Heineken celebrates 20th anniversary of its partnership with The Australian Open

After celebrating the 20th anniversary of its partnership with the Australian Open, Heineken is set to further establish itself as a premium sporting-beer with access to some of the greatest global and local partnerships.

The activation forms part of Heineken’s strategy to ensure drinkers around Melbourne received the best product experience while they enjoy the tennis at partner venues, illustrating a pledge to ensuring Heineken is served in the most premium way.

According to Heineken Brand Manager Dinno Bozzone, Heineken is the largest majority family owned beer brands in the world.

“One of Heineken’s key objectives is to create memorable and legendary experiences for our consumers which we do through associations with worldwide sports like the Rugby World Cup, but also through local partnerships,” Bozzone said.

In an interview with Food Magazine, Bozzone says the Heineken brand has continued to grow as it brings great experiences to consumers attending sporting events.

“Heineken continues to invest to premiumise our packaging and stand out from our competitors. Our packaging is one of our most important touch points to communicate to consumers. Most recently, we have amplified our RWC15 and James Bond 007 Spectre campaigns through a packaging change,” Bozzone said.

The Heineken Lion venture's full-year financial results have been lodged with the corporate regulator and show that sales increased by 2.5 per cent to $67.4 million for the year ended September 30, 2015.

Bugsolutely delicious pasta

Thai edible insect processor Bugsolutely is taking on the pasta market with a product made with flour from ground crickets.

Cricket pasta features exceptionally nutritional values, including high levels of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin B12 and omega-3.

Crickets require almost 1,000 times less food and water than cows, while needing a very short time to be reared.

According to Bugsolutely’s Italian founder, Massimo Reverberi, the pasta is the result of months of research in collaboration with several manufacturers.

“Our products are the result of our research into finding the best possible combination for a tasty, healthy food. Our export strategy to western countries is based on a partnership with international food distributors and on powerful online marketing campaigns,” Reverberi said.

Reverberi’s aim is to target the markets of Europe and North America, where he is in the process of arranging distribution. Southeast Asia, where there is a tradition of consuming insect protein, is not on Busolutely’s radar as the market largely sees it as old-fashioned.

How does the product, which is available through the Bugsolutely website as fusilli in a 350g sealed package, taste?

“Thanks to the cricket flour, the pasta’s distinctive brown colour matches its typical earthy taste –the taste of which is often associated with roasted almonds.” 

Coopers continues strong growth

Coopers brewery has ended the 2015 calendar year in record territory, boosted by strong sales of Coopers Original Pale Ale and Mild Ale 3.5 per cent.

For the 12 months ending on the December 31, 2015, Coopers sold a record 80.7 million litres, a 4.4 per cent increase on the 77.3 million litres sold in calendar year 2014.

Coopers’ flagship product, Coopers Original Pale Ale, continued to perform strongly, with national sales rising 3.2 per cent during the year. It now accounts for 52 per cent of Coopers’ total beer sales.

Mild Ale 3.5 per cent enjoyed a 13.7 per cent increase in sales during 2015 and is now Coopers’ third largest product by volume behind Sparkling Ale, which recorded growth of 1.8 per cent for the year. Coopers Stout sales rose by 8 percent for the year.

According to Coopers Managing Director Tim Cooper, the 2015 results had been especially pleasing, given the continued overall fall in beer consumption in Australia.

“While Australia’s total beer consumption has fallen almost 10 per cent in the past six years, despite a growing population, Coopers’ sales have been on a solid growth trajectory for the past 22 years,” Cooper said.

“The latest results mean Coopers now has 5 per cent of the total Australian market. The eastern states continue to be Coopers’ major area of growth, with total sales in Victoria, NSW and Queensland growing by 7.4 per cent during 2015. Western Australian sales grew 5.5 per cent.”

An agreement with US craft brewer, Brooklyn Brewing came into effect late in 2015, but had only had a minor impact on results, although early sales had been strong.

Sales of Thatchers Gold cider, which is distributed in Australia by Coopers, rose 37 per cent during the 2015 calendar year.

For the six months to December 2015, Coopers sales grew 4.5 per cent over the previous corresponding period.

Dr Cooper said Coopers was looking forward to achieving 23 years of growth by the end of the current financial year.

This would also be supported by the release of Carlsberg 3.5 per cent mid-strength lager in February, adding further to the strong international beer portfolio already in place.

Coopers lager packaging will also be refreshed to stimulate interest on the back of the packaging upgrade of Coopers Clear in 2015 which has been well received by consumers. 

Safe biscuit bulk handling

When an iconic Australian food company needed a new method of reliable, continuous supply of snack biscuits to its high-speed weighers and feeders for packaging, it sought the assistance of two Australian manufacturing companies, who are both leaders in their fields.

Victoria-based Kiel Industries collaborated with Pro Ali Design in Sydney on the project to design and build a new production line for the snack biscuit manufacturer. A project that illustrates the expertise and skill of the two companies.

From a modest beginning as a small, family-owned and operated company, Kiel Industries has grown into a prominent leader in the rotational moulding industry. 

Founded in 1989 by the Kiel family, the company now supplies the largest range of plastic pallets in the southern hemisphere and continues to dominate materials handling with innovative designs for pallets, bins, and ancillary products. 

Kiel utilises some of the most technically advanced moulding equipment in the world and over time, its custom moulding division has grown to be a prominent participant in the industry. Their equipment was specifically selected so that the company can offer economical short production runs, together with competitive pricing on high volume production. 

Pro Ali Design's dedication to quality, design and service, coupled with a commitment to continuous improvement and technological innovation, has made the company one of the most reputable and respected providers of conveying solutions for many of Australasia's leading food manufacturers.

A major requirement of the biscuit packaging line was to replace the existing bins and handling system with a line that used a cleaner, more versatile bin. Colin Kiel, Managing Director of Kiel Industries, said “For the production line, 'cleaner' meant that the bins had to empty completely with no residual biscuits being trapped by corners or edges.”

The biscuit production process involves several basic steps. Pastry is made and spread before the topping is added and then cut to shape and baked. Once through the ovens, the snack biscuits are   placed into the Kiel designed plastic storage and transport bins in large plastic bags. When the biscuits are ready for packing, the bins are moved and the biscuits decanted to portion pack sizes of 25g and 70g. Portion packs are retained in the Kiel bins until bin emptying is required to create multipacks on the packaging line. The portion packs are then boxed, ready to be sent out to supermarkets across the country.

The customer requirements were for 650 litre, food-grade polyethylene bins that were standard pallet-sized with smooth walls and easy to clean. The bins also needed the capability to be safely stacked up to eight high.

The biscuit manufacturer ensures the freshness of its product by insisting on a 14-day turnaround between baking and packaging. During this two-week period, approximately 1000 bins of snack biscuits are produced. To meet this demand and ensure there were always sufficient bins, Kiel Industries manufactured 1500 bins in total.

Kiel Industries tendered for the project but were only given four months to produce the minimum number of 800 bins. “This was a little tight because during our normal operational shifts, one mould can only produce 100 bins per month,” Kiel stated. “We had to maximise the efficiency and utilisation of the production line to make best use of the machines.”

Once the design of the bin had been confirmed, prototypes were sent to Pro Ali Design in Sydney for development of the automated tipping machinery that was to be part of the new production line. “It was interesting for a change for us to develop a bin and have the handling equipment built for it,” said Kiel. “Usually, a company designs and builds a processing plant and then asks us to give them a bin that fits their system.”

Pro Ali was selected because it specialises in the design and construction of state-of-the-art stainless steel conveying systems for the food industry, including customised package and box handling conveyor lines. In addition, all the company's equipment is manufactured to meet the appropriate Australian Standards, as well as AQIS, MAF or FDA 'clean design' specifications.

According to Jon Ball, Pro Ali's Business Development Manager, his company received a very specific brief from the biscuit manufacturer for the development of its new production line. The main requirement was to improve efficiencies and remove the need to manually load biscuits from different shaped bins.

The cubic-metre bins developed by Kiel Industries had to be robust to withstand being picked up and moved around in areas where there were multiple forklifts operating, so the Pro Ali design incorporated a heavy duty bin tipper. 

New stainless steel washdown system from Reel Tech

Reel Tech, exclusive Hannay partner in Australia and New Zealand, has launched a new stainless steel washdown system for food, beverage, dairy and pharmaceutical plants.

The system includes a stainless steel hose reel, food grade hose, and water-saving washdown gun.

Whilst loose hoses are becoming more noticeably a tripping hazard which could lead to serious injury or worse, buying a hose reel washdown system that is high quality, continually reliable and easy to service whilst meeting stringent hygiene specifications and fitting within budget can be complex.

Stainless steel spring rewind hose reels are the most commonly employed hose reels for washdown in food, beverage, dairy and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants.

With a Reel Tech stainless steel washdown system you are assured of the most hygienic, corrosion-resistant, easy-to-clean and easy-to-maintain spring rewind washdown system.

Reel Tech’s washdown guns have been accredited with the Smart Approved WaterMark in Australia, saving costs associated with water usage.

Reel Tech also offers full customised washdown systems with a wide range of water-saving washdown guns, and hose lengths and sizes.

An additional benefit of the Reel Tech washdown system, is that a Safe-R-Reel™ speed control rewind system can be easily retrofitted to the spring rewind reel.

The patented Safe-R-Reel™ reduces hose rewind speed, which helps to prevent damage to employees and equipment.

Their booklet, “10 facts of hose reel safety”, is an industry guide that supports awareness of the risks and hazards associated with hose reels, including rewind speed.

Noble Spirits bring Sassy Ciders to Australia

Noble Spirits have included a new premium brand within their portfolio – Sassy Ciders.

Sassy Cider is produced in the heart of Normandy in the north of France from orchards located near the exquisite Château de Sassy. 

These high quality handcrafted ciders, are made with no added colourings, no additives and no nasties, with recipes passed down from previous generations at the Château. Each of their products are created from a meticulous hand-picked selection of apples and pears from hundred year old trees.

Noble Spirits will be bringing the full range of this brand for Australian consumers. 

This includes the Apple Cider – ‘L’Inimitable’, the Pear Cider – ‘Le Vertueux, and a Rosé Cider – ‘La Sulfuruese’.

Champagne region earns World Heritage status

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has decided to include the Champagne Slopes, Houses and Cellars on its world heritage list, in the Living Cultural Landscapes category.

The 21 representatives of the State Parties to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention unanimously voted in favour of the inclusion, recognised the Slops’, Houses’ and Cellars’ ‘Exceptional Universal Value’.

“Inclusion on the list is a form of recognition but also an undertaking to the world’s nations, so we must ensure that we are worthy of it. We are duty-bound to preserve and maintain this landscape, know-how and heritage so that we can pass them on unspoilt to future generations,” said Pierre Cheval, president of the Association Paysages du Champagne, which has spent eight years putting together and managing the area’s application.

Champagne's submission put emphasis on the unique industrial heritage that, from the 19th century onwards, helped to establish Champagne wine as a worldwide symbol of quality.

The application encompassed the three sites listed below, chosen to present a representative selection of vineyard sites and Champagne production practices:

  • The vineyard area between Cumières and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ – one of the most ancient vineyards in the Champagne area.
  • The buildings of the Champagne Houses on Saint-Nicaise hill in Reims and along the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay
  • The network of cellars and ‘crayères’ (Gallo-Roman chalk pits) that lie under these three sites – the best examples of their kind in Champagne.


Fonterra announces board change

Ralph Norris made the decision not to continue his term as an Independent Director on the Fonterra Board due to his other commitments.

Norris joined the Board in May 2012 as an Independent Director, and his term will finish following the Co-operative’s Annual Meeting on 25 November 2015.

Norris is also resigning from the Board of the Manager of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund, from 25 November 2015.

The Fonterra Board will initiate a process to identify a new Independent Director, which will include consultation with the Board of the Manager of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund. In the meantime Norris will continue on both boards until the Fonterra Annual Meeting in November 2015.

Naked Wines Winemaker buys Margaret River vineyard

Naked Winemaker Ben Gould has purchased of a 50-acre Vineyard in Margaret River, following a crowd funded Christmas wine sale, to raise the deposit.

As a result of increased sales from Naked Wines and a special wine sale for his mailing list, Gould has been able to finally own a vineyard big enough to produce all the grapes required.

“We crowd funded the deposit with wine specials at Christmas time, telling customers the revenue was to be used to purchase a vineyard. The response was overwhelming,” Gould said.

Gould’s passion lies in organic and sustainable winemaking – he believes that each bottle of wine should be alive with the unique flavours of the vineyard in which the grapes were grown, and additionally display the particular characteristics of each vintage.  Gould believes that using sustainable practices during the grape growing and winemaking process is the key to unlocking the best quality wine.

Gould’s Blind Corner wines are made according to natural and organic methods, with minimal/no additives (but not formally certified) and his Blind Side Margaret River Classic 2014 is the highest rated white wine on the Naked Wines website.

“In recent years, we’ve found ourselves buying grapes from as many as seven different growers. The trouble with supply is that it’s difficult to ensure the quality is consistently as high as we’d like, and we could never get enough organic grapes. Hopefully now with this vineyard we’ll be able to maintain excellent quality control with the grapes we’re working with, and move all of our grape-growing to organic certification,” Gould said.

“Partnering with Naked Wines has not only brought our wines to a much bigger audience, but has provided the financial stability to take on this investment in our winemaking future. It’s a hugely exciting time for my family, and we’re looking forward to being able to really intricately manage the entire process of winemaking, starting with the grapes.”


TWE reworks supply chain

TWE has put the Ryecroft winery, T’Gallant and Bailey’s properties up for sale as part of its strategy to focus on fewer brands.

The winemaker is making significant changes to its supply chain network in the USA and Australia and has identified further opportunities to reduce its overhead cost base.

TWE plans to accelerate its focus on the Luxury & Masstige versus Commercial portfolios globally, by making significant changes to its supply chain network and cost base in both the USA and Australia.


The packaging and warehousing of wines previously processed at Karadoc near Mildura Victoria, will now occur at TWE’s state of-the-art Wolf Blass facility in the Barossa, South Australia. The phased closure of packaging and warehouse operations at Karadoc is due to be completed during fiscal 2016.

As a result, the utilisation of the Wolf Blass packaging and warehousing facility will be significantly enhanced.

Furthermore, Commercial wine currently processed at TWE’s Great Western and Wynn’s Coonawarra facilities will be transferred to the Karadoc site, with Karadoc to become exclusively focused on the production of TWE’s Australian Commercial wine portfolio.

At the same time, the processing of Masstige wine at Great Western and Wynns Coonawarra will be transferred to Wolf Blass. This will, in turn, result in increased luxury wine processing and warehousing capacity at these sites.

United States of America

In the USA, TWE will consolidate its production facilities such that TWE’s Asti winery in Sonoma County, California, will become surplus to the company’s production needs.

Asti's wine production will be transferred to other wineries within TWE’s network, with the majority of Commercial and Masstige wine production transferred to Paso Robles and Luxury wine transferred to Beringer. This will increase utilisation at both facilities.

Collectively, these steps will further facilitate TWE’s separate focus on the Luxury & Masstige versus Commercial portfolios in the region.

Finally, packaging lines at TWE’s Napa Bottling Centre (NBC) are being consolidated to further optimise production efficiency.

Expected outcome of supply chain optimisation

These initiatives are expected to be complete by the end of fiscal 2016. The supply chain network optimisation benefits are not immediate, rather they are recognised through Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) at the time wines are sold.

As a result of actions to optimise the Company’s supply chain, TWE expects to recognise a provision in fiscal 2015 for a cash cost of approximately $35 million. The COGS benefits from this initiative will ramp up from fiscal 2016 and reach $50 million per annum by fiscal 2020.

TWE plans to reinvest some of the savings from supply chain optimisation into the company’s Commercial portfolio globally, while at the same time improving TWE’s base business and delivering enhanced returns to shareholders.

Furthermore, the Company does not expect a net incremental increase in capital expenditure to result from these changes.

Overhead reduction program

As reported at the Company’s interim 2015 result announcement on 27 February 2015, TWE remains on track to deliver $35 million in cost savings in fiscal 2015, as part of an overhead reduction program previously announced to the market in May 2014.

Following additional work to ‘right size’ the Company’s cost base, a further $15 million in overhead cost savings has been identified and is expected to be realised in fiscal 2016.

Accordingly, TWE has raised an additional provision of $15 million to support these savings.

Michael Clarke, TWE’s Chief Executive Officer, said “I am very pleased that we, at TWE, are now embedding a cost conscious culture. Not only are the cost reductions funding the 50 percent uplift in consumer marketing in fiscal 2015, the savings are also supporting actions to improve the quality of TWE’s base earnings, while delivering profit growth for shareholders.”

“The changes announced today are significant ones for our business and demonstrate our commitment to delivering on the Company’s strategic roadmap. By continuing to reduce costs, and optimising the scale and efficiency of our supply chain networks in major production areas, TWE is well placed to pursue growth opportunities that exist for our wine brands in key markets around the world.”