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Newsletter 12 September 2014

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

Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
Winnie the Pooh

Editor’s Stuff: Barentz International comes to SA!
Read more...The big story of the week is the arrival in South Africa of a leading global ingredients player, Barentz International. Headquartered in The Netherlands and with branches throughout the world, Barentz is not a manufacturer, but rather a distributor and service provider.
Its modus operandi: “Our customers like to work with us because we offer reliable supply of high quality ingredients from a wide array of world class manufacturers. But also because our local customer teams offer high level technical support so our customers can make the right ingredients choices. From our sources to their solutions.”
Barentz is looking to grow a sub-Saharan footprint, and it has chosen a dynamic partner to help make it happen in the form of Paul Vet, who takes up the role of African MD. Paul is very well known and respected in the food industry, as erstwhile MD of Danisco South Africa and as technical director for several divisions of Tiger Brands. He is a committed supporter, too, of SAAFoST and is currently vice chair of the Cape Branch.
This is a welcome vote of confidence in SA and Africa – here’s wishing Barentz SA much success!
Hope you enjoy this week’s read…. your clicks are vital and much 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!
Rhodes Food Group set for R600m JSE listing

Rhodes Food Group, the mainly Cape-based manufacturer of canned produce, cheese, processed meat and ready meals, plans to raise R600-million in a main-board JSE listing.

Sour blow for Botswana as Mondelez closes chewing gum plant

In a rationalisation move that was inevitable, Mondelez International says it will close its chewing gum plant in Botswana in December and move production to Poland as African consumers ditch pellet gum for slab gum.

Curvy new Cadbury Dairy Milk bars: another stealth price rise?

Cadbury Dairy Milk bRead more...ars have a new shape – with rectangular blocks giving way to a curves. Science has proven that a round shape is one of the best when it comes to chocolate melting and smoothness, but when launched in the UK in 2012, there was much media coverage of what was seen as another way to achieve a stealth price rise.

Cargill to buy ADM’s chocolate business for $440-million

Cargill, the largest privately held US company, has agreed to acquire Archer-Daniels-Midland’s chocolate business for about $440-million to increase production in North America.

US: McDonald’s Happy Meals losing their appeal

McDonald’s has already admitted it has a problem with millennials, who want food that is healthier and fresher than much of what the chain offers. Now it looks as if McDonald’s has a problem with kids, too.

There’s no such thing as ‘plain old vanilla’

Vanilla has become a metaphor for “plain” but nothing could be further from the truth. Vanilla is one of the most complex spices around, boasting at least 250 different flavour and aroma compounds, only one of which is vanillin that can be made artificially and is much used in processed foods.

Listeria is a dreaded bacterium. Over the last few weeks, 15 people have died in Denmark, infected with Listeria from processed meat. The total number sickened is 38. Now research from University of Southern Denmark has uncovered exactly how cunning Listeria is and why it is so hard to fight.

Our everyday GM foods: chicken, almonds, tomatoes, grapefruit etc

For the health-conscious, the prevailing wisdom is that ‘natural’ food is the best food. However, one scientific fact is inescapable: basically none of our dietary staples are natural.

Low-carb diets better for weight loss, heart health: major new study

People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favoured for decades, a major new study shows.


Eating, not sugar, is addictive – finds new study

A new study finds that we are not addicted to sugar or to chocolate in the way we can be addicted to drugs, but we can get hooked on eating itself.

The joy of cooking? Yeah right!

“…The main reason that people see cooking mostly as a burden is because it is a burden. It’s expensive and time-consuming and often done for a bunch of ingrates who would rather just be eating fast food anyway…” [Wonderful insights and commentary… this will resonate with many, especially woman! Do read! Ed]


 Now on DRINKStuff SA!
SAB joins the craft beer party!

SAB has dabbled with craft beer in the past, but is now intent to be a part of SA’s hugely-popular craft beer craze. It will be launching a specialty beer brand, No 3 Fransen Street, brewed at its namesake R&D brewery, to offer adventurous beer lovers “a journey of discovery with quality and discernment assured”.


 Castle Lite gets a dash of lime

There’s a new addition to the Castle Lite family – Castle Lite Lime – a new style of flavoured beer extending SAB’s offering to the beer drinking market. It’s the original Castle Lite, just unlocked with a dash of lime “Flava”.

Castle Lite launches its new 12-pack Ice Core, a portable multi-pack innovation

With summer on its way, SAB has introduced an innovativepackaging idea to keep Castle Lite beers extra cold and extra convenient: the ingenious 12-pack Ice Core, claimed as a first-of-a-kind portable packaging innovation in Africa.

New re-sealable 330ml PET from Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola South African has launched a new and convenient ‘My Size’ re-sealable 330ml PET bottle for its key CSD brands, Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange, Sprite and Stoney.

 Read more... UK: Coca-Cola agrees to traffic-light labelling on drinks

Coca-Cola has agreed to put traffic light-style labels on its drinks sold in the UK to help tackle the growing obesity crisis.


Nespresso opens its coffee machines to knockoffs

After years of surrounding its coffee machines and their pods with patents, Nestle, the owner of Europe’s largest single-serve coffee brand, Nespresso, has bowed to pressure from French competition authorities and agreed to open up to knockoff capsules from competitors around the world.

What’s bubbling in beverages?

Sparkling waters, natural sodas, ethnic drinks, and teas are well poised for strong growth as consumers continue to turn away from carbonated soft drinks, seek more flavourful and exotic beverage alternatives, and look for drink options that are more natural and lower in calories and sugar. [This is an American perspective but a valuable synopsis of global shifts. Ed]

Keeping pace with coffee trends can be an exhausting business. The latest excitement in the UK, and elsewhere, is all about cold-brew, a centuries-old brew method that offers coffee geeks fresh nuances in flavour. And it is one that can easily be tried at  

Beer fans in Texas are rejoicing at news that a craft brewer in Austin has created a dream-come-true: a pack of beer with an eyebrow-raising 99 cans each!

Read more...Lagers all taste the same, says blind-tasting study

Beer companies may spend millions on branding, but a series of blind taste testings in a European study have revealed consumers struggle to distinguish between major beer brands. Beer fundis say this is good news.

 From this week’s global food-drinks wrap…
  • FRANCE: Longtime Danone CEO Franck Riboud steps down
  • US: Why Kraft won’t give up on the centre of the store 
  • How nutrition labels screw the consumer
  • Tetra Pak: Five global emerging packaging trends
  • Why the US chills its eggs and most of the world doesn’t
  • US: Perdue Farms eliminates antibiotic use in chicken hatcheries
  • The truth behind the intense taste of coriander/cilantro
  • Nestle scientists brew tea in chocolate teapot 
  • The new fermented food culture
  • Food makers focus on kid-friendly snack options 
  • Japan gets black Burger King burger, complete with black cheese
  • Why the US military loves Monster Energy
  • The surprising reason we may be thinking about obesity all wrong
 See all 2014 food trend reports here! And beverage here!

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Some great articles you may have missed!

Food bites…2014: They said it….

Ditch the craft beer snobbery!
“LAGERS and more specifically SAB lagers have dominated the SA beer landscape for over a century. SAB is a very successful business and for good reason. They make refreshing, cold, “hot country” lagers and they are consistent. Recently people have tried to manufacture a false dichotomy: if you drink ‘craft’ then you don’t drink SAB.
   “In fact, to prove that you are a ‘craft’ beer lover, it’s required that you say nasty things about SAB and pull a face like you’ve just smelt a 30 day-old sandwich in your forgotten lunch box.
   “Just because you drink ‘craft’ beer does not mean you have been ordained with a higher purpose and set on a path of beer evangelism to rescue the non-believer Castle Lite drinkers. Each to their own – let them drink what they enjoy and don’t let it offend you! It’s for the individual to explore the wonderful variety in beer and settle on what suits them.”
Murray Slater,, read more
The new fermented food culture
“WE’VE had a five-fold increase in students in our undergraduate program with over 75% pursuing a degree related to fermentation. They’re interested in craft beer, wine making, cheese production, artisanal breads, and vegetable fermentation. It’s harkening to an older type of food processing. You also see a rise in home brewing, home canning, home bread makers, and home cheese makers. It’s food processing, but it’s not what people consider ‘processed foods.'”
Tom Shellhammer, Nor’Wester professor of fermentation science, current president of the American Society of Brewing Chemists, read more
The cereals slump
“THE common observation by a lot of companies facing declining cereal sales is that this is a kind of death by a thousand cuts. This is frustrating for food companies because they’re faced with people making choices and they’re not really sure which trend to blame.”
Nicholas Fereday, Rabobank investment analyst, author of a ‘The Cereal Killers: Five Trends Revolutionizing the American Breakfast’
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 are published and edited by Brenda Neall. For editorial and advertising matters, contact her at:

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