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Newsletter 31 August 2012

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 31 August 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”  Lady Dorothy Nevill, British writer

Sensient Food Colors

 Editor’s Stuff: An egg-cellent idea!
It’s not often that a genuinely exciting new product crosses one’s radar; one that really gets a food industry journalist’s antennae twitching! And just such news hit my email this week, and I think it’s safe to say that this is indeed a first for the South African FMCG market.
Introducing Ready Egg, a new free range product from The Free Range Chicken Co in Cape Town and which offers great consumer convenience: no more egg shells in their omelettes or messy attempts at separating egg whites for meringues.

Introducing Ready Egg – an NPD first for SA

I’ve set up an appointment to interview the company to find out more about Ready Egg – and will soon post a more in-depth report on a product that has finally made it to South African retail shelves.

Something different this week

Thought I would add a new element to this newsletter, namely a list of the ten articles of 2012 with the most hits in their respective categories on FOODStuff SA. You may have missed some interesting items.

The top two reads, by a considerable margin, are Tim Noakes on low-carb eating, and surprisingly, Kraft’s new breakfast item launched in the US, belVita Breakfast Biscuits. Why this latter story should so appeal to a largely South African readership is, well, curious!

Enjoy this week’s newsletter! (PS I shall be away next week; next newsletter on Sept 14)

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
Top jobs this week: Sales & Marketing Manager for Denmar Estates; Hygiene Technologist for Woolworths Foods; R&D Food Technologist for DiningIn!
Look for a job or advertise your company’s positions! 
Click here!

Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
An interview with Brenda Koornneef of Tiger Brands
Brenda Koornneef is the business executive: group marketing and corporate-strategy at Tiger Brands, the dominant food supplier and expanding into home and personal care in South Africa, now spreading its wings in Africa.
In the wake of the cider market’s growth spurt, Tell’s Premium Cider has launched what it claims as South Africa’s first commercially available, authentic pear cider.
Out of a total of 63 olive oils entered by 39 producers, 19 of the country’s leading olive oil producers were honoured with gold medals at the 2012 SA Olive award ceremony. 
Other SA stories:

The face of the SA grocery shopper today: the majority display strong store and brand loyalty in the face of rising food prices and economic uncertainty, according to Nielsen’s latest Shopper Trends Report.

 Most popular category reads 2012
  1. “Carbo is really a no-no” says Prof Tim Noakes
  2. In Woolies we still trust
  3. SA’s omega-3 supplements – a load of old codswallop?
  4. SABMiller going big in Africa with $2.5bn budget
  5. R146: Shooting itself in the foot over nutritional declarations
  6. Kerry Ingredients & Flavours acquires Durban-based FlavourCraft
  7. Frankies takes on Woolworths over alleged imitation products
  8. Maggot protein is new fishmeal for livestock, says SA start-up
  9. KWV moves like (jimmi)jagga
  10. Tim Noakes on carbohydrates – fad or fact?

 International News & Developments
What travels farther: the Quaker oat or Kellogg’s corn flake? As global demand grows for American-style breakfast foods, cereal marketers are battling to make their brands the top choice in China, India, Brazil and elsewhere, where staples like bread and fish have been the traditional morning norm.
Water scarcity’s effect on food production means radical steps will be needed to feed population expected to reach 9bn by 2050.
Fueled by Magnum’s new-found success, Unilever is chipping away at Nestlé’s lead in the $12-billion US ice cream market.
After years of vociferous debate and negotiation, new federal nutrition guidelines on school lunch menus go into effect this American fall. What will schools be doing differently?
The United Nations, aid agencies and the British Government have lined up to attack the world’s largest commodities trading company, Glencore, after it described the current global food crisis and soaring world prices as a “good” business opportunity.
Most popular category reads 2012

 Food Trends, NPD and Marketing
Gem Misa from salad dressing company Righteous discovered persistence is key when it comes to approaching retail buyers…. [this is a UK story, but the advice is universal]
Adding new zest and contemporary flair to an old food stalwart, Heinz in the UK has launched Heinz Five Beanz, using a marketing platform that these are BEANZ FOR GROWN UPZ.
India: Breakthrough in naturally sweet and fizzy lassi 
Indian researchers have made a breakthrough in making a carbonated version of lassi, the popular traditional Indian yoghurt-based drink. They have discovered a bacteria strain, Leuconostoc Ln 27, which makes its own fizz and sweetness. 

Most obvious food-bev innovation rests in packaging – to here’s an interesting new concept for beer: French industrial designer, Petit Romain, has dreamed up a square glass container he dubs the Heineken Cube.

Longer lifespans create new elderly nutrition concepts
As average lifespans push beyond 80 years, demand is growing for products that meet the particular nutritional needs of the elderly such as cognitive performance and bone health. But is it a generation that buys into nutrition-led disease prevention over medical treatment? 
There are many faces to the pet humanisation trend, states Euromonitor. The trend – more pets are being treated as members of the family – has manifested itself in the growth of products such as premium pet food. However, owners are taking the trends to other levels…

Last week’s top headline: “Gizmo” bottle cap technology gets first commercial launch

The patented “Gizmo Closure and Delivery System,” an innovative, pressurized bottle cap design, out of the US, that infuses a drink with fresh, preservative-free ingredients upon opening, has been utilised commercially for the first time in a new range of iced teas, Tea of a Kind.

Most popular category reads 2012
  1. US: Kraft Foods introduces a new kind of breakfast – belVita Breakfast Biscuits
  2. UK: Kraft launches Cadbury Dairy Milk Bubbly
  3. The reinvention of SodaStream
  4. Innova’s most innovative products of 2011
  5. Alcohol spray simulates the feeling of being drunk
  6. US: Chocolate milk makers target grown-up athletes
  7. Diet Coke vs. Coca-Cola Zero: what’s the difference?
  8. Twitter-activated vending machine trades BOS tea for tweets
  9. UK: Tesco to trial new packaging aimed at fresh produce waste reduction
  10. Top fresh produce innovation from Fruit Logistica 2012 

 Food Science, Safety and Ingredients Stuff

Industry must create ‘added value’ with natural hydrocolloid push: Researchers
Hydrocolloid thickeners and food additives have ‘good prospects’ in terms of potential marketing to consumers due to their natural origins and familiar sources, which make them ideal for marketing in cleaner label foods, according to new consumer research.
A new study confirms the satiating effect of Litesse polydextrose and its potential role in appetite control, reports DuPont Nutrition & Health.
Today’s highly skilled robots are replacing both manufacturing and distribution workers worldwide. [Not food focused but pertinent, nonetheless] 
New evidence reveals the possibility of mood-enhancing effects associated with some flavours, stemming at least in part from natural ingredients bearing a striking chemical similarity to valproic acid, a widely used prescription mood-stabilising drug..
Most popular category reads 2012
  1. Dispelling five common consumer food safety myths
  2. Wine experts: what good are they to us ordinary drinkers?
  3. MIT’s freaky non-stick coating keeps ketchup flowing
  4. How the food industry can fight back against public mistrust
  5. Solutions to replace guar in food formulations
  6. Food safety: Choosing a certification body
  7. Science reporting on organic food is out to lunch
  8. Working to create GM blood oranges
  9. Toxic aldehydes detected in reheated oil
  10. Microbiological food safety: useful set of articles 

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Entertaining nutrition research: “nutrifluff”
“I consider the results of studies showing remarkable health benefits attributed to single foods or single nutrients to be “nutrifluff”— fun, but not necessarily meaningful unless you are eating a healthy diet anyway. Here are four recent examples…” [Good sensible stuff from the iconic-critic Marion Nestle]
Political revolutionaries turn the world upside down. Scientific ones more often turn it inside out. And that, almost literally, is happening to the idea of what, biologically speaking, a human being is. People are not just people. They are an awful lot of microbes, too… [Great article on the human microbiome – a topic rarely out of the health news of late]
High levels of the hormone insulin, brought on by a bad diet, may harm the brain in the same way that the muscle, liver and fat cells are affected by type two diabetes.
Want to up your emotional intelligence (EQ), improve your social skills? One way is to cut down on caffeine. The catch? As any caffeine drinker can attest, this is easier said than done.
Restricting calories does not necessarily extend monkeys’ lives
A calorie-restricted diet can extend the lives of organisms from yeast to fruit flies to rodents, as well as improving their health and preventing disease. But just because cutting calories helps animals with short lifespans doesn’t mean that humans will reap similar benefits. 
Scientists have found that high doses of niacin, or vitamin B3, massively boost the body’s defences against staphylococcus bacteria. Marmite is especially rich in B vitamins, including niacin.

By altering the fine balance of gut bacteria which influence our metabolism, even small amounts of the drugs entering the food chain could have caused obesity rates to rise, researchers claim.

Most popular category reads 2012
  1. Glycemic Index and fat differentiation sheds new light on high fat and low carbs debate
  2. The bitter truth about sugar
  3. Diabetes: 90 years on from first insulin treatment
  4. Better than sugar? Five natural sweeteners demystified
  5. Study finds no link between food colours, ADHD
  6. Top five consumer health trends for 2012
  7. Consumers globally struggle with nutritional labels and health claims
  8. Bad mood, low energy? There might be a simple explanation
  9. What’s in your Whopper? Salt in fast food varies greatly between countries
  10. Time to calm down about kids’ breakfast cereal 

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff
Most popular category reads 2012
  1. Top 10 iconic junk foods
  2. New York anti-obesity ads pair soda, leg amputations
  3. Is this the world’s healthiest meal- incorporating all EFSA-approved health claims?
  4. Zero calorie, inhalable caffeine
  5. Top ten wine myths that won’t die
  6. Bübi Bottle – a scrunchable container for drinks
  7. Why kids hate Brussel sprouts and other taste insights
  8. Italian chefs tell world how to make correct bolognese
  9. How pig parts make the world turn

 Food bites…2012: GM food? I ain’t losing any sleep over it

“I DON’T SIT here and ponder hours-on-end about the pros and cons of GM foods. Because I have yet to actually see research that says genetically-modified food is the bogeyman in America’s food cupboard. But I have seen research that says GM food is safe to consume. Even FDA says it.
   “So, who to believe? I can only speak for myself, but I generally tend to side with the guys who at least have some evidence on their side of the table. What do the anti-GM followers in loony California, which has the infamous Prop 37 on its November ballot, bring up as the proof that sustains their arguments? Emotion. Protests. Threats. And if you mention the pro-GM research, they quickly brand it as ‘outdated’ ‘misleading’ and ‘paid for by Big Food’.
   “Well, it may be all of that, who knows, but I know which side has bullets in its gun and which one is firing blanks. But what’s the big deal anyway, we’ve all been eating GM foods for years, and, OMIGOD! we’re all still alive!. I’m just saying…”

Bob Messenger, Editor, The Morning Cup

California’s ballot initiative to label GMO’s has caused quite a stir.
“There are a lot of new breeding technologies today that don’t use GM food. You can do a lot of things without GM. GM per se is not a golden bullet, but may be an interesting tool in the box.
   “We [Nestlé] have a very simple way of looking at GM: listen to what the consumer wants. If they don’t want it in products, you don’t put it in them.”
Hans Johr, corporate head of sustainable agriculture at Nestlé: read more


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Brenda NeallPublished every Friday as part of, this newsletter is a cherry-picking, agglomerating service for all food and beverage industrialists. It aims to be topical, insightful, provocative, intelligent… fast, fresh and full of additives!
FOODStuff SA, stuff about FMCG food-bev manufacture from farm gate to retail shelf, is published and edited by Brenda Neall. You can contact her at:

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