Newsletter 18 May 2012

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 18 May 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US president

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: SA stands proud in SIAL d’Or Awards!
SIAL 2012, the famous Paris food expo, only takes place in October, but the winners of its SIAL d’Or new product competition have already been announced.
SIAL d’Or rewards and highlights food innovations that have become commercial successes in the domestic markets of the 30 countries represented. Judging, by editors of 28 retail trade magazines from around the world, recently took place in Montreal.

South Africa did not win any of the top category prizes, but our products reportedly were highly commended. The South African country award went to…

Two category winners that caught my fancy:

Winner of the Dairy Products Category: Mammoth Yoghurt from New Zealand

Mammoth Supply Co embarked on an innovative marketing campaign to target only men with this brand of yoghurt. As its tongue-in-cheek marketing blurb goes: “Man has lost his place in the world and his place in the fridge. There are scarce few products we can call our own.”

The super thick yoghurt has an innovative central core of grains, seeds or fruit and is packed into a man-sized tub with a spoon in the lid. The launch added significant incremental sales to the mature yoghurt category in New Zealand, in part thanks to the promoting of the product as a yoghurt built to tame a man’s hunger.

Winner of Savoury Frozen Products Category: Foglia a Foglia from Italy
This is a leaf-by-leaf range of frozen spinach, beet, savoy cabbage and chicory – made possible by innovative technology that keeps the leaves intact, preserving flavour, colour and softness of fresh vegetables. For consumers, this product provides more colour, flavour and texture in their frozen vegetable dishes. This great innovation also greatly enriches the frozen category in-store. Sounds intriguing!

More interesting innovation this week was announced in the form of the 2012 DuPont Packaging Awards.

Enjoy this week’s read!


Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
 Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Many interesting career opportunities are posted up on
FOODStuff SA’s Jobs pages!
Click here!

Key food industry events next week:

SAAFoST Salt & Sodium Reduction Workshops: Cape Town, Monday 21 May; JHB, Tuesday 22 May. Click here for more

Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments

This week is Fairtrade Coffee Week in South Africa. While this global movement for ethical supply chains and fair prices for farmers has long been gaining traction overseas, it seems that awareness among South African consumers still has a way to go.

How do consumers know fair trade is really all that fair? Daily Maverick commentator, Ivo Vegter, does some digging – and decides fair trade coffee just isn’t his cup of tea.

The poorest 30% of SA’s population now spend almost 39% of their income on food, up from almost 34% a year ago, according to the National Agricultural Marketing Council’s quarterly food price monitor.

Chateau Libertas, believed to be South Africa’s oldest red blend, celebrates its 80th birthday this year. It was launched in 1932 by an American medical doctor and adventurer who began making wine when he moved to Stellenbosch. Not a year has gone by since in which the wine has not been made.

Nestlé has reintroduced the distinctive blue SMARTIES to the popular range, now made with a natural colourant, and accompanied with a marketing campaign focused on inspiring creativity in kids.

Rhodes Food Group can take a deserved bow – its Portobello Franschhoek Angelot, a washed-rind cheese, was crowned the 2012 Dairy Product of the Year. Further, 26 excellent dairy products were awarded the coveted Qualité mark of excellence, and 90 dairy products were lauded SA Champions.

Despite taking a publicity knock earlier this year for allegedly copying the packaging of a Frankies’ soft drinks, Woolworths has the best reputation among SA’s top companies.

International News & Stuff

Beef Products Inc, the maker of the beef product dubbed “pink slime” by critics announced further lay-offs this week, now over 700. The company has closed three plants in Iowa, Kansas and Texas. Read more about the fallout of this shocking saga…

Cold, bubbly, sweet soda, long the American Champagne, is becoming product non grata in more places these days. What began as a slow decline accelerated in the middle of the last decade and now threatens some of the best-known brands in the business.

Corporate social responsibility in the supply chain
Manufacturers are expected to fully disclose where they source their products, or suffer the PR backlash. Just ask Apple. However, such is the momentum toward full disclosure that even the biggest and most successful companies are being held accountable by stakeholders for incomplete reporting.

 Food Marketing, Trends and Innovation
The market for lactose-free dairy products has doubled in the past five years – and is set for similarly impressive growth over the next five, says a new report by industry experts New Nutrition Business.

Kellogg Co has announced a refresh of its Kellogg’s brand in what it calls “the most significant update of its marquee identity in company history”. The update is showcased on the redesigned website — — launching in the US and Canada and soon to be rolled out globally. 

Danone has launched a “new category” of yoghurt to Spanish consumers – offering the experience of eating ice cream with the nutritional benefits of yoghurt – at a whopping capex of some R105m!

Tetra Pak has released three white papers on trends that will influence the global food and beverage sectors up to 2020, covering manufacturing, retailing and consumer influences. A very useful resource…

UK sales of processed breakfast cereals are dwindling, with many British breakfasters ditching the sugary brands for healthier, more natural alternatives, according to this report.

Two opposing forces within the sweet biscuits market are at work globally, according to Innova Market Insights. The treat image of biscuits is driving the premium sector forward, while rising health concerns have also raised interest in better-for-you products.

Why are men generally more reluctant to try vegetarian products? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers are influenced by a strong association of meat with masculinity.

Last week’s top headline US: Kraft pushing dressing beyond the salad bowl
Salad dressing on your fish? How about on your stir fry? In a new marketing campaign, Kraft Foods is hoping to boost sales by encouraging consumers to use its dressings in a limitless variety of dishes – as a dip, a spread, a marinade or perhaps a glaze.

Food Science, Safety and Ingredients Stuff

As two major global ingredient manufacturers announce new investment in synthetic menthol production, could this herald a new era for synthetic flavours, asks UK research company, RTS?

Everyone’s a critic,” sighs the artist. But with new smartphone technology, we could take our criticism to new mediums and industries entirely. “Everyone’s a quality tester,” the industrial food producer may soon be sighing.

Innovative vacuum-packaging that reduces food waste by keeping meat looking and staying fresh longer took top honours in the 2012 DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.

Last week’s top headline: Another top five trouble-shooting tips
Most technical people working in the food industry will at some time be involved in trouble-shooting activities. Wayne Morley, head of Food Innovation at Leatherhead Food Research, outlines another set of five tips for trouble shooting. See his first five tips

 Health and Nutrition Stuff

This remarkable infographic shows our eating habits deteriorate as the day goes on – and it’s the same the world round.

New research finds an association between lower body weight and participation in cultural and intellectual activities, including reading.

An experimental drug could stop people from getting drunk and also help heavy drinkers wean off alcohol.

The name alone sounds so encouraging: HDL, the “good cholesterol”. The more of it in your blood, the lower your risk of heart disease. So bringing up HDL levels has got to be good for health. Or so the theory went.

Type 2 diabetes is fast becoming a world-wide pandemic. Treatment tends to move from lifestyle changes and then onto a series of what’s called “stacking meds” – combinations of drugs that inevitably become ineffective and eventually lead to insulin injections to lower blood sugar. This is the story of one American doctor who is looking at diabetes treatment from a different angle…

Zeroing in on Zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral in the human diet serving a number of functions from the formation of essential enzymes to strengthening the immune system.  In addition, zinc is essential for protein synthesis and supports normal growth and development. Because the body does not store zinc, a daily intake is required to maintain zinc levels.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

More extreme cakes…. This may look like a decomposing chicken leg, but it is actually a cake. British baker extraordinaire, Debbie Goard, creates cakes that look so much like savoury dishes or everyday objects, they fool the recipient.

Cakes extraordinaire – Part I
Of course, every dog lover’s dog is cute enough to eat… But literally?

For avid dog lovers in the UK, their luck’s in, because the new cupcakes of the British bakery world come in the shape of loveable pups. Yes, we’re talking about ‘cake dogs’.

 Food bites… Business has only two functions: innovation and marketing!

“Like most of my peers in the marketing industry, I get inventors and clever thinkers contacting me with something new they have developed. Their stories are all the same: “We can’t get any of the big stores to stock it,” or “We can’t find anyone to make it.”

What they are finding out the hard way is that in business today the big idea is the easy part. Getting the consumer to buy something, however, takes a lot of marketing. And the more unique the product, the more marketing it needs. And the more unknown its brand name, the more marketing it needs. And marketing today costs a lot of money.

The result is that hundreds of thousands of great product ideas end up on the scrapheap or gathering dust in the inventor’s garage. The big lesson one generally learns from failed new products is that when marketing is missing, so is success. There are exceptions, but these are
extremely rare.”

Chris Moerdyk, corporate marketing analyst, advisor and media commentator

DSM Quality for Life
QPro International

Swift Micro Labs

Par Excellance
Professional Career Services
The HR Company
ProCert Southern Africa

Progress Excellence
Totally Food Events
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]