Cheryl Hunter (shelflife at’s weekly pick of all things new — product, packaging, design, insight, food, décor and more!

  • Eco-friendly mannequins for Woolies
  • KWV truffles onto the gin market
  • Ads24 launches The Beat

RE: green mannequins

RE: is the well-known denim brand that recently launched its first standalone store in Menlyn, Pretoria, at the same time introducing a first on the South African retail environment — eco-friendly mannequins.

Woolworths eco mannequin 04Woolworths eco mannequin 05
The result of more than three years’ research and development, the mannequins are produced from natural plant fibres and bio-resins, which come from an Asian indigenous sustainable source, ensuring that this truly is a green mannequin.

Justin Smith, head of sustainability for Woolworths, says that, in line with the RE: brand strategy to be the authority on sustainability, mannequin production also uses a higher level of recyclable and bio-degradable raw material content without any sacrifice to strength or aesthetics: “When compared to conventional fibre-glass mannequins, the eco-mannequin has up to 20% less styrene content. There is also less mineral content as glass fibres have been replaced by natural plant fibres. Where required, it can be finished in a bio-degradable water-based coating.

Woolworths eco mannequin 06Woolworths eco mannequin 02Woolworths eco mannequin 03Woolworths eco mannequin 01
“We’ve focused on a green-store strategy for a number of years, encompassing store design and fittings, including using recycled content in our trolleys, baskets and hangers, so this is really the next step on our journey.”

Woolworths, in a bid to ensure that it meets its target of a globally reduced carbon footprint, ensures the use of the mannequin material is 45-55% bio-degradable vs a fibre-glass mannequin that is not bio-degradable at all. This provides a reduction in CO2e emissions of approximately 60% over a conventional fibre-glass mannequin and also allows for substantially more opportunities for recycling at lifespan end, but alternatively may be burned to provide energy, with a calculated calorific value that is higher than wood or paper.


Kalahari cocktails

2015 has been dubbed the year of gin, with premium global sales rocketing. In the UK alone, CGA Strategy research reveals that sales of premium gin are up 49% over the last two years, with boutique gin making up more than a quarter of the market. Against this backdrop, KWV has launched its own super-premium London dry boutique gin, handcrafted for the ‘new world’ gin drinking experience.

KWV Cruxland packshotAccording to experts, the gin revival has been sparked by unusual flavours and launches of small batches, which are adding vitality to the category and the re-emergence of a cocktail culture.

KWV’s Cruxland is made from grape spirits infused with nine signature botanicals, namely juniper berries, honeybush tea, coriander, rooibos, aniseed, cardamom, almonds, lemon — and the rare Kalahari N’abbas or Kalahari truffle.

The product development process has taken almost three years, says master distiller, Pieter de Bod: “We wanted to create a special gin with botanicals typical to South Africa and knew we needed a special ingredient to complement the flavours of the other botanicals.

“Kalahari truffles only grow in the Kalahari after the first rains, so we had to wait for that to happen and then we got the volumes we needed. KWV CruxlandThe Kalahari truffle forms a distinctive crack in the earth in the form of a cross when the truffle swells after the rain. Having said this, only the very-experienced truffle hunter can spot where to start digging.”

This cross in the ground was the inspiration for the Cruxland name, as Crux means cross in Latin.

For launch, Cruxland is available on Yuppiechef and will be sold internationally.



Adding ad value

Ads24, SA’s largest seller and marketer of SA newspapers, has launched its own trade newspaper called The Beat, which is distributed to media agencies countrywide to keep advertisers and media agency professionals in touch with its readers.

Ads24 infographic The BeatThe first issue, launched in August 2015, focused upon the mass market and revealed interesting insights into the Kasi consumer, providing advertisers with an understanding of how to target this market. The Beat includes insightful stories from top Media24 journalists and editors and provides useful research and stats.

Marise van der Lith, creative project manager at Ads24, says, “Not only does the word ‘beat’ remind us of the unique rhythm of our nation, but it also pays homage to our journalists. In newspaper terms, a beat is the subject area that a reporter is assigned to cover. Reporting is hungry work — digging for truth, finding the scoop, breaking the news and writing the angle, all in the pursuit to entertain, educate and inform the reader.

“Every ad you book only makes it into the paper because there is an audience carefully cultivated over the years, through excellent journalism. In the heart of everything we do in this industry lies audience engagement.”

City Press editor Ferial Haffajee, Rapport editor Waldimar Pelser and ad-and-media-industry veteran, Tony Koendeman, have all contributed to the inaugural issue which takes a look at Ads24’s Sunday titles.


Cheryl HunterShelf Life is’s weekly column covering all things new. 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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