Newsletter 16 September 2011

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 16 September 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights….
SmartStuff:   “Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble.” Frank Tyger

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: Nanny nation, here we come…. again!

Dear ,

Hallelujah for our feisty health minister Aaron Motsoaledi! Okay, we might not all approve of his latest pronouncements that take aim at a soft target ie you in the food industry, but at least he does he seem to be doing his job properly, unlike some of his shameful predecessors.

My real hallelujah, though, is for the fact that he has again given me something to write about this week – one where the global food industry seems to be catnapping such is the dearth of good stories out there.

Last week it was alcohol advertising, and this week Dr Motsoaledi’s sights were on fast food marketing to kids – McDee’s Happy Meals, as we know them, may be headed for the bin in SA, as in San Franciso, if the good doctor has his way. Interestingly, I’ve just learnt that McDonald’s is not only the world’s biggest fast food chain – it’s also the biggest toy distributor in the world.

Read more: Motsoaledi now targets fast-food marketing to kids


Hot off the press comes news that Stream Beverages last night won first prize in Food Review’s annual Symrise-sponsored New Product Competition. I wrote an in-depth feature on Stream in May this year.


Second and third places went to Chelé Lite, SA’s first range of sugar-free mixers, and Woolworths Functional Baobab Snack Bars, respectively. BOS Iced Tea won the Editor’s Choice award. Congratulations to all involved and especially to one of my valued advertisers, Afriplex, a key behind-the-scenes ingredient innovator in both Stream and the baobab bars. Is it an indictment of SA’s food industry times – recession and regulatory/labelling upheavals – that the competition this year apparently battled to find entrants and was restricted to but one round with only six products?

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

PS I’ve added Google Translate to the website, so you can now read everything in several languages, including Afrikaans. It might not be perfect, but it’s one of the best instant translation tools available.

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Kerry Ingredients

 Local Food Industry News

When it was announced that Puglia Cheese had won four prizes, including two category winners, at the South African Dairy Championships earlier this year, Davide Ostuni did what any self-respecting Italian man would do. He cried like a baby.

Canned protein in SA has been subject to fair levels of volatility in annual rates of growth and a decline historically. However, the category managed to maintain consistent growth from 2007 onwards. The 2010 category performance represents a continuation of this growth trend, with a healthy increase of 11.9% recorded for the year, reports BMI.

In the past few years, prominent coffee-mocha flavours are being found in certain styles of pinotage wines, to much consumer and critical acclaim/disclaim. These emanate from a specific oak regime used during the vinification process – or do they?


 Food Trends, NPD and Marketing

A new survey claims to show that British home cooks are more adventurous than a generation ago. The Birmingham Food Fest has released the results of a survey it commissioned, claiming it shatters the myth that British “mums” (somewhat sexist to limit it to that demographic, but they questioned  1 000 mums) only serve up fast food and ready meals to their families.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose… or the more things change, the more they stay the same. An apt saying for a move by Pepsi in the UK to change its Pepsi diet soda can from a “skinny” to a “fatty” – a can format that was discontinued some years ago in SA.

Story is a new soft drink brand launched in the UK and exclusive to bars, restaurants and hotels – it’s aimed at sophisticated consumers who want to have a good night out without drinking alcohol.

Confectionery giants head global move to natural
Confectionery giants such as Nestlé, Haribo and Cadbury have been at the forefront of efforts to move away from artificial additives, as the general industry makes a shift to natural food products, according to Leatherhead Food Research.

 Verni Superflor

 International Stories

Sell-by dates will be removed from food products in the UK under plans announced by the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman. She’s calling on manufacturers only to carry “use-by” or “best before” advice in an effort to reduce the estimated £12bn mountain of good food that ends up being thrown away after sell-by dates are passed.

This week saw news of another round of consolidation in the global flavours sector, with Kerry, WILD and Frutarom announcing new acqusitions. DSM Nutritional Products also reported it was expanding its nutritional lipids offer.

Global sales of food and drink additives reached $27.4bn in 2010 according to Leatherhead Food Research’s new report ‘The Global Food Additives Market’. The best performing sectors include enzymes, acidulants and hydrocolloids, although much of this growth can be attributed to increasing world prices as increased raw material and energy costs feed through the system.
Nestlé battles Kraft to retain global hot drink dominance
Ben Bouckley, – Despite its status as the world’s largest hot drinks manufacturer, Nestlé faces a tough battle for global dominance with Kraft in coffee due to the rising popularity of fresh coffee, according to Euromonitor International.
Cops nab China’s gutter oil gang
Chinese authorities had detained 32 people for making and selling tons of cooking oil dredged from gutters, the ministry of public security said yesterday, in the latest food safety scandal to hit the country.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Food Science, Safety, Sustainability and Ingredients

The USDA will ban the sale of any ground beef tainted with the notorious “Big Six” strains of E. coli that are increasingly showing up as the cause of severe illness from food, starting next March.

US Government study casts significant doubts over bisphenol A threat
Humans are so efficient at ridding the body of bisphenol A (BPA) that bioactive levels of the chemical left in the blood for absorption are undetectable, according to research from a host of US Government agencies.
UK and France on alert after botulism outbreak
An international alert has been issued after a botulism outbreak in France linked to ‘tapenade’ spreads has so far struck down eight people in the country.
Unilever: Savoury aromas may aid salt reduction
The addition of savoury smells to foods helps to mask the taste of sodium replacers such as potassium chloride, according new research from Unilever scientists.
Consumers seeking a healthier alternative to sugar-coated chocolate sweets are willing to pay up to a 10 per cent premium for tooth-friendly variations of sweets and confectionery products, if they came to market, according to Beneo.
Caffeinated Think Gum found to improve memory
A study of college students who chewed Think Gum found the caffeinated gum improved both short-term and long-term memory. The study is published in the Journal of Appetite.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

Malcolm Gladwell is an influential business and societal thinker and commentator, best known or his books, Tipping Point, Blink and The Outliers. A detective of fads and emerging subcultures, with a knack of making you see the world in a different way, Gladwell’s work has toppled the popular understanding of bias, crime, food, marketing, race, the consumer etc.
   In this engaging lecture he discusses some developments that have fundamentally changed the face of the food industry – how the pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce has made for a much larger argument about the nature of consumer choice and happiness.

Food bites… A cure for obesity?

“This mystification that obesity is caused by a lack of willpower or just eating the wrong foods is simply a misconception. There is so much social stigma attached to weight that we make a lot of value judgments. The effort in science is to peel back those layers of belief and try to understand things in an experimental, rational mode. Just as we have made progress against heart disease with statins and blood pressure drugs, we will find medications that can safely and substantially lower weight.”
Joseph Bass, MD, PhD, Kettering Professor and Chief of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Molecular Medicine at Northwestern University Read more

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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 is published and edited by Brenda Neall.

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