Sanpellegrino creates a new visual identity for tastefully light & classic taste sparkling fruit ranges

A permissible treat – thanks to its selection of Italian ingredients and real fruit juice – the Sanpellegrino Tastefully Light & Classic Taste sparkling fruit ranges, have long been a favourite with consumers looking for a truly thirst quenching and delicious citrus drink. The entire range has now switched to a new premium 33cL sleek can design and multipacks, which feature updated visuals reinforcing Sanpellegrino’s distinctive values of natural ingredients and Italian origin. The new visual identity also sees the drinks manufacturer reducing plastic packaging by replacing the can’s plastic shrink wrap with cardboard cartons. The Sanpellegrino Tastefully Light sparkling fruit range includes Limonata (lemon), Aranciata (orange), Aranciata Rossa (blood orange), Melograno & Arancia (pomegranate & orange), Limone & Menta (lemon & mint) and Pompelmo (grapefruit). Each can includes at least 16% real fruit juice sourced from Italy and the Mediterranean and stevia from natural sources. The Tastefully Light range of beverages are non HFSS* and compliant with the incoming HFSS promotional regulations. The whole range is also not liable for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy. For more information, please visit Michela Tasso, Sanpellegrino UK Brand Manager says: “We are delighted to unveil a completely new and refreshing visual identity for both our Classic Taste & Tastefully Light sparkling fruit ranges, aiming to delight consumers by offering a more premium drinking experience, without compromising on Sanpellegrino’s iconic taste and naturalness. In addition to the new, sleek can and updated visuals, we are reducing the amount of plastic packaging we use by switching from classic plastic wrapped cans to carton.” Catherine Goswell, OOH Category Manager says: “The number of outlets stocking the Sanpellegrino range continues to increase¹ as retailers recognise the importance of having a more premium soft drinks offer. Wholesalers should replicate this within their portfolio, ensuring the range is readily available to secure returning trade from retailers. Sanpellegrino has seen particularly strong growth within the Convenience channel, where sales are up 11.6%² and growing faster than the total Carbonates category. Within Convenience, alongside the growth of the 2 top sellers Sanpellegrino Limonata and Aranciata 33cl, the brand has also seen exceptional growth within Aranciata Rossa 33cl (Blood Orange), up 39.4%³ in value as retailers look to offer differentiated flavours to cater for their customers’ needs. To maximise sales, wholesalers should stock an extended range of Sanpellegrino flavours to drive volume and provide choice.” The new look will be supported by a new 360 degree summer campaign covering ATL, digital, social media led by the tagline ‘Life sparkles under the sun.’. The Mediterranean sun – at the core of the campaign – is what brings to life the fruits used to craft Sanpellegrino Drinks allowing people to enjoy the taste of life at its best. Sanpellegrino Tastefully Light & Classic Taste sparkling fruit ranges is available to purchase in most major wholesalers including Booker, Bestway, Costco, Dhamecha, Brakes, Bidfood, Parfetts & Hyperama.

Pure Harvest Smart Farms secures $180.5m from global investors to fund expansion

Pure Harvest Smart Farms, a sustainable technology-enabled agribusiness headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, has raised USD $180.5 million in their latest growth funding round. The financing was embraced by a consortium of key global investors, including Metric Capital Partners, UK, IMM Investment Corp, Korea, and Olayan Group, KSA, joined by several existing investors and management. The company will utilize the capital, together with various forms of debt financing, to invest in research and development, to expand its footprint across the GCC, and to open new markets in Asia. Sky Kurtz, co-founder and CEO at Pure Harvest Smart Farms, said: “We are humbled by this investment from an esteemed group of global investors, backing our mission: to harness the wonders of science, the power of nature, and the passions of people to provide tasty, affordable, sustainably-grown fresh produce anywhere. “At Pure Harvest we have demonstrated we can reliably deploy our high-tech farming solutions across the GCC. Now it is time to enter new markets that share similar challenges to our own – fast-growing populations, seasonal import-dependence, and an awareness of the crippling effects that short-term crises (e.g. COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine conflict), and climate change, are having on our global food system. The future of farming is here… now, we have the resources to bring our solution to the world.” Metric Capital Partners, the London-headquartered, pan-European private equity investor providing capital solutions to mid-sized companies across a wide variety of industries, was a co-lead investor. Bjørn Tessiore, partner at Metric Capital Partners, said: “We are delighted to support the continued growth of Pure Harvest. “It’s clear that controlled-environment agriculture is becoming increasingly important as a solution to food security issues while also mitigating the environmental impact of food production. “We believe Pure Harvest is extremely well positioned to thrive in this growing market driven by its excellent team, innovative approach, and proven track record of building and operating at scale in a region characterized by difficult climatic conditions for agriculture.” Commenting for IMM Investment Corp, the alternative investment firm in Korea, who announced an initial USD $50 million investment in Pure Harvest in October, Hyun-Chan Cho, partner at IMM said: “Due to our longstanding successful investment in Farm8 (PlanTFarm), we knew the CEA space well. “With Pure Harvest, we saw a complementary solution that let us double-down on an investment thesis that we continue to believe in, and that tangibly contributes to global food security, water conservation, economic diversification, and sustainability objectives.  We are proud to actively support Pure Harvest as it brings its solution to Asian markets.” The Olayan Financing Company, a Saudi company holding and managing the Olayan Group’s Middle Eastern assets, was another key investor in this round of fundraising. A spokesperson for the company, discussed their recent investment: “Pure Harvest’s character aligns closely to our own: they saw an impending global food security crisis and have taken an important step to solve it. “The climate and water challenges Pure Harvest works to overcome is vital to the global economy. Pure Harvest has proven its ability to deliver incredibly high-quality, safe, sustainable products at affordable prices, and they’ve shown an openness to partner with others to achieve their mission. “I believe this funding will allow them to unleash significant potential, and to meet growing food demands in many new markets. We are pleased to be joining the company at this critical point in their journey, transitioning from a regional leader to a global one.”

Carlsberg fined £3m following ammonia gas leak

Carlsberg has been fined £3 million after a contractor died and another was seriously injured following an ammonia gas leak at one of its breweries. The incident happened at Carlsberg’s site in Northampton. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Carlsberg hadn’t put proper controls in place. David Chandler, 45, was killed and David Beak, now 57, was seriously injured. David Chandler was a father of two, from Bridge North, Shropshire. His family said they welcomed the end of the case against Carlsberg and hoped no other families would have to suffer as they have. Birmingham Crown Court heard that at its Northampton brewery Carlsberg had failed to put in place appropriate isolation controls to prevent exposure to ammonia before work started to remove a compressor from a refrigeration system. The Principal Contractor for the project was Crowley Carbon UK Ltd, which had appointed numerous contractors to assist in the works. On 9 November 2016 while the compressor was being removed, there was a large, uncontrolled release of ammonia. David Chandler and David Beak were both employees of sub-contractor Speedrite NE Ltd. Twenty people needed hospital checks after showing symptoms of ammonia exposure. It was several days before the leak was contained and gas levels dropped to a safe level. David Beak, of Failsworth in Oldham, was seriously injured. Carlsberg Supply Company UK Ltd, who were summonsed under their new company name of Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company, pleaded guilty to charges under Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company was fined £3 million with costs of £90,000. Mr Chandler’s family, in a statement, said: “We welcome the conclusion of the prosecution case against Carlsberg UK Supply Company Ltd following the death of David five and half years ago. “As a family we will never fully accept the death of David in such tragic but preventable circumstances and the legal process involved has been emotionally exhausting as well as frustrating given the length of time which has lapsed since the accident. “We are pleased that improvements have been made at Carlsberg’s site in Northampton which will hopefully ensure no other families suffer the anguish we have endured since November 2016 when the failings at the brewery resulted in the deadly release of ammonia gas which caused David’s death. “David was a loving husband, adoring Daddy and much-loved brother and Uncle. We are devastated that his young family will not be able to share their lives with him as they grow. He was a larger-than-life character whose loss has left a massive void nothing can replace. “There have already been so many special and precious moments which David has missed out on and the fact that there will continue to be some many more as his daughters grow into young ladies breaks all our hearts daily. He is missed every day, and our lives will not ever be the same without him.” HSE principal inspector Samantha Wells said: “Industry guidance on safe isolation of plant should have been followed. This would have ensured that a higher level of isolation was in place, for prevention of exposure to this highly toxic and flammable substance. “Both the client, Carlsberg, and the Principal Contractor should have worked together to ensure that the risk was adequately managed. Not only Carlsberg had a duty here. There was also a very clear duty on the Principal Contractor. “This underlines the dangers of not following industry guidance when working with toxic and flammable substances – HSE will take action against all who fail to ensure the safety of employees and others who may be exposed to danger. “Projects involving multiple contractors require effective management arrangements, so it’s clear who is responsible for every part of the work and that safety checks are carried out before allowing work to start.” The Health and Safety Executive also brought a case against Crowley Carbon Ltd in relation to the incident which led to the death of Mr Chandler and the injuries to Mr Beak, which were also due to be tried but for the company being placed into compulsory administration by creditors.

Kroger expands in Ohio to implement aseptic milk line

The Kroger Co. has revealed a 35,000 square-foot expansion at Tamarack Farms Dairy to support the implementation of a state-of-the-art aseptic milk line, capable of manufacturing products such as half and half, heavy whipping cream, coffee creamers and Carbmaster milk beverage. The new line will allow the facility to support over 150 jobs. “We are so pleased to see this continued investment in Newark,” said Doug Blacksten, senior director of supply chain and manufacturing for Kroger. “Kroger is Fresh for Everyone, and that means we are committed to sourcing and manufacturing only the best and freshest products. This cutting-edge innovation at Tamarack Farms Dairy underscores that commitment, improving our ability to offer high-quality dairy products to Kroger customers.” The aseptic milk line is part of Kroger’s largescale efforts to deliver long shelf-life high protein drinks, non-dairy and dairy products through modern technology. Tamarack Farms Dairy, a 20-acre site, is the largest fluid dairy product producer in the state. The facility serves approximately 160 stores in Ohio and West Virginia and provides products for Kroger’s e-commerce channel. “We are thankful and delighted that The Kroger Company has chosen their Newark Tamarack Farms Dairy production facility as the site for their expansion project,” said Newark Mayor Jeff Hall. “Kroger has been a great partner in our community for many years providing good jobs for local employees and superior products for our consumers.”

Proseal showcases its localised support for the UK fresh produce sector

Proseal’s ability to deliver the speed and versatility required for efficient and high-quality soft fruit packing will be showcased at this year’s Fruit Focus exhibition. Helping growers meet the ever-increasing demand for soft fruit, UK manufacturer Proseal is a market leader in tray sealing machines for the fresh produce industry, providing a range of flexible, sustainable solutions that meet the particular challenges of seasonal markets. At Fruit Focus, the Proseal team will demonstrate the GT4s, a compact tray sealing model that maximises use of pack room space while still delivering fast speeds of up to 140 atmospheric packs per minute with a seven-impression tool. The GT4 incorporates several proven Proseal-developed features that help to maximise performance, reliability and efficiency. Pro-Motion increases throughput with following motion and intelligent buffering technology that enables trays to feed continuously into the sealer without stopping. This can improve speeds by up to 30%. The GT4s also can be customised to include free flow gas flush Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) to further extend the shelf life of perishable products. Furthermore, as many retailers and manufacturers race to find alternative materials to plastic, Proseal tray sealing machines are capable of handling all the latest pack formats many of which are able to utilise existing tool sets in order to minimise investment. Recent introductions have included the Alexir Stackpack, a premium, craft-board punnet that provides an inline, off-the-shelf, fully printed card punnet, as well as the CKF Earthcycle Punnet – offering a complete plastic-free equivalent to a plastic punnet and a realistic, workable alternative. In addition, as the company develops new features to meet new market requirements, these can also be retrofitted to existing models already in operation. This allows fruit growers and packers to keep up-to-date with changing consumer and retailer demands without the need to invest in new equipment. This is supported by Proseal’s preventative maintenance programme, PRoCARE, available 24/7, 365 days a year, which provides both on-site and remote service and advice that helps to maximise machinery performance and uptime. Proseal will be sharing its stand with sister JBT company AutoCoding Systems (ACS), the industry leader in packaging line automation solutions. ACS’s AutoCoding coding management and packaging verification software will be showcased, as well as 4Sight, its automatic print inspection solution. ACS’s advanced software system controls and monitors the entire production and packing process to provide an automated solution to replace manual paper-based systems. This ensures full visibility and traceability of customers’ orders from initial placement through manufacture and packing to onward dispatch. The combination of Proseal’s and ACS’s technologies enables the companies to devise bespoke solutions that meet the specific requirements of individual customers and deliver enhanced quality and efficiency throughout their production and packing operations. “From the introduction of our first top seal trays to our most recent speed and efficiency enhancements and the ability to handle new pack formats, Proseal has always been at the forefront of support for the UK soft fruit industry”, says Eddie Holmes, the company’s Product Line Technical Director. “Soft fruit is a highly competitive sector and Fruit Focus provides the perfect stage to demonstrate how our tray sealing solutions can deliver multiple benefits, from materials cost control and sustainability to higher quality and efficiency.” Proseal is part of the JBT Corporation family, a leading global technology solutions provider to high-value segments of the food processing industry, committed to providing a service that surpasses customer expectations.

Sweet packaging deal delivers sustainable treats

Independent fifth generation family business, Colton Packaging, has teamed up with the creative confectioners at The Treat Kitchen to reimagine the customer experience through its packaging. The Treat Kitchen has experienced phenomenal growth since it was established in 2014. The firm specialises in sweets, chocolate and biscuit gifts created from trending flavours and prints. Its sweet treats are now being stocked in 4,500 stores across the UK and 21 countries worldwide. They approached Colton Packaging with a challenge to design a sustainable ecommerce box, robust enough to deliver heavy glass bottles through the courier network for home deliveries, whilst maintaining a wow factor in terms of style and print design. Duncan Smith, director at Colton Packaging, said: “The Treat Kitchen came to us looking for a packaging solution that would deliver an excellent customer experience in terms of branding and gift reveal, yet was solid enough to protect fragile items during transit and improve sustainability. It is the sort of challenge our in-house design team thrive on, so we couldn’t wait to get started. “We made sure we spoke to all Treat Kitchen’s key departments to feed into the design, including marketing, procurement and operations, to ensure that everyone’s needs were met during new product development and throughout the life cycle of our stock and serve solution.” Key design features of the bespoke packaging solution include 100% recyclable corrugated cardboard box, with specially designed locking tabs, removing the need for polypropylene tape to be used in the warehouse. The size, style and grade of the box is also tailored to Treat Kitchen to perfectly fit their combinations of glass bottles and other products. The most unique feature of the box is the print, which delivers wow factor to the customer when opening packages at home, yet reduces manufacturing and printing time, therefore lowering overall production costs. Treat Kitchen has been able to take advantage of this by putting a clever marketing message on this ‘inside’ panel, to enhance the customer experience and reinforce brand messaging when opening the box. For Treat Kitchen, by sending products in the redesigned box they have removed plastic from the process, while still having a secure and customer friendly package. Bubble wrap has also been removed, enabling the Treat Kitchen to source and supply their own protective filling, biodegradable peanuts, in line with its brand values. The Treat Kitchen team is already benefitting from saving money on tape, product costs and the amount of warehouse space required for storage. They have also had no reports of breakages from customers since they have launched the new box design. Santa Yorke, brand manager, The Treat Kitchen, said: “The process was quick and easy. Once the size and style of the box was agreed, we received the cutter of the box. Next, we applied the brand artwork and submitted it back to the Colton Packaging design team. The lead times were very short, and the design team were more than happy to assist with any recommendations and feedback on the design. “I’m very happy with the look and feel of our box, it brings out that special wow factor for everyone who receives it and all the Treat Kitchen team love it! I hope this box will help us to achieve more online sales and increase the number of returning customers.” The partnership plan to work together again in the future to develop boxes in additional sizes for medium and large orders.

Further controls needed to limit Campylobacter food poisoning, review finds

An expert review into the sources, spread, and control of Campylobacter has found that further interventions are needed to better limit the spread of food poisoning caused by the bacteria. The review has been led by Professor Matthew Goddard, Professor of Population and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Lincoln, UK, and is part of an Oxford Martin Restatement – a review of the natural science evidence base underlying areas of current policy concern and controversy. This is vital as the prevalence of antibiotic resistant Campylobacter is increasing in the UK and has been designated a ‘high priority’ pathogen by the WHO. The Restatement, undertaken in partnership with the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford and co-authors at The Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Newcastle, Liverpool and the Royal Veterinary College, found that despite falling Campylobacter levels on chicken over the past five years, levels of illness have not changed. Around 3,500 people in Britain are hospitalised every year with campylobacteriosis – food poisoning caused by Campylobacter contamination representing the greatest number of hospitalisations of any food-borne disease in the UK and the number one cause of bacterial food poisoning. The Restatement concludes that further interventions are needed – but no single solution will provide perfect control. Other key conclusions of the restatement include that there was no clear evidence that long-term use of chlorine rinses, as practiced in the USA, lowered levels of the bacteria or food poisoning caused, and that a broader series of control measures had strong evidence for its overall effectiveness as a package. The UK’s poultry industry has successfully reduced the quantity of retail chicken testing positive for Campylobacter from 73% in 2014 to 40% in 2018. However, cases of illness have not reduced over the same period. The Restatement highlights the evidence that beef, lamb and pork are implicated as carriers of the bacteria and potential causes of food poisoning and so wider control measures may be needed. Professor Goddard said: “We cannot be sure why the UK has its peak of campylobacteriosis in May and June – it might be the warmer temperatures accelerating its growth or food-safety issues at barbecues. We do know the biggest risk is poor food hygiene, cross-contamination and undercooked meat – particularly, but not just, chicken. From reviewing evidence from around the world, we see that there is no single processing solution, type of farming, or public education intervention that can solve this.” Professor Sir Charles Godfray, Director of the Oxford Martin School, added: “Governments and the WHO have rightly identified Campylobacter as a key concern; globally it caused around 166 million cases of illness and 37,600 deaths in 2010. But it is a complex area with a difficult to navigate evidence base. What we’ve tried to do here, and what we do with all our restatements, is lay out and classify the evidence in easy-to-read, policy-neutral terms to help public health officials, food and farming bodies, and policymakers understand the issue and make their own decisions.” Professor Goddard concludes: “If people want to protect themselves from campylobacteriosis food poisoning they can focus on food hygiene. Make sure your food is cooked properly, and be careful not to contaminate cooked meat with bacteria from raw meat – especially at barbecues where food at different stages of cooking might be on the same grill rack and handwashing facilities may be further away. Cleaning our hands, keeping raw and cooked meat well apart, and not putting cooked food on plates that have held raw food is something we can all do to make a difference.”

Keurig Dr Pepper to acquire global rights to non-alcoholic brand Atypique

Keurig Dr Pepper is to acquire the global rights to the non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink cocktail brand Atypique from Station Agro-Biotech, a Quebec-based company that specializes in the manufacturing and marketing of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in early Q4, were not disclosed. Atypique is a unique offering in the emerging and fast-growing non-alcohol cocktail segment, providing a range of ready-to-drink cocktails, such as margaritas, gin & tonic and mojitos. In Canada, non-alcoholic cocktails grew more than 30 percent in retail dollar sales during the last year, and Atypique now has a 42 percent market share of that segment, where it is distributed. The agreement includes a multi-year collaboration between the two companies to fuel accelerated growth for Atypique, leveraging Station Agro-Biotech’s R&D expertise in the category and KDP’s robust sales and distribution network. “At Keurig Dr Pepper, we strongly believe in innovation to drive growth to meet the evolving beverage needs of consumers,” said Ozan Dokmecioglu, CFO & president of international. “We are excited to add this new platform to our powerful portfolio in Canada, and the global rights to Atypique provides optionality to further expand the brand’s growth potential.” Olivier Lemire, president of Keurig Dr Pepper Canada, added: “Atypique is a great complement to our successful ready-to-drink alcohol portfolio, and we look forward to continue innovating around this brand to drive accelerated growth.” “We were looking for the best way to bring Atypique to the next level. This agreement represents an exceptional opportunity to work with a beverage industry leader, and Keurig Dr Pepper will bring market knowledge and strength to the Atypique brand,” said Jonathan Robin, president, Station Agro-Biotech. “At the same time, we are delighted to have the opportunity to keep growing and innovating within a category in full effervescence and have more time to spend doing R&D in the broader beverage space.” Étienne Boulay, cofounder of Atypique, ex-Canadian star football player, TV and radio host added: “Atypique is meant to push the limits of the ready-to-drink industry by offering outside-the-box, beyond-the-normal-standard products, and this collaboration will allow the brand to continue to do just that. I can’t wait to see where this will take Atypique.”

UK signs up to global coalition on sustainable food production

The UK has signed up to a global coalition which works to speed up the move towards more sustainable food production, Environment Secretary George Eustice has announced. He confirmed that the UK will join the Sustainable Productivity Growth Coalition (SPG) – an international group of countries, academic and research organisations and trade bodies that aims to improve agricultural productivity in an environmentally sustainable way. The SPG Coalition was launched in 2021 at the United Nations’ Food Systems Summit and members include the USA, European Union, Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. It is also supported by a raft of academic institutions and trade bodies representing industries including grain, dairy and livestock from all over the world. Members of the Coalition share with each other information about best practice, lessons learned and innovative evidence-based ways to boost productivity in a sustainable way, and promote them at public events and on public platforms. Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “I am pleased to announce today that the UK will join the Sustainable Productivity Growth Coalition convened by the United States. I look forward to working with our international partners in this dialogue on innovation, science and sustainable agriculture.”

Urban farming company to establish its largest growing center to date

Infarm, the urban farming company, is establishing its third Growing Center in the US and the largest Infarm Growing Center to date. Alongside the existing vertical farming facility in Seattle and a recently announced one in Austin, Texas, the new North East Growing Center will be located in Columbia, Howard County, Maryland. The opening of this facility is a significant step in the company’s US-expansion roadmap, where Infarm plans to roll out its network of cloud-connected farming facilities with a size of over 500,000 sq ft from coast to coast. The new Growing Center in Maryland will add around 200,000 sq ft to Infarm’s US portfolio and produce up to 45 million crops per year. The Growing Center will create more than 50 jobs in Howard County. “We’re thrilled that Infarm has chosen Howard County for this expansion of its innovative, data-driven vertical farming operation,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “Maryland’s strategic location makes it an ideal site for the new Growing Center and will allow the company to bring its nutritious produce to millions of new customers on the East Coast. We are proud to welcome Infarm to Maryland’s business community and applaud its commitment to unique and sustainable farming methods.” “It is exciting to have one of the world’s largest urban farming operations locate its newest facility here in Howard County, which is a magnet for innovative businesses like Infarm,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “Our Gateway District continues to be an engine of economic growth, and Infarm’s investment brings more jobs to our community with a welcomed focus on sustainability. Infarm is revolutionizing how we grow and consume food locally and we look forward to a long partnership to advance the sustainability of our food system.” Erez Galonska, CEO and co-founder of Infarm, said: “The opening of our largest US Growing Center to date in Central Maryland MSA demonstrates Infarm’s commitment to rapidly grow a local food infrastructure in the US market for the benefit of people and the planet. Howard County is a great strategic location that will allow us to serve over 23 million consumers across the Tri-State and Mid-Atlantic areas.” “With the opening of this new Growing Center, we are now entering a region where vertical farming is already widely adopted, and green innovations are thriving. Once fully operational, our Growing Center will provide the Northeastern US with a new food production capability that minimizes climate and supply chain risk by growing more than 75 types of plants locally, sustainably, and reliably 24/7, 365 days a year,” Galonska added. More than 50% of the new Growing Center is already pre-ordered with the first harvest planned for Spring 2023. The remaining capacity will be added by early 2024.