ASIA August 2020
 
Bericap all set to serve the Beverage Segment in ASEAN with its high quality closures
 
As one of the leading players in the caps/closures market globally, Bericap has now set its sight on capturing a larger share of the market for beverage caps/closures in the region.
AFBR has recently interviewed Mr Eddy Quah, General Manager of Bericap Malaysia Sdn Bhd, to find out more on what Bericap can offer to beverage manufacturers in this region. Bericap has 3 manufacturing plants in Asia, with 2 in China and one in Malaysia. According to Mr Quah, "We are still relatively a new player for beverage caps/closures in Southeast Asia. Nevertheless, 80% of the caps/closure production in the Malaysian plant is dedicated for the food and beverage segments."
As such, the food and beverage sector is an increasingly important sector for Bericap, and judging by the sector's resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, it does offer a steady revenue source for Bericap in the future.
The company is now looking at the beverage segment as its next target for growth in this region.

Latest development by Bericap for beverage caps/closures
For the beverage segment, Bericap is focusing on light-weighting and tethered closures. In addition, it is also offering beverage manufacturers 'laser marking' on their caps to support promotional campaigns, or as an anti-counterfeiting measure with the addition of QR code which can also identify the source of manufacturing. Quah said, "When it comes to light-weighting, we are focusing on using less resins or raw materials, for example from 1.45g to 1.2g beverage cap which translates to lower cost and lesser material, in line with the manufacturers' sustainability goals. The increasing use of tethered caps has also indirectly facilitated the collection of waste for recycling, although it must be highlighted that the plastic bottles and the caps are made of different materials namely PET and HDPE respectively.
EU regulations on tethered closure and its impact on Asia
The growing application of tethered caps on beverage products came about in response to the upcoming EU regulations that all beverage caps need to be tethered by 2024.
According to Mr Quah, "This has a big impact on Bericap in Europe but we are ready for this wave of change. In June, together with Sacmi and Coca Cola Amatil, we participated in a webinar organised by PET Planet to inform manufacturers about the products developed with this feature and how we will embrace this legislative requirements over the next few years." Quah added that for now, the focus will be on Europe but if Asia has this requirement, Bericap is ready to implement this as it maintains a high degree of harmonisation on its manufacturing equipment and processes.
Hoi Kwok Keong, Sales Director for Beverage Segment at Bericap, said "Tethered caps require the modifying of current mold or even investing a new closure mold, and all this may take time and we are talking of a big number of molds here. There are several options on tethered solution and this has been presented to the brand owners for consideration. Bericap has its own mold fabrication facility which can assist substantially on redesigning of closure and the distribution to respective customer sites." Mr Hoi added that some countries in Asia are now studying the tethered cap option while monitoring closely its implementation in Europe. "It may eventually come to Asia, but for now, we shall stick with the current closure design but offering a 2-in-1 solution whereby customers can easily convert the existing mold to the tethered option should the need arise in the next few years."
As beverage manufacturers globally are now looking towards 'sustainability' as one of their manufacturing goals, Bericap is also now exploring into the application of PCR (post consumer recycled) resins for closures in Europe and Asia market.

Importance of Asian market for Bericap
Asia is an important market for Bericap as its 3 plants in China and Malaysia manufacture more than 8 billion closures a year, roughly 10% of Bericap's global production of 86 billion caps in 2019. Southeast Asia market alone is growing at a double-digit rate annually for Bericap and it is looking at adding new plants in this region in the near future.
In China, Bericap has about 5% share of the food closures market, whereas in Southeast Asia, it has a smaller share probably around 1-2?cording to Quah, as it is relatively a new player. For water closures, Bericap leads the market in providing light-weight 1.2g closures.
The main reason for the small share is because most food and beverage manufacturers in Asia produce their own packaging including for closures.
According to Quah, "In Indonesia, Bericap is particularly strong in the automative industry, whereas the agrochemical industry is its biggest customer presently for the Asian region." However, Bericap has also gained strong reputation for being the supplier to big beverage brand owners like Coca-Cola in Indonesia and the Philippines, whereas Nestle (Thailand) is one of its biggest customer for beverage closure in this region. Bericap is all geared up to expand its client base for beverage closures in this region.
Major challenges faced by Bericap with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
With the ongoing pandemic, manufacturers are now emphasising more on safer, stronger and hygienic packaging for their food and beverage products to ensure that the products reach the customers in good condition despite the harsher distribution channel.
Mr Teo Chu Seng, Business Development Director for Bericap (Asia) Pte Ltd said, "Bericap is already certified to GMP and FSSC22000. In addition, Bericap maintains a high standard of hygiene for our employees as such, with the outbreak of COVID-19, the safety and hygiene measures dealing with this pandemic were just incremental with the addition of checking at the start and end of every shift." Teo added that Bericap is allowed to continue with its operations during the lockdown period to support key customers in the food and beverage segment.
Food and beverage products continue to be in high demand during the pandemic, nevertheless Teo highlighted that there might be a small decline in demand for beverage closures partly due to reduced consumer traffic and decline in tourism.
When looking at the various features or benefits of closure, Bericap considers a functional closure as the most important as it brings satisfaction to end-consumers, followed by it being light-weight and sustainable. Teo however added that 'strong or rigid closure' sometimes is also necessary for special purposes like over-caps, despite it being against sustainability. (see Figure 2.0)

Bericap is an ideal choice for F&B manufacturers
While caps/closures may represent a small part of the total packaging in a product, Bericap will ensure its undivided commitment to good quality to its customers. Bericap's diverse experience across industrial, food and beverage segments result in cross-segment solutions to help its customers.
Bericap is not just an ordinary closure supplier – it also provides technology for closure and packaging solutions.
 
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