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Newsletter 5 October 2012

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 5 October | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:  “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” Corrie ten Boom, Dutch writer

Sensient Food Colors

 
 Editor’s Stuff: The world’s greatest snacking startup!
Biggest news this past week has to be Monday’s official splitting of Kraft Foods, the world’s second-largest FMCG food player, into two: the North American grocery arm called Kraft Fooods Group, and the global snacking arm, Mondelez International.
 
Kraft’s American brands have zip traction in this part of the world, but those in the ungainly-named Mondelez stable are much known and loved here: Cadbury, Trident, Oreo, Tang, Jacobs, Milka, Toblerone and so on.
 
Quote of the week has to go to the triumphant Mondelez International chairman and CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, who called the new food giant with annual sales of $36-billion, “The world’s greatest snacking startup”. Yeah, right!
 
You can see more of what she had to say in today’s ‘Food Bites’ and read more on the big Kraft cleave here:
 
My top story of the week is one of science … the centennial of the Maillard Reaction, the complex food chemistry that puts the yummy into our cooked food, and whose study is credited with birthing modern food science.
 

Billions of people around the world today will unknowingly perform a chemical reaction first reported 100 years ago. This year marks the centennial of the Maillard reaction — which gives delightful flavour to foods ranging from grilled meat to baked bread to coffee but also has some nasty potentially carcinogenic side effects.

Enjoy this week’s newsletter!
 

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
 
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! FOODStuff SA is a hub for food-bev industry recruitment: look for a job or advertise your company’s positions!
DiningIn in Cape Town is in URGENT need of an R&D food technologist!  Click here!


Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
Food prices are set to increase by about 10 percent before the end of November as SA’s major food producers take strain from rising input costs.
 
As food prices soar because of the ailing global and domestic economies, South Africans should also start worrying about the availability of something to eat.

 

Pick n Pay Stores has announced that, after an extensive international search, it has appointed Richard Brasher, the former Tesco board member, as Pick n CEO effective from February 2013.
 
Last week, the international wine world descended on Cape Town for Cape Wine, the three-day bi-ennial trade fair for South Africa’s wine producers. One of the highlights of the event was the official launch of the local industry’s new ethical stamp, WIETA, or the Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association, a geniune good news story after several beleaguered years with little to cheer about.
 
There’s a new movement afoot that hopes to tackle the scourge of hunger and malnutrition. Known in South Africa as ‘Hacking Sidewalks’, it involves creating edible gardens in public, urban spaces, from which passersby can just help themselves. If that sounds smart, you haven’t yet thought it through. 
 
World-famous sports scientist Tim Noakes has recently turned the food pyramid on its head. Could he be right? [Excellent report from Mail & Guardian. Ed]
 
Last newsletter’s top headline: Stevia approved for use in South Africa
Stevia, the “natural, healthy” alternative to sugar, has finally been approved for use in South Africa with the recent promulgation (10 September 2012) of new sweetener regulations.
 
PepsiCo rolls out cola with stevia in Australia
Talking stevia, PepsiCo is launching a reduced-calorie soda in Australia with the natural sweetener, the first time the beverage maker is using it in its namesake cola.


 International News & Developments
Cadbury has won a lengthy battle over rival Nestlé to protect its distinctive purple it uses to package and market its milk chocolate.
 
US: Unilever putting Skippy Peanut Butter brand up for sale?
Unilever is reportedly looking for a buyer for its Skippy peanut butter brand, which may fetch $300 million to $400 million, as it pares its food business to focus on faster- growing health and beauty products.
 
Meet Zong Qinghou. He started hawking drinks outside a school 25 years ago, and has since become China’s wealthiest man as founder and chairman of the Wahaha beverage group that’s now searching for acquisitions beyond China, particularly in Japan and Africa.
 
Organic has long since become an ideology, the romantic back-to-nature obsession of an upper middle class able to afford it and oblivious, in their affluent narcissism, to the challenge of feeding a planet whose population will surge to 9 billion before the middle of the century, writes New York Times columnist, Roger Cohen. [A well-crafted opinion piece. Ed].

 Food Trends and Marketing
In just four years a start-up American company has achieved what much bigger companies have spent over a decade trying – and failing – to do: create awareness of protein in the mass market as a health ingredient. And the most important fact that everyone in industry has learnt from the experience – or rather relearnt – is that it is taste, texture and pleasure, more than health benefits, that made it happen. Insights from New Nutrition Business.
 
Ready for breakfast? * FOODStuff SA Exclusive!
It’s hard to believe, but breakfast cereal is no longer convenient enough. Consumers increasingly demand breakfast options that are more convenient and easy to eat on-the-go. For companies willing to innovate, this is creating some amazing – and profitable – opportunities, reports New Nutrition Business.
 
Volumes in the US retail frozen foods market are going backwards, according to a new report from Packaged Facts, with category decline being blamed on a series of factors from misconceptions about the merits of frozen vs fresh prepared food, to lacklustre merchandising.
 
The world’s first virtual grocery store, by Tesco, opened in the Seoul subway last year and was recently named ‘Business Innovation of the Year’ at the prestigious World Retail Awards in London. Now they’re are popping up in the US and the UK.
 
Mondelez International/Kraft has launched a new Cadbury chocolate bar aimed at women in an attempt to win back lost sales among the diet-conscious.
 
What country chews the most gum? If you guessed the United States, you’re wrong. The distinction of biggest chewing gum chewers goes to the Middle East, specifically Iran, followed closely by Saudi Arabia. The US is a distant third when it comes to chewing gum consumption.
 
In an industry with few new stories left to tell, a small US company named GreenDustries is making a big name by aiming to revolutionise the food service packaging industry with two proprietary fast food packages: the PleatPak (for burgers and sandwiches) and the Magic Bag (for French fries and finger foods).
 
London-based digital agency, Work Club, has devised a very cool new campaign for Strongbow Gold Cider – a digitally-connected bottle cap called StartCap which when flipped becomes a trigger for something to happen – anything from automatically checking users into Foursquare (location-based social networking website for mobile devices) to activating a spotlight or firing a glitter cannon.
 
From 0$ to $100-million in less than a year. It has to be the FMCG success story of the decade thus far. It’s the story of Kraft Foods’ Mio, the flavoured water enhancer that gave birth to a whole new beverage category, largely thanks to trend-setting packaging.
 
Some call it a trick. Others say its sly marketing. Either way, a new study shows that if we make vegetables sound exciting, kids will eat them. Basically, the thinking goes, since it works for junk food, why not try it for healthy food too?

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff

Food manufacturers look to reformulate with lupin
Looking for plant-based sources of protein that can compete with animal proteins? Try the lupin – a potential new darling of the ingredients world, with fabulous functionality, now that soy and gluten are losing favour.
 
Potassium chloride gets better
It is ionically the closest salt molecule to sodium chloride, therefore it gives a better functional result than other salt combinations. Potassium chloride has been a widely used solution for lowering sodium in products, and new ways are being found to counteract its bitter, metallic aftertaste.
 
Reacting to the extensive public concern about the environmental impact of palm oil plantations, DuPont Nutrition & Health (DuPont) reports it is leading the way with an extensive portfolio of emulsifiers based on sustainably sourced palm and non-palm oils.
 
Despite big moves within the food-beverage industry to improve sustainability and resource efficiency, the primary technology innovations needed remain focused on the product – either to deliver better quality or new products, says a new survey out of the UK.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff

Middle-aged people will be able to grow old gracefully within a generation by taking a pill which can fight the ageing process and illnesses associated with it, an eminent British scientist predicts.

 
Excess salt and sugar ‘a ticking time bomb’ for public health
Consumption of a high-sugar, high-salt diet is creating ‘a ticking time bomb of health problems,’ according to new research in rats.
 
New study sheds light on cancer-protective properties of milk
Milk consumption has been linked to improved health, with decreased risks of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and colon cancer. A group of scientists in Sweden have found some answers as to why.
 
Eating cherries lowers risk of gout attacks by 35%, study suggests
A new study found that patients with gout who consumed cherries over a two-day period showed a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared to those who did not eat the fruit.
 

The latest news reports on a study about salt intake among American children are enough to scare any parent. The take-home message from these stories is clear: kids need to cut down on salt or they will suffer serious health consequences. It’s a compelling argument. Problem is, it may be wrong.

 
A well-designed study shows that the popular Chinese herb does not protect against Alzheimer’s. Will anyone listen?

 Food bites…2012: A day after Kraft split, CEO Irene Rosenfeld shares observations

Speaking the day after she split her business into two separate publicly-traded companies – a global snacks business named Mondelez International and a North American grocery business called Kraft Foods Group, Irene Rosenfeld shared her insights from the split at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif.

“The word snacks tends to have a negative connotation… We’ve looked at product portfolio, we’ve looked at the ingredient profiles of the offerings we have today – sugar, calories, salt – and have looked at opportunity to lower those and add back nutrients, vitamins, whole grains, for example. We’re very focused on package sizes, portion controls. And we’ve been looking at continuing to address both calories in and calories out.”

“Snacking is a growing global behaviour. More and more women are working, consumers are on the go in virtually every market around the world. The growth in nontraditional food consumption is a growing trend and we believe we’re well-positioned in terms of the brands we’ve got and the categories we compete in.”

Fortune’s Stephanie Mehta, who was interviewing the Mondelez CEO, pointed out that she was the magazine’s No 1 most powerful woman on its 2011 list but by splitting the company and reducing the scale of her kingdom, she’d knocked herself off that top perch. Her retort played to the crowd:

“As a woman, I don’t have to tell you size is not everything. So many of of my male colleagues have been so bothered about ‘How could you make your empire smaller, not larger?’ But we saw the opportunity to create two great companies from the beginnings of one and I’m pleased by the reaction we’ve gotten from the market.”

Hydrosol

 
 
 
SGS
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DSM Quality for Life
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QPro International
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Ecolab
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Microsep
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Swift Micro Labs

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 Jobs
Par Excellance
Professional Career Services
SciStaff
The HR Company
 
 
Symrise 
 
ProCert Southern Africa


Progress Excellence
 
 Pescatech
 
 
 
Totally Food Events
Brenda NeallPublished every Friday as part of www.foodstuffsa.co.za, 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: brenda@foodstuffsa.co.za


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