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Aug 26, 2014 / Richard Hall

Sparkling Ice vs Glaceau

When Glaceau was bought by Coca-Cola for $4,100 million in 2007, audited retail sales were reported at $355 million.

For the 52 weeks to early June 2014, Sparkling Ice audited retail sales were $349 million, up an effervescent 72.1%.

Interesting comparison. I wonder where it may lead.

Aug 21, 2014 / Richard Hall

Bottled water vs carbonates

Further evidence that bottled water is competing with other beverages more than with tap water.

“Over the past decade, American consumers have increasingly turned to bottled water as a substitute for carbonated soft drinks.”

This was the conclusion of the Simmons National Consumer Survey of 25,000 adults in 2004 and 2013 as reported in Beverage Digest on 24th July.

The number of US adults drinking five or more glasses in the last seven days was +22.4% for still bottled water in contrast to -20.2% for regular colas, -17.1% for diet cola, -14.5% for other diet carbonates and -6.9% for other regular carbonates.

Aug 19, 2014 / Richard Hall

Transforming bottling

A recently announced new way to blow bottles could well turn out to be the most important production innovation of the decade. It’s called LiquiForm and it’s worth paying attention. Whatever your responsibilities, it could have an impact on decisions by every bottler using plastic.

It comes from a partnership between Amcor and Sidel. Its boldness is breathtaking. LiquiForm means the bottle is formed as it is filled. The liquid fills out the bottle as it is formed.

The advantages are potentially massive. No more separate blow moulding line. Perfect synchronisation of speeds. Less energy. Less handling. Less transport. Oh, and up to 25% less operating cost.

The first commercial installation is expected within three years. Then it may become the benchmark for all future bottling investment planning.

Aug 14, 2014 / Richard Hall

Zero packaging supermarkets

You have to admire the idea. A supermarket selling products without packaging. So there’s no waste.

Yet it’s been tried in London and didn’t work. Now it’s being launched in Berlin as ‘Original Unverpackt’.

I’m afraid I have my doubts, however laudable the aims. The product range will inevitably be limited. Self dispense is time consuming. It can also be messy.

Ironically, it depends on you bringing your own packaging. Or buying packaging separately in the store.

Packaging works. It provides attraction, information, safety, preservation, convenience, portability, affordability and so much more.

With steady rises in recycling, the intelligent view is to treat packaging as a resource not waste.

Aug 12, 2014 / Richard Hall

Recycling record revealed

You might well expect the world’s largest bottle to bottle PET recycling plant to be part of a government programme in Europe or North America. But you’d be wrong.

In fact, it’s an industry initiative by the Coca-Cola system in Mexico. The investment amounted to $100 million. Capacity has reached 65,000 tonnes a year. And 1,100 jobs have been created.

No wonder the latest PetStar expansion phase was opened recently by the country’s President.

Aug 7, 2014 / Richard Hall

54 acquisitions in July

July’s tally of 54 food and drink transactions on the database was twice the number recorded for June.

7 involved sums above $500 million and 4 of these exceeded $1 billion.

• By far the biggest was the US Tyson Foods purchase of Hillshire Brands for $8,550 million.

• Next came the ingredients purchase of Swiss-based Wild by US-based Archer Daniels Midland for €2,300 million.

• The deal by Wilmar and First Pacific for Australian Goodman Fielder’s bakery business came in at A$1,320 million.

• Canadian Agropur’s dairy acquisition of US Davisco Foods International weighed in at $1,000 million of sales.

Of the 54 total, 12 were in alcohol, 6 in soft drinks, 5 in dairy and 3 each in confectionery and ingredients.

30 countries were active, led by the United States on 28, followed by the United Kingdom on 8, Canada, China and Spain on 5, then France and Switzerland on 3.

Aug 5, 2014 / Richard Hall

Credit to carton recycling

New figures show carton recycling is increasing and it’s clear how to improve rates further.

In the European Union, the proportion of beverage cartons recycled rose from 36% in 2011 to 39% in 2012 and 42% in 2013.

In the United Kingdom, the number of local authorities offering home collection of cartons has jumped from 31% in 2011 to 57%. But that means 43% still don’t.

In the United States, the proportion of households with access to local recycling initiatives has shot up from 18% in 2009 to 50%, but many programmes do not yet include kerbside collection.

So, rapid progress is being made at last, though there is still far more to do.

Jul 31, 2014 / Richard Hall

Serious money for home dispense

There’s no doubt we all want to be treated by big brands in more personal ways. The key question is what ways will be most successful for the longer term.

Home dispense is one such possible way and there has been great interest in new technology for this.

For sheer scale of ambition, one need look no further than Keurig’s recent announcement of what it plans to invest in its first cold pod production facility.

$337 million. Admittedly over 5 years. But a huge sum by any measure.