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Newsletter 2 November 2012

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 02 November 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:  “People need to start realising that the South African model is more like Bangladesh with a bit of Australia thrown in, not the other way around.” CEO, major FMCG brand

Sensient Food Colors

 Editor’s Stuff: Clover takes ESL milk to new level!
It’s quite remarkable how dairy companies manage to squeeze continuous innovation out of milk – and the latest developments from Clover, SA’s biggest dairy player, must surely have bowled a challenging googly to all its competitors, and delivered an easy catch to shareholders.
SPAR was first to market with ESL (extended shelf life) milk in 2006, pipping Clover despite the latter’s years of R&D it put into the technology. Others players such as Montic Dairies have done likewise more recently – all seeing the no-brainer money and supply chain benefits of putting more shelf life into a fragile commodity.
Clover’s SealFresh-branded ESL milk in the Tetra Top package boasts a 14-day shelf life. Six years on, Clover has now has upped the ESL milk bar with the launch of a 30-day shelf life product, and what’s more, a large percentage of its fresh milk now comes with ESL incorporated and boasting 18 days’ shelf life. You have to love technology!

Like Christmas shopping, food trend predictions for the new year seem to start earlier and earlier, and the first 2013 report has been released from the Innova stable.
As the US food industry awaits a vote from California on the mandatory labelling of GMO ingredients and several manufacturers face regulatory challenges over “natural” product claims, two of the key trends for 2013 are ‘The Aware Shopper’ and ‘Natural” Cracks Emerge’.

Enjoy this week’s newsletter! 


Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
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Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
Nestlé South Africa has announced the results of its Rainbow Nation Health Monitor study, extensive reserach conducted in mid-2011 to determine South Africans’ attitudes toward nutrition, health and wellness, dietary patterns, weight profile and levels of risk of cardiovascular disease.

Some key take-outs: Many fellow citizens are going hungry; taste and satiety win over health; and we’re largely a pretty unhealthy lot!

“These consumers live in two worlds: the formal and informal economies and they’re incredibly efficient consumers.” A view on South Africa’s mass market that is, all at the same time, misunderstood, largely ignored, dichotomous, eagerly sought out and a mass of opportunity.

Read more aboutThe Majority Report, the UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing’s recently-released research on South Africa’s mass market – the Survivors, as they are called in the report, or the 21.5 million adults and 14.5 million children who live in households earning R5000 or less a month.

On the eve of World Diabetes Day (14 November) new evidence has emerged of Rooibos’ anti-diabetic potential.
Sensient Technologies Corp has announced that it plans to make a significant investment to build a new colour and flavour complex in Johannesburg. The investment will provide a state-of-the-art research, development and manufacturing location with dedicated facilities for both colours and flavours.
Nando’s, arguably South Africa’s most famous food export, is on an ambitious growth path to boost its global presence to 2 000 restaurants.
SA: Battle for the soul of organic food industry
As the battle for the soul of the organic food industry continues to rage across the world, South Africans have not been spared the conflicting data and often inflamed exchanges that have underpinned the debate.

BP has announced that it will be investing significantly over the next three years on its BP Express upgrade project to bring more convenience shopping innovation in the form of a new fresh food range to South African customers.

‘Confident’ Bosch braves SA’s packaging market
German multinational Bosch has performed well enough in South Africa to launch a packaging division, despite the country’s manufacturing sector generally struggling with weak demand and competitiveness. It will be marketing both entry level and high-end technology, much of it targeted at food and confectionery.
A sneak peak into the November issue of SAAFoST’s FST magazine
The latest issue of FST (SA Food Science and Technology) magazine features:
•    Novel, cutting-edge ingredient developments            
•    Low-calorie sweeteners: what they are and why they are safe
•    How audits and inspections improve food safety
•    Chocolate manufacture and safety considerations  
•    Top ten tips to managing a crisis in your company
•    Waste policy in SA – the legal implications
For additional information or to subscribe, contact the editor, Tricia Fitchet

 International News & Developments
On November 6, those of who live in California will get to vote on Proposition 37, which requires mandatory labeling of genetically-engineered foods (GMOs). And the whole country is watching. It’s shaping up to be quite the battle.
How a Hershey Bar might prove mightier than a gun
Most of the world’s chocolate originates from West Africa, a region wracked by coups and conflict since receiving independence in the 1960s… But now companies like Hershey are recognising that they must change the way they approach the global procurement of raw materials in order to remain competitive.
Starbucks has recently opened its first store in India, in central Mumbai. Days after the opening, Mumbaikars, mostly the young, were still queuing up. Elitist or not, it’s not so much the coffee they want, but rather somewhere quiet and comfortable that they can chat, date … and use a clean toilet. [Great insights into India’s changing consumer marketplace. Ed]
Royal DSM, the global life sciences and materials sciences company, has announced that it will acquire Cargill’s cultures and enzymes business in an all cash transaction for a total enterprise value of €85 million.
Slow Food: what is its legacy?
Twenty-three years after it began, Slow Food recently held its biennial international get-together in Turin, Italy. But what is the legacy of this movement, which was founded as the antithesis to fast food? 

 Food Trends and Marketing
A Hungarian seafood product has won the prestigious international SIAL d’Or 2012 award for commercially successful innovation. Created in 1986, the illustrious awards, associated with the world’s second-largest food trade fair, recognise innovations that have become major retail successes in their national food markets.
It looks like mission control: in a Swiss market town, an array of screens in Nestlé’s headquarters tracks online sentiment. Executives watch intently as California wakes up, smells the coffee – and says whether it likes it. This is the nerve centre of the company’s Digital Acceleration Team. By monitoring conversation about its products on social media – right down to “realtime recipe tweets” across the US – they aim to win over a sometimes hostile world.
Allegations that its highly caffeinated drinks caused several deaths is a PR debacle for Monster Energy, which denies the claims. Can the company beat the bad press?
Popcorn, outside of the US, is perhaps best known as the stuff that cinemas entice patrons to eat while openly fleecing them. But aside from those salty, sweet, unhealthy and obscenely-priced bucketloads, it is now one of the fastest-growing segments in the UK’s highly competitive snacks market.
Sales of mushrooms have hit an all-time high as Britons increasingly turn to the cheap and versatile foodstuff for their cooking.
A futurist study released by Packaging World magazine and DuPont, “2012 Survey of Future Packaging Trends”, shows that while today’s packaging professional is focused on cost, performance, and food safety/security, sustainability will replace cost as a dominant trend in 10 years.

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff

Is pasteurisation the answer to killer cantaloupes?
After Colorado cantaloupes were found to be at the center of the US’s most deadly foodborne illness outbreak in a century last year, California growers led an intense nationwide campaign to improve practices, especially those involving harvest and post-harvest methods.
Flavor and texture affect how full we expect foods to make us feel
Low calorie foods may help people lose weight but there is often a problem that people using them do not feel full. New research shows that subtle manipulations of texture and creamy flavour can increase the expectation that a fruit yoghurt drink will be filling and suppress hunger regardless of actual calorific content.
Unilever – the world’s biggest user of palm oil
Given its size, Unilever’s consumption can…affect global demand for and pricing of palm oil, a key ingredient in a wide range of consumer products
Mung bean used in Chinese food could protect against sepsis
Researchers at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have discovered that the mung bean, commonly used in Chinese cuisine, protects against the life-threatening condition sepsis.
The yeast used to make beer has yielded what may be the first gene for beer foam, scientists report in a new study. The discovery opens the door to new possibilities for improving the frothy “head” so critical to the aroma and eye appeal of the world’s favourite alcoholic beverage.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff

Canadian scientists have discovered that a protein called resistin, secreted by fat tissue, causes high levels of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL), increasing the risk of heart disease.

Chewing betel quid or nuts – the fourth most popular psychoactive substance in the world after tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine – exposes its 600 million users, including many in South Africa, to substances that act as direct carcinogens in the mouth, scientists are reporting in a new study.

Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

The palate cleanser is an integral element of many haute cuisine experiences: a sorbet, fresh herbs or a simple glass of water are just a few methods of refreshing the mouth, enlivening the tastebuds and preparing the tongue for flavours to come. Unless, of course, you are Heston Blumenthal…

 Food bites…2012: A medley of quotes

“Slow Food’s greatest legacy has to be the development of the idea that there is an alternative to fast food, and progress doesn’t mean bigger, faster and global when it comes to food production and eating.”
Catherine Gazzoli, chief executive of Slow Food UK

The Aware Shopper
“Something very exciting is happening around food in this country. There is a movement. You see it when you go to the farmers market… People are getting very interested in where their food comes from, how it was produced, and they’re trying very hard to vote with their fork, as the slogan goes, for the kind of food that supports their values, the kind of food that they deem most healthy or environmentally sustainable.”

Michael Pollan, US writer and arch food industry critic

The irrational assault on science
“This is why our nation is a mess. ‘I demand it, I want it now, and I don’t care what science says.’ We can’t set a precedent on making scientific decisions based on feelings. Anti-GMO = climate denial = anti vaccine = anti-stem cells = creationists = birthers, etc.  All want changes in policy because they think they are smarter than science.”

Kevin M Folta, American scientist
“The standard deviation of our emotions are set at MAX. You are never just a ‘little bit happy’ or a ‘little bit sad’. At one moment you can be ‘off the scale’ pissed off or frustrated or sad or worried or fearful or depressed. The next moment you are ‘off the scale’ exhilarated, or enchanted, or inspired, or humbled by a kind deed, or surprised by something beautiful. It makes life interesting and worth living.”
FirstRand founder, Paul Harris

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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:

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