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22 June 2009

Interview with Marco Giovannini, CEO of Guala Closures Group – Drinks Media Wire

Guala Closures Group will take part to the 2009 Vinexpo Fair. Let’s have his point of view on his company’s business and the coming wine fair.

“Could you present your group and the two divisions (Closures and PET)?”
Guala Closures Group, founded in Italy in the 60’s, is today the worldwide leader in the production of non-refillable closures for spirits and leader also in Europe, Latin America and Oceania for the production of aluminium closures, the closures being manufactured for spirits, alcoholic beverages, wine, edible oil and pharmaceutical products.
The Group has also a PET division producing mainly pre-forms but the closure manufacturing activity is the Group core business as we are producing over 8 billion closures per year in four continents through an international network of 20 production facilities from China to Argentina.
Our main mission through our R&D department “Creative” is to provide innovative solutions to protect our Customer’s products and brands against counterfeiting, and to offer new solutions to growing markets such as wine; we successfully do this thanks to our 50 years of experience in the closures field.

“How do you expect your markets to develop over the next 5 years?”
With the continuous growth of the BRIC economies, where we have manufacturing facilities, we are expecting a growing demand for brand protection solutions both from the local and international brands. For example, in India, the safety closure is seen as a premium value addition to a brand, the rapidly expanding Indian economy presents a good opportunity for development and innovation in the market. In USA, we are seeing a continually rising counterfeiting awareness from our customers.
More generally, we see a big demand worldwide for more interactive and irreversible tamper evidence systems allowing consumers to safely authenticate the product they are consuming. We will continue to support also the growing trend of premiumisation across, not only the “niche products”, but also the mainstream global brands.

“More specifically, what is your view on the development of your activities in the wine business?”
As screwcaps for wine are becoming widely accepted or even dominant in such countries as New Zealand and Australia, we are developing the next generation of aluminium closures, introducing for example a first level of protection, new exclusive shapes (like the WAK we launched last year), premium decorations techniques like embossing and new markets use like the Divinum Moss for slightly sparkling wines in Italy or Argentina and now Brazil.

“Could you describe the “next generations” of safety closures you are working on and the benefits for the wine industry?”
With the increasing sophistication of the counterfeiter and the level of counterfeiting especially in our emerging markets, we see a need for us to fuse together various technologies. Our innovation teams are actively involved in mechanical, electronic and chemical authentication research amongst others to provide the very best solution for our customers. The growing trend for global brands to offer a single pack aesthetic means that more and more often we will need to offer a safety and open pourer closure as a single image; additionally our customers have now fully accepted that the closure is an integral part of the brand identity and provides one of the first interaction between the consumer and the brands.

“What do you expect from Vineexpo 2009?”
Vinexpo gives us the opportunity to meet in one place most of our customers and take the occasion to show them our latest innovations. This year we are especially highlighting the sustainability of aluminium for the wine closures to address the growing awareness of this topic and demonstrate the environmentally friendly characteristics of aluminium.

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