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Newsletter 11 January 2012

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DairyPack Tubs

 11 January 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.”   Irish proverb

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: Welcome to 2012!

Yes, it’s FOODStuff SA, on a Wednesday not Friday. Not a permanent change, just one for January to better manage the holidays.

There are a pile of food-bev-consumer trends articles to catch up on in this, the first fully-productive working week of 2012, on the website. Largely international in flavour, they do have resonance for SA. Here at home, this is not going to be a year for sissies – I believe these three major challenges will be defining for the SA food industry:

  • Rising prices of everything through the supply chain, from commodities, ingredients, packaging and wages, through to energy, water and transport, and the strain of rising food prices (and everything else!) on discretionary household spending power;
  • The new food labelling regulations that will come into force on March 1 and their policing;
  • Wal-Mart/Massmart’s “go big or go home” mission to establish a R20-billion food retail business with in five years and which is likely to be the biggest competition shake-up in the retail arena.

Frankie’s year-end PR fest
Most people were probably on holiday when, just before Christmas, micro KZN beverage producer, Frankie’s, accused Woolies of plagiarising its retro beverages, a claim vehemently denied by the retailer. The media lapped up this classic “David vs Goliath” story that proceeded to spin virulently viral on the social media networks. You simply couldn’t buy the PR that was created for Frankie’s – ironically, it probably can now thank its potentially threatening competitor as being a marketing and sales godsend! Catch up with the story here.

A footnote to add to another big year-end story: want to know the real reason why Nando’s pulled its wonderful ‘Last Dictator’s ad, the one that’s had over a million views on YouTube? Click here to find out

Here’s wishing you a happy, safe and prosperous 2012!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor                      

 Tired of your job? Want to start 2012 afresh? Who said good jobs are scarce? Clearly not if you’re in the food industry! Many interesting career opportunities are posted up on FOODStuff SA’s Jobs pages. Click here!

Kerry Ingredients

South African Food Industry News

Unilever’s new R670-million savoury foods factory in Durban, officially opened in December, has been hailed as the single largest manufacturing investment in South Africa since the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Poor old Coca-Cola. If it’s not responsible for America’s obesity epidemic, then it’s causing children’s teeth to rot. Or using up all of India’s water while stealing Nigerian jobs. But this latest accusation goes even further, claiming Coke is responsible for propping up the authoritarian regime of an entire country.
Liqui-Fruit, South Africa’s favourite fruit juice brand, has introduced Liqui-Fruit Sparkling, a new range of carbonated 100% fruit juice dual flavour blends.
Yes! is a new carbonated soft drink, launched in December 2011 in the Western Cape, on a marketing platform of being “a new youth product talking directly to the South African youth market and allowing them a different experience and vision”, according to its press release.
Food prices pummel the poor
Food prices, which increased by just 1% last year, have increased by a whopping 10.6% so far this year. Lower-income South Africans, who spend much more of their total earnings on food, are the biggest victims of this sharp increase in food-price inflation.


 International News and Developments

A thirst for milk, bred largely by the expanding middle classes in the developing world, has sent demand rocketing and prices soaring. Along with zippy cars and flat-panel TVs, milk is the mark of new money, a significant source of protein that factors into much of any affluent person’s diet.

Olive oil fraud is a problem the world over, including South Africa. A new book, Extra Virginity: the Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, lays bare the workings of an industry that is prey to hi-tech, industrial-scale fraud. The problem, he says, is that good olive oil is difficult, time-consuming and expensive to make, but easy, quick and cheap to doctor. The problem, too, is that it’s putting a global industry at stake.

How fair is Fairtrade?
Sales of goods approved by Fairtrade International, the world’s largest certifier of such products, soared 27 percent in 2010 to more than $5.7 billion. The push to increase sales of goods deemed to be free of child labour and other practices has divided the movement, and possibly undermined its goal to help farmers.
The end of battery farms in Britain – but not Europe
British farmers have freed more than 80 million hens from cruel and cramped lives in one of the most significant changes to animal welfare legislation in decades: the end of battery cages. Despite their abiding by this new EU-wide law, many European countries will continue to keep battery hens.

There is little cheer in the UK beer market which has seen a huge fall from grace in the past six years. Hindered by the decline of pub drinking and a lack of broader consumer appeal beyond men, the market that was worth £17.7 billion in 2006 commanded revenues of just £15.5 billion in 2011 – a £2.2 billion revenue fall. Volume sales decreased by almost a quarter (23%) over the same period.

Two people have died in Australia while a third remains in hospital awaiting a liver transplant after eating deadly poisonous Death Cap mushrooms.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

Food Trends, Marketing, NPD and Innovation
Advertising agency, JWT, has again released its annual 100 Things to Watch list. As usual, the list for 2012 contains several items of food-bev interest.
   Varied and outstanding trendwatching!
The influential Hartman Group in Washington has presented 12 big trends (in a free, downloadable report) that it believes will be notable in 2012. Many of these have been percolating for some time and represent paradigm shifts in culture, as well as in business.

Other trends articles:

The tide is turning on the reputation of fat as we begin to understand more about how our bodies actually use and need dietary fat, and realise that low-fat diets may have been working against us, according to Fats and Oils: Culinary Trend Mapping Report by leading market research publisher, Packaged Facts, and the Center for Culinary Development (CCD).
Thanks to cheap air travel and growing multiculturalism, the traditional cooked British “fry-up” breakfast comprising a plate piled high with bacon, eggs and baked beans, could soon be off the British breakfast menu.
Celebrity endorsements by TV chefs such as Jamie Oliver plus consumers’ perception of high-value and low-waste helped the UK frozen food sector grow by 5.2% to reach sales of £5.36bn last year, according to the British Frozen Foods Federation (BFFF).
Next week M&S will become the first major retailer to roll out ground-breaking new packaging which it claims will extend the life of strawberries stored in the fridge by up to two days, helping to cut domestic food waste.
Dating back to 1880, Philadelphia Cream Cheese is one of Kraft’s most valued brands at $1.7 billion in global sales. Not content to rest on established laurels and see its market share eroded by competitors, Kraft has invested heavily in R&D and innovation to reinvent and revive its fortunes. Its newest creation: Philly Indulgence, a sweet-and-tangy blend of cream cheese and chocolate…

 Verni Superflor

 Food Science and Ingredients Stuff
Consumers are paying more attention to what they put in their bodies, therefore driving development and reformulation of products with cleaner labels. This article explores how industry is responding to consumer demand for clarity around food labels.

Humans may taste at least six flavours
Western food research has long been dominated by the four “basic tastes” of sweet, bitter, sour and salty and, more latterly, it recognises the East’s umami (savoury) as a basic taste. But even the age-old concept of basic tastes is starting to crumble.

Dried licorice root fights mouth bacteria
Scientists are reporting identification of two substances in licorice — used extensively in Chinese traditional medicine — that kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, the leading causes of tooth loss in children and adults.

Lallemand has announced a worldwide price increase on yeast effective from January 2012. Yeast prices will increase up to 16% depending on product, quantity and terms. Anchor Yeast is Lallemand’s arm in SA.

Consulting in Food Labelling

Health and Nutrition Stuff

Breakfast cereals designed for kids have endured tomes of bad press, targeted by the food police as “sugar-salt laden food deserts/desserts” and who’d have us believe they have less nourishment than the box they’re packaged in. This reputation is entirely undeserved, counters a leading American paediatrician, Dr Keith Ayoob.

The need for better sleep and a growing appetite for liquid energy shots and health-related smartphone apps are among the top consumer health trends expected to make headlines in 2012, according to a leading national research group studying health-related attitudes and behaviour in America.

When it comes to weight gain, it’s all about the calories. That might seem obvious, but popular diets continue to suggest that lowering or increasing certain dietary components — carbs or protein, say — is the key to weight loss. A clever new American study  shows, however, that it’s not what you eat but how much that matters when it comes to body weight. However, it’s not quite as simple as that…

The holidays are a time of excess. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet. Or perhaps not. Unfortunately, we don’t all have the self-discipline and determination it takes to cut back on cake and hit the gym. But fear not. There could be other ways to shift the fat and stay trim.

Dietary supplements or nutraceuticals occupy the broad, poorly regulated space between two more-defined kinds of consumables: foods and drugs. Time journalist, John Cloud, undertook a five-month regimen to test if they work or not – if health could be a set of tablets to take rather than a series of responsibilities to meet. A fascinating read…

 Food bites… Convenience, convenience, convenience

“For consumers, convenience is by far the most important dynamic, and will continue to be so over the next five to 10 years, according to any number of prognosticators. Consumers are willing to pay more for convenience as their work habits and lifestyles change. The same can be said even for shoppers in developing nations. It’s a tradeoff many are willing to make, especially as disposable income rises in many countries. It’s all about time, and the consumer would rather buy time than prepare food.”
Diana Troops, News & Trends Editor, Food Processing Magazine. Read her article: 2012 Food Industry Outlook: A Taste of Things To Come – Healthier foods, more nutraceuticals, greener everything and other challenges and consumer trends for the new year.
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