GEA will invest around EUR 50 million in the modernization of its German centrifuge production facilities in Oelde (North Rhine-Westphalia) and Niederahr (Rhineland-Palatinate) by the end of 2024. The engineering group made the announcement at a press conference marking the 130th anniversary of GEA separation technology at its Oelde site. By investing in sustainable production, digitalisation and automation, GEA is targeting further growth in its key markets, which include the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries.
GEA centrifuges are used in more than 3,500 different processes in a wide range of industries. Growth drivers include applications for alternative protein production and global demand for dairy products. The investment package for the centrifuge plants is based on four pillars: sustainability, digitalisation, automation and modern manufacturing technologies.
Climate-friendly production through the use of renewable energy
Already today all GEA production sites are powered by green electricity. In the long term the electricity supply for GEA’s sites will come from local renewable energy sources. At the Oelde facility, several large-scale photovoltaic systems will cover about one-tenth of the site’s electricity requirements, including the provision of electromobility. An in-house combined heat and power plant already generates around 30 percent of the electricity required. Since waste heat is also used, 94 percent of the primary energy utilised is recycled. Process heat generation, which is important for production, will also be converted to alternatives such as electric steam generation, which will enable the Oelde and Niederahr sites to operate without gas in the near future.
Plastipak, a global leader in the design, manufacture and recycling of plastic containers has announced the formal opening of a major recycling investment at its manufacturing site in Toledo, Spain by Don Emiliano García-Page, President of the Castilla-La Mancha Region. The new recycling facility converts PET flake into food-grade recycled PET (rPET) pellets suitable for direct use in new preforms, bottles and containers.
The new recycling plant will produce 20,000 tonnes of food-grade recycled pellet per year and will eliminate recycled resin transport-related emissions since it is co-located at Plastipak’s current preform manufacturing site. The recycling plant is Plastipak’s fifth recycling facility, with other recycling plants located in USA, France, Luxembourg and United Kingdom. In Europe, Plastipak is the largest producer of food-grade rPET, with well over 150,000 tonnes of rPET capacity per annum.
Pedro Martins, Plastipak’s Executive Managing Director Europe, said “The use of rPET is a key tool in reducing our customer’s Scope 3 related emissions and forms an important part of their ESG-packaging related commitments. As well as supporting our customers to reduce their financial obligations under the planned Spanish plastics tax, the plant will also contribute to the meeting the minimum recycled content levels mandated by the Single Use Plastics Directive.”
To support on-site energy generation, the state-of-the-art facility incorporates advanced energy-saving technologies and equipment that includes the rooftop installation of over 1800 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. The PV panels are expected to generate more than 1339 MWh of electricity per year that will be consumed entirely on-site, saving more than 443 tonnes of CO2 per year through the avoidance of consumption of electricity from the national grid. This is in addition to the CO2 avoided by using the 20,000 tonnes of recycled resin instead of virgin resin.
This summer, leading branded soft drinks business Britvic is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its Rugby factory, thanking colleagues for their dedicated service and showcasing the investment and innovation that has become synonymous with the company’s flagship facility.
Based on Glebe Farm Industrial Estate, the site has seen over £125 million of investment since 2018, with the factory most recently benefitting from a £27 million investment in a new state-of-the-art canning line in September 2021.
This is Rugby’s fourth canning line, growing the site’s total capacity by around 20% and creating 20 new jobs at the facility.
Boasting some of the fastest lines in Europe, the site’s new canning line operates at a rate of around 120,000 cans per hour, taking the factory’s total production to an impressive rate of just under half a million cans per hour.
Rugby MP Mark Pawsey said: “Britvic’s 35 years in Rugby represent a great success both for the company and for our town’s local economy.
“Over those years, their flagship factory has grown and created hundreds of jobs, including a vibrant apprenticeships programme which has given many young people a first taste of work.
“I was delighted to see the further investment in their fourth canning line which demonstrates their commitment to the Rugby site for many years to come.”
The investment provided Britvic with the additional capacity to drive agility and exemplary customer service, as well as boost production of some of the country’s most loved brands, including Tango, 7UP and Pepsi MAX.
Importantly, investment has seen the work force increase at the site, helping to bring the total number of employees to more than 340 and reinforcing Britvic’s commitment to the local community.
These roles span numerous disciplines, from engineering to manufacturing, with apprenticeships also a key component of the additional rise in employee numbers.
Paramjeet Pahdi, Director of Operations at Rugby, said: “As we celebrate 35 years of our Rugby site, I’m proud to look back at the journey we’ve been on together to make this facility the beacon of success it is today.
“I would like to thank all our colleagues for their contribution over the decades, without their hard work and dedication I have no doubt that we would not be here celebrating such a milestone.
“Looking to the future, Britvic is focused on ensuring that Rugby continues its success story as we develop the site with further investment, securing our future for generations to come.”
Over the past 35 years, Rugby has become well known for showcasing some of the fastest and best manufacturing technology in Europe.
The Rugby factory has also played a key role in Britvic’s sustainability efforts.
Continuous improvements have seen the factory cut the amount of water it uses – most recently by using the cooling water from its combined heat and powerplant as a source of hot water for the site – helping Britvic work towards its net zero carbon emissions target.
Celebrations for the 35 year anniversary began in May with a family fun day attracting more than 500 people to the site.
Employees and their families enjoyed the day with a resident DJ, fairground rides, a penalty shoot out, mini golf and a Britvic bar.
Coca-Cola Europacific Partners France (CCEP France) has announced an investment of EUR 30 million in its Dunkirk site, to fund a new production line that will increase the site’s capacity. The site already employs 400 people and bottles 10 different beverage brands. The investment will create at least 10 new jobs.
The Dunkirk site is the newest and largest CCEP site in France with lines producing all types of packs and sizes, and aseptic production which is used to manufacture still drinks – such as juices, teas and sports drinks. The site produces more than 600 million litres of beverages each year.
Since 2018, CCEP France has invested more than EUR 100 million to transform the Dunkirk site.
The Dunkirk site is committed to responsible growth and is taking measures to improve its carbon footprint, in line with CCEP’s net zero 2040 ambition and GHG emissions reduction target. For example, the site has set up an innovative device to replace plastic packaging on batches of cans with cardboard packaging, and 100 % of the waste created at the site is recycled or recovered.
The site also runs the Coca-Cola ‘Passport to Employment’ programme which benefits 400 young people from the Hauts-de-France region each year, and over 25,000 in France since its inception in 2003.
CCEP has been operating in France for more than 100 years, producing 90 % of the beverages in its portfolio locally and has invested EUR 350 million from 2009 to 2019 to strengthen its manufacturing capacity in the country.
The processing company VOG Products from South Tyrol continuously invests in new technologies. The most recent examples are the NFC juice line commissioned this year and a new sterile tank storage system that is almost completed.
Each of the six new tanks is six metres in diameter and 25 metres high, and can contain up to 625,000 litres of apple juice.
New NFC juice line
The raw goods are moving through the new production line for premium juices that features particularly careful dry transport and uses a cutting-edge belt press.
The new intake line at VOG Products can receive up to 150 tonnes of fruit per hour. It transports the fruit dry and not in water. Sails are used to enable the apples to roll along for processing, which results in fewer bruises and damaged spots. Dry transport has one additional advantage: the system consumes much less water.
The main element for juice extraction is the new belt press, which VOG Products uses to produce high-quality premium juice that features a long shelf life and more appealing colouration.
VOG Products ensures that the juice’s quality and turbidity are consistently in line with consumer wishes. In the separator (centrifuge), solid material and starches are removed from the juice with high efficiency and 100 % automation – exactly to the extent that meets the specified quality standards or the customer’s requirements.
Ardagh Metal Packaging (AMP) announced that it plans to build a new state-of-the-art USD200 million beverage can plant in Northern Ireland. The plant will be located near Belfast and will service the growing needs of AMP’s beverage customers in Ireland, the UK and Europe.
This initiative is part of a multi-billion dollar investment programme by AMP involving the construction of new, infinitely recyclable, metal packaging capacity in Europe, North America and Brazil. Metal cans are the most recycled drinks package in the world, contributing to a circular economy and the sustainability requirements of AMP customers and consumers.
AMP plans to build the new plant at Global Point near Belfast, close to key local customers, at a cost of some USD200 million. Though details on precise jobs numbers are still being finalised, the investment by AMP will lead to the creation of a large number of full-time jobs for engineers, technicians and other roles.
AMP is currently at the pre-planning application stage and is actively engaged with local stakeholders on the project. Further details of the plant will be announced over the coming months.
AMP, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is 75 % owned by Ardagh Group the international packaging group which traces its origins back to glass manufacturing in Dublin in the 1930’s.
IFF announced today that the Company invested a total of USD 87 million in their newly extended flavors manufacturing facility in Karawang, Indonesia during the site’s virtual opening. The facility, located in Karawang International Industrial City, first started operations in 2015 to address the fast-growing demand for flavour technology in the region. Today, as IFF’s largest manufacturing facility in Greater Asia, Karawang houses full manufacturing capabilities, from liquid compounds to powder, emulsions, and spray dry technology, warehousing and quality control.
The newly extended 12,800m2 state-of-the-art facility is equipped with modern infrastructure and technology to ensure efficiency, safety, quality, and traceability. In line with the Company’s dedication to drive sustainability, the site initiatives range from zero waste to landfill, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water, and hazardous waste. The expansion and increased capacity services customers in South East Asia and North Asia. This investment is consistent with IFF’s strategy to capture the growth potential of emerging markets in Asia.
GNT, manufacturer of EXBERRY® Coloring Foods, has announced an initial investment of $30 million to expand its operation in North America. Centrally located in Gaston County, just outside of Charlotte, the 49-acre facility now takes the company’s operations to new heights and will provide significant advantages for its customers throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico.
Hendrik Hoeck, CEO at GNT Group B.V., said: “As the global leader of coloring food we see consistent demand for our colors as the consumption of products that are formulated with EXBERRY® continues to grow. Part of our Strategic Growth Plan is a multiple phase expansion in North America. I am happy to announce the completion of the initial phase with our warehouse commissioning on October 15, 2021. This will bring increased capacity, supply-chain efficiency and improved control of inventory.”
“Our strategy to create awareness of coloring food in the US in the last quarter century has been well executed by our marketing and sales team. As a result, today you will find ‘Fruit and vegetable juice for color’ on the label of many supermarkets’ products and also in food service items,” says Frederik Hoeck, Managing Director at GNT Group B.V..
As a family-owned business, throughout their forty-five year history, the goal at GNT is to continuously invest in innovation and this new facility will deliver on this fundamental objective. “Our globally aligned innovation focus fields are a big part of our investment strategy to offer new coloring food solutions. The expected completion of the next phase will bring finished good production even closer to our North American customers by the end of 2022. This will increase the speed of bringing innovation to market,” says Hendrik Hoeck.
A Technical and Culinary Experience Center, scheduled to open August 2022, will provide visitors and culinary teams with an unprecedented opportunity to experiment, create, and innovate together. Per Frederik Hoeck, “We look forward hosting workshops which will enable customers to meet teams of R&D scientists in person to collaborate on color matching, pilot plant trials, and more.”
As part of its commitment to the continuous improvement of its supply chain, Britvic is proud to announce a £26.9 million investment into the future of its factory in Rugby (UK), Britvic’s largest production site. The investment will see the installation of a fourth canning line, growing the site’s total capacity by a further 18 %. As a result, Britvic expects to create at least 20 new jobs at the facility.
The efficient new set-up will produce recyclable 330 ml cans for Britvic’s portfolio of leading brands including Tango, Pepsi and 7UP. The first cans are expected to be produced this November, with the new line fully up and running in 2022.
The new jobs will be predominantly in engineering and manufacturing, helping to build upon Britvic’s role as a leading employer within the community. Apprentices will also play a vital role during the expansion, filling some of the engineering roles and assisting with improvement projects as production commences.
Today’s news is further evidence of Britvic’s continued investment in its supply chain and follows the completion of the transformative £250m Business Capability Programme, improving facilities for the benefit of colleagues and customers.
Tetra Pak announces a project to expand its Châteaubriant plant, in France, dedicated to the design and manufacturing of caps, while ensuring increased production capacity to enable the future transition to tethered caps.
Tetra Pak announced an ambitious investment program dedicated to its factory in Châteaubriant, specialised in the production of caps. Spanning across a three-year period (late 2021-2023), this €100 million project will support the plant’s transition to the production of tethered caps by 2024. Tethered caps help to minimise litter, as the cap will stay attached to the package.
This step – that is in addition to the company’s commitment to invest approximately €100 million per year over the next 5 – 10 years to develop more sustainable packaging solutions – is key to ensuring that Tetra Pak’s customers in Europe will be ready to comply with the Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive, an integral part of the wider approach announced in the Plastics Strategy and an important element of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.
Charles Brand, President of Tetra Pak Europe & Central Asia, comments: “We are particularly proud of this investment project, which demonstrates how we consistently strive to provide customers with sustainable innovations and meet the rapidly changing demands of regulators and society. High-performance food packaging plays a critical role in feeding the world, but it must do so sustainably, so that food availability does not come at the cost of the planet.”
The Châteaubriant plant is a key manufacturing facility for Tetra Pak, serving food and beverage manufacturers globally, with a production capacity of approximately 5 billion caps in 2020. Awarded last year with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Advanced Products certification, the factory is also equipped to produce additional materials integrating attributed recycled polymers. Today, the site covers an area of over 30,000 sqm and features 19 lines dedicated to the manufacture of 6 types of caps.
The investment will be spread over two phases. The first one begins in late 2021, where the company will enlarge the industrial site to accommodate a 30 % increase in manufacturing capacity through the installation of ten additional lines that will be dedicated to the production of tethered caps. Then, between 2022 and 2023, approximately 50 % of the existing lines will be replaced, again to expand the access of F&B players to tethered caps.
Smurfit Kappa’s Bag-in-Box division has announced the completion of a significant EUR 12 million investment in a new flexible material production facility at its plant in Ibi, Spain. The new state-of-the-art production facility commenced operations, on a phased basis, earlier this year and will be one of the most advanced Bag-in-Box manufacturing plants in Europe.
The investment has resulted in the addition of an extra 4,300 m2 production area which will be equipped with high-tech and advanced machinery which allows for more specialisation in the manufacture of film. The new machinery will allow the plant to complete the full production cycle of Bag-in-Box packaging solutions, from start to finish. This integrated production model means not only quicker and more efficient service to customers, but also a considerable reduction of the environmental impact – up to 21 % less estimated CO2 emissions for the current flexible materials portfolio.
Commenting on the investment, Thierry Minaud, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box, said: “This strategic investment represents an important step for Smurfit Kappa Bag-in Box Spain. In addition to introducing innovative technology to create a fully integrated plant for Bag-in-Box production, it will allow us to increase our production capacity to better respond to market demands.”
Victor Juan, Film Manager at Smurfit Kappa Ibi added: “These new facilities will accelerate the development of new, more sustainable films with the highest performance to meet the needs of our customers for high quality Bag-in-Box packaging solutions, and further strengthen our commitment to the environment.”
The Ibi manufacturing plant in Spain has been in operation for 45 years. The number of employees at the plant has more than doubled since it was acquired by Smurfit Kappa in 2007.
Plastipak, a global leader in the design, manufacture and recycling of plastic containers has announced a major investment in recycling at its manufacturing site in Toledo, Spain. The new recycling facility will convert PET flake into food-grade recycled PET (rPET) pellets suitable for direct use in new preforms, bottles and containers.
The new facility will be co-located with the current preform and container manufacturing plant facilitating additional carbon savings through the elimination of resin transport. The new recycling plant will produce 20,000 tonnes of food-grade pellet per year and will commence production in the summer of 2022. The project will create approximately 14 new jobs and include additional manufacturing and warehouse space.
Pedro Martins, Plastipak’s Executive Managing Director Europe, explained “The investment in a new recycling facility in Spain will support both Plastipak and our customers in fulfilling our commitments to corporate social responsibility. The project comes in advance of minimum levels of recycled content mandated by the Single Use Plastics Directive, and will support brand owners to reduce their financial obligations under the planned Spanish plastics tax.”
This will be Plastipak’s fifth global location producing recycled PET (rPET) and confirms Plastipak as the largest producer of bottle-grade recycled PET in Europe. With three long-established rPET facilities in Europe (France, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom), Plastipak already produces well over 130,000 tonnes of recycled PET in Europe. Plastipak also operates a HDPE and PET recycling plant in the US.
Enterprising partnership gives food companies a head start in technology
DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences is accelerating its open innovation strategy to prepare food and beverage manufacturers for fast-developing trends and disruptive change. DuPont is a partner with global innovation platform Plug and Play’s Food & Beverage program in the Silicon Valley, California. In early 2021, Plug and Play will open a new location in Chicago, Illinois and DuPont will be a founding partner of the new office with direct access to the emerging technologies that will keep food and beverage companies ahead in the future.
The source of these new technologies is talented entrepreneurial start-ups that look for support from larger corporate partners to develop and scale their business. By acting as an investor and mentor, DuPont will both accelerate their development and bring their innovative capabilities to market faster.
A technological win-win
Birgitte Borch, global marketing leader, Food & Beverage, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences, expects the expansion of the Plug and Play partnership to be a true win-win.
“In recent years in particular, we have seen how disruptive change can take the established food industry by surprise. Plant-based meat and dairy offerings have proliferated fueled by new innovations driven by start-ups that are closing the gaps with traditional products. said Borch.
“Through our partnership with Plug and Play, we were able to influence the technology focus and tap into enterprising start-ups, bringing the latest innovative technology in plant-based proteins, functional ingredients and consumer testing. As a founding partner of their program in Chicago, we will be able to expand our focus into innovative technologies in biotechnology, personalized nutrition, food safety, functional ingredients, sustainability and market analytics.”
Strong track record
Plug and Play has a strong track record as an innovation ecosystem. An early investor in Google, PayPal and Dropbox, it operates more than 60 accelerator programs worldwide and in 2019 supported in excess of 1,450 start-ups. Plug and Play’s Food & Beverage program was launched in 2017.
“We use our trend insights and market forecasts to identify the technologies that will be business critical to the food industry moving forward. Plug and Play then provides a shortlist of promising enterprises within those technology areas. The most promising candidates are invited to pitch their technologies to our business and technology teams, and discussions about potential collaboration will begin,” added Borch.
The shortlist of talented start-ups for 2021 has already been drawn up. By the middle of next year, DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences Food & Beverage platform expects to have established open innovation agreements for unlocking the future of food.
About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services, and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 30 locations globally, giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 30,000 startups and 400 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. Companies in our community have raised over $9 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, and PayPal.
Investment brings strategic investors providing growth capital and new international opportunities
Facilitates expansion into top US convenience store chain
Celsius Holdings, Inc., maker of a leading global fitness drink, CELSIUS®, announced that it entered into an agreement providing for a direct private investment of $22 million with two investors, Asia’s leading private equity firm and a leading global institutional investor. The transaction is expected to close on or about August 25, 2020. The Company also announced the expansion into the largest chain of company-owned and operated gasoline and convenience stores in the United States, Speedway.
“We appreciate the recognition and trust from these prestigious leading global institutional investors. This is an important milestone to reinforce the momentum in our business as we continue to capitalize on the global health and wellness trends and disrupt the energy beverage category. The injection of funds will allow us to eliminate our outstanding bonds incurred in connection with our October 2019 acquisition of Func Food Group Oyj, which bonds are due in October 2020 and provide working capital enabling Celsius to maximize the significant growth opportunities in both domestic and global markets,” commented John Fieldly, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Fieldly continued, “Maximizing shareholder value is the paramount goal of our management and board of directors. We have established Celsius as a significant player in the functional energy drink category, facilitated by our increases in market share, outsized growth across multiple channels compared to our peers and a market capitalization that enables larger, industry focused institutions to justify both the due diligence and capital allocation to invest in Celsius. We believe Celsius has just begun recognizing the opportunity in front of us on a global scale and justifies further investment initiatives which continue to accelerate our growth, maximizing value creation for our shareholders.”
- In the placement transaction, the Company will sell 1,437,909 shares of common stock at a price of $15.30 per share. In addition, various affiliates of Celsius, including six directors and CD Financial, LLC an entity owned by Carl DeSantis, the Company’s largest shareholder, will sell an aggregate of 1,307,189 shares of common stock at $15.30 per share. The CD Financial LLC sale represents approximately 3 % of the holdings of Mr. DeSantis. The aforementioned affiliate sales will represent a minority divestiture from our long-term strategic investment partners to facilitate the investment. The investment transaction will be effected pursuant to an exemption from registration afforded by Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933.
In addition to the announcement of the transaction,1 Celsius announced the expansion into the largest chain of company-owned and operated gasoline and convenience stores in the United States, Speedway. The initial rollout will include two SKU’s across 2,700 stores starting in the beginning of the fourth quarter 2020. The Company anticipates a material ACV increase to over 15 % once the rollout to stores commences. Over 90 % of participating Speedway stores will be serviced by DSD (direct store delivery) distribution partners.
“Horizon Ventures and affiliated partners seek to invest in companies with exceptional management teams which are positioned to disrupt categories and Celsius has already established the Company as a leader in the rapidly emerging functional energy beverage category. Consumers are striving for healthier drink options which is a common trend on a global scale, and we are confident that Celsius is well positioned as an energy drink that not only tastes good but is a true differentiator in the category, a unique and attractive offering which any consumer around the world can relate and benefit from. Stay energized and stay healthy,” said Tony Lau of Horizons Ventures & Co-Chairman of Celsius Holdings.
“We have always believed that Celsius was a winner with the potential to become a global brand. We are thrilled to welcome our new investors and together along with our existing management team, we will continue our growth and maximize our potential. These two prestigious funds looking to invest in Celsius only reinforces our belief that this brand is ready for continued growth and expansion,” said William H. Milmoe, President of CDS Holdings & Co-Chair of Celsius Holdings.
About Celsius Holdings, Inc.
Celsius Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: CELH), is a global company with a proprietary, clinically proven formula for its master brand CELSIUS® and all its sub-brands. A lifestyle fitness drink and a pioneer in the rapidly growing performance energy sector, CELSIUS® has five beverage lines that each offer proprietary, functional, healthy-energy formulas clinically-proven to offer significant health benefits to its users. The five lines include, CELSIUS® Originals, CELSIUS HEAT™, CELSIUS® BCAA +Energy, CELSIUS® On-the-Go, and CELSIUS® Sweetened with Stevia. CELSIUS® has zero sugar, no preservatives, no aspartame, no high fructose corn syrup, and is non-GMO, with no artificial flavors or colors. The CELSIUS® line of products is Certified Kosher and Vegan. CELSIUS® is also soy and gluten-free and contains very little sodium. CELSIUS® is backed by six university studies that were published in peer-reviewed journals validating the unique benefits CELSIUS® provides. CELSIUS® is sold in the USA at Target, CVS, Walmart, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, 7-Eleven, Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Fresh Market, Sprouts and other key regional retailers such as HEB, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Harris Teeter, Shaw’s and Food Lion. It is also available on Amazon, at fitness clubs and in select micro-markets across the country.
1Timing of closing is already referred to first para.
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.”
20 % higher global volume due to capacity increase of production facility in Chile by 2022
BENEO, one of the leading manufacturers of functional ingredients, has announced a significant expansion for its chicory root fibre production facility in Chile by 2022, funded by an investment of more than 50 million Euro. The news comes following rising demand for BENEO’s chicory root fibres, inulin and oligofructose, as consumer interest in digestive health continues to grow.
Worldwide consumers are paying more attention to their digestive health and are gaining further understanding of the intrinsic link between the gut microbiome and its beneficial effect on the overall well-being. This, in turn, is leading to a rising interest in chicory root fibres from food and drink manufacturers around the globe, creating a high market demand for BENEO’s inulin and oligofructose ingredients.
Eric Neven, Commercial Managing Director at BENEO-Orafti comments: “The market demand for chicory root fibre continues to increase. In order to keep up with this rising interest, we are investing significantly into expanding our production facilities in Pemuco, Chile. With 20 % more volume, BENEO can continue to ensure reliable and consistent delivery to our customers.”
As well as expanding production capacity at the Chilean plant, the raw material sourcing will be supported by additional surface (hectares) dedicated to chicory farming in the region. The existing plant already operates using 75% renewable energy. The recent investment will enable BENEO to make yet further strides against its aim to increase the use of renewable energy over the coming years.
Inulin and oligofructose, such as those produced by BENEO, are the only plant-based proven prebiotics according to ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Pro- and Prebiotics). They have been scientifically shown to support a range of functional health benefits, including a balanced gut microbiota and a person’s overall well-being. There is a wealth of scientific evidence available (in excess of 150 high quality studies) and Orafti® Inulin even has an exclusive 13.5 EU health claim for its promotion of digestive health, which is proving successful in various countries. In fact, only recently, industry expert Julian Mellentin highlighted the potential for inulin, naming it a top ingredient for 2020 in the new New Nutrition Business report, “10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health 2020”.
Not only are BENEO’s prebiotic chicory root fibres helping to bridge the fibre gap, they are also being widely used in both food and beverages as they help to reduce fat, sugar and calories. Unlike other fibres, BENEO’s fibres are naturally derived from chicory roots via a gentle hot water extraction method and are natural, clean label and non-GMO. They are highly soluble and have a mild natural taste, allowing manufacturers to reformulate their products while keeping the same taste, body and mouthfeel as the original options.
As digestive wellness continues to trend across the globe and more consumers come to realise the impact it has on their health, this significant production expansion will ensure BENEO is well-placed to maintain efficient delivery of its high quality ingredients throughout the years to come.
AGRANA, one of the leading food and industrial goods groups from Austria, is increasing its focus on innovations and investing around € 3.4 million at two R&D sites in France and Austria this year. The annual R&D expenditures of the AGRANA Group amount to around € 20 million. AGRANA employs a total of approximately 300 personnel in the area of research and development.
In a highly competitive environment, the strategic objective of AGRANA is to differentiate itself from competitors by means of new product developments in its fruit, starch and sugar business segments.
Fruit preparations: new development centre in France
For its fruit preparations business, AGRANA maintains 17 development centres around the world which work on new formulations, special ingredients and raw materials as well as new application areas for existing products. Five of these so-called New Product Development Centres are located in Europe, namely in Gleisdorf (Austria), Ostroleka (Poland), Serpukhov (Russia), Vinnytsia (Ukraine) and in Mitry-Mory (France), where the development centre has recently been upgraded for € 2.6 million, including the addition of 700 m2 of laboratory space (see image).
“AGRANA is the global market leader in fruit preparations. That’s why it is important to be an innovator and not a market follower with me-too products. In our role as a first mover in regional markets, we try to pick up on new development trends as early as possible. We develop products in close collaboration with our customers in order to reflect local market requirements and these latest trends. Our global network of product developers enables us to launch over 1,000 new fruit preparation products on the market every year”, explains AGRANA CEO Johann Marihart.
In response to specific regional demands and the latest nutritional trends, the portfolio of fruit preparations ranges from top quality fruit purées and inclusions for dairy products, ice creams and bakery products to the latest solutions for plant-based spoonable and drinkable yoghurt products. In addition to fruit preparations, AGRANA also offers brown flavours such as caramel, coffee or vanilla as well as products with inclusions (e.g. chocolate balls).
€ 800,000 invested in expansion of the AGRANA Research & Innovation Centre (ARIC) in Tulln
The AGRANA Research & Innovation Centre (ARIC) in Tulln is the main research and development subsidiary within the AGRANA Group. On an area of around 4,000 m2 at ARIC, 85 employees work on research projects related to fruit, starch and sugar. ARIC is currently undergoing expansion work, with the aim being to create a further 300 m2 for research purposes by the end of the year. The investment volume amounts to € 800,000.
In its fruit segment, AGRANA conducts research into the development of innovative natural stabilisers for fruit preparations as well as processes for sensitively handling fruit ingredients. The aim is to optimally maintain the natural properties of the fruit.
In the starch segment, AGRANA works in accordance with its specialities strategy on the development of special applications. Current focus areas related to food starches, for example, include the development of organic and clean-label products which have not been chemically modified. In the case of technical starches, the focus is on the development of special starches, such as those for use in tile adhesives or green glues as alternatives to synthetic adhesives, as well as on compostable starch-based films.
In the sugar segment, the focal point of work ongoing is on the development of new, environmentally-friendly and energy-saving processes and process steps in the area of production as well as on maximising the efficiency of sugar beet utilisation and the optimal exploitation of by-products, such as extracting betaine.
The Coca-Cola Company has been present in France for the last 100 years, serving as a key contributor to the food and beverage industry. The Coca-Cola system has always been an integral part of the French economic ecosystem, especially through the production and distribution activities of bottling companies in the country.
The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), the primary bottling partner in the country, together plan to invest as much as one billion euros behind the introduction of new products in the French market; the expansion of bottling capacity and modernization at CCEP’s manufacturing plants; innovations; and ongoing support of company brands. Both companies will support the hosting of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, following the extension of a partnership between Coca-Cola and the IOC, which was announced in July 2019.
CCEP has earmarked €500 million to further strengthen its production and distribution network.
After investing €350 million since 2013, CCEP continues to invest to adapt its manufacturing network to changes in consumer preferences and to accelerate its transition to a circular economy, including packaging transformation.
For example, after adding a bottling line dedicated to glass bottles in 2019, CCEP will invest in the plant in Socx (Dunkerque) to equip the site with a state-of-the-art aseptic bottling line in mid-2020, which will enable CCEP to meet the increasing consumer demand for Fuze Tea, the ready-to-drink tea brand launched in 2018, and for Tropico, the juice drink company acquired by The Coca-Cola Company in September 2018. Additional investments across all five CCEP plants in France will enable the introduction of a higher quantity of recycled material in bottles and cans and the replacement of plastic by cardboard for secondary packaging.
The €500 million in investments will be progressively committed over the next five years in production and commercialization and will include a provision for CCEP to invest in new cooling equipment for its customers and in accelerating the company’s digitalization journey.
In parallel, The Coca-Cola Company will invest €500 million to support the development of its current brands and introduce new products in the French market.
Coca-Cola is evolving as a total beverage company that focuses on better satisfying consumer needs. Following the successful launch of Fuze Tea and the acquisition of Tropico in 2018, the company today confirmed its intent to strengthen its existing positions and accelerate its entry into new categories.
Coca-Cola will invest as much as €500 million in France over the next five years. These investments will be a combination of media, brand experiences or strategic partnerships, such as the support of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
BillerudKorsnäs invests in the area of recycling as it acquires a minority holding in the innovative company Recycl3R. The company has developed a digital solution to increase recycling rates of single use packaging. A product that can be used globally.
The investment is made by BillerudKorsnäs’ wholly owned subsidiary BillerudKorsnäs Venture AB, which invests in young and innovative companies with solutions that will influence the future for packaging.
Waste production is one of the largest environmental problems that society faces today, and solving it is a big challenge. In Europe alone we produce 240 million tons of waste, and only 44 % is recycled. BillerudKorsnäs shares our vision of solving this global challenge and is an excellent partner and investor for Recycl3R, says Ivan Gonzalez, environmental lawyer and Co-founder of Recycl3R.
Recycl3R builds a database with information about what packaging material different consumer products consist of. They also understand the different recycling regulations and requirements around the world. This knowledge is used to guide consumers to the nearest recycling station and help them recycle correctly. The solution also makes it possible for producers and distributors to give consumers incentive to recycle more with gamification and by connecting value such as deposits or loyalty points to the different packaging materials.
The team behind Recycl3R has a background in environmental consulting, and the system was developed partly within the European “TagitSmart” project. It has caught the interest of international retailers and brands with a mission to get more material back into recycling streams. Carrefour Spain has successfully implemented the solution and more customers and markets are in the pipeline.
Packaging recycling is an area that we believe will be increasingly important in order to solve the environmental challenges ahead. Sustainability and digitalization connected to packaging are strategic focus-areas for BillerudKorsnäs Venture, and Recyc3R presents a very interesting opportunity based on their combined expertise in both areas, says Martin Neselius, Venture Manager at BillerudKorsnäs Venture.
There are already steps taken towards more legislation and restrictions regarding single use products, and we believe this development will continue. There is still a lot of work to do in order to ensure that more packaging enters the recycling stream and is recycled into new products. Recycl3R’s product supports increased and cleaner recycling streams for this purpose”, says Martin Neselius.
Huhtamaki inaugurates its new, state-of-the-art flexible packaging unit in Egypt today. The investment marks the company’s entry into manufacturing flexible packaging in Africa.
The greenfield is located in the greater Cairo area and will serve Huhtamaki’s flexible packaging customers in Egypt as well as export its products into other African countries and Europe. The manufacturing unit is built on a land area of almost 37,000 square meters, with ample space for future expansion. Production has started this spring and the facility is expected to employ approximately 250 employees.
“The Egyptian market is sizeable, and with the rapid population growth in Africa we expect future growth opportunities both for us and our customers. Until now we have served flexible packaging customers in Egypt from our units in the United Arab Emirates and India. With the new plant we can offer our current and new customers – both in Africa and Europe – the same top quality with shorter lead times,” says Olli Koponen, EVP Flexible Packaging.
The new manufacturing unit is owned and operated as a joint venture of which Huhtamaki owns 75 %. The remaining 25 % is owned by Mr. Ayman Korra, who has been Huhtamaki’s joint venture partner in the Egyptian fiber packaging business since 2003. The current investment, including land purchase, facility construction and machinery, is expected to be approx. EUR 23 million with Huhtamaki share at approx. EUR 17 million.
Huhtamaki is a global specialist in packaging for food and drink. With our network of 78 manufacturing units and additional 24 sales only offices in altogether 34 countries, we’re well placed to support our customers’ growth wherever they operate. Mastering three distinctive packaging technologies, approximately 17,700 employees develop and make packaging that helps great products reach more people, more easily. In 2018, our net sales totaled EUR 3.1 billion. The Group has its head office in Espoo, Finland and the parent company Huhtamäki Oyj is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Ltd.
Glass container manufacturer Owens-Illinois (O-I) has announced an investment of more than €50m to upgrade its Reims plant in Marne, France.
As part of the modernization, the O-I will add new high-tech equipement, provide new overall layout and additional technical innovations to optimize flexibility, capabilities and energy-efficiency.
O-I Group Southwest Europe country executive Francois Pierrot said: “This is a strategic investment to strengthen our position in the Champagne business. We will be able to serve our customers in the premium segment even better with improved flexibility at the plant and within O-I’s overall manufacturing network in France.”
The scope of the project includes complete renewal of one of the plant’s two furnaces, in addition to all-new industrial equipment on the attached production lines. O-I is planning to complete the upgrade by the middle of this year. The company will also recruit around 30 new employees at Reims facility to further advance its capabilities.
Once the upgrade completes, the Reims facility will hold capacity to manufacture bottles in three colors and full range from 0.2 l to Magnum-size. Reims plant already employees 200 people in various areas such as production, supply and procurement, and maintenance.
Reims facility, which is situated at the center of Champagne vineyard, also provides services to the premium wine customers located in the other regions of France such as Burgundy, Alsace and the Loire Valley.
O-I’s Reims plant manager Dallah Mekki said: “This €50 million project is a major long-term commitment to the Reims area. It represents one of the biggest investments in the region during the last few years, further bolstering O-I’s reputation as a strong player in the region and making the plant an even more attractive employer. In addition, the investment will increase the flexibility and logistics advantages we offer to our Champagne customers.”
Following several consecutive years of growth, SVZ, the leading provider of processed fruit and vegetable ingredients, is undertaking a three year investment programme at its facility in Almonte, Spain. Beginning with the commission of a new puree concentrate line and improvements to SVZ Almonte’s filling area, the company has now completed the installation of additional freezing capacity in time for the summer 2018 strawberry season.
Strawberries constitute a large percentage of SVZ’s red fruit portfolio and are sourced from a network of carefully-chosen growers in the Huelva region. The premium fruits are processed quickly at source into purees and puree concentrates, which are then supplied to customers all over Europe. With burgeoning demand from the food and drink industry, especially beverage makers and dairy processors, SVZ embarked on a three year plan to increase its Almonte capacity from 12,500 to 20,000 metric tonnes annually. The development will also support the company as it expands Almonte’s product range to include raspberries and blackberries as well as vegetables like bell peppers, cucumbers and zucchinis.
The investment is fundamental to the company’s ambitious growth plans for the coming years, according to Anouk ter Laak, SVZ’s CEO. “Demand for natural and sustainable fruit and vegetable ingredients is growing exponentially throughout Europe and we constantly invest in our capacity, expertise and growers to ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry,” she says. “We have been processing in Almonte for over thirty years, meaning we have an enviable supply chain and superb knowledge of the region, and its unique characteristics, which we can leverage to serve our customers even better in the future. Our facilities are obviously vital in maximising the freshness, nutritional quality and taste of our ingredients as well as our ability to deliver quickly to customers throughout Europe and beyond.”
SVZ’s commercial director, Johan Cerstiaens, adds: “The Almonte investment plan is improving many aspects of our operations and already providing benefits for our customers and our employees. As we move into the last stage of the programme, investment will be built around the specific needs of those customers, so our business is even better aligned to theirs.”
New laboratory facilities in Mierlo put into operation
The GNT Group announced the opening of its brand new laboratory facilities in Mierlo, The Netherlands. With an investment of more than three million euros, one of the global market leaders in Colouring Foods has considerably expanded its capacities for product development and quality control. Over the past years, the GNT site in Mierlo has been constantly growing, now covering six hectares. The new facility makes a crucial contribution to supporting the sustainable growth that is fundamental to the company’s strategic 2020 plan.
Situated adjacent to the production site at GNT’s headquarters in Mierlo, the new laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art technologies for quality control, as GNT aims to meet the growing and specific demands of its global customer base. The extension of its facilities significantly enhances the company’s core strength of innovation, through integrating the key functions of product development, process development and engineering, the speed of innovation will be increased even further.
Specialists to boost innovation
Since the demand for truly natural colour solutions is constantly on the rise, GNT is also investing significantly in growing its research and development team. The Group currently employs in total 320 people throughout its global network, this number will rise in line with the continuing success which is supported by its exciting innovation pipeline.
Ensuring a sustainable and excellent working environment, the family-owned company is an important employer especially in the area around Mierlo and across the border to its second production facility in Aachen, Germany.