November 2016 News

Who uses psychics??

Well, the stockbroker BBY used a psychic to assist with identifying growth stocks. How do we know, well, it all came out at the bankruptcy proceedings…….. For sound, evidence based information to assist you with identifying new product ideas, contact Innovation Optimisers at contact


Who is eating Big Macs?

An article in the Weekend Australian noted: Big Mac losing the bunfight as rival hamburgers steal share, p30, Weekend Australian, 8-9 October. Just one in five millennials has ever tasted a Big Mac, with the number of McDonald’s hamburgers sold being static for years with growth of 1-2% pa before that. New ‘better burgers’ are pulling customers with gourmet, designer burgers and quick casual service. McDonalds came in last in a taste survey of 21 hamburger chains in the US. A key is that in the US millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest demographic. Has your product line changed lately? Innovation Optimisers can assist in looking for new ideas, contact

A big shift in consumer taste?

Debate continues about how consumers are thinking about what food they eat, see below. If you want to rethink your food product range, Innovation Optimisers can assist. Contact

Global Food Forum, October 6, New York, also sponsored by Pratt Industries and The Australian.

The Wall Street Journal (owned by News Ltd) convened leading executives in agribusiness, food production, consumer products and government to explore key challenges and opportunities in the business of food. Their goal is to unleash new perspectives and spark debate on a range of questions facing corporations and investors in 2016.

  • What shifts in consumer tastes and priorities are disrupting the food industry? How are companies responding? What issues are next on the horizon?
  • What are the major public policy trends affecting the farm economy?
  • How will new trade agreements affect agricultural exports from the U.S.? What new competition will be unleashed?
  • What are the prospects for growth up and down the agricultural supply chain, in the U.S. and abroad?
  • How is the U.S. innovating to compete in the global agricultural economy of tomorrow?

A summary of an article on this Forum in The Weekend Australian follows:

Its time to bite the bullet on healthier options, p25, Weekend Australian, 8-9 October. Ronald Shaich, founder of the Panera bread Company, a $5B turnover bakery-café chain in the US, said at the Global Food Forum in NY on 6 October, that the US food system is presently broken. He cites the highest obesity and diabetes rates and that some children may die earlier than their parents. He is calling for profound change in the food industry. Panera will slash more than 150 artificial ingredients from its product lines and dozens of artificial flavours, sweeteners and preservatives from its range. Also, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Subway are all cutting chemicals and preservatives from their menus. Shaich says that there is a cynicism in the US about the food industry and a desire for simpler less processed food. He says the industry has to earn the trust of the people. Shaich says that whichever company can resolve the dilemma between what people think they should eat and what they want to eat will win. Denise Morrison of Campbell’s Soup Company says we are seeing a seismic shift in consumer taste to natural, organic and cleaner labels.

The advent of electronic wristbands that allow tracking of heartbeat, steps etc, people are becoming more empowered and knowing what they put into their bodies. Campbell’s has committed to;

  • Cage free eggs by 2025
  • Banned the routine use of antibiotics by its chicken suppliers
  • And will stop using Bisphenol A in its products.

Trust has to be earned everyday she said. We are a 148 year old company and we don’t want to rest on our laurels. The US pork industry has a new strategic plan which will lead it to go from being farm centric to being consumer centric. Their key is to build consumer trust. The USFDA will also be using a different definition of ‘healthy’ in food labelling. The US is also introducing a new FDA Food Safety Modernisation Act, first signed into law five and a half years ago. This places the emphasis on prevention not responding to outbreaks. An FDA spokesperson said there was too much conflicting information on labels. The challenge was writing food labels that were interpretable. Another speaker said that the ‘opacity’ of the global food chain still enabled both fraud and food crime and the expansion of superbugs. He singled out food from China as a special cause of concern. He said that if he were the CEO of a food firm, the food safety person should be as important as the general counsel. Until that is achieved, we don’t have a culture of food safety.

There was debate about the significance of GMOs. The VP of food safety at Wal Mart, Frank Yiannas, said that his company’s research showed that this was of relatively low concern for consumers. He called for more debate about the use of technology in the food system

Oh, just when you thought you had developed a good product …

Your new product might have all the right flavour, mouth feel and other good characters and you can make it using low cost systems but can you sell it? An effective product image can have a massive impact on sales. Renee Weaver, a FoodStream Associate, of Evolve Brand Design,, can assist. She has been working with Proteco Oils for over 8 years, assisting with product branding, packaging and promotional materials for Pressed Purity. Pressed Purity represents Proteco Oils mainstream retail range that have been produced from fruits, nuts and seeds. All Australian, totally natural, cold pressed, chemical and preservative free Pressed Purity oils are manufactured locally in Kingaroy, west of Brisbane on the sites of the old butter factory and iceworks factory in their own oil refinery built this year. Targeted branding and packaging design has been a key part of the marketing strategy and brand growth.

All aboard the Asian Super Cycle

All aboard the Asian Super Cycle, p28, Weekend Australian 17-18 September. Graham White has published a book, Riding the Asian Super Cycle, which talks about huge investment flows out of China turning around SE Asia and Africa. Sam Walsh, formerly of Rio Tinto, says that China has plans so ambitious that in many nations would see these as a wish list. However, its track record says that they will succeed. By 2030, China’s economy will be bigger than the US and also SE Asia and India will be growing fast. A leading Mitsui executive also sees this growth an encompassing Africa. A transformation of economies is seen over the next 100 years. Three key issues underlies these predictions;

  • Modern communications allows the people of underdeveloped nations to see what is possible.
  • Each successive national transformation creates wealth.
  • China has as much as $10T (yes, $10 trillion) to invest.

SE Asia will be creating megacities and will need the resources to do that. India has a young population with rising aspirations and will be seeking to grow. China will be more assertive but not interested in military adventures. However, growing world debt is likely to be a problem.

Innovation Optimisers and FoodStream have a group of food specialists who can assist in working through all the issues, contact

Training News

Extrusion Training – Join us in Norway or Switzerland?

Our extrusion training program in Europe continues to expand.  We had already planned our annual Aquafeed Extrusion Technology, plus a new Petfood Extrusion Technology program for Norway in April/May 2017, in partnership with the Centre for Feed Technology (FôrTek), at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).

Now we have established a relationship with HES-SO Valais-Wallis (a University in western Switzerland) to offer a Food Extrusion Technology course from 27 to 29 September 2017. The Department of Engineering at HES-SO has a Clextral twin screw extruder in their pilot plant, which we will use during the course.

We are also offering our annual Applied Food & Feed Extrusion program in Thailand In July , and our Australian Food & Feed Extrusion course at CSIRO in Werribee in August.

More Drying courses with CSIRO – in both Brisbane and Werribee

As this newsletter is distributed, we will have presented our “Food Drying Technology” course at Coopers Plains in Brisbane . The next Drying course, presented in conjunction with CSIRO, will be presented in Werribee Victoria on 7 & 8 March 2017. The next Werribee course has been modified to provide an optional parallel session focusing on Spray Drying.

Thermal Processing/Retort Supervisors Courses – While we have presented a number of programs for companies on site recently (in the Marshall Islands as well as in Australia), interest in “public” courses has been limited.  Subject to sufficient interest, we may present a course at GoTAFE in Shepparton Victoria early in 2017 – to express interest contact Gordon Young.


Links to coming courses:

These courses are organised through Food Industry Engineering (FiE) –

Direct links to coming programs:

FoodStream Associate Chris Bourne has been working in the Western Pacific on seafood canning and  has been speaking on this at the Institute of Thermal Processing Specialists. For more information on the Conference see  

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