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Newsletter 4 November 2011

Your Newsletter

DairyPack Tubs

 4 November 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights….
SmartStuff:   “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” Steve Jobs, Apple founder

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: Standing up for SA food manufacturers!
Last week’s article, The big ‘ouch’ in SA’s food bills, that pointed fingers at a lack of competition in SA’s food manufacturing sector, ruffled some sensibilities on both sides of the debate.

Some concurred with Chris Gilmour, an investment analyst who
contends that Walmart-Massmart deal will be one of the most refreshing events for retailing in South Africa as it will force suppliers to up their game and down their pricing.

But it touched a raw nerve with one local food manufacturer, who does not appreciate the accusation that SA food producers are not that competitive and/or don’t face enough competition. The writer prefers to remain anonymous, citing it would be ‘suicidal’ to put his name to this riposte, but his views are too good to miss and will resonate with many, as did Gilmour’s.

The South African food industry has lost a dedicated servant. Maurice Kort, long-time volunteer national secretary of SAAFoST (1994-2004), died of cancer yesterday morning, after being ill for a short time.

A tribute was published in Food Review magazine in 2004 when Maurice stepped down as SAAFoST secretary, but it’s just as relevant today. We republish it in honour of an extremely dedicated and committed SAAFoST member and worker, and one of the great characters of the industry. Who will forget the pony tail, the hand-knitted jerseys and the bottle green suit. We shall miss you, Maurice!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

 FOODStuff SA is a hub for food industry recruitment… Click here!

Kerry Ingredients

 Local Food Industry News

The Sunday Times‘ Top 100 Companies were announced last week – and part of the programme is the Business Leader of the Year, a prestigious award, not least because winners are chosen by their peers, CEOs of South Africa’s Top 100 companies. Shoprite CEO, Whitey Basson, credited with taking his group to the forefront of the retail sector in South Africa and on the continent, is the 2011 laureate.

SABMiller (SAB), one of the world’s largest brewers, has announced the launch of the first ever commercial-scale cassava-based beer, “Impala”, to be made by its local subsidiary, Cervejas de Moçambique (CDM), and marks the latest step in SABMiller’s ambition to create a portfolio of high-quality, affordable beers made using locally-sourced raw materials for lower income consumers in Africa.

Sugar industry – desperately in need of government action
SA’s sugar industry, a lifeline for more than a million poor rural dependants, desperately needs government action to lift its flagging fortunes. 

Famous Brands is a company on a serious growth mission – and this week it announced its intention to tap into the burgeoning bottom-end of the market with the opening of Blacksteer Home of Shisanyama, a R20-price point restaurant that will serve “tummy-fill” offerings like pap and vleis, Russian sausages and stews.

Despite important progress made over the past ten years in restoring and improving the state of South Africa’s marine resources, significant challenges remain. According to a new report by WWF-SA, many of South Africa’s inshore marine resources are still considered overexploited or collapsed.
The Health Department has reportedly agreed to look into an alternative solution to the proposed ban on alcohol advertising during a meeting held this week with DoH officials and outdoor media company, Kena Media.


 Food-Bev Marketing, Trends and NPD

In the US, it would seem there is no bigger name in the food world today than “artisan”. It’s on packaged goods in produce, snacks, frozen food and even the beverage section.  These days, the word — which used to mean hand-crafted — is showing up on just about anything edible. With the use of the term so pervasive, does the word “artisan” mean anything anymore?
They are born into a world of fast communication and instant gratification – but it looks like they need a little extra help to get through their frenzied days. Indeed, according to latest UK research from Mintel, energy drinks are a huge factor in keeping the so-called ‘Generation Z’ (those born in the last decade of the Millennium) going…

Have some chocolate each day to keep the dentist away? It seems to fly in the face of common sense: a cocoa extract that’s more effective at protecting teeth than fluoride? But that’s the truth behind a new toothpaste just launched in the US.

Single-grain Scotch and blended Scotch whisky is going to the US in a new and innovative way: Scotch whisky in a can is said to be the first-ever hard liquor to be packaged in a 100% recyclable aluminium can.

 Food Science, Ingredients and Health

PenBev, the Coca-Cola bottler for the Western Cape, has become the first South African company to secure FSSC 22000:2010 (Food Safety System Certification 22000) certification, the newest international food safety and quality standard. SGS was the certifying body.

With food safety a top priority for any retailer, caterer or food vendor, QPRO International, a leading provider of food safety services in SA, has timeously launched a comprehensive, six-module DVD food safety and hygiene course offering training that is convenient, cost effective and locally relevant.

The home-based value-adding and beneficiating of SA’s natural resources is still all too rare – but it’s happening in the Eastern Cape with the country’s pineapple crop where, in a joint venture, Summerpride Foods and Ndlambe Natural Industrial Products (NNIP) have moved from pilot to the commercial production of dietary fibre from pineapple waste.

Natural ingredient manufacturer Naturex has developed a range of botanical extracts and yeast standardised in vitamins and minerals which makes it easier for food and beverage formulators to add functionality to food and beverages and give consumers the health and nutrition in natural form that they are demanding.
You can’t squeeze blood from a stone, but it might be possible to extract it from rice. Blood protein, at least. Genetically modified brown rice seeds can produce a cost-effective and easily stored supply of human serum albumin, researchers in China report.
Chocolate is one of the most popular foods in the world, but the details of its taste and aroma profiles have long eluded scientists. However, new science is revealing why cocoa’s potent sensual properties have been so difficult to pin down.

 Verni Superflor

 International Stories

Despite Ferrero’s global presence, it has remained one of the world’s most secretive organisations. It has never held a press conference and its owner, usually seen in public wearing dark glasses, has never given an interview. The respected but little-understood chocolatier has guarded its privacy for 65 years. Now it is starting to invite the media in…

Tate & Lyle has signed an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with Eminate, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The University of Nottingham, UK, for its novel salt reduction technology, currently known as SODA-LO.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

Got a food that made you sick once and now you can’t touch it? It’s not your fault. Blame a million years of evolution…

The annual Ig Nobel award ceremony took place at Harvard recently (late September) and for many scientists around the world it’s a highlight of the year. The Nobel parody awards prizes to serious scientific studies about, well, whacky and offbeat things. This year’s crop of winners include the inventors of a wasabi alarm clock, a study that shows we make better decisions when we have to ***, and the discovery of a beetle that likes to mate with a certain brand of Australian beer bottle.

Food bites… Michael Pollan changes his stance on HFCS

“I’ve done a lot to demonize it [HFCS]. And people took away the message that there was something intrinsically wrong with it. A lot of research says this isn’t the case. But there is a problem with how much total sugar we consume…. It shows the brilliance of the industry, which is always a couple of steps ahead of me. They started giving products made of real sugar health claims and [are] trying to make sugar look good. And that is a problem.
“We obsess about a small group of evil nutrients, and a small group of blessed nutrients, and every generation has an evolving cast of characters. And eventually, the fates of those nutrients will completely reverse.”

Michael Pollan, the author of best-selling books like In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Wielding huge influence among those who care about mindful eating, both in terms of health and sustainability, his repeated condemnation of high-fructose corn syrup as particularly harmful has helped damage the sweetener’s reputation over the past few years. 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 is published and edited by Brenda Neall.

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