Cheryl Hunter (shelflife at’s weekly pick of recent product, packaging, design and food launches:

  • The Hennessy 250 tour comes to Jozi
  • Tsogo Sun flies the rugby flag
  • The Botanist launches in South Africa
  • Quaker Oats now on SA breakfast menus

Joburg hosts Hennessy

Johannesburg has been selected as one of only four cities in the world to host the Hennessy 250 Tour; a specially curated art exhibition in celebration of the premium cognac brand’s 250th anniversary this year.

Hennessy Chai du Fondateur. Copyright Eric MorinConceived as an unprecedented, hybrid cultural event, this major travelling exhibition is dedicated to those who have made Hennessy what it is today. Curated by Hervé Mikaeloff, the exhibition will feature internationally renowned artists, photographers, filmmakers and designers, including Charles Sandison, Pierrick Sorin, Anton Corbijn and Xavier Veilhan as well as South African artist, Dineo Bopape.

Touching down in four legendary locations around the world throughout 2015, including Guangzhou in China, Moscow in Russia and New York in the US, the show reaches the Circa Gallery in Johannesburg on 21 August 2015 and is open to the public until 2 August.

The Hennessy family was an early patron of the arts and, for this reason, the tour sets out to give a 360° creative and artistic perspective on the legendary cognac brand’s past, present and future — mainly by using a trove of archival materials, portraits, and films that recounts the Hennessy family’s rendezvous with important moments in history and its global adventure.

Visitors of the Hennessy 250 Tour Time Barrel installation at Circa Gallery are invited to send a digital text or video message to the future. This 21st century time capsule will preserve these messages left in 2015 in a barrel in Hennessy’s historic cellars in Cognac, and will remain sealed in the Time Barrel until it will be opened half a century from now, on the occasion of Hennessy’s next anniversary celebration in 2065.

The Time Barrel will also make a stop at the Diamond Walk in Sandton City, 27 August to 25 September. Those outside of Joburg may leave their message for future generations at Join the conversation at , Facebook or Twitter. Include #MessageToTheFuture #TimeBarrel #Hennessy #Hennessy250

Boktown flies the flag

Rugby World Cup fever has officially begun with Tsogo Sun launching its “Fly The Flag” campaign ahead of the kickoff on 18 September in Twickenham, UK, and announcing additional Boktown venues for 2015.

Francois Pienaar signing the flagBok supporters have until the end of August to sign good luck messages at Tsogo Sun properties across the country. These ribbons will then be sewn together to form a 3m x 8m flag that will be displayed at Boktown at Montecasino, and a smaller replica will be handed to the team at its send-off ceremony on 11 September.

Tsogo Sun’s director of marketing, Noëleen Bruton, says: “We have been partners with SA Rugby since our RWC win in 1995 — and we’re proud to Get Behind the Boks through our ‘Fly The Flag’ initiative, which will run alongside the SA Rugby campaign as a powerful demonstration of support for the Springboks.

“We’ve created a campaign that would give Springbok fans the chance to do something tangible in support of their team; to be involved in a unifying project that will no doubt be inspiring and encouraging for the Boks as they face this mighty challenge.”

Tsogo Sun has been the official accommodation partner since 1995, giving it the exclusive rights to host Boktown — the Springbok Supporters Village — at its Montecasino, Silverstar and Suncoast properties. This year, three more Tsogo Sun properties have been confirmed as additional official Boktown venues — Gold Reef City, Emnotweni in Nelspruit, and the Ridge in Emalahleni — for the Rugby World Cup.


The boozy botanist

Super-premium artisanal gin brand, The Botanist, has launched in South Africa with a bespoke foraging experience among the Cape fynbos, aimed at introducing the brand to local mixologists and gin enthusiasts.

The Botanist gin bottle shotConceived, distilled and hand-crafted by distilling legend, Jim McEwan, The Botanist is a super-premium artisanal gin distilled at the Bruichladdich Distillery on the Hebridean island of Islay. The Botanist is trickle-distilled and augmented with a harvest of 22 botanicals, handpicked by an expert foraging team among the hills, peat bogs and Atlantic shores of the island.

The layered complexity of The Botanist is held up as an inspiration to professional mixologists, who appreciate the flavour potential of ingredients foraged from their own local environments — to introduce a very personal dimension to this complex spirit.

Gareth Wainwright from The Landmark Cocktail Bar in Johannesburg won The Botanist competition for developing the most interesting and unique serve using The Botanist and his own locally foraged ingredients. He will take an all-expenses The Botanist gin among the fynbospaid trip to Islay to join some of the world’s top bartenders and experience first-hand the philosophy behind The Botanist and foraging in the Hebrides.

The Botanist is available at selected retailers from R459.


SA gets a Quake Up

Quaker Oats has entered the R547m SA breakfast (oat) category* with its Heaps of Fruit offering, providing the ideal platform for the local company to begin exploring and expanding into the nutrition market.

Quaker Oats Heaps of Fruit quake upQuaker underpins PepsiCo’s nutrition business globally and recent internal research has indicated that consumers have begun to disengage from the breakfast category, becoming bored and confused by the various offerings, particularly within the oats segment. The same research revealed that the Heaps of Fruit offering has been well-received in terms of taste and experience, providing variety and a premium offering in the category.

Calling on South Africans to rethink breakfast by driving the message, “Don’t just wake up, Quake Up”, this is a chance for the local Simba business to enter the category. The launch campaign is supported by a sampling drive, bringing some excitement back to the breakfast aisle with creative in-store promotions and point-of-sale material, PR and a digital campaign focusing on a website and Facebook activity.

Says Peta Friedman, marketing innovations lead, “This is an opportunity to entice and excite the category with a premium brand adding convenience, variety and choice to the oats audience and, together with the Quaker heritage stamp of approval, offers the brand the potential to position itself as a key advocate and drive the oat category going forward. Introducing a premium product to the mix will serve to attract new users to the segment as well as increase basket penetration.”

Quaker Oats Heaps of Fruit rangeQuaker Oats Heaps of Fruit comes in a handy sachet format and is available in four flavours: Apple & Cherry, Summer Berries, Blackberry & Apple and Banana & Strawberry. Add milk, microwave and in two minutes you have a steaming bowl of oats.

Quaker Oats Heaps of Fruit will be available nationally from select retailers at R 44.99 per box (containing eight sachets).

*Nielsen 2014


Cheryl HunterShelf Life is’s weekly column covering new product, packaging, design and food launches. Notify us of yours at shelflife at marklives dot com. Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.

Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison.

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