Newsletter 10 August 2011

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 10 August 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights….
SmartStuff:   “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”  Mark Twain, American author and humourist

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: KOO comes out tops in SA brand survey!
You weren’t expecting this newsletter today, but due to various work and away commitments I’m changing my send day this month – so FOODStuff SA will hit your inbox for this and the next two Wednesdays.

Despite it being the silly season in the northern hemisphere, there is some news around, with Kraft again in the headlines on announcing that it will split into two companies, one focused on its American grocery business and the other on its global snacks business. Those who were against its Cadbury takeover are enjoying some “told you so” moments – but don’t underestimate the formidable Mrs Rosenfeld, Kraft’s CEO. There’s an interesting profile on her this week.

The results of the Sunday Times‘ annual survey of top SA brands were published on Sunday, and congratulations to Tiger Brands – KOO came out on the pinnacle of the pile. Canned food sits resolutely in the unsexy zone, but for a mass population looking for affordable, trustworthy convenience, that’s also well marketed, it’s clearly a winner.

Enjoy this week’s read!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

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Kerry Ingredients

 Local Food Industry News
SA’s most iconic brands were recently announced at the 13th annual 2011 Sunday Times Top Brands Awards, held at Helderfontein Estate in Johannesburg – and winning the Overall Favourite Brand Grand Prix: Koo, in the Tiger Brands stable, and proving that you just can’t beat convenience.

Despite moves in the US to make McDonald’s happy meals healthier, South African outlets will not follow suit. The healthy changes to the fast food chain’s US menu will drop the average calorie content in their meals by about 20%.

The strong rand is hammering the competitiveness of SA manufacturing. The wine packaging industry is the latest to be hit.


 Food Trends, NPD and Marketing
Advertising regulations and children
The marketing industry in South Africa is probably losing its battle for the right to advertise to children and teenagers. Because, the world over, right now, all sorts of pressure groups are winning regional battles to have advertising aimed at kids banned outright. It’s a safe, politically correct thing.

Nestlé UK’s latest launch is the new Rolo Biscuit, a combination of Rolo caramel and chocolate with crunchy biscuit pieces in the centre. Each biscuit is also individually wrapped so that the product can be more appealing for on the go consumption.

In recent years there has been a significant rise in recognised food allergies and intolerances, leading to a shift in the ranges of specialist diet-compatible foods available. Gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free products have moved from specialist suppliers and health food retailers to dedicated sections in supermarket aisles, and more recently alongside mainstream products, reports UK research company, RTS Resource. 
JWT Intelligence citse the “rise of de-teching” as one of its top 10 trends for 2011. Multi-tasking has become an intrinsic part of life, and technology is both helping us get more done at once and pushing us to multi-task constantly.
Fancy a ‘food rave’? Or a spot of ‘dirty dining’? Or perhaps you are into ‘new Nordic naturalism’? These are some of the eating and dining trends of tomorrow, highlighted in the ‘Food Futures’ report from LS:N Global, the trend arm of The Future Laboratory.

 Verni Superflor

 International News
US food giant Kraft has announced plans to split into two independent companies by the end of next year.
Irene Rosenfeld, a woman who dared to out oracle the Oracle (Warren Buffet), has taken another big risk, dividing global food-maker Kraft into two businesses. Irene Rosenfeld is among the most powerful women in corporate America, and among the most private…
Unilever has refused to comment on speculation in London that its food businesses may be up for sale as it announced better-than-expected half-year results last week.
Cargill has initiated the third-biggest recall in US history, pulling almost 36 million pounds (16,363m kilograms) of ground turkey after an outbreak of multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg linked to one death and 79 illnesses in 26 states.

Major breweries in Britain have plans to develop low-alcohol beers, following a new government measure to cut down duty on low-alcohol beers, which is set to be implemented this October. The tax cut could make weaker beers 50p a pint cheaper than their higher-strength counterparts.

China in mass food safety arrests
China has arrested 2,000 people and shut down nearly 5,000 businesses in a clampdown on illegal food additives, after a series of food safety scares. The campaign was launched in April after several food scandals were exposed.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Food Science, Sustainability and Ingredients

University of Minnesota researchers have discovered and received a patent for a naturally occurring lantibiotic — a peptide produced by a harmless bacteria — that could be added to food to kill harmful bacteria like salmonella, E coli and listeria.

If you’re packing lunch for your kid, chances are it will end up at unsafe temperatures before it’s eaten. That’s according to a Texas study that tested more than 700 preschoolers’ lunch packs and found less than two percent of the meats, vegetables and dairy products were in the safe temperature zone.

A novel sucrose enhancer that could help firms slash sugar in products by up to 50 percent is now in development phase at San-Diego-based flavour innovator, Senomyx.

Standard batch retort processing technology, as at left, is inefficient and slow – and it’s days could be numbered if a UK innovator’s new continuous system takes off.

We all read food labels, but we’re not always sure what they mean or how to use them. GOOD Magazine in the US wants to change this and earlier this year asked it readers to design a better nutrition label that consumers might actually want to read. Some 60 impressive designs were submitted, and four favourites selected.

 Health and Nutrition
Taking soy supplements may not help women ease their menopause symptoms or prevent the bone changes that start at that time of life, suggests a new study from the University of Miami, Florida.
Good news for parents: You can get children to eat broccoli, tomatoes, courgette, cauliflower and squash — and like them. That’s according to new research out of the US…

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

A beer glass that instantly cools your drink however hot the summer weather has been launched by Heineken. The “double-walled” glass has been designed to bring the brewer’s beer to the perfect temperature while also giving it an ideal head.

Photographer and artist, Christopher Boffoli from Seattle, creates amazing and amusing miniature representations of everyday scenes using tiny model figures and foodstuffs.

Pictory is a social website that showcases for photo stories; for people around the world to document their lives and cultures. Anyone can submit one large, captioned image to each of Pictory’s editorial themes. One of the latest is called “Eat at your own risk” and it’s definitely not for the squeamish…

Food bites… Food safety then and now

“In the face of a disease outbreak like the one in Europe, we should not lose sight of the fact that advances in science and medicine have had a dramatic and beneficial impact on reducing risk of contracting food-borne disease. Advances in numerous technologies have made this possible.  These include: canning; autoclaving; refrigeration; microbiology; assay technology (including rapid pathogen assays); meat science; packaging; use of biotechnology; shipping; epidemiology; disease outbreak tracking; and public health monitoring and intervention!
   “To the point of food safety…then versus now… we should be appreciative of the marvellous food safety systems that are in place, and extol the benefits of the scientific and technological advances that have made all of these possible. The food-borne outbreaks that occur are identified and dealt with quickly (especially versus prior decades) because of enhanced vigilance, application of science and public health monitoring.”

Dr Terry Etherton, a Distinguished Professor of Animal Nutrition and Head of the Department of Dairy and Animal Science at Penn State University

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Published 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!


Brenda NeallFOODStuff SA is published and edited by Brenda Neall.

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