Newsletter 8 November 2013

Your Newsletter

8 November 2013
 Your weekly food industry news
and insights…
SmartStuff:   “Facing it, always facing it, that’s the way to get through. Face it.”  Joseph Conrad

Editor’s Stuff: Never a dull moment in the food industry!
This week’s newsletter embodies most of the pressures compounding on the food-beverage industries: taxes on sugary sodas and ‘junk food’; GMO labelling; salt reduction; trans fats; artificial colourants; obesity; and even ‘pink slime’ has made its way back into the headlines. Whew… never a dull moment if you’re a food industrialist!
It’s interesting to see the launch of Quorn in South Africa, the meat analogue made of mycoprotein that’s long been available in other parts of the world.
The press release does not make mention of any price points, but it is surely a challenge for a UK-made product to be profitable here? Wonder what the folks down at Durban’s super-successful, soy-analogue company, Fry’s, make of this new competitor in a niche sector they’ve had all to themselves until now?
Enjoy this week’s read!
Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
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Sensient Food Colors

  Local News and Developments

Meat-free Quorn launches in SA

Quorn, the world’s leading brand of healthy, sustainable and delicious soy-free, meat-free products, has launched in South Africa. A leading brand in its category in 13 international markets including the UK, USA and Australia, the extensive Quorn range comprises many meat-free alternatives – from mince to chicken pieces.  

Vegetarian biltong – sacrilege or healthy alternative?

South Africans take their biltong seriously and will argue about anything from who makes the best biltong, to the best cut of meat and the best way to make biltong. Now vegetarians have added a new dimension to the debate, with two Cape companies making biltong with mushroom and brinjal – and claiming they’re as good any traditional product.

Polyoak’s Jeremy Macintosh named PACSA ‘Packaging Achiever’ 2013

Every two years, the Packaging Council of South Africa (PACSA) names its ‘Packaging Achiever’ – an accolade that’s traditionally presented at IPSA’s biennial Gold Pack Awards (announced late October). This is a significant honour and this year’s winner is Jeremy Mackintosh, MD of Polyoak Packaging, a major player in food-beverage packaging in SA.

New research pegs SA black middle class at three million

A Stellenbosch University study shows a rapidly growing black middle class in South Africa, along with a dramatic decline in racial inequality. The study does, however, caution that opportunities and life chances for children from different communities still remain unequal.

Burchells Foods wins FSSC 22000:2011 certification

Burchells Foods, the Worcester-based manufacturer of sauces, soups and condiments, has received the prestigious FSSC 22000:2011 food safety and quality certification from ProCert in Switzerland. This global ticket has only been awarded to a handful of progressive food manufacturers in South Africa to date.

Restaurant giants move into Kruger Park

What will the purists make of this? South African National Parks has named the successful bidders for the provision of restaurant and retail services at various national parks under its management. The announcements were made at the organisation’s headquarters in Pretoria following weeks of adjudication of the tenders.

In case you missed it…

South Africa’s top packaging awards were recently announced – with Unilever SA, Astrapak JJ Precision Plastics, Spec Tool & Die and Consol for scooping the Gold Pack Trophy, the top prize. And yes, it’s a food product!

Distell to launch new Amarula drink
As it gears up for Amarula’s 25th birthday next year, Distell is planning the launch of a new, very versatile variant of its globally famous alcohol brand that’s sold in over 100 countries.

QPro International

 International Developments

Mexico to tackle obesity with taxes on junk food and sugary drinks
Mexico has become the standard bearer in the global fight against obesity, after parliamentarians passed a law imposing significant new taxes on junk food and sugary drinks.

Nestlé makes ambitious salt reduction pledge

Nestlé has pledged to accelerate the reduction of salt across all its food brands worldwide to support a WHO salt target of no more than 5g of salt per person, per day, by 2025.

US: Cargill to change beef labelling in wake of ‘pink slime’ furore

Cargill , one of the world’s largest beef processors, will begin labelling when its finely textured beef is used in the making of its US ground beef products.

Washington State voters turn down GMO food labels

Washington State residents voted on Nov 5 against a law that would require labels on genetically modified food. The measure was defeated in a 55% to 45% vote, with support edging out opposition in only three of the state’s 39 counties.

US: Kraft to remove artificial colourants from some Mac & Cheese products

Kraft plans to remove artificial colourants from three macaroni and cheese varieties that come in kid-friendly shapes. It says the revamped recipes aren’t a response to a petition on that asked it to remove artificial dyes from its famous macaroni and cheese kits. That petition, which was posted in March, had more than 348,000 signatures at the end of October.

Looking for natural, low calorie molecules

Guy Wollaert , chief technical officer at Coca-Cola, has been in India to inaugurate the Coca-Cola system’s 58th bottling plant. Wollaert, responsible for overseeing global R&D, innovation, global sustainable procurement, scientific and regulatory affairs, among other functions, was probed on host of topics in this interview.

In case you missed it: World Food Prize laureates bemoan consumer acceptance of biotech science
The greatest challenge feeding the world’s growing population is not about the science needed to boost production, it is convincing the public to accept it, said three GM pioneers who received the 2013 World Food Prize last month. 

 Trends, Marketing and NPD

RTS: Future trends in food and drink 2014

A new report, Future Food and Drink Trends 2014, compiled by trend experts at RTS Resource, identifies five key trends that will drive the global food and drink industry in 2014: “natural highs”, one-step convenience, “foraged ingredients”, “flavour-full benefits”, and “next generation” protein.

Diageo’s small bottles hook into African spirit

In Africa, where most spirits are what the industry calls “unbranded” – or homemade – Diageo is betting smaller bottles can persuade more drinkers to sample its well-known labels instead.

US: The chocolate-covered potato chip is going mainstream with Lay’s

The world’s largest snack maker is widening its own market by mixing sweet with salty in its snacks – and is rolling out chocolate-covered Lay’s Wavy chips for the American year-end holidays. 

Extreme broccoli makeover

What happens if an advertising agency markets fresh fruits and vegetables the way they do processed foods? Agency, Victors & Spoils, has created campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the food industry — Coca-Cola, Quiznos and General Mills among them. Until now, what they’d never done was try to figure out how to sell broccoli. Or any vegetables or fruits of any kind.

US: McDonald’s and Kraft to test coffee sales in supermarkets
McDonald’s and Kraft Foods plan in 2014 to test sales of McCafe-branded packaged coffees at grocery stores and other retail locations in multiple US markets, the companies have announced.
Last month Starbucks opened a Teavana tea bar in New York City, the first step towards creating a chain of restaurants that will complement its enormously successful coffee business. An important part of the offering is a new paper cup.

US: Moonshine, a new booze trend?
Moonshine was a DIY staple of the Prohibition era, a backwoods rotgut that could make you blind or see God, sometimes both. And now, among small-batch boutique American whiskey distilleries, it’s one of the year’s hottest booze trends.
Kombucha may be thousands of years old, but buzz is now brewing over the non-alcoholic fermented beverage made from tea. 

In case you missed it: Britain’s food revolution: ten ways of eating differently
Heston Blumenthal was named chef of the decade in the 10th annual Observer Food Monthly Awards last week. The Guardian reflects on 10 years in which the British food revolution came of age.

Kerry Citrus

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients

Innovation at FIE: New product sneak preview

The FIE show is set to open its doors in Frankfurt in just a couple of weeks, bringing together more than 1,300 suppliers – so what are the hottest new products to look out for on the show floor?

Finalists in FiE’s 2013 prestigious ingredients awards

The finalists have been announced for the 26th edition of the Food ingredients Europe (FiE) Excellence Awards Programme. The Fi Europe Excellence Awards coincides with the show and recognises major innovations in the food ingredients industry, across eight categories.

Food manufacturers will need to reformulate or respond to the US FDA’s announcement that partially hydrogenated oils, are not “generally recognised as safe.” 

Goodbye mouldy bread?

Anti-microbial packaging could soon be a reality, really. Pharmaceutical company, Janssen Pharmaceutica, and UK advanced plastics manufacturer, Symphony Environmental, have collaborated to create a new type of plastic that helps preserve food and prevent spoiliage.

Could microalgae be the next big thing in fat reduction?

Roquette is set to introduce high lipid algal flours as ingredients in bakery, sauces, beverages and prepared meals, to reduce fat, replace common allergens and cut costs.

Tate & Lyle introduces tomato paste replacer

Tate & Lyle has introduced PULPIZ Pulp Extender, which it describes as an easy-to-use modified starch that brings exceptional pulp like texture – even after processing – and in formulations with low tomato paste content.
There is massive global excitement and interest in stevia, and in South Africa, too, as manufacturers seek to deliver on consumers’ over-arching desire for things ‘natural’. Practical advice on the issues, challenges and application of steviol glycosides. 

SC Products 

 Health and Nutrition

Suguki: a new superfood that wards off viruses?
Can you prevent the flu? Sure you can. Don’t come into contact with someone who has the flu, or get a vaccine. Can diet do it? A group of researchers say bacteria found in a traditional Japanese pickle can – and they have primed mainstream science media for coverage by declaring it the next ‘superfood’. 

Cannabis-infused beverages as delivery system for medical marijuana
US company, Puget Technologies, has announced its subsidiary, Cannabis Biotech, is developing cannabis-infused beverages as one of several new delivery methods of
cannabis-based medicines.

ESSAY: The best cure for obesity? Personal responsibility

Regardless of whether it’s now a disease, there are currently no medical cures for obesity that improve on willpower.

In case you missed it: Saturated fat heart disease ‘myth’
Four decades of medical wisdom that cutting down on saturated fats reduces our risk of heart disease may be wrong, a top UK cardiologist has said.
The rise of food allergies and First World problems
All of a sudden, everyone’s allergic to something. What happened? The rise of allergy is likely due to a number of factors that are mostly the result of an increasingly wealthy, sophisticated, modern Western society. In other words, First World Problems. 

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

V-Tex could be much desired ‘microwave’ cooler

Rapid cooling of beverages has always been problematic. So, it seems logical to ask the question: “Why isn’t there something like a microwave cooler?” Well, there soon could be, in the form of the V-Tex – although it will incorporate vortexes instead of microwaves.
As unique way of celebrating just-past Hallowe’en, Bristol-based specialty ice cream-maker, Charlie Harry Francis, unveiled what is probably the world’s first-ever glow-in-the-dark ice cream. His secret ingredient? Jellyfish protein. 
There are many options for storing half-cut fruit and vegetables, and now some clever American designers have come up with a new idea, Food Huggers. 

Food bites…2013: Smaller portions in packaged foods?
It’s just business, folks!

“DO I buy into the hype that marketers have downsized their packaged products for our benefit? That smaller portions are healthier for us? Well, no, I don’t. But neither do I fault the industry for putting less chips in a bag of potato chips, or less cereal in a box of cereal.
“But what appears to be aggravating to many consumers is that despite the lesser content in a package, the cost of these products has risen as well, and sometimes dramatically. So why do this, why put less product into a package and then charge consumers more to purchase it?
“Because a lot of other costs have risen as well and, like it or not, there’s one thing that is sacrosanct to a food marketer that cares about surviving: the bottom line. Even in a tough economy, that bottom line must remain viable or a company’s fortunes can quickly turn.
“No, I don’t resent it. There are worse things a marketer can do, like charge customers $5 just to chat with a representative. My bottom line? I’ll take fewer little O’s in my box of Cheerios (though I don’t have no clue if General Mills has actually done that), and I will pay a little more if I have to. It’s just business.
Bob Messenger, publisher The Morning Cup, foremost US food industry commentator
Nu-Tek Sodium Reduction Technology

 Bidfood Solutions
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]