Pitango introduces new packaging to soup range

Pitango, known for home cooked style soups and risottos, has released new soup packaging designs aimed at helping consumers make healthier, more educated choices.

“Increasingly Australian consumers are becoming more and more savvy about what meals they choose for themselves and their families,” said Alan Lindeque, General Manager Brands for Beak & Johnston. “And in particular there is a strong importance on getting the right serve of veg daily. We are very excited to be launching our new packaging design for Pitango. Which now clearly displays on the front of the pack exactly how many serves of veg are included in that particular product. Making it easier for those looking for healthy meals – fast!”

Healthyactive.gov.au recommends that on average adults should get around four serves of vegetables a day with children under 11 years around two or three.

“With consumers increasingly concerned about what goes in their food, we wanted to highlight how natural and kitchen-cooked Pitango Soups are,” said Sharon Addington, Marketing Manager for Pitango. “Our soups are made with ingredients you would find in your kitchen at home as well as locally sourced produce, and we never add any nasties like preservatives, flavours or colours into our products.”

Pitango has been on Australian shelves since 2007; and has established itself as a customer favourite with more than 70 per cent of the products produced in their New Zealand based kitchen cooked just for the Australian market.

The new packaging will be rolled out throughout February to all stores nationally where the products are sold.

John McEwan Handcrafted Gourmet wins best Product of the Year 2015

Gourmet food manufacturer John McEwan Foods has established a long lasting tradition of excellence.

In 2015, that was recognized in the industry even further with the company being awarded Best Product of the Year for their Chicken, Kale & Quinoa soup by Food Service Industry Australia.

To compliment these award winning meals, the company has announced impressive new branding and packaging to go along with many of their new products.

According to John McEwan Foods Director, Neeraj Kanodia, it’s an incredible honor to win best Product of the Year from Foodservice Industry Australia.

“We are both very happy about how 2015 went for our company and are very excited about 2016 and are plans for the new year,” Kanodia said.

“With our changes and upgrades in branding and packaging for 2016 and beyond, we know customers are going to be happier than ever.”

Ready Meal, Soup and Meal Sauce pouches will now be in a carton developed to freshen up and have better shelf presence.

The John McEwan range has three sub-brands; the Signature Range –reflecting handcrafted boutique cooking, Love Life –lighter offerings & Comfort Food –‘feel-good favourites’.

The brand, which is available in Costco Australia and Aussie Farmers Direct, will be running ads in trade magazines to attract new customers and expand their reach even further. 

Maggi noodles get a Morogo makeover

A new variety of Maggi noodles is using a common plant that some people dismiss as a weed. 

‘Morogo’ or ‘South African spinach’ refers to different varieties of green leafy vegetable that grow wild in South Africa, and a popular dish of the same name. 

Traditionally, these vegetables formed a much-loved part of the nation’s diet, but urbanisation and changing attitudes to food in the countryside have led to a decline in their popularity.

Much as Europeans have traditionally foraged for mushrooms, generations of South Africans have gathered morogo (which is high in protein, vitamins and minerals), to fry, boil or steam, and serve with onions or tomatoes.

In its new format, morogo is causing a stir on South African supermarket shelves. Until today it has never been farmed on a serious commercial scale, but now Nestlé is using morogo in the ‘tastemaker’ sachet used to flavour and fortify its Maggi noodles.

“Many packaged food brands claim to cater for local tastes, but Maggi with morogo genuinely does so. We’re offering people an authentic taste of South Africa and bringing a nutritious ingredient to urban dwellers, in particular, through a product that is quick and easy to prepare,” said Maarit Rein, a scientist working at Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The new Nestlé noodles developed out of a partnership with South Africa’s Council for Scientific Investigation and Research (CSIR) and Agricultural Research Council (ARC) from 2012, to research plants growing there with clear health benefits, for potential use in foods to improve the nation’s diet.

Taste, nutritional quality and abundance were three things that the scientists were looking for in an ingredient. It had to be possible to process it for use in a food product, and it was vital that the ingredient provide farmers with an income source. Crucially, it also had to appeal to millions of South Africans.

Nestlé and its partners decided to research three species of morogo – amaranthus, cow pea and cleome – and worked closely with farmers to perfect their cultivation, and to refine the plants into a powder that preserved their nutritional benefits.

Nestlé’s consumer research also showed that Morogo’s distinctive ‘South African taste’ is integral to its appeal across all ethnicities and income groups.

But it’s not just the taste that appeals, as Rein explained: “Using such a healthy ingredient is consistent with Nestlé’s commitment as a responsible company to promote vegetable consumption.”

Maggi noodles with real morogo are now being produced at Nestlé’s factory in Babelegi, north of Pretoria. If the launch proves successful, then Nestlé will work with farmers and the government, to develop the morogo supply chain and create lasting social value in South Africa.

“This remains our long-term goal,” says Rein. “But I’m proud of what Nestlé and our partners have already achieved with morogo over the past three years.”