Newsletter 31 May 2013


 31 May 2013 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active.
Show up more often.”
Brian Tracy, US success expert & motivational speaker

Sensient Food Colors

Editor’s Stuff: Flavourome turns 15!
Entrepreneurs are a national treasure – to be protected, nourished, encouraged and rewarded as much as possible. And the food industry, take a bow, tends to be full of them.

Today I want to share with you one fabulous entrepreneurial success story – that of flavour company, Flavourome.

It has been said that most people miss or forego opportunity because it invariably arrives at the door dressed in heavy-duty blue overalls. David Wright (right) is not one of them.
He was presented with a wonderful opportunity 15 years ago, and has subsequently turned Flavourome into a notable player in this fiercely competitive food ingredients arena in South Africa.
David and the entire Flavourome team have every reason to be celebrating this notable company milestone. The Wright stuff, indeed! Congratulations!
Enjoy this week’s read…
  • Brenda Neall: publisher & editor
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Kerry Citrus

  Local News and Developments
With consumer spending still strained, SA’s largest food company, Tiger Brands, has said it will put R1bn into its domestic business over the next 18 months, as it seeks to improve efficiency to compete more effectively in the cut-throat environment.
It’s a fact that in times of recession, luxury items are the first to get the chop from the shopping list. But if recent consumer research is anything to go by, South Africans are investing more in their health and wellbeing, despite the increased price tag and supressed economic climate, writes BMi Research CEO, Gareth Pearson.
South Africa’s fast food industry is an engine of growth and the future prospects of its players look good. Despite poor macroeconomic conditions, South Africa’s growing middle class is cash-rich and time-poor – and choosing quick-service dining over formal restaurants and preparing food at home.
SA’s ostrich farming industry is picking itself off the canvas after being floored by avian flu outbreaks over the past two years. “The situation is better than it was a year ago,” says Ostrich Business Chamber CEO Piet Kleyn.
Malnutrition is a major issue for millions of poor South Africans, yet half of the country’s fresh produce is wasted. For some perspective, if the wasted fruit and vegetables were 10kg bags of potatoes, every person in Johannesburg could receive a bag of potatoes once a week for a year, and there would still be food left over. 
Dalewood Fromagerie and a long list of other dairy producers were honoured in the 2013 SA Dairy Championships in late April. 

 International News & Developments
It is not often that, in global terms, there are three major pieces of M&A in the same sector in the space of three weeks. The sector in question is organic baby food.
Shuanghui International Holdings, China’s biggest pork producer, has agreed to acquire Smithfield Foods for about $4.72 billion to boost supplies for the nation that’s the biggest consumer of the meat.
Foreign firms are rushing into China’s scandal-plagued dairy industry.
Mondelez creates $600m kitty to seize emerging markets

Mondelez International said it will invest $100 million this year, $200 million in 2014 and as much as $300 million in 2015 to support growth in emerging markets. “Emerging markets are essential to our overall growth aspiration,” said CEO Irene Rosenfeld. “The race is on for us to secure and expand our positions in these fast-growing markets.”

We are not amused: Prince launches scathing attack on food industry

The Prince of Wales has called on Europe to ‘recalibrate and re-gear’ its food systems towards a local model of food production and distribution – while issuing a wide-ranging attack on current practices within the food industry.
Johnnie Walker is now the world’s leading alcohol brand. Widely regarded as the first brand to go global more than 100 years ago, Johnnie Walker has been awarded the top alcoholic beverage brand title in a global survey.
Why venture capitalists in Silicon Valley are making big bets on food.

An anti-diarrhoea kit developed by Zambian NGO, ColaLife, has won one of the world’s top design awards. UPDATE! DuPont celebrated the silver anniversary of its global packaging awards program recently, granting top honours to UK design firm, pi global, for this same package. It won the premier Diamond and the Special 25th Anniversary ‘Food Security’ awards.

 LRQA South Africa

 Food Trends, Innovation and Marketing
With snacking the predominant consumption trend in the US, there was an ebullient mood at last week’s annual National Confectioners Association’s Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago. Marketers showed off more than 2 000 new offerings in a trade show that covers three acres and attracted some 14 000 manufacturers and many thousands of candy buyers and other visitors.
Chocolate bags are a massively successful candy category, in the UK and elsewhere: bite-size versions of the choc bar treats people know and love, for example, Bitsa Wispa, Galaxy Bits and Aero Bubbles. They may be very good for chocolate sales, but others aren’t as happy, saying they create portion confusion and encourage over-consumption.
According to Rabobank, the rise of the ‘hybrid consumer’ in First World markets is an emerging trend with significant implications for food companies, food retailers and food service companies.
Is wine is adapting to the changing consumer? Mintel analyst, Jonny Forsyth, argues that this is currently not the case and that in his country, the UK, the industry is led too much by its own prejudices and mores rather than those of the consumer. The same is probably true for most wine-producing nations.
One of Kellogg’s oldest brands, Special K, is also turning out to be one of its “newest” brands. That’s because the cereal maker has continued to expand and actually reinvent the brand for a decade now — including some major just-announced innovations. [Click pic to enlarge]
Prunes have never been the most tantalising of snacks – due in part, no doubt, to their use as a natural constipation remedy. But they’re making a massive comeback, thanks to celebrity chef endorsement, and as science shows they’re excellent for bone health, full of vitamins, and that laxative effect was a myth all along.
Chinese baijiu, a flammable, pungent white liquor averaging a 110-proof hit (55% alcohol), is the world’s most consumed form of liquor thanks to its popularity in China, but for the first time distillers are looking to develop export markets.
Preventing alcohol abuse, especially among young people, has long been a focus of public-health campaigns. But despite the well-publicised social and medical consequences of drinking too much it’s clear that for many, heavy drinking has become a normal part of life.

 QPro International

 Food Science, Technology and Ingredients Stuff

Photocatalysis has been dubbed the best new technology to potentially cut billions of dollars of losses yearly from ethylene, the silent, invisible killer of fruits, vegetables and cut flowers — a gas whose effects are familiar to everyone who has seen bananas and other fruit ripen too quickly and rot.
Healthy hydrocolloids: Designing foods with a healthier structure
The ability to modify the micro- and macro-structure of food products using hydrocolloid science offers the food industry a plethora of opportunities to make healthier and better tasting foods, say experts.
Nestlé has opened the most advanced laboratories of their kind in the food industry to study food-borne pathogens that are harmful to human health.
NASA has given a six-month grant to a company developing the world’s first 3D food printer. The printer will use proteins, carbohydrates and sugars to create edible food products — in realisation that as current food systems won’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently in the future, humankind will eventually have to change its perception of what we see as food…
Cockroaches evolve to avoid sugar
A pest in almost every kitchen and food factory, the common cockroach is a clever evolutionary beast – even learning how to detect and avoid a certain kind of glucose often used in bait traps, according to research published in the US journal, Science.
In case you missed it: Building a $325 000 burger
As a gastronomic delicacy, the 140g in vitro hamburger that Dr Mark Post has painstakingly created will not turn any heads. But he hopes that it will change some minds.

 Health and Nutrition Stuff
Michael Pollan, the American food writer and campaigner, says eating together round the table every night is the way children learn best how to get along in the wider world. [Whatever your opinion of Pollan, this is a fabulous, heartening essay/article on his latest book that looks at the transformative magic of cooking, and how it sits at the heart of our cultures, shapes family life and provides so much pleasure. Ed]
American researchers have found that the popular artificial sweetener, sucralose, can modify how the body handles sugar. The study is available online in the journal Diabetes Care.
Medical experts have long concurred. If we heap our plates with fresh fruits and vegetables, they tell us, we will come closer to optimum health. This health directive needs to be revised. If we want to get maximum health benefits from fruits and vegetables, we must choose the right varieties, as unwittingly, we have been stripping phytonutrients from our diet since we stopped foraging for wild plants some 10 000 years ago and became farmers.
When it comes to produce, potatoes are actually one of the best nutritional values on the market, according to a new study published in the latest edition of the journal PLOS ONE.
An Oregon State University (OSU) study has concluded that nutritionally speaking, canned peaches are equivalent to their fresh counterparts.
Recent studies that examine links between sodium consumption and health outcomes support recommendations to lower sodium intake from the very high levels some Americans consume now, but evidence from these studies does not support reduction in sodium intake to below 2,300 mg per day, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff
What is it about toothpaste that transforms the sweet flavour of orange juice into something so bitter? What the cause of this mysterious sensory phenomenon?

 Food bites…2013: Organic’s attraction still lies in what’s not there

“INTEREST in organic foods and beverages had little to do with nutrition. And still doesn’t. The allure of organic and natural products lies not so much in the presence of positive attributes, but in the absence of negative elements. It is for these reasons that adoption and continued usage of organic and natural foods and beverages extend beyond nutritional values.
“Organic gained prominence for the many other qualities and health notions it represents, such as authenticity, purity and, most importantly, the halo of being free from negative ingredients.
“Contrary to what many market analysts may want to believe, organic will never go away; it will ebb and flow as any other category, but it will continue to have importance among a large (and still growing) group of consumers. What we are viewing today through the lens of organic is actually the evolution of food quality. Organic on many levels is part of a much larger construct: a major shift in our food culture toward higher quality. So, organic will not fade away, it is simply becoming an integral element of the ever-evolving food culture landscape.”
Laurie Demeritt, CEO of US strategic thinktank and research company,
The Hartman Group, read more

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Brenda NeallPublished weekly 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]