Newsletter 17 August 2012

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 17 August 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.”  Michel de Montaigne, French philosopher and statesman

Sensient Food Colors

 Editor’s Stuff: Tapping into the market at the base of the pyram

With SA’s greatly skewed rich-poor demographics, there’s major interest in how to do successful business in low-income communities, to access the township spend. Global companies, too, are now putting their focus on the growth potential of the developing world.

The topic is explored and analysed in a new book, New Markets, New Mindsets, by Drs Tashmia Ismail and Nicola Kleyn, senior lecturers at Jo’burg’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), who show there is room for big companies to profit by engaging in the right partnerships and tailor-making their products or services.

Successfully accessing SA’s low-income markets
You may not want to read the book, but this article outlines some of its cogent points and case studies, and you can also see an interview with one of the authors.

Turning to food safety… The turn-around time of micro tests has long been the bane of every QC/QS officer’s job. Now, 3M’s Food Safety Division has launched the 3M Molecular Detection System for pathogen testing technology that permits fast, simple detection and a solution that it describes as “fast, accurate, easy-to-use and affordable”.
Read all about it here: 

Enjoy this week’s newsletter!


Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
Jobs of the Week! GM Production, Magalies Citrus * R&D Technologists, CT and Durban * Operations Manager, KZN  Click here!

Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments

Nestlé has recently commissioned two new production sites in Gauteng, an investment of some R500m. They will manufacture Milo and Cheerios breakfast cereals and Maggi noodles for the first time in this country.

South Africans love their heritage brands. KOO, one of South Africa’s most enduring brand icons, has eclipsed the granddaddy of all heritage brands, Coca Cola, to take the laurels in the recent Sunday Times Top Brands 2012 survey, its second win in two years.
After years of turning a blind eye to alcohol abuse, politicians from South Africa to Kenya and Zambia are under pressure to tackle alcohol abuse and binge drinking, problems that add to Africa’s burden of HIV, birth defects, road accidents and violent crime.
Bokomo has taken its ProNutro brand into a new category, and an apt one for its positioning, with the introduction of Special Edition ProNutro Active range of high-protein shakes.
What’s happening on SA’s beverage scene?
Tweaks as opposed to real innovation, significant moves to bottle lightweighting, healthy or perceived healthy options are popular across all LSMs, quality perception is still based on brands and an ongoing search for value. 
The SA Chamber of Baking has said that government’s proposals for cutting the salt content of processed food, if accepted in their current form, would force them to make production changes that would make bread more expensive.
A salty challenge looms
Top players discuss the options and solutions in light of SA’s new draft regulations.
Chempure, the Pretoria-based supplier of specialty chemicals and ingredients to the food, health and pharmaceuticals industries, has been bought by Ascendis Health.
Major dairy manufacturer, DairyBelle has taken a new step to community and environmental stewardship with its newly-launched Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified aseptic UHT milk carton packs from SIG Combibloc Obeikan
Tesco eyeing Pick n Pay, Walmart style
Pick n Pay has been quick to quash yet more speculation that Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, will target it if it intends emulating Walmart and looks for growth in this country.

Last week’s top headline: Swift in JV deal with US’s Merieux

Swift Micro Labs evolves into Swift Silliker after joining forces with a global giant, Silliker, a Merieux NutriSciences Company.

 Food Trends and Marketing
That American consumers spend billions annually on gluten-free products is newsworthy, but the jury is out on whether or not the consumers buying these products really need them. In other words, there is a whole lot of self-diagnosing going on out there. What we are witnessing in the consumer preoccupation with gluten-free is indicative of a larger cultural phenomenon…

US craft brewers have much to celebrate this summer, as their ranks swell and they continue to see double-digit sales growth. Craft breweries are expanding faster than at any time since Prohibition, with sales increasing 14 percent in the first half of the year, and volumes rising 12 percent.

First it launched the ‘papple’ – a mixture of a pear and an apple – now Marks & Spencer is capitalising on the trend for hybrid fruits by launching the ‘grango’
– a variety of grape that tastes of mango.
Diet Coke celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and like many crossing over into their 30s, the brand can look back on some significant achievements and forward to some daunting challenges as well, says Mintel analyst, Sarah Theodore.
Meet the Agri-Cube, a prefabricated hydroponic vegetable factory, aimed at housing complexes, hotels, and top-end restaurants. The Japanese concept is touted as the first step in the industrialisation of agriculture, to be located in and amongst the places where people live, work, and play.

As pharmaceutical companies struggle to devise new drugs to treat symptoms of dementia, a host of supplements and products called “medical foods” purporting to improve cognitive function are advancing toward the market.

 Food Science, Safety and Ingredients Stuff

Ingredient suppliers normally focus on marketing their ingredients to brand owners in the hope of getting them used in their products. And as most ingredient sales and marketing professionals know, it’s a frustrating process. Great insights by New Nutrition Business’s founder and editor-in-chief, Julian Mellentin.
It may not make chocolate one of your five-a-day– but scientists have found a way to replace up to 50 percent of its fat content.
Salt reduction is grabbing major headlines this year. The topic is fraught with scientific controversy, but one aspect of the debate that’s apparently not getting due attention is a true understanding of how humans detect saltiness.

Taste perceptions shaped by national cultures, say researchers

Is junk food really more flavoursome than healthy fare? It all depends on cultural perceptions, say researchers… 

Butter flavouring component linked to Alzheimers
Diacetyl, a compound in widely-used butter flavourings, may be linked with key processes in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research.
Meating the demand: The future of meat replacement proteins
With demand for meat replacement proteins set to rocket, industry is left with the conundrum: how to meet the requirements? Some solutions that could pave the way for future generations of meat replacement produts…
The rise and rise of interest in probiotics, from both scientific-health and commercial angles.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Every day there are news reports of new health advice, but how can you know if they’re right? In this entertaining TED lecture, UK doctor, epidemiologist and famous pseudoscience buster, Ben Goldacre, shows, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted, from blindingly obvious nutrition claims to other very subtle tricks. [A MUST watch! Ed]
Food industry now has to think ‘calories in’
There is a growing body of research suggesting that physical activity levels have very little to do with overweight and obesity. That’s a hard message for the food industry that has long stressed ‘active balanced lifestyles’, and ‘calories in, calories out’. How to deal with this conundrum…
The number of US children who drink sugar-free beverages has doubled in the past decade, a new study finds – though the health implications of the trend, if any, are unclear.
Green rooibos tea has higher levels of antioxidants than traditional rooibos, but recent studies are proving that both kinds of rooibos protect against a range of diseases, and that drinking green rooibos is not necessarily better.
US researchers have identified 26 species of bacteria in the human gut microbiota that appear to be linked to obesity and related metabolic complications.
Last week’s top headline: Is your problem gluten? Or faddish eating?

It sounds like an unfolding epidemic: A decade ago, virtually no one in the US seemed to have a problem eating gluten in bread and other foods. Now, millions do.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

What goes in, must come out… The world’s richest man has set himself a new challenge — to improve sanitation for the poor. More than 230 years after a Scottish watchmaker called Alexander Cummings patented the flush toilet, Bill Gates has handed $100 000 to a team from the California Institute of Technology who believe their invention goes one better.

If you think your job in the food industry is tough — check out the day, 364 days a year, of a Mumbai sandwichwallah! Sanjay Singh has been selling sandwiches on the streets of Mumbai for 18 years. Follow his day from fresh chutneys at dawn to a 9.30pm finish

 Food bites…2012: On food additives and children

“Some children may be susceptible to some additives and other children to different things. It is notoriously difficult to assess whether additives really affect behaviour because there are so many other confounding factors that would have to be taken into account: things like low blood sugar, tiredness and whether they had been subject to psychological stress in the time frame of the study.
“Asking parents to assess their children can additionally introduce the element of bias — all these factors make it very hard to look at the effect of particular additives in isolation.”
Judy More, UK paediatric dietician


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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, 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]