Australian Food News briefs

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 7th November 2018

MALAYSIA will for the first time impose an excise tax of MYR 0.40 ($0.10) per litre on sweetened beverages starting April 1, 2019.

This will be on beverages that contain sugar exceeding 5 grams per 100ml, as well as juices that contain more than 12 grams per 100ml. The tax follows a study conducted by the health ministry which found that nearly one in two Malaysians are overweight or obese.

THE final design for the long-awaited new Sydney Fish Market has been unveiled, with the famous market to move to a site at Blackwattle Bay, revitalising the area and opening up access to the harbour.

But the cost of the harbourside transformation is expected to be significantly higher than the original $250 million pricetag announced last year when the state government revealed plans to overhaul the area.

COCA-COLA has been on an acquisition spree: buying coffee shop chain Costa, French fruit drink Tropico, and Australian kombucha Mojo; alongside minority investments in sports brand Bodyarmor and smoothie and juice company Made Group.

PEPSI Co has acquired Health Warrior – a US-based company that makes plant-based products including nutrition bars and on-trend offerings.

The transaction will further expand the company’s nutrition portfolio and move to position itself at the forefront of changing consumer preferences and trends.

Through acquisitions, the company best known for its signature soda has been branching into healthier snacking. This has been a strategy for years, though the company seems to be accelerating more into this space now.

After all, PepsiCo bought Quaker Oats in 2001 and has jointly owned hummus and dips company Sabra since 2008. More recently, it bought baked fruit maker Bare Foods earlier this year and acquired probiotic drink maker KeVita in 2016. On an earnings call earlier this year, former CEO Indra Nooyi estimated PepsiCo has grown its business of good-for- you and better-for-you products from 38% of revenue in 2006 to about 50% last year.

Also in Australian Food News

COCA-COLA, Mondelez and Perfetti van Melle have been identified as the ‘top polluters in Asia’, according to the results from Greenpeace’s Break Free from Plastic global brand audit.

THE 2018 Australian Craft Beer Survey has crowned Balter Brewing as the best craft brewery in the country.

7-Eleven has rolled out a mobile self-checkout feature called Scan & Pay at 14 of its stores in the US. If the pilot is successful, 7-Eleven plans to expand the program to additional cities next year.

Shoppers can use the 7-Eleven app to scan their own products and check out using a smartphone without having to wait in line. Customers who have the app and are in the vicinity of a self-checkout enabled store will receive a notification.

CHERRY producers across the country are on track for a bumper season, and early crop forecasts suggest this year’s crop will reach new record highs, making it Australia’s largest cherry crop in history.

Known as one of Australia’s favourite Christmas fruits, consumers might see a higher supply than usual this year, but growers are setting their sights on increasing their export numbers considerably.

CONCERN over animal welfare is driving demand for ‘pastured’ eggs as an alternative to caged and free range production.

Some farmers are riding the boom created by a backlash against new free range stocking density rates in Australia.

Coca-Cola Co. reported last week that its organic sales, a measure that excludes factors such as divestitures, rose 6 per cent over a year earlier in the latest quarter. One of the standout sellers was Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which recorded double-digit volume growth. The soda division also got a boost from robust sales of low- or no-calorie Sprite and Fanta products.

British MasterChef critic and magazine editor William Sitwell is battling backlash over a comment he made about “killing vegans, one by one”.

BuzzFeed reported that Sitwell, the former editor of Waitrose Food magazine, made the statement in an email to freelance writer Selene Nelson, who had pitched a series on plant-based cooking.

In his response, Sitwell reportedly wrote to her: “How about a series on killing vegans, one by one. Ways to trap them? How to interrogate them properly? Expose their hypocrisy? Force-feed them meat? Make them eat steak and drink red wine?”

Following an uproar, Sitwell, who is also a food critic on BBC’s MasterChef, apologised and said that he was resigning from his position at the magazine, which states it features “recipes and articles from the world’s best chefs and food writers”.