Louise Marsland (@Louise_Marsland)’s pick of new product, packaging and design launches this week:

  • Sea Harvest launches a whole new food category in SA;
  • Vote for your favourite Russian Bear designer vodka bottle;
  • KFC dispels Hope with this press release; and
  • As if we didn’t have enough advertising clutter, we now have billboards on top of cabs!

Sea Harvest launches Quorn in SA

Quorn ProductsWhat the hell is Quorn, I hear you say?! That’s what I said too when I got the invite to the launch yesterday at the Cape Town Hotel School on the seashore in picture-perfect Granger Bay.

In technical terms, it is a mycoprotein derivative. In layman’s terms, it comes from the same fungus family as truffles.

It’s not as gross as it sounds, I promise. It is actually a tasty meat-free, soya-free alternative foodstuff that has the same texture and taste of chicken. In fact, as the sales and marketing director of Sea Harvest, Konrad Geldenhuys says: “It tastes more chicken than real chicken does!”

Quorn is Sea Harvest’s second foray into product diversification, the first being its launch of Findus frozen vegetables.

Of course, this is not just a new product launch, but a new foodstuff entirely. Sea Harvest is relying on the success of Quorn and increasing shelf space allocated to it in countries such as the UK, Australia and many retailers across Europe – a total of 13 countries worldwide.

While it was discovered 50 years ago when alternative foods were being investigated, it was only in the last decade that the technology became available to produce it on a larger scale by Quorn Foods in the UK.

Sea Harvest intends to leverage its current distribution network into major retailers to launch Quorn on shelf and Pick n Pay will be the first retailer to take the new product nationwide. The frozen foods range consists of burgers, hot dogs, mince, chicken-style schnitzels and BBQ dippers. It is high in protein and low in fat, with zero cholesterol – so a healthy fast food alternative too. Check them out at and follow them on Twitter @QuornSA.

Okay, now you know what it is, here’s how to pronounce Quorn: it sounds just like “corn”, but with a lisp, as in “Qworn”.

Word on the street…

VodkaTo celebrate urban street culture, Russian Bear Vodka commissioned 10 artists/designers to translate the theme ‘Urban Expressions’ onto black-coated Russian Bear bottles.

Edward Snell & Co distributes Russian Bear in South Africa and they asked the designers to represent their understanding and influence of urban culture.

“Urban street culture is believed, by some, to be shaped by its surroundings, and design is considered a primal language that helps us make sense of our surrounds,” says Schalk van Wyk, marketing manager at Edward Snell.

The public gets to choose which designer bottle will be used for a limited edition range in 2014. Votes can be cast up until November 8 on

Three designers will be shortlisted from the public votes, with Russian Bear choosing the overall winner. The winning artist will receive R40 000 in cash and even the voters can win various spot prizes.

KFC super-sizes

KFCMaybe KFC missed the global obesity memo, but it seems to have gone all American on us and started “super-sizing” meals.

Billed as its largest box meal yet, the Power Tower Box Meal encourages KFC customers to “go large” – and not in a good way. The box set consists of a Tower Burger, one piece of Original Recipe Chicken, a regular mash and gravy, large chips and a large ice-cold cold drink – all for only R69.90!

But wait, there’s more! The cringeworthy headline to the press release reads “With KFC – Size matters!”And it’s all downhill from there, with KFC South Africa marketing director, Lizaane Bartlett, saying: “We’ve taken big to a whole new level with the launch of our new Box Meal. Made to satisfy even the biggest ‘man size’ appetite.”

Hardly original. Stick to Hope.

And now we have… car billboards!

3D carsCar advertising has been on the increase for a while now and national taxi branding company, New Wave Outdoor Media has now launched “3D cab innovations” in South Africa. Basically they’ve popped a product on the roof of the cab to distract as many people in the traffic as they can.

New Wave says the concept is not just a case of “inserting a giant structure on the roof of a cab.” Months of research into the right materials and consumer engagement levels went into inserting a giant structure on the roof of a cab.

This is their research: one in six respondents noticed the branded cab; one in three recalled the correct brand on the vehicle and one in 16 respondents recalled an electronic billboard. New Wave also offers online tracking so that you can check how long the vehicle carrying your brand has been in a specific zone or LSM area.

Louise MarslandShelf Life by Louise Marsland is a weekly column on MarkLives. Tweet new product, packaging and design launches to @louise_marsland or email her at louise.marsland at Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.

Louise has written about the FMCG, media, marketing and advertising industry for 18 years of her 25-year media career as a former editor of magazines AdVantage, Marketing Mix and Progressive Retailing, as well as websites and FMCGFiles. She currently edits the weekly Wednesday Media & Marketing Page for The New Age newspaper; and is the co-founder and publishing editor of South Africa’s industry trendwatching portal, TREND. at, in partnership with


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