Show to address soft drink and beer supply issues

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beer, Hops

The challenges facing raw material sourcing across the beverage
market will be on of the key focuses for the Drinktec 2009 trade
show set to place next September in Munich, according to its
organisers.

Materials ranging from hops used in beer manufacturing, to fruit concentrates are increasingly being put under demand pressure, resulting in increasing prices for the beverage industry, according to Messe München, which will be hosting the event. New figures, which have been released by the group ahead of next year's show, reflect industry concern over ingredient supply. Drinktec hopes to unveil possible new technologies to address these concerns at a special 11,000 square metre hall at the show, according to the organiser. Hops ​ According to the event organisers, beer production has risen by a third since 1997, which has put enormous strain on current hop supplies. In the last few years alone, the figures suggest that the free market supply of aromatic hops rose by 100 per cent, while the same figure for bitter hops was up 150 percentage points to 400 per cent. Through 2008, the organisers said that annual beer production is expected to reach 1.8bn hectolitres. Brewer's grain ​ Similar to the issues with hops, Messe München also highlighted issues with brewing barley and other crops vital to beer production as an area particularly important to industry sustainability. Besides the impact of weather on some harvests, increased beer demand is a particular concern amongst producers. One reason thought to be exacerbating the brewing grain situation is rising meaty consumption, which the organisers say has had a knock-on affect for grain used in feed stocks. Messe München adds that with no apparent short-term solutions ahead for brewers, Drinktec will hold a special showcase for product-specific process technology for beer and malt. Fruit supplies ​ Outside of brewing, fruit-juice based drink makers are also feeling the pinch, the show organisers say. Taking the example of orange juice concentrate, the research found that despite a 50 per cent dip in costs between 2002 sand 2004, prices were again rising as of last year. In the current agricultural environment, Messe Munchen suggest that this pattern could yet continue further. Following varying harvest outputs across Europe in 2007, the findings say that apple juice-concentrate prices were up by 250 per cent, reaching the highest prices in the industry for ten years. Fruit juice ingredients alternatives are therefore expected to be a another key focus at the show.

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