Newsletter 15 July 2011

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 15 July 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights….
SmartStuff:   “If I had my life to live over… I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.  I’d relax, I would limber up.  I would be sillier than I have been this trip.  I would take fewer things seriously.  I would take more chances.” From a poem by Nadine Stair, 85-year old. Read more

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: Coca-Cola goes green in SA!
Now this is a beverage plant that I want to see! Coca-Cola South Africa recently officially opened its new Valpré Spring Water plant at Heidelberg, southeast of Johannesburg, and at the same time announced the introduction of its now-famous PlantBottle packaging to Africa. The new state-of-the-art facility is claimed by the company as the “greenest plant in Africa”.
By going the extra green mile, it would seem that the soft drinks giant is indeed doing something to address the big green questions and concerns that hang over bottled water and its economic and environmental costs.
Several local regulatory issues made the news this week (see below), but I prefer to highllight some less serious stuff here, namely two items of really cool food innovation out of the UK:

Children and chocolate usually make for a messy combination. But a new sweet treat offers a solution to sticky fingers and stained clothes. ‘Magic Choc’ claims to be the world’s first non-melting chocolate and has been developed by Lancashire-based innovation company, The In Thing.


Heinz has broken with more than 100 years of tradition to launch its first instant soup in a novel format: its Squeeze and Stir range of instant cup soups come in handy, lightweight, squeezable sachets – the first time the company has entered the instant soup market in response to the rising cost of metal for manufacturing soup cans. 


Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

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Kerry Ingredients

 Local Food Industry News

Government intends to amend the regulations relating to soft drinks, specifically those categorised as “formulated caffeinated beverage or cola beverage” in an effort to enhance the public’s awareness of the possible harmful effects of energy drinks.

This news escaped FSA’s radar at the time… on March 25, 2011, the Department of Health issued a draft regulation to ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles.

The Department of Health has dismissed as a “red herring” a scientific review which found no evidence that cutting down on salt led to fewer heart attacks and deaths, and says it is pushing ahead with its plans to regulate the amount of the additive in processed food, Business Day reports.

Two-thirds of South Africans polled in Synovate’s latest survey believe that increasing the legal drinking age to 21 will be effective in decreasing both underage drinking and alcohol abuse.

Analysis: A fair and balanced view of ANC’s march against alcohol
The ANC is on the march again, this time against booze. Gauteng’s economic development MEC Qedani Mahlangu is determined to stop bottle stores from being open on Sundays, while the national
government is moving towards banning alcohol advertising. Both tell us something about the ANC.
They also tell us South Africa, after a long liberal swing, is beginning to move in a more conservative direction on social issues. We’re not surprised.
Consumer Goods Council CEO off to Massmart
Mncane Mthunzi will join Massmart on September 1 as group supplier development executive. Mthunzi, who joined the Consumer Goods Council in 2009, was previously managing director of the
Black Management Forum. The chairman of CGCSA is Grant Pattison, who is also CEO of Massmart Holdings.
• Massmart has also announced its intention to buy Fruitspot, a producer of value-added, pre-cut fresh produce, part of its strategy to grow its fruit and vegetable offering.
Tetra Pak, the global food processing and packaging giant, has released the fourth annual Dairy Index that this year indicates a decade-long dairy boom and a surge in African consumption of almost 50%. 


Food Trends, NPD and Marketing

Veal dishes endeared Italian restaurants to our hearts – but in an instant, the zeitgeist changed and it was no longer politically correct to eat veal. The succulence of calves’ meat, so delicate by comparison with beef and such a fine foil for complementary flavours, was discredited by horrible and cruel practices, but things have changed and veal is back on the menu in Britain.

A survey by Sainsbury’s has found that kids dictate what the whole family eats, with eight in ten mums (77%) admitting that their children are the meal maestros at dinner time. 

Sliced, caramelized garlic accented with basil oil has been named the best new gourmet product of the year at the 57th annual Summer Fancy Food Show in Washington DC…

The rise of the superfruit has been increasingly in evidence over the past decade, with growing consumer awareness of the health benefits associated with their high antioxidant content helping to drive activity. This has brought many little known fruits into the mainstream market for the first time, reflected in their growing use as ingredients and flavourings in a wide range of food and drinks products.

 Verni Superflor

International News
Unveiling EU fishing reform plans
The biggest shake-up of European fisheries regulation in four decades was unveiled this week in Brussels, intended to preserve dwindling fish stocks. Maria Damanaki, the EU fisheries chief, told policymakers in Brussels that strong and urgent action was needed if stocks were not to face collapse.
The Campbell Soup Co has a new CEO, Denise Morrison, who has outlined her plans for the year ahead – among them rolling out 27 new soups and changing the recipes for 46, and bringing back some higher-sodium soups after several years of working to reduce sodium, sometimes at the expense of taste as many critics have bemoaned.
Nestlé SA, the world’s largest food company, agreed to buy 60 percent of Hsu Fu Chi International, a Chinese snack and candy maker, for S$2.07 billion ($1.7 billion) to tap growth in the world’s most populous nation.
Jamie Oliver to sever ties with Sainsbury’s
TV chef Jamie Oliver is ending his association with supermarket giant Sainsbury’s after 11 years. The food guru – whose deal with the firm is thought to be worth more than £1 million each year – has been the face of the company for numerous campaigns and starred in more than 100 TV ads.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Health and Nutrition Stuff

The recommendation to drink six to eight glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration “is not only nonsense, but is thoroughly debunked nonsense,” argues GP, Margaret McCartney in this week’s online British Medical Journal (BMJ).

A new study says high sodium and low potassium intake are the twin culprits in many cardiovascular syndromes.

One of nature’s most perfect foods may be even better for us than previously thought. Raw eggs contain almost twice as many antioxidant properties as an apple and about the same as a half of a serving of cranberries, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to a new study published in the journal Food Chemistry.

First identified in Scotland in the 1990s, food deserts have come to epitomise urban decay. They suggest images of endless fast-food restaurants and convenience stores serving fatty, sugary junk food to overweight customers who have never tasted a Brussels sprout. However, it appears food deserts are nothing but a mirage — and not the real problem.

Westerners may be genetically programmed to eat more fatty foods and drink more alcohol than those in the east, researchers claimed this week.
The Behavioral Economics of Dieting
Despite documented short-term success, dieting has very low success rates; most dieters regain weight within three to five years. Why do people fail to stick to their diet goals? One answer is that they have self-control problems in the form of a present-biased preference. From a prior perspective, they want to behave relatively patiently, but as the moment of action approaches, they want to behave relatively impatiently.
Most children should not be drinking any sort of sports drink
At my children’s school tuckshop a vast amount of fridge space is devoted to variants of brightly coloured “sports drinks” – many of them being consumed routinely as cooldrink by children who barely raise a sweat, ever. Is this a problem?…  SA consumer media queen, Wendy Knowler, recently addressed this topic in her Independent Media column.

 Sustainability Stuff

By honing in on the mysterious potato genome and its tuber – its edible portion – researchers are unveiling the secrets of the world’s most-important non-grain food crop. The trusty spud could use some genetic improvement, especially in resisting disease. But the humble tuber is a genetic jungle: most potatoes hold four copies of its genome, each very different from the others, making sequencing a nightmare.

Want to make more than a banker? Become a farmer
If you want to become rich, Jim Rogers, investment whiz, best-selling author and one of Wall Street’s towering personalities, has this advice: Become a farmer. Food prices have been high recently. Some have questioned how long that can continue. Not Rogers. He predicts that farming incomes will rise dramatically in the next few decades, faster than those in most other industries — even Wall Street. The essence of his argument is this: We don’t need more bankers. What we need are more farmers.
Vital giants: Why living seas need whales
Large animals like whales are big eaters – but all marine life goes hungry without them. Let them live and the oceans will thrive again… [Registration req]

Food bites…The tastless aim of the war on salt

“But why should campaigners and medics on a mission fret about such trivialities as the flavour of
our food or our ability to make free choices? Theirs is a political vision in which health overrides all other considerations, where the extension of life rather than its quality is the be-all and end-all. And if they can save a few lives at the expense of making millions more lives a little bit worse by making food taste, well, less tasty, that is a price worth paying in their eyes.

“However, studies like the one published today on salt show that even in its own terms, the anti-salt campaign makes little sense. It either doesn’t save lives or it makes so little difference that it is hardly worth bothering with. Whether it is salt, fat, sugar or alcohol, we should take the lectures from our health guardians with a pinch of the white stuff.”

Rob Lyons is deputy editor of spiked. His book, Panic on a Plate: How Society Developed an Eating Disorder, will be published in October. Read more

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Published 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!


Brenda NeallFOODStuff SA is published and edited by Brenda Neall.

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