Newsletter 9 December 2011

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 9 December 2011 | Your weekly food industry news and insights…                                                                 
SmartStuff:   “Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.”   Confucius, Chinese philosopher

Bidfood Solutions
Editor’s Stuff: Trends, trends and more trends!

The food industry world is awash with trends and predictions for the new year – and now’s a good time to soak them up as you reflect back on 2011 and look ahead to the challenges of 2012.

So what’s the big deal about food, consumer, market and flavour trends? Why are trends so important? Here’s a good answer, from research company, RTS:

“In today’s highly competitive market, producing great products or ingredients is no longer enough to guarantee success. You must also clearly communicate the benefits of your products – both to manufacturers and consumers. Knowing which trends are driving the market and, crucially, how to make them work for you is the key to developing products that sell.

Our research has revealed that trends are not only effective individually but that when linked together they become powerful market drivers. Understanding how trends link together will provide focus and inspiration for new products and ingredient solutions, opening doors to new markets and product categories.”

With a majority chunk of productive South Africa on holiday from next week, this is my last newsletter of 2011. But I will keep the website regularly updated throughout the holiday season.

A happy and safe Christmas to you!


Brenda Neall: publisher & editor

 Tired of your job? Want to start 2012 afresh? Many interesting career opportunities are posted up on FOODStuff SA’s Jobs pages: SGS, for instance, is looking for a training manager and food safety auditors... Click here!

Kerry Ingredients

Trends, Trends and Trends
Consumer concerns about health and wellness, coupled with a continued uncertain economic future, will set the stage for ongoing food and beverage trends to be stretched to their full potential in 2012 as both industry and consumers tighten their belts on spending and investments, according to new market research from Leatherhead Food Research in the UK.

JWT has released its seventh annual year-end forecast of key trends that will shape or significantly impact consumer behaviour in the near future. Continued economic uncertainty is at the center of or driving several of these trends; another theme is the rising idea of shared responsibility. As always, new technology is a key factor as well.

US food expert, Phil Lempert, also known as The Supermarket Guru, has presented his thoughts on what 2012 holds for the [American] food industry, a year that he says may be one of the most exciting – and game-changing in the food world… [and some really interesting insights, even if the focus is very much US of A]

America’s top foodie channel, The Food Channel, has released its 2012 Trends Forecast—the top ten food trends predicted for the coming year. This report is put together in conjunction with CultureWaves, the International Food Futurists, and Mintel International.

More trends with a foodie-culinary slant, this time from the super-successful internet newspaper, The Huffington Post, only this is a look back on 2011. Among this rather eclectic-to-strange selection are insects, artisanal butchery, meatballs and macarons…


 International Developments

Cargill has completed the sale of its global flavours business to Kerry, the ingredients & flavours and consumer foods group. The two companies announced in July 2011 that they were holding exclusive discussions and a definitive sales agreement was signed on September 22, 2011.

The food giant has announced that Kraft chairman and CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, will head the as-yet unnamed world-wide $31-billion snacks business, and Anthony Vernon, executive vice president and president of Kraft North America, will head the smaller $17-billion and slower-growing North American grocery business after the breakup at the end of next year.

The US Food and Drug Administration will decide by March 31 whether to ban BPA, the chemical used in water bottles, soup cans and other food and drink packaging that has been linked as a health risk to developing babies and young children.

Australia’s federal government has rejected standardised ‘traffic light’ labelling on packaged food, sighting insufficient evidence to support the measure.

Coca-Cola is switching back to its time-honoured red can just one month after rolling out its flagship cola in a snow-white can, with much fanfare, for the year-end holidays. New seasonal cans in red are already on shelf, as white cans—initially expected to be in stores through February—make an exit.

Savannah Fine Chemicals

 Food Science, Ingredients and Health

‘Make it through the MAZE, SAAFFI’s 10th annual seminar and workshop, is designed to help delegates to stay ahead of the pack in product compliance and their business dealings. This SA Association of the Flavour & Fragrance Industry (SAAFFI) seminar will take place on 15 March, 2012, at Bytes Conference Centre, Midrand.

The USA Rice Federation issued a statement delcaring US-grown rice as safe to eat in response to a recent study out of Dartmouth College that found elevated urinary arsenic concentrations in pregnant women who had eaten rice.

A sandwich which stays fresh for up to two years has been developed for the US army, as Dr George McGavin found out as part of his BBC programme, After Life: The Strange Science of Decay, when investigating what happens when food rots…

Why is a risk worth taking…? Leading Unilever R&D expert reveals all
FoodNavigator profiles leading industry lights, asking them how they got to where they are, their key insights into the sector and advice they can impart for anyone wanting to move into their particular field. This month it talks to Julie Merrick, R&D Direction Beverages Europe, Unilever.
What causes cancer? New research from Cancer Research UK shows that 40% of cancers in women and 45% in men could be prevented by a healthier lifestyle. The report found more than 100,000 cancers each year in the UK are caused by four lifestyle factors – smoking, unhealthy diets, alcohol and people being too fat.
Dr Placebo — half quack and half savant
Given the successful selling of sham products such as balance bracelets and homeopathy, it’s important that we learn to think critically about one of the most powerful forces in medical research, the placebo effect. The placebo effect’s ability to influence human healing and human behaviour is well documented, but we must be careful to make sure this fakery does no harm.

 Verni Superflor

 Weird, Whacky and Wonderful Stuff

A great foodie story for the tabloids… British cooking celebrity, Nigella Lawson, on the latest cover of the free UK magazine Stylist, has become a human toffee apple, professing her love of salted caramel by pouring the sugary sauce over her head and heavily made-up face.

How drunk can you get at your office Christmas party?
One of the things that makes office holiday parties both wonderful and awful is how often they devolve into total drunken shows… This is the conundrum of holiday parties: You need a drink because it softens the awkwardness of mixing work relationships with holiday merriment, but drink too much and you’ll end up in a situation that’s far more awkward in the sobering fluorescent light of Monday morning. Ideally you want to locate yourself right on the boundary of personal embarrassment.

As retailers gear up to welcome hordes of holiday shoppers aroung the world, here’s a little something they might keep in mind if they’re in America: one in every 11 people who walk through the door are likely to walk out with at least one item he or she didn’t pay for. The number one shoplifted item this year is…

Food bites… Cancer gets you when nothing else can

cancerell“…. the notion that we’re getting more cancer because of chemicals in our agriculture, medicine, food preparation and general environment, is persistent. Mention the word “cancer” in general conversation, and someone will solemnly opine that instead of increasing quality of life and health, modern life actually causes cancer. They’ll warn darkly about the dangers of antiperspirant spray, or mobile phones, or hair dye, or food preservatives, or milk.

It is true that some substances are known carcinogens, but none of these is among them. Carcinogens in the environment are a risk, but only one in 50 cancer deaths in the developed world can be attributed to environmental pollution caused by industrialisation.

Casting cancer as a symptom of modern society and using death as a rhetorical bludgeon to make people fear economic development is a reprehensible tactic. Yet, despite all the evidence that it’s wrong, alarmist myths remain stubbornly persistent.

In truth, economic development and scientific advances have combined to make us all healthier. When friends and family die of cancer – apparently before their time – that is because they didn’t die at a younger age of smallpox, polio, influenza or malaria. Because so many infectious diseases no longer kill us, we now succumb to degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease and stroke. The simple problem is that we live long enough to get them.”

Ivo Vegter, columnist on The Daily Maverick: 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 is published and edited by Brenda Neall.

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