Newsletter 29 June 2012

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 29 June 2012 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “Fifteen years ago, people were choosing organic to save the world. Now they’re choosing it to save themselves — and that’s a much more powerful driver.”  Seth Goldman, co-founder of Honest Tea

Bidfood Solutions

Editor’s Stuff: Thanks be to the food scientists!

Food science, arguably, has to be the most important science of all – it is the very foundation of human civilisation and wellbeing – and yet it is perhaps the least appreciated and, these days, under increasing villification and suspicion. This paradox is extraordinary.
A world without food science is beyond nightmarish …. No way to keep food fresh; nutrition would be a guessing game; food would look and taste bad; it would cost a lot more; dinner would take all day to prepare; food would be unsafe to eat; there would be very limited variety; widespread famine and starvation would be a constant fear; and civilisation as we know it would collapse.
The good news is that the world has thousands of dedicated food science professionals who are preventing this frightening scenario from becoming a reality as they develop and maintain a safe, nutritious, healthy and plentiful food that us consumers eat, and take for granted, everyday.


On this theme, the IFT(Institute of Food Technologists) in American used its annual meeting and food expo this week in Las Vegas to launch a new public education campaign called ”A World Without Food Science” that aims to generate greater awareness of the role food science plays in ensuring a nutritious, safe and abundant food supply, and tells it in a powerful visual way.

Vivé Food Science! Enjoy this week’s read!


Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
FMCG companies worldwide are thinking outside the can, jar and the bottle and looking with more interest at resealable spout pouches. This change is evident on South African shelves, too, and leading the charge in the food arena is Boland Pulp.
The most important meal of the day has become a “war zone” for SA’s food chains as tough economic times and rising costs bite into consumers’ disposable income. 
South Africa’s official position on bio-technology is fairly tolerant of GM crops, with their distinguished record of increasing food security. But environmental lobby groups bang on about unfounded fears and demand mandatory measures to protect the public from a non-existent danger. Worse, they’re making inroads.
SA’s supermarket chains were becoming increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining the health of SA’s, and the world’s, fish stocks and would soon demand Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditation for the fish products they sold, the WWF SA says.
Lesotho – a slow descent into starvation?
The UN says almost one billion people go to bed each night hungry, but for many of us, that reality is buried safely in distance, becoming further and further removed. Only it isn’t, really. A quick look over our borders tells us Lesotho is grappling with severe issues of food insecurity – and desperate hunger.
Some nice jam innovation from Rhodes Food Group: in a variant first for South Africa, it has launched Red Fig in a fridge-friendly can, and revamped the packaging for its Jams in Glass range.

Most South Africans do not believe tasty food can be made with less salt, and few realise cutting their intake may fend off a heart attack or stroke, according to new research by food giant Unilever.

International News & Stuff
The American food industry is gathered this week in Las Vegas for the 2012 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo. At Tuesday morning’s keynote session, the winners of the 2012 IFT Food Expo Innovation Awards were announced: Advantix Systems, Ampac, Ecolab, and Glanbia Nutritionals.
Coca-Cola and its bottling partners will invest $5 billion in India by 2020 as it looks to raise its presence in one of its fastest-growing emerging markets.
Who cares if the Olympics are sponsored by Coca-Cola and Cadbury? The critics of London 2012’s fast-food funders can go take a running jump, writes Rob Lyons of Spiked Online in this provocative piece… [The pic shows off McDonald’s new Olympic uniform, with designs inspired by the hit TV show, Mad Men]
Last week’s top headline: Big Food under scrutiny in article series
Multinational food corporations have a growing influence on the health of people around the world, including obesity, and their actions need greater scrutiny… and they’re getting it in a three-week series of articles looking at “Big Food”, published by the online journal Public Library of Science Medicine (PLoS).

 Food Trends

In the western world, food marketers are getting pushed into an ever tighter corner as anxiety about the obesity epidemic rises. Governments are ramping up the pressure, with new regulations and taxes. This report by JWT Intelligence.

There is a perfect storm brewing… an obesity crisis turning into a healthcare catastrophe, governments staring into a budget abyss and a gutsy, forward thinking politician talking about his next food target, large servings of sugary beverages. And on top of that, well produced documentaries are appearing on TV in the US and in Europe about obesity targeted at the food industry. I think we are at a point of no return…

Satiety is a concept that increasingly resonates with consumers, a concept that emphasises the positives of fullness and is a move away from the negatives of dieting.

The rising population of aging health-conscious consumers is driving demand for food products that support good health now, as well as medicinal treatment for conditions that arise in later years.

What we eat and drink has become such an emotional roller coaster for so many of us that it’s utterly changing the way that restaurant, food makers and grocery chains do business. Food used to feed our bodies. Now it also needs to feed our brains. Our egos. Our nostalgic memories. And maybe even our social-media appetites.

Innovation and new flavours are enabling the once-staid staple to outpace margarine and even olive oil in market growth. Pass the butter — er, margarine. Or is it the olive-oil spread?
Consumer consciences are firmly on the corporate marketing radar. Ethically-sourced, humanely-farmed animal products have been around for some time among upscale retailers and specialty brands, but this year the issue has become an important one for the most mainstream of brands, reports JWT Intelligence.
Different strokes for different folks applies when it comes to morning meal food and beverage choices, according to a study conducted by The NPD Group, a leading US market research company.

Food Science, Safety and Ingredients Stuff

IFT round-up: New products, innovation, and the hottest new trends
The FoodNavigator team scoured the show for all the latest news and views at IFT 2012 in Las Vegas…. New developments at the show this year included a different approach to hot and spicy flavours, tomato-based colouring positioned to replace carmine, and a multitude of products for taking the ‘bad’ out of food products – particularly sugar and saturated fat.

Years of retailing experience have shown that what actually gets bought is what looks good. And, unfortunately, for tomatoes at least, that is not well correlated with taste. A uniformly red skin – the sort preferred by consumers – is associated with a “cardboardy” flavour. But until now, nobody knew why…

‘Claim free’ trend may lie around the corner
A ‘claim free’ trend may be set to emerge, with consumers becoming blind to complicated labels and pack assertions they may clamour for simple, natural ingredients they can understand without explanation.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff

From the time humans are born, everything they put in their mouths ultimately affects the body’s immunological response and how they metabolize food … read more from Jose Saavedra, Head of Medical and Scientific Affairs, Nestlé Nutrition.

Belviq: FDA approves the first new weight-loss pill in 13 years
It’s modestly effective and was initially denied in 2010, but Arena Pharmaceutical’s diet drug, Belviq, won government approval this week, making it the first new weight-loss pill to enter the US market in more than a decade.

A new study published in the Journal of American Medical Association challenges the notion that “a calorie is a calorie” and has found that people following a Mediterranean-style diet may have the best chance of keeping weight off — and doing it without causing negative side effects

The UK Department of Health has released its long awaited National Diet Survey which measured the dietary consumption of salt in English adults (aged 19-64 years) and found no statistically significant change in salt intake from 2008, despite well-funded NGO and government anti-salt campaigns, as well as efforts by the food industry to reduce the salt in processed foods.

Last week’s top headline: Let’s add a little dirt to our diets

Increasing evidence suggests that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us. [A fascinating read! Ed]

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

What beverage cuts it in the boardroom. According to this article in The Guardian, coffee is the drink of choice for ‘ambitious high achievers’, a new survey by Nespresso would have you believe….

If you have ever queued for a McDonald’s burger drooling over the photos on the menu, you’ve probably wondered why your Big Mac never looks the same, even if you’re not surprised. And ditto for most other fast food joints.

McDonald’s Canada has candidly revealed all the secrets of the food styling that makes its burgers look so much juicier, bigger and tastier in its adverts. The story has become a massive YouTube sensation with over 5.8m views (when posting this article).

This is “glass gem corn”, aptly dubbed the most beautiful corn in the world (and is not Photoshopped!). As eye-catching as it is, it’s actually a natural product of corn evolution.

 Food bites… Who is responsible for obesity? Really?

“A Big Mac meal is a perfectly nutritious meal, containing plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals and calories – yes, we do actually need to get our bodily energy from somewhere. Equally, sugary drinks also provide energy. There’s nothing wrong with that.
“Admittedly, if you decide to bombard your body with gallons of sickly sweet sugary drinks, there is an increased risk of buggering up your body’s system of dealing with sugar – through the production of insulin – but there is no problem with drinking sugary soda in moderation. Its critics also seem to forget that Coca-Cola produces many increasingly popular sugar-free drinks, too. Diet Coke is now the No.2 selling soft drink in the US.
“Big corporations adapt to changing consumer demand or they stop being big corporations.”
Rob Lyons of Spiked Online takes on the food police: read more


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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, 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]