Newsletter 24 January 2011

APOLOGIES! Dear reader, the actual web content of this newsletter got lost and unreclaimed in the migration from old to new website. This is but the weekly email flyer.


Weekly Newsletter: 24 January 2011

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This week’s news!
Tiger looks to take a bite out of Africa.

Lobbyists wrangle over SA’s labelling of GM food.

SA: Ceres enters the cordial squash market.

Cocoa prices soar again.

UK: Cadbury deal turns sour for Green & Black’s.

UK: Unilever’s boss comes out firing on food security.

The beverage buzzwords.
The future for wacky foods.

It’s not vegetarian… it’s meat-free!
The new Starbucks coffee that’s bigger than the human stomach.

UK: Vitaminwater rapped for misleading ads.
Consumers want to eat more of them, but are confused about whole grains.

Rosemary extracts give the EU nod for antioxidant functionality.

So now organic milk is better for you – study.

BSE pathogens can be transmitted by air.

Salty odours may boost flavour and acceptance: Unilever study.

The population timebomb is a myth.

Save the planet: Swap your steak for bugs and worms.

Why foie gras IS NOT unethical.

Care for some human cheese?

What’s on
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Editor’s Stuff – The healthy reformulation wave becomes a tsunami!
Surprise! Yes, it’s Monday and apologies for the delay in getting this newsletter out, but last week I was felled by a nasty flu bug. I have also been stymied by the trials of technology in getting my new-look website operational and, as is usual with matters IT, it’s going to take much longer than anticipated, so it’s back to normal with my website-based newsletter for now!
WHEN America sneezes, the world catches a cold, or so the old saying goes. Similarly, when Wal-Mart sneezes, the food industry in the US, and beyond, catches a cold. And last week, Wal-Mart had a very big atchoo – when its president and CEO, Bill Simon, announced, in the presence of First Lady Michelle Obama, an ambitious new healthy food initiative.

Wal-Mart has said it intends to reformulate its products to make them healthier and will push its suppliers to do the same, in support of Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign that aims to eradicate childhood obesity. 

Whatever your opinion of Wal-Mart, you have to admire the initiative; a PR coup that will position it, ironically for once, as the food system’s benign superpower. And if you don’t exactly understand its clout, get this: Wal-Mart operates 2 750 superstores nationwide – and owns a commanding 25% share of the US grocery market, more than that of its three largest competitors combined. Think about that: of every dollar Americans spend on groceries, a quarter goes to Wal-Mart.

You can just imagine the jolt this has given any laggards who have been sluggish in improving the health profile of their products, or reinventing their recipes. The healthy reformulation wave has become a tsunami! And with the retail giant now present on our turf, I guess many a local food producer may have to learn this new way to surf.

Enjoy this week’s read!
Click here for all the details in this week’s newsletter!

Next newsletter will be published on 4 February 2011.



Feature article of the week

Secrets of the tastemakers: How do food stores like M&S stay one step ahead of our increasingly exotic tastes?
“Pretzel croissants are just one of many unusual and delicious foods I ate over a weekend on a fact-finding, food-tasting trip with Marks and Spencer’s trend-hunters. No, I didn’t know such a job existed either. You get paid to eat? Wow. Where do I sign?

Four or five times a year, members of the 27-strong product development team travel the world to find – and potentially bring back home – the latest food trends. If not trained chefs, they are trained eaters and steeped in culinary knowledge. In the last year, they have been to New York, Berlin, Barcelona, Bath and Tokyo. Sometimes – all in the name of research – they average two meals a night seeking out just-opened restaurants, food trucks and delis for inspiration. Like I said, cool job.”

FOODStuff SA is published and edited by Brenda Neall.
Published every Friday on, this newsletter is a cherry-picking, agglomerating service for all food and beverage industrialists.