Narrow Web Europe


  • Heavy Levy

    The United Kingdom has particularly draconian packaging regulations. All UK companies with a turnover of more than $2.7 million must assess how much packaging they have placed onto the UK Market. If the volume exceeds 50 metric tons per year, then th…
    John Penhallow 10.06.17

  • ...and brew it mein way

    Many readers of L&NW may have forgotten the Great Beer Battle, which inflamed the drinking classes of Europe in the 1960s. An ancient German law called the Reinheitsgebot, dating back to the 16th century, laid down the only ingredients allowed fo…
    John Penhallow 09.11.17

  • Rule the data, rock the world

    Rule the data, rock the world

    The Internet of Things has become a buzzword, but not everyone can explain it as well as Andy Hobsbawm, co-founder of the organization EVRYTHNG (this is not a misprint). He foresees that the Amazons of this world will make serious inroads into retail…
    John Penhallow 07.14.17

  • English eccentrics

    English eccentrics

    Your correspondent was visiting central London a few years back, when round the corner came two cyclists. What’s so special, you say? What was special is that they were both totally naked. They were followed by some 50 other cyclists, also as n…
    John Penhallow 05.30.17

  • Decline and fall

    Decline and fall

    It is said that the decline of the Roman Empire began when the emperor and his court started spending more time in-fighting than on running the show. Much the same thing seems to have happened, on a rather smaller scale, with the Ecocis reprocessing…
    John Penhallow 04.07.17

  • Landa Hoy!

    Landa Hoy!

    The business press is generally loud in its praise and soft in its criticism. If a product fails to live up to the bleeding edge quantum-leap technological breakthrough promised by its PR people, the business press will say it “needs time to fu…
    John Penhallow 03.13.17

  • Why Belgium?

    Why Belgium?

    Readers of L&NW, who are mostly a well-traveled lot, will not need to be told about Belgium. It is that small, flat, triangular shaped country awkwardly placed between France, Germany and Holland. Because it is so flat it gets invaded regularly a…
    John Penhallow 01.20.17

  • The pound takes a pounding –  collateral damage to Marmite

    The pound takes a pounding – collateral damage to Marmite

    With all eyes on the outcome of the US presidential election, few Americans will have noticed the dramatic slide in the value of the UK pound. A 15% drop since June 2016 is starting to make consumers sit up and take notice in a country that imports m…
    John Pennhallow 11.14.16

  • French labels rising gently

    French labels rising gently

    Every summer, the French label magazine Etiq & Pack publishes a detailed analysis of the health, or otherwise, of the country’s leading 100 label converters. This year’s statistics reveal much “business as usual” but also…
    John Penhallow 09.07.16

  • Europe
    Balkan business booms

    Balkan business booms

    Srbija is not the easiest word to pronounce, and even in its more usual spelling of Serbia, it is a country which Narrow Web Europe News has until now overlooked. Not any longer. With its capital, Belgrade, and its population of just over seven milli…
    John Penhallow 06.03.15

  • More beer labels now say ‘Skål’

    It has been unkindly remarked that every edition of Narrow Web Europe reports on some aspect of beer, wine or spirits labels. This has nothing to do with your correspondent’s drinking habits but simply reflects the importance of this sector of…
    04.16.15

  • Currency swings and roundabouts

    Violent exchange rate fluctuations have been rare in recent years. This year looks like the exception. In late January, and to general surprise, the Swiss Central Bank stopped intervening to hold down the value of the Swiss franc. Within minutes, the…
    John Penhallow 03.09.15

  • The happy pessimists

    Writing this in France at the start of 2015, your correspondent wonders why the French came bottom in a poll of forty countries for “confidence in the future,” while the same poll shows that over 80% of French people say they are “h…
    John Penhallow 01.26.15

  • Playing the game

    Few people, even in France, know that the second biggest “instant game” lottery in the world is French. The Française des Jeux (FDJ) is a government-controlled quasi-monopoly which also runs betting and a host of other gaming-relat…
    John Penhallow 11.17.14

  • Thank you, Brussels!

    Thank you, Brussels!

    Many people in Europe do not love the European Union, and still less do they love its administrative wing, the European Commission. But for once the Eurocrats of Brussels have enacted some legislation which seems to meet with general approval and whi…
    John Penhallow 10.10.14

  • The end of the United Kingdom?

    The end of the United Kingdom?

    North American readers surely have more important things to worry about than Scotland’s referendum, but just to remind you that on Thursday, September 18 of this year, when Scots go to the polls to vote on independence – a “yes&rdqu…
    John Penhallow 09.09.14

  • Expressing shelf appeal

    One of the lesser revelations at the FINAT Congress in Monaco in June was the difficulty, for the association’s secretariat, of translating this year’s theme – “the battle for shelf appeal” into French. The nation that h…
    John Penhallow 07.21.14

  • Could this be the next revolution?

    Could this be the next revolution?

    For more than ten years people in the PS label industry have been arguing and discussing the digital revolution, and the effects have indeed been revolutionary. But those of us who take a long-term view of technology, politics or indeed life in gener…
    06.02.14

  • Getting certified

    Getting certified

    Some things change: in the recent weeks of unseasonably mild, sunny weather, many citizens of Western Europe have changed over to thinking that maybe global warming isn’t such a bad thing after all. However this early spring has come right on t…
    John Penhallow 04.15.14

  • No recession in pharmaceutical labels and packaging

    No recession in pharmaceutical labels and packaging

    It is an established fact that the French are Europe’s leading pill-pushers. However, that is surely not the only reason for the success of the Pharmapack show, held in late February in Paris. The themes of the show can be counted on one hand:…
    John Penhallow 03.13.14