Tag Archive | "Germany"

Nescafe Dolce Gusto Expands in Europe


Nestle is strengthening one of its fastest growing businesses in Europe with a Eur220 million (over SFr265 million) investment in building a new Nescafe Dolce Gusto factory in Germany, the largest market for the brand worldwide. Nescafe Dolce Gusto is Nestle’s machine and capsule ‘coffee shop experience-at-home’ system for both hot and cold drinks. It offers nearly 30 coffee, Nesquik and Nestea varieties.

The factory, located in Schwerin, will create 450 jobs. With 12 new production lines, it will become operational by the end of 2013. Located about 100 km from Hamburg, the biggest European port for coffee imports, the factory aims to produce about two billion coffee capsules a year for export to the rest of Germany, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

“This is one of our biggest investments in Europe and highlights our continuous investment in our capacity for innovation,” says Laurent Freixe, Nestle’s zone director for Europe. “Nescafe Dolce Gusto is the leader in the portioned coffee market in 20 countries. With a growth rate of over 50%, it is one of the fastest growing businesses for Nestle inEurope.”

The Schwerin site is the company’s third Nescafe Dolce Gusto factory. Last year, Nestle invested SFr64 million in the Nescafe Dolce Gusto site at its Nescafe factory in Girona, near Barcelona, Spain.

The company’s first Nescafe Dolce Gusto factory, which opened in 2006 in Tutbury in the United Kingdom, is already running at full capacity. Last year Nestle invested £110 million in the site to triple production.

The Schwerin factory is Nestle’s latest investment in Germany– the company’s fourth largest market globally.

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Study Shows Modern Life is Changing Germans’ Eating Habits


The unpredictability of the average German’s daily routine is having a significant impact on their eating habits, according to a Nestlé study. The company’s second ‘So is(s)t Deutschland’ (‘That’s how Germany eats/is’) survey asked more than 10,000 people about their day-to-day life and dietary patterns.

Work was an obvious influence on people’s eating habits. Surprisingly, longer working hours affected women’s eating patterns more than men’s. Overall, the study found a striking disparity between the sexes’ general attitude to food. More than 55% of women said they worry very much or too much about their diet, compared to 32% of men.

More than half of 20 to 29-year-olds, and more than two in five professionals who took part in the study said their daily routines were unpredictable. Of this group, only one in five said they ate at fixed times of the day. 43% ate only when they had time and 31% said they ate whenever they were hungry.

Among those professionals who worked a 40 to 49-hour week, 43% of women had irregular eating habits compared to 36% of men. More than two thirds of women whose working week exceeded 50 hours ate irregularly, compared to just over half of men in the same category.

Somewhat predictably, many people who took part in the survey said they tended to partially substitute main meals with snacks. This trend was especially prevalent among the under 30s. More than two thirds of people under 30 ate “every now and then” instead of having a regular main meal. Roughly one sixth of this group replaced a main meal with a snack every day or almost every day. Young single people and young couples without children were most likely to substitute main meals in this way.

More than 90% of non-professionals who were questioned said they ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at home. In contrast, more than two thirds of professionals had lunch outside the home. 27% usually or at least occasionally ate out for breakfast.

The study also confirmed that options for eating out or ‘on-the-go’ have increased significantly in recent years. Young people were the most likely to take advantage of this array of choice. Around 41% of 14 to 29-year-olds in Germany visited fast-food restaurants at least once a month, compared to only 7% of 45 to 59-year-olds.

About 68% of people, including two-thirds of parents with children under the age of 18, felt that too many children in Germany had an unhealthy and unbalanced diet.

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R&R Ice Cream Acquires German Business


R&R Ice Cream, Europe’s largest own label ice cream manufacturer, has acquired Durigon Gelato of Germany for an undisclosed sum, subject to clearance from the German competition authority. Based at Schwanewede-Brundorf near Bremen with 70 employees, the family-run Durigon, which generated sales of Eur20 million in 2010, manufactures tubs in different sizes from 200ml to 5000ml, sandwiches and other ice cream products for the private label market and also under the Durigon brand.

 

R&R plans to invest in the Durigon factory and grow sales as an integral part of its strategy to develop its private label business in Germany. The Durigon brand will be retained and complements the existing portfolio of R&R brands. Werner Durigon will continue as managing director of Durigon.

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EU Approves Arla’s German Acquisition


The EU’s competition authorities have given the go-ahead for Arla Foods’ acquisition of Allgauland-Kasereien in Southern Germany. Allgauland-Kasereien will now become a member of the Arla Group after Allgauland’s milk producers gave the green light to the deal in September.

 

Allgauland-Kasereien has an annual turnover of Eur307.8 million and is supplied by 1,338 milk producers. It operates four production plants, primarily producing cheese and butter, and employs 306 people. The German business also has a 30% co-ownership of the whey joint venture Milei (70% owned by a Japanese partner), and owns 50% of Bergland (a joint venture with Bayernland).

 

Germany is one of Arla’s core markets. Indeed, the Danish co-operative aims to become one of Germany’s leading dairy companies. The first key step towards achieving this ambition was taken at the beginning of the year with the merger with the North German Hansa-Milch, which produces fresh products and butter. With the acquisition of Allgauland-Kasereien now in place, Arla will also be present in the southern part of Germany.

 

“We see important potential in Allgauland-Kasereien’s cheese production. They produce excellent speciality cheeses for which there is important international potential and it is for this reason that the dairy is of interest to Arla Foods. Some of their products will supplement the cheeses Arla already makes, among them the cheeses marketed under the House of Castello quality brand. We see great potential in Allgauland’s products and not only in Germany,” says Tim Orting Jorgensen, executive vice president in charge of Arla Foods’ international markets.

 

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Nestle Pilots Social Commerce With New Interactive Site


Nestle has launched a new, interactive online social commerce platform in Germany to engage with consumers while providing greater access to its products. The Nestle Marketplace (Marktplatz) website – a pilot venture for the company – is the first social commerce platform of its kind in Germany from a food and beverage manufacturer of Nestle’s size and range.

 

Consumers will not only have the opportunity to purchase products from Nestle’s German portfolio online, but also to rate, comment on and ask questions about each one.

People can share their recipe tips and suggestions directly and can also submit their ideas for new Nestle products and packaging, a selection of which will be posted on the site.

 

With more than 1,500 products and 72 different brands available online, Nestle Germany expects around three million visits to the platform within the first year.

 

Gerhard Berssenbrugge, chief executive of Nestle Germany, explains: “We are encouraging two-way communication with consumers; allowing them to tell us what they like, but also what they think we could improve. We want to be inspired by people’s ideas and to enable them to take an active part in helping us shape not only the future of the Nestle Marketplace, but also of our products.”

 

Within the platform’s offering are around 100 foreign Nestle products that cannot be bought through traditional German retail channels, such as Baci Perugina chocolate pralines from Italy and extra-spicy Maggi chilli sauce from Malaysia.

 

These will be available alongside local best sellers and seasonal and speciality offers, as well as entirely new products and innovations not yet on commercial sale.

 

“Every fourth person in Germany makes food purchases on the Internet, while around 1.5 billion Google searches here relate to the food sector,” adds Gerhard Berssenbrugge. “By the end of this year, online sales of food and beverages in Germany are expected to exceed Eur500 million, so it is clearly an important area where we have a real opportunity to engage with consumers.”

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Arla Foods to Acquire Southern German Dairy


Arla Foods is preparing to strengthen its position in Germany after making an offer to purchase southern German dairy company Allgauland-Kasereien, which is in financial difficulty. The next step in the process is that Allgauland-Käsereien will hold a general meeting at which its milk producers will make a decision regarding the purchase offer. If they decide to accept the offer, the acquisition will be subject to approval by the EU competition authorities.

Allgauland-Kasereien has 1,800 milk producers, operates four production facilities and has an annual turnover of Eur253m, of which 31% is from exports. It primarily produces cheese and butter, but also some fresh dairy products. According to Kuno Rumpel, chairman of the board of Allgauland-Kasereiens, Arla’s offer is “a necessary step towards ensuring the future of our company.”

“We see important potential in Allgauland-Kasereien’s cheese production. They produce excellent speciality cheeses for which there is important international potential and it is for this reason that the dairy is of interest to Arla Foods,” explains Tim Orting Jorgensen, group director of Arla Foods International with responsibility for Arla’s German market. “Some of their products will supplement the cheeses Arla already makes, among them the cheeses marketed under the House of Castello quality brand.”

Earlier this year, Arla Foods merged with the northern German dairy, Hansa-Milch, which produces only fresh dairy products. Arla’s aim is to become one of the largest dairies in Germany. Arla’s strategy also focuses on growth within cheese, including the global House of Castello brand.

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E-coli – ‘A Never Before Seen Hybrid’


The Spanish government has released a statement stating how furious it is over allegations that it is the source of the recent E coli outbreak hitting Europe. It is furious as “enormous damage to the Spanish agricultural sector has been caused … following reports from Germany which link food poisoning to cucumbers from Spain.”

Early results from DNA sequencing projects of the enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) strain appear to confirm that a never-before-seen hybrid which combines the worst of several different bacterial strains is causing the havoc.

European Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli said: “This issue is an absolute priority. The European Commission is coordinating with Member States and is working with the German authorities, in particular, to ensure that the source of the problem is identified in order to be able to propose relevant solutions.

The agreed statement of all Member States demonstrates the joint commitment to cooperation, vigilance and solidarity on this matter. It is positive that the number of new infection cases seems to be declining but all authorities must ensure continuous surveillance, which is crucial at this stage, as we are still working to pin down the possible source of contamination and eliminate risks for public health.”

People are being advised to apply general hygiene rules to limit the risk of contamination. Fruit and vegetables need to be washed thoroughly, wash your hands before preparing food or eating, and after using the bathroom or changing diapers. Citizens are also being told to thoroughly wash knives, plates and other utensils.

According to the latest information, the STEC outbreak is responsible for nine deaths in Germany and one in Sweden.

Paul Wigley of the University of Liverpool’s School of Veterinary Science, said that the E coli outbreak was caused by a type called O104, part of a group of bacteria that produces a chemical called verocytotoxin (Vtec).

These bacteria normally infect people directly through animal faeces, or more usually through poorly cooked meat contaminated with the bacteria. Whilst most strains of E coli do not cause disease, Vtec are able to attach to the wall of the intestines very tightly and produce toxins

Officials have also noted, however, that the transport chain is long, and the cucumbers from Spain could have been contaminated at any point along the route.

Adding to the confusion, authorities in Hamburg, where four suspect cucumbers were found last week — three from Spain — said tests on two of the vegetables had found a different strain of EHEC from the one carried by patients in the city.

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Cargill’s German Chocolate Acquisition Receives Green Light


The European Commission has cleared Cargill’s acquisition of KG Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin (KVB), an integrated chocolate company based in Germany, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition marks a significant step in Cargill’s chocolate growth strategy in Europe, strengthening its position in Germany, the largest chocolate market in Europe, and creates opportunities to expand into new markets.

KVB’s two plants in Berlin will complement Cargill’s existing German cocoa and chocolate facilities in Klein Schierstedt and Hamburg.

The European Commission examined the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition in the markets for the procurement of cocoa beans, semi-finished cocoa products (cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa powder) and industrial chocolate. The Commission found that the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of other strong players and customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers available.

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Arla Foods’ Acquisition of Hansa Approved


The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Hansa-Milch by Arla Food. After examining the operations of the two dairy co-operatives, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Arla owned by Swedish and Danish dairy farmers and is active in the production and sale of a variety of dairy products, in particular in Scandinavia and the UK, but also worldwide. Hansa is a German dairy co-operative with a more regional focus and supplies mainly fresh dairy products, longlife milk, butter and milk powder.

The Commission’s examination of the proposed transaction showed that the activities of Arla and Hansa are largely complementary since Hansa’s activities focus on fresh dairy products, and the German market, where Arla has only limited activities. Only in Denmark and Sweden does the transaction lead to horizontal overlaps in the markets for butter, cream and longlife flavoured dairy drinks. However, the market investigation showed that a sufficient number of alternative suppliers exist since customers are able to procure from a wider geographic area. As a result, the transaction leads to rather modest market shares which do not raise competition concerns.

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Nestle Opens €117 Million Infant Formula Factory


Nestle has opened a new Eur117m factory in Germany dedicated to producing hypoallergenic (HA) infant formula. As an extension of the company’s 106 year old Biessenhofen factory site, the Nestle Nutrition infant formula factory is one of the world’s largest and most modern facilities producing hypoallergenic – or allergy risk reducing – infant formula.

The new 23,000 sq-m factory now doubles its production of Nestle HA infant formula under brands such as Nestle Alete and Nestle Beba. Taking two years to complete, the new factory includes a 23 metre-high ‘spray tower’ that encompasses state-of-the-art technology to produce the HA infant formula. The site also includes thermal insulation and a new cooling system to promote efficient use of energy and water – illustrating Nestle’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

In partnership with the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, the Product and Technology Centre (PTC) in Konolfingen, the HA production centre in Biessenhofen, and other external collaborations; HA infant formula has been produced at the Biessenhofen factory site since 1987.

Driven by Nestle’s Research and Development, HA infant formula is based on 100% whey protein which is hydrolyzed – or broken down – to reduce the allergenicity of protein found in cow’s milk.

The Biessenhofen factory site – one of three Nestle factories worldwide that produce HA infant formula – also manufactures products such as infant cereals, infant specialties, healthcare products for adults under the brands Alete, Sinlac, or Clinutren, along with products like Thomy and Nescafe Xpress. The factory site exports to over 80 countries and employs around 640 people.

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DMK and Arla Foods to Invest €44 Million in Whey Processing Partnership


DMK (which is being created by the merger of Nordmilch and Humana) and Arla Foods will establish a 50/50 joint venture to process whey for the global food manufacturing industry. The name of the new joint venture will be ArNoCo, and the two partners will invest a total of Eur44m in whey processing capacity. Eur35m will be used to build a whey processing plant at DMK’s cheese plant at Nordhackstedt in Northern Germany, and Eur9m will be spent at Arla Foods’ Danmark Protein plant in Denmark.

The joint venture will buy whey from DMK, estimated at more than 700,000 tonnes annually, and convert it into whey protein concentrate and lactose at the new plant. The Whey Protein Concentrate will then be dried at Arla Foods’ plant Danmark Protein. DMK will supply all related services on behalf of ArNoCo. Arla Foods Ingredients will market, sell and distribute the products to the global food manufacturing industry.

Peder Tuborgh, chief executive of Arla Foods.

The building of the new plant is expected to start in October 2011. The plant is scheduled to be in operation by the end of 2012 creating approx. 24 jobs.

Dr Josef Schwaiger, future chief executive of DMK, explains the rationale behind the move: “Expanding the ingredients business is one of DMK’s strategic growth areas. Its alliance with Arla in ArNoCo is therefore an important step towards higher value added and will strengthen the Nordhackstedt location’s position for the long term.”

Peder Tuborgh, chief executive of Arla Foods remarks: “We have identified the whey business as an important part of Arla Foods’ 2015 strategy and we are set to double the turnover of our whey business. This is an important step forward in achieving that goal.”

Arla Foods is a leader in the global market for whey protein and has other whey partnerships in Argentina, Germany, France, Norway and Sweden. The new joint venture is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities.

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Hansa-Milch and Arla Foods to Merge


Dairy co-operatives Arla Foods of Scandinavia and Hansa-Milch Mecklenburg-Holstein of Germany are set to merge. A merger plan put forward by the boards of the two companies has now been approved by the members of the two co-operatives. The decision is being implemented with retrospective effect for the full 2011 financial year, and is enacted for January 1st 2011. The merger is not unexpected as both companies have already been co-operating successfully for many years.

Owned by 7,200 farmers in Denmark and Sweden, Arla Foods is the world’s fourth largest dairy group and operates successfully in both domestic and international markets. It is well known for its speciality cheeses such as BUKO, Castello and Hohlenkase, and for Lurpak butter. Owned by 1,200 dairy farmers, Hansa-Milch has enjoyed sustained success in northern Germany, and with its Hansano brand is one of the main providers of regionally-produced fresh dairy products such as milk, cream and quark.

The dairy business of Hansa-Milch, until now owned by the Hansa-Milch co-operative, will transfer to the ownership of Arla Foods under the merger arrangements. Manfred Remus, chairman of Hansa-Milch, who developed the merger plans together with the executive boards at Hansa-Milch and Arla Foods, will continue to head up the company with his team. In addition, consideration will be given in the coming months to the possibilities of expanding the Hansa-Milch plant in Upahl.

Hansa-Milch will now be known as Hansa Arla Milch. It remains a co-operative entity with its own members, and joins Arla Foods in that capacity. This means that the democratic structures are still preserved under the new entity of Hansa Arla Milch. In addition, the northern German dairy co-operative will have its own representatives on the boards and committees at Arla Foods.

Peder Tuborgh, chief executive of Arla Foods.

Under the merger of the two co-operatives, the Hansa Arla Milch farmers are being given a milk purchase guarantee from Arla Foods with no time restriction. In addition, Arla is assuring Hansa-Milch of a milk payment price calculated on the same basis as is used for its Danish and Swedish members.

“In previous years, the price we paid for milk was generally higher than that given by Hansa-Milch. This means that Hansa Arla Milch members can expect a higher price in future,” points out Peder Tuborgh, chief executive of Arla Foods.

The Arla Foods strategy includes paying members the highest possible milk price. “To achieve this objective, we need to continue to grow in Europe, and particularly in the important German market,” explains Peder Tuborgh. “Together with Hansa Arla Milch, our aim is to be one of the top three German dairy companies.”

The merger still has to be approved by from the competition authorities.

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Fyffes Expands in Germany


Fyffes, one of the largest tropical produce importers and distributors in Europe, has acquired 33.3% of Fruchtimport vanWylick, the German fresh produce distributor and service provider. VanWylick is one of the leading fresh produce companies in the German market with sales in excess of Eur200m. It has a network of banana ripening and distribution centres across Germany and sources produce globally for customers in the wholesale and retail trade. The business will continue to be managed by Dirk Allerding, Jens Allerding and Peter Malsbender. The Allerding family will retain a 33.3% stake in the company.

The remaining 33.3% was recently acquired by Gemusering Stuttgart, a fresh vegetable producer and marketer with its own production and processing operations throughout Germany. In 2010, Gemusering’s turnover exceeded Eur400m.

David McCann, chairman of Fyffes, says: “The investment in vanWylick represents an important development for Fyffes in the German market, with a significant opportunity for growth and it represents a continuation of our strategy of acquiring strong businesses in our sector. The association of vanWylick, Gemusering, Weichert and Fyffes in Germany will create new opportunities to provide comprehensive services to the wholesale and retail sector.”

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Cargill Acquires German Chocolate Business


Cargill is expanding its cocoa and chocolate business in Europe through the acquisition of. KG Kakao Verarbeitung Berlin (KVB), an integrated chocolate company based in Germany, for an undisclosed sum. KVB operates two production plants, both in Berlin.

The two plants have a capacity of over 75,000 tonnes of chocolate per year and employ around 180 people. Upon completion of the deal, after clearance from the regulatory authorities, KVB and its employees will become part of Cargill’s global network of cocoa and chocolate businesses.

“This acquisition marks a significant step in Cargill’s chocolate growth strategy in Europe and our ability to better serve our existing and future customers,” comments Jos de Loor, head of Cargill’s cocoa and chocolate business. “The acquisition will strengthen Cargill’s position in Germany, the largest chocolate market in Europe, and create opportunities to expand our chocolate business into new markets.”

KVB’s two Berlin plants will complement Cargill’s existing German cocoa and chocolate facilities in Klein Schierstedt and Hamburg. Completion of the acquisition is expected in the first part of 2011.

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Carlsberg Sells German Brewery


The Carlsberg Group has sold its Feldschlosschen brewery in Dresden, Germany, to Frankfurter Brauhaus. The disposal is part of Carlsberg Deutschland’s strategy of focusing on five core brands in Northern Germany – Carlsberg, Holsten, Lubzer, Duckstein and Astra.

Frankfurter Brauhaus has taken over the responsibility for the 172 employees at the Feldschlosschen brewery and within logistics and sales support. As part of the transaction, Carlsberg Deutschland has signed co-operation agreements with Frankfurter Brauhaus regarding ongoing logistics and sales support in the Dresden area. The Dresden brewery has a total annual capacity of 1.9m hectolitres.

The disposal results in a total non-cash loss of approximately DKr130m which will be included in Carlsberg’s special items for 2010. The loss is not included in the 2010 earnings expectations of net profit growth at around 40%. The Carlsberg Group has received the cash proceeds from the disposal in 2011.

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Arla Foods and Hansa-Milch Consider German Dairy Merger


Scandinavian dairy group Arla Foods and the Northern Germany-based Hansa-Milch are considering merging. Representatives of the two dairy co-operatives are already engaged in talks. A decision by the cooperative members as to whether the merger is to come about will be taken in February-March 2011.

Arla Foods is owned by 7,200 farmers in Denmark and Sweden. It is known in Germany for its specialty cheeses Arla Buko, Castello and Arla Hohlenkase, for Arla Kaergarden and Lurpak butter.

Peder Tuborgh, chief executive of Arla Foods.

“Together with Hansa-Milch, we would be able to offer a complete portfolio of dairy products from one single supplier, which will enable us to become an even more attractive partner to the German retail trade,” explains Peder Tuborgh, chief executive of Arla Foods.

Hansa-Milch has long been a key player in the market in Northern Germany, where its Hansano brand makes it one of the most important providers of fresh dairy products, including milk, cream and quark from the region. For Hansa-Milch, Arla represents a strong international partner with an excellent track record in innovation.

“Coming together with Arla Foods would represent the next logical step for the business and would benefit our members,” says Uwe Krause, chairman of Hansa-Milch, which is owned by around 1000 dairy farmers in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

It is a key element of the Arla Foods strategy to pay members as high a price as possible for their milk. In order to achieve this objective, Arla needs to grow its business further within Europe, and particularly in the important German market. Arla would be able to expand its presence in Germany through a merger with Hansa-Milch.

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Emmi Acquires the Onken Yoghurt Brand


In line with its international expansion strategy, Swiss dairy company Emmi has strengthened its position in both the UK and Germany with the acquisition of the global rights for the Onken brand from Dr Oetker for an undisclosed sum.

Onken is primarily sold in the UK and in Germany, two of Emmi’s key markets. “Onken is the number one in the UK and the number three in Germany for large pots of yogurt. This strong brand will enable us to consolidate our market position in our key markets of the UK and Germany, and lay the foundations for further growth with exported Swiss products,” explains Urs Riedener, chief executive of Emmi. Onken yoghurts generate sales of SFr75m.

Emmi plans to expand further internationally and is focusing on the key markets of Italy, the US, Benelux, Germany and the UK.

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ODW Frischprodukte Buys FrieslandCampina German Site


German dairy company, ODW Frischprodukte, a subsidiary of Odenwald Fruchte, is acquiring the FrieslandCampina site at Elsterwerda in Germany. In addition to the land and buildings, ODW Frischprodukte will also purchase part of the equipment for the production of yoghurt and desserts.

Part of the agreement between the two companies is that a number of FrieslandCampina dairy products will be produced in Elsterwerda until 2013. The new owner, ODW Frischprodukte, will take on the 330 employees, but plans to reduce the workforce gradually. FrieslandCampina will relocate production lines for yoghurt and desserts to other locations in Gutersloh and Heilbronn by 31st March 2012.

In December 2009, FrieslandCampina announced that it wished to close a number of locations in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, including the Elsterwerda location, in mid-2011 and relocate production to other locations.

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Muller Increases Stake in Dairy Crest


Theo Muller, the privately owned German-based dairy group which is also the leader in the UK yoghurt market, has increased its stake in British dairy group Dairy Crest to 3.04%. The move has sparked speculation that Dairy Crest may become a bid target. Dairy Crest would carry a price tag of about £1b, according to analysts.

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Sudzucker Projects Higher Sales and Profits


German-based Sudzucker, which is Europe’s largest sugar group, has reported a 57% increase in operating profit to Eur282m on sales up by around 5% to Eur3.07b for the first half ending August 31st 2010. All business segments – sugar, special products, cropenergies and fruit – contributed to the earnings improvement.

For the full year, Sudzucker now expects a slight increase in group revenues to around Eur5.8b, up from Eur5.7b in the previous year, and a rise in operating profit to a level of more than Eur450m, against Eur403m in the previous year. The boost in earnings will be driven predominantly by the sugar and cropenergies segments. The full interim report for the first half year 2010/11 will be published on October 14th 2010.

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German Bakery Sale


German retail baker Kamps is selling a production unit and a chain of 100 stores in Hamburg to Nur Hier (formerly called Allworden) for an undisclosed price. Nur Hier is a local family run company that already operates a number of bakery stores in Hamburg.

Headquartered in Dusseldorf, Kamps is now focusing on its larger bakery outlets. The group was recently sold by Italian food company Barilla to Frankfurt-based private equity firm ECM Equity Capital.

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£4.6 Billion European Ice Cream Market Stays Cool Despite a Cold Economy


New research from Mintel Global Market Navigator (GMN) reveals that Germans are the biggest ice cream lovers in Europe, with Germany spending an average of £19 per head on the treat each year. Mintel’s research on ice cream sales in the five major European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) shows that the nearest competitor to the German love of ice cream is France with £14 per head, with Italy and UK (£13 per head) reflecting similar tastes. And it seems warm weather does not automatically equate with ice cream purchase, as Spain comes in at fifth place with £10 per head. The research shows combined value of the five markets stood at around £4.6 billion in 2009 – up from £4.1 billion in 2008.

Indeed, it seems perceptions of ice cream as an ‘affordable luxury’ has outweighed thriftiness and health considerations in the recent economic difficulties of the past year. In the UK, premium ice cream has proved hugely successful and now accounts for just under a quarter of value sales. Overall, in the UK, value sales stood at £799 million in 2009 – up from £743 million in 2008 – recovering from a decline heightened by a succession of cool, wet summers. The value of ice cream in the UK is predicted to grow even further by 2012 to a massive £814 million.

“While Germany appears to have the biggest ice cream lovers, the overall European increase in value despite recession highlights consumer demand. The idea of ice cream as a ‘permissible treat’ has been taken on board by manufacturers, who have focused on more premium and ‘indulgent’ lines in the past year, helping drive market value forwards,” explains Ana Lourenco, Global Market Navigator analyst at Mintel. “Because ice cream is regarded as an occasional treat – over half of ice cream eaters indulge at most once a month – it has been relatively unaffected by a marked trend in general towards healthier eating. Low-fat ice cream is almost a contradiction in terms, since a creamy taste is a major reason for eating it. Therefore, the strongest ‘health’ trend in global NPD has been towards ice cream free from additives and preservatives, rather than lower in calories.”

The premuimisation trend for ice cream does not just stop in Europe. Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) finds that on a global scale, premium lines accounted for 9% of global ice cream product launches in the past six months, compared to economy new product launches which accounted for 4%. Yet while ice cream is increasingly being seen as an affordable indulgence, consumers still express an interest in healthier products. Manufacturers have answered, with 13% of all global product launches in the past six months touting a ‘no additives/preservatives’ claim.

But it seems Europe still leads the way with regional love of ice cream, as Europe remained the most active region with 42% of ice cream launches over the same period, closely followed by North America with 26% and Asia Pacific (22%) accounting for over a fifth of the market.

However, when it comes to flavour, it seems that consumer taste for chocolate transcends nations and cultures. Chocolate was the most popular flavour for ice cream launches in 2009 across the five European countries. Indeed, over a third (32%) of the total ice cream products launched in the UK in 2009 were chocolate flavour, compared with 31% in Spain, 22% in Italy, 17% in Germany and 16% in France.

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European Organic Food Market Continues to Grow


EU-27 demand for organic products continues to grow. The European organic consumer market is the biggest in the world, and was worth about $26b in 2008. The largest markets are in descending order Germany, France, the UK and Italy as they represent 72% of European organic sales. The highest market share and sales per person of organic food products are in Denmark, Austria and Switzerland.

In the EU, around 4% of the agriculture land is under organic production methods. Reasons triggering the demand for organic food in the EU are the series of food scandals, as well as the increasing interest in health, environment issues, and animal welfare.

Despite the current economic situation, the demand for organic products in the EU continues to grow as organics have gone mainstream. The most important driver is considered to be the predominance of large supermarket chains, which has resulted in a greater availability of organic products. Not only have supermarkets embraced organic products, increasingly they have placed organic products on the shelves next to non-organic products. As a result they have become available for a larger audience. Specialty stores of organic products still play an important role as they are also becoming more professional and offer a wider assortment than regular supermarkets.

Consumers of organic products in Europe can roughly be divided in two groups – regular buyers and light buyers. Regular buyers represent a rather small group that has been buying organic products for decades. This group includes environmentalists, lovers of nature, and socially conscious people. Although this group is small, they are responsible for almost half of European organic sales. Regular buyers tend to buy at organic specialty shops or farmers’ markets. For them price is not an important purchasing decision factor.

The second and much bigger group is quite different. Double-Income-No-kids households, older consumers (aged 50-75) and New-Trends seekers will fall in this group. They buy organic products for various reasons, including healthy lifestyle, food safety concerns, animal welfare, sustainability, quality and taste of food, price, innovative packaging. This light buyers group purchase organic products mainly at hyper/supermarkets. This is the group that the organic industry should focus on to generate further growth in the near future.

At the retail level, the distribution of organic products is different in each Member State. In the UK and Nordic countries for instance most organic food sales are generated in supermarkets. In the Netherlands the market for supermarkets and organic specialty shops is more evenly divided. In neighbouring Germany, discounters and supermarkets dominate the distribution market for organic food, predominantly under their private labels. In Spain and Italy most organic sales are generated in organic specialty shops.

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Refresco to Acquire Soft Drinks International


Netherlands-based Refresco, Europe’s leading manufacturer of private label soft drinks and fruit juices, is to acquire Soft Drinks International, a German producer of soft drinks and water, for an undisclosed price. SDI is a strong, regional producer, primarily active in the German market and the Benelux, with production facilities in Erfstadt (Germany) and Heerlen (The Netherlands). SDI’s products are also exported to other European countries.

SDI focuses solely on the private label segment. Turnover in 2009 was Eur140m and production was approximately 1b units. The deal is expected to be completed within several months.

The acquisition is in line with Refresco’s ‘buy and build’ strategy, which is focused on further strengthening and expanding the company’s leading position in non-alcoholic beverages in Europe. The takeover signifies an important step for Refresco in the growing German market for carbonated soft drinks (CSDs). It allows Refresco to further expand its product range – which in Germany currently consists primarily of fruit juices – with CSDs. The deal will transform Refresco Germany, which had a turnover of over Eur240m in 2009, into a full service provider of non-alcoholic beverages.

In addition, the acquisition allows Refresco to integrate the activities of SDI into its existing organisation and consequently further optimise its production processes and improve its competitive position to become one of the top three biggest manufacturers of soft drinks and fruit juices in Germany. Furthermore it will reinforce Refresco’s position in the growing private label market.

Established in 2000, Refresco currently operates 19 production sites in eight countries across Europe and employs more than 2,200 people. In 2009, Refresco achieved a turnover of Eur1.14b.

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Further International Expansion By Eckes-Granini Group


Germany-based Eckes-Granini Group, one of the leading branded fruit juice producers in Europe, and KMV (Karlovarske Mineralni Vody), the leading bottled water supplier in the Czech market, have formed a strategic partnership. KMV has become the exclusive marketer of Eckes-Granini Group’s granini and YO brands in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

“This strategic partnership is yet another step forward in keeping with our international expansion policy,” points out Thomas Hinderer, president and chief executive of the Eckes-Granini Group. “The Czech Republic and Slovakia are attractive European markets which offer additional potential for the granini and YO brands, both of which are already familiar to consumers in the region.”

Equal emphasis will be placed on expanding distribution in the retail trade and establishing a firm foothold in the out-of-home sector. The granini portfolio for the retail trade in the Czech Republic and Slovakia encompasses a variety of juices and nectars in 1.0-litre PET bottles, while the 0.2-litre returnable bottle is offered in the out-of-home sector. YO premium syrups are available in retail stores in 0.7-litre PET bottles with an anti-spill cap. Both conventional advertising campaigns and extensive below-the-line activities are planned in support of brand development.

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Packaging Relaunch and Repositioning by Emmi


Swiss dairy processor Emmi is repositioning its products under the ‘Emmi’ umbrella brand. Typical Swiss symbols and the silhouette of a mountain peak in red and white are the key elements of the new packaging. For the first time, well-established products from the white (dairy and fresh products) and yellow (cheese) ranges will come under the same brand name. Some 150 well-known Emmi products will gain new, uniform packaging. Products from the yoghurt, desserts, ice cream, natural cheese, fondue, raclette, mozzarella, milk, cream and butter segments will be marketed as part of the ‘Emmi’ range.

The new, uniform packaging is based on the colours red and white. A harmonious mountain range and silhouette-like typical national symbols such as a flag-waver, edelweiss, a cow and a yodeller form the key elements. “As a Swiss company with products made from Swiss milk, we want to communicate this origin in a clear and comprehensible way to consumers. Emmi products are characterized by their outstanding quality. This is now also reflected in their packaging,” explains Robin Barraclough, head of marketing of Emmi Group.

The uniform ‘Swiss-look’ design has all the benefits of an umbrella brand and aims to increase consumer awareness and improve visibility in the chiller cabinet. The redesigned ‘Emmi’ range of products will be available from August 2010 in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

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Emmi to Use Swiss National Day to Promote New Umbrella Brand


Switzerland celebrates its birthday on August 1st. Together with internationally renowned light artist Gerry Hofstetter, Emmi, the country’s largest dairy group, is giving the Swiss population a special present to mark the occasion. The artist will illuminate well-known buildings in all four corners of the country on 1st August 2010. The light installations play on the new imagery of the Emmi umbrella brand.

Emmi’s entire product range is being repositioned under the ‘Emmi’ umbrella brand. Typical Swiss symbols and the silhouette of a mountain peak in the dominant colours red and white are the key elements of the packaging. Products from the yoghurt, desserts, ice cream, natural cheese, fondue, raclette, mozzarella, milk, cream and butter segments are marketed as part of the Emmi range.

The uniform ‘Swiss-look’ design has all the benefits of an umbrella brand and aims to increase consumer awareness. The redesigned ‘Emmi’ range of products will be available from August 2010 in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

“The simultaneous illuminations in Lucerne, Graubunden, Ticino and Vaud express the shared identity of the cantons and Emmi’s ties with Switzerland. The typical national symbols that Gerry Hofstetter is using for the illuminations will trigger a real sense of national pride. It’s a thank you to our loyal suppliers and consumers,” explains Robin Barraclough, head of marketing at Emmi Group.

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German Dairy Merger Moves Closer


Nordmilch, Germany’s largest dairy group, is close to merging with fellow co-operative Humana Milchindustrie. The two German dairy co-operatives have already bundled their sales activities together to form Nord-Contor Milch.

Rolf Janshen (left), chief director of Humana Milchindustrie, and Dr Josef Schwaiger, chief executive of Nordmilch.

The boards of management and supervisory boards of Nordmilch and Humana Milchindustrie have now proposed a full merger. However, the proposal requires the consent of the members of both co-operatives and of the German Federal Cartel Office. The representatives of the co-operatives’ farmer members will be informed of the merger details at their annual assemblies and the final decision will then be passed at extraordinary assemblies no later than the end of the year.

“A comparison of the development of the dairy industry in Germany with that in neighbouring European countries clearly reveals that Germany needs further consolidation to survive in international competition in the long term,” says Dr Josef Schwaiger, chief executive of Nordmilch.

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Arla Foods Invests For Growth


Having been forced by the severe economic environment in 2009 to make cuts across its business, Arla Foods has substantially increased its investment budget for 2010 to DKr1.84 billion (Eur250 million) as the Scandinavian dairy giant again focuses on expansion.

In addition to marketing expenditure to drive sales growth, the investment budget has earmarked funds for significantly expanding capacity and ongoing efficiency improvement measures. Arla Foods will spend almost DKr920 million – nearly half of the total budget – on increasing capacity and making structural adjustments in 2010. This is double last year’s investment level and equivalent to about 4% of projected turnover. The dairy group is seeking to increase 2010 turnover by 2-3% to DKr47 billion.

The decision to invest in expansion this year makes a change from the retrenchment of 2009, when the focus was on cost reduction.

PederTuborgh, chief executive of Arla Foods.

“The objective is to achieve the highest possible milk price for our farmers in a very price conscious market with substantial and rapid fluctuations. During the past year, we have put considerable effort into the savings programme and have been dealing with the implications of the global economic situation. During 2010, we will again show our customers, and consumers, across the world what Arla stands for and what we can and want to achieve,” explains Peder Tuborgh, chief executive of Arla Foods.

Driving Sales and Profits

A 30% hike in marketing expenditure is designed to fuel sales and profits. Investment behind Arla Foods’ global brands, Lurpak butter and Castello cheese, will be intensified as will support for the Arla brand and the Closer to Nature concept, as the dairy giant continues to concentrate on shifting processing from industrial to value added products, so reducing its reliance on commodity markets.

Of course, the anticipated growth in sales and profits will require a corresponding increase in production of value added products and consequently an expansion of capacity.

New investments commencing during 2010 include the construction of a new drying tower at Denmark Protein Nr Vium and the expansion of yellow cheese capacity to 44 million kg per annum. The largest single amount, however, is the allocation of DKr182 million for the completion of the expansion to Arla Food’s Stourton dairy in the UK.

In conjunction with investing heavily in expanding production capacity and making associated structural adjustments, Arla Foods will also continue to implement the group-wide DKr1b cost savings programme, including 250 redundancies, launched in the spring of 2009 as it maintains its focus on efficiency. Indeed, it is imperative that costs are kept at 2009 levels.

Focus on Adding Value

As a co-operative, Arla Foods’ priority remains the price paid to milk producers, whose earnings are under pressure. In 2009, 31% of Arla’s raw milk went to industrial products but the aim is to cut this proportion to 27% as sales of processed products are crucial in order to achieve the highest possible milk price for dairy farmers. “Our focus is to continue to add more value to our milk and to continue to work towards achieving our growth target for 2015 of DKr75 billion, and we will not achieve this without significantly expanding our capacity,” says Peder Tuborgh.

Reflecting its strategy of adding value to its milk, Arla Foods has just formed a partnership with Starbucks, one of the world’s largest coffee brands, to enter the ready-to-drink coffee market in Europe.

Global Leader

Arla Foods was formed in 2000 through the merger of two dairy farmer co-operatives – Arla of Sweden and MD Foods of Denmark. Arla Foods has production facilities in 12 countries – Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Finland, the US, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Poland, Germany, Saudi Arabia and China – and its products are sold globally, although its two main markets are Scandinavia and the UK. Arla Foods is one of Europe’s leading dairy processors and also ranks within the top ten globally.

Arla Foods has a broad product range and is active in all the main sectors of the dairy market. Fresh products, including liquid milk, cream and yoghurt, generate about 45% of turnover, followed by cheese at just over 25% and milk powder on 13%. Butter and spreads, including Arla Foods’ flagship Lurpak brand, account for 13% of turnover.

Development Strategy For 2013

Peter Turborgh recently unveiled Arla Foods’ five year development strategy, setting out clear global ambitions for the group by building on its strength in Scandinavia and the UK and by harnessing the potential of its strong brands. The strategy incorporates five key elements with the central aim of delivering the best milk price to Arla Foods’ co-operative farmer owners.

Arla Foods will continue to concentrate on developing its traditional core markets and aims to become the market leader in Denmark, Sweden and the UK, and number two in Finland. However, Arla Foods has added Germany and Poland to its core markets and will increase activity there as it aspires to be among the top three dairy companies in both countries.

The Netherlands is also now a new core market following Arla Foods’ recent acquisition of Friesland Foods Fresh in Nijkerk from Dutch dairy co-operative Royal FrieslandCampina. The Nijkerk business has sales of over Eur200 million. The acquisition is “in perfect alignment with our strategy to become the preferred dairy for consumers in Northern Europe,” says Peter Tuborgh.

Furthermore, Arla Foods, which is currently present in 80 markets worldwide, will prioritise its global activities to achieve the best return from resources. As part of this strategic shift, the US, Russia and China have been identified as special growth markets, and will be assigned a larger share of the group investment budget. Other markets have been defined as ‘tactical’ and business activity will be maintained at current levels.

“We cannot do everything in all markets. We must be extremely strong in some international markets – but not everywhere and not in all categories,” he points out.

Arla Foods will concentrate on developing three global brands – Lurpak butter, Castello cheese and Arla, which is both the corporate brand and the brand for the majority of the group’s other products.

The product development budget will be doubled with the focus on natural ingredients, health, taste and organic products. Indeed, Arla Foods has just joined forces with Danish neighbour Danisco to establish a new research partnership, which aims to develop infant formula more closely resembling mothers’ milk.

Another goal is to double sales of powdered whey proteins to become the global leader. Arla Foods purchases whey from other major cheese producers and has processing facilities in several locations across the world.

The fifth element of the development strategy has entailed setting a target of a 25% reduction across the group in greenhouse gas emissions from transport, production and packaging by 2020. This means working with its co-operative members, research institutions and industry associations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at farm level.

Focused Approach

“The strategy focuses on what we excel at and on markets where we are, or can, be leaders,” comments the Arla Foods chief executive. “It is focused, ambitious and demanding. The next five years will be an enormous challenge for us all, but it’s not impossible for us to achieve our objectives and it is important for us to give our all and gain ground.”

The increase in the 2010 investment budget to DKr1.84 billion signals Arla Foods’ commitment to aggressively pursuing its five year development goals after a period of consolidation in 2009.

Difficult Year

Like other international dairy groups, Arla Foods had to contend with the effects of global recession and price pressures coupled with a major imbalance between supply and demand for milk throughout 2009. Consequently, 2009 was characterised by cost cuts across the business and a reduction in the milk price paid to co-operative members as Arla Foods adjusted to the changed market scenario.

Net profit in the first half of 2009 for the January to June 2009 period was DKr263m and turnover declined by almost DKr2b to DKr22.3b, of which DKr1.7b was due to the fall in the exchange rate between Swedish krona, sterling and Danish kroner.

Although the half-year results were in line with budget, Peder Tuborgh admits that the economic downturn was “more extensive and prolonged than expected and has impacted all Arla’s markets.”

Outlook For Prices

However, there were positive market signs as 2009 drew to a close. Peder Tuborgh expects that prices in the retail market will rise just as those for industrial products have, as Arla Foods continues to ensure that its farmer members are given the best price for their milk. “In recent months we have seen a rise in commodity prices, which have been mainly driven by increases in the price of industrial products, in particular bulk cream. As a result of these developments we raised the milk price paid to the members of the cooperative in October and again in December,” he remarks. “However, the overall price for raw milk is insufficient to ensure that dairy production is sustainable globally which is why there needs to be an improvement in dairy product prices in the retail sector.”

UK Growth Strategy

Accounting for over a quarter of group sales, the UK is central to Arla Foods’ future development. Indeed, the UK is the dairy group’s single largest national market. Arla Foods has invested heavily in its UK business and will continue to do so as part of its growth strategy for this important region.

Processing over two billion litres of milk annually, Arla Foods UK is on the Britain’s largest dairy companies. In addition to being a major supplier of liquid milk and cream to the top retailers, Arla Foods UK leads the butter, spreads and margarine sector, as well as supplying other added value products such as flavoured milk, cheese and yoghurt.

Although UK consumers have been trading down to less expensive dairy products, Arla Foods UK’s three major brands have continued to perform well. Two of these brands – Cravendale and Anchor – are each valued at more than £100 million, while Lurpak is worth over £200 million. Launched in 2001, Cravendale is now the number one milk brand in the UK and is worth £142 million, growing at 20% year on year. The Anchor butter and spreads brand is produced under licence from Fonterra, the New Zealand co-operative.

Anchor Deal

Peter Lauritzen, chief executive of Arla Foods UK.

Until recently, Arla Foods and Fonterra operated a joint venture in the UK but Arla has now bought out Fonterra’s 25% stake. “Anchor is a very strong, successful, brand in the UK and it is a good business in which to invest,” points out Peter Lauritzen, chief executive of Arla Foods UK. “The butter, spreads and margarine market is a key category for Arla and this is a logical step for us to take this brand forward and develop it further in the UK.”

In line with its co-operative principles, Arla Foods has built a close working relationship with British dairy farmers. Indeed, the Arla Foods Milk Partnership, a group of over 1,400 members, supplies 80% of Arla Foods UK’s total raw milk requirements and also owns a stake in the British dairy processing company.

Capital Investment

To support its ongoing development in the UK market, Arla Foods is investing £70 million (Eur80m) to expand its flagship dairy at Stourton in Leeds, having already spent £100 million at the site, which processes milk for the major supermarkets as well as leading milk brand Cravendale. The additional investment at Stourton allows the site to process a range of fresh dairy products, including fresh cream and Creme Fraiche. It also permits Arla Foods to manufacture cottage cheese for the first time in the UK.

In line with its strategy of improving efficiency, Arla Foods has embarked on a LEAN programme in the UK. A pilot is taking place at the Stourton complex where a robust LEAN model is being developed which will then be rolled out to other UK sites.

World’s Most Advanced Dairy

Arla Foods also plans to build a new one billion litre liquid milk processing facility on the outskirts of London as part of its UK growth strategy. The new facility will be the largest and most technologically advanced of its kind in the world.

Intended to create a platform for Arla Foods UK to grow its fresh milk business, the new dairy will be operational in 2012. According to Arla Foods, the new London dairy will set new world-class environmental and efficiency standards.

“Arla is totally committed to a long-term sustainable future in the UK and the construction of the new dairy demonstrates that commitment. Incorporating the most sustainable building techniques the dairy will be the largest, most efficient and environmentally advanced in the world,” says Peter Lauritzen. “We already have an industry leading site at Stourton, in Leeds, but our new, cutting edge, facility in London will be world leading and take dairy processing into the next generation.”

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