Narrow Web Europe


  • Suitable statistics

    Suitable statistics

    We all know how Winston Churchill viewed statistics – “Lies, damned lies and statistics.” He, like some other heads of government, was not averse to picking out the statistics that suited him. But when European label association FIN…
    John Penhallow 10.12.18

  • Sticks and carrots

    Sticks and carrots

    In the July/August issue of L&NW, Calvin Frost, author of Letters from the Earth, took a hard look at sustainability and recycling. He concluded that to get from here to there America needs markets, technology and education. Much the same appli…
    John Penhallow 09.10.18

  • Old Wine in Old Bottles

    Old Wine in Old Bottles

    A couple of thousand years ago, the Greek colony of Antipolis, now Antibes on the French Riviera, was an important trading post. Amber, tin, slaves and wood went south in exchange for Mediterranean specialties like olive oil and wine. In the Antibes…
    John Penhallow 07.13.18

  • Now is the month of Maying…

    Now is the month of Maying…

    When merry lads are playing. And here in France they had lots of time for it this month. The first (Mayday), eighth (VE Day), 10th (Ascension Day) and 21st (Whit-Monday) were all public holidays. Then we have the tradition of the “Pont,”…
    John Penhallow 05.25.18

  • Viva Italia!

    Viva Italia!

    Readers who remember the Converflex and Grafitalia shows in Italy will be surprised not to find them this year. Along with the Inprinting show, they have all been amalgamated into Print4All (they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,…
    John Penhallow 04.09.18

  • Roll-to-roll solar energy

    Roll-to-roll solar energy

    The name of Count Lev Perovski may not be familiar to all readers of this column, but it was he who, in 1839, discovered and named perovskite, a compound of calcium, oxygen and titanium. This remained a geological curiosity until 10 years ago when a…
    John Penhallow 03.09.18

  • Good news in unexpected corners of Europe

    Good news in unexpected corners of Europe

    The fourth quarter returns for 2017 are not in yet, but Europe’s economy is at last looking up, with 2.2% year-on-year GDP growth for the Euro area (running neck-and-neck with the US), and industrial production (a better indicator for label dem…
    John Penhallow 01.26.18

  •  A toast to Champagne and Labelexpo

    A toast to Champagne and Labelexpo

    There will be just two topics in this edition of Narrow Web Europe: Labelexpo (which will not surprise you), and champagne (which will probably not surprise you either). With 600+ exhibitors at Labelexpo Europe, not all of them could get the press…
    John Penhallow 11.17.17

  • 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