Top 7 from 7: The key global food industry news of the past 7 days (Oct 1-8)

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Top 7 from 7: The key global food industry news of the past 7 days (Oct 1-8)
From Indra Nooyi’s key lessons from her time at PepsiCo to the rise of fermented foods and new cases of avian flu in China, a lot has happened over the past seven days. Here’s a round-up of the top seven global food and beverage news items to get you updated!


1. Indra Nooyi’s big lessons

After 12 years in charge of PepsiCo (and 24 years at the company in total), Indra Nooyi has learned some big lessons, which she shared in a public letter to associates on LinkedIn​.

“In the weeks since my departure was announced, I’ve heard from so many of you in so many different parts of the world,”​ she wrote. “And while I haven’t had time to respond to all your messages, I’ve read each and every one, some with tears in my eyes. There are no words to describe how much they mean to me.”

The five lessons she learned as PepsiCo CEO are:

1) Have a clear vision
2) Focus on the short-term and the long-term
3) Bring people with you
4) Be good listeners
5) Be lifelong students

2.Saturo, RTD non-GMO meal replacement beverage, targets the US

After taking Europe by storm, Austrian meal replacement beverage company Saturo launched online in the US market​.

According to the company, its RTD products provide “an optimum amount of carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals.”

For its US launch, Saturo is starting with the 330ml (11.2 ounce) version, which functions more as a snack or meal complement, in chocolate and vanilla before expanding its offerings.

CEO Hannes Feistenauer said the company wants to make sure it nails the initial launch before introducing American consumers to more of its portfolio.

3. CP Kelco launches new texturizer for desserts

Panna cotta © Getty Images ehaurylik
© Getty Images / ehaurylik

Hydrocolloids giant CP Kelco launched a new label-friendly pectin for neutral pH dairy desserts​. The ingredient – known as GENU Explorer Pectin ND-200 – is a citrus-derived gelling agent for formulators seeking consumer-friendly ingredients for indulgent dairy desserts, such as panna cotta, crème desserts, and more.

“In light of the clean label trend and growing consumer demand for premium neutral dairy desserts, GENU Explorer Pectin ND-200 meets the needs of both formulators and consumers – it is a high-performance, nature-based solution, and pectin is a widely accepted, recognizable ingredient among consumers,” ​said Chloé des Courtis, senior regional marketing manager – EMEA, at CP Kelco.

“Because GENU Explorer Pectin ND-200 is also suitable for dairy-alternative products, manufacturers can now innovate in this growing category with a label-friendly solution, answering consumer demand for premium, indulgent desserts,” ​she added.


4. Tyrrells eyes potential of fermented foods

For William Chase, CEO of Britain’s Tyrrells, the next massive trend in the food business is around fermented and probiotics foods​. The company recently launched Willy’s Apple Cider Vinegar, which has “taken off”, he said.

“It is quite sticky. We can tell the story about the ingredients, where they came from. It is on-trend.”

The product is made using hand-pick organic apples, pressed and allowed to naturally ferment making an unfiltered cider. This is then naturally fermented into vinegar. It is unpasteurized, raw and gluten-free.

The company has also developed what it calls a “natural energy drink”: A combination of apple juice; kombucha – a fermented tea that boosts metabolism, destroys free radicals, supports a healthy liver function and lifts mood; ACV, which aids digestion, boosts energy and lowers glucose levels; and distilled water with bicarbonate of soda and ginger.

5. Alternative protein

Also from Europe this week was news that German poultry giant PHW Group invested in insect burger start-up Bugfoundation.

Bugfoundation was founded by Max Krämer and Baris Özel in 2014. From being available in two restaurants in Brussels in 2015, the company’s burgers – made from buffalo worms and organic soy – are now available in several hundred” Rewe supermarkets.

“Based on in-depth discussions with the company and its flagship product - the insect burger - convinced us not only with regard to the entrepreneurial spirit, the underlying philosophy and creativity [of Bugfoundation], but also with regard to the type of product development and taste of the insect burger,”a spokesperson for PHW told FoodNavigator​.

“We are excited about the partnership and look forward to working together with the young entrepreneurs. We are firmly convinced that this type of novel food, which is rich in sustainable, high-quality proteins and unsaturated fatty acids, will have a significant market share in the future.”


6. PepsiCo and Nestlé sever ties with Indonesia’s largest palm oil supplier

Palm oil 2 © Getty Images slpu9945
© Getty Images / slpu9945

In wake of alleged human rights abuses, Nestlé and PepsiCo have distanced themselves from Indofood Group​.

Switzerland’s Nestlé announced it closed its joint venture with the Indofood Group last month. Nestlé has committed to use 100% responsibly sourced palm oil by the end of 2020.

In January 2017, PepsiCo announced its Indonesian joint venture (JV) with Indofood – IndoFood Fritolay Makamur – was suspending the procurement of palm oil from Singapore-listed IndoAgri, a subsidiary of Indofood.

The company updated its “PepsiCo sourcing of palm oil from Indonesia” document in September 2018, reiterating the suspension.

It did, however, note it will continue its JV with Indofood, which is the sole producer of PepsiCo products in Indonesia.

7. Tens of thousands of birds culled in China in response to avian flu outbreak

Our last news of the week concerns news from China that its Ministry of Agriculture culled 32,351 birds following an outbreak of H5N6 highly pathogenic avian influenza​.

Laboratory tests of birds at a farm in south-west China’s Guizhou province confirmed the outbreak, and control measures were implemented to prevent the disease spreading to other regions.

According to the ministry, this was the first occurrence of H5N6 avian influenza in the area in over two years.

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