Tartar products maker turns to bioenergy, saves $2 m in a year on gas

Australian Tartaric Products grape waste-powered biomass
reactor has saved the company over $2 million in power bills so far, according
to the company.

BRW reports that the reactor, which is fueled by winemaking
waste products – including grape marc (skins and pips), which was previously used as
compost – was completed last year at a cost of around $10 million.

ATP chairman Malcolm Taylor said that feasibility studies
began in 2008 as rising gas prices began to bite. Plans were put on hold due to
the Global Financial Crisis, but by 2011 it was important that action be taken.

“As the cost of gas went up and up, the cost of production
was going up and squeezing the margin considerably,” Taylor told BRW.

“All the indications were that it was going to potentially
become uneconomic to produce.”

The investment was assisted by grants worth $1.7 million from the federal government and $1.8 million from the Victorian government.

According to the company, in its first year of operation the
biomass reactor has saved around $2 million in gas costs as well as producing
60 per cent of the ATP’s electricity.

The Colignan (near Mildura) plant in north-west Victoria has
operated since 1991 and makes natural tartaric acid, natural cream of tartar and food grade spirit, supplied to the wine industry.

Global Stevia market registers a robust growth

The global Stevia market is expected to reach US $ 565.2 Million by 2020, due to shifting consumer preference.

According to a Future Market Insights report “Global Stevia Market – Market Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2014 – 2020,” the global stevia market is projected to grow at a single-digit CAGR during the forecast period, accounting for US $ 565.2 Mn by 2020.

Stevia extracts are finding increasing application in soft drinks and juices, ice creams, and various other products. This is attributed to its high-intensity natural sweetness properties. Due to these factors, share of the stevia market is expected to account for around 15 percent of the overall sweetener market by 2020.

The global stevia market is sub-segmented on the basis of the type of liquid, powdered and leaf form. The powdered stevia sub-segment is projected to account for around 65.4 percent share of the total stevia market by 2020, owing to ease of availability and use. The liquid stevia sub-segment, on the other hand, is expected to record a CAGR of around 9.0 percent during the forecast period.

All forms of stevia extracts are extensively used in end-use industries such as dairy, bakery, confectionery, beverages, packaged food, snacks and others.

Increasing introduction of products with stevia-based sweetener ingredients in various end-use industries is expected to bolster growth of the global stevia market by 2020.

Increasing popularity of such products owing to growing modern retail, urbanization, awareness and health concerns and changing preferences of consumers are major factors driving growth of this market.

Apart from the application in the food and beverages industry, introduction of products with stevia-based sweeteners across end-use industries such as bakery and confectionery is expected to bolster growth of the global stevia market by 2020. Furthermore, the global stevia market is driven by the need for effective alternatives for artificial sugar-based products owing to changing consumer lifestyle, increasing product visibility in urban areas and approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for rebaudioside A as an ingredient in food products in European countries.


Bakery inspected, cleared following salmonella poisonings

Betta Maid’s bakery at Unanderra was temporarily shut yesterday, with the company applying for and passing a re-inspection related to a salmonella outbreak in local aged care centres.

The Illawarra Mercury reports that the NSW Food Authority issued a prohibition order against Betta Maid, which the company said related to a gap in the site’s roller door and potential access by pests.

‘‘We are really proud of our operation and proud to be in the Illawarra where we have serviced the community for pushing 30years and never had a food safety incident,’’ the company’s food safety officer Anthony Peart told the Illawarra Mercury. He said the issue had been fixed and operations resumed on the same day.

The inspection was part of the NSW Food Authority’s investigations into suppliers of aged care service providers IRT.

There have been two deaths from an outbreak of an “unusual strain” of salmonella in the Illawarra, reported The Canberra Times earlier this week. There were 26 cases of salmonella poisoning in NSW and the ACT identified by NSW Health.

Betta Maid supplies meat pies, potato pies, sausage rolls and other baked goods to IRT.

Peart said these were fully baked and reheated at aged care facilities, and need to be cooked twice.

“The likelihood of Betta Maid products being the source of the outbreak are very remote,” he said.

Image: https://www.wavefm.com.au


Former Darrell Lea workers to finally receive redundancy pay

An agreement has been reached between Darrell Lea’s owners and the union representing former workers who have been denied about $400,000 in redundancy pay.

On Saturday, the ABC’s AM reported that six Darrell Lea workers could've been denied redundancy payments after shelf company DL Employment, which had hired the workers, was put in liquidation.

Today it was announced that an agreement had been reached after Darrell Lea’s owners and the AMWU spent six hours in negotiationt.

"Darrell Lea has now committed to the AMWU that they will pay 100 per cent of the outstanding entitlements to this group of workers today," the ABC reports the AMWU’s Tim Ayres as saying today.

The entitlements reportedly range from about $50,000 to $90,000.

"It will make a real difference to their lives, the security of knowing these payments are coming through," said Ayres.

Darrell Lea moved manufacturing operations from its former Kogarah site to Ingleburn in 2012, the same year the Quinn family bought the company’s manufacturing operations and brand. Lea had been put into voluntary administration, and the Quinn’s purchase saved 80 jobs.

It was ordered by the Fair Work Commission in January to pay the workers their entitlements, as they could not reasonably be expected to work at the newer factory, which isabout 34 km away


Q4 results for Pepsico and Coca Cola please shareholders

Both Coca Cola and Pepsico have released their Q4 and full-year 2014 results, with Coca Cola beating Q4 numbers and Pepsico returning higher than expected profits.

Coca Cola’s results triggered a rise in its shares prices, Kara Ordway, senior market analyst at www.cityindex.com.au says.

“The great news with Coca Cola is the fact it saw North American sales grow for the first quarter in four, which highlights a potential turning point for consecutive quarterly sales decline in its biggest market.

“North American sales grew by 2 percent to $5.37bn in the firms fiscal fourth quarter, which is vital considering North American sales contributes to 49 percent of total group sales. Compare this to a 10 percent drop in sales in Asia Pacific and a 2 percent decline in sales in Europe and it’s easy to see here that North American sales played a vital role in Coca Cola beating forecasts here,” Ordway says.

“Going forward there remain significant concerns over exposure to currency fluctuations internationally considering recent strength and forecast continued strength in the US dollar.

“The firm predicts currency fluctuations to generate a 5 percent headwind on net revenues and a 7-8 percent impact on profits before tax for the 2015.”

On the other hand, Pepsico delivered a “double whammy of higher than expected profits and a return of cash to investors totalling as much as $9bn,” Ordway says.

“The drinks firm saw fourth quarter core earnings per share rise to $1.12 with the market expecting around $1.08 per share. Organic revenue grew by 5 percent in the last quarter of the year and 4 percent for the year as a whole, brightening underlying prospects and comes despite growing calls from activist investor Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management for the executive board to agree to dramatic changes to the firm to make it more streamlined and agile.

“From a pure numbers perspective, there is enough here to be well received by the market but it’s the return of cash to shareholders of as much as $9bn in the form dividends and share repurchases that will help even more with the digestion of their firms earnings.

“The firm seems to be gaining some solid momentum, especially with organic revenue growth growing more strongly in the last quarter of the year and this brightens medium term prospects for the company as a whole.

“One thing to warn against is the recent strength of the US dollar and the like progressive impact this will make on global sales and currency exposure. We saw dollar strength make an impact in Pepsico’s earnings this time around and with the dollar gaining even more momentum, this needs to be guarded against by investors,” Ordway says.


Does gluten-free beer have potential in Australia?

The rise of gluten-free is showing no signs of slowing down, and there’s a new player on the block: beer.

Overall growth in the beer manufacturing industry is stagnant, with and craft/premium beers dominating growth, according to the IBISWorld Beer Manufacturing industry in Australia market research report.

The industry is worth $5 billion overall and grew at only 0.1 per cent in 2010-15.

According to Euromonitor International, the gluten-free food market was worth A$246m in Australia in 2014, with an annual growth rate of 54 percent.  What’s more, it’s anticipated to reach A$437m in value by 2019. And now it’s entering beer.

Can this momentum be replicated within the alcoholic drinks arena?

Spiros Malandrakis, Euromonitor International Senior Alcoholic Drinks Analyst says it already has.

“Cider’s meteoric rise in the US market is largely relevant to the category’s naturally gluten-free attributes (alongside the savvy promotional campaigns underscoring the fact as a unique selling point). Spirits are also naturally gluten free – even though some recent launches seem to have only just got the memo and wear it as a badge of honour,” Malandrakis says.

In the UK, a brewery which claims to the be the UK's first to produce only gluten-free beers is due to open in Edinburgh next year.

The Bellfield Brewery is currently testing a premium gluten-free IPA beer before its release next year. A stout, a lager and other styles of beer will follow shortly. Having established a small-scale brewing site in Edinburgh, the company is now seeking GBP250,000 to scale up production to meet what its founders claim is a largely untapped market.

Does gluten-free beer have potential in Australia?

Although only making up a tiny proportion of the Australian beer market so far, there is good reason to believe that gluten-free beer might soon be an important growth market, says Daniel Grimsey, Senior Research Analyst, Euromonitor International.

Gluten-free beer in Australia would “potentially appeal not only to coeliac disease suffers, and those on a gluten-free diet, but also craft beer enthusiasts,” Grimsey says.

The major brands in Australian gluten-free beer are Schnitzer Brau (brewed in Offenburg, Germany) and O’Brien (brewed in Wendouree, Victoria).

“Gluten-free beer is typically produced with other non-gluten cereals such as sorghum and millet, giving it a similar appeal to other non-barley beers such as wheat beer, which grew by 13 percent in 2014.   There’s even an opportunity for gluten-free beer to play a similar role to that of low-carb beer, offering a health & wellness option that craft beer currently does not have.

“Its success of course, will all depend on how it tastes,” Grimsey says. 


Packaged food and soft drink consumption to increase

The world buys 1.5 trillion calories a day, with the average global consumer purchasing 765 calories each day through packaged food and soft drinks, according to new research.

Market Research Company Euromonitor International released new research examining the total amount of nutrients purchased per-person per day through packaged food and soft drinks products. 

The research found countries in North America and Western Europe purchase over 1500 calories, with India at 150 calories per day and China at 510, respectively.

“Despite over 40 percent of the global population being overweight and obese, our nutrition data shows that by 2019 the world will purchase 90 calories more a day,” says Lauren Bandy, nutrition analyst at Euromonitor International.

“This analysis helps address rising concerns surrounding nutritional value in food while building a picture of what people eat in different countries.”

Mexico buys the most calories a day with 1928 calories per person, which is 380 calories more than the US. The additional 380 calories is the equivalent of an extra slice of pizza per person every day in Mexico. Germany buys nearly twice as much fat per capita per day than Japan, and France purchases more calories from bread each day than India does from packaged food and soft drinks combined.

“Understanding how packaged food and soft drink brands contribute to the total purchase of nutrients by category and country helps address the rising concern of nutritional value in food,” Bandy said.

The data, available in Euromonitor’s Passport: Nutrition database depicts a brands contribution to the purchase of nutritional content around the world, identifying the contents of the world’s diet and the impact each nutrient, such as salt, has on our diets. The data allows companies and governments to understand consumers taste and food preferences around the world.


Cadbury chocolate blocks get smaller

Blocks of Cadbury family-sized blocks of chocolate will be shrunk by one row, with high manufacturing costs blamed.

Fairfax Media reports that the chocolate market leader in Australia cited “unprecedented” cost pressures over the last 18 months, and chose to decrease size by roughly 10 per cent rather than raise prices.

The blocks would be reduced from the current 220 gram size to about 200 grams.

Confectionery companies worldwide were “feeling the squeeze” from higher input costs, Cadbury said on its website. Among these costs is the price of coca, which spiked last year and has contributed to difficulties for other confectioners such as Ernest Hiller, which was placed in administration last month.

“We’ve reached a point where we can no longer absorb these increasing costs into the price of our chocolate blocks,” explained Cadbury.

A backlash from chocolate fans was predicted.

"Clearly any chocolate lover is going to be a bit disappointed," conceded Amanda Banfield, managing director of parent company Mondelez International, in an interview with Fairfax.

Around 60 per cent of the company’s chocolate is sold in Australia through Coles and Woolworths.

The Cadbury factory at Claremont, Tasmania, produces about 80 million blocks per year, and has a planned $66 million upgrade. $16 million of this was pledged as government co-investment by then-opposition leader Tony Abbott during the 2013 federal election campaign.

Family-sized blocks of Cadbury were decreased in 2009 from 250 to 200 grams, note Lifehacker and others, before being increased to 220 grams in 2013 following consumer anger.

Image: https://www.glogster.com

Brewing industry profitability decreases: IBISWorld

IBISWorld has released the latest version of its beer manufacturing industry research figures.

The Beer Manufacturing industry in Australia market research report finds that overall growth is stagnant, traditional brands out of favour, and craft/premium beers dominating growth.

The sector employs 3,768 workers at 209 businesses.

The industry is worth $5 billion overall, according to IBISWorld’s research, and grew at only 0.1 per cent in 2010-15. It is dominated by two foreign owned players, the South African SABMiller (which acquired Foster’s in 2011), and Lion Nathan (owned by Kirin Holdings of Japan.

The two major brewers are hurting profitability through their battle for market share, as is the overall decline in per capita beer consumption.

“Industry revenue growth over the past five years has been constrained by falling beer consumption and intensifying competition,” said an analyst from IBISWorld, Jem Anning.

Overall growth is put at 2.5 per cent for 2014-15. This was being driven by premium and craft beers, which are expected to drive revenue growth over the next five years.

According to an article in The Australian this month, almost half of all craft beer in Australia is sold by the big two.

Image: https://www.franchiseopportunitiesjournal.com


#occupydandenong dispute at IFF factory enters second day

Workers at the International Flavors and Fragrances factory in Dandenong are
in the second day of a sit-in, after EBA negotiations failed to be resolved and
the company announced an indefinite lock-out.

The Herald Sun reported yesterday that workers “set up camp” in the
lunchroom after the lockout announced before the 6 am shift, the result of a paperwork ban by workers.

“A paperwork ban… would have negatively impacted our ability to
maintain quality control over the products we manufacture,” said IFF in a
statement, reported by the ABC.

“As our products are consumed by families everywhere, we take the
quality and safety of everything we make very seriously.”

Due to quality control concerns, IFF had “no option” but to hold the
lockout, it said.

The National Union of Workers has been delivering food and bedding to the
workers, variously reported to number 30, “about 40” and “more than 50”.

It was reported yesterday that workers were angered by a new proposed pay
deal – the old one having expired in November – which removed a $50 a day bonus
for unclaimed sick pay and two paid ten-minute breaks a day.

According to the ABC, the workers are requesting a pay rise tied to
inflation, with the Fair Work Commission hearing the dispute last night and hearings to resume today.

Yesterday union delegate Arthur Ingles said the workers would stay put as “long
as it takes.” 

According to Ingles, negotiations go back to last September.

“The Super A-Mart dispute took six weeks and the end of the day, we can’t
buckle,” he said.

This morning he told AAP that the protest would continue “until the dispute
is resolved fairly and amicably.”

The Dandenong plant makes food and drink additives for chips, milk and soft

IFF is a global maker of food and fragrance additives, going back to 1889
and the company Polack & Schwarz.

Those curious about the dispute can follow #occupydandenong on Twitter.

Image: Thinkstock

Betta Foods becomes second Australian confectioner to collapse in two weeks

Confectionery business Betta Foods is in voluntary administration, only three months after it was acquired by Re:Capital.

AAP reports that the company, which manufactures in Broadmeadows, employs over 180 and makes products including Capricorn liquorice and ice cream cones.

Betta was established in 1954, has revenues reportedly around $40 million annually, and supplies Coles, Woolworths and Aldi. It also exports to North America, New Zealand and the UK.

Betta was acquired in October by private equity firm Re:Capital for an undisclosed amount. Last year – in February – Re:Capital also acquired 101-year-old chocolate maker Ernest Hiller. Ernest Hillier collapsed last week.

Both companies have Cor Cordis as their voluntary administrator.

Bruno Secatore of the administrators said Betta’s books were being reviewed as a buyer is sought.

“In the meantime, the company is continuing to trade so it will be business as usual while we meet with the company’s management, customers and suppliers,” Smart Company reports him as saying yesterday.

“We have met with all of the staff this morning and will continue to keep them informed as we conduct our investigations.”

According to Business Spectator, a creditors’ meeting will be held on January 30.

Image: https://www.facebook.com/CapricornLiquoriceAustralia

Australia’s oldest chocolate manufacturer collapses

Ernest Hillier, a century-plus old, Melbourne-based chocolate maker, has appointed administrators this week.

The Herald Sun reports that Ernest Hillier operates under the Hillier’s and Newman’s brands and continues to trade, with Col Cordis appointed as administrators this week.

The confectioner has been under the ownership of RE Capital since February last year, when they acquired the company for $11 million.

Fairfax reports that the 101-year-old business – which employs 60 at six locations – faced difficulties including a big jump in coca prices last September, and changing consumer preferences shifting towards niche, premium and fair trade chocolate.

It is too early to know what exactly led to the collapse, according to administrators.

"It certainly needs an injection of funds," Bruno Secatore of Col Cordis told Fairfax .

"There has been some restructuring but it needs more."

According to the AMWU, some of the blame lay with the major supermarkets, which account for most of Hiller’s sales.

"The buying power of the supermarkets and their ability to screw prices down from producers has been an ongoing problem across the whole of the food and confection industry for quite some time," Tom Hale from the AMWU told the ABC.

Two inquiries had been made, according to Col Cordis, and the AMWU agreed there was hope a buyer would come forward for the business, which is believed to be the country's oldest chocolate maker.


Ashton Valley Fresh discusses successful handover

The Ceravolo siblings Joyce and Joseph have spoken about the inter-generational handover in their third-generation fruit producing business.

ABC Rural reports that the management handover of Ashton Valley Fresh, a juice manufacturer, has been smoother than some other similar examples in farm succession.

"I think food really runs in some people's blood,” Joyce Ceravolo, 25, a chemical engineer by training, and Ashton’s quality assurance manager, told the ABC.

“I have a passion for this that I've never had for anything else, and so does my brother."

Ashton Valley Fresh grows and packs apples, nectarines, pears and cherries, and the bulk of its business comes from juice manufacturing for cider.

Joyce’s brother Joseph, 22, is the company’s production manager.

Joyce Ceravolo said the company was able to compete with cheap imports through a focus on premium products. Her and her brother had overseen changes including in a capacity increase and improvements in enzyme spraying.


CES attendees get a taste of printed chocolate technology

3D Systems has previewed its CocoJet machine for 3D printing chocolate at this week’s CES show in Las Vegas.

The CocoJet, developed in collaboration with the Hershey Company, prints in dark, milk and white chocolate.

“Our partnership with Hershey, the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and confections, allows us to create unique, exciting and personalized edible experiences,” said Chuck Hull, co-founder of 3DS.

“Our preview of CocoJet at CES showcases the power – and possibilities – of 3D printing, and it extends our experience and innovation in culinary 3D printing.”

The additive manufacturing company, which entered "culinary 3D printing" when it acquired The Sugar Lab in 2013, announced a partnership with Hershey early last year.

It describes the machine it presented at last year’s CES, the ChefJet Pro series of printers, as “the most advanced 3D chocolate printer in operation.” The ChefJet Pro is expected to be available in the year’s second half, according to 3DPrint.com


Nudie ups production due to chiller unit upgrade: Case Study

Nudie juice has kept production running whilst it updated its chiller unit by using a low temperature chiller rental.

The Situation

Under the advisement of Nudie's refrigeration partner, Nudie were informed that upgrades needed to be carried out on their chiller unit in order for them to be able to keep up with their usual summer demand.

“Our juice manufacturing equipment needs to be kept at sub zero temperatures,” said Tobias Dunn, Production Manager, Nudie Juice. “We do this through the use of a chiller system which utilises two separate circuits. We were unable to switch off one of the circuits to work on the other independently as with our constant demand and through put, the system simply wouldn’t keep up.”

“To keep production running whilst also carrying out the necessary upgrades so we could push through summer at full production we needed a supplementary chiller immediately. We rang our refrigeration partner, Amertec, who then rang Active Air Rentals.”

The Solution

The Active Air Rentals team installed a 220 kW low temperature chiller and 200 kVA generator.

“The site was really tight. We had to place the temporary chiller system parallel to the permanent system, which is right near the delivery bay, so there was no room for error,” said NSW State Manager, James Quintal.

“We installed the temporary chiller as a gravity fed system; pumping our chilled water into the top of their cooling tank with a flange system at the base to draw out the warm water and feed it back into our temporary chiller.”

The Results

The temporary system enabled Dunn and his team to upgrade the permanent chiller with no production down time and increased capacity moving into summer.


Dairy Food Safety Victoria to regulate sale or raw milk

Dairy Food Safety Victoria will be in charge of regulating the sale of unpasteurised or ‘raw’ milk, following the state government’s announced crack down on the product.

The ABC reports that Dairy Food Safety Victoria is contacting all licensed dairy farmers to inform them of the requirements of the new regulations.

"People who are producing dairy products not intended for human consumption, will clearly identify those products and make them so they are not able to be consumed, in the same way that other consmetics are treated," said Jennifer McDonald, the chief executive officer of Dairy Food Safety Victoria.

"There are a number of different ways that they can deter consumption, and a bittering agent is one of those ways."

The regulation change follows the recent death of a three-year-old child from Mornington Peninsula late last year who drank Mountain View Organic Bath Milk.

In addition, another four children aged one to four, from Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs and the Mornington Peninsula became seriously ill after drinking other brands of unpasteurised milk.

According to McDonald, there appear to be only four Victorian producers selling ‘bath milk’. She said that all have been co-operative and her organisation is informing them about the best ways to comply with the regulations.

Health experts say that unpasteurised milk is not safe to drink because it can contain pathogenic bacteria which are harmful to humans.

Pasteurisation involves the heating of milk for a short period of time in order to destroy any such bacteria which may be present.

NZ inventor turns to crowdfunding to manufacture coffee invention

A Wellington, New Zealand man is currently raising money for what he says is an innovation in coffee-making.

Fairfax reports that inventor and founder of the Evolve 3.0, Ramsey Gyde, came up with his idea four years ago while working at a cafe, and has developed it (making 14 prototypes) over the last three.

The Evolve is a three-in-one device offering stovetop, plunger and pour over ways of making coffee. At the time of writing, it has raised over $10,000 NZD on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, with a goal of $160,000 NZD.

Gyde told Fairfax that tooling to begin production would cost as much as $150,000 NZD. His company has enlisted the help of product development company Idea Developments to get the idea “factory ready”.

He had found an unwillingness from local manufacturers to partner with him and his team, which also includes Jason Stephens and Jeremy Brooker, and turned to crowdsourcing to gauge support for his idea.


Canadean’s top trends for 2015

A desire for craft offerings, ‘better for you ingredients’ and hot and spicy are among the trends Canadean predicts will be big in 2015.

Canadean top trends for 2015:

From mass-produced to personalised

Canadean predicts that the desire for craft offerings will become increasingly influential. Consumers want their products to be produced and manufactured on a smaller scale to ensure quality and to feel a closer connection to the brands they choose.  Canadean predicts that brands will encourage sales among a growing number of consumers who want to move away from mass-produced items across the FMCG market by emphasising the exclusivity of a product and the care with which it was formulated.

‘Better-for-you’ ingredients

According to Canadean, consumers will be increasingly concerned about unhealthy ingredients such as sugar. In the UK, 2014 saw the introduction of stevia into many popular products including Coca-Cola Life, which is set to reach Australia in 2015. Over the coming year, a greater number of ‘better-for-you’ offerings will emerge with healthier and more natural alternatives. One of the main challenges will be to overcome the negative taste perceptions of these new products through innovation and reformulation as consumers still put indulgence first.

All things hot and spicy

The growing desire for hotter and spicier food is set to continue in 2015, as manufacturers will replicate popular heat trends from the catering industry to satisfy growing consumer needs. Brands will innovate in formulation by including spicier ingredients in meat, dairy, and snacks, as products infused with chillies become more popular. After the Indian and Mexican food trend, Canadean suggests that manufacturers should prepare for the next emerging spice cuisines from across South-East Asia and the Middle East.

Mix-and-match your favourite flavours

Canadean predicts that consumers will look for new and exciting products which mix their favourite foods and flavours together. Fusion products such as amaretto cider and chocolate flavoured wine will become even more popular. The increase in demand for these experiential offerings means manufacturers must continue to innovate with ingredients and positioning to encourage sales among consumers who want more than just traditional products.

Packaging drives sensory experience

The large number of products available on supermarket shelves means that many brands are in danger of fading into the background. Innovative packaging that draws consumer attention will be vital for retaining market share and for brands attempting to enter the market. The use of haptics –  including tactile packs, bright colours and reflective surfaces – will help to enhance the sensory experience, while matt finishing and the feel of a product can denote quality and superiority, encouraging trading-up and higher levels of spending.


China: Country of origin needs to be an important focus

The Australian Made Campaign has welcomed the Government’s
moves to expand Australia’s access to the burgeoning Chinese market.

“A China-Australia Free Trade Agreement makes real sense
when you look at the scale of the Chinese market and its growth trajectory,”
said Ian Harrison, Chief Executive of the not-for-profit Australian Made

“While some industries will gain more and some will always
miss out in any of these types of deals, manufacturers of premium quality
Australian products, and of course our food producers, should enjoy significant
benefits, just as our resource industries have in recent years.”

The Australian Made Campaign is encouraging current and
prospective exporters to China to aggressively leverage country-of-origin
branding in their marketing and sales strategies.

“Australia has a great reputation as a supplier of high
quality, healthy, safe products and produce. This can often lead to a premium
price in the marketplace for genuine Aussie products, and that is why
country-of-origin branding is so important,” Mr Harrison said.

“The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo has been helping
sell Aussie products in export markets for nearly three decades, particularly
Asian markets.

Furthermore, it is a registered certification trade mark in
China, and this gives vital protection, under Chinese law, for goods authorised
to carry the symbol.”

The Australian Made Campaign recently licensed ‘Australia
Made Shop Pty Ltd’ to use the green-and-gold kangaroo as branding for a chain
of stores across China that sell only genuine Aussie products, all of which
must be certified to carry the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo.

“This initiative will provide a significant
channel to the Chinese market for many Australian manufacturers and producers,
building on the benefits of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement,” Mr
Harrison said.

Image: https://www.australianmade.com.au/

Defining “craft beer”: Q&A with Cricketers Arms

The definition of “craft beer” has been hotly debated, so we put the question to Paul Scott, the creator of Asahi-acquired craft beer, Cricketers Arms.

“It’s about people trying something, being innovative and looking at different flavours,” Scott says.

“You could technically say craft beer is like wine and it’s going to become more like wine as you go and we get different classifications and different levels.”

Last year, Asahi Premium Beverages announced its acquisition of the Cricketers Arms brand and re-launched the boutique craft beer under the helm of its master crewer, Dermot O’Donnell.

Above: master brewer, Dermot O’Donnell (left) and creator Paul Scott (right).

“The craft beer definition is very hard to get because you can do the big company argument, where they go ‘well you’ve been taken over by Asahi, how does it change?’

“It works brilliantly; you’ve got to understand that when Asahi Super Dry came out was extensively a craft beer. It was three years of development and seven thousand people tasted and gave feedback on it, that’s how hard-core they went on it.

Scott says the “big argument” around what makes “craft” beer is still happening in the States, where Anheuser-Busch (AB) have announced they will purchase 10 Barrel Brewing Company.

“Everyone’s up in arms, I mean, 10 barrels look at it as ‘If we want to reach more customers with our philosophy, we can’t do it by ourselves, the choice for Cricketers was, we’re going to raise five million dollars in the market to further develop our brand, or have a conversation with Asahi.”

When it comes to seriously up-scaling production, Scott says “you need the bigger guys to come in and the best thing is, when the bigger guys have billboards up, all it does is advertise craft beer.”

Central to Cricketers Arms and the craft culture is the “spirit of brewing” and engaging in conversations that spark ideas and new flavours, says Scott.

“The main thing that myself and Dermott hold to is the spirit of brewing; the spirit of trying to make something great for a customer….We sit around a table, we taste other beers and we go “we can do this, or this” and then something will jump out and we go ‘let’s try it’.”

Cricketers Arms uses this spirit to differentiate itself in a crowded market, especially with the launch of their new product; the ‘Spearhead’ Pale Ale.

Above: the ‘Spearhead’ Pale Ale.

The new beer is late hopped with Amarillo for a subtle citrus aroma, dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin for a tropical finish and balanced with a pale malt and two specialty malts to deliver a caramel end note.

Following Asahi’s acquisition, Cricketers Arms launched a new logo and established distinct identities for each product.

Today the Cricketers Arms’ portfolio features ‘Keeper’s’ Lager, ‘Journeyman’ Mid and ‘Captain’s’ IPA, which all won bronze medals at the CBIA Craft Beer Awards.

Scott is currently working on a seasonal winter brew that includes a bourbon vanilla from Madagascar which, like all the beers Scott and O’Donnell develop will be “based on the customer.”