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Newsletter 30 August 2013

 
30 August 2013
 Your weekly food industry news
and insights…
SmartStuff:   “With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American writer and poet

 
Editor’s Stuff: Swift Silliker ups SA’s food chemistry testing capabilities!
After 22 years as market leaders in microbiological testing in South Africa, August 2013 marks the beginning of a new era for Swift Silliker, with the launch this week of its new state-of-the-art chemistry laboratory, and a valuable service offering to the food-beverage industries. And an especially timeous one, too, for compliance with the new labelling regulations.
 
I was at the opening launch function on Wednesday in Midrand and can testify that Swift Silliker has set up a very impressive facility – with the capex surely in the tens of millions of rands.  A class laboratory for a classy company.
 
Chemistry testing is not that widely available in this country and Swift’s move will no doubt be widely welcomed by it extensive client base, here and north of our borders.
 
The salt issue: Is the global food industry wasting billions on salt reduction? Many would say definitely not, but much research is pointing to the opposite; that the science and the political zealotry simply don’t match.

This week, a new study led by scientists affiliated with the UC Davis, adds further credence to the growing scientific notion that concern about the amount of salt we consume may be misplaced.

Enjoy this week’s read…

Sensient Food Colors

  Local News and Developments
 
The inter-ministerial committee examining changing laws around alcohol has sent a proposed bill through to Cabinet. Various ministers have confirmed the bill will ban the advertising of alcohol in literally all media. But they’ve also now added another proposal: to change the legal drinking age from eighteen to 21. Banning full colour pictures of old whisky is one thing. Limiting people from making their own choices is quite another, argues Stephen Grootes.
 
The expansion of South Africa’s middle class bodes well for milk producers, SA Milk Producers’ Organisation CEO Bertus de Jongh has asserted, contrary to many concerns the MPO has raised about their health and sustainability in recent months.
 
In this year’s SA Olive Awards judges had the challenging task of blind tasting no less than 100 olive oils – a record number of entries for the competition since its inception eight years ago. Last week 43 exceptional olive oils were awarded gold medals, reiterating the quality of local products.
 
With sales already exceeding 75% of available floor space and with over a year to go, Propak Cape 2014 has already received an overwhelming early thumbs up from the packaging and processing sectors. The show takes place at the CTICC from 21-23 October 2014.
 
RCL Foods results decimated
In announcing its annual results this week, RCL Foods (previously Rainbow Chicken) asked the market to look to brighter days. Management has been busy since it acquired branded foods company Foodcorp in May to create South Africa’s largest food company by turnover.
 
Massmart: share price dives
Massmart CE Grant Pattison has long cautioned against expecting short-term wonders from the SA retailer’s acquisition by Walmart.

Woolworths sees boosted sales
Woolworths says ongoing demand from higher-income shoppers will boost sales in the new fiscal year, even as growth in the local economy remains constrained.

 
“The average customer is dead and so is the averager retailer
The words of Ian Moir, CEO of Woolworths, at a presentation he made at the Gordon Institute of Business (GIBS) recently. You can watch him live on YouTube.
 
The 15th Sunday Times Top Brands Survey results were announced last week. The survey gauges consumer sentiment towards brands, delivering valuable insights to business leaders and marketers.

QPro International


 International Developments

 
After all that… Dairy giant Fonterra’s products at the centre of a global contamination scare this month did not contain a bacteria that could cause botulism, and posed no food safety threat.
 
Did you hear that a group of 400 angry farmers attacked and destroyed a field trial of genetically modified rice in the Philippines this month? That, it turns out, was a lie. The crop was actually destroyed by a small number of activists while farmers who had been bussed in to attend the event looked on in dismay, writes Mark Lynas, renowned-notorious GM activist-turned-proponent.
 
Indian spices have fueled wars, fortunes and even the discovery of continents, and for thousands of years farmers harvested them in the same traditional ways. Until now. US FDA concerns on high levels of salmonella contamination is seeing Indian government officials quietly pushing some of the most far-reaching changes ever in the way farmers pick, dry and thresh their bounty.

LRQA South Africa

 Marketing, Trends, Innovation and NPD
 
Thanks to growing consumer awareness about the vulnerable state of the global environment and food supply, environmentally-conscious eating is a trend destined to increase in urgency, according to ‘Eco-Eating Culinary Trend Mapping Report’ by market research publisher, Packaged Facts.
 
Nostalgic and natural flavours lead the way in Europe
Europeans tend to be quite conservative when it comes to flavour, but there are ways to create innovative tastes even around well-established popular flavours, says Euromonitor ingredients analyst Lauren Bandy.
 
PepsiCo is said to be planning to launch a new premium water brand, OM, next year that will compete with Coco-Cola’s Smartwater. Analysts see this as an attempt to revive its ailing North American beverages business that has been facing the heat from declining CSD consumption.
 
Beverage can manufacturer, Ball Packaging Europe, is unveiling its Magic Straw Can along with several other beverage can innovations at the Drinktec 2013, the world fair for the beverage and liquid food industry in Münich in September.
 
With frozen food sales declining and fresh prepared foods growing, this US and global trend is seeing the redirection of products from the freezer case toward the deli counter.

Kerry Citrus

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients
 
Taste is not what you think. Every schoolchild learns that it is one of the five senses, a partner of smell and sight and touch, a consequence of food flitting over taste buds that send important signals—sweet or bitter, nutrient or poison?—to the brain. Were it so simple.
 
GEA Process Technologies is trialling a new ice pigging technique, used in the water industry, that it believes could be valuable in improving CIP and product recovery in food and beverage processing plants, and overcome the shortfalls of traditional pipeline pigs
 
Genetics may play a role in how people’s taste receptors send signals, leading to a wide spectrum of taste preferences, according to a new study. The findings suggest these varied, genetically-influenced responses may mean that food and drink companies will need a range of artificial sweeteners to accommodate different consumer tastes.
 
Scientific American has made a statement denouncing the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food in response to pending GMO-labelling legislation in nearly half of the US states.

 Health and Nutrition
 
Rigorously controlled studies may soon give us a definitive answer about what causes obesity — excessive calories or the wrong carbohydrates. This intriguing article is by well-known scince writer, Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007), and Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It.
 
Just why exercise is so good for people is, at last, being understood. A paper just published in Nature by Beth Levine of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre and her colleagues sheds some light on the matter.
 
It’s the world’s most-consumed beverage after water and its health benefits are well documented – but now British researchers have shown that drinking regular cuppas could extend to keeping gum disease and tooth decay at bay.
 
Older chocoholics may have a new excuse to indulge their cravings: The dark stuff not only soothes the soul, but might also sharpen the mind.
 
Eating ‘super broccoli’, developed by scientists at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) in Norwich, three times a week can help to ‘re-tune’ the metabolism and this could protect against age-related diseases.

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff
 
There is more than one application for the good, old-fashioned canning jar – see what US packaging manufacturer, Cuppow, has come up with…

 Food bites…2013: Misunderstanding quality

“KODAK, of course, ruled their world. They were as close to a monopoly as they could get for generations. Along the way, though, the company made the mistake of misdefining quality. They thought that what would ensure their future was better fidelity film. And without a doubt, they delivered on the promise of ever better film stock, with all the things a professional photographer could hope for. 
   “Polaroid, for a while a disruptive competitor of Kodak’s, fell into precisely the same trap. As they gained market share, they doubled down on image quality, raising their prices to support cameras and film that would compete with Kodak’s leadership in fidelity. 
   “It turns out that what people actually wanted was the ability to take and share billions of photos at vanishingly small cost.
   “The ‘quality’ that most of the customer base wanted was cheap and easy, not museum quality.
   “This confusion happens all the time. Quality is not an absolute measure. It doesn’t mean ‘deluxeness’ or ‘perfection’. It means keeping the promise the customer wants you to make.”
Seth Godin, US marketing guru
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Totally Food Events
Brenda NeallPublished weekly as part of www.foodstuffsa.co.za and www.drinkstuff-sa.co.za, 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. You can contact her at: brenda@foodstuffsa.co.za

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