Newsletter 14 June 2013

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 14 June 2013 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed – there’s so little competition.” Elbert Hubbard

Sensient Food Colors

Editor’s Stuff: Banning liquor advertising back in the headlines!
GOVERNMENT’s plan to ban alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotion has been back in the news this week, with consultancy Econometrix adding some hard-hitting analysis of what it potentially could cost the economy: 12 000 jobs and cut R7.4bn from South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi’s riposte to this, no doubt, would be his standard one: that this is a small price compared to the cost of the mayhem alcohol abuse wrecks on our health-social care systems, and on society itself.
It’s such a complex issue, full of paradoxes, and with no absolute truths, just messy facts and opinions. Two commentators put across the divergent view points in reacting to this news on the BDLive website:
Said one: “Alcohol, recreactional drugs and tobacco are a scourge that do nothing to IMPROVE one’s life and bring happiness. So to me this marketing should be stopped. There will be other companies that will fill the void left from advertising… If there is no statistical connection between adverts and consumption, then why do these companies spend billions in advertising? These seemingly intelligent guys at Econometrix must really, really think we are dumb to say there is no statistical link between comsumption and advertising… pull the other one.”

Said another: “Banning alcohol advertising is a waste of time and in any event, won’t stop me enjoying my favourite tipple. I am sick of the efforts by the ANC to turn this country into a nanny state. I can make my own choices…. There is no advertising promoting crime, child abuse, rape, corruption, drug addiction, etc, but we still lead the world in many of those categories. Geddit?”

I agree with them both. Homer Simpson says it perfectly above – ‘the cause and solution of all life’s problems’. Eish!

Enjoy this week’s read…
  • Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
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  Local News and Developments
Commission postpones decision on chicken tariffs
South Africa will need to wait another month before it knows whether tariffs on chicken imported to the country will increase by as much as 300%.
EU barriers again threaten citrus exports
Will Europe ban South African citrus imports or not? SA diplomats are scurrying to scupper what appears to be another would-be EU trade barrier disguised as phyto-sanitary concerns – an alarm over citrus black spot disease (CBS).
SA’s largest food company, Tiger Brands, has plans to innovate and optimise the supply chain of local brand Mrs Ball’s Chutney, which it acquired from Unilever for R475m last December. Tiger Brands CEO Peter Matlare said recently that for the company it was not just about acquiring an iconic brand.
The drop in milk production as a result of low prices again highlights the dangers of taking away farmers’ incentives and illustrates how, paradoxically, lower prices can hurt consumers in the long run.
Micro-milling: an obvious solution
The deregulation of SA’s maize industry in the 1997 had the opposite of the desired effect and competition actually decreased and milling and delivery costs increased. But there is a solution with more benefits than just immediate better prices.

Nestlé technology boss (and ex-Nestlé South Africa boss) to retire

Well-known to many in the SA food industry, Nestle HQ has announced that Werner Bauer, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Nestlé will retire on 31 August 2013 after a long and distinguished career of 23 years with Nestlé. His successor is Dr Stefan Catsicas, currently an academic in Saudi Arabia but with a strong commercial research background. [No link]

Angola: land of acute challenges
Africa beyond our borders is a tough place to do business, a reality Nampak has coped with for five decades. But of the 12 African countries where the packaging manufacturer has plants, none is as tough as Angola.
Tiger Brands says it has begun the process of sourcing non-GM maize for its Purity baby products following complaints by the anti-GM group African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) and consumers.

 Food Trends, Innovation and Marketing
Mondelez International is upping its investment in Europe’s premium, single-serve coffee sector and even stepping onto big Nestlé turf, announcing this week that it’s launching a new range of Nespresso-compatible espresso capsules, while continuing to boost investment in its own Tassimo multi-beverage product.
Started in Australia and New Zealand in late 2011, Coca-Cola’s super-successful ‘Share a Coke’ program is being replicated in 20 markets around the world this year, including the UK, Brazil and China.
According to new research from Mintel, coconut water has been the surprise toast of the beverage industry in recent years. Indeed the number of product introductions more than quintupled (+540%) in the past five years (2008/2012) and products containing it have been taking off on an international scale.
American brand strategy company, Sterling-Rice Group (SRG), has identified the top ten natural and organic food trends that are likely to influence mainstream grocery shelves, if they’re not doing so already.
Did you know that eating alone has become as normal as eating together? Eating alone is fast becoming the new normal. The Hartman Group’s analysis of how we eat as a culture shows that today a fairly astounding 46% of all adult eating occasions (up from 44% in 2010) are undertaken alone.
Fruit flavours dominate the yoghurt market, featuring in over two-thirds of global launches recorded by Innova Market Insights in the 12 months to the end of March 2013, rising to three-quarters of the US total and nearly 70% in Latin America.
On a roll: Britons are flipping out for fancy burgers

In a slow economy few can stretch to the finest caviar, but they can afford top-notch ground beef.
The State of Men
JWT Intelligence’s latest trend report, “The State of Men,” takes a wide-ranging look at how masculinity is being redefined today, how men’s role in the home is changing and how men are navigating the new gender order. Free report to download.
The surprising history — from food for the poor, servants, and prisoners to a soldier’s staple to everybody’s idea of a delicacy — of “the cockroach of the ocean.” Or, one of the most remarkable rebrandings in product history. [Fascinating look at food history – with an American historial perspective.]
Mars International India, part of the world’s leading chocolate manufacturer, has launched of its popular SNICKERS chocolate in all new vegetarian ‘avatar’ – specially manufactured keeping in mind “the growing number of vegetarians in India”. [Surely India has always had a vast population of vegetarians?]
New research from Tetra Pak forecasts that flavoured milk consumption will grow at more than double the rate of white milk globally between 2012 and 2015.

 QPro International

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff

Here’s the latest piece of GMO scaremongering: “Pigs fed a diet of only genetically modified grain showed markedly higher stomach inflammation than pigs who dined on conventional feed, according to a new study by a team of Australian scientists and US researchers.” Mark Lynas, once a leader in the anti-GM camp, now turned advocate for GM, investigates this latest ‘research’…. is it true and ground-breaking, or propaganda dressed up as science?
After ten years in development, European metal and glass giant, Ardagh Group, has teamed up with leading canned food producer, Bonduelle, to launch a new generation food can that delivers enhanced consumer appeal, together with significant environmental benefits.
Survey: Consumers confused about canned food

A recent survey finds that while most consumers rely on canned food to prepare their meals, many aren’t getting the message of the benefits of the packaging format.
Pea protein is being hailed as the new preferred protein due to its nutritional qualities – and it looks set to play an increasingly important role in food formulation and fortification. “The product is taking the market by storm and will be the protein of the future,” says local supplier, Advance Seed.
An experiment in self-sufficiency will transform a previously derelict Manchester printworks according to so-called vertical urban farming techniques that could be a hallmark of future food production.
Strawberry lovers rejoice: the days of unpacking your luscious berries from the refrigerator only to find them sprouting wispy goatees of mould may be numbered thanks to LED technology.

LRQA South Africa

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Examining the intersection between consumers’ beliefs and their actions
The vast majority of Americans believe it’s possible to have a great deal of control over their level of physical activity, the healthfulness of their diet and their weight, yet far fewer are actually taking that control. Those are among the findings of the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation’s 2013 Food & Health Survey.
Multitasking against obesity
Specialists have stressed the complexity of obesity at a recent Harvard forum called “Why Is Weight Loss So Hard?” The panelists agreed on the complexity and interacting issues that underlie the crisis. Genetics and environment are just two of the many factors involved.
The rise of omega fatty acids in functional products
Both long-chain and short chain omega fatty acids are becoming increasingly familiar labels on dietary supplements and food and drink products across the globe. Retail value sales of food (including milk formula) and drink with added omega fatty acids reached US$30bn in 2012, while sales in supplement format reached US$1.8 billion, and interest is not fading, reports Euromonitor.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff
With drones’ reputation as controversial killing machines, it’s not the most obvious fit, but some food-bev outlets and event organisers are intent on proving such warlike technology has an altogether more civilised use. Is this the future of fast-food deliveries?

Food bites…2013: The poison of food

“WHILE the incidents of toxins in foods are dropping, bacterial and viral infections appear on the rise in recent years. In the US alone, nearly 50 million people are subject to foodborne infections each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even the so-called ‘world’s best restaurant’ recently gave 70 customers food poisoning.

“Rather than continuing to try to contain these infections after the fact, the US FDA recently proposed “the most sweeping reforms of food safety laws in more than 70 years” in an effort to prevent contaminations before they start. Unfortunately, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is not currently funded. The Congressional Budget Office estimates it would cost about $1.4bn in its first five years, including hiring 2,000 additional food inspectors.

“Deborah Blum, the author of The Poisoner’s Handbook, suggests that government legislation probably wouldn’t be effective anyway. In an excellent article on the history of food poisoning, she writes:

‘We’ve been trying to regulate food poisoning out of existence since Biblical times. We’ve reduced it; we’ve saved countless lives by doing so. But we’ll never really erase it from our history. … Food, in all its chemical complications and possibilities, remains the most dangerous substance we will ever eat.’

“If legislation can’t save us from food poison, what should we do? The best advice for protecting yourself boils down to three things: wash your hands, cook your food a little longer, and make sure to keep leftovers cold. And hope the dining establishments you select do the same.”

Jonathan Becher, Chief Marketing Officer at SAP, writing on Forbes
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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: [email protected]