South Africa again had a vibrant presence at Anuga - and the DTI can take a bow for a pavillion that was as bright and colourful as the national flag. While it occupied but a fraction of the vast expo, its size belied some fabulous innovation and difference on the 37 individual stands, and I would go so far as to vouch that I even found my "Innovative Product of Anuga 2011" there. As a nation, we can take pride in many of our food industrialists and innovators. Some snapshots...
Any Anuga visitor looking for some unique flavours and foods would have found plenty on the SA stands. Worcester-based Burchell Foods, a longtime Woolworths supplier, took the opportunity to launch a unique, 20-strong range of African sauces, soups and condiments, dubbed Gourmet Africa.
Burchells Foods was founded by Tim and Debbie Alcock, a duo who are passionate about their food business, brand and Africa. "Africa is not a culinary backwater, contrary to common belief, but home to some amazing tastes and flavours. It's a fabulous new taste world that we've uncovered," says Debbie.
Their enthusiasm is infectious and heartening, and their innovation both brave and timeous. While Gourmet Africa is an export range, expect to see some these authentic African products hit our shelves in private label format in future, bearing such names as Shorba Khartoum, Doro Wat, Supa ya Kuku and Berbere.
|Another unique African flavour that's moving fast into mainstream awareness is baobab - extracts and pulps of this quintessential African tree are made by Paarl-based Afriplex. The company's technical director, Donnie Malherbe and his wife, Nicky, were at Anuga to promote its attractive nutritional profile and properties, as well as its inherent market appeal.|
Possible applications as a functional ingredient range from beverages, jams, sauces, snack bars and breakfast cereals, as well as in dietary supplements.
Fry's Vegetarian, based in Durban, has enjoyed phenomenal success and growth in its eleven year history, and its strictly vegan products are now exported to over 15 countries.
Many exhibitors try to have something new to show existing and potential customers at Anuga and Fry's was no exception with four great new products: Fry’s Vegetarian Louisiana Tenders; Fry’s Vegetarian Country Mushroom Pie; Fry’s Vegetarian POPS with Fruit Chutney Sprinkles
Fry’s Vegetarian Pepper Gravy Pies.
Shaun Richardson, export manager, is pictured on their stand here.
Good Hope International Beverages is an entrenched export player in fruit juices, wines and soy-based beverages - its Tetra Pak Square products, packaged under its own brands as well as private label, are now despatched from its Cape Town factory to over 60 countries.
Manning its Anuga 2011 stand were Tian and Christo du Toit, Carel van der Merwe and Rein Myburgh.
Rozendal, near Stellenbosch, has evolved from wine, auberge and hospitality to manufacturer of fine food. While it was a first time exhibitor at Anuga, Rozendal's gourmet botanical vinegars are no stranger to international acclaim. They have already won two prestigous innovation and taste "Oscars" at two Fancy Food Shows in the US, both this year and last.
Arguably, no, SA's leading luxury confectionery brand, Sally Williams Fine Foods, presented its ultra-delicious nougat and chocolate products - and many tasters came back time and again to indulge. The company, wholly owned by Mark Sack (left and Sally's ex son-in-law), has set up an export base in London, with manager, Ross McCarthy (right), making good inroads into several new markets.
Two new products were launched at Anuga, chocolate/nougat slabs and Easter eggs, made using finest Belgian chocolate. Seriously delicious, and a great way for the company to put nougat offcuts to value-added use. This journalist was lucky enough to be given more than a handful of Sally Williams' treats to help her on her way home!
McNab's Energy Products are well-known impluse energy products and supplements found across SA at supermarkets, pharmacies, health shops and convenience stores. However, the emphasis of its Anuga stand was on a new product, Fruit Chews with Baobab (baobab supplied by Afriplex and chews made by Orley Foods). Founder/directors, Rupert and Sarah McKerron, reported much curious and commercial interest in their new offering.
More indigenous African flavours were found on the Totally Wild stand, mostly in the form of Aloe Ferox. Totally Wild's Nick Janik (left) reported that there's enormous interest in Europe and Asia for functional botanicals - however, they often do need bit of explaining for consumers.
To this end, Totally Wild and its European distributor, Erwin and Catherine van Gelder (right), have been enjoying significant sales of the same drinks, packaged under the brand, What's This?. It's an attention grabber and also allows due explanation of the product and its qualities.
Cape Herb & Spice shared a stand with sister company, Kalk Bay Foods, and what most caught my eye among their array of spice/condiments grinders and rubs was a new range of gourmet cooking pastes.
These are prototype packs prepared for Anuga, but they look set for success on the global arena, as well as at home, where Unilever has recently opened up this category in SA with its Robertsons Pastes, and moving it beyond plain old commodity tomato. The pastes are co-manufactured by Boland Pulp.
|And for my "Innovative Product of Anuga 2011", please click here find out more....|
Other South African exhibitors at Anuga 2011:
Camdeboo Foods (in Anuga Meat hall)
Cape Fruit Processors
Ceres (own stand in Anuga Drinks hall)
Fynbos Fine Foods
Green Farms Nut Company
Klein Karoo International (in Anuga Meat hall)
Langeberg & Ashton Foods
Montague Dried Fruit
Mosstrich (in Anuga Meat hall)
Natural Herbs & Spices
Rhodes Food Group
Summer Pride Foods
Westfalia Fruit Products