Newsletter 2 August 2013

Your Newsletter

2 August 2013
 Your weekly food industry news
and insights…
SmartStuff:   “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.”  HG Wells, British author

Sensient Food Colors

Editor’s Stuff: Introducing DRINKStuff SA!
You may have noticed something different in the header to this e-mail – and yes, I’m happy to announce today the official launch of a sister website to FOODStuff SA, namely DRINKStuff SA!
Such has been the growth of FOODStuff SA since its inception nearly five years ago, that it’s now viable to take beverages to a new, dedicated site, and devote more resources and coverage to both sectors, massive industries each.
The new website is up and running and well populated with interesting content – which will grow commensurately with time.
DRINKStuff SA will be on the same B2B platform as FOODStuff SA, covering the myriad of issues that affect the production and marketing of every type of drink, both alcoholic and soft. This will include company news, new product development, ingredients and flavours, packaging, processing and filling, drinks trends, marketing, safety, QA and regulatory issues, nutrition and health issues, hot topics and so on.
The beverage sector is dynamic and marketing focused and I’m confident that the site will be appreciated by industrialists and consumers alike, as is FOODStuff SA. With the likely ban on liquor advertising in the future, I believe it will also serve as a valuable medium of publicity for this sector of the drinks market.
My weekly e-newsletter (now with over 4 000 subscribers) will remain as is – already serving both food and beverage communities. In future, all beverage articles will be on DRINKStuff SA and food stories on FOODStuff SA. Of course, there is plenty of cross-over news and information of relevance to industrialists in both sectors, which will encourage reading over both platforms.
Your editorial input is welcome, as are your comments and suggestions. DRINKStuff also offers advertisers and effective yet very affordable medium. Please contact me for some great deals!
Thanks for your interst and support. As the old adage goes: “Onwards and upwards!”
SAAFFI Networking Evening
SAFFII (SA Association of the Flavour & Fragrance Industry) is hosting a networking evening on August 21, at the Wanderer’s Club, Jo’burg. On the menu: a fabulous dinner and a presentation on the very current subject of Social Media platforms and how they can work for business. See the SAAFFI website for more details.

Enjoy this week’s read…
  • Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
    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
In what’s likely to cause a stir in the cereal sector, Durban’s fast-track FUTURELIFE has announced it will be the first company in the functional food market in South Africa to make the move to GMO-free products.
Kraft Foods South Africa this week announced its official name change its to Mondelez South Africa after parent, Kraft Foods, split last year to create Mondelēz International, the world’s largest snacks group. The company used the occasion to share its vision for growth and position itself as a “catalyst for change” across all its areas of activity.
A year on after it was gutted by a devastating fire on August 9, 2012, BM Food Manufacturers, best known for its popular Mediterranean Delicacies and Bettafresh products, has officially opened its newly rebuilt state-of-the-art facility. Full production will start on Monday.
Acquired in February 2011 for R106m – announced with a fair blaze of publicity and a further R150m allocated for upgrading – Nestlé South Africa has now decided to call it a day on soy protein and millk production at its SPP Potchefstroom plant. The entire plant will be sold via online auction in late September.

 International News and Developments

NYC’s big soda ban ruled out – on appeal
On Tuesday an appeals court ruled that New York City’s Board of Health exceeded its legal authority and acted unconstitutionally when it tried to put a size limit on soft drinks served in city restaurants.
Last week, when Unilever reported a 1 percent drop in sales volume for all its food products over the first half of the year, the company noted the particular pain caused by “a decline in spreads” and singled out some problems with margarine as the culprit.
World’s most expensive burger will be eaten next week
It’s the burger that will weigh in at 140g, has cost £250,000 to produce and could create a slice of history. The world’s first stem cell burger, which has been grown in a laboratory, will be cooked and eaten in London on Monday.
New Diageo chief executive, Ivan Menezes, might have been expected to bring some big ideas to the table when he took over from Paul Walsh at the helm of the world’s biggest drinks company one month ago. Instead the 54-year-old says he is thinking “small”.
In a little shop near the Louvre museum in Paris, a very strange type of ice cream is being sold. Customers don’t order cups, cones or shakes; here they ask for WikiPearls – the shape of packaging to come?

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff

Over 23 500 food professionals from all over the globe gathered in Chicago for the IFT 2013 Annual Meeting & Food Expo from July 13–16, 2013, to make this year’s event a huge success. Few South Africans were likely there — but you can do the show and lectures posthumously, with the IFT making it easy via the IFT Live website.

Cyclospora – rare food poisoning outbreak in US
Imported bagged salad is the likely cause, still to be cofirmed and the source identified, of the cyclospora stomach bug outbreak that has sickened more than 350 people in at least 15 US states. Cyclospora is a parasite that causes the intestinal disease cyclosporiasis. It is often found in food and drinking water that has been contaminated with faecal matter.
Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease – and a basic prerequisite for everyone working in the food industry.

Looking to mushrooms as a fat substitute
For several years, food scientist have been looking closely at ways to reduce calories with new ingredients that mimic fats without losing the taste and texture demanded by consumers. One solution could be hydrophobins, a natural protein extracted from mushrooms.
Tesco reviews UK tea blends as scientists spark fluoride fears
Tesco will review its tea blends after scientists warned that economy private label teas sold by the grocer and other UK retailers are high in fluoride and that drinking over a litre/day could promote the bone disease skeletal fluorosis.
A new review in Food and Chemical Toxicology has reaffirmed the safety of aspartame. The study examined the research that has been done over the past 22 years on the safety of aspartame.
When a single genetic mutation first let ancient Europeans drink milk, it set the stage for a continental upheaval. There has been a wave of discoveries about the history of milk in Europe in recent years, helping illuminate the profound ways that dairy products have shaped human settlement and history.
The lack of any ‘magic ingredient’ for sodium reformulation necessitates a partnership approach to retaining shelf life in foods – Euromonitor International discusses the challenges and trends, how food manufacturers can reformulate and position their products.

LRQA South Africa

 Marketing, Trends, Innovation and NPD
Serving wine without removing the cork!
Enjoying a glass of wine means having to open an entire bottle and hoping it tastes fresh enough for another the next day, but the new Coravin Wine Access System 1000 can effectively remove a single glass of wine from the bottle without ever having to remove the cork. It could change the way wine is enjoyed, served and sold, say its inventors.
Thanks to the recent decision by the UN FAO to change the test methodology for proteins, dairy protein will be able to market itself as being of higher quality – more available to the body – than other proteins. But to make the most of their new advantage, producers of dairy protein will need to up their marketing game – and they can learn the most relevant lessons on protein marketing best-practice from their rivals, the soy protein industry.
“Because they spend so much time out of the house earning money, many young women in cities like Manchester have never learned to cook. Sometimes their households scratch along, ill-fed. At other times their husbands are condemned to take over domestic duties.” That was Frederick Engels, the industrialist and communist, writing in 1845. But the complaints have not changed much over the decades.
UK: Economy drinks forge ahead
Britons, among others, continue to be cautious in their spending – thus, economy lines and products featuring value-related claims have never been in greater demand. New research from Mintel reveals that the number of economy food and drink products launched there outstripped the number of premium launches for the first time in 2012.
Honey is sweet!
Honey’s versatility is boosting its usage rates in beverage recipes, with its sweetness and natural image finding favour with beverage producers and consumers.
Nestlé takes Special.T to Japan
For the first time Nestlé is introducing its premium-portioned capsule tea system Special.T to consumers outside Europe with the launch of the brand in Japan.
Nice bit of fresh fruit marketing innovation out of Queensland, Australia, where a major banana grower has launched a specially designed fresh banana vending machine in a Brisbane food court. This neatly by-passes traditional supply channels and supermarkets, and no doubt has a dandy premium attached.
Sports nutrition marketers, traditionally focused on young men, sports teams and hardcore athletes, could do well to put more attention to a far larger and potentially more viable market: women, weekend warriors and regular sports and fitness fans.

 Health and Nutrition
Gluten-free food, once seen as fad, has evolved into a multi-billion dollar trend. Why, when scientific reasearch shows only one percent of the US population has caeliac disease and only 0.5 percent is allergic to wheat. Like MSG, gluten intolerance looks to be mainly in the head and, as this article argues, that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
By consuming so much sugar we are not just demonstrating weak willpower and indulging our sweet tooth — we are in fact poisoning ourselves according to a growing chorus of doctors, nutritionists and biologists. This article scrutinises all the contrary evidence on glucose, fructose, sucrose…
The commonly held notion that sugar intake equals diabetes is a kind of unofficial dogma. But like many dogmas, this one falls apart upon closer examination. This article is entitled:The condemnation of carbohydrates: A food manufacturer’s guide to understanding diabetes”.
Digest this: Cure for cancer may live in our intestines
Treating a cancerous tumour is like watering a houseplant with a fire hose – too much water kills the plant, just as too much chemotherapy and radiation kills the patient before it kills the tumour. However, if a patient’s gastrointestinal tract remains healthy and functioning, the chances of survival increase exponentially.
The red-wine polyphenol, resveratrol, believed to benefit longevity and heart health for its antioxidant properties, has been found to undermine the cardiovascular benefits of exercise in a small study.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff
Describing the McDonald’s double cheeseburger as “the cheapest, most nutritious, and bountiful food that has ever existed in human history” might seem beyond fanciful, but according to the author of Freakonomics, it is not as absurd a suggestion as it appears.

 Food bites…2013: The stellar business that is Greek yogurt in the US

GREEK YOGURT’S dollar share of the overall yogurt market — led by the raging success of the Chobani brand — was 42 percent for the 52 weeks ending in early June, up from 8.1 percent just three years earlier, according to data from Nielsen.
   “It’s pretty phenomenal to see this much growth in a [packaged food] category,” said Todd Hale, Nielsen’s senior vice president of consumer and shopper insights. “It’s completely taken over.”
   Greek resonated because of its high protein levels and particularly healthy halo. It’s tartier taste has helped, too. “It’s all about the tart,” said Melissa Abbott, director of culinary insights at the Hartman Group, a food market researcher. “Something has happened to the American palate in the past seven years.”
   As food companies have gotten wise to Greek’s allure, the Greek yogurt cooler has gotten crowded.
   From January through May of this year, 57 percent of all yogurt products launched in the US were Greek-themed, said Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director for market researcher Datamonitor Consumer. That’s up from 43 percent last year, 26 percent in 2011 and 16 percent in 2010.
   “You don’t see stuff like this happen every day where one segment accounts for so much in product introductions and sales,” Vierhile said.
   Which prompts a question: Is the Greek category getting too mature to support much more growth?
   General Mills says no, noting that US yogurt consumption is still growing at a strong clip and is well below that of other countries.
From an article in the Star Tribune: read more
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Totally Food Events
Brenda NeallPublished weekly 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]