Innofill Glass DRS works with automatic CIP caps. “On the one hand, cleaning is considerably simplified as a lot less effort is needed for operation. On the other, the time saved as a result boosts efficiency in production,” Sauerhammer says. The number of manual interventions is reduced, as are toolless format changeovers thanks to hygienic QUICKLOCK fast-acting locks. The program is automatic and operated at the press of a button. Up until now employees had to place the CIP caps on the filling valves by hand. Cleaning processes can now be preset for specific times. They start automatically, with no manual intervention necessary. Any potential contamination of the filler, as could be the case where CIP caps are applied manually, is also prevented.

Water consumption significantly reduced
The new investment is also convincing with regard to sustainability. With its separate cooling circuit the ECO vacuum pump significantly reduces water consumption, meaning that Pyraser Landbrauerei uses only 80 liters an hour instead of the previous 800.

With the Innofill Glass DRS breweries profit from cutting-edge technology from the high-performance range and from a clearly structured machine design which considerably facilitates both operation and the entire production process. Pyraser Landbrauerei fills up to 26,000 bottles of beer or a maximum of 24,000 bottles of soft drinks per hour – with no hitches whatsoever since commissioning, Sauerhammer claims. “I’ve never known the first filled product to be ready for sale as quickly as here. We’re delighted!"
(KHS GmbH)

Glass packaging is the top choice for environmentally conscious consumers, new survey reveals

Glass packaging is the top choice for environmentally conscious consumers, new survey reveals  (Company news)

As industries, businesses and politicians make strong commitments to initiatives like the European Green Deal and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, consumers all over Europe are taking more and more steps to reduce their environmental footprint – and latest figures from the glass industry show that awareness of recycling and environmental impact is increasingly driving everyday purchasing decisions.

An independent consumer research survey carried out among more than 10,000 consumers across 13 European countries, commissioned by Friends of Glass and the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE), reveals that people are buying more glass than ever before: half of consumers are now buying more products in glass packaging than three years ago. At the same time, 9 in 10 people would recommend glass as the best packaging material to friends and family; an 11% increase compared to 2016.

These findings are driven by the high recyclability of glass, along with a growing consumer awareness of its environmental credentials. With an extensive network of local recycling facilities and made from recycled glass and raw materials (sand, soda ash, limestone) found in nature, glass is 100% and infinitely recyclable in a local closed loop system, making recycled glass a vital resource for new production. In fact, 2 in 5 consumers actively choose glass over other packaging materials specifically because they see it as more recyclable than any other packaging.

Sustainability matters for consumers
According to the survey, the environmental impact of packaging is seen as an important decision driver in food and beverage purchases, with the majority of consumers (3 in 4) ‘highly concerned’ about littering of food containers and 1 in 3 respondents citing this as their most important consideration. At the same time, 46% of Europeans state that they have significantly decreased their consumption of plastic to prevent littering in the environment.

Glass consistently scores as the most environmentally-friendly packaging material: overwhelmingly, it comes out on top in addressing contamination and environmental issues, particularly when it comes to avoiding food littering (glass rated ‘best in class’ by 43% of respondents), avoiding packaging waste (by 43% of respondents) and addressing climate change (by 48% of respondents).

The findings also reveal that the vast majority of consumers are recycling their glass packaging: 84% of Europeans state that they collect their glass separately for recycling, with 8 in 10 correctly disposing of caps and lids separately. Taking used glass to a local bottle bank is considered the most convenient disposal method across Europe.

A step in the right direction towards a Circular Economy
All these figures mark a step in the right direction towards a Circular Economy in Europe and achieving important sustainability goals, such as a real glass recycling rate of 70% by 2025, and 75% by 2030 per country. To this end, the glass industry is rolling out ‘Close the Glass Loop’ – an industry platform to increase the quantity and quality of recycled glass by establishing a material stewardship programme that will result in more post-consumer collection and bottle-to-bottle recycling. This includes industry and municipal efforts to establish separate collection networks, coupled with communication tools to engage citizens to separate and sort their glass waste for recycling. The results are released on the same day that ‘Close the Glass Loop’ stakeholders are holding an online conference to discuss how to improve collection and recycling of glass throughout the value chain.

In parallel, the industry is making rapid strides in becoming climate neutral: for the first time ever, a large group of European container glass manufacturers have joined forces to build the ‘Furnace of the Future’ – the world’s first large-scale hybrid electric furnace to run on 80% green electricity, set to replace current fossil-fuel energy sources and cut CO2 emissions by 50%. Due to be operational by 2022, the furnace will be able to melt all kinds of glass together with recycled glass – thereby dramatically reducing CO2 emissions.

Commenting on the survey results, Michael Delle Selve, Senior Communications Manager of FEVE, the European Container Glass Federation said: “As we prepare to mark another Earth Day, it’s heartening to see that not only is glass recycling on the rise across Europe, with a collection rate of 76%, but that the benefits of glass packaging and recycling are strongly resonating with consumers. Our ambition is to achieve both a collection rate of 90% by 2030 and full recycling of collected glass packaging – so that people don’t just recycle, but recycle more and better. At the end of the day, we all get out what we put in, which is why we’re urging everyone to join us in our effort to collect and recycle every single glass bottle. It’s simple, easy to do and it’ll make a huge impact on our planet and a huge difference for future generations.”
(Friends of Glass)

SIG signs CEO call for governments to align COVID-19 recovery with latest climate science

SIG signs CEO call for governments to align COVID-19 recovery with latest climate science  (Company news)


SIG and other leading companies committed to science-based climate action have released a joint Recover Better statement, which calls on governments around the world to match their ambition to achieve a zero-carbon economy by aligning COVID-19 economic aid and recovery efforts with the latest climate science.

“The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt around the world and it’s encouraging to see people uniting to weather this crisis, but we must not lose sight of the urgent need for collective action to tackle the climate emergency,” said Rolf Stangl, CEO at SIG. “At SIG, we’re committed to delivering low-carbon solutions for our customers and reducing our own emissions in line with the latest science. We’re joi”ing other leading corporates to call on governments to ensure efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic support the transition to a zero-carbon economy and deliver on the climate commitments of the Paris Agreement.”

Recover Better
Signed by 155 major multinationals, the Recover Better statement is the largest ever UN-backed CEO-led climate advocacy effort. It calls for policies that will build resilience against future shocks by supporting efforts to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in line with reaching net-zero emissions well before 2050.

The Recover Better campaign is being convened by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), together with the UN Global Compact and the We Mean Business coalition.

“Governments have a critical role to play by aligning policies and recovery plans with the latest climate science, but they cannot drive a systemic socio-economic transformation alone,” said Lila Karbassi, Chief of Programmes at the UN Global Compact, and Science Based Targets Initiative Board Member. “To address the interconnected crises we face, we must work together as an international community to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. As the largest ever UN-backed CEO-led climate advocacy effort, these companies are leading the way in driving ambitious science-based action and advocacy to help reduce vulnerability to future shocks and disasters.”

SIG and the other Recover Better signatories are all members of the SBTi. Today, they are reaffirming their own science-based carbon commitments and urging world leaders to target a zero-carbon recovery from COVID-19.

SIG’s commitment
SIG has taken decisive action to protect its employees, serve its communities and support its customers and supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a leading systems and solutions provider for aseptic packaging, SIG has a critical role in the global food supply system. Many SIG plants have been running day and night through the COVID-19 crisis to help customers provide a continuous supply of food and beverages to consumers.

While fighting COVID-19 is an immediate priority, SIG is equally committed to fighting climate change and delivering sustainable solutions in the long term.

SIG’s climate goals – to reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 60% and value chain greenhouse gas emissions by 25% per litre of food packed by 2030 – have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative as in line with the latest science to keep global warming below 1.5°C.

These goals are part of SIG’s roadmap to deliver on its ambition to go Way Beyond Good for society and the environment.
(SIG Combibloc Group AG)

Batch 19 breaks out with cans in return to retail

Batch 19 breaks out with cans in return to retail  (Company news)

Batch 19 is back.

After a 5-year absence on retail shelves, the beloved pre-Prohibition lager brewed by AC Golden Brewing Co. is marking its return to retail outlets with the debut of striking black cans.

The beer, in rotation from 2010 to 2015, was reintroduced to draft lines in Colorado and Wisconsin last year. Six- and 12-packs of the 12-ounce cans are now available statewide in Colorado and will launch this summer in southeastern Wisconsin.

“The number one question we get on the (Coors) Golden brewery tour is, ‘What happened to Batch 19, and how can we get it back?’” says Meagan Nelson, marketing manager for AC Golden. “Seeing the success of its return to draft, and still hearing the off-premise demand for Batch 19, we decided to bring it back.”

Well balanced with just the right amount of hops bitterness to malt sweetness, Batch 19 pours a dark copper color with a full white head. Noble hops give it a spicy, herbal nose, along with a biscuity aroma from two malts that balance its hoppiness with subtle caramel flavors. The 5.5 percent alcohol-by-volume beer is naturally filtered and unpasteurized. At 26 IBUs, it’s more bitter than most modern American lagers, while retaining a smooth, medium body with a crisp finish.

Batch 19 was originally sold in bottles, true to its pre-Prohibition roots. But Nelson says the time was right to bring the brand back to market in cans.

“Cans are what consumers are looking for when they go shopping, and what they’ll find on the shelf. If we really want Batch 19 to be successful, that’s the way we want to go,” Nelson says. “We felt like it’s an everyday great beer, and I think the versatility of a can in terms of being able to take it to a backyard barbecue, or camping or hiking, makes it fit our drinkers’ lifestyles as well.”

As for the timing? Strong consumer demand answered the question of whether to launch during a pandemic, Nelson says.

“We actually had several conversations about pushing back the launch, just given the state of the world right now,” Nelson says. “But we went to our distributors, as well as our key retailers, and they said, ‘We’ll take it and we want it.’ They’ve been so excited for this to come to packaging.”

Batch 19 is brewed by AC Golden, a craft brewery inside Molson Coors Beverage Co.’s brewery in Golden, Colo. AC Golden, which sits under Molson Coors’ U.S. craft unit Tenth & Blake, also makes beers including Colorado Native’s array of ales, lagers and sours, and serves as a small-batch testing ground for craft innovations.

Batch 19 exploded onto the market in 2010 with a viral origin story: the recipe, once lost to time, had been discovered in one of Adolph Coors’ logbooks. AC Golden brewers made the beer for themselves and loved the bold, hoppy taste. It was introduced to the public with subtle packaging that called to mind grainy black-and-white photographs of the pre-Prohibition era.

However, as company priorities shifted, in 2015 Batch 19 was again returned to the brewery archives. But it remained popular, in memory, at least, and AC Golden brought it back in 2019, the 100th anniversary of Prohibition’s enactment.

Now the beer that has its roots in a time before radio is showing up on video happy hours, Nelson says.
(AC Golden Brewing Company LLC)

GEMÜ is expanding production capacities in Shanghai

GEMÜ is expanding production capacities in Shanghai  (Company news)

Picture: Most modern robot technology in the production process of the GEMÜ R480 butterfly valve

In-house machining and coating of valve bodies and washers is expanding the manufacturing capabilities and is a further important step towards a global production concept.

The production of butterfly valves at GEMÜ Valves China is part of GEMÜ's global production concept. As part of this global production concept, GEMÜ has set the course for further expanding the capability for the production of butterfly valves in their factory in Shanghai.

To achieve this, the manufacturing capabilities have been significantly expanded in order to further increase the effect on production steps that are decisive for quality. In concrete terms, this means that GEMÜ has specifically invested in the mechanical machining and coating of the valve bodies and butterfly discs, and now carries out these production steps themselves in their own Butterfly Valve Production Center with the assistance of state-of-the-art technology.

In recent months, a new fully automated coating system was fitted and commissioned for this purpose. In addition, GEMÜ has developed a special manufacturing and clamping concept that can be used to achieve narrow shape and positional tolerances.

Furthermore, in recent months, an interdisciplinary project team made up of German and Chinese specialists at GEMÜ Valves China was working intensively on the fine adjustment of the individual parameters in order to optimize the production processes. Now that this work is complete, the expanded GEMÜ production centre has started up its activities.

This has laid the foundations for the latest generation of the GEMÜ R480 Victoria soft-seated, butterfly valve to be produced in accordance with the most stringent quality requirements at the new butterfly valve competence centre in Shanghai, China with immediate effect.

"The expansion of the manufacturing capabilities in our Butterfly Valve Production Center in China is a key step on the path to implementing a global production concept," says Gert Müller, Managing Partner at GEMÜ, commenting on the expansion of production capacities in China. "With the expansion of our factory in Shanghai, we are offering our customers, thanks to the significant production depth, significant improvements in safety and flexibility, and are implementing our "Made by GEMÜ" strategy at yet another location."

GEMÜ Valves China was founded back in the year 2000 and is one of the largest subsidiaries of the GEMÜ Group. Even before expanding production capacities, the company in Shanghai was one of GEMÜ's most state-of-the-art factories. Thanks to the continued investment in employees, design, production and logistics, GEMÜ Valves China is an important site in GEMÜ's global production concept.
(GEMÜ Gebr. Müller Apparatebau GmbH & Co. KG)

Feldmuehle – VivaKraft successfully transferred to PM1

Feldmuehle – VivaKraft successfully transferred to PM1  (Company news)

Feldmuehle GmbH, leading manufacturer of label and flexible packaging papers, is proud to announce that the mill successfully transferred its paper grade „VivaKraft“ to the PM1.

VivaKraft is combining an excellent surface with highest strength properties. Therefore, VivaKraft is unique in the market of coated Kraft-papers. VivaKraft, available in 80 and 90 gsm, is designed to be the perfect medium for all kinds of single- and multi-layer packaging-solutions.

With this step, Feldmuehle continues to strengthen its position in a market with growing demand.
(Feldmuehle GmbH)

Digital twin: KHS lowers fault-related costs with virtual machine commissioning

Digital twin: KHS lowers fault-related costs with virtual machine commissioning  (Company news)

-Digital twin creates fully detailed virtual system image
-Virtual system commissioning to be increased
-Lead times reduced and fault-related costs lowered

In the future the digital twin will become a key component of industrial production. KHS already uses models to virtually map the machine and conveyor system commissioning process.

Photo: With the digital twin the mechanical components, electrical equipment and software programming must be able to access the exact same data.

With the help of smart, digital technologies KHS is networking and automating production processes step by step so that machines, products and complete lines can efficiently communicate and work with one another. “In particular what's known as the digital twin enables procedures to be transferred to a virtual environment by tracking and imaging all phases in a machine’s life cycle. All production processes and products can then be simulated virtually,” says Stefan Diesner, head of the Palletizing Product Center. Alternative, optimized production processes are displayed on the computer.

One of the major prerequisites for this is that engineering is consistent throughout the entire value chain in order to prevent what is known as data discontinuity at the interfaces between the various engineering disciplines, namely mechanical components, electrical equipment and software. Unlike the way a lot of work is done today, projects are not processed sequentially, i.e. separately and consecutively. Instead, in an ideal scenario all departments work in parallel across their respective disciplines on the implementation of a project and share a common data model – the basis for the digital twin that depicts every last detail of a system virtually and permits precise simulation.

The shared data challenge
For an engineering company like KHS, which not only manufactures a huge number of different machines but whose research and development departments also have a colossal geographical spread, this is a major challenge. The KHS engineers at the Palletizing Product Center in Worms have been working on the virtual depiction and simulation of machines and system parts for 13 years now. Simulation or virtual commissioning especially lend themselves to use with logistics systems such as palletizers or conveyors.

“Our aim is to continue to shorten lead times and lower fault-related costs by expanding our virtual commissioning setup,” explains Diesner. In order to estimate just how high these savings can be, it helps to take a look at the rule of ten. This states that the cost of fault correction increases by a factor of ten the later in the process an error is discovered. If a fault is only found and eliminated during factory commissioning, for example, the financial burden is ten times higher than if the correction had already been made to the software engineering during virtual commissioning.

Reduced time and effort
A further objective of the current project is to reduce the amount of time and effort required for virtual commissioning. One basic condition here is that the data is consistent. “With virtual commissioning we have control over data consistency,” Diesner explains. “All data is generated and stored at our production site, albeit still in a number of different systems. Further steps must be taken here before efficient and bidirectional access to this data is provided by a virtual engineering tool that includes simulation. Once this has been done, we can configure the system according to customer specifications or quickly and efficiently commission adapted machine designs on screen.”

In the meantime Worms is looking ahead: virtual commissioning is the first step towards digitalized systems for the beverage industry and the real digital twin. This will be able to do much more in the future, To this end, the digital twin has to be plied with more information, however, such as data on conversions for KHS customers or operational data from production – a challenging undertaking indeed.
(KHS GmbH)

AriZona Hard Green Tea off to fast start in Canada

AriZona Hard Green Tea off to fast start in Canada  (Company news)

The hard version of one of the best-selling ready-to-drink green teas in North America is generating buzz in Canada.

AriZona Hard Green Tea, a 5% alcohol-by-volume hard tea made with premium vodka, rolled out across Ontario and Western Canada last month.

AriZona Hard, dubbed the “perfect backyard beverage” by Narcity, launched with plenty of built-in buzz because of AriZona’s reputation and ubiquity in Canada, says Saleem Deane, marketing manager for the brand. “AriZona has a huge, existing fanbase, so this is a drink that’s extremely familiar to Canadians, and they’re obviously very excited to try it.”

The brand is off to a hot start in Western Canada, Deane says, with multiple retail customers placing re-orders within days of receiving the product and consumers flooding social media with pictures. In an Instagram post that has generated nearly 300,000 likes, Barstool Sports called AriZona Hard’s introduction a game changer, while Curiocity wrote they’ve “gotta get our hands on some of these bad boys.”

The beverage, part of a collaboration between Molson Coors Beverage Co. and AriZona Beverages, is made with real brewed green tea, ginseng flavor and a touch of honey.

Sold in 473-mililiter single cans or six-packs of 355-mililiter cans, AriZona Hard is line priced with Twisted Tea, its largest competitor.

“The reception has just been tremendous, and that’s no surprise, because from a consumer trends standpoint, AriZona Hard ticks a lot of boxes,” says Deane. “It’s made with 100% real brewed green tea. On top of that, brand awareness is high out of the gate."

The drink is an extension of the partnership between Molson Coors and AriZona parent Hornell Brewing, which also collaborate on Arnold Palmer Spiked, a brand of hard tea and lemonade sold in the United States.
(Molson Coors Brewing Company (Canada))

KHS promotes closed plastics loop with sustainable systems and solutions

KHS promotes closed plastics loop with sustainable systems and solutions  (Company news)

The debate on plastic is presenting the beverage and food industries with a number of big challenges. The KHS Group is clear that the increased use of recycled PET provides a significant partial solution to this problem. The Dortmund systems supplier is thus focusing on sustainable products and services which help to close the recycling loop.

Photo: Every aspect of the Beyond Juice container concept from KHS has been optimized to ensure the best possible recyclability.

According to business magazine Forbes, around 140 PET bottles per head are circulated in Europe each year, with this figure more than twice that in the USA at 290. Despite all the criticism the plastic container is actually growing in popularity, with the number used increasing globally by around 4% per annum. Awareness of the need to recycle is also on the rise, however; according to Forbes, an estimated 57% of all used PET bottles were collected worldwide in 2019. For 2029 the magazine forecasts that this rate will increase to 68% – albeit with major differences from region to region. While 57% of all bottles could be collected in Europe, in the USA this would only amount to 30%. China, on the other hand, could become something of a model student and in ten years achieve an impressive collection rate of 82%. Collecting does not necessarily mean recycling, however: in the USA 70% of all collected plastics end up at waste disposal sites – and in Europe 30%.

Practically made for recycling: plastic
Yet plastic can be very easily recycled, especially PET. It is the only plastic that, when recycled, satisfies the legal requirements governing food grade materials. Whereas with other materials, such as polypropylene, polyethylene and polystyrene, the loss of quality which occurs on application of the usual recycling methods is irreversible, recycled PET can always be brought up to the standard of new material.

It is thus no surprise to learn that of the approximately 477,000 metric tons of PET used each year to make bottles in Germany alone, about 93% of this material is recovered and reused. Only roughly a third of this is used to make new bottles, however; the rest goes into the manufacturing of films and especially textile fibers. This means that the bottle-to-bottle recycling loop is deprived of a large percentage of this raw material.

There is also the development in price to be considered: while the cost of what is known as virgin PET is based on that of crude oil and benefits from the current low market price thereof, the charge for recycled PET has continuously risen over the last three years. Companies now have to pay about 20% more for rPET than for the original material – also because the supply cannot meet the growing demand.

High standards of quality
Not only do hurdles have to be overcome at the raw materials end; some beverage producers also have reservations. They often fear that the rPET material may discolor or that the level of intrinsic viscosity may drop. Another issue are safety standards and thus the harmlessness of the material. Time and again the question is raised as to whether multiple recycling can affect the quality. Although this has not yet been fully researched in practice, one thing is clear: as the polymer chains reform, no compromises must be made as regards the material quality as long as the additives can be completely separated off. The European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) is just one of the institutions that helps to assure high standards of quality with its clear specifications and certifications. Whereas just a few years ago experimentation was rife and the beverage and food industries gained their experience with recycled PET through sheer trial and error, from a technical standpoint there is now nothing preventing the global use of high percentages of recycled PET. More and more beverage producers and brands are even opting to use bottles made of 100% recyclate. Where this is not yet the case, voluntary commitments are being publicized; Poland Spring, one of the biggest water brands in the USA, and Evian want to use recycled PET only by 2025. The other brands by Danone Waters, Pepsi and Coca-Cola plan to introduce a worldwide quota of 50% by this date. Their objective? They would like the consumer to interpret the slight graying that can occur when PET bottles are recycled several times over as a hallmark of quality for sustainable packaging.

Sound expertise: KHS specialists have been studying rPET since 2012
The KHS Group has also been examining the use of recyclate for some time now – in fact since 2012. KHS’ Bottles and Shapes™ service program focuses on the practical application thereof on the stretch blow molders and indeed all of the filling and packaging lines engineered by the Dortmund systems supplier. “We run tests to qualify recycled PET so that we can tell our customers in advance which impact the material will have on the blow molder and bottle quality,” says Arne Wiese, product manager for Bottles & Shapes™ at KHS Corpoplast. The aim to be able to quantify the various different qualities.

In doing so, KHS must work closely with preform manufacturers. They are ultimately often the companies which subject the washed PET flakes or rPET granulate to further thermomechanical processing and prepare them for injection molding. “We’re consulting with all of the major plastics processors in Europe on this topic,” Wiese emphasizes. And that is not all; KHS is also liaising with various engineering companies on preform manufacture. Thanks to this close cooperation, data from the injection molding process can be used just in time to adapt the stretch blow molding process. This makes bottle production faster and more efficient and improves the quality of the finished containers.

Adaptations needed: KHS has the right systems
“With recyclate the color can vary from batch to batch, for instance,” is how Wiese outlines one of the challenges faced. “Darker material absorbs heat better. The lower heating capacity requires less energy. This makes production more efficient yet means that adaptations must be made to the blow molding program on the stretch blow molder.” It is therefore essential that the effects are quantified, he continues. Another challenge is the intrinsic viscosity. “The longer the recyclate is boiled under vacuum, the longer the polymer chains become. This means that the intrinsic viscosity increases and the quality improves. However, this results in additional costs which not everyone is prepared to invest,” Wiese adds. “Here, we have to come up with ways of redistributing the material from uncritical areas – the bottle base in the case of still water – to more critical zones.” Experience shows that manufacturers of premium brands – whose containers have thicker walls – have less cause for adjustment than discounters, where all of the lightweighting options have often been exhausted. This is where recyclate can reach its limits.

In this context a technology developed by KHS in cooperation with inspection technology manufacturer Agr International scores points: Unit Mold Control, a digital, automated control system which regulates the blow stations on the InnoPET Blomax individually. It helps to control material distribution more precisely, reduces variations in the wall thickness by up to 30% and lessens any fluctuations in quality during stretch blow molding. “This is especially relevant when using recycled PET,” explains Frank Haesendonckx, head of Technology at KHS Corpoplast. “Here, the quality of the material can vary, meaning that the lower the preform weight, the greater the fluctuations in material in the bottle and the more unstable it becomes.” During continuous wall thickness inspection the new system identifies any unwanted material displacement and automatically counteracts this, states Haesendonckx. “Unit Mold Control combines weight reduction with bottle stability and is thus one of the many sustainable and effective answers KHS has to the challenges thrown up by the current packaging debate.”

According to Bottles & Shapes™ expert Arne Wiese there are no convincing arguments against the use of recycled PET in beverage bottles. The only relevant difference he sees between virgin PET and recycled material is the slightly darker color. This is a question of sorting, however – and only really visible in water bottles. With other beverages, such as the Beyond Juice bottle developed by KHS which is made entirely of recyclate, the consumer would not even notice the difference once the bottle is filled. As far as the mechanics are concerned, there is nothing to stop companies converting to rPET, providing ideal conditions for the creation of a functioning circular economy.
(KHS GmbH)

Verallia: 2020 First Quarter Results

Verallia: 2020 First Quarter Results  (Company news)

Good start of the year with limited impact from the COVID-19 epidemic:
-1.9% growth in reported revenue
-Organic revenue growth of 4.0%
-23.5% adjusted EBITDA margin, up 103 basis points

-1.9% growth in reported revenue amounting to €645m compared to Q1 2019
-Sustained organicrevenuegrowth of 4.0% compared to Q1 2019
-Adjusted EBITDA growth reaching €151m, up 6.5% compared to Q1 2019 (+9.6% at constant exchange rates and scope)
-Improvement in adjusted EBITDA margin at 23.5%, up 103 basis points compared to Q1 2019
-Reduction in net debt leverage to 2.5x adjusted EBITDA for the last 12 months, compared to 2.6xas of December 31, 2019
-Withdrawal of the 2020 guidance due to the limited visibility linked to the COVID-19 epidemic
-Proposal to pay a dividend per share of €0.85, with payment in cash or in new shares

Verallia reports good results for the first quarter of 2020 with an increase in sales and an improvement in profitability, despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on March sales. From the onset of the current health crisis, we were very prompt in our response to ensure the safety of our employees and guarantee business continuity for our customers by keeping all our production sites up and running. I wish to acknowledge and warmly thank all of our employees for their commitment and their spontaneous acts of solidarity. Even though it is now inevitable that this crisis will have a significant impact on the results for the next quarter and the year 2020, our financial strength and our resilient profile will enable us to address the situation with equanimity," commented Michel Giannuzzi, Chairman and CEO Verallia.

Adaptation plans to address the COVID-19 epidemic
Verallia reiterates that, from the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, all necessary measures have been undertaken to guarantee the safety and health of its employees worldwide and to ensure business continuity. Adaptation plans have been implemented at Group and country level to ensure the following priorities are met:
-Employee safety
-Verallia immediately put in place all required health precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus at its production sites. In addition, remote work has been swiftly rolled out in all possible cases.
-Business continuity and production
-As a key supplier to the food industry, the Group has managed to maintain all of its production sites running, adapting its production volumes, and thus to serve its customers to the fullest extent possible. In Northern Europe, Italy and Iberia, the plants continued to operate at a sustained level. France and Latin America have been more affected.

2020 first quarter results
In the first quarter of the year, Verallia recordeda revenue of €645m,compared to €633m in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 1.9% on a reported basis

The impact of the exchange rates variation was -2.1% over the first quarter (-€13m), primarily linked to the currency depreciation in Latin America, which was considerably more pronounced during the month of March.

At constant exchange rates and scope, revenue increased by 4.0% duringthe first quarter of the year (and by 2.0% excluding Argentina), with a deceleration in March: organic growth at the end of February amounted to +5.9% while it decreased to +0.4% in March, the initial impacts of the COVID-19 crisis only being felt at the end of the quarter. The activity evolution has been slightly negative (-€2.7m) on the quarter despite volumes sold showing a small increase. This can be explained by the higher decline in French sales, where the selling prices and the sales mix are higher than the Group's average.

The Group estimates that close to two-thirds of its consolidated sales are exposed to the off-trade channel, while one-third to the on-trade channel. This percentage varies quite significantly depending on the country and product family.

By segment:
-In Southern and Western Europe, demand levels remained dynamic, particularly for food jars and beer bottles. Italy and Iberia posted positive growth over the quarter. At the beginning of the quarter, activities in France were affected by the national strikes related to the pension reform and by a decline in demand from customers exporting to China. This decline became more pronounced from mid-March onwards due to COVID-19 impact.
-The Northern and Eastern Europe region was driven by the food jars and mineral water markets. Germany, Ukraine and Russia showed positive organic growth in Q1.
-In Latin America, all countries reported positive growth for the quarter. The situation took a downturn from mid-March onwards, particularly in Brazil which is going through a challenging political and health context.

In terms of pricing policy at Group level, sales price increases were more moderate at the start of the year than the previous year and in line with expectations. The weight of Argentina, that is in hyperinflation, is noticeable as the price mix impact amounted to €11m over the quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA grew by 6.5% (+9.6% at constant exchange rates and scope) in the first quarter amounting to €151m. Despite a slightly negative activity impact, the adjusted EBITDA improved thanks to a positive spread1 and a net reduction in cash production costs (Performance Action Plan, PAP) of €8m in the first quarter of 2020. The first operational impacts related to COVID-19 remain insignificant at the end of March. The adjusted EBITDA margin increased by 103 basis points to 23.5%

During the first quarter of the year, Verallia continued its deleveraging. Net debt thus reached €1,574m at the end of March 2020, i.e. 2.5x adjusted EBITDA for the last 12 months, compared to 2.6xas of December 31, 2019. This leverage ratio remains well below the maximum leverage ratio set out in Verallia's Group financing documentation, which is at 5.0x adjusted EBITDA. On March 20, 2020, the Group drew €200m from its €500m Revolving Credit Facility ahead of the upcoming maturities of its "Neu Commercial Papers", the market of which is currently closed for non-investment grade companies in France. In addition, Verallia continues to benefit from strong liquidity2 of €528m as of March 31, 2020.

In order to reinforce its liquidity, Verallia successfully set up an additional €250m Revolving Credit line with a one-year maturity, extendable by six months at the Group's discretion, on April 24, 2020. The syndicate of banks that participated to this new source of financing includes Banco Santander, BNP Paribas, CACIB, CIC, Commerzbank, La Banque Postale, Rabobank and Société Générale.

Verallia: united and responsible
Given its financial strength and its resilience, Verallia does not intend to apply for the financial support offered by the French government (public loans or guarantees, deferrals of tax or social charges payments,…) in order to allow businesses that need them the most to benefit from those financial measures. Only after having used employees' holidays, banked hours or RTT (reduction of working hours) to the highest extent possible did Verallia implement partial unemployment measures, in the most responsible and restricted manner possible.

The management recognizes the remarkable commitment and responsiveness of all the Group's employees, as well as the teams' spontaneous movements of solidarity towards the local communities where the production sites are located, such as donations of hospital equipment, hydroalcoholic gels, protective clothing or masks.

In addition, Michel Giannuzzi, Verallia's CEO, has decided to contribute to the Group's collective effort by foregoing his 2020 variable compensation, which represents 50% of his total annual compensation. All other Executive Committee members also participate in this joint effort by renouncing 15% of their total annual compensation. This amount will be dedicated to additional donations at local level.

In this critical context associated with the COVID-19 epidemic, and as announced in the press release of April 7, the Group considers that its financial guidance for 2020 is no longer valid, given the uncertainty resulting from the depth of the crisis.

Verallia expects a significant impact of the COVID-19 crisis on its activities in the second quarter of 2020, resulting in a significant drop in sales volumes. However, the scale and complexity of this unprecedented health crisis together with the uncertainties concerning the end of such crisis do not, to date, enable the Group to precisely quantify the impact on customers and its activities for the year 2020.

In order to address this situation, Verallia is implementing measures to variabilize costs, to follow very accurately cash and supply chain, and proactively manage all investments. Recurring investments will be maintained at around 8% of annual consolidated revenue, which will be lower than expected, thus leading to an absolute amount of recurring investments lower than forecast. The building of the two strategic investments (construction of a new furnace with two production lines at the Villa Poma site in Italy and at the Azuqueca site in Spain) will be completed by the end of the year and their start-up will take place depending on market needs.


UK: Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I launches Budweiser Zero and Stella Artois Alcohol Free ...  (

... within its no- and low-alcohol portfolio

The AB InBev-owned Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I has announced the addition of two new beers to its no- and low-alcohol portfolio – Budweiser Zero and Stella Artois Alcohol Free.

The company highlighted that the new lines will enable retailers to tap into an alcohol-free beer and cider market that has grown 147% since 2015 and is now worth £77.4 mln a year for the off-trade (Nielsen, year to 28 December 2019).

Stella Artois Alcohol Free has zero alcohol and 60 calories. It follows the launch of Stella Artois Gluten Free in 2018, certified by Coeliac UK.

Meanwhile, the brewer claims that Budweiser Zero, at zero alcohol, zero sugar and 46 calories, offers the same iconic taste of standard Budweiser. Bud Zero will take over the listings formerly held by Bud Prohibition, although it is a different recipe.

The Budweiser Brewing Group already brews alcohol-free beers such as Beck’s Blue – the biggest non-alcoholic brand in the Off-Trade, accounting for 21.4% of all sales, and low alcohol options including Bud Light and Michelob ULTRA, both brewed to 3.5% ABV.

The expansion of its no and low portfolio is part of the company’s ‘Global Smart Drinking Goals’. These include a pledge that 20% of the brewer’s global beer volumes will be low-to-no alcohol by 2025 – alongside deeper investments in programmes that measurably shift social norms and behaviours to decrease the harmful use of alcohol.

Stella Artois Alcohol Free launched in the on-trade earlier this year, with Budweiser Zero set to launch once pubs are re-opened.

Ali Humphrey, Director Stella Artois Europe said: “We’re excited to launch Stella Artois Alcohol Free to the market, the most recent addition to our expanding La Famille Artois. Our Brewmasters have taken 600 years of Belgian brewing heritage and combined it with our best, all-natural ingredients, to create an alcohol-free lager that is bursting with flavour. The result is a pronounced hoppy bitterness and a crisp, clean and refreshing finish – but without a drop of alcohol and 60 calories.”

Elise Dickinson, Marketing Manager at Budweiser added: “At Budweiser we pride ourselves on being the ‘King of Beers’ – and we know that while consumers are increasingly looking to enjoy low and no versions of their favourite products, they won’t compromise on taste. That’s why Budweiser Zero was created using the latest developments in no-alcohol brewing, and following years of taste testing. We are thrilled to add a smooth alcohol-free beer with all the taste but with zero alcohol or sugar, and a low-calorie content, to the Budweiser Family. Now, more people than ever can enjoy a Budweiser beer in any occasion”.


Mexico: Beer supply shortage drives black market prices through the roof  (

With beer production having been deemed a nonessential activity during the coronavirus pandemic, breweries have been shut down since early April. Now Mexico is running out of beer, the Mexico News Daily reported on May 4.

The short supply has driven prices through the roof on the black market, where a six-pack of cold ones can cost up to 300% more than pre-coronavirus prices.

Smugglers on the northern border are bringing in clandestine shipments of beer from the U.S., where production continues.

In southern Mexico, illegal beer runners in Tabasco, where alcohol sales have been prohibited for the past month, recently saw 85 cases of beer meant for resale seized by authorities. The shipment was destroyed by a bulldozer.

Last weekend at least 25 states across Mexico reported beer shortages both in large supermarket chains and corner stores.

As of May 1, the Oxxo chain of convenience stores had inventory for 10 days.

Some areas of the country are under government-mandated dry laws either banning outright the sale of alcohol or limiting the hours during which it can be purchased, but the shortage has imposed de facto dry laws on other regions simply because supplies do not exist.

And in areas where beer is still in supply, prices are soaring. In Tamaulipas, the price of a six-pack has doubled and a case of beer that used to sell for 280 pesos is now going for up to 600 pesos. In Coahuila, prices are up by 40%. In Chihuahua, panic buying and hoarding have exhausted shelves.

In Monterrey and Tijuana, stores are posting signs saying they have no beer.

Beer runners are taking to social media to sell their clandestine wares, which are being trafficked similarly to cocaine and marijuana. Sellers will bring beer to a customer’s door to lower the risk of being caught by police, but purchasers will often pay a 300% premium for the service.

Not only do regular beer drinkers miss out, so too do the government’s coffers as they are no longer collecting beer tax money. In 2019 those revenues amounted to around 1 billion pesos, almost US $41 million.

According to Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography, there were about 65 million regular beer drinkers in 2018, about half the population.


Australia: Independent craft beer faces challenges as people mostly buy ...  (

... cheaper mass production beer during lockdown

Independent craft beer faces challenges, according to a report from IRI Worldwide which has highlighted the move by consumers to larger packs and lower-priced beer during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Brews News reported on May 7.

According to data from the IRI, panic buying at the end of March, leading to a temporary surge in alcohol sales, highlighted emerging consumer trends as values, motivations and buying habits change.

The IRI said that the beer segment enjoyed the strongest alcohol category uplift during this spike – showing growth of 60 per cent for the last week in March from the lowest base in comparison to wine and spirits.

However independent players are facing “considerable challenges” it said, as the move to value and bulk beer favours bigger brewers such as Lion and Carlton & United Breweries.

The analytics and insights firm said that this shift is likely driven by the perception of volume for value during a period of perceived limited access to stock, and as consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of household budgets.

During the surge in alcohol sales at the end of March following the federal government’s mandatory venue closures, more Australians were buying liquor.

They were buying more often and in greater amounts due to the change in what the IRI called occasion buying and shifting household dynamics.

As these trends emerge, it said, it likely will have implications for category preference, pack size and value choices over the medium and long term too. Unsurprisingly, consumers have favoured bulk buying over the three weeks from 22nd March, it said.

Consumers buying beer by the case grew considerably, taking 91.6% share of the category for packaged beer during the period, it said.

The IRI said it was uncertain if this behavioural shift could inform longer-term buying habits, but it was a trend also revealed in Beer Cartel’s 2019 Australian Craft Beer Survey last year which found that beer drinkers wanted bigger pack sizes, despite independent brewers moving towards 4-packs and cartons of 16.

The IRI suggested that the ‘premiumisation’ trend which led to major breweries investing in craft beer businesses may subside if a wider proliferation of customers remain budget conscious for the foreseeable future.

Demand for independent craft beer may be impacted in the short to medium term as consumers become more budget driven, it said.

This move to bulk and value options was evinced in BWS and Dan Murphy’s owner Endeavour Drinks as well as Coles Liquor’s quarterly results posted last week. With customers moving away from premium brands and towards value-orientated items.

However despite consumer habits favouring big brewers, independent brewers are rising to the challenge and investing in their own consumer-friendly formats.

WA’s Otherside Brewing Co invested in an ‘affordable’ beer called Plan C very early on in the crisis, and Brisbane’s Ballistic Beer followed suit.

According to the IRI there has also been a shift to Australian brands, however this may be driven by price and the perception that international products are more expensive. Australian made beer rose to 82.3 per cent of market share, up from 81 per cent.

“Corporate craft” is outperforming independent craft the IRI found, as mainstream beer is seen to be more affordable and is a “known quantity” which comes with less risk in comparison to independent beer, it said.

Big established brands and value choices have been favoured through the peak of panic buying, which has brands such as XXXX Gold, One Fifty Lashes, Great Northern, Corona and Asahi Dry making the top five beer brands for the last two weeks in March in terms of unit growth.

This moved towards lower alcohol brands in the Heineken 0.0, Carlton Dry, Tooheys Extra Dry, Carlton Zero in addition to Great Northern in the first full week of April.

The IRI said that in comparison to corporate beer, “expensive” independent craft could be considered a luxury that people can live without during uncertain times, in which consumers are less likely to want to experiment.

Many independent brewers are struggling, the report said, and are hurt by the closure of their own on premise facilities in addition to those they supply to. In the short term, it said, cheap kegs are likely to flood the market.

“Without government support we may see a considerable rationalisation of craft brewers,” it said.

“As a result we would see a lot of taps in the on-premise open up for the big brewers to fight over.”

It also said that if there is tax relief for smaller independent liquor businesses, there could be ramifications for the future of the industry.

Figures over alcohol sales and worries over alcohol consumption have been contentious in Australia and across the world.

As has been shown by numerous datasets including from Alcohol Beverages Australia, there was a spike in unit sales at the end of March (week commencing 22nd) before it returned to just above pre-spike levels by mid-April.

However whilst packaged alcohol sales did go up according to the IRI, this spike was still 30-40% lower than the week leading up to Christmas in terms of unit sales, and total alcohol spending has taken a hit, driven by the closure of on-premise.

Wine and beer have both fallen back considerably since 12th April, said the IRI, as customers are likely to be well stocked from the previous strong weeks.

Diageo Board and Executive announcement

Diageo Board and Executive announcement  (Company news)

-Deirdre Mahlan, President Diageo North America, to retire on 30 June 2020
-Debra Crew (photo), non-executive director, to step down from Diageo board and appointed President Diageo North America, effective 1 July 2020

Diageo announces that Deirdre Mahlan, President Diageo North America, will retire on 30 June 2020. Deirdre has had a long and successful career in the industry, firstly at Seagram and then on to Diageo in 2001, where she joined the North America finance team, rising to become Chief Financial Officer of Diageo in 2010, then taking on the role of President Diageo North America in 2015.

Deirdre’s successor will be Debra Crew, who will take up the role of President Diageo North America effective from 1 July 2020. Debra has served as a non-executive director on the Diageo board since April 2019 and is stepping down from her non-executive director position, and from the audit, nomination and remuneration committees of the board, with immediate effect.

Debra is the former president and CEO of Reynolds American, Inc., having previously served as president and chief operating officer and president and chief commercial officer of RJ Reynolds. Before joining Reynolds, Debra spent five years at PepsiCo, where she served as president, North America Nutrition; president, PepsiCo Americas Beverages; and president, Western Europe Region. Prior to PepsiCo, she held positions, from 1997 to 2010, with Kraft Foods, Nestlé S.A., and Mars, Inc. Debra is a graduate of the University of Denver, earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, and previously served as an officer in the United States Army.

Deirdre Mahlan, President Diageo North America, commented: “I am proud and privileged to have enjoyed a long and exciting career in Diageo and its predecessor companies. I have particularly enjoyed my last five years leading the North America business, seeing it grow and prosper, working with my colleagues, in partnership with our key distributors who support and drive our business in this market. It has been an honour to work alongside Ivan and all my colleagues in Diageo over these past 19 years."

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive, Diageo commented: "Diageo North America is a strong business that has been very ably led by Deirdre since 2015. While we are sad to be losing Deirdre, I know that she leaves a great legacy in the North America business and across Diageo. I am very grateful for her exceptional contribution over many years at Diageo and wish her the very best for her retirement.

I am delighted that Debra has agreed to join us in an executive position to lead the next stage of growth in North America. Debra’s extensive experience in consumer businesses will serve Diageo and North America well as we continue to progress on our ambition to become one of the most trusted and respected consumer products companies in the world.”

Debra Crew commented: "I am excited to join the Diageo executive team. I have thoroughly enjoyed my year as a non-executive director of Diageo. This is a unique opportunity to work for a purpose led company with iconic consumer brands, unparalleled global reach and exciting growth prospects. I am looking forward to leading the Diageo North America team to help drive the achievement of our ambition."
(Diageo Beer Company USA)

Last database update: 29.06.2020 15:38 © 2004-2020, Birkner GmbH & Co. KG