Newsletter 11 January 2013

 11 January 2013 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…       
SmartStuff:   “It is wise to keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.”
Roger Babson, US entrepreneur & business theorist

Editor’s Stuff: Naturality is 2013’s super-trend!


Happy New Year and welcome to the first newsletter of 2013!

Over the past four years, the most-read article on FOODStuff SA has consistently been the annual Ten Key Trends report published by the influential thinktank, New Nutrition Business.

This year, NNB asserts that the influence of ‘naturality’ over food and beverage product development will continue to grow; that it has become “the direction people want to go in” and will shape and drive the market as companies across all categories seek to ride this wave.

NNB’s chief, Julian Mellentin comments: “Several of the trends in this year’s report appeared in our top 10 last year, and we make no apology for that. Some trend lists change significantly from year to year, with new subjects appearing one year and disappearing the next. This is not the case with our list. We focus only on those trends that are underlying key drivers for our industry – not fads with no long-term meaning. This enables companies to formulate their innovation strategy around our trends analysis – as many companies tell us they do.”
FOODStuff SA, through a long-standing relationship with NNB, will continue to publish select articles from NNB’s monthly magazine that are normally only available to its subscribers. Offering excellent insights, analysis and journalism, I rate NNB as one of the premium sources of food industry market intelligence, especially for those looking to tap into the über health and nutrition trend sweeping the global food game.


Enjoy this week’s read!


Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
NoMU Foods is looking for a QA manager! FOODStuff SA is a hub for food-bev industry recruitment: look for a job or advertise your company’s positions!
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Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments

Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson can never be accused of not thinking big. He did it successfully in SA and is determined to replicate Shoprite’s success in the rest of Africa. “I see huge greenfields growth…”

The billion rand man: Whitey Basson, a retail genius, has built Shoprite into an African giant. A look at how he turned a company bought for R1m into one worth more than R100bn today.
The grocer is applying a transformation strategy after several years of poor performance driven by high costs, a failure to implement centralised distribution, and labour problems which have seen it lose market share to its rivals Shoprite and Woolworths. Will it work?
Nestlé in Zimbabwe for the long haul
Nestlé invested $12m in its Zimbabwean operations last year despite the uncertainty surrounding its future in Zimbabwe as the government has not yet decided on its indigenisation compliance plans. However, the Swiss company has repeated its commitment to its operations in the country.

 International News & Developments
For food and drinks companies, rising obesity rates present a conundrum. Companies have a duty to their shareholders to make money. All big food companies are working hard to sell more products to more of the world. Many unhealthy products are very profitable. But companies do not want to be vilified for helping to make people fatter. The spectre of government regulation looms large. Many firms are now conflicted, continuing to hawk unhealthy products yet also touting elaborate plans to improve nutrition. They insist they will help lower obesity rates, not raise them, but there is room for doubt.

This is one of a series of obesity-related articles in an outstanding special report from The Economist.

Unilever has agreed to sell its Skippy brand of peanut butter to US group Hormel Foods – the maker of Spam – in an all-cash deal worth $700m.
An anti-GMO food activist has made a stunning turnaround. Mark Lynas, once one of the most outspoken critics of the GMO movement in both the UK and around the world, now believes genetically modified food is safe. The big question is whether his conversion is just a one-off or whether it is a sign that public scepticism about all things GM may be starting to shift.
After more than a decade in regulatory limbo, genetically engineered Atlantic salmon that grow faster than their naturally born counterparts moved closer to American plates, with the publication just before Christmas of a government report that found the fish wouldn’t hurt the environment and would be safe to eat.
Beer in Russia became an alcoholic drink for the first time on New Year’s Day.
As much as half of all the food produced in the world – equivalent to 2bn tonnes – ends up as waste every year, UK engineers have warned in a new report.
It will be if Robert Lustig has anything to say about it. People love the California endocrinologist and people love to hate him, especially after he proposed in the journal Nature that sugar should be regulated like alcohol and that people who buy soda should be carded. Almost three million people have watched his YouTube hit lecture, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”. 

 Food Trends and Marketing
Allergen-free, chia seeds, faux meat, food sharing, humane food, teff, menu-free dining, midcalorie foods, reduced-guilt candy, vegetable boxes, vertical farming and yogurt shops – these are some of the food-related items from JWTIntelligence’s annual list of 100 Things to Watch for the year ahead. 
In releasing its 2013 trends, Euromonitor International says food has become more than a staple item and more consumers are focusing on healthy eating while going green.
While dairy alternative drinks accounted for a relatively limited share of 5% of the total dairy launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in the 12 months to the end of October 2012, the market has seen considerable recent development.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced the results of a comprehensive study of food and beverage industry marketing expenditures and activities directed to children and teens. The study gauges the progress industry has made since first launching self-regulatory efforts to promote healthier food choices to kids.
Carlsberg Group CEO, Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen, says in spite of gimmicky “innovations” in beer marketed to women, they remain a huge untapped market. But catering to them requires a new approach in management, strategy and product innovation.
The craft beer revolution has exploded around the world, with beer-lovers are now paying triple-digit prices for their beloved ales. There are black tie awards balls and beer sommeliers called Cicerones (only six of whom have achieved the title of “Master”). There are elegant private tastings, spendy beer-of-the-month clubs, splashy lectures in museums, and tightly curated menus at three-Michelin-star restaurants.
An interview with Bob Gamgort is the CEO of Pinnacle Foods, a leading American FMCG food marketer whose portfolio includes Birds Eye, Duncan Hines and Vlasic, brands that can be found in nearly 85 percent of US homes. 
UK: McDonald’s to give away 15m books in second major literacy push
McDonald’s is giving away 15 million books as part of a major new Happy Meals campaign to improve children’s literacy and to bolster its brand reputation. The campaign marks the fast-food chain’s second concerted effort to associate itself with book publishing and follows the giving away of millions of copies of children’s book by popular ‘War Horse’ author Michael Morpurgo.

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff
With billions of mouths to feed, we can’t go on producing food in the traditional way. Scientists are coming up with novel ways to cater for future generations. In-vitro burger, anyone? [Brilliant and provocative article – essential reading for food industrialists. Ed]
US FDA proposes new food safety rules to prevent foodborne illness
The Obama administration moved ahead Friday with the first major overhaul of the nation’s food-safety system in more than 70 years, proposing tough new standards for fruit and vegetable producers and food manufacturers. See the FDA announcement here
Retort processing shakes up new interest
Retorting is the old reliable of food processing — providing safe, effective shelf stability with fairly simple equipment and packaging. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing new in the retort room. New packaging formats that have emerged make retorting more desirable.
Business is booming in the western Sudanese town of En Nahud thanks to rising global demand for gum arabic, a natural and edible gum taken from acacia trees growing in the area. Used as an emulsifier to prevent sugar from crystallising in fizzy drinks, as a thickener in confectionery and as a binder for drugs, cosmetics and postage stamps, gum arabic is in high demand in many countries.
A new process for blowing up grains of rice produces a super-nutritious form of puffed rice, with three times more protein and a rich endowment of other nutrients that make it ideal for breakfast cereals, snack foods and nutrient bars, food scientists at Cornell University report. Their study appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Hot chocolate tastes better in an orange cup: study

Recent research shows that the color of beverage containers influences consumer enjoyment, with results indicating that orange and dark-cream coloured cups enhanced the flavour, sweetness and aroma of hot chocolate.


Reducing bran compound can help make a tastier whole wheat loaf, say researchers

Controlling levels of a bran compound known as ferulic acid could help to improve the taste and smell of whole wheat bread products, researchers suggest.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Spanish researchers have traced the bacterial microbiota map in human milk, which is often the main source of nourishment for newborns. The study has revealed a larger microbial diversity than originally thought: more than 700 species.
Sweet drinks linked to depression in US soda consumption study
Drinking more than four sweetened beverages a day doesn’t appear to be good for one’s mood, especially diet soda, a study by the US National Institutes of Health found. In a study of more than 200,000 older adults, those who drank more than four cans of soda a day had a 30 percent greater risk of depression than those who consumed none.

 Food bites…2013: Food today – laden with paradox

“Our desires in food are laden with paradox. We love novelty, but are transfixed by nostalgia and tradition. We want to pay less while getting ever better quality. We want natural and healthy, though the two are not necessarily the same. We want to eat better than previous generations, but we revere what those generations ate.
“Nostalgia, neophilia, hypochondria and snobbery drive the hunter-gatherer today, all sauced with deep scepticism about science, supermarkets and the dark machinations of the ‘food-industrial complex’.”
From Obesity Special Report in The Economist
 Bidfood Solutions
Swift Micro Labs
Par Excellance
Professional Career Services
The HR Company
Progress Excellence
Brenda NeallPublished 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!
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: [email protected]