current affairs

Crown to Build 4th Beverage Can Plant In Central Vietnam

"Crown Holdings, Inc., a leading supplier of metal packaging products worldwide, announced today that it will build a new beverage can plant in Danang, a major port city in central Vietnam. The new plant is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2013 and will have an initial annual production capacity of 750 million two-piece 33cl cans.

“Vietnam’s growing middle class is driving increased demand for beverage cans,” said Jozef Salaerts, President of CROWN Asia-Pacific. “Our new facility in Danang, supported by a long term contract with a major brewer, further extends our strong geographical footprint and ensures we can continue to support our customers with the innovative packaging that consumers prefer.”

The beverage can’s popularity stems from the convenience it delivers to consumers as well as its strong sustainability profile. In addition to being the most recyclable packaging material available, metal can be recycled infinitely without loss or alteration in quality. In addition, the beverage can is the most recycled form of beverage packaging in the world.

The Danang facility will be Crown’s fourth beverage can plant in Vietnam. Crown currently operates one plant in Hanoi and two in Ho Chi Minh City."

source: Crown

Coke takes first US dairy steps with ‘next generation’ beverage brand

"The Coca-Cola Company has confirmed to that it has signed a deal to distribute dairy-based sports recovery beverage Core Power as it targets early stage growth in an ‘exciting’ category.

Core Power (pictured) is marketed as a post-exercise recovery shake – using a patented filtration process to remove lactose it contains 26g per 11.5oz (340ml) bottle of concentrated whey and casein proteins – and Coca-Cola will start delivering it to stores from July across Arizona, Illinois and Indiana.

Company spokeswoman Kerry Tressler confirmed the deal, but said that – since high protein, monk fruit sweetened beverage Core Power was a Fair Oaks Farm brand – further questions should be directed to the Chicago co-operative.

She did not comment on questions asking whether Coke saw dairy-based beverages as a promising US market opportunity, or if there were any plans to acquire Core Power or even launch a similar Powerade line extension.

Instead she referred us to a statement from Julie Francis, chief commercial officer for Coca-Cola Refreshments, who said the firm was lending its “distribution and marketing expertise to help deliver new Core Power to consumers”.

This was another means of providing customers and consumers with additional beverage choices, Francis added.

Deryck van Rensburg, president of Coca-Cola North America Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB), said: "This new brand is part of an exciting category for consumers and retailers that is still in the early stage of its growth potential."

Van Rensburg said he viewed the tie-up as another example of how the Coca-Cola system could participate in the development of the next “generation of beverage brands”.

A Core Power spokesman told that the brand was "pretty excited" by the Coca-Cola deal.

By staking out new sports performance territory, and moving beyond juice, waters and soda to US dairy involvement for the first time, speculation will rise that Coke is looking to rival PepsiCo’s market leading Gatorade brand.

Gatorade grew 8% by value, in the US single-serve, small package business, in the year to June 3, according to Symphony IRI data; Coke is also seeking to counter US soda volume declines by exploiting lucrative new beverage categories.


source: Beverage daily

Christmas set in Germany

"After 9 years Germany has a christmas set again. The set has 3 cans and displays a qr-code to download a christmas game for iOS or Android mobile devices."

Coca-Cola presents new can size at the German fair INTERNORGA

"Coca-Cola presents at the 84th INTERNORGA in Hamburg (International Trade Show for Catering and Food Service) the new 250 ml cans for the German market.


Rexam plans to close two beverage can factories in Europe

"Rexam announces to close its beverage can making plant in Dunkirk, France, to balance capacity in the European market.

The Dunkirk plant manufactures 33cl and 50cl steel cans and has an annual capacity of approximately 1.1bn cans.

Rexam also announces that it is to cease making beverage cans and can ends at its Dmitrov plant near Moscow to address the continued weakness in the Russian beverage can market.

The closure of Dmitrov, which was acquired as part of Rostar in January 2008, will result in annualised savings of approximately £6m in 2010 for an exceptional restructuring charge of £16m in total in 2009 of which some £8m will be cash costs. It forms part of the capacity reduction programme in our European beverage can operation which, in total, is expected to save some £20m in 2010. The end line will be relocated within Russia whilst the can line will be eventually redeployed as market conditions improve."


Environmental benefits beverage can

"The beverage can is the most recycled beverage container in the world.

Beverage can recycling and the use of recycled material saves up to 95 percent of the energy required for the production of virgin material.

For more informations see the pdf file at the Ball-Europe website:


Coca-Cola sells 250 ml sleek cans in Germany

"The Sleek cans from Ball are now sold by Coca-Cola in Germany. The cans are only availanle in Kamps bakeries at the moment."

Coke Zero banned in Venezuela for being ‘dangerous for health’

"Hugo Chavez's Venezuelan government has banned Coke Zero from the country and ordered Coca-Cola to remove the beverage from the country at once, citing dangers to the health of its citizens.

As Reuters reports, Health Minister Jesus Mantilla said the zero-calorie Coke Zero should no longer be sold and stocks of the drink removed from store shelves.

"The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans," the minister said in comments reported by the government's news agency.

Mantilla did not say what health risks Coke Zero, which contains artificial sweeteners, posed to the population.

Coke Zero was launched in Venezuela in April and Coca-Cola Femsa, the Mexico-based company that bottles Coke products locally, said at the time it aimed to increase its market share for low calorie drinks by 200 percent.

Neither Coca-Cola nor the bottler responded to requests for comment on Wednesday."


Coke to drop ‘Classic’ from label

The timing was right to go back to the future.

That was Coca-Cola’s basic argument for dumping the “Classic” tagline from “Coca-Cola Classic,” the company’s top-selling soda —- and providing a final chapter to the New Coke debacle.

Confirming a report in Beverage Digest, the company said “Classic” would be dropped in the first half of the year.

The change coincides with a global campaign launched earlier this month called “Open Happiness,” which will get some air time during the Super Bowl. “Classic” was only used in the United States.

Coke spokesman Scott Williamson said the timing was right to create a consistency around the globe. He was quick to point out that the flavor will not change. The lettering on the bottle will have the phrase “Coke Classic original formula” to remind people that it’s the same flavor, Williamson said.

“We’ve taken very deliberate steps to ensure that people know the Coke Classic they know and love remains the same,” he said.

Coke and Pepsi have both been dealing with a challenging U.S. soft-drink market. U.S. soft-drink sales volume fell 2.3 percent in 2007, the third straight year of declines, according to Beverage Digest figures. When 2008 numbers come in, they are expected to be down, too.

Competition has been fierce. Pepsi has launched a new “Refresh Everything” campaign, and some of its ads will run during the Super Bowl.

It’s fitting, then, that the news Friday evoked one of the most controversial moments in marketing lore.

Coke added Classic to the label in 1985 in the United States as it brought back the original formula. The return to the original formula was triggered by consumer backlash over the introduction of New Coke.

For several years, Coca-Cola offered both Coke Classic and New Coke. Coca-Cola executives have debated for some time whether to remove the Classic tag, Beverage Digest said in its Friday article.

“It is a relic of the past and doesn’t sound very modern,” according to an unnamed source in the story. “How many people are going around saying, ‘May I please have a Coke Classic?’”

Last year in an interview with the Journal-Constitution, Don Keough, president of Coca-Cola during the introduction of New Coke, talked about the decision to replace and then bring back the original Coke. Some outsiders called it a terrible mistake. Others suggested it was a brilliant marketing move to stir interest in Coke again.

Keough said Coke realized it made a mistake and recognized that the consumers owned the Coke brand. He jokingly said his tombstone might be etched with the phrase “he’s not that dumb, and he’s not that smart,” a reference to a similar line he ad-libbed in announcing the return of the original formula.


New UK Can-Pack plant begun production

"Production has begun at a Polish-owned beverage can plant – the first to be built in the UK in almost 20 years.

Can-Pack Group, which has its headquarters in Krakow, began manufacturing 44cl cans at the former MFI furniture factory in Scunthorpe, Yorkshire, last month, following a £40m investment.
So far, around 150 people are working at the site, but the company plans to employ as many as 300 by the time it reaches full production capacity – thought to be up to one billion cans a year.
The cost of sending local workers to Poland for six months training on the specialised machinery would have been tremendous, says Jerzy Laszcz, managing director of Can-Pack UK. So at present, two-thirds of the 155-strong workforce are from Poland.
However, with the plant completed, training can now take place on site. “There's a clear assumption that if anybody resigns or returns to Poland, every vacancy will be filled in the UK,” says Mr Laszcz. "The decision is to move towards being a UK company.”
A second can line, running alongside the existing one, is currently under consideration.
Ends for the cans are produced by the company’s end-making plant in Bydgoszcz, northern Poland."


New Sprite Logo

"Sprite introduced in time for the NBA All-Star’s Slam Dunk contest the new dynamic logo with “real” lime icon and the “starbursts” aroung the wordmark.

First new logo appeared on the aluminium bottle of the Sprite Green - new product ? The Coca-Cola Company, launched in the fall 2008.



Coca-Cola ditches ad agencies

"Coca-Cola has slashed the number of agencies working on the £100m-a-year-plus European advertising business for the flagship "red" brand from more than 20 to just four as part of a strategy to run more efficient marketing campaigns.

The move will see remaining ad agencies Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam, Mother London, McCann Erickson Spain and Senior Rushmore Madrid further entrench their positions across Coca-Cola's flagship brand.

These agencies are set to be briefed on how the new strategy, which will be known as the Coke Red European Agency Network, will be implemented this month.

According to an insider, by significantly cutting back its ad agency roster, Coca-Colahopes to achieve "much bigger creative thinking" as well as a more efficient process for pan-European work .

"We will continue to evolve our agency model to get the most compelling, effective and scalable work we can on behalf of our global brands," said a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola Europe. "That may entail using fewer agencies overall, while instilling greater agency collaboration to drive truly integrated marketing communications."

By trimming the number of agencies it uses, the soft drinks giant is also likely to save money on agency fees.

The shift in Coca-Cola's marketing strategy in part follows the appointment of Guy Duncan, a former client services director at WPP brand agency Coley Porter Bell, as European creative excellence director in June last year.

Last summer Coca-Cola moved to explore a pan-European strategy for its Diet Coke account, using Mother London, while Ogilvy & Mather Frankfurt won a similar assignment for the Sprite brand.

According to Nielsen Media Research, Coca-Cola spends in excess of £100m a year on advertising across Europe on its red brand.


source: guardian

New slogan: "Open Happiness"

"Coca-Cola is preparing to unveil a new global ad campaign with the tagline "Open Happiness."

The new slogan is set to figure prominently in advertising and could replace "The Coke Side of Life," which was launched in 2006. That tagline has been the overriding theme for all of Coke's efforts, including the award-winning "Happiness Factory" and its corporate responsibility program, Live Positively. The Wall Street Journal first reported the tagline and creative direction; Coca-Cola declined to comment on its advertising plans.

Coca-Cola's agency of record, Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., is creating ads for the campaign that are expected to roll out in the coming weeks. The push is predicted to air in more than 100 markets and be used across a variety of media. The effort is the latest example of Coke's efforts to make its programs more scalable as it works toward increasing marketing efficiencies."

source: AdvertisingAdge

Rexam aims to tackle overcapacity in US market

"Rexam said that it is to make further reductions in its 12oz beverage can making operations in the US to address overcapacity in that market.

In July this year, the global packaging supplier announced the closure of its plants in Georgia and Texas, resulting in an annual capacity reduction of 1.9 billion cans.

As announced at that time, the company has continued to review its US capacity with regard to the 12oz beverage cans for carbonated soft drinks and has now decided to shut its plant in Oklahoma City, which makes about 1.2 billion 12oz cans a year.

According to the manufacturer, there will be no impact on its ability to meet current customer requirements, as it said that supply will continue from other Rexam plants within the US. "

Two separate drinks in one aluminium can adds value, says developer

"A beverage can with a dividing wall enables the packing of two drinks within the one container and keeps them separate on the inside, thus adding value for the consumer and manufacturer, claims its developer.

The innovation, aimed at the beverage processing industry, has been granted a patent and Spanish developer, David Guispe Gonzales, is seeking investment with a view to establishing a licensing agreement for the manufacture of the new type of aluminium can.

According to the patent description, the can has two separate compartments, with each one sized to contain contents that correspond approximately to a single consumption.

Two easy-opening ring pulls on the can's lid enable consumption of the drinks on separate occasions or together to form a mixed drink, said the developer.

Guispe Gonzales claims this dual-drink container will provide consumers that want to mix drinks such as beer and lemonade with a cost effective alternative to the more conventional method of purchasing two beverage cans or a can and bottle.

The inventor said that valves connected to the opening device on each compartment prevent the involuntary spilling of the contents in either section when the can is inclined in the opposite direction.

Ball Packaging Europe will build new plant in Poland

"Ball Packaging Europe, the European subsidiary of Ball Corporation, announced today it plans to build a new beverage can manufacturing plant in Poland in order to meet the rapidly growing demand for beverage cans in Poland and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe.

The plant will be built in Lublin, which is in eastern Poland near the borders of Belarus and Ukraine. The plant will initially have one production line with an annual capacity of approximately 750 million cans per year and will be built to accommodate additional manufacturing lines in the future.

The Polish can market continues to experience significant growth, up more than 30 percent in 2007 compared to 2006 - said R. David Hoover, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ball Corporation. - This new plant, which is expected to be operational in the first half of 2009, will help us keep pace with this growth in demand for beverage cans.

Michael D. Herdman, president of Ball Packaging Europe, said: Currently we sell significantly more cans in the Polish market than we produce locally. Our existing plant in Radomsko serves us well for central and southern Poland. The Lublin plant will provide us with geographic coverage across Poland and position us to serve even better our customers there as well as those in countries further to the east.

Ball Packaging Europe`s Radomsko beverage can plant started operating in 1995. Today the plant employs a workforce of some 160 people and can manufacture approximately 1.5 billion beverage cans annually on two production lines (330 ml and 500 ml aluminium cans for carbonated soft drinks and beer).

In 2003 Ball Packaging Europe Radomsko was presented with the prestigious Eagle Award by the Polish prime minister, designating it as one of the best companies in the production sector in the country.

Ball Packaging Europe is one of the leading beverage can makers in Europe with currently 2,700 employees and twelve production sites in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland and Serbia. The company is a subsidiary of Ball Corporation, a supplier of high-quality metal and plastic packaging products for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 15,500 people worldwide and reported 2006 sales of 6.6 billion US dollar."

Rexam gets clearance to buy Russian can maker

"Rexam has finally got the go-ahead from Russian competition authorities for its acquisition of can maker Rostar, paving the way for expansion into one of the largest growth markets.

The Russian regulator had previously blocked the £149 million deal but now says UK-headquartered Rexam can proceed after it agreed not to increase drink can prices in Russia by more than 15 per cent annually over the next 10 years, other than in "exceptional circumstances".

It has also promised to "continue to invest in its Russian beverage-can business to meet market growth".

Rexam, the world's largest beverage can supplier, announced its purchase of Rostar from En+ Group Limited, the parent of Russian aluminium group Rusal, in July last year. But the firm already has other operations in Russia and it is thought that the regulator was concerned about the British firm gaining control of too much of the market.

Buying Rostar will give Rexam 90 per cent of the Russian beverage can market. But in all forms of beverage packaing, the acquisition only gives Rexam 15 per cent of the market. The regulator appears to have reviewed its decision based on the latter statistic.

Rexam expects to complete the Rostar acquisition in the first quarter of this year. Russia is a key growth market for beverage can producers, with use of cans growing between 8-10 per cent each year.

Other can makers are also investing in the area. A recent report in Russian newspaper Vedomosti said US-based Ball was planning to build a $120 million beverage can plant in the south of the country.

The paper quoted an executive of the Rostov region saying the factory will produce at least 500 million cans a year, accounting for about 11 per cent of the Russian drinks can market.

Rexam is keen to expand in emerging markets as it faces declining demand from the US, one of its most important markets. In addition to slowing demand for beverage cans in the US, Rexam's sales there have also been hit by the falling dollar. And in a crowded, increasingly consolidated packaging industry, there are few acquisition opportunities left.

Rostar has two manufacturing facilities in Russia with a combined annual capacity of some 3 billion beverage cans. In 2006, it had sales of US$214m, according to information from Rexam.

Growth in demand for beverage cans in Russia is being driven by growing presence of international brewers and other drinks companies. In Western Europe, an average of 70 beverage cans are consumed annually but the figure for Eastern Europe is as low as 13."

The future of the european can market

"Rexam said yesterday it would build a new beverage can plant in Denmark to meet increasing demand in Europe.

The £78m (€112m) new plant, expected to have a capacity of 1.2bn cans in the 33cl and 50cl sizes, will provide another source of supply in a tight market.

The aluminium beverage can plant will be built in Fredericia, the first of its kind in Denmark.

Rexam expects the plant to be operational during the first half of 2009 to meet the upturn in demand.

"Due to this strong growth, the European beverage can industry overall is running at very high utilisation rates" the company stated.

The new plant will supply beverage cans to the Northern European market.

The European beverage can market, excluding Germany, has grown annually by 8 per cent over the past few years and is anticipated to continue to grow at a similar rate over the next three.

The demand is being fuelled by strong growth in the Nordic region, Rexam stated.

In September Wachovia Capital Markets forecast that announced capacity additions to beverage can production in Europe would likely not be enough to meet rising the demand.

The analysis of the European market forecasts a continuing squeeze on the supply of beverage cans and possible further price increases in Europe.

Wachovia noted that European beverage can manufacturing capacity is being increased by 16 per cent through 2009.

The market is dominated Ball Corp., Crown Holdings and Rexam, who have what the analyst describes as a global "oligopoly" on beverage can manufacturing.

Wachovia makes the case that the announced capacity additions will likely be soaked up by even very conservative demand assumptions.

The "oligopoly" also gives the three companies leverage to recover higher input costs from processors. The result is that operating margins in Europe for beverage can manufacturers can be 300 to 500 basis points higher than in the US, the analysts said.

Rexam holds a 40 per cent share of the European market, Ball a 23 per cent slice, and Crown another 20 per cent.

Europe's beverage can market experienced a growth rate of about 10 per cent in 2006, with volumes showing the same rise year-over-year during the first quarter of 2007.

US consumption is 101bn cans for 300 million people, while Europe consumes 45bn cans for 400 million people.

Due to the increasing demand several of the major can-makers are adding capacity in Europe between 2007 and 2008. Capacity in the region is expected to increase by 16 per cent, or by 7.3bn cans.

About 2bn in can capacity came on online this summer, with Ball bringing its Hassloch, Germany plant back on-line, in addition to a new production being added to the Hermsdorf, Germany facility.

Meanwhile Rexam is building new plants in Chelyabinsk, Russia and Nuziders, Austria.

The plant in Russia is expected to increase capacity by 800m cans. Rexam initially announced it was building a two line can plant for Red Bull in Austria expansion, and has recently added a third line, with capacity from the plant expected to total roughly 1.8bn cans."