Food Products

By: Digivu  11-11-2011
Keywords: birthday party

Friday, October 7th, 2011

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Thursday, September 29th, 2011

The other day I was at a birthday party where two examples of Mexican sweets were distributed to a mainly French Group of people.

The first was a thin tube approximately 4mm in diameter and about 8cm long, filled with a rather bland tasting heavy jelly. It was very hard to eat and didn’t attract or repel anyone and was simply dismissed.

The second was a completely different story!

published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

Sandigomas is a very different sweet shaped like a watermelon slice, it has a very strong jelly texture. Burt its the taste that had the French hating it! They used all sorts of adjectives like bizarre, horrible and worse and were quick to make their comments.

The first flavor is chili, which is quite strong and persists for several minutes. Thereafter the jelly has a strong acidic flavor but without any strong watermelon or other fruit flavor. That’s after your tastebuds get over the chili.

This little episode is quite a nice reflection of, I would say, the majority of the French who see themselves as authorities on food (this was no doubt this wasn’t a sweet), always sticking to their rules (the use of chili in a sweet breaking the sweet and salty rule) and not very willing to try things with an open mind (no one tasted it as something different as I did, which allowed me to see a different and interesting taste).

Maybe a bit sweeping from this one example but really reinforcing my conclusions of the last few months. Of course this kind of understanding of the market is critical in reaching the consumer.

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Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Here is another interesting post by Chigy which is as much a comparison of country cultures as it is of bread and sandwiches .

This post goes a bit further on the differences between French and other bread from a consumer view and humorously looks at the sandwiches made by different nations – the prim and organized, the quality and tasty and the hearty meal in a loaf.

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

This is a useful short report of 9 pages that covers many issues and includes a useful categorisation using twelve medical issues that can respond to functional foods.

One of the functional food trends that the report mentions are superfruits, which are a great opportunity for entrepreneurs who have access to un commercialised natural resources.

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Saturday, July 30th, 2011

The exchange between France and Germany, that drew in two French ministers and has been running for two or three weeks has now gone public. It arises from the massive Cologne based Aguna Exhibition banning Foie Gras producers from the exhibition, in response to the pressure from animal rights groups protesting the force feeding of geese.

This premier channel news report raises the issues of French history, culture and gastronomy, even finding German retailers highlighting the double standards that ignore the animal cruelty associated with many other food industries.

The heart of the issue is an expensive delicacy that is associated with the greatest meals and celebrations in France. For the proper appreciation of pâté made from foie gras it needs to be accompanied by a specific white wine and even cut with a boxed knife reserved for the task.

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Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

This article by Dr Wayne Morley, Head of Food Innovation at Leatherhead maybe reflects his 20 odd years at Unilever!

The first four rules are related to taste, another three to human interactions within the company, two regarding the supply chain and the last on being an ambassador for your product. Not that much on science and technology although that sits BEHIND everything.

Its too easy to let the technology and innovativeness of the product to override the other issues that need to be in place.

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

To begin with I felt that food on France would be expensive and didn’t look too hard. Lately I have started taking a bit more note and am beginning to wonder what is going on. After coming home from a medium sized supermarket in Cluny, a small rural town, I took these items out of the shopping bag and photographed them on the stove.

photograph by DIGIVU

published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

Using the Pick and Pay shopping site, selecting similar products and converting at R 10/Euro shows the following

  • Clover Cream R26.99 / 500ml equivalent to 53.98 R/l compared to 40.00 R/l
  • Bakers East Sum More R12.49 per 200g equivalent to R62.45 per kg compared to 47,60 R/kg
  • Free Range Eggs R1.80 each compared to R 2,60 each
  • Pick and Pay Pure Ground Coffee R46.99 per 250 Gr equivalent to R187.96 per kg compared to 36,00 R/kg
  • Pongracz Cap Classique R89.99 per bottle compared to 52.50 R/bottle
  • Carrots R5.69 a bunch compared to R18.00 a bunch, but who knows the size of the bunch.
  • There is much to be looked at, for instance these are low price items although of quality at least as good as any in South Africa and in particular those costed here. There are always higher priced articles of different quality eg sparkling wine at R250 a bottle and coffee at R45 a packet, the best steak costs R 200/kg and of course one an buy Wine at R1 000s a bottle.

    Adding to the complexity you can get a 3 course midday dinner at a restaurant in town for €10 to €12 if you select the special and that’s not a small helping! A very drinkable bottle of red wine such as Cote de Rhone can cost as little as €1.30, a traditional French bread costs €0.80 and a good French goat cheese as little as €1.50 so thats lunch for three at €3.60 or R12.00 each.

    I do, however, think it does two things:

  • It contradicts the perception that food is cheap in South Africa
  • Raises the question, given low wages and agricultural potential, of why South African prices are high.
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    Saturday, June 25th, 2011

    Here is an interesting post, where the writer has satisfied his inquisitiveness about the way the French use bread by doing a short analysis of carbon footprints.

    He finds that its likely that most of those who collect their bread by car, emit more greenhouse gasses on the trip than the baker does in making the bread. The author lives 2,5 km from the nearest bakery and finds that the 75% of his carbon footprint for his morning baguette comes from the drive and only 25% from the bread.

    The food processing side lies in the nature of French bread – its mainly eaten fresh (the texture of a baguette, especially the crisp crust and soft interior is lost in a few hours) and it is seldom toasted. It is this that means it has to be collected at least once a day unlike sliced bread which can be refrigerated and used over many days and toasted as it gets older.

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    Monday, June 13th, 2011

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    The information in this article was current at 08 Nov 2011

    Keywords: birthday party

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