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Newsletter 10 May 2013


 10 May 2013 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “I like to study failure. We want to see what has caused businesses to go bad, and the biggest thing that kills them is complacency. You want restlessness, a feeling that somebody’s always after you, but you’re going to stay ahead.” Warren Buffet

Sensient Food Colors

Editor’s Stuff: Cashing in on unfounded fears about food and health!
NOW HERE’s an item that will please many food scientists and industrialists out there, a lovely opinion piece that should resonate with those who deal with the frustrations of notorious food myths that simply won’t go away, thanks in no small part to retailers, and many opportunistic food marketers, who help perpetuate them via negative claims.
The stock response to such accusations is that “we’re only giving consumers what they want”. It’s such a cop-out! Blame the consumer, how easy is that.
But how on earth are people supposed to work out which health concerns are well founded, and which are not, if food marketers and supermarkets arbitrarily take up health fears as a sales tool? Providing misleading information through negative marketing is short-sighted and wrong. It undermines people’s attempts to work out what is good for their health, even pushing them towards alternatives which may not be good for them. It undermines scientific integrity and efforts to help people make sense of stories about food.
The May issue of SAAFoST’s FST magazine (SA Food Science & Technology) is out – some highlights include:
* Steviol glycosides ‒  practical product formulation in SA
* DNA testing and meat substitution
* Efficient troubleshooting when products go wrong
* Storytelling  – grow your brand
* Dairy in “wheys” you’ve never seen before  
* Highlighting business risks through third party certification audits
* Food banking –  reducing wastage

The journal is not online, and thus a fine reason to subscribe and/or become a member of SAAFoST. Contact editor, Tricia Fitchet.

Enjoy this week’s read…
  • Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
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Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
First SA Burger King opens in Cape Town
Burger King, the world’s second largest hamburger chain, yesterday opened its first South African branch on Heerengracht Street in Cape Town. The first 1 000 customers through the door received a free Whopper.
South Africa’s black middle class has more than doubled over the last eight years according to new research by the UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing. Growing from 1.7 million South Africans in 2004 to an estimated 4.2 million in 2012, the black middle class now exceeds the number of white people in the same income bracket.
Pick n Pay: Looking unpicked
A year ago Pick n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman spoke of the “green shoots [of recovery] getting stronger”. His enthusiasm was more than a little premature.
Ishida technology and expertise has enabled Fruits du Sud, a South African producer of high quality raisins, to grow its business by 130% per annum over the past two years.
After 17 years in its iconic clear glass bottle, Savanna Premium Cider is now branching out into the can format, to meet consumer demand for cans’ convenience and other benefits. [Click pic to enlarge]

 International News & Developments
Nestlé’s Maggi brand of instant soups, stocks, sauces, taste enhancers and noodles has been adjudged top food brand in the world, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Unilever’s Knorr brand is second while PepsiCo’s Lay’s brand comes third.

Coca-Cola says it will make lower-calorie options and clear calorie labeling more widely available around the world, intensifying a push against critics who say its drinks pack on the kilos.

The CEO of Diageo, Paul Walsh, the FTSE 100’s third longest-serving boss and a man who has a strong affinity for South Africa, is stepping down after 13 years at the helm of the company behind Smirnoff and Guinness, and the world’s largest producer of spirits.
Sacré bleu! More than half of all French restaurant sales now take place at fast food chains, according to a new survey by food consultancy firm Gira Conseil.
Alan Clark (left) has been installed as SABMiller’s chief executive with “immediate effect” due to Graham Mackay being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Denmark to scrap decades-old soft drink tax

After abandoning its new fat tax recently, Denmark has announced that it will abolish its soft drink tax as part of a raft of measures intended to create jobs and boost the economy. “Soft drinks taxes are on the wane and being voted down by governments and parliaments across Europe,” commented UNESDA secretary general Alain Beaumont. “They have not proven to achieve any public health objectives and they destroy jobs and economic value.”

 LRQA South Africa

 Food Trends, Innovation and Marketing
Research by Mintel indicates that there was a 400% increase in the rollout of products containing stevia between 2008 and 2012 – and an increase of 158% between 2011 and 2012.
Bowl by bowl, traditional ready-to-eat cereal is getting more nutritious and edging its way back into the healthful perimeter that more Americans are putting around their diets. Kellogg and General Mills, the industry giants, are making that a priority for their brands.
Long a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, hummus is earning a growing following among Americans seeking more-healthful snacks. The chickpea dip is low in fat and high in protein. Sales of “refrigerated flavoured spreads” — a segment dominated by hummus — totaled $530 million at US food retailers last year, up 11% from a year earlier and a 25% jump over 2010, according to market-research firm Information Resources.
Tea is the “hottest beverage” in the global drinks landscape, and one with unlimited opportunities as a natural product with scientifically proven health and wellness benefits. So asserts Winfried Hopf, executive VP of global beverages at Unilever…
Black tea continues to have the greatest share of the tea market (56.0%). However, the category volume share has fallen by 2.3% as rooibos and speciality teas have gained ground. The report gives insights (limited) on market trends for Black Tea, Iced Tea, Rooibos and Speciality Tea.
New York’s Prof Marion Nestle, arch food industry critic, published her ground-breaking, game-changing book, Food Politics, some ten years ago – and it’s now published in a 10th anniversary edition with an introduction by fellow über-critic, Michael Pollan. The author, here, reflects on what has changed, if anything, in the past decade.
In case you missed it: Top Ten Food Trends
Unprecedented changes in lifestyles and eating patterns, a greater demand for healthier fare and more ethical options, and consumers’ desire to know more about the foods they choose will cause dramatic changes in the way the food industry does business in the years ahead. Eating alone, home meals for millennials, a new definition of health, and a demand for true transparency are among the important consumer trends that represent new opportunities for the food industry.

 QPro International

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff

Superweeds? Suicides? Stealthy genes? In the pitched debate over GM foods and crops, it can be hard to see where scientific evidence ends and dogma and speculation begin.
A new ‘staging’ concept by Arla Foods Ingredients should add some innovation potential to the $11.5bn global infant formula category. Built around Arla’s Lacprodan portfolio of protein ingredients, Staging is an improved approach to infant formula designed to reflect the fact that the composition of breast milk changes significantly during lactation.
Sensient Colors, the global leader in natural colours, has introduced DustPro NXT natural colour powders, an innovative product line that extends Sensient’s portfolio. DustPro NXT, it says, significantly reduce dust levels while improving colour solubility compared to traditional natural colour powders.
An agreement with leading producer, Mingtai, will facilitate increased availability of MCC to meet market needs and growing consumer demand, says DuPont.
Many kinds of cinnamon, cinnamon-flavoured foods, beverages and food supplements in the United States use a form of the spice that contains high levels of a natural substance that may cause liver damage in some sensitive people, scientists are reporting.
Leading scientists have hailed sorghum as a highly nutritious and cost-effective gluten-free grain, but say industry use remains small.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Manufacture of caffeinated gum is stopped by Wrigley
Wrigley has suspended production, sales and marketing of Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, as the FDA looks at the impact of caffeine-added food on children.
Consumption of a ‘Western-style’ diet could reduce the likelihood of reaching old age in good health and may increase the chances of early mortality, according to new research.
Microbes in the gut may be a key to helping people lose weight, according to two tantalising new studies.

 Weird, Whacky & Wonderful Stuff
Why do bars serve nuts or crisps or biltong? To make you thirsty so you’ll drink more beer? Yes, but that’s only half right – fatty-salty snacks actually make beer easier to swallow.

Food bites…2013: The imperative of food traceability

“You, the consumer, are at the end of a long line of stops food makes before reaching your plate. Being able to trace this food back to its origins can be crucial to government and industry during a food-related recall or outbreak. But you may also want to know whether what you are about to consume is organic, whether it’s vegetarian, or maybe because of your beliefs you are looking for food that’s kosher or halal.

“So while food companies might benefit from traceability and government may eventually demand it, food chain traceability is in large part about building relationships with consumers and giving them what they really want – the ability to trust that they know what they are eating.

“Knowing what’s in your food and where it comes from sounds simple enough, but food chain traceability is a complex worldwide issue. It requires consistent standards and adequate technology in an ever changing world.”

Dan Flynn, Food Safety News Read more
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Brenda NeallPublished weekly 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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