Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Newsletter 18 January 2013


 18 January 2013 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…        
SmartStuff:   “If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”
Joseph Cossman, American entrepreneur and inventor

Editor’s Stuff: Burgers, burgers and more about burgers!
There’s precious little food industry news on the homefront this week, with mining woes and strikes, depressingly, continuing to dominate the headlines.

This is not the case in Britain and Ireleand, where burgers, of all things, have made BIG news. Burgers found to be contaminated with horsemeat, that is, and the ‘scandal’ has caused a huge to-do in the media, the British Parliament, and even helped shave £300m off Tesco’s share price.

A similar recent exposé in SA by consumer columnist Wendy Knowler, based on a study by Dr Donna Cawthorn, a food scientist with the University of Stellenbosch and presented at a SAAFoST meeting in Cape Town in mid-December 2012, registered hardly a media blip.

Amid the seriousness of the UK story, it also saw a torrent of gags to be unleashed on Twitter. You can read some of the best – and worst here; but this is my favourite:

“Shocking news. Tesco own-brand value hamburgers have been found to
have traces of real MEAT in them.”

Enjoy this week’s read!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

PS FOODStuff SA is travelling next week – next newsletter 1 February.

  FOODStuff SA is a hub for food-bev industry recruitment:
look for a job or advertise your company’s positions!
Click here!

Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
Can you trust the labels on processed meats – mince, sausages, deli meats and burgers? If a study conducted by Dr Donna Cawthorn, a food scientist with the University of Stellenbosch, is anything to go by, you can’t, reports IOL consumer columnist, Wendy Knowler.

Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson can never be accused of not thinking big. He did it successfully in SA and is determined to replicate Shoprite’s success in the rest of Africa. “I see huge greenfields growth…”

The billion rand man: Whitey Basson, a retail genius, has built Shoprite into an African giant. A look at how he turned a company bought for R1m into one worth more than R100bn today.

 International News & Developments
Coca-Cola became one of the world’s most powerful brands by equating its soft drinks with happiness. Now it’s taking to the airwaves for the first time to address a growing cloud over the industry: obesity.
He changed the way America thought about groceries, and now John Mackey wants to change the way you feel about large corporations, and that’s what his new book, Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business, is all about — taking the edge off public perception of businesses that have shareholders and large operations. “Even if its goal is to maximise profits, it’s not as if business can just do whatever the hell it wants to do…” This is a podcast interview with him.
Ethical consumers should be aware poor Bolivians can no longer afford their staple grain, due to western demand raising prices, says this report.
Less than 20 miles from Singapore’s skyscrapers is a completely different set of high-rise towers. The first commercial-scale vertical farm recently opened in the tiny, densely populated city, with the aim of decreasing dependence on food imports.
Animal by-products are returning to centre stage in the global meat industry, suggests a new report by Rabobank, adding that this trend will be permanent and will impact the business models of almost all players in the global meat industry.

Nestlé chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, launched a water blog a few months ago. It aims to be a platform for debate and discussion on the important issue of water availability around the world.

For food and drinks companies, rising obesity rates present a conundrum. Companies have a duty to their shareholders to make money. But companies do not want to be vilified for helping to make people fatter.
An anti-GMO food activist . Mark Lynas, once one of the most outspoken critics of the GMO movement in both the UK and around the world, has made a stunning turnaround.


 Food Trends and Marketing
Influential US market analysts, the Hartman Group, releases an annual trends report. A free one, too. What you won’t find within the pages ofits Ideas in Food – A Cultural Perspective is a rehashing of tired old culinary trends. Rather it explores the themes shaping evolving food culture, including the future of traceability and if sugar will be the taboo ingredient of the new year. [This is really excellent trends stuff! Ed]
By finding a way to keep probiotic bacteria alive in hot drinks, this new beverage comes both with caffeine and a health-boosting kick. Here is the world’s first probiotic coffee, now on sale from a US company called Tipton Mills.
Shopping the perimeter
Consumers have gravitated away from the centre of the store, drawn to perishables like produce, seafood, dairy, refrigerated meals, and fresh bakery and deli products, which translates to strong opportunities in these categories…. A lengthy article in IFT’s Food Technology magazine, Jan 2013 issue, by its resident ‘trendologist’, Elizabeth Sloan. [Limited access time to this article for non-subscribers] 
Trends in the healthy drinks sector
From coconut water to multi-vitamin shots and oat smoothies, ‘healthy’ drinks are growing in
popularity. The latest issue of Inside Drinks magazine explores the latest trends in the healthy drinks sector to find out which ingredients manufacturers rely on to boost the health appeal of their beverages.

In Australia, McDonald’s is often called “Macca’s,” a quirky nickname that the fast food giant has submitted to the Macquarie Dictionary for consideration in the next edition. Now, the company is embracing the nomenclature to celebrate its 40 years Down Under and Australia Day, which falls on Jan 26 this year, by changing the name of 13 of its restaurants.

Who would have guessed that a cloyingly sweet, mass-produced, calorie-free drink would become the most stylish drink in the world? As Diet Coke celebrates its 30th anniversary, this article toasts the top of the pops.
Eliminating waste at the front end of innovation
Time, money, and effort are often wasted in new product development due to the late discovery of something important. An iterative, exploratory process can avoid such waste. Another detailed paper in IFT’s Food Technology magazine, Jan 2013 issue. [Limited access time to this article for non-subscribers]
US: McDonald’s new packaging to have QR codes for nutritional information
McDonald’s has unveiled plans to launch new packaging designs incorporating QR codes that will make nutrition information accessible from mobile devices, as the world’s largest fast-food chain continues its push to appeal to more nutrition-conscious consumers. 

This year, NNB asserts that the influence of ‘naturality’ over food and beverage product development will continue to grow; that it has become “the direction people want to go in” and will shape and drive the market as companies across all categories seek to ride this wave.

Allergen-free, chia seeds, faux meat, food sharing, humane food, teff, menu-free dining, midcalorie foods – some of the food-related items from JWTIntelligence’s annual list of 100 Things to Watch for the year ahead.

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff
It has always been a simple question: tea or coffee? Now, after a scientific breakthrough that choice could become rather less straightforward. Tea brewed from the fruit and leaves of coffee plants could be a healthier option than either tea of coffee alone, according to new research.
Lobsters and crabs feel pain
The food industry should reconsider how it treats crabs and lobsters after a study indicated they do feel pain, researchers have said. A team from Queen’s University in Belfast devised an experiment involving mild electric shocks designed to distinguish between pain and unconscious reflex action.

Global probiotics market to grow 6.8% annually until 2018
A new market analysis says the global probiotics market will surge by 6.8% a year for the next five years, driven by an Asia-Pacific, expected to be the most prominent market in the future.”

Deadly aspergillus fungus looks more threatening to global food security
Fortified by global warming, incidence of this carcinogenic mould, reached record highs in 2012.
Last week’s top headline: The future of food
With billions of mouths to feed, we can’t go on producing food in the traditional way. Scientists are coming up with novel ways to cater for future generations. In-vitro burger, anyone? [Brilliant and provocative article – essential reading for food industrialists. Ed]

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Acceptance of nuts by many consumers still is hindered by the fact that they are calorically dense, in spite of their having earned a reputation as a healthy food among nutritionists and health professionals.
The fact that women tend to live longer than men, though still true, is less true than it was, and the gap is shrinking — in rich countries, at least — every year.
Overeating and obesity now a bigger global problem than lack of food
Chronic diseases linked to obesity and overconsumption of food are now a bigger global healthcare burden than illness and disease caused by malnutrition, according to the most comprehensive disease report ever produced on global health issues.
Junk food linked to 40% rise in childhood asthma and eczema, say scientists
Eating more than three portions of junk food each week could lead to an increased risk of childhood asthma and eczema, say researchers.
Spanish researchers have traced the bacterial microbiota map in human milk, which is often the main source of nourishment for newborns. The study has revealed a larger microbial diversity than originally thought: more than 700 species.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff
The uninspired design of the ketchup packet has to be one of the worst parts of the fast food experience; clumsy and messy. A team of Korean designers tasked themselves with coming up with a better solution. Introducing the Ketchup Presser…

 Food bites…2013: Juicy trend bites

A vegetable-inflected future… “To be clear, there has not been a mass conversion of carnivores to vegetarians as of late, nor do we anticipate such behaviour. Instead, we are hearing of consumers ‘pulling’ more plant-based foods to the centre of the plate and ‘pushing’ animal products to its edges. It’s not about eliminating meat, but letting plant-based products take centre stage.”

Flavour hits… “Successful flavour innovation requires looking to the margins of food culture for the next big idea, not the so-called unmet needs of the mainstream.”

The Hartman Group, Ideas in Food 2013 report

The appeal of the health halo…
“More consumers than ever before tell us that eating healthy and paying attention to nutrition is important. However, there’s a shift happening in terms of what actually defines healthy for them. We’re seeing more consumers gravitate toward health-halo claims — such as local, natural and organic, as well as whole-wheat and free-range. Operators can leverage this growing interest in the health halo by developing the kinds of menu offerings that can underscore health without detracting from the taste perception.”
Darren Tristano, VP Technomic market research
 Bidfood Solutions
Swift Micro Labs
Par Excellance
Professional Career Services
The HR Company
Progress Excellence
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:

Spread the love