What happens at the “Point of Sale”?

  • Reading time:8 min(s) read

The new Innovation Flow Lounge during the five days at drinktec 2013, World’s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry, proved to be not just a contact forum, but also an idea forum for marketing and launching new products. This was above all made clear at the Talking Table, the regulars’ table for daily panel discussions. Experts from marketing and technology discussed the trend to craft beers, the significance and possibilities of packaging, clever ideas for promoting sales as well as beverage innovations and extras. We have summarized the most important theses and statements below.

Craft Breweries
“Craft Breweries – Strong Impetus for the Beer industry”, was the topic at the
regulars’ table on the first trade fair day. The trend to craft breweries was
discussed, which started at small, innovative breweries and has now reached
the global players. Can it help the industry compensate for decreasing sales?
What prerequisites are required for it? The following participants took part at the
Talking Table: Stephan J. Barth, Managing Director of Barth-Haas Group,
Georg Schneider, Managing Director of Schneider Weisse/Weisses Br?uhaus
G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH, Toni Greim, INSIDE Editor, Jeff Maisel, Managing
Director of Maisels Weisse/Brauerei Gebr. Maisel KG, Dr. Ralph Schneid, Head
Product Management for Process Engineering, KRONES AG, Ulrich Walk,
Division Chief of Process Engineering I, KRONES AG, Michael Weiss,
Managing Director at Meckatzer L?wenbr?u and Dr. Lydia Winkelmann, Editorin-
Chief at Fachverlag Hans Carl GmbH. A summary of the theses of the talks
and discussions is provided below:

• A great variety makes beer interesting for consumers and creates new
perspectives for breweries.
• Consumers are increasingly willing to pay a higher price for special
• Craft beer is not just a regional trend, but also a chance for the complete
industry, even if its volume is only approx. 8% of the overall market
according to estimates by Stephan J. Barth. However, sales of the
special beers have increased dynamically over the past years.
• The craft euphoria is good for the image of the complete brewery world.
It makes the industry more interesting and breaks down existing
• The craft trend creates price elasticity on a broad front, regardless of
whether you position your beer in the mid-range or upper price segment.
There is a market for both segments, as the success of Maisels and
Schneider demonstrates. Schneider even sells out its special editions
very quickly.
• Traditional regional breweries such as Meckatzer L?wenbr?u also profit
from the craft trend, because their beers have always been craft beers
and have maintained a good market share for years, Michael Weiss
• Independent of the size of the brewery or brand, the high quality of the
ingredients, the readiness to try out something new and the passion of
the brewers are the key to success.
Promotion Ideas and Extras
“A little something as an extra” was the regulars’ table motto on the second
trade fair day. It concerned giveaways at the point of sale, i.e., sales promotion.
The question: Can intelligent campaigns or innovative, practical giveaways
support production presentation effectively and consequently smooth the path to
consumers? Eminent participants also discussed this issue. The following
people participated in the round table: Armin Junge, Managing Partner,
INCORE GmbH; Nils Lorbeer, Head of Trade Marketing & Category
Management, Campari Deutschland GmbH; Jorge-Matias Grabmaier, Manager
of Marketing, Sales, Purchasing, Logistics and Export, beckers bester GmbH;
Dr. Thomas Koy, Managing Partner, Holzmanufaktur Max Liebich GmbH;
Raymond Sahm-Rastal, Managing Partner, RASTAL GmbH & Co. KG; Philipp
Riediger, Member of the Executive Board, COMBERA GmbH. The most
important theses and statements from the panel discussion are presented
• A good promotion idea can save a lot of advertising costs. At the
launching of new beverages, the idea can open doors to special
• Unique, innovate extras are especially successful. The McDonald’s’
junior bag is a good example of how extras can promote sales.
• However, the extras must fit to the product and its price level. This also
applies to special packaging, e.g., gift wrapping.
• Liquor can especially document product quality with high-quality
packaging and represent added value for consumers and gift-givers (Dr.
Thomas Koy illustrated this using examples with wood).
• Excellent results were achieved with a combined campaign of POS
promotion and a free glass (Philipp Riediger using the example of a
Bacardi campaign with an anniversary glass). The glass was also
introduced into restaurants.
• Extras and especially glasses can increase brand loyalty and the
uniqueness of the beverage, especially in the restaurant trade.
• The touch and feel of the glass plays an important role in acceptance by
consumers. Tests conducted by INCORE have demonstrated this.
Packaging Intelligence – Packaging as Sales Argument
In addition to the brand, secondary packaging is perhaps the most important
sales argument at the point of sale. New technologies have greatly increased
the possibilities of its use as an advertising medium. Environmental aspects and
cost-savings are also playing an increasingly important role. The following
people discussed the possibilities of secondary packaging: Bill Bruce, Editorial
Director, FoodBev Media Group; Bill Cecil, Vice President, Global Machinery,
MeadWestvaco Corporation; Geert Mars?, European Technical Packaging
Manager, Coca-Cola Enterprises; Niklas Other, Publisher, INSIDE; Norbert
Pastoors, Executive Vice President Operations, KHS; Michael Rapp, KHS;
Myriam Shingleton, Research & Development Director, Packaging Innovation
and Products Implementation and Optimisation, Carlberg Group; Karl Tack,
Managing Partner, Gebr?der Rhodius GmbH & Co. KG; Christopher Stuhlmann,
Werksleiter KHS Kleve, KHS; Andr? Wozniak, Managing Director and Director
Sales, RKW SE. The statements and insights of this panel discussion are
summarized below:
• In the past, foil packaging was mainly used in the discount sector; highquality
products were packed in cardboard boxes. New foil and print
techniques also enable high-quality imprinting. As a result, foil is now
also suitable for high-value brands.
• The practicability of packaging plays a greater role for consumers.
• Thanks to a new foil and an improved process, Carlsberg saves approx.
30 truckloads of fold each year (Myriam Shingleton).
• Coca-Colas has demonstrated how flexible production can be today, not
just with the “Share a Coke with …” campaign. The measurable success
in sales figures shows that the company made the right decision.
• Many manufacturers simply do not know what possibilities exist.
Standard solutions are used far too often.
• Existing bottling plants are checked too rarely for optimization options.
• Contests, e.g., with individual coding, can be communicated very well on
secondary packaging. There are very successful examples of this
especially in England and the USA.
• When we consider the discussions and examples from other countries,
we see that Germany has a lot of catching up to do. “German beverage
manufacturers can still learn a lot there,” Niklas Other said.
Creating a successful product
The FoodBev Media session on the topic ‘Creating a successful product’ raised
some great debate on the role of packaging, ingredients, branding and design
in creating great beverages. Brill Bruce, FoodBev Media’s Group Editorial
Director, introduced the speakers and encouraged participation from the
attendees. The first part of the programme was presented by FoodBev Media’s
Claire Phoenix, who looked at ‘Opportunities in Beverages’. Markus Lotsch of
Wild then explained the top 10 trends in beverages and talked about extending
the flavour experience with more lasting flavours. With Wild having just bought a
flavour company in Brazil, he was able to highlight the move to local taste
profiles and functionality. This was followed by Ollie Graham of Rexam talking
about ‘Consumers and Packaging’ – again highlighting the move to digital
printing on cans and new finishes to attract the consumer to the pack on-shelf
along with expounding a can’s sustainability benefits. In the table discussion, the
panel discussed what is needed to create ‘the perfect beverage’.
• Looking at ‘Opportunities in Beverages’, FoodBev Media’s Claire
Phoenix commented that the key trends were “matching products to
increasingly clearly identified niche consumer groups,” and “listening to
consumers, when it comes to trends such as ‘natural’, ‘convenience’ and
clear labelling of nutritional and functionality information.”
• Markus Lotsch of Wild said: “We can extend the flavour experience with
more lasting flavours – and these should reflect local taste profiles and
• Ollie Graham of Rexam said: “Engaging with consumers is essential and
choosing the right packaging is an important part of the story”. He
added: “Environmental sustainability issues are better understood by
consumers today and brands should ensure their packaging properly
communicates responsibilities such as recycling.”
• FoodBev Media’s Bill Bruce said: “Consumers need clear information
and with so much to be delivered, it has to go beyond what is on the
pack itself. The current and next generation of mobile technologies will
inform and entertain much better.”
• In summary, the panel agreed that “the perfect beverage delivered on
trends to natural and low or lower calories, great taste, convenient
packaging and clear and honest delivery of essential information and
brand values.”