Monthly Archives: September 2009

The Cost Structure of bread in South Africa

This is a nice illustration of the cost components of making and selling a loaf of bread. The diagram is not to scale which is maybe a pity.



from: Financial Mail
(click image for full story online)


I expect a baker would find the structure of the bread (not the nicest looking loaf) as well as the structure of the cost as worthy of comment.

The second image, which is to scale, gives an idea of the relative size of the three principle cost components. The actual relative size of each component is a function of which figure within the ranges in the original image are used.



Small Manufacturers/Brewers Can Still Triumph

This is a lovely story by of a tiny BioGro certified family brewery in Taranaki, Mike’s Organic Brewery. It won the Supreme Award for branding and packaging at the 2009 BrewNZ International Beer Awards.


Premium Organic Beer.jpg

from: Mike’s Organic Brewery
(click image to visit the site)


With 74 of the country’s top brewers and around 150 international entries from as far away as Russia entering Ron Trigg beat the armies of marketing consultants behind corporate brewing giants with a simple approach. He personally went into supermarkets, took note of what stood out on the shelves, and then worked with a local design company to rebrand his beer and put it in a package customers would notice.

He reckoned he just needed to get his product recognised and remembered – he gave it memorable name, a distinctive logo and cartons that when form a advertising wall.

Interestingly the design recognised with awards has also succeeded in the market with sales increasing 10 fold.

I really like this story – its the innovation, common sense and persistence not the big budget that worked.


Coconut Water Drinks

Coconut water is sold in many tropical countries in the shell by street vendors. Coconut water is the fat-free, potassium-rich liquid inside young, green coconuts.

It is also a commercial drink in a number of countries such as Brazil where it is gaining popularity.



(click image for full story online)


The fact that Coca Cola has now acquired Zico a producer of coconut water, apparently as a response to Pepsi Cola’s entry into the market, may be an indication of a new market.

What are the opportunities in Africa – both as a market but also as a supplier to countries without coconuts?


Caffeine Enriched Beef Jerky/Billtong



(click image for full story online)


“Each package of Perky Jerky contains roughly the same amount of caffeine found in two cans of a popular energy drink,”

While this is not the first snack to be enriched with caffeine it must be the leader in the product development tale.

In the course of a big skiing party, energy drink was spilt over the jerky/billtong. Someone tasted this the next morning and found

“it had retained its original flavour, but had been made more tender … the jerky had taken on some of the pep of the energy drink.”

But then the Food Technologist had to complicate it

“I refused to compromise on the taste and the effect, so it took several years of trial and error to find the perfect combination of flavour and kick.”


Ethiopian Professor Wins 2009 World Food Prize



from: Ethioplanet
(click image for full story online)


Dr. Ejeta’s work on the development of new sorghum varieties is a powerful demonstration of the difference agricultural research can make in creating a more secure and consistent food supply for millions of people,” Akridge said.

Sorghum is among the world’s five principle cereal grains. The crop is as important to Africa as corn and soybeans are to the United States.

A native of Ethiopia, Ejeta witnessed the devastating effects of drought and Striga on sorghum crops in his own country and several others in eastern and western Africa.

“I focused my research on sorghum because I’m originally from Africa, and I’ve known about the importance of the crop to the people there,” Etejta said. “So I wanted to work on improving sorghum.”