Newsletter 28 March 2014

28 March 2014
 Your weekly food-drinks industry
and insights…
SmartStuff:    “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur


Editor’s Stuff: Spotlight on Clover!

CLOVER, SA’s dairy leader, has come a long way from it days as a lumpen co-operative. In recent years it has taken extraordinary steps and investment to reinvent itself as a public company, and can claim the high ground when it comes to product and technology innovation.


What Clover does is of interest to many in the food industry from all sorts of perspectives. Latest news, highlighted in several articles this week, looks at how its weathering the economic storm; from the banality of price rises to the sexy potential of launching new functional beverages with one of SA’s fast-track food companies, and the the possibility that it will acquire a leading soft drink business.

Interesting stuff! Read on….

Clover seeks success in innovation, inflation and acquisition?
Despite challenging times for all food producers and retailers, the dairy sector is doing fairly well, and heading the sector is Clover Industries. Its momentum is being driven by a multitude of strategies.


Clover and FutureLife will jointly launch functional beverage
Clover has entered into a joint venture with Durban’s fast-track functional food company, FutureLife, to launch a new range of functional food products, kicking off with a ready-to-drink version of Futurelife’s low GI cereal product.

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
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QPro International

  Local News and Developments

First food & drink technology Africa expo hailed as a great success

Last week’s inaugural food & drink technology Africa trade fair and conference, says its organisers, won rave reviews and has been deemed a success by all involved. The event at Gallagher Convention Centre from 18 – 19 March attracted 84 local and international exhibitors who presented their latest technologies for food and beverage processing and packaging.  
FutureLife on the move!
If only other SA food producers were are proactive at PR as FutureLife, the Durban-based functional food company! It recently announced two new initiatives, alongside the eye-catching headline above.

Spur buys into new Jo’burg ribs plant

The Spur Group has acquired a 30% stake in Braviz Fine Foods to secure its supply of increasingly popular pork ribs. Braviz is a start-up operation currently establishing a new world-class meat processing facility in Johannesburg that will specialise in processing rib cuts. 

Famous Brands takes a big bite of Wakaberry

Famous Brands has acquired a 70% stake in the Wakaberry Frozen Yoghurt Bar business, a leader in the hot frozen yoghurt category in South Africa. 
Select launch of new Lay’s Popped snacks
PepsiCo South Africa has entered the air-popped chip arena with the launch of Lay’s Popped, a new range of light and crispy potato snacks to its collection of snack options. 
Tiger Brands drops acquisition of two Kenyan firms
Tiger Brands has dropped plans to acquire Kenyan firms, Rafiki Millers and Magic Oven Bakeries, it said this week, terminating deals worth at least $25-million.
Kerry Citrus

 International Developments

Coca-Cola readies Coke Life global roll-out

Coca-Cola is looking to expand the footprint of its part-stevia sweetened Coca-Cola Life brand beyond its initial launch in Argentina.

US: Starbucks adding booze to menus countrywide
Putting the “bar” in barista, Starbucks has announced that it will be shifting from selling alcohol in a few select stores to unleashing it across the US.

GMO switch not boosting sales of Cheerios, company says
Cheerios maker, General Mills, says it has not seen an increase in sales in the wake of its decision to no longer use GMO ingredients. Plain old Cheerios are no longer made with GM ingredients, but the switch hasn’t yet translated to a boost in sales. [See Food Bites below for comment]

Nestlé cuts water use in European operations by 40%

Nestlé has committed to making significant cuts to its water use in Europe, reducing water consumption by 40% across its European production sites by 2020 versus 2010 levels. Nestlé has already reduced the water used in its European operations by 36% over the period between 2004 and 2010, after changes to production levels are taken into account.

African consumers value quality—more than mature-market shoppers

As Africa becomes a point of focus for many international brands, more studies are focusing on the purchasing habits of the continent’s growing consumer class. A new FREE-to-download report from the Boston Consulting Group finds that African consumers are informed, selective and desire good value.

Dohler Ingredients

 Trends, Marketing and NPD

US: General Mills’ new high protein snack

Here’s an interesting new snacking option to please those followers of a low carb regime – a cheese crisp snack, called Frollicks All Cheese Crisps, and introduced on a trial basis in the US by General Mills.

UK: Plastic packaging a cracking solution for Tesco

Tesco, UK supermarket giant and Britain’s biggest egg retailer, believes it will save more than one million free-range eggs a year as it replaces pulp or cardboard cartons with recyclable plastic ones. 

Can’t cook, won’t cook Britain

Research has found that British households spend around half as much time preparing an evening meal now than they did in the 1980s – and the sandwich has become the most commonly eaten ‘meal’ over the course of the day as a whole.  

New product success rate higher than most believe

Ask anyone what percent of new products fail. The usual answer is somewhere between 70-90 percent. With those odds why would anyone try? US marketing expert, John Stanton, believes those are not the odds. In fact, he has found that the food industry is doing much better than that, and has the data to prove it.

America is tired of the microwave

Microwave sales have fallen or remained flat every year for nearly a decade in the US. For 40 years, Americans bought microwaves by the millions, and more of them each year. That broad market penetration is likely one reason that sales have tailed off. But sales of toaster ovens — which have similar market penetration and product longevity — have boomed since 2000.
Hansa unveils new look
South African Breweries (SAB) has given its Hansa Pilsener brand a packaging make-over, in celebration of 20 years of freedom in South Africa. 
 See all 2014 trends reports here!

SC Products

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients

Time for change in food processing conversation

Food companies need to change the way they talk about their work in order to enable the general public and members of the media to develop a clearer sense of the benefits that processed foods offer… so advised keynote speakers at an IFT symposium last week in Chicago. 

A full plate of protein sources

“Protein is to diet what black is to fashion. People think it makes you look slimmer and leaner,” so a new accolade on protein goes. The rise of protein is a marked trend, and now, thanks to PepsiCo, collagen soon may emerge as a popular ingredient in protein-packed products, while ant eggs may be another protein choice for formulators and restaurant chefs.

COMMENT: Are GMOs worth the trouble?

Many are eager to trot out GMOs as the answer to our food problems. But lower-tech alternatives work better. The point is that the so-called “need” for GMOs that we hear about from some circles isn’t really an adequately supported assertion. We still have a lot to learn about the possible benefits as well as the dangers of GMOs. And it’s important to remember that we have many better alternatives that are far from played out.

 An easier, cleaner way for the poor to carry water
Millions of women and children around the world walk long distances every day to get the water they need. Many innovative labour-saving devices have been developed, and the latest is from the Ohio-based industrial packaging maker, Greif. 

In case you missed it: Is algae milk the next big thing?

In the coming years, there may be a new “milk” arriving at your local grocery store – algae milk, an alternative milk product free of dairy, soy, lactose, and nuts. 

Smart labelling: heralding the new-era barcode

The 40-year-old barcode has a new, more intelligent rival that can store information, display and transmit it…

 Health and Nutrition

The precise reason for the health benefits of dark chocolate

The health benefits of eating dark chocolate have been extolled for centuries, but the exact reason has remained a mystery — until now. American researchers report that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble the chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart.  
Should dietary guidelines about saturated fat be changed?
A high-profile study published in the Annals of Medicine has re-opened the debate about whether saturated fat has been unfairly cast in the role of nutritional bogeyman. It questions fat intake guidelines and heart disease links. But how should policymakers respond?

Science compared every diet, and the winner is real food

Researchers asked if one diet could be crowned best in terms of health outcomes. If diet is a set of rigid principles, the answer is a decisive no. In terms of broader guidelines, it’s a decisive yes, concludes a new study. 

Beer marinade could reduce levels of carcinogens in grilled meats

A beer marinade could be just the trick to lower cancer-causing compounds in grilled meat. The study appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 

Expert views: Future pathways for nutritionals

Key speakers at the Vitafoods Europe 2014 Conference offer their thoughts on the current market. What are their health ingredient tips and which types of claims are expected to proliferate?

Ten persistent cancer myths debunked

Google ‘cancer’ and you’ll be faced with millions of web pages. And the number of YouTube videos you find if you look up ‘cancer cure’ is similarly vast. There are plenty of evidence-based, easy to understand pages about cancer, but there are just as many, if not more, pages spreading myths. This post by Cancer Research UK sets the record straight on 10 cancer myths it regularly encounters. 

ICYMI: What happens to our brains when we exercise and how it makes us happier
Most of us are aware of what happens to the body when we exercise. We build more muscle or more stamina. We feel how daily activities like climbing stairs becomes easier if we exercise regularly. When it comes to our brain and mood though, the connection isn’t so clear. Pic: This is your brain after exercise!

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

A wine tip that snobs would choke on

How do you make a glass of red wine taste better? Nathan Myhrvold (left) – the super-clever former chief strategist and chief technology officer at Microsoft and now a science-foodie – has this tip… 

World’s richest booze billionaires

The drinks industry is home to a number of billionaires with wealth that most could only dream of. Here Forbes counts down the world’s top 12 richest drinks savvy billionaires. While a number have interests in wine and spirits, it is those from the world of beer who dominate. Red Bull’s founder has some catching up to do!

Food bites…2014: They said it this week!

Snacking is now about half of all eating occasions…
“RATHER than a treat or bridge between meals, snacking has become a routine part of daily eating habits. And, as such, consumers want their snacking to be as healthy (read nutritious) as their meals. Put another way, snacks are less of a break from healthy eating than they are a continuation of it.”
The Hartman Group

GMO-free Cheerios fails to ‘lift’ sales numbers
“I HAVE lauded General Mills for playing to what seems to be a strong trend. It converted its regular Cheerios to a non-GMO product, though, admittedly, the original Cheerios didn’t have much in the way of GMO ingredients to begin with. What is interesting, though maybe it shouldn’t be, is that General Mills placating of the anti-GMO consumer movement has yet to reap dividends on the bottom line.

   “In other words, GMO-free Cheerios is not delivering a significant boost in sales. Don’t be surprised. I’m not. I just don’t think the majority of Americans are “all in” yet on GMO-free foods. If it has been an issue, it’s been one driven mainly by agenda-driven advocates who, while they have impacted food marketers like General Mills, haven’t really moved mainstream America to their way of thinking.”
Bob Messenger, foremost US food industry commentator, publisher of The Morning Cup
The incredibly dumb campaign against American cheesemakers
“THE European Union (EU) regulates the curvature of cucumbers, the contour of radish ‘shoulders’ and the arc of pea pods. We should not be surprised, then, by Brussels’ recent demand that American cheesemakers refrain from labelling their products as ‘feta’, ‘mozzarella’, ‘parmesan’ or any other appellation of European origin.
   “One might reasonably wonder whether cheese nomenclature is a rational priority for the 28-nation bloc, which is currently faced with a Russian invasion, rampant unemployment and chronic humourlessness. But keeping 40,000 Eurocrats occupied requires a vast array of rulemaking.”
Diane Katz, Fox News,  read more
 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]