Newsletter 23 May 2014

23 May 2014
 Your weekly food-drinks industry
and insights…
SmartStuff:    “Food is the most abused anxiety drug. Exercise is the most underutilised anti-depressant.”  Unknown


Editor’s Stuff: The Noakes’ phenomenon
Everyone’s talking about it, everyone’s doing it! Low carb eating, as I’m sure you are very well aware, has taken South Africa’s middle classes by storm, thanks largely to the evangelical efforts of Prof Tim Noakes, one of the country’s foremost scientists long before he turned his back on carbohydrates.
You can’t find cauliflower anywhere, and full fat Greek yoghurt leaves the shelves as quickly as it arrives, go the popular anecdotes.

Last Saturday at the Franschhoek Literary Festival, Noakes’ session was a sell-out as soon as the tickets became available. Post his talk, as he signed my copy of his co-authored book, The Real Meal Revolution, he said that sales are getting close to 100 000 – which must be a local publishing record by far.

Having read much about the science behind this revolution, particularly the outstanding Gary Taubes’ books, I am a convert, too. It’s anything but new, just rediscovered, and seems so blindingly obvious that it’s my prediction that the traditional food pyramid will, in time, be turned on its head.
But South Africa is not the only country where the low carb conversion is underway – it’s universal and in my weekly internet research it is, without doubt, not faddish but THE prevailing global trend of the day. Essentially, sugar is demon number one, refined carbs are close behind, while fat is back, and protein rocks! The economics of this is a debate for another day.
This fundamental shift offers potential pain and gain to the food-bev sectors, but it’s one not to be ignored.
In this vein, here’s my top read of the week:
Science shows the low-fat diet to be BS, and yet the American Heart Association keeps touting it as the ‘heart healthy’ choice. Why? The quick answer: money, honey.
An amusing fact of the day from Daily Maverick: Could the real Tim Noakes please tweet up?
Love him or loathe him, South African sports guru Tim Noakes has talked the world into full blown carb-attack. It’s no surprise that he’s got a healthy number of Twitter followers hanging onto his every word of advice.
The only problem? The Twitter handle @timnoakes actually belongs to a British magazine editor and boy is he sick and fed up of getting asked for diet advice. “Hey @twitter is it possible to block a whole country (i.e anyone in South Africa) from tweeting at you?” asks the unfortunately named other Noakes. Eventually, Noakes succumbed to the dark side, issuing several unfortunate dieters with the advice “Eat as many bad carbs as you can. And then drink a gallon of gin. That’s my routine.”
Enjoy this week’s read….

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

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QPro International

  Local News and Developments
Kerry, the global ingredients & flavours and consumer foods group, has opened a new Development & Application Centre in Durban. The sophisticated facility will serve Kerry’s expanding global, regional and local customer base in Sub-Saharan Africa was officially opened by Stan McCarthy, Kerry Group Chief Executive, in the presence of Ireland’s Ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency Brendan McMahon. 
Tiger Brands will continue to pin its colours to the mast of the “Nigerian growth story” despite experiencing some hurdles created by underperformance at its Dangote Flour Mills business. It has had to write off about R849 million, more than half of its initial investment in DFM, after buying a 63.4 percent stake in the operation in 2012 for about R1.5 billion. 
Troubles with insects? Eat ‘em. That’s what primitive tribes did and are still doing. And that’s what many people, from the UN to trendy chefs, are advocating as a viable, cheap and sustainable source of protein. And now Capetonians can try them out at a pop-up ‘Pestaurant’ at Cape Town’s Good Food and Wine Show at the CTICC on May 31.  
Famous Brands’ ongoing growth story
Few success stories come as big as Famous Brands, which this year celebrates 20 years as a listed company. “It has been an amazing journey,” says Famous Brands CE Kevin Hedderwick.
This amazing journey shows no sign of ending.
Big Easy Iced Tea & Lemonade, South Africa’s first range of sparkling iced tea, has just been launched as a joint venture with golfing giant Ernie Els by Chill Beverages International. 
Maizena extends its range with two new instant sauces
Pioneer Foods has launched a new extension to its Maizena brand, two instant savoury sauces that are “convenient, save time and offer the same consistently high quality as Maizena’s original cornflour”. 
Intertek, a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide, has announced the launch of its Training Academy Centre for sub-Saharan Africa, further extending the scope of the Intertek Academy worldwide. 
Visitors to this year’s Africa’s Big Seven (AB7), the biggest food and beverage expo on the continent, can expect a number of exciting ‘first ever’ events, say the organisers. AB7 takes place from 22 to 24 June at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Johannesburg. 

Kerry Citrus

 International Developments
Unilever has said ‘ciao’ to its Ragu and Bertolli pasta sauce business, agreeing to unload it to Japanese food manufacturer Mizkan Group for about $2.15 billion as the maker of Dove skin creams continues to shed food brands. 
UK retail giant, Tesco, has revealed it will be removing confectionery from all checkouts, to help consumers make healthier choices about food. 
Looking to take a bite out of the Japanese food market, electronics giant Toshiba has announced plans to construct a high-tech vegetable factory in the city of Yokosuka. The factory will use tightly controlled air and lighting systems to optimise conditions for indoor plant growth, and the company expects sales of JPY300 million (around $3m) in annual sales. 
US FDA approves advantame as new sweetener
The US FDA has approved a new high intensity sweetener, advantame, for general use in foods and beverages. This is the first time the FDA has approved a new high intensity sweetener through the food additive approval process since 2002.
Five “mega trends” will shape PepsiCo’s “new normal,” asserts Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO.
Per capita, Vermont has more organic farms than any other state. Montpelier is America’s only McDonald’s-free state capital. A fitting place, then, for a law designed to satisfy the unfounded fears of foodies. Vermont has become the first state to enact a law requiring labels on foods with GM ingredients.

Dohler Ingredients

 Trends, Marketing and NPD
Last week DuPont presented 16 awards at the 26th DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation, the industry’s longest-running, global, independently judged competition highlighting innovative packaging solutions. Most of the winners are food and beverages – and note how prominently flexible pouches feature. A South African company also stars. 
Euromonitor International visited the 2014 Sweets and Snacks Expo and identified five key trends in snacks.
The future of snacks? Popped, ancient grains and the rise of craft brands
Craft snack brands will lead innovation because of their fresh take on an old market, and balancing health and indulgence will be top of the agenda, says Innova Market Insights.
British fans of stylish Italian beer Peroni Nastro Azzuro can now pick up a Piccola, a new 250ml bottle aimed at the pre-dinner drinks occasion, which is launching at the House of Peroni – a London installation showcasing high-end Italian design, art, fashion, photography, music and film this month. 
Deli meats due to transform
Inventive, bolder flavours and healthier ingredients could soon usher in a new age of processed meats.

Big Food has become “big” as a result of a terrific success: their traditional marketing departments have helped generate billions in profits. But relying on one approach to marketing has left these players exposed in today’s fast-moving climate, argues this article from the Harvard Business Review


This artticle highlights the powerful influence of online campaigns, and how they are changing the food industry. 

 See all 2014 trends reports here!
 Health and Nutrition
Researchers claim that nitro fatty acids, formed when olive oil and vegetables are eaten together, are the key to the healthy Mediterranean diet. But such a reductionist approach to food and health is unhelpful.

Sugar has a direct effect on heart disease risk and blood pressure: Meta-analysis

Sugar has a direct effect on risk factors for heart disease, and is likely to impact on blood pressure, independent of weight gain, according to new analysis of 39 clinical trials. 

 DrinkTech 2014 Conference

Food bites…2014: They said it this week!

In the soup…
“CAMPBELL’S has tried just about every which way to get Americans to eat more soup over the last three years under new CEO Denise Morrison: aim at Millennials and Latin Americans; cut salt; add taste; try new shelf-stable packaging; hold prices steady; cut prices. The bottom line is that none of it seems to be working all that well ….. Analysts have concluded that Americans, especially younger generations, simply aren’t that turned on by the traditional hot-soup format.”
Dale Buss, writing on, read more
Winning packaging breaks the mould
“THE main thing that has changed in World Packaging Organisation award entries over the years has been the increasing emphasis on sustainability both in the packs themselves and the efforts they make to try to ensure less product spoilage. We get several ‘wow’ moments each year and often these are for the packs that win the special awards for marketing, sustainability and especially the president’s award which is the pack that most impresses the judges and of course the president.
   “In future, we would like to see more genuine innovation in the packs. Lots are really developments of existing themes and ideas, which is great but the ones that stand out are those that break the mould.”
Dr Gordon Stewart, vice president, WPO on the 2014 top World Star Packaging Awards
Why brands are going retro
“A psychological phenomenon regarded as “the mere-exposure effect” suggests that people tend to gravitate towards the familiar. Taking something old and making it new is trendy—even fashionable—in this eco-friendly world of ours. Established brands are returning to their roots, mining their archives by reintroducing iconic products with a modern twist.”
 Bidfood Solutions
Annelie Coetzee Consulting 
Swift Micro Labs
 Jobs Jobs Jobs
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]