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Newsletter 21 August 2014

21 August 2014
We hunt down the latest food-drinks news
and trends so you don’t have to!

In life as in the dance, grace glides on blistered feet.”  Alice Abrams

Editor’s Stuff: Something different today!
“To improve is to change…” So said Winston Churchill, and I’m taking this advice in trying something new this week.

You will notice a new format for today’s newsletter and that it’s being sent out on a Thursday – in an experiment to see how it may affect the numbers of subscribers who read and open it.

I’ve separated the latest news into items that feature on the two websites, first those on FOODStuff SA, and then those on DRINKStuff SA, and also introduced a new concept that I’ve called NewsWrap, a cherry-picked and diverse selection of interesting news snippets from around the world.

Hope you enjoy the change and this week’s read…. any comments, but especially your clicks, would also be appreciated!
Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
FOODStuff SA is a hub for food-bev industry recruitment!
  Advertise your openings now! Click here

  Now on FOODStuff SA!

As local growth continues to stall, supermarket retailer Shoprite has shifted its investment focus from South Africa to the rest of Africa.

Read more... SA: Investigation uncovers unlawful food labelling

Some of the country’s major retailers have been implicated in a widespread food-labelling scandal uncovered by a recent National Consumer Commission investigation.

Three Datamonitor briefs: Uncovering some seriously interesting food innovation!

International research firm, Datamonitor, regularly publishes news of interesting FMCG product launches that it features as its “Consumer Product Launch Analytics innovation of the week”. Here are three new food concepts that recently won this accolade.

Another study counters salt reduction guidelines

A long-running debate over the merits of eating less salt has again escalated when one of the most comprehensive studies yet suggested cutting back on sodium too much actually poses health hazards.

Four sugar reduction solutions

Food manufacturers could slash sugar content in products by applying four technologies to use sugar differently, according to Leatherhead Food Research’s head of ingredients and product innovation, Dr Wayne Morley.

Maybe you can’t remember the first time you noticed that your drink came in a Mason jar. It was a drink that used to come in a normal drinking glass. Now, it’s served in the down-home, aww-shucks, laid-back vessel-of-the-moment…. why is it that Mason jars are now, in fact, everywhere?

Sugar: the evolution of a forbidden fruit

Sweetness was meant to be irresistible. We are born with a sweet tooth. Babies drink in sugar with their mother’s milk. Sweetness represents an instant energy boost, a fuel that kept our ancestors going in a harsher world. And now sweetness is linked with death and disease. How did we get ourselves into this unhappy state? A brilliant essay on today’s hottest topic…

October’s Propak Cape to showcase latest products and innovation

Showcasing the latest products from the packaging, food processing, plastics, printing and labelling industries, Propak Cape looks set to be bigger and better than ever, and promises to give visitors a chance to view the best and latest technology, products and services from these innovative sectors.

 Read more...Anchovies top the foods we love to hate

A survey of British attitudes to food by BirdsEye has revealed a nation of fussy eaters and deeply polite friends. In a poll of the ten least popular foods the anchovy took the top spot.

 Now on DRINKStuff SA!
New obesity study calls for soft drink tax in SA

South Africa, the most obese country in sub-Saharan Africa, could reduce the number of its overweight citizens by 220 000 should it institute a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. This is according to new research in the peer-reviewed, online journal Plos One published by the Public Library of Science on Tuesday.

New boost for SA’s PET recycling

JSE-listed paper and plastic packaging manufacturer and recycler, Mpact, has signed an agreement with Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to construct a PET recycling plant worth R350m in Gauteng,

The truth we won’t admit: drinking is healthy

There is overwhelming evidence that abstinence is a cause of heart disease and early death. People deserve to know that alcohol gives most of us a higher life expectancy—even if consumed above recommended limits….

Ten key trends in soft drinks

Functional benefits, natural sweeteners and surprising ingredients are among top trends in the soft drinks category, according to Innova Market Insights.


Looks/acts like a glass beer bottle, but it’s PET!

Sidel has launched the world’s first-ever pasteurisable lightweight PET bottle for beer. Will this bottle do for beer what PET has done for virtually every other beverage and liquid food?

Three Datamonitor briefs: Uncovering some seriously interesting beverage innovation!

International research firm, Datamonitor, regularly publishes news of interesting FMCG product launches that it features as its “Consumer Product Launch Analytics innovation of the week”. Here are three new beverage concepts that recently won this accolade.

US: McDonald’s plans McCafé retail rollout in 2015

McDonald’s has announced that its long-awaited, full-tilt entrance into the $11 billion-plus US retail coffee market will take place early next year when it rolls out McCafé coffee in ground, whole-bean and single-cup forms through a partnership with Kraft.

UK: Diageo launches vodka spritz in wine bottle

Diageo in the UK is targeting younger female wine drinkers with a new RTD vodka spritz served in a wine bottle, called Nola.


Once seen as a useless byproduct, coconut water is rapidly rising to prominence. What impact is it having on coconut farmers? Precious little, says this article….

Coca-Cola buys stake in Monster Beverage for $2bn

Coca-Cola is hungry for even more caffeine: six months after announcing it would acquire Green Mountain Coffee, the beverage behemoth said that it will pay $2.15 billion for a stake in energy-drink maker Monster Beverage and an opportunity to take an even larger slice of the beverage world.

Coke confronts its big fat problem
Americans may not have figured out the answer to the obesity epidemic, but for years they’ve pointed to Coca-Cola and other soda as one of the causes. Coke has tried fighting against this. It’s tried ignoring it. Now it accepts this as a reality.  

 From this week’s global food-drinks wrap…
  • Synthetic biology making a better-tasting vanilla bean
  • Fast-food workers could face robot ‘Armageddon’
  • Fighting e coli outbreaks with cinnamon
  • Making stevia a mainstream sweetener
  • More sweet applications for ginger
  • Forget genetically modified, here’s to genetically edited!
  • How America fell out of love with canned tuna
  • Trending: Are broccoli stalks the next kale?
  • Why don’t Americans like breakfast cereal anymore?
  • Coke’s Monster deal underlines caution on a full-blown merger
  • Lager all ‘tastes the same’, report says
  • Inside the war to reinvent the soda fountain
  • Study: Eating fruit and veg helps people flourish
  • Majority of adults need to double fruit and vegetable intake 
 See all 2014 food trend reports here! And beverage here!

 Ten great articles you may have missed!

Food bites…2014: Pithy bites

Sweet talk
“THIRTY-two years after its US debut, stevia is now widely accepted as a sweetener that fits in the sugar-substitute conversation. But James May, the man who brought stevia to the US, has a story that offers ingredient suppliers an intimate look into not just the birth of stevia, but also the way an ingredient is found, refined, marketed and spread. It tells of how a plant from a distant country can make its way into public consciousness. It argues that one man and a little curiosity can be enough.”
Max Rothman,, read more

The fear of real FMCG innovation

“MANY senior managers fear doing anything that might jeopardise their next bonus – or limit their career progression. Mostly companies deliver one close-to- the-core-business line extension after another, persuading themselves that they are innovating, all the while steering as far away as they can from anything that looks like risk. And yet, according to researchers as diverse as Mintel and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, less than 5% of new products from our industry can actually be classified as innovative in any way. Perhaps that is the reason why 90% of new product launches fail.”
Julian Mellentin, New Nutrition Business
Time to love EPS packaging!
“IN the world of packaging, innovation is a constant goal. And so it should be. New ways of packing, promoting, protecting and presenting products to the consumer are key drivers towards a healthy economy. In addition, more than ever, we must ensure that the packaging we use not only performs well but has minimal environmental impact.
   “But, whilst there is a case for constantly re-assessing the role and value of packaging, just once in a while, we have to accept that there already exists a miracle material whose performance can’t be bettered, has the smallest carbon impacts, and is simply not worth trying to replace. That material is EPS – expanded polystyrene.”
David Emes, chairman EPS Group, British Plastics Federation, read more
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! We hunt down the latest SA and global food-drinks news and trends so you don’t have to!
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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