I’m No Longer Posting To This Blog Please Visit www.digivu.co.za

January 11, 2010 by

I have found it difficult to run a number of blogs on fairly closely related topics.

I have therefore set up a combined blog with continues to provide the content this and other blogs were providing. This blog also provides other services and information.


Clicking on the image above will take you to the blog at http://www.digivu.co.za. Please Email me here. if you have any difficulty or comment.


Healthy Beer!

August 5, 2008 by

This article by a serious scientist, although in a brewing industry support organisation, justifies the consumption of beer in a responsible manner as a way to better health.

Pauls Malt.jpg

from: Greencore Group
(click image for full story online)


Omega 3 Chocolate

July 20, 2008 by

Yes they do really enrich dark chocolate with Omega 2 oil.

Maramor Chocolates __ Home.jpg

Biscuits in the Boardroom

June 25, 2008 by

This research came to the conclusion that serving the right biscuit in the boardroom contributes to clinching business deals!

Biscuits are good for business.jpg

from: Food and
Drink Europe

(click image for full story online)


Some of the pearls in the report are:

.. 58 per cent said biscuits can “positively influence a company’s first impressions”.

.. biscuits were deemed the second most important aspect when hobnobbing in the boardroom, coming behind only the type of tables and chairs provided. Biscuits were prioritised over the lighting, technology and artwork in the room.

The classic chocolate digestives proved to be the professionals’ preferred biscuit. However, its top status meant it was also considered the biscuit of choice to soften the blow when delivering bad news for 18 per cent respondents.

Shortbread came in second for the boardroom’s top biscuits, followed by oat biscuits such as Hobnobs, jam rings and then Bourbons.

.. 28 per cent saying they would refuse a biscuit if it looked too crumbly.

— 48 per cent said they would dunk, while 52 per cent frowned on the act. However, men (55 per cent) are rather more likely to dunk than women (45 per cent).

.. half of professionals would not take more than two biscuits during the meeting, with only 18 per cent saying they would stretch to three.

DIGIVU- Dave Harcourt’s Blogs Combined · Sacrificing for Food Science

May 20, 2008 by

DIGIVU- Dave Harcourt’s Blogs Combined · Sacrificing for Food Science

Posted using ShareThis

Obama Larger

May 13, 2008 by

While the article links Kenyan beer to Senator Obama (the son of a Kenyan) now running as presidential candidate of the US, it is of more interest for information on selling alcoholic beverages to consumers at the bottom of the pyramid

In Kenya, _Obama beer_ is suddenly popular.jpg

from: San Francisco Chronicle
(click image for full story online)


Consumers nicknaming Senator beer, brewed by East African Breweries Limited, Obama is a local thing and unlikely to have made any significant difference to sales. The brewers do not use it in their marketing, but say there has been some increase in sales in Obama’s father’s homeland, especially after Obama’s 2006 visit.

Of interest, though, is the origin of Senator beer and its place in the alcoholic beverage market of Kenya. What makes it different is that it is sold at 40 cents a glass compared to normal beers costing $1 to $3 a bottle. In a country where more than half the population earn less than a dollar a day its the only beer that is affordable to many.

It’s low price is achieved through saving the packaging costs by dispensing in bulk (1 000l a day in a bar) and by the fact that there is no excise tax on Senator beer.

The tax excise exemption is an attempt to address the dangers of illegal brews that are focussed on the poor consumer.

According to the article

A 2003 brewery study found that 55 percent of alcohol consumed in Kenya is homemade. Known as changaa or busaa, these spirits contain up to 40 percent alcohol and are often mixed with battery acid or formaldehyde to increase potency. At 25 cents a glass, these popular alternatives to more expensive beer are also known as “kill me quick.”

In 2000, 150 Kenyans died and hundreds were hospitalized from drinking a toxic brew in a slum near Nairobi, sparking calls for the government to crack down on the thousands of bootleg distilleries. Another 50 died in 2005, the latest statistics available. Many more have been blinded from these drinks.

A similar situation exists in South Africa and I suspect many Southern and East African countries.

In South Africa there seems to be less distillation but “fall over quickly” is popular! and adulteration is widespread. Before democracy in South Africa this was addressed by strict policing and possibly needs to be reevaluated now. With much of the homebrew being traditional beer based in South Africa, my personal suggestion would be to promote a homebrew quality ranking system and educate the user on alcohol usage.

In Kenya the brewers took the initiative

The brewery did away with bottles and packaging for Senator beer, using 13 gallon kegs. Each day, the company ships 8,500 kegs throughout the nation, and plans to expand output since it can’t keep up with demand.

Popularity is growing due to a heavy marketing campaign in the slums, where underground bars still sell homemade spirits.

The following points are probably important to sales at the Bottom of the Pyramid:

  • replacing normal consumer packaging can significantly reduce cost
  • there is normally a price where consumers will switch from the cheapest product for other benefits
  • taxes can effect consumer consumption patterns

Salty Ice Cream

May 5, 2008 by

Many years ago Monty Python had a sound bite on a crisp factory that sold salt and vinegar ice and crispy bacon ice creams – it was counter posed by a shop that sold strawberry flavoured chips!

But now its for real and not a joke!

Häagen-Dazs® | Products | Häagen-Dazs Reserve™ Series | Fleur de Sel Caramel.jpg

from: Häagen-Dazs
(click image for full story online)


Its described as:

Fleur de Sel caramels covered in a chocolaty coating blended into caramel ice cream with caramel ribbons and French sea salt accents. Crisp, salty nuances harmonize with rich, creamy caramel for the ultimate combination of sweet and salty.

I look forward to tasting it, but wonder where? my family would be conceptually opposed to the mixture of sweet and salty.

What is interesting about this is the focus on tastes linked to foreign countries. This ties in with some on my previous blogs on Trends and some foods I’m seeing in France. Maybe with a mobile and frequently holidaying population products from far away countries have an appeal – even if the flavour is not strictly a flavour of the country. The consumer’s taste and marketing needs over rule the local flavour profile and become a concept. Amarula Cream is a classic example of this – more about this one day perhaps.

Exorbitant Foods

April 12, 2008 by

While there is no doubt that weather, biofuels and changes is demographics are setting the poor of the world up for really hard times for the next few years, their is a lighter side which would have amused Maria Antoinette – if they can’t get food give them cake!

The £50 espresso is made from a blend of two coffee beans; Jamaican Blue Mountain and Kupi Luwak which comes from Indonesia and are harvested by civets who sniff out the choicest berries, digest the flesh, and pass out the bean in the way that nature intended.

The £50 espresso | Food and drink | Life and Health.jpg

from: Guardian

(click image for full story online)


What is interesting that the cost is simply a function of the high cost of the coffee beans which are real food ingredients. There are other foods where the price is a function of a non food ingredient, like the $1.4m (£700,000) Strawberries Arnaud, which, in addition to the strawberries, boasted a 4.7-carat pink diamond ring.

However, those listed below are expensive because of their food ingredients

The £85.50 sandwich
Britain’s most expensive sandwich was created by Scott McDonald, chef at Selfridges food hall, in August 2006. He used Japanese wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles and salad. Selfridges catering manager, Ewan Venters, claimed: “If you are a food lover, this represents great value for money.”

The £8,000 pie
Spencer Burge of the Fence Gate Inn in Burnley, Lancashire, created a pie in 2005 whose ingredients included wagyu beef, matsuke mushrooms from China, French bluefoot mushrooms and winter black truffles, all cooked in two bottles of 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Discerning diners could buy a slice for a mere pounds 1,000.

The $1,000 pizza
The Manhattan restaurant Nino’s Bellisimo unveiled a $1,000 (pounds 500) pizza in March 2007 made with 225g of Imperial Reserve Persicus caviar from Iran and thinly sliced lobster tail, resting on a creme fraiche sauce.

The £600 salad
The world’s most expensive salad was created by chef Raymond Blanc in 2003 – the Florette Sea and Earth salad used almas and beluga caviar, langoustines, Cornish crab and Florette baby leaf salad.

Buy You Mars Bar Online

April 4, 2008 by

Food Navigator announced that Mars UK claimed to be the “first confectionery company to launch an online platform which will allow members of the networking site Facebook to buy real chocolate bars”

Mars launches online Facebook shop.jpg

What was interesting was how difficult it was to find the site both in Mars’s website and on Facebook. The products are sold through the Celebrate Sweetshop which doesn’t pop up thet easily if one is focussing on Mars.

Facebook | Celebrate Gift Giver.jpg

More on the Canned Burger

April 2, 2008 by

The original review noted that the burger was not the product from the can – as was obvious. However, the cheeseburger has now been tested and seems to have no positives neither cost, convenience or taste

Food - Gizmodo.jpg

from: Gizmodo Blog

(click image for full story online)


and the taste test is rather negative!