When Dogfish Head Craft Brewery opened its brewpub in 1995 in Rehoboth Beach, Del., Founder and President Sam Calagione brewed on a homemade machine dubbed “Sir Hops Alot.” To keep up with the restaurant’s demand, Calagione used “Sir Hops Alot” to brew two to three times a day, five to six days a week.
With the onset of so many emerging categories in the industry — kombucha, coconut water, relaxation drinks — coupled with line extensions, the number of SKUs warehouses need to accommodate continues to grow.
Being a trendsetter isn’t always ideal. You’re often the “guinea pig,” which could be a good thing or a bad thing. For Admiral Beverage Corporation, it’s a good thing. The company was one of the first bottlers in the country to install injection molding machines, it says. After introducing blow molding lines to both of its production facilities a few years ago, injection molding has enabled the business to become even more vertically integrated.
Grupo Modelo’s Compañia Cervecera de Coahuila S.A. de C.V. in Piedras Negras, Mexico, is one of the most automated plants in the global beer industry, yet it still retains the mastery of making beer that the company has had since its inception, thus preserving the traditional quality of its brands. The eighth and most recent plant in Grupo Modelo’s portfolio, the Compañia Cervecera de Coahuila has been called the “eighth wonder of Grupo Modelo.” Corona Extra production began March 28, 2010, in one of the most modern process plants in the world, which is a mark of pride for those who work at Grupo Modelo and in the Mexican village in general.
Operating in a business model where customer service is key, contract manufacturers have adapted their business models to best serve their customers. For some, that means helping customers deliver their products; for others it means helping beverage-makers refine their formulations. But for all contract manufacturers one value is paramount: to provide their clients with best-in-class service.
From ingredients to finished products to warehouse equipment, new ideas and solutions serve as fuel to keep beverage-makers and distributors going. As industry events such as Pack Expo demonstrate, equipment manufacturers maintain a pulse on the industry to offer new innovations to address current issues and anticipate future trends.
In the competitive beverage industry, innovation is key. In the last few years, companies have developed new categories, such as coconut waters, aloe-infused drinks and relaxation beverages. Because formulations like these are so creative, oftentimes their packaging must be, too.
Processing technologies and The Processing Zone will make first appearances at the Las Vegas show floor for the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute’s (PMMI) 2011 Pack Expo, the show’s 55th anniversary, taking place Sept. 26-28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.