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Newsletter 18 November 2011

Your Newsletter

DairyPack Tubs

 18 November 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights….
SmartStuff:   “If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got.”  Unknown

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: Cranking up the pressure!
SEVERAL HOT TOPICS HAVE made it into my headlines this week. You can take your pick from these controversial issues: obesity tax, ‘posh’ salt that ain’t, antibiotic resistance with animal farming a major culprit, the end of cheap coffee, the health risks of energy drinks, nitrates in meat, cultured meat for the future, and a shocking report on the marine slaughter that accompanies tuna fishing in the Pacific.

Another interesting find has been to come across a man named Bruce Bradley, an American former food industry executive with General Mills, Pillsbury and Nabisco, and who has now turned to ‘the other side’ – the side that believes all processed food is toxic and the evil design of companies whose foremost intention is to profit handsomely from killing their customers.

Bradley has some pretty harsh criticisms:
“…as consumers’ health concerns have increased, processed food manufacturers have become even more aggressive in making dubious health claims or co-opting fad diets to market their brands and develop new products.”
“Unfortunately big food companies have cast a spell over most regulators that allows them to manipulate us with advertising, make deceptive claims, and mislead us with ingredient labels.”
“Food manufacturers know exactly what’s in their food… But the food industry doesn’t want you or I to know the whole truth. That would hurt their business…”
Bradley’s barbs maybe over the top, or not, depending on your standpoint, but what’s unnerving is that they’re from an insider. His is a voice with some credibility and the popular media will love him. Processed food and its many ingredients are under pressure – and voices such as these crank up the squeeze.

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

 Tired of your job? Want to start 2012 afresh? There are several interesting job opportunities posted up on FOODStuff SA’s Jobs pages: food safety auditors, key accounts, technical sales, and processing managers… Click here!

Kerry Ingredients

 Local Food Industry News

Fairtrade-certified Cadbury Dairy Milk slabs are here… Following the announcement in June 2011 that South Africa’s best-loved chocolate slab “will be going Fairtrade” the new Cadbury Dairy Milk plain chocolate slabs have hit the shelves – coinciding with national Fairtrade Week.

PET bottle manufacturer, Polypet, has been awarded “Best Recycled Product of the Year” for the 1,5-litre bottle it produces for Woolworths’ fruit juices. The award was sponsored by PACSA (Packaging Council of South Africa) in the Best Recycled Product competition hosted by the South African Plastics Recycling Organisation (SAPRO) and Plastics SA.

Clover’s popular Krush and Tropika juice brands have been launched in an additional packaging format – Tropika’s two-litre plastic style packaging and Krush’s 1.5 PET bottle will be complemented by Elopak South Africa’s successful two-litre, SLIM Pure-Pak Curve carton.

From a semi-sweet, pink-coloured ladies beer and vanilla ice cream infused with chocolate tequila, to green banana paste and black liquorice melt-proof ice cream – some of the interesting NPD ideas presented by food technology students from the Durban University of Technology in their final year presentations.


 Food-Bev Marketing, Trends and NPD

As rare coffee beans are becoming all the rage amongst the coffee intelligentsia around the world, all beans are becoming rarer. The price of a cup of coffee — from ultra high-end expresso to cafeteria swill — is being driven up by a complex combination of events… The problem, in simple economic terms, is that supply has gone down and demand has gone up.

The UK will soon see the launch of the world’s first paper wine bottle. It may have oenophiles spluttering into their claret, but the company behind the product is already in talks with a leading supermarket chain and insists it will be on the shelves early next year.

While the ready-to-drink or iced coffee market is relatively mature and showing only modest growth in much of Asia, levels of interest elsewhere in the world appear to be growing, reports Innova.

While the number of consumers who follow strict vegetarian or vegan diets in the US is relatively small, research shows that the number of consumers who are reducing their consumption of animal-based products is on the rise. The drivers to adopt a vegetarian diet are multifold, from animal welfare and environmental concerns, to health and culture issues.

 Stuff about Energy Drinks
With incredible growth rates off a low base in the early 2000s, the energy drink industry has slowed down its pace over the five years to 2011. Yet the industry continues to achieve double-digit growth, according to IBISWorld, one of the US’s largest publishers of market research.
Sales to stagnate for US energy drinks, survey
Sports and energy drinks sales could flatline in the US over the next 12 months, according to a new survey by AlixPartners that projects that while US spending will jump up across a number of non-alcoholic beverage categories such as juices, dairy, coffee and bottled water, sales for energy and sports drinks could be slow.

The time to innovate in energy drinks is now, Doehler
Beverage brand owners would be sensible to diversify within energy drinks now or risk missing out on future market share in a sector increasingly crowded with concepts, according to German ingredients firm Doehler.

South Africa’s official dietetics association has urged people to approach energy drinks with caution – warning the public that they can pose serious health risks, including raised blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, sleep disturbances and dangers to pregnancy.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Food Science, Ingredients and Health
So-called “gourmet” rock and sea salt are no different from ordinary table salt, despite manufacturers’ claims that the products are “natural” and “contain minerals”, a new study suggests.

Antibiotics are a precious and finite resource where every use potentially lowers the effectiveness for everyone in the community. But we are fast approaching a world full of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and no drugs to treat them. The use of antibiotics as a procedural step in food animal production and agriculture generally has vastly accelerated the rise of the antibiotic resistant herd…. [A cogent look at this critical issue from Scientific American…]

 US population on track to getting even fatter
In 2020, the vast majority of adults in America will be overweight or obese and more than half will suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions, according to projections: that’s 83 percent of men and 72 percent of women will be overweight or obese.

If policymakers were serious about implementing efficient obesity policy, they would have to tax being fat, not eating fat, by charging individuals for each “overweight” kilo they’re carrying. It’s an idea so repugnant that even the most heartless economist surely wouldn’t endorse it… A provocative take on the concept of “fat taxes”, from the renowned maverick economic thinkers, Freakonomics…

Scientists are cooking up new ways of satisfying the world’s ever-growing hunger for meat. “Cultured meat” – burgers or sausages grown in laboratory petri dishes rather than made from slaughtered livestock – could be the answer that feeds the world, saves the environment and spares the lives of millions of animals. [This topic has generated much media coverage this year – this is the latest article found. Ed]

Bringing clarity to the discussion currently taking place within the meat industry and with policy makers and consumers concerning the use of sodium nitrite in processed meat and poultry meats, the American Meat Science Association (AMSA) Scientific Information Committee recently completed a white paper on this contentious topic.

It has been the cause of infamous international food-borne disease outbreaks and yet it is the most studied bacterium in science, an essential part of the human digestive tract, and a backbone of the biotech industry. To enhance public understanding of the bacterium Escherichia coli, the American Academy of Microbiology has released a new report on this multifaceted microorganism.

Biting into a lemon has never tasted so sweet. New research reveals the secret ingredient of the red “miracle fruit”, which turns sour into sweet. The results won’t just make for sweet lemons, but could lead to more believable non-sugar sweeteners.
Intelligent packaging devices that will abet food safety have a long history. The latest development is a sensor that changes colour in the presence of oxygen and which could be affordable and viable in the food packaging industry, according to its UK inventors. The sensor turns blue in excess oxygen, indicating to the consumer that the food should be discarded.

 Verni Superflor

 International Stories
What’s eating PepsiCo?
PepsiCo has had perhaps more than its fair share of headlines over the last few weeks, and a fair amount of them make difficult reading. There is speculation that the company’s board is unhappy with the current leadership, specifically with CEO Indra Nooyi’s performance, at the group’s flat stock price and a less-than-successful push into healthier snacks and beverages.
Unilever likely to divest individual food brands: Fitch
British-Dutch consumer goods company Unilever is likely to reduce its exposure to low-margin food business by divesting individual brands, according to the rating firm Fitch Ratings.
Whistleblower releases ‘shocking’ tuna industry videos
Shocking new video footage captured by a tuna industry whistleblower has been released by Greenpeace, revealing the routine careless slaughter of marine species as purse-seine vessels deploying Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) cut a swathe through the Pacific Ocean. The video has emerged less than a month before the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting, where key conservation measures to secure the future of the Pacific region’s tuna, marine life, food security and economic prosperity will be decided.

Food bites… Yesterday’s staples become today’s indulgences

“Denmark’s new “fat tax” on foods like butter and potato chips—anything with more than 2.3% saturated fat—is a reminder of just how much yesterday’s staple has become today’s indulgence. Our rising awareness of health and wellness issues is only part of it.
Consumers are grappling with consciences and costs: There’s the guilt over a product or service’s environmental or human impact and the impact of rising food prices. In the past year, for example, British and Hungarian consumers have seen weekly grocery bills increase by more than 6% (the EU average was 3.3%), and Americans have similarly seen the so-called “food at home” Consumer Price Index jumping by 6.3%.

As a result, things we previously consumed with little thought now feel more like a treat… While some people will rein in their consumption, others will rebel against the new constraints, monetary or otherwise. But “living it up” may soon mean simply a drive to the store (using pricey, CO2-emitting fuel) and buying a bag of chips.”

Nick Ayala, writing on JWT Intelligence
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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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