Newsletter 24 February 2012

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 24 February 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “From a distance competitors usually look like either supermen or morons. They are seldom, if ever, either.”   
Ralph Baxter, bloggist on

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: Kerry buys SA’s FlavourCraft!

The ingredients arm of the giant Irish group, Kerry, has firmly stated its confidence in South Africa and Africa, confirming its purchase this week of FlavourCraft, the highly-successful Durban-based flavour company and until now, the largest independent flavour player in this country.

FlavourCraft has been the brainchild of Ryan Ponquett, who started the operation almost from scratch some 15 years ago and which, by now, enjoys an annual turnover of several hundred millions of rands.

Ryan, is a seriously impressive businessman, flavourist and human being, with a formidable intellect and energy, as I’m sure all who know him will attest. He’s now also a very rich one! And deservedly so. Congratulations to him and his team! Ryan is staying on as MD, FlavourCraft division of Kerry Ingredients South Africa.

My article on the deal includes a background piece that I wrote on Ryan and the company back in 2007 that, while a little dated, does give an idea of why Kerry looked to snap up FlavourCraft.

Kerry Ingredients & Flavours acquires Durban-based FlavourCraft
Kerry Ingredients & Flavours confirmed that is has completed the acquisition of the Durban-based flavours company, FlavourCraft, for an undisclosed sum. This sees Kerry expand its presence not just in South Africa, serving food manufacturers in the country, but across the African continent.

Enjoy this week’s read!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
 Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Many interesting career opportunities are posted up on FOODStuff SA’s Jobs pages! Click here!

Kerry Ingredients

  Local News and Developments

Leading SA frozen food manufacturer, McCain Foods, is looking to drive its growth, as well as that of the frozen food category as a whole, with the introduction of its new-look McCain range.

The inaugural Woolworths’ Cheese Makers Challenge has been won by dairy farmer, turned cheese maker, Eckard Leicher of La Montanara, a small cheesery near Ashton in the Breede River valley.
Shoprite profits up, remains bullish on Africa
Shoprite will soldier on with its expansion plans into the rest of Africa, adding twelve stores in countries like Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of June, despite high trade barriers and supply challenges, its CE Whitey Basson said this week.

 International News and Developments

Most marketers would love to be McDonald’s. It’s the world’s largest fast feeder by sales. Global same-store sales rose 5.6% last year over 2010 — its eighth consecutive year of positive same-store sales. It’s rated the world’s No. 6 brand by Interbrand… But something strange is happening on McDonald’s soaring arches: its brand perception isn’t keeping pace with sales.

Kraft Foods’ chief touts opportunities from split into two companies
Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld says grocery, snacks firms will compete from positions of strength in respective markets.
KFC’s African adventure
Fried chicken fast-food chain KFC’s entry into Africa was more a coincidence than part of a strategic plan. In the late 1960s, the CEO of KFC’s holding company at the time visited South Africa on a safari with his family. When he arrived he was amazed to find a much more developed country than he imagined. It was then decided to launch KFC in South Africa, and the first store opened its doors in 1971.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Food Trends, Marketing and Innovation

Flavours, seasonings, herbs and spices, colours, flavours, hydrocolloids, sweeteners, fat replacers and vitamins are some of the ingredient markets analysed in this new RTS report, The Future for Natural and Health Ingredients. You can download it for FREE!

America’s definition of luxury is changing. Quiet, exclusive, and socially-pedigreed extravagance is giving way to a new generation of affluent consumers (read: Millennials) who have grown up with a new definition of luxury that will forever change the way we market upscale goods. This swing is epitomised by the retail model that is Whole Foods.

Since its financial dip in the 1990s, the SodaStream brand, once an icon of the 1980s suburban kitchen, has transformed itself to claim back its marketshare. The home fizzy drinks-making system that was hip in the 1970s and 1980s, is using its product’s cost-saving and “eco-friendliness” qualities to make a global comeback, here and abroad.

A new report, commissioned by Coca-Cola Enterprises, and written by food and FMCG experts, IGD, predicts shoppers will demand more personalisation in the store of the future. They’ll expect communication, promotions and deals to be tailored to their individual values and needs.

A new report from Rabobank provides an overview of the five key megatrends which will shape the outlook for the global beverage industry in 2012, and highlights issues which are making this both the “best of times” and “worst of times” for industry players.

Growing consumer desire for convenience and new taste experiences are driving the global market for soups, sauces and dressings, opening significant opportunities for ingredient suppliers.

Here’s a new food truth: Meat eating is not the simple pleasure it was in previous generations. It’s as we have become schizophrenic about meat: As the reasons to reduce or eliminate meat consumption increase, so do the sources of particularly tasty morsels of animal flesh.

US: Campbell counts on soups-in-a-pouch to spur turnaround
Campbell Soup Co – which has put soup in see-through tubs and sipping cups – is now shoving it in a pouch as the marketer embraces innovations and new packaging in search of a turnaround.

 Verni Superflor

 Food Science, Safety and Ingredients Stuff

The choice of a certification body is one of the most importance strategic decisions that an organisation can make when it comes to their food safety/quality programmes. In the wake of some recent turmoil in the certification arena locally, here are some of the criteria to evaluate when choosing a certification body…

Professor David Edwards is at it again. Having already developed creations that include inhalable chocolate, inhalable caffeine, and a tuberculosis vaccine in the form of a spray, the innovative biomedical engineer from Harvard is now introducing WikiCells: a new edible packaging technology that allows individuals to eat and transport food without plastic.

Researchers in Spain have been the first to discover the presence of certain aldehydes in food, which are believed to be related to some neurodegenerative diseases and some types of cancer. These toxic compounds can be found in some oils, such as sunflower oil, when heated at a suitable temperature for frying. 
Scientists claim high omega-3 retention rates in popular cheeses
US based researchers claim that it is possible to cater for the ‘phenomenal’ global interest in omega-3, after fortifying three popular cheese types with the fatty acids, achieving high retention rates and avoiding problems with ‘off’ flavours.
Processing is a dirty word – but we’ll need more of it to feed the world
Processing has become a dirty word, but we are going to need more processing, not less, in order to feed a growing population, according to professor and head of food science at Penn State University John Floros.
‘Processed’ foods are often high in sodium – but what’s a processed food?
About 75% of the sodium in our diets comes from processed foods. It’s a regularly cited figure
— but what exactly is a ‘processed’ food? Consumers might be surprised.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Bad news for people trying to lose weight. A new assessment of how the body responds to dieting shows that it is about twice as difficult as previously thought to shed fat.
10 radical solutions to binge drinking
Pressure to address the UK’s binge drinking grows ever stronger, with a number of radical solutions being put forward to try to help people cut down.
Homocysteine, folic acid and the heart: an association unravels
We may have the final word on homocysteine: higher blood levels of the amino acid don’t raise people’s risk of heart disease after all.
Evolution of staph ‘superbug’ traced between humans and food animals
A strain of the potentially deadly antibiotic-resistant bacterium known as MRSA has jumped from livestock to humans, according to a new study involving two Northern Arizona University researchers and scientists around the world.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

As thousands of Americans [and South Africans] sit down to a dinner of warmed-up leftovers or delivery pizza, their dogs and cats, meanwhile, will feast like epicureans, beneficiaries of a foodie revolution that has transformed many kitchens into four-star restaurants for pets.

Lab burger at a quarter million euros
A quarter of a million euros is rather a lot to pay for a hamburger, but that will be the cost of the patty which Mark Post proposes to stick in a bun this October. The burger in question — not so much a quarter-pounder as a quarter-million-pounder — will be so expensive because it will be made from meat that has been grown from scratch in a laboratory.

 Food bites… Metal cans at the tipping point!

“There is a tremendous opportunity in developing cost-advantaged alternatives to the retorted metal can. ConAgra Foods processes more than five billion cans of food a year. We see the metal can at the same tipping point as the glass-to-plastic conversion was in the ’90s in the food industry.

“Plastic bottles were around far before the ’90s, but nobody had developed the equipment to produce the plastic bottle at a lower cost than glass. There were limited applications where CPGs were willing to fund the conversion, but it was based on product safety, not consumer preference. Companies didn’t really convert until the cost structure changed. Once it became a cost savings and the consumer benefit was an extra incentive, the plastic industry grew tremendously.

“We see this as another opportunity, but there is nobody really out there that’s developed the equipment that can form pouches and retort them at a lower cost than metal cans, or can produce a plastic package at a lower cost than a metal can.”

Mark Yunker, principal packaging engineer,
Research, Quality and Innovation, for ConAgra Foods
DSM Quality for Life
QPro International

Swift Micro Labs

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Professional Career Services
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Brenda NeallPublished every Friday (except for this January) 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]