Newsletter 07 March 2014

7 March 2014
 Your weekly food-drinks industry
and insights…
SmartStuff:    “The only thing that ever sat its way to success was a hen.”  Sarah Brown, American actress


Editor’s Stuff: Waitrose enters SA!
Apologies in getting this out a little late today – thanks to our friends at Megawatt Park and subsequent ADSL issues!
I guess Waitrose’s entry into the SA market is perhaps the biggest local news in the past week – the premium UK retailer is flying high and has successfully grown its market share against the backdrop of a very tough, competitive trading environment at home.
While one must welcome more choice and competition for consumers, this development begs two questions: How can a range of upmarket foods from the UK possibly be competitively priced in SA at R18 to £1? Yet they are!

And looking at the new products in my local Food Lover’s Market yesterday, it made me wonder why the Coppin brothers, justly celebrating 21 years in business this week, have opted for an international partner instead of further supporting local manufacturers who could do an equally good job? Read more below.

South African’s consumers’ foremost destination for fresh produce – Food Lover’s Market, has forged a groundbreaking partnership with UK retail giant, Waitrose.

This story is another great read, and a fascinating piece of food history especially in light of all the focus on big-bogey, sugar. It’s always such a revelation to uncover the story behind things that are accepted norms; everyday stuff that we never think to explore or challenge.

Misunderstanding orange juice as a health drink

Juice is, nutritionally, not much better than soda. How did consumers, particularly those in America, come to believe that oranges, in any form, were an important part of a healthy diet? 
Enjoy this week’s read!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

Great food industry jobs on offer! FOODStuff SA is a hub for
food-bev industry recruitment
! Click here
QPro International

  Local News and Developments
Woolworths has announced that it is in the process of changing its milk packaging labels regarding rBST, and thus bring itself in line with dairy regulations. 
South African soy products market registering robust growth: Report
The soy products market value in South Africa will register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 13% by 2017, finds a report by Canadean.  

Noakes challenges research that links meat, dairy to cancer

An American medical study, that has garnered plenty of media coverage this week, claiming that a high-protein diet increases the chances of cancer at a rate similar to that of being a smoker is rubbish, and the study makes these assertions on weak evidence, says Prof Tim Noakes.

Dairy producer Clover recently officially opened its expanded production and distribution facility in Queensburgh, Durban, a R171-m investment that’s part of Project Cielo Blu, the dairy company’s primary R350-m capital expenditure programme following its listing on the JSE in 2010. 


Kellogg has appointmented of Gerald Mahinda, 55, as Managing Director Sub-Saharan Africa, with effect from February 1, 2014. Mahinda joins Kellogg from Diageo where he spent 14-years in leadership roles and was instrumental in delivering transformational growth for Diageo in Africa. 

In case you missed it: Woolworths’ little secret to big success

The story of Woolworths — a company whose value soared from under R6bn to R51bn in a decade — is one that has confounded pundits and sociologists alike. 
Kerry Citrus

 International Developments

America’s proposed new nutrition label
The White House and FDA has announced a long-awaited proposal for updated nutrition labels. Here’s a comparison of the existing one and the new… 

Third of the world’s food is never eaten

A third of the food the world produces is never consumed, meaning that prices are being artificially inflated and resources wasted – but record harvests of wheat and maize are bringing some relief to struggling consumers by bringing prices down from their recent all-time high.

AB InBev’s need for SABMiller mega-deal grows

Slowing growth at Anheuser-Busch InBev and a dearth of big takeover targets may finally drive the world’s biggest brewer to swallow its $79-billion rival, SABMiller, a proposition that many analysts view as feasible if not incredible. 

Coffee price soars on Brazil’s drought

Brazil’s hot and dry summer sent coffee prices soaring to a two-year high this week. The country’s worst drought in decades also fuelled rallies in the sugar and orange-juice markets. Brazil is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of all three commodities and the dry weather has raised alarms about the size and quality of its crops this year. 
In case you missed it: This is Coca-Cola’s biggest nightmare
Americans are so over soda. And while that may be good for the their expanding waistlines, it’s bad news for the companies that make the sugary drinks.
America’s top FMCG food companies at “painful strategic crossroads”
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Big Food is in some trouble; in painful transition as new consumer behaviour, as well as tough economics, are proving that the “past is a different country”.

 Trends, Marketing and NPD

US: ‘Frenemies’ – how the non-GMO trend is undermining organics

The increasingly successful movement to eliminate GMO crops from food, or at least label them, is turning out to be organics’ false friend. 

Natural colourant trends

Natural colourings are already being applied more often than artificial colourings and are showing faster growth too. The categories with the most product launches tracked with natural colorants are confectionery (15.9%) and bakery (14.2%). Insights from Innova.

Bridging the Sustainability Gap

Purchase drivers of sustainable products has many companies in a quandary. Consumers consistently say they buy green products, but marketplace numbers suggest otherwise. The Hartman Group’s CEO, Laurie Demeritt, discusses this disconnect and will help understanding of consumers’ evolving attitudes, behaviours, and aspirations regarding sustainability.

Superfast ‘breakfast on tap’

UK cereal company, Mornflake, is looking to bring “ultra convenience” to the breakfast market with cereal pots that don’t require the addition of milk. 

Enterprise zip seals its Viennas

Nice touch of convenience from Enterprise for its 1kg Vienna sausage range – the addition of a zipper lock to the packaging. 

Tetra Pak introduces new shape for Tetra Brik Aseptic family

Tetra Pak has announced the launch of the Tetra Brik Aseptic 250 Base Crystal pack – featuring two crystal-shaped panels on the front side of the familiar Tetra Brik Aseptic, the new package provides customers with more graphic design possibilities, helping their products stand out on shelf. 

In case you missed it: New Nespresso system aims to reshape North American coffee industry
is launching a new large-cup coffee system in the US and Canada, aiming to secure a major segment of a market worth some $5bn each year in the US alone.
Men breaking out of a lager mentality
Sweeter and fruitier drinks are driving SABMiller sales as men feel increasingly confident ordering alternative beverages. The world’s second-largest brewer said it is developing its drinks range beyond traditional lagers partly in response to the more experimental tastes of male consumers.
 See all 2014 trends reports here!

SC Products

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients

Wine’s surging alcohol punch: the good, the bad, the remedies

It’s not your imagination. Wine really has gotten boozier. In the past two decades the maximum alcohol content of wine has crept up from about 13 percent to, in some cases, northward of 17 percent, a side effect of the growing popularity of wines with richer fruit flavour. 
Clean label: The shopper will define it
While manufacturers faced renewed pressure to clean up labels following recent media attacks on the dough conditioner azodicarbonamide and artificial preservatives, far less attention has been paid to what these ingredients are actually being replaced by, says one baking industry veteran.

Black glass – a first for South Africa

Consol has applied leading-edge technology to the production of black glass – a first for South Africa – working with long-standing customer, Distell, to produce new packaging for a Savanna line extension, Savanna Dark, the first local brand to launch in black glass. 

Whole Foods: America’s temple of pseudoscience

Americans get riled up about creationists and climate change deniers, but lap up the quasi-religious snake oil at Whole Foods. It’s all pseudoscience — so why are some kinds of pseudoscience more equal than others? 
Allergens survey highlights risks in industry practice
Nearly a third of food businesses have no corporate allergen management systems in place, an SGS survey has found.

Best practices in the sensory kitchen

An increasing number of companies run their own in-house sensory panels to test products. As many issues arise from outside influences while performing sensory testing, it is worthwhile to set best practises for both staff and panellists, beforehand. These guidelines from Leatherhead Food RA in the UK… 

Three-year pizza to join US Army MRE delicacies

Military science, or rather food science, is close to completing its most epic and delicious quest yet — to put pizza in the US Army’s infamous rations or MREs, aka Meal, Ready to Eat.

Is your morning coffee too bitter? This might help

Many of us have at some point been given a cup of coffee that is so bitter, it is almost undrinkable. Most reach for the sugar in an attempt to make the beverage a little more palatable. Wrong! 

The chemistry of Sriracha: Hot sauce science

Forget ketchup and mustard — Sriracha might be the world’s new favourite condiment. Beloved by millions for its unique spicy, garlicky, slightly sweet flavour, the chemistry of “rooster sauce” is the subject of this American Chemical Society’s video. 

ICYMI: Bacchus to the future: High-tech winemaking
As consumers remain seduced by the notion that wine should be made by humble farmers with as little intervention as possible, fine-wine labels still try to keep their experiments with technology under wraps. But they are quietly deploying technology in new ways…

 Health and Nutrition

WHO: Daily sugar intake ‘should be halved’
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised halving sugar intake advice from 10% of total calories to 5% of total calories in a new dietary guideline proposal. 

How sugar affects the brain – TED Lesson

When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine — an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. This TED-Ed Lesson explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation. 

Hops leaves could fight dental diseases

Beer drinkers know that hops are what gives the drink its bitterness and aroma. Recently, scientists reported that the part of hops that isn’t used for making beer contains healthful antioxidants and could be used to battle cavities and gum disease. 

Can the cure for peanut allergies be… peanuts?
A large clinical trial published recently in the Lancet confirms what smaller studies have shown in the past: Oral immunotherapy – swallowing tiny, increasing amounts of peanut over time – has the ability to desensitise allergic individuals to peanuts. 

Food bites…2014: Mistaken beliefs about innovation

Innovation has been looked at from every conceivable angle, but we still repeat the same mistakes…

Mistake 1: Believing the Numbers One common mistake is to insist on “seeing the numbers” too much too soon. “What is the size of themarket?”, “what is the Net Present Value calculation?”, “payback time?”, and so on.
   “If a CEO insists on hard numbers before the project is even started, it will by sheer definition kill off any truly innovative ones, simply because you cannot compute the size of a market that does not exist yet.”

The final error CEOs often make when it comes to innovation is to ask their customers for their opinion. There are two problems with this approach. First, these peiple are already your customer and secondly, even when a company i asking potential customers, it is tricky. Consumer research is often useful but not for truly innovatinve ideas and markets that do not exist yet.”

Freek Vermeulen is Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship,
London Business School, read more
 Bidfood Solutions
Annelie Coetzee Consulting 
Swift Micro Labs
Par Excellance
Professional Career Services
Fenris Personnel
The HR Company
ProCert Southern Africa
Progress Excellence


Fenris Personnel

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!
FOODStuff SA and DRINKStuff SA, websites with reams of pertinent and interesting stuff about FMCG food-beverage manufacture from farm gate to retail shelf, are published and edited by Brenda Neall. For editorial and advertising matters, contact her at: [email protected]