Newsletter 29 April 2011

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 29 April 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights….
  SmartStuff:   Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato
Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: What will the Royal Wedding menu look like?
I can’t imagine there are too many food industrialists at their desks today – you’re either on holiday, pretending to have the flu, or glued to the office telly already. So, the Big Day has arrived – it was surely not 30 years ago that we sat entranced by Prince Charles’s and Lady Di’s ill-fated nuptials? I remember it well, not least as I despairingly spent the better part of the ceremony having root canal treatment, I kid you not! But appropriate, perhaps, considering what eventually transpired.
Before I settle down in front of my telly, I leave you with this link to a delightful article on the Wedding Feast – subject of as much media speculation as The Dress – penned by the The Guardian’s restaurant critic, Jay Rayner.
Wedding FeastWhat will the royal wedding menu look like, he asks? And he answers the question thus: “it doesn’t really matter, for almost all wedding food is the same: awful. Wedding feasts are where ingredients go to die… Often, and for understandable reasons, good taste goes out the window when the wedding bells chime. The reality is that feeding lots of people at the same time is hideously difficult.”

Enjoy this week’s read – there are, as every week, great stories and insights!

Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
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Kerry Ingredients

 Local Food Industry Stuff
SA’s Dairy Product of 2011
SA Dairy Product of 2011April 27 is a notable day in SA’s history – and it’s become one with important food industry nuance as a date when the dairy sector honours its champions. The Dairy Product of 2011 has been awarded…


Sean Murphy, recently-appointed Kraft Foods managing director for the company’s Southern Africa business, says – surely with some understatement – that one of the biggest challenges of the February 2010 acquisition of Cadbury is bringing the two companies together under one culture.


South Africa is now a priority market for Kraft Foods, said Sanjay Khosla, President, Developing Markets, Kraft Foods, during a recent visit from the company’s US-based global headquarters.


Pietro FerreroChocolate king Ferrero dies during Cape Town visit
Pietro Ferrero, a chief executive of the famous Ferrero Rocher brand and heir to Italy’s largest fortune, has died at the age of 47 in Cape Town after an apparent heart attack while cycling.


Norman Adami on SAB’s ‘bigness trap’ challenge
SA Breweries is big, very big. And that’s why it’s an easy target for those who loathe “big business” and all it represents, true or not. In this self-penned column, Norman Adami, chairman and MD of SAB, outlines how the brewing giant is working to retain the personal connection with its consumers; the importance it puts on exerting a strong, conscious emphasis on applying the human touch.



 International Food Industry News
Lactalis launches full takeover bid for Parmalat
Lactalis has upped the ante in the battle for Italian rival Paramlat with the announcement this morning on Tuesday April 26, of a takeover bid for the entire business.

WHO warns of enormous burden of chronic disease
Chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease and diabetes have reached global epidemic proportions and now cause more deaths than all other diseases combined, the World Health Organization (WHO) said this week.

UK: ‘Best before’ labels to binned in food waste crackdown
The “best before” dates on food packaging are set to be scrapped in a drive by ministers to stop millions of tonnes of perfectly edible produce being thrown away each year, according to a report in the UK Sunday Telegraph.

Speculative demand has pushed coffee prices up through the $3 per 500g barrier, taking them to their highest level for over 30 years.


Cheap Chinese exports of pine nuts have been blamed for a rare mouth condition that leaves a bitter aftertaste for weeks.


 Verni Superflor

 Food Science, Technology & Safety Stuff
Power of culinary colourIn recent years, food colour has become controversial because of growing concerns about the potential effect artificial food colourings could have on children’s behaviour. But while strict regulations exist governing synthetic food dyes, the use and manipulation of colour is widespread in meeting and reshaping consumer expectations.

Consumer demand for products featuring a simple label has increased and food processors and ingredient suppliers are responding, but developing ‘clean label’ products poses numerous challenges for food and beverage manufacturers.

Consulting in Food Labelling

 Health & Nutrition Stuff
The glycaemic index (GI) measures how various carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels. It has been used to control diabetes and may hold promise as a method of controlling weight. But, recent research suggests it might be more complicated than once believed.

 Food Marketing, Innovation & NPD
NoMU Drinking ChocNoMU gives drinking chocolate a reboot
NoMU, one of SA’s fastest-growing food innovation brands, has launched an everyday drinking chocolate, building on the success of its top-selling sugar-free hot chocolate.

UK: Nestlé moves Aero into biscuit category
Nestlé is moving its Aero chocolate bar brand into the biscuit category for the first time, with a product aimed specifically at women, a brand extension that marks part of a major investment by Nestlé in one of its flagship brands – and a move that mirrors a key chocolate bar trend.

 Packaging Stuff
Sweden signals intent to banish bisphenol A in can linings
Sweden has signalled its intent to become the first country in world to phase out the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage can linings.



Puzzle persists for ‘degradable’ plastics
As worries over the vast scale of waste from polyethylene have grown, so has the use of purportedly ‘degradable’ forms of this ubiquitous plastic. However, the environmentally-friendly version of polyethylene might not be so friendly after all, according to a new report in Nature.


Packaging guru and photographer, Clive Glover, keeps a close eye on interesting new FMCG packs on shelf in SA. Check out his latest two columns from PACKAGiNG & Print Media magazine. February Column and March Column

Sustainability Stuff
Buy local, support poverty
Buy localThere’s a widespread myth among consumers that buying locally is good for the economy, the environment or both. Despite its charming appeal, it is neither. Worse, producers will do their best to make sure you’re never any the wiser about it, writes Ivo Vegter in this excellent article from The Daily Maverick.


Some 44 million people have been pushed into poverty because of the rise in food prices of late; and while it’s easy to point fingers at “greedy” commodity traders, this thoughtful article argues that food speculation is not that bad.


View #2: Wall Street greed created the food crisis
Wall Street’s at fault for the spiralling cost of food. Demand and supply certainly matter. But there’s another reason why food across the world has become so expensive: Wall Street greed. It took the brilliant minds of Goldman Sachs to realize the simple truth that nothing is more valuable than our daily bread.

Weird, Whacky & Wonderful Stuff
Surely the whackiest food innovation on the globe this year…?


New food words in the Oxford English Dictionary
Widely accepted as the last word on English words, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) currently contains some 600,000 entries. But, to keep pace with our ever-changing language, the list grows quarterly with revisions and additions. The most recent update included some new words from the world of food, including Eton Mess, gremolata and kleftiko. 
Why we love some foods and hate others
Black coffee. Hot peppers. Truffles. Oysters. The world is full of polarising flavours and foods, beloved by many, despised by just as many. Why is that? Scientists have untangled some — but not nearly all — of the mysteries behind our love and hatred of certain foods


Blight of gumHow green is your chewing gum?
Gum is a blight on civilised society. It’s always hiding on the underside of tables, or flattened on the pavement, or sticking to shoes. Is it bad for the environment, too?


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Published 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… fast, fresh and full of additives!


Brenda NeallFOODStuff SA is published and edited by Brenda Neall.

[email protected]

Food bites… So what is a “clean label”?

“A clean label gives consumers sufficient information to enable them to make informed decisions leaving them in no doubt as to the contents of the product. According to this definition a ‘cleanly labeled’ product does not therefore need to be manufactured with ‘natural’ ‘additive-free’ or ‘store-cupboard’ ingredients as some suggest because the emphasis is focused on providing consumers transparent and clear information empowering them to express their consumption preferences.

“For example, consumers may be perfectly happy to eat or drink products containing artificial ingredients. The point of clean labelling is therefore simply to inform shoppers to enable them to better express their consumption preferences.”

Matthew Incles, market intelligence manager for Leatherhead Food Research