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Newsletter 17 March 2014

17 March 2014
 Your weekly food-drinks industry
and insights…
SmartStuff:    “Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.”  Donald Porter


Editor’s Stuff: fdt Africa starts tomorrow!
Tomorrow will be a landmark day for the food and beverage sectors in South Africa when the inaugural fdt Africa exhibition and conference opens its doors at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.
An offshoot of the enormous and hugely successful Drinktec expo held every three years in Munich, the Jo’burg event will showcase food and drink technology, across the supply chain and from across the world.
By all accounts from the organisers, Messe München International and its subsidiary MMI South Africa, there has been outstanding support and interest in this event – and I, for one, am certainly not missing out! I have already packed my bags to head north later today.
You can read more about the expo and conference on the link below – and it’s advisable to pre-register for free entry for trade visitors.
fdt Africa starts tomorrow!
With just one day before the inaugural fdt Africa trade fair and conference in Gauteng, excitement is building amongst the organisers, exhibitors and visitors alike. 
As it’s likely to be a busy week, with a holiday on Friday, this is why you’re getting your newsletter today.

See you at Gallagher… Enjoy this week’s read!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

Great food industry jobs on offer! FOODStuff SA is a hub for
food-bev industry recruitment
! Click here
QPro International

  Local News and Developments

Food firms under pressure from input price hikes, consumer pain
Shares in South African food makers are being punished as companies struggle with record-high commodity prices and consumers come under pressure from rising interest rates and faster inflation.

Pioneer fails to dim Star pap’s ‘get-up’

Pioneer Foods, producer of the popular White Star super maize meal, has failed to stop rival Bothaville Milling from selling a super maize meal known as Star.

Carrot lessons from Rugani Carrots
As struggling farmers, Vito Rugani and Vincent Sequeira had the courage to jettison many of the attitudes that bedevil SA farming. Today, Greenway Farms is the continent’s largest producer of carrots.

South African’s consumers’ foremost destination for fresh produce – Food Lover’s Market, has forged a groundbreaking partnership with UK retail giant, Waitrose.

Kerry Citrus

 International Developments

African consumers value quality—more than mature-market shoppers

As Africa becomes a point of focus for many international brands, more studies are focusing on the purchasing habits of the continent’s growing consumer class. A new FREE-to-download report from the Boston Consulting Group finds that African consumers are informed, selective and desire good value when it comes to making purchases, with 70 percent saying they know a lot about the products they buy, compared with a global average of 57 percent. 

Creating the world’s biggest banana company

US fruit firm Chiquita Brands and Irish rival Fyffes, Europe’s largest distributor, have struck an all-stock deal to create the world’s biggest banana supplier. 

Whine and cheese: American cheese makers get taste of EU red tape

The EU is pushing to prevent American dairy makers from using what it says are specifically European names of cheese varieties. The EU argues that names like feta, parmesan, gorgonzola and others are “geographical indicators” linked to specific European regions and Americans should not be allowed to use the names even if they are made in the same way.  

How Chipotle changed American fast food forever

Chipotle, America’s prominent chain of Mexican restaurants, set out to challenge fast food trends and be better than the competition – in the end, launched a new industry. Here’s how they rose to the top of the fast-food chain.

Tetra Pak acquires Miteco to strengthen CSD business

Tetra Pak has acquired Switzerland-based Miteco, provider of production solutions for soft drinks, fruit juices and liquid food, for an undisclosed sum – a deal that strengthens Tetra Pak’s capabilities in processing of carbonated soft drinks. 

ICYMI: America’s proposed new nutrition label
The White House and FDA has announced a long-awaited proposal for updated nutrition labels. Here’s a comparison of the existing one and the new… 
 Trends, Marketing and NPD
Got milk? The simple question that spawned countless parodies and milk mustaches is being sidelined. Now it’s time for consumers to “Milk Life.”
CANADA: Beer positioned as ‘post-workout’ beverage
Created by a team of food scientists at Vampt, a Canadian beverage company, Lean Machine, is a vew low-alcohol, protein-packed “fit beer” with only 77 calories and 3.2% abv. It will be launched onto the North American fitness sector later this year and promoted as a “recovery ale”. 

Innovative positionings drive the nuts market forward

The share of nuts in global snack foods launches has risen steadily in recent years as nuts have found increasing favour as convenient and nutritious snacks, and technology and innovative packaging has allowed development of the value-added category in particular, according to Innova Market Insights.

UK: Artisan butter pack disrupts category norms

Introduced in the UK by global dairy brand Arla, an innovative new package replicates an elegant butter dish and feeds consumers’ growing desire for authentic, artisan foods while elevating a commodity product to a premium position. 

UK: Unilever launches ice cream NPD offensive

Unilever UK has unveiled a host of ice cream NPD aimed at driving impulse sales – and tapping what it claims is “the biggest incremental sales opportunity in FMCG in 2014”. 

Have a Bake, Have a KitKat!

Japan is famous for its Kit Kats. The country has a slew of unique flavours that aren’t available elsewhere. In January 2014, it got the first Kit Kat specialty store and now Nestlé Japan has developed a new mini KitKat that can be eaten as chocolate bar or baked.  

US: Fresh food is on a fast rise

Even as Americans eat more Oreos, and even in the face of rising food prices, fresh food is the fastest growing department at the supermarket, says Nielsen. With consumers continuing to lose their taste for frozen and canned goods in 2013, fresh food sales grew 5.4 percent from a year earlier, to $134 billion. They now represent about 30 percent of supermarket sales.

ICYMI: US: ‘Frenemies’ – how the non-GMO trend is undermining organics
The increasingly successful movement to eliminate GMO crops from food, or at least label them, is turning out to be organics’ false friend. 
 See all 2014 trends reports here!
SC Products

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients

Is algae milk the next big thing?

In the coming years, there may be a new “milk” arriving at your local grocery store – algae milk, an alternative milk product free of dairy, soy, lactose, and nuts. 

Smart labelling: heralding the new-era barcode

The 40-year-old barcode has a new, more intelligent rival that can store information, display and transmit it…

FDA clears BPA – again

BPA, the plastic additive long villified by environmental advocacy groups, has again been found to be safe. A new US FDA study has found that BPA caused no health effects at doses up to more than 70,000 times the usual human exposure. No changes in body weight, no effects on hormone levels, no changes in reproductive health as many detractors have claimed.

Cargill announces new-generation stevia-based sweeteners

Cargill has announced the introduction of its new ViaTech stevia-based sweeteners that, it says, can open up completely new territory for food and beverage formulators, enabling them to slash sugar by 75% – and in some cases 100% – without compromising taste.

ICYMI: Wine’s surging alcohol punch: the good, the bad, the remedies

It’s not your imagination. Wine really has gotten boozier. In the past two decades the maximum alcohol content of wine has crept up from about 13 percent to, in some cases, northward of 17 percent, a side effect of the growing popularity of wines with richer fruit flavour. 

 Health and Nutrition
What happens to our brains when we exercise and how it makes us happier
Most of us are aware of what happens to the body when we exercise. We build more muscle or more stamina. We feel how daily activities like climbing stairs becomes easier if we exercise regularly. When it comes to our brain and mood though, the connection isn’t so clear. Pic: This is your brain after exercise!

New study confirms nutrition, cost and safety benefits of canned foods

A new study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine addresses the common call to action from public health experts to improve access to and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Findings from the Michigan State University (MSU) study show that canned foods deliver on nutrition, affordability and safety helping people increase their fruit and vegetable intake, regardless of geography or income level.  

A cure for cancer?

Ridding the world of cancer: It’s a far-flung dream, but that doesn’t stop many from trying. Hear from researchers who’ve dedicated their lives and careers to understanding cancer, then ending it. Five brilliant TED talks.

‘Low saturated fat diets do not curb heart disease,’ US cardiovascular expert

Diets low in saturated fat may not curb heart disease risk or increase longevity, according to a leading US cardiovascular research scientist and doctor of pharmacy, Dr James DiNicolantonio, who made the claims in an editorial published in the open access journal Open.
Marijuana ‘munchies’ are driven by heightened sense of smell
‘The munchies’ are one of the well-documented side effects of marijuana, driving many a midnight smoker to compulsive snacking. Now, for the first time, scientists have a complete understanding of why the drug leads to a refrigerator raid – and which could usher in new treatments for eating disorders from obesity to anorexia.

Salt-buster drug cuts sodium absorbed from food

People who need to reduce their salt intake may one day be able to take a drug that decreases the amount they absorb from food. The leftover salt is excreted.

ICYMI: WHO: Daily sugar intake ‘should be halved’
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised halving sugar intake advice from 10% of total calories to 5% of total calories in a new dietary guideline proposal. 

Food bites…2014: Algae: A future wonder ingredient?

“WE use fermentation tanks, and literally five days after you put the seed culture into the tank you get a product that can be 65% protein – one of the highest percentage of protein within the plant market. Most plant protein is around 15% – 30%. So you’re getting to 65% cell mass of protein. Or you can get a product that is 50% lipid, 20% fibre, and a whole bunch of micronutrients and vitamins.
   “Or you can go the other extreme, and in this case we’ve asked the cell to produce as much oil as possible. What’s interesting is that this particular oil is one of the most healthy and most stable in the world. It’s got less than 3% polyunsaturates. Typically, it is less than 1% polyunsaturates – that’s the cause of most oxidation. There’s actually no oil available in the world that low in polyunsaturates. It’s got 90% monounsaturates, which is extremely high.
   “So you’ve got an incredibly healthy oil that is incredibly stable. And these are all produced by algae from nature.”
Ken Plasse, Solazyme VP, read more
 Bidfood Solutions
Annelie Coetzee Consulting 
Swift Micro Labs
Par Excellance
Professional Career Services
Fenris Personnel
The HR Company
ProCert Southern Africa
Progress Excellence


Fenris Personnel

Brenda NeallPublished weekly as part of and, 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 and DRINKStuff SA, websites with reams of pertinent and interesting stuff about FMCG food-beverage manufacture from farm gate to retail shelf, are published and edited by Brenda Neall. For editorial and advertising matters, contact her at:

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