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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.

GEA presents its solutions for ready-to-drink tea for the first time at the Pack Expo

GEA Process and Product Development Center equipped with pilot process facility for RTD tea production in Germany

gea-solutions-for ready-to-drink-at-packexpo_tcm11-48461

“Are you ready for ready-to-drink tea?” That’s the question that GEA’s tea experts are asking at this year's Pack Expo International in Chicago, Illinois, USA (October 14–17, 2018, stand N-4927). GEA is targeting beverage producers who are continuously expanding their range of freshly brewed, ready-to-drink tea to align with the trend towards health-promoting diets. Consumers are becoming savvier and more demanding in terms of raw materials and quality. As a result, brands around the world are placing more emphasis on natural ingredients and regional flavors, which requires more dynamic product development among manufacturers. “Our customers are responding to this by bringing tea leaves directly into the plant as part of their process. In this way, a simple iced tea becomes a premium product,” says Steffen Rathmann, who manages GEA's non-alcoholic beverage business.

GEA offers solutions for the entire tea production process, whether in testing or the design, construction, installation and service of 24/7 turnkey plants, processing lines or modular technologies. At present, the development team has defined two priorities for the sector with the greatest optimization requirements for efficient and resource-saving production: the perfect brewing process and the treatment and handling of spent raw materials.

The US is a high-growth market for tea beverages

“The Pack Expo is an excellent opportunity for us to talk to our customers,” says Rathmann. “Even though the Asian market is the area where these tea beverages are traditionally sold most, it is in many other regions, including the US where there is strong demand for ready-to-drink (RTD) tea as a high-quality and healthy alternative. We have already received numerous requests for tea beverage production facilities in North America and want to keep our ear close to the market.”

According to Euromonitor International, the size of the global RTD tea market has grown by roughly 25% since 2011. Forty billion liters were sold in 2016 and this figure is expected to reach 45 billion liters by the end of 2022. Overall lifestyle changes, increasing disposable income and the move away from carbonated drinks, including to some degree alcohol and even juice, are the main drivers fueling this growth.

A pilot process facility for customer trials in the tea industry


GEA is highlighting to customers at the Pack Expo its new tea process and product development center in Ahaus, Germany. “At our facility in Ahaus, we not only present some of our core technologies – sifting, centrifuge clarification and thermal treatment – but also try to adapt our pilot process to match our customers' objectives, recipes and manufacturing processes in order to offer a tailor-made solution,” says Colm O'Gorman, responsible for GEA’s non-alcoholic beverages development and actively driving the RTD tea development initiative. Working together with GEA technologists and other process experts, customers can develop their systems and processes. “We experiment with different raw materials and formulations to be sure our customers get exactly the overtones and profiles they want for their teas. Having the capability to fill aseptically to IBC or small sample pouches, we can either send samples for further testing elsewhere in the GEA system, such as for evaporation analysis or to our extensive laboratory facilities at our Oelde site, or even back to the customer for further sensory analysis for example.”

Presenting GEA filling heads

“We do not use off the shelf, finished systems, especially for the production of RTD tea,” adds Rathmann. “It’s all about having a close development partnership with our customers.” Members of GEA's RTD tea team are therefore available for one-on-one meetings at the trade fair. As an important component for the entire tea production process they point out GEA’s filling competence and present GEA VIPOLL’s filling and capping heads for the multifunctional ALL-IN-ONE monoblock filler which can switch between bottles, cans and PET. “We are thus able to offer flexible and efficient filling solutions for glass/PET bottles and cans, in addition to GEA’s aseptic, ESL, hot fill and standard hygienic filling technologies. We can support our customers throughout the entire production process – from brewing to the finished product.”

GEA at the Pack Expo International, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.,

October 14-17, 2018, stand: N-4927

26 Сен. 2018



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