Newsletter 21 February 2014

21 February 2014
 Your weekly food-drinks industry
and insights…
SmartStuff:    “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows
anything about science and technology.”  Carl Sagan, American astronomer


Editor’s Stuff: SA can enter red meat export markets again!
WHEN there’s all too little good news, this week the red meat industry had good reason to cheer!
After a three-year, whoppingly expensive ban on the export of red meat because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, the international authorities have declared South Africa free of of the disease.

It’s estimated that the ban cost the industry R4bn annually since coming into effect in February 2011.

Some good news: Ban on SA red meat lifted

Now here’s some very provocative food for thought…

America’s big FMCG food guns congregated in Florida for the annual Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference this week, and as they did so, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Big Food is in some trouble; in painful transition as new consumer behaviour, as well as tough economics, are proving that the “past is a different country”.

And sugar continues to sour: this story is just getting bigger and bigger – several more articles this week, too.
Enjoy this week’s read!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

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QPro International

  Local News and Developments

Woolworths’ little secret to big success

The story of Woolworths — a company whose value soared from under R6bn to R51bn in a decade — is one that has confounded pundits and sociologists alike. 
Search for “food trends in 2014” on the internet and you will be told macaroons are out and éclairs are in, carbohydrates are out but lard is back, cauliflower is the new Brussels sprout, Thai is passé and the flavours of Latin America are set to conquer the world. Where foodie trends lead, the food industy often follows – this great article looks at some international and local foodie moves… 

Why it matters to know where your food came from

What’s the main thing you look for on a food label? UK research reveals that consumers’ most sought-after piece of information is the “sell by” or “best before” date, followed by country of origin. [Good piece from consumer queen, Wendy Knowler]

In case you missed it: Mission to promote SA packaging design and supply
Paul Raphaely, co-founder of chic foodie company, NoMU, is putting some of his boundless creative energies into a new mission: promoting SA’s packaging design and supply sectors. His vehicle, which includes a website and portal, has the funky name of The Lucky Budgie… 

LRQA’s food safety training fest in March

Lloyd’s Register (LRQA) is holding a series of comprehensive food safety training courses in Johannesburg in March. The courses are designed to deliver all the skills needed to design, implement and maintain a broad range of standards, including FSSC 22000, HACCP & ISO 22000.
Kerry Citrus

 International Developments

This is Coca-Cola’s biggest nightmare

Americans are so over soda. And while that may be good for the their expanding waistlines, it’s bad news for the companies that make the sugary drinks. Just take a look at this chart from IBISWorld, a global market research firm, predicting the future of soda consumption…  

Food giants are trimming costs – but not advertising

In the face of tough economics and stiff competition from fresh foods and smaller brands, the likes of Kraft, Kellogg and Mondelez have committed to more cost-cutting and more targeted digital marketing. 

Asia’s richest man is betting big on Silicon Valley’s fake eggs

While most start-ups struggle to raise the funds to turn their dreams into reality, Hampton Creek Foods CEO Josh Tetrick has convinced some of the world’s wealthiest people that his plant-based egg replacers are worth a serious punt. Li Ka-shing, widely billed as Asia’s richest man, is his latest investor.

Why Silicon Valley wants to hack the food industry

Can you make mayonnaise without eggs or meat without killing? Tech firms and investors believe they can transform food the way Apple changed phones

Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’

Denmark’s government has brought in a ban on the religious slaughter of animals for the production of halal and kosher meat, after years of campaigning from welfare activists.

PepsiCo split? CEO Indra Nooyi says no way

PepsiCo has closed one of the more disruptive chapters in its recent history, when, in its full-year results announced last week, it said it would not be splitting its stagnant North American Beverage (NAB) business from its fast-growing snacks units.

 Trends, Marketing and NPD

New Nespresso system aims to reshape North American coffee industry
is launching a new large-cup coffee system in the US and Canada, aiming to secure a major segment of a market worth some $5bn each year in the US alone.
Men breaking out of a lager mentality
Sweeter and fruitier drinks are driving SABMiller sales as men feel increasingly confident ordering alternative beverages. The world’s second-largest brewer said it is developing its drinks range beyond traditional lagers partly in response to the more experimental tastes of male consumers.
Beverage-makers around the globe introduced more than 225 aloe-containing beverages in 2013, according to Mintel, up 7% from 2012. 

Kit Kat crowned as most influential candy bar

Kit Kat was named the world’s most influential candy bar by Time, ranking first in the listing of 13 candy bars. Beyond being the first candy bar to be marketed around sharing, which helped turn chocolate into a social snack, Kit Kat was also the first to gain a global following. Decades after its 1935 launch, Kit Kat remains a global obsession: last year, Google’s Android announced its new operating system would be called “KitKat,” and in January, Tokyo welcomed the first all-Kit Kat store.

‘Let’s Twist Again!’ Novel espresso protein drink hopes to hit big time

The CEO of UK beverage brand Twist believes he could score a smash hit with an espresso coffee and whey protein-based drink that you just add water to.

ICYMI: Water from plants: A new $2-billion market

The success of coconut water – which surged from zero in 2006 to an almost $1-billion (€750-million) business in North America and Europe by 2013 – is just the first step in a massive emerging trend: healthy, natural, low-calorie waters taken directly from plants. 
 See all 2014 trends reports here!

SC Products

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients

Bacchus to the future: High-tech winemaking

As consumers remain seduced by the notion that wine should be made by humble farmers with as little intervention as possible, fine-wine labels still try to keep their experiments with technology under wraps. But they are quietly deploying technology in a new way: not just to make bad wine decent, or to make good wine more cheaply, but to make already-great wines greater still. 

UK: Unilever looks to expand phytosterol esters to cooking and baking margarines

Unilever has applied to extend the use of the key cholesterol-lowering ingredient used in its Flora pro.activ range into cooking, baking and liquid margarine products, which would tap simultaneously into the growth sectors of functional foods and home-baking. 

McDonald’s bites back at chicken McNugget critics

McDonald’s has hit back at critics of its chicken McNuggets who claim its product is made from a ‘pink slime’ of mechanically separated chicken.

Concerns over chemicals in food packaging misplaced, say scientists

Concerns about synthetic chemicals in packaging and plastic bottles contaminating food and drink are largely misplaced, scientists have said in response to calls for greater monitoring of the long-term effect on human health. 

Understanding natural colours and stability issues

As the trend for natural colours continues, so does the research into their stability and shelf-life.

Coca-Cola changes face of digital print

Few can have failed to notice Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, with its roster of first names staring out hopefully from chiller cabinets. It certainly caught the consumers eye, but it has had a more profound impact on supply chain perceptions of digital print.

New patents granted for Radical Waters

Radical Waters International was granted a ground breaking beverage patent in the US for “Cleaning in Place in Bottling facilities” in July, 2012. This patent, recently granted in South Africa, acknowledges Radical Waters leadership and pioneering role in the use of electrochemically-activated water (ECA) for CIP for the global beverage industry.

Tetra Pak launches energy saving juice pasteurisation process

Tetra Pak has announced the introduction of a new juice pasteurisation process that saves up to 20% on energy consumption, bringing cost and environmental benefits for customers. 

ICYMI: What’s up with LiquiGlide?

LiquiGlide, the super-slippery lubricant developed by MIT scientists and that makes anything – syrup, ketchup, paint – slide right out of the bottle so not a drop is wasted, created an internet deluge of attention when news of it broke some two years ago. What has happened since and when will it be commercialised?

 Health and Nutrition

Can the cure for peanut allergies be… peanuts?
A large clinical trial published recently in the Lancet confirms what smaller studies have shown in the past: Oral immunotherapy – swallowing tiny, increasing amounts of peanut over time – has the ability to desensitise allergic individuals to peanuts. 
Dr Robert Lustig, the American pediatric endocrinologist who is now famous as “Mr Anti-Sugar”, says he would rather be viewed as the “anti-processed food guy”, since sugar — while his biggest concern — is just one of a number of ills he sees in the modern American diet. He’s recently lauched a new book, “The Fat Chance Cookbook“, and discussed his concerns and new book in convesation with The New York Times.
A British professor’s 1972 book about the dangers of sugar is now seen as prophetic. John Yudkin, first proving that sugar was bad for our health, was ignored by the majority of the medical profession and rubbished by the food industry. Some very topical and fascinating food, nutrition, health, science history… 
COMMENT: Sugar industry needs to embrace moderation (like the rest of us)
Does sugar warrant the bad press it’s had in recent months? I think not, but industry is not doing itself any favours with its response to genuine concerns about the health issues that come with too much sugar.

Probiotic call: Forget health claims (consumers have)

Probiotic players obsessed with winning health claims needn’t bother as consumers don’t value them anyway, a leading consultant says.

ICYMI: After 75 years of AA, it’s time to admit we have a problem
For many years now, voicing any serious skepticism toward Alcoholics Anonymous or any other 12-step program was sacrilege… Now a spate of new books is challenging the 12-step hegemony. 

Food bites…2014: They said it….

Snacking: A $1.2 trillion opportunity with attractive growth prospects
“Historically, our snacks categories have grown at rates of around 6 percent. Although categories have slowed recently, we expect snacks categories will recover, as they are well-aligned with consumer needs to fuel our bodies, treat ourselves and boost our minds. In fact, consumers continue to move away from large meals at fixed times to more frequent and smaller snacking occasions. Snacks consumption also increases as GDP per capita rises in emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India and China.”
   “In addition, snacks carry higher margins than many other food products due to low private label penetration and a large percentage of sales from immediate consumption channels.”
Irene Rosenfeld, Mondelez chairman and CEO, speaking at this week’s Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference

Natural vs synthetic colours
“If we compare a synthetic to either a natural colour or a colouring foodstuff there will be a compromise on shelf-life. Synthetic colours will last three years and you’re probably looking at 12 months or 18 months for a natural colour or colouring foodstuff. Most customers are willing to sacrifice the shelf-life for the change in the label, depending on what they’re trying to achieve.”
Nicola Landsborough, colours technical manager for FMC
Nu-Tek Sodium Reduction Technology
 Bidfood Solutions
Annelie Coetzee Consulting 
Swift Micro Labs
Par Excellance
Professional Career Services
Fenris Personnel
The HR Company
ProCert Southern Africa
Progress Excellence
Fenris Personnel
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!
FOODStuff SA and DRINKStuff SA, websites with reams of pertinent and interesting stuff about FMCG food-beverage manufacture from farm gate to retail shelf, are published and edited by Brenda Neall. For editorial and advertising matters, contact her at: [email protected]