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Newsletter 3 February 2012

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 3 February 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “Knowledge is the only instrument of production that is not subject to the law of diminishing returns.”
John Maurice Clark, American economist

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: Frankie’s vs Woolies – score one to the little guy!
The David and Goliath battle that so dominated headlines late last year – Frankie’s Olde Soft Drink Company versus Woolworths – has done so again this week, and this time David has won.

The Advertising Standards Authority ruled this week that the retailer “deliberately and intentionally” copied Frankie’s “good olde-fashioned” branding on its vintage sodas and ordered that it may not sell drinks bearing the slogan “good olde-fashioned”.

This whole saga leaves me in two minds. I’m pleased for Frankie’s that it had the balls to take on a giant and win its case – and at the same time garner inestimable marketing and brand kudos. This result may also embolden other small and medium-sized companies to challenge the big retailers – and one frequently hears just how bullying they can be.

On the other hand, I’m a huge fan of Woolies – it’s one of those brands that always delivers on its brand promises (read Food Bites below) – as are so many consumers, and it has been tough to read the lambasting it’s getting out there over its mishandling of the matter.

This story has gone viral in an massive, even extreme, way; I just Googled the two words, Woolworths + Frankies, and it returns over 6,3 million references! So, Woolies has suffered a hard blow to its reputation and is now eating humble pie, with CEO Ian Moir conceding it had fumbled its communications at the outset.

Key Lesson from “Crisis Communications 101”: Say something tangible and truthful, and say it quickly. If you allow your detractors their head and say nothing yourself, you’ll never win the communication battle, and a belated defence will always sound hollow. This was never more relevant than in today’s social media world.
Enjoy this week’s read!


Brenda Neall: publisher & editor                      

 Jobs of the week: GM of R&D for Rich Products, Technical Manager (R700 K package), managers for IMCD’s dairy and food ingredient business units. Many interesting career opportunities are posted up on FOODStuff SA’s Jobs pages! Click here!

Kerry Ingredients

  Local News and Developments

In its latest venture to grow its South African business, KWV has launched another new product, jimmijagga, a new ready-to-drink (RTD) fusion wine spritzer. Hitting the Gauteng shelves late last year in time for the summer holiday season, this debut follows KWV’s earlier launch of Ciao, a ready-to-drink cocktail in a box.

Bonaqua, the bottled water brand of The Coca-Cola Company South Africa, has a stylish new look featuring a revitalised logo and an eye-catching label design in a new lightweighted bottle.

Wellington-based Pacmar has stepped onto a new juice platform, launching Wilde 100% Fruit Juice, its first 100% “made from concentrate” fruit juice range to be produced under the Pacmar brands and an extension to its existing premium range, Wilde 100% Pure Pressed Fruit Juice. A logical extension, too, in light of the current consumer spending squeeze.

E Cape’s Magwa tea estate crumbling
The Magwa tea estate, which was meant to be a flagship job-creation project run by the Eastern Cape agriculture department, appears to have collapsed.

 International News and Developments

With health claims virtually wholly bombed by EFSA, now the European Parliament has voted against allowing companies to flag reformulated recipes on-pack – such as a “Now contains X% less? claim – a move that has been met with dismay by food manufacturers.

PepsiCo has announced that Diet Mountain Dew, Brisk and Starbucks ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages have each grown to more than $1 billion in annual retail sales, expanding PepsiCo’s portfolio of billion-dollar brands to 22. PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands.

The 2012 International Sweets and Biscuits Fair (ISM) took place in Cologne this week. About 80 journalists from all over the world participated in a poll to select the top three innovations presented at the expo’s New Product Showcase.
Europe: Food industry braces itself for tough year ahead
British supermarket shelves say it all. With an estimated nine out of 10 Easter eggs already on special offer, food producers are in for another tough year. The European food and drink sector, renowned for its defensive qualities, outperformed the market during the economic and financial turmoil of last year. But that trend is now reversing course as clouds gather over the
outlook for the industry. 

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Food Marketing, NPD and Innovation
Rising interest in naturalness and a growing awareness of the potential health benefits of botanical ingredients, combined with the desire for things more unusual, are combining to develop the demand for floral ingredients and flavourings, reports Innova.
Smartphone-toting consumers are embracing a world in which they can find out about (if not buy) almost anything they encounter out in the real world, anytime. Learn from this article how brands are already capitalising on this trend.

In the US, when Miller Lite convinced men that a less-filling beer could still be macho, it became clear that lower-calorie, healthier offerings made sense. But the transition to better-for-you products requires navigating deftly between seeing the future – ie more nutritious, lower-calorie versions – and eroding the core foundations of the company. 

Four Millennial eating habits that are changing the way we eat
According to Jean Twenge, author of Generation Me, millennials (Generation Y) are a self-absorbed, confident yet open-minded generation, more demanding than their parents ever were. It sounds negative, but consider a generation who knows what they want, particularly what foods they want to consume. Here are some of the growing trends in the food industry that millennials are helping shape…

It’s a drink you can chew, a carton crammed with bits of vegetables, fruit, coconut flakes, nuts or cereal grains. Sound possible? It is now with drinksplus technology, one of the latest innovations from Swiss-based SIG Combibloc that’s enjoying success in parts of the developing world and which it is now set to debut in North America.

Kraft Foods has launched what it claims is a new breakfast category in the US with the introduction of belVita Breakfast Biscuits. Specially baked with whole grain, belVita Breakfast Biscuits are lightly sweet, crunchy biscuits that provide nutritious sustained energy that lasts all morning.

 Verni Superflor

 Food Science and Ingredients Stuff

Manuka honey could help clear chronic wound infections and even prevent them from developing in the first place, according to a new study published in Microbiology. The findings provide further evidence for the clinical use of manuka honey to treat bacterial infections in the face of growing antibiotic resistance.

With the spectre of past deadly poisonings, the US food industry is stepping up its quest for clean salad greens, testing various industrial washes and other methods like ultrasound.

Chlorine is a commonly used tool of the fresh-cut produce industry to prevent cross-contamination in the wash flume. But a high organic load, as is common in fresh-cut produce, reduces the efficacy of chlorine by using up free chlorine. A new chlorine stabiliser called SmartWash …
Water management: Waste not, want not
With demand outstripping supply, people will have to start drinking waste-water
Understanding how bacteria come back from the dead
Salmonella remains a serious cause of food poisoning, in part due to its ability to thrive and quickly adapt to the different environments in which it can grow. New research involving a team of scientists from the Institute of Food Research has taken a detailed look at what Salmonella does when it enters a new environment, which could provide clues to finding new ways of reducing transmission through the food chain and preventing human illness.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Sugar should be controlled like alcohol and tobacco to protect public health, according to a team of California researchers, who maintain in a new report that sugar is fueling a global obesity pandemic, contributing to 35 million deaths annually worldwide from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

A new Nielsen report has found that 59 percent of consumers around the world have difficulty understanding nutritional labels on food packaging and more than half (53%) consider themselves overweight.

When it comes to fat, what difference does color make? A lot, it seems, especially if you’re interested in losing it. For years now, scientists have been studying so-called brown fat, a type of heat-generating fat that burns energy rather than storing it.
Worth all the sweat
Just why exercise is so good for people is, at last, being understood. As doctors never tire of reminding people, exercise protects against a host of illnesses, from heart attacks and dementia to diabetes and infection. But how it does so, however, remains surprisingly mysterious. But a new study sheds some light on the matter.
A glass of milk a day could benefit your brain
At least one glass of milk each day could not only boost your intake of much-needed key nutrients, but it could also positively impact your brain and mental performance, according to a recent study in the International Dairy Journal.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

Dutch artist, Christien Meindertsma, uses art (and craft) to expose the hidden processes and connections of our modern life. One of her award-winning projects, now housed by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, was to document the astounding array of products that different parts of a pig, named 05049, could support.

 Food bites… On building billion-dollar brands

Fundamentally, great brands thrive during both good times and bad when they communicate basic human truths that speak to the needs and interests, concerns and dreams of the global consumer. 

Whether he or she lives in New Delhi, Melbourne or Houston, consumers have far greater expectations than did previous generations. Basically, they want an ongoing and enduring relationship with their brands that is governed by a set of core premises.

In an era where there is so much uncertainty and cynicism, there is a strong desire for reliability. When people spend their hard-earned money, especially when it is a discretionary purchase, they want to know a brand’s value proposition and they want to believe in what the brand stands for.

They want to understand exactly what they are going to get with each purchase and want to achieve and maintain a high degree of trust. When it comes to food or beverages, this goes to taste, experience and ingredients and an unwavering commitment to providing exactly what is expected.

PepsiCo CMO, Salman Amin, read more
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Brenda NeallPublished every Friday (except for this January) 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, stuff about FMCG food-bev manufacture from farm gate to retail shelf, is published and edited by Brenda Neall. You can contact her at:

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