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4-2017

Global hop market

A local alternative to mass beer suggested by independent brewers has been successful and is now altering the global market. Beer is becoming more diversified, so transnational companies have to accept the new game rules and to switch focus to young and fast growing markets. All these processes increased the demand for aroma and bitter hop as well as their acreage expansion on two continents. However now there appeared a downward trend of alcohol consumption in the world, so even special sorts can soon turn to be sufficient. In this connection the dynamic American hop market is already facing some problems. EU hop producers have become more cautious, they are not racing to exceed the demand and look forward with more confidence, judging by the contract terms. 

Hop Market in Russia

Germany still dominates the Russian market, yet over the recent two years one has been able observe a continuous success of Czech hop suppliers. Their expansion and growing popularity of hops from the United States became the drivers of supplies growth in 2016 despite the preceding modest harvest crop in the EU, as well as the factor of relative stability in 2017. In this connection, in 2017, the ratio of the varieties continued to shift towards the aroma ones, and the supplies of Magnum hop and other alpha varieties were reduced. However, the import of bitter hop pellets is partially replaced by extracts, especially from the major beer manufacturers. Total volumes of alpha acid supplies, according to our estimation, decreased by approximately 5% and returned to the level of 2015. Barth Haas Group continues dominating the hop products market; HVG also increased its weight. At the same time, Morris Hanbury significantly reduced the supplies in 2017.

Light and right – pioneering position with user-friendly lightweighting

KHS on market with world's lightest 0.5-liter PET bottle for highly carbonated beverages with screw cap
With its 0.5-liter PET bottle with a screw cap for highly carbonated beverages KHS is setting new standards in lightweighting. The bottle weighs just 10.9 grams which on an international scale makes it the lightest PET container for heavily carbonated beverages of its kind and size currently on the market.
The launch to market at the end of 2013 was preceded by extensive research and development activities which involved the tried-and-tested Bottles & Shapes program, a unique service and consultancy portfolio for the design and development of plastic bottles – always bearing the entire bottling line in mind.
The project was initiated by a customer request to optimize the weight of the 12.5-gram bottle used to date to the maximum – without detriment to consumer handling. This also meant that one of the essential requirements was that the bottle be resealable.
One of the key steps in the process was the reworking of the bottle thread; the new receptacle now has a 'streamlined' thread. Despite the singularly low use of materials KHS has managed to increase the stability of the recessed grip by modifying the bottle shape.
During the Bottles & Shapes program all known influences were simulated and applied to the virtual packaging using finite element analysis. The development of prototypes was followed by the production of the first sample bottles on a laboratory machine. These were then thoroughly tested at the certified KHS lab to see if they met all given specifications. These included, for example, the stress the bottles are usually subjected to while being conveyed through the line, up to and including the palletizing process, and also during shipment to retailers and the point of sale. An initial practice run on the sample bottles provided by KHS yielded positive results and industrial manufacture began at the end of 2013. Consumer acceptance of the lightweight is high, not least thanks to the optimized haptics.
If we assume that 100 million lightweight bottles are produced at a beverage plant per annum, at an average PET price of €1.30 per kilogram over €200,000 in costs are saved a year compared to the 12.5-gram version. And that's just in materials. At the same time the bottle consumes less energy in its production and CO2 emissions during shipping are reduced by the lower weight.
Despite the fact that KHS currently holds a unique position on the market with its extremely light 0.5-liter PET bottle with a screw cap for highly carbonated beverages, research continues – and not just with a view to reducing materials even further.
Arne Wiese, the Bottles & Shapes product manager at KHS Corpoplast, says, "We believe there's still a lot of potential here. In the future, too, we'll continue to study all aspects and consider the line suitability of every new bottle we design in accordance with our Bottles & Shapes concept. Our large, long-standing customer base proves time and again that here we're on the right track. We look for solutions which satisfy customer demands right down to the last detail and, as the most recent system for highly carbonated beverages described here shows, in an ideal world we even surpass these."

At 10.9 grams the 0.5-liter PET bottle with a screw cap designed by KHS to fill highly carbonated beverages is currently the lightest of its kind in the world

KHS GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers of filling and packaging systems for the beverage, food and non-food industries. Headquartered in Dortmund, Germany, the company has over 4,500 employees worldwide.

KHS GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Salzgitter AG. With around 25,000 employees throughout the globe the German steel and technology group achieved a turnover of over €9 billion in the business year 2013. Within the Salzgitter Group the KHS Group and two other special machine manufacturers make up the technology division and are part of the core business of the MDAX-listed corporation.

9 Июл. 2014

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