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Newsletter 28 October 2011

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 28 October 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights….
SmartStuff:   “One of the worst things you can call a business person, I think, is a short-term capitalist. He selfishly takes for now and fails to contribute in return. The thing to remember about the short-term is that we’ll almost certainly be around when the long-term shows up.”
Seth Godin, American management guru

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: The big ‘ouch’ in SA’s food costs
HAVING JUST spent time in France, Germany and the UK, I undertook a fair bit of casual field work by strolling many a supermarket aisle. As I had anticipated, it became quickly apparent that SA’s average food basket is on a par, if not more, than that of the average European’s.

Sure, some things are more expensive, notably meat (fillet at a gasping £45 in M&S, for instance), and eating-drinking out, but it was depressing to have confirmation that, even with the rand’s recent slide, food in South Africa is expensive, even by developed-market standards.

This is tough enough on the ever-stretched budgets of us affluent folk, so I hate to imagine what’s it’s like for our indigent, struggling, unemployed millions.

Chris Gilmour, an analyst at Absa Investments, writing in the Mail & Guardian, has found similarly. And he points fingers not at the retail end of the supply chain, but at lack of competition on the manufacturing side. Thus, he believes that the Walmart-Massmart deal will be one of the most refreshing events for retailing in South Africa, as the group puts demands on suppliers to work smarter and bill sharper.  His analysis and insights are well worth reading.


Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

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 Local Food Industry News

SA shines at 2011 IDF Dairy Innovation Awards
The International Dairy Federation and Dairy Innovation magazine announced the winners of the 2011 IDF Dairy Innovation Awards on October 18 during the IDF World Dairy Summit in Parma, Italy – and South Africa was among them.

The ‘bobble’ reusable water bottle comes to SA
ADDIS has announced the launch of ‘bobble’ to the South African market. bobble, incorporating an ingenious filter to remove chlorine and organic contaminants from municipal tap water, is a stylish, green solution to the environmental and other costs of bottled water.
SA’s 2011 Packaging Oscars
SA’s 2011 packaging ‘Oscars’ were announced on Tuesday, the first time they have been held in Cape Town and a move made to coincide with the Propak Cape Expo at the CTICC. The Institute of Packaging (SA) (IPSA)’s Gold Pack Awards programme – established in 1974 – is entrenched as the premier event for South Africa’s packaging fraternity – and again many of the awards this year went to food and beverage products.
Taking rooibos where it’s never been before
Afriplex, the Paarl-based ingriedients and flavour company specialising in indigenous botanical extracts, prides itself on being an innovation incubator and it has just made public a great new concept for rooibos tea – TeaStix, instant rooibos powdered tea in a range of tasty flavours.


 Food-Bev Marketing, Trends and NPD

The Food Channel, in conjunction with CultureWaves, the International Food Futurists, and Mintel International, released its 2011 “Top Ten Beverage Trends” identifying the most significant beverage trends for 2011 in the American market, from adding flavours to water, to new adult beverages, to drinking for enhanced nutritional benefits.


Globally, the food and beverage industry will look to expand healthier product offerings in the years to come. A new report by the Hartman Group, outlines that the wellness consumer is a complex concept ie there is no single “type” of wellness consumer. But this is a good thing, it surmises, because it means the potential market is far less limited.

Mintel reports that “A Simple Balance for Health” is currently the most used and read consumer trend on Mintel Inspire. What this means, says the international research company, is that more of its clients from around the world are looking at this than any other trend.
Which sounds more appealing: an artisan sandwich, or just a plain old sandwich? An artisan bread, or a plain old loaf? Marketers are increasingly tossing the word into the name of food products because consumers assume “artisan” means the item is somehow made with love and expertise and individuality.

As a giant and marketing leader in the food and FMCG world, food marketers will be interested to learn that Unilever is to undertake a fundamental change in approach to its marketing through the implementation of a fresh ‘More magic, less logic’ company philosophy.

In the spirit of good old chicken soup, a new Heinz program allows UK customers to send a personalised can of soup to sick friends, via F-commerce.
Packaging sector notes explosion in interactive QR code take up
The use of quick response codes (QR) on food packaging is exploding both as a marketing and information tool, with the food industry just scratching the surface in exploiting the potential of the technology, says SIG Combibloc.
All the trends and innovation from Anuga 2011

 Food Science, Ingredients and Health
World’s first fat tax: what will it achieve?
The Danish government’s now infamous “fat tax” has caused an international uproar, applauded by public health advocates on the one hand and dismissed on the other as nanny-state social engineering gone berserk. [Excellent commentary by Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics and What To Eat and the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University.]

Why dieters tend to regain weight
As if we needed any reminder that weight loss is hard and maintaining weight loss even harder, a study has found that for at least a year, subjects who shed weight on a low-calorie diet were hungrier than when they started and had higher levels of hormones that tell the body to eat more, conserve energy and store away fuel as fat.
New study lends ‘little evidence’ to calcium weight loss link
A new US study has found ‘little evidence’ to support previously reported research suggesting that an increased intake of calcium from either calcium carbonate or dairy sources assists in weight loss or weight management.

A Cornell University food scientist has identified an antimicrobial compound in a honey that makes it a promising candidate as a natural preservative to prevent foodborne illness and food spoilage.

Energy drinks take aim at busy consumers
Consumers are flocking to energy drinks in an attempt to feel better about nutrition while maintaining our 21st century fast-paced lifestyle. Manufacturers are seizing the opportunity to fill the energy void using a mix of old world ingredients and new world technology.

 Verni Superflor

 International Stories

Cargill: Inside the quiet giant that rules the food business
Cargill is the world’s biggest private company. With $119.5 billion in revenues in its most recent fiscal year, ended May 31, Cargill is bigger by half than its nearest publicly-held rival in the food production industry, Archer Daniels Midland. A fascinating Fortune Magazine article looks behind the scenes into the world’s most pervasive and influential food player…

The world at seven billion
This month, the seven billionth person will be born on a planet already strapped for resources. To mark this extraordinary milestone, TIME explores the most pressing population issues of the day, from the quest for sustainable energy sources to a look at what our biggest cities could look like in the decades to come.

US: Coke changes iconic red can to white to support polar bears
For the first time ever, Coca-Cola is turning its iconic red cans white, as part of a joint campaign with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to boost its polar bear conservation efforts.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff
Halloween approaches – and with it, a focus on pumkins and the annual tradition of pumpkin carving. American artist, Ray Villafane, has taken pumpkin carving to a whole new level. His skill and art is extraordinary….

Ever wish you could mainline your coffee? Well, here’s the next best thing: AeroShot, a new product that delivers “inhalable” caffeinated puffs… and from the same man who gave the world ‘Le Whif’, inhalable chocolate.

Food bites… Winners and losers in recessionary times

“Though the recession officially ended in 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that Americans continue to spend less and save more. And yet a quick scan of local supermarket aisles will reveal that sales of Greek yoghurt, craft beer, and artisanal cheese are thriving. Why is our appetite for these specialty products growing even as our budgets decrease?

Because we’re cutting out even more expensive luxuries. As Americans eat out less, we’re willing to spend more for variety, convenience — maybe even health. The seemingly endless flavours, textures, and shapes of Greek yoghurt, artisanal cheese, and craft beer make us feel like we’re choosing from a new menu each time we go to the store — while we spend less time choosing from actual menus.

‘There’s never going to be a recession in eating. Just winners and losers,’ says Harry Balzer, vice President of the NPD Group, a consumer marketing research firm.”

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Brenda NeallPublished every Friday 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 is published and edited by Brenda Neall.

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