Newsletter 14 February 2014

14 February 2014
 Your weekly food-drinks industry
and insights…
SmartStuff:    “It is the loose ends with which men hang themselves.”  Zelda Fitzgerald, American writer


Editor’s Stuff: What’s up with LiquiGlide?
LAST week I spoke about two potential game-changing developments, and this week my focus follows a similar theme.
The story is one of the most fascinating I’ve covered in 15 years reporting on the FMCG food world – and it’s likely to massively impact packaging and food-bev processing in the future.

It’s the tale of LiquiGlide, the super-slippery lubricant developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists and that makes anything – syrups, ketchup, paints, creams – slide right out of the bottle so not a drop is wasted. There was an internet deluge of attention when news of it broke some two years ago, but what has happened since and when will LiquiGlide be commercialised? You can catch up on latest developments by clicking this headline…

And here’s another interesting packaging development with a local theme and which should please all involved in this supply chain, from designers to converters and vendors.

Mission to promote SA packaging design and supply
Paul Raphaely, co-founder of chic foodie company, NoMU, is putting some of his boundless creative energies into a new mission: promoting SA’s packaging design and supply sectors. His vehicle, which includes a website and portal, has the funky name of The Lucky Budgie…  

Enjoy this week’s read!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

Great food industry jobs on offer! FOODStuff SA is a hub for
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! Click here
QPro International

  Local News and Developments

“We’re changing perceptions that Woolies food is pricey”

Chatting to Ian Moir – CEO, Woolworths: Woolies continues on its parth to becoming a ‘big food business’; the upper income market remains resilient…

Clicks launches new health retail concept

US-based General Nutrition Corporation (GNC), a specialty health and wellness retailer, will launch in South Africa later this month through an exclusive franchise agreement with the Clicks Group. GNC’s international range of vitamins, supplements, sports nutrition and slimming products will be available in over 50 Clicks stores from late February.

‘Lifestyle diseases’ plagueing SA’s poor

High blood pressure, diabetes and other “lifestyle diseases” are no longer just for the rich and are wreaking havoc among South Africa’s poor, says a leading medical academic from Stellenbosch University, Prof Bob Mash (left).  

Unilever Pietermaritzburg strike drags on

The strike by 220 members of the Food and Allied Workers’ Union (Fawu) at Unilever’s factory in Pietermaritzburg is in its third week. Management is reportedly not saying anything to the media. The site houses Unilever’s tea and Food Solutions factories. There’s no sign, however, that supplies of Joko, Glen and Lipton tea are getting tight.

LRQA’s food safety training fest in March

Lloyd’s Register (LRQA) is holding a series of comprehensive food safety training courses in Johannesburg in March. The courses are designed to deliver all the skills needed to design, implement and maintain a broad range of standards, including FSSC 22000, HACCP & ISO 22000.
Kerry Citrus

 International Developments

Emerging market weakness hits Nestlé

Nestlé expects another challenging year that could see it undershoot its long-term targets again, after pressure on prices in Europe and weaker emerging market demand slowed sales growth to 4.6 percent in 2013. 

Nestlé sells €6bn L’Oréal stake back to cosmetics group

Nestlé is stepping back from its 40-year relationship with L’Oréal by selling a €6-bn stake in the cosmetics maker back to the French group. One of the highlights of the deal for Nestlé is its commitment to grow its dermatology business as part of its drive to focus on health, wellness and nutrition. 

Cocoa surges to highest levels since 2011 on signs of robust demand
Cocoa futures rose to a 29-month high as speculation mounted that surging demand will outstrip supplies of the beans used to make chocolate. Valentine’s Day candy sales in the US will rise 1.9 percent to $1.057 billion says the NCA, while global sales of chocolate confectionery will climb to a record in 2014, according to Euromonitor, as candy makers process more beans and adverse weather threatens crops.

Is this the next big market for SodaStream?
SodaStream is not a glass-half-empty kind of company. Last week, when Coca-Cola and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters announced a partnership that would encroach on its turf, SodaStream execs shrugged and described the development as “recognition that custom carbonation is the future”. Now, it’s shown a new hand with a move into the alcoholic sector. 

US: The plot to make Big Food pay

Lawyers are pitching state attorneys general in 16 US states with a radical idea: make the food industry pay for soaring obesity-related health care costs. It’s a move straight from the playbook of the Big Tobacco takedown of the 1990s, which ended in a $246-bn settlement with 46 states, a ban on cigarette marketing to young people and the FDA stepping in to regulate.

Solazyme: Turning algae into edible oils

Solazyme’s Jonathan Wolfson was named by Forbes as one of the top twelve “Disruptors of Business 2013”. [Our own Mark Shuttleworth is also among them] His algae biotech company has proven that cleaner, greener fuels are no longer a fantasy. From fuelling jets and destroyers, Solazyme is also turning algae into heart-healthy food oils. Unilever is already in. So is agri-giant Bunge.

 Trends, Marketing and NPD

Water from plants: A new $2-billion market

The success of coconut water – which surged from zero in 2006 to an almost $1-billion (€750-million) business in North America and Europe by 2013 – is just the first step in a massive emerging trend: healthy, natural, low-calorie waters taken directly from plants. 

Top fresh produce innovation from Fruit Logistica 2014

The fresh produce world gathered in Berlin last week for Fruit Logistica 2014. The expo drew record numbers of people and companies: more than 2,600 exhibitors from 84 countries and over 60,000 visitors from 140 countries. A key interest aspect of the event is its Innovation Awards, with the top prize going to a Swiss company, Eisberg, for its “BBQ Grill Mix”.

Top chocolate trends

Waste, trust and simpler pleasures are among the top cocoa and chocolate trends, according to a presentation by Innova Market Insights and Cargill.
Johnnie Walker hailed for innovation
Johnnie Walker has joined the likes of Google, Nike and Dropbox as the only drinks brand to be included in a 2014 ranking of the world’s 50 most innovative companies.

Bread innovators focus on wholegrain and fibre claims

Tracked bread launch numbers have generally continued to rise globally and, within that, products using health claims of some kind made up over 42% of the total in 2013, reports Innova Market Insights. 

Goodbye kale. Hello cauliflower!

If there’s any vegetable that’s going to knock kale off its top spot as trendy vegetable #1 it will be cauliflower. Once undeservedly dismissed as a nutritional lightweight due to its pale appearance and often overshadowed by its bold green couisin broccoli, cauliflower is now poised to take 2014 by storm.  

Flavour fatigue impacts the vodka sector

A new report from just-drinks suggests that the dynamism and growth of the flavoured vodka category, for so long one of the key engines behind the vodka sector, is in decline.
Deconstructing what consumers mean by fresh, less-processed foods
Consumers used to think of processed foods as helpful around the kitchen. Major shifts in food culture have changed that thinking, so that many people now view processed food as a path to health conditions including obesity, diabetes, behavioural problems and cancer… insights from Laurie Demeritt, CEO of The Hartman Group. 

The eight phases of brand love

We don’t just consume or interact with brands. We actually engage in relationships with them. Relationships have natural stages – from our initial meetings all the way up until the relationship’s decline or demise. Where is your brand in its relationship with the consumer? Let’s briefly look at each stage…
 See all 2014 trends reports here!

SC Products

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients

California firm recalls staggering 4,8m kg of beef deemed ‘Unfit for Human Food’
Rancho Feeding Corporation of Petaluma, CA, is recalling approximately 4,8m kg of beef because it processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection.

New ingredient opens door to huge savings for cheese producers

Arla Foods Ingredients has launched Nutrilac FastRipe, a natural milk protein that enables cheese-makers to reduce ripening times and save thousands in costs every year without any negative impact on product quality or shelf life. 

US: Bereaved mother warns Iowa against raw milk

“It is easy for people to be convinced that knowing your farmer and loving the cow will somehow magically prevent cow faeces from getting into the milk,” Mary McGonigle-Martin. “We are all suffering from generational amnesia.” 
Why do greens reject the science on GMOs?
In green circles, contrarian climate “experts” are renounced, but GMO contrarian “experts” are embraced. Similarly, greens accept the consensus scientific judgement on climate change but reject it on GMOs. Why is that?  

SA ozone-based sanitising innovation

ArcAqua, the South African developer of the ozone-based sanitising system of the same name, is taking its first steps into the global market, thanks in part to funding from the Remgro venture capital firm, Invenfin.

 Health and Nutrition

After 75 years of AA, it’s time to admit we have a problem

For much of the past 50 years or so, voicing any serious skepticism toward Alcoholics Anonymous or any other 12-step program was sacrilege… Now — just in time for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in the US, which mandates that substance misuse be covered in a way that is equivalent to coverage for physical illnesses — a spate of new books is challenging the 12-step hegemony. 

COMMENT: Why nutrition is so confusing

Since the 1960s, nutrition science has been dominated by two conflicting observations. One is that we know how to eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight. The other is that the rapidly increasing rates of obesity and diabetes suggest that something about the conventional thinking is simply wrong…. A great opinion piece by leading US science writer, Gary Taubes. 

Good news: science increasingly shows that dairy fat is healthy!

The demonisation of dairy fat since the 1970s was wrong… with more and more science proving it.

DSM: Vitamin-E can slow functional decline in Alzheimer’s patients

DSM’s Quali-E Vitamin E has been proven to delay functional decline in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) by 19%, according to studies by the company.
Sugar on trial
It has been called toxic, addictive and deadly, the driving force behind obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Is sugar really so bad? The New Scientist investigates… 

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

3D-printed pizza – a quick and easy meal for astronauts?

Snacking on a freshly-made pizza in outer space just got a whole lot closer thanks to Anjan Contractor’s 3D pizza printer. Contractor, who won NASA’s US$125,000 grant last year to create a 3D printer that could print food for astronauts on missions, has come out with a functional prototype. 

Food bites…2014: They said it….

All-day caffeine…
“I just think it’s a natural shift. Energy is what the younger consumer identifies with as well as health offerings. I anticipate a carbonated soft drink sales decline…

   “As the group that was brought up on energy drinks gets older, carbonated soft drinks become less and less a part of their daily intake.
   “Energy drinks have become as important as a morning cup of coffee and the younger generation seems to want caffeine all day long, whereas the older generation only got caffeine in the morning to jump start the day.

Bonnie Herzog, equity analyst at Wells Fargo

Less than sweet…

“Our findings indicate that most US adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet. A higher percentage of calories from added sugar is associated with significantly increased risk of CVD mortality. In addition, regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with elevated CVD mortality.”
New study on sugar and CVD in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine

Nu-Tek Sodium Reduction Technology
 Bidfood Solutions
Annelie Coetzee Consulting 
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]