Newsletter 2 October 2014


2 October 2014

We hunt down the latest food-drinks news
and trends so you don’t have to!

  “Study the unusually successful people you know, and you will find them imbued with enthusiasm for their work which is contagious. Not only are they themselves excited about what they are doing, but they also get you excited.”  Paul Ivey


Editor’s Stuff: Rhodes Food Group looking set to go places!

CECIL John Rhodes, resting in the Matopo Hills of Zimbabwe, would surely have been pleased to witness his fledgling company – now the Rhodes Food Group, that he established in 1902 in the Groot Drakenstein valley – arrive on the JSE main board this morning.Read more...

RFG is now in the illustrious company of the likes of Tiger Brands, AVI and Pioneer Foods, and by all reports, its prospects have excited the market.

RFG has a formidable product line-up which includes jams and vegetables (Rhodes and Hazeldene brands), pies and sausage rolls (Magpie brand), canned meat (Bull Brand) and cheese (Portobello brand).

A strong position in the retail private label sector has also been built, not least as Woolworths’ exclusive supplier of ready-made meals and pies, and Ayrshire milk products.

It’s also a big player in fruit canning, a sector in which it and Tiger Brands compete alone. Canned fruit exports, ratcheted up in importance by RFG’s acquisition of US firm Del Monte’s SA interests in 2010, make up a large portion of sales and profits.

Chief Executive, Bruce Henderson, has exciting plans up his sleeve, too. “There are a lot of acquisition opportunities and as a niche player we can expand into new categories and take market share,” he told the Financial Mail.

Emphasising this point, RFG has, since 2013, launched 90 fresh and long-life product lines. Another 91 new fresh lines are planned for debut the next 12 months. We can but watch this interesting space!


Rhodes Food Group: set to go places with today’s JSE listing

Hope you enjoy this week’s read…. your clicks are vital and much appreciated!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

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This week’s news on FOODStuff SA!

R429: Expert insights on SA’s new draft food labelling regulations post the comments period

The three-month period for comments on R429, SA’s new draft labelling regulations, closed a month ago. By all accounts, the Dept of Health must be sifting through a tome of input from many affected constituents who have expressed alarm, concern and doubt about several aspects of the proposals. Here is some expert opinion on the issues…

Pick n Pay now announces move to ethical pork

Pick n Pay has announced a major new commitment to accelerate progress on the welfare of pigs in South Africa, promising that its fresh pork will be ‘gestation-stall free’ from December 31, 2015.

Noakes wants Cape Town to be ‘cradle of meal revolution’

Ardent evangelist of the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, Prof Tim Noakes, wants Cape Town to be the cradle of the “meal revolution” which he hopes to spread across the world.

Adverse effects from Hoodia supplements: new Stellenbosch study

A new Stellenbosch University study into the physiological effects of Hoodia gordonii (the well-known ‘wonder’ weight-loss supplement) on rats, has delivered some disturbing results, including a rise in blood pressure, loss of skeletal muscle mass and bloated stomachs.

Plum success for a saucy SA startup

With all the interest in Asian cuisine, there certainly seems to be a notable gap on SA’s crowded sauce shelves: little local production of suitably styled and priced condiments. Spotting this opportunity is entrepreneur Amy Clark of Clark’s Original Recipes.

Polyoak Packaging takes top prize at Afristar Awards 2014

Polyoak Packaging is the proud winner of the top prize at the inaugural AfriStar Awards hosted in Nairobi, Kenya on September 10, 2014. Organised by the Africa Packaging Organisation (APO), this is the first packaging award to cover the all Africa region.

Tetra Pak marks World School Milk Day after 64 million children receive milk in 2013

Tetra Pak celebrated World School Milk Day, established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on the last Wednesday in September in 2000, with the successful delivery of milk and other nutritious drinks to more than 64 million children in schools in 2013.

Tetra Pak Dairy Index 2014: Dairy’s future will be a balancing act of supply and demand

The latest Dairy Index from Tetra Pak has found that total global demand for milk is set to overtake the available supply for the first time over the next decade. Milk supply is expected to lag demand by 2017 predominantly due to growth from Asia and Africa.

Guilty verdicts in America’s deadly peanut butter Salmonella outbreak

More than five years after hundreds of Americans got sick from eating salmonella-tainted peanut butter, the top executive at the Georgia plant where it was made was convicted and faces prison time in a rare food-poisoning trial that advocates said sends a stern warning to others who may be tempted to place profits over safety.

US: Major food brands go after a once-ignored customer: Men

In the race to attract consumers, major American food companies are tweaking their playbooks to go after a once-ignored group: men.

The opportunity in insect protein: Free white paper

Insects as an ingredient in everyday foods could be a $350-million business in the US and Europe within 10 to 15 years, predicts leading UK food health food think-tank, New Nutrition Business.

Battle of the buzz: Consumers driven to food fears in the digital age

“Battle of the Buzz”, a free white paper, provides critical insights for food and beverage manufacturers by exploring recent research on the media landscape around high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and how this impacts consumer attitudes and purchase behaviours.

How the rise of snacking is redefining meals

The snack is nibbling away at how the world eats, drinks and lives. From a candy bar to a piece of fruit to a granola bar — snacking now permeates the globe as it increasingly replaces breakfast, lunch and dinner in households from Houston to Hanoi – the conclusion of an exhaustive study released yesterday by consumer research giant Nielsen.

Why process food? Uncovering the complex science and art

The immense wealth of skill and expertise that lies behind many food processing techniques is rarely acknowledged. Johannes Baensch, Nestlé Global Head of R&, describes how many industrial processes are modelled on traditional or artisan methods, and are often a delicate balance of science and art.

Charles Spence: The food scientist changing the way we eat

Oxford professor, Charles Spence’s research into what affects flavour, from who we eat with to background noise, has influenced food-industry giants and top chefs alike. Now his new book brings food science to the home cook, too.

An ingenious tactile bio-reactive food label

Food date marking—best before’s and sell-by dates—are currently a topic of major controversy in light of statistics which have uncovered the enormous amount of global food waste. Americans for instance, are reported to throw nearly half their food in the garbage. Most people take these dates as gospel—one day past it, and it’s time to chuck that item in the trash. Here’s a new and ingenious solution to this problem….

Walking is the superfood of fitness, experts say

While sitting is now dubbed the ‘new smoking’, walking has now been described as the ‘superfood of fitness’. Several American fitness experts concur that daily movement wins of over workouts and an active lifestyle is better than weekends of warrior games. And walking is a superstar activity.

Peanut allergies: Dry roasting the problem?

Peanuts are one of the most common foods that trigger allergies in people, but a new study suggests that it’s not peanuts that are the problem – it’s the dry-roasting process that makes them so tasty.

Kerry Citrus


ICYMI: From the last FOODStuff SA newsletter!

New question mark on artificial sweeteners’ role in blood sugar control
Provocative new study questions if sweeteners disrupt gut microbiome…

Nestlé South Africa announces new MD and five-year investment plan

Nestlé South Africa has announced a new five-year, R2-billion investment plan and a new MD...

US: Big Food opens up on chemicals in food
American food companies are trying to preempt the federal government’s push…

The bacteria in bees give honey its healing properties
While the medicinal properties of honey have been extensively studied, the question as to how…

Nutella spurs global rush to grow hazelnuts
Nutella’s popularity has seen interest in hazelnuts soar…

Why the US chills its eggs and most of the world doesn’t
The difference in the approach to eggs boils down to two things: how to deal with salmonella…

UK: Heinz launches stevia-sweetened ketchup
In a move to woo the health-conscious, Heinz UK has launched a stevia-sweetened variant..

OPINION: Marketing genius of organic foods unwrapped
Marketers of organic foods have taught advertising and sales promotion experts a thing

Cereal killers – five trends revolutionising the American breakfast
Five key trends are behind this American breakfast revolution….

Debunking some food allergy myths
Confusion and myth still surrounds food allergies…

Study: Comfort food is a myth
New research finds that such foods don’t have any special ability to improve our moods....

Dohler Ingredients



This week’s news on DRINKStuff SA!

Quality Beverages and Shoreline to merge into SoftBev

After months of rumour-mongering, JSE-listed packaging-beverage group, Bowler Metcalf, has confirmed what it’s up to with its soft-drink bottler Quality Beverages, the maker of the Jive brand.

New limited edition Savanna cider to zest up SA summer

Distell is further leveraging the astonishng popularity of its Savanna natural premium cider brand with a new limited edition variant called Angry Lemon.

Adding Wi-Fi to Coca-Cola vending machines in SA

In a joint social development project, Coca-Cola and British Telecom have set up an innovative project to install Wi-Fi enabled Coke vending machines that will bring invaluable online access to poor communities in South Africa.

US: Soda giants pledge to cut calories

America’s beverage behemoths have agreed to ask people to drink fewer sugary soft drinks. At the recent Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group announced a shared goal to reduce the number of beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20% by 2025.

Glorious coffee’s DNA tells many fascinating tales

With more than 2.25 billion cups consumed every day, coffee is one of the most important crops on Earth. The DNA of the robusta plant has now been deciphered, and the unravelling of its mysteries holds many an interesting tale…..


Personalised Coke a huge win for hamstrung US sales

Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign has been a huge success around the globe – and its latest performance at home in the US has seen sales climbing by more than two per cent after its launch this summer.




ICYMI: From the last newsletter on DRINKStuff SA!


SABMiller Namibia begins operations at its new brewery
SABMiller’s first Namibian brewery has produced its inaugural brew…


More swirling SABMiller-AB InBev takeover rumours
Rumours of mergers are swirl around the brewing industry again …


SAB reimages Castle Draught
SAB has relaunched its Castle Draught, under a new brand name, the 1895 Draught…


Move over hot chocolate, here comes Peanut Hottie!
It’s been a long time since hot beverages had some real innovation…


Savannah Fine Chemicals



Food Bites: They said it…


Coffee’s bad rap, now soundly refuted…

“…some of the confusion in the past came from the fact that coffee is so pleasant to drink that it was favoured by indulgent type people – those who slept too little, drank a lot of booze and smoked a lot of cigarettes. By association it seemed that coffee ought to be bad. And the fact that it was mixed up with various unhealthful habits made it hard for the experts to detangle things and tell us whether coffee was good or bad for health.”

Rob van Dam, professor of nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health

On reducing salt and sugar…

“The research shows that when you tell people what you’re doing, it makes them focus on the taste and for whatever reason they don’t like it as much.”

Charles Spence, Oxford professor of experimental psychology

Questioning non-nutritive sweeteners…

“The idea of tasting something sweet without getting any energy from it is an evolutionarily very novel thing for our bodies to handle. When you have that unnatural pairing of sweetness and no energy increase, it leads the body to perceive an energy crisis. It triggers thoughts and behaviours consistent with a scarcity mode.”

Sarah Hill, PhD, psychologist at Texas Christian University


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Brenda NeallPublished weekly as part of and, 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!
We hunt down the latest SA and global food-drinks news and trends so you don’t have to!

FOODStuff SA and DRINKStuff SA are published and edited by Brenda Neall. For editorial and advertising matters, contact her at: [email protected]