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Newsletter 19 October 2012

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 19 October 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 

SmartStuff:  “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Cyril Northcote Parkinson, historian and writer of Parkinson’s Law

Sensient Food Colors

 Editor’s Stuff: The Red Bull phenomenon!
In light of the endlessly depressing headlines we’re faced with daily in SA, I thought this week I’d rather focus on an uplifting story, pun intended: one singularly amazing human feat that captured global attention on Sunday; Red Bull dare-devil, Felix Baumgartner’s world-record skydive from 39 000m.
Apart from this brave accomplishment, it has refocused attention on a brand that’s never out of the news. Red Bull is a marketing phenomenon of our time, with lessons, perhaps, to offer all food-beverage brand owners.

Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space on Sunday drew more than eight million concurrent YouTube viewers and hundreds of thousands of Facebook likes and accounted for half of all global trending topics on Twitter. “Will the stunt sell more Red Bull? You, bet it will. And it’ll keep people talking for a long time to come…

And regarding those nasty, depressing headlines, I found this inspiring article which puts some perspective to being a South African; to an understanding that perhaps things aren’t always that bad — something to cheer up your weekend.

Enjoy this week’s newsletter! 


Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

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Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
Consumers in South Africa have won a “hard earned victory” with regard to the labelling of genetically modified (GM) foods, reports the anti-GM lobby group, African Centre for Biosafety (ACB), following the recent publication (9 Oct) by the DTI of draft amendments to the regulations governing the labelling of GM food.
It is expensive to analyse food to comply with mandatory food labelling laws. Expensive, and in many cases, entirely superfluous. Voluntary labelling achieves most of the same benefits, but at a significantly lower cost of implementation and compliance policing. Cheaper food sounds like smart policy, in this day and age. 
Drinking in the township is no longer limited to the quart and beer crate scene of before. Now, young people want stylish nightspots and the best alcohol money can buy. There’s also a growing wine culture. It’s all about experience…
KWV has marked its Ciao brand’s first birthday, the premium ready-to-serve (RTS) cocktail, with the launch of a convenient new one-litre pack in simply fabulous packaging.

Amstel Lager, SA’s original premium beer brand, has announced the launch of new packaging that incorporates and enhances its iconic brand appeal and premium positioning.
Good to see some innovation spicing up the baked beans category: Rhodes has added two new variants to its range that it claims will add new meaning to “good enough to eat from the can”.
Last week’s top headlines:

 International News & Developments
Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW), Nestlé’s 50/50 joint venture with General Mills, has committed to reducing the sugar content of 20 Nestlé breakfast cereal brands popular with children and teenagers to 9g or less per serving by the end of 2015.
Soda makers, restaurateurs and other businesses are suing to try to block New York’s unprecedented move to restrict sales of super-sized, sugary drinks, an effort the city called a coup for public health but the industry views as unfair and undemocratic.
SABMiller is taking its African beer brand, Chibuku, to ten countries across the continent, as part of its strategy to produce more affordable beer for lower-income consumers.

 Food Trends and Marketing
PepsiCo is reportedly developing a novel protein-based product designed to appeal to women that “won’t show up on a shelf the way you envision it” – a development revealed by senior managers of its Nutrition Ventures arm at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) last week in Philadelphia.
As brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi “balance on the high wire”, Interbrand warns in its ‘Best Global Brands 2012’ report them there are other acts “eager to steal the show”, while the top soft drinks brands must adjust their offerings to reflect evolving consumer preferences.
The world’s top 5 alcoholic drinks brands
With marketing muscle key in the battle to retain world brand dominance, alcoholic titans from Moët Hennessy to Heineken must address social concerns while piloting an astute emerging market growth strategy. Showcasing Interbrand’s top five 2012 brands, plus the best of the rest.
Food firms miss out on ‘millions’ of online grocery sales
Food manufacturers are missing out on sales worth millions of pounds by using the internet only to promote their brands and not for direct sales, according to the grocery think-tank, IGD’s Trading, in a Digital World conference.
Packaging to grab consumers’ attention and spend

Packaging is such an integral part of products and brands, and is often the differentiator in the consumer purchase decision. Brands and retailers are focusing more effort and money into innovative packaging solutions, while the packaging industry is developing an arsenal of new technologies aimed at winning consumers over.
‘Dry’ bars pop up in Britain
Newcastle is the latest city to open ‘dry bar’, where all the delights of a pub can be enjoyed, except alcohol. They’re part of a move to offer alternatives to the UK’s notorious binge-drinking culture.
Last week’s top headlines:

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff

More than 700 scientists and academicians have signed petitions calling on French researcher, Gilles-Eric Seralini (left), to release research data behind his recently publicised health claims associated with biotech crops.
An international consortium of scientists has published a high resolution draft of the barley genome. The research, published in the journal Nature, will help to produce new and better barley varieties that are vital for the beer and whisky industries.
Ingredient focus: Non-nutrative sweeteners
Sucralose rose to become the second most popular non-nutritive sweetener in tracked global product launches (2010-2011), ahead of aspartame. Acesulfame K is still the number one, due to its sweetener capabilities in different applications.
Last week’s top headline: The dark side of liquid nitrogen cocktails

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Why type 2 diabetes is a bit like ‘The Bourne Identity’
In The Bourne Identity, the eponymous hero is presumed dead by his former employers, but turns out to have merely lost his memory. Thus unburdened, he attempts to change his fate.  Which reminds one of diabetes.
A daily multivitamin reduces cancer risk in older men
There hasn’t been strong evidence to support the idea that vitamins can combat cancer — until now.
Is phosphorus a new trans fat?
Dietary exposure to high levels of phosphorus could be increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to one kidney specialist. While it is an essential nutrient found naturally in some foods such as egg yolk and milk, it is increasingly added to packaged foods via a raft of phosphorus additives as an anti-caking agent, to help preserve moisture or colour, as a stabiliser, leavening agent or acidifier, Geoffrey Block, MD, told delegates at the recent Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) in Philadelphia.
“Medicine is broken and the people you should have been able to trust to fix [its] problems have failed you.” A sentence from the first page of pseudo-science buster, Dr Ben Goldacre’s much-publicised new book, Bad Pharma. This review concludes that Goldacre’s new work “deserves to be widely read, because anyone who does read it cannot help feeling both uncomfortable and angry”.
We are all told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and now neuroscientists are starting to understand why. Skipping the first meal of the day not only means you eat more at lunch, research has found, but also means your brain is primed to seek out unhealthier, higher-calorie foods.
Last week’s top headline: The impressive power of human milk

Breast-feeding boosts an infant’s immune system 
and promotes a healthy gut. Scientists are 
finally isolating the compounds responsible. The result 
could be a health breakthrough for all ages.

Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

All water tastes different – and water tasting leads to better understanding the type of water you enjoy. And knowing which bottled brand will bring out the best in your whisky or brandy.

A minor burn somewhere on the outside of the body can usually be helped and soothed by applying ice or various ointments. But you can’t exactly put a Band-Aid on a scald to the tongue from hot food or drink. That said, you may soon be able to apply a soothing medicated strip, instead

 Food bites…2012: Making cereals healthier

Opposite points of view in reaction to news that CPW, Nestlé’s 50/50 joint venture with General Mills, has committed to making its cereal formulations much healthier by 2015:

“THIS move is exactly the direction companies should be taking, it will not be easy and must be exercised gradually and unobtrusively.

It will take perseverance and discipline in the face of critics such as foodies who want it all tomorrow and financials who are demanding where the profits will come from.

Industry and government attempts to get consumers to replace unhealthy foods with healthy choices have failed, and this reformulation strategy represents an alternative, pragmatic change of strategy starting.

Gradually improving the nutritional profile of mass market foods that consumers enjoy is a nutritional strategy for the 21st century. But it is the gradual nature that is absolutely essential here… The vast majority of consumers are repelled by less sugar and less salt claims.

Importantly, the unobtrusiveness must be kept for a long time – we’re talking decades,”

I hope Nestlé won’t try and make a boast about being healthier than they are. I hope they are modest about claims.”

Professor Jack Winkler, British nutrition policy specialist
“WHILE we are giving credit to this move, the sugar and salt levels should not have been this high to start with. These are not healthy cereals and they still won’t be after the reformulation… The claims on calcium and wholegrain are marketing misdirection used to position the product as healthy and disguise the levels of salt and sugar.”

Malcolm Clark, co-ordinator of UK health movement, Children’s Food Campaign

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Brenda NeallPublished every Friday as part of www.foodstuffsa.co.za, 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]