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Food & Beverage Reporter Jan-Feb 2016 FOOD & BEVERAGE REPORTER | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | 5 A FRIDGE THAT REALLY, TRULY UNDERSTANDS YOU Now that the Internet has connected everybody, the next challenge is to connect everything: the so-called Internet of Things. In January, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Samsung and Mastercard gave a glimpse into the future by showing off the Family Hub Fridge. The geeky fridge enables customers to buy groceries directly from the fridge using a smart screen app on the door. The cost: around R65 000. The app automatically suggests items for consumers to buy based on their shopping histories and grocery lists. Eventually, the app will include recipes and video tutorials, and will expand to purchasing from multiple supermarkets across the USA. According to MasterCard, the service will also include the ability to order delivery from local restaurants. HELL’S BELLS FOR BLUE BELL Blue Bell Creameries, a Texas ice cream company, never had a single product recall in its 108-year history. Until April last year that is, when its food safety nightmare began. A Listeria outbreak across multiple products resulted in 3 deaths, forcing the company to pull all its products off the shelves. Blue Bell, with $680 million in sales in 2014, was the fourth largest manufacturer of retail ice cream products in the US, a market worth a staggering $25-billion annually. It was forced to lay off nearly 40% of its workforce after the Listeria scare. Now, after several months off the shelves, the company has begun re-introducing its products into retail, claiming to have added several new safety features to its manufacturing processes. The company made extensive use of social media to explain its new safety and testing procedures, posting regular updates. But the big question is: Is it enough? Will consumers ever buy Blue Bell again? Watch this space. This one got us by the er, um, apples. Wonderfully playful billboard execution by Savanna over the festive/new year period. BRIEFS The fridge that tells you what to buy.

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