Gourmet Garden creates 50 new jobs as sales rocket
Australian food manufacturer Gourmet Garden has undergone a multi-million dollar expansion at its Sunshine Coast herb prepping facility following phenomenal consumer demand for its new Lightly Dried Herbs and Spices range, which launched in April 2014.
Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices specialises in the growing, harvesting and packaging of prepared herbs, spices and seasonings. The Company’s farmers grow their herbs on broad acre organically certified farms mostly in the Callide Valley, Central Queensland. The Company said the herbs are washed, chopped and packed within 12 hours of harvesting, “capturing the essential oils for fresh flavour, colour and aroma without adding artificial flavours or preservatives”.
The well-known range of squeezable herb and spice stir-in pastes first launched onto chilled supermarket shelves in 1999, is now exported to over 15 countries and is ranged in over 25,000 supermarkets. The Company said the new Lightly Dried Range complemented the stir-in paste range by adding a roughly chopped format for tossing, garnishing and sprinkling.
Gourmet Garden said the range, which includes basil, coriander, parsley, chilli and ginger, has been “described by busy cooks as closest thing to fresh herbs in appearance, flavour and aroma”. Unlike fresh herbs, the Lightly Dried range stays fresh in the fridge for four weeks.
The Company said consumers had reacted positively to the launch, resulting in higher than anticipated sales. This has led to the creation of 50 new jobs, a welcome boost to the local employment market. The Company said it hoped to build on this success with the introduction of its innovative click-n-stack packaging concept, which goes into Coles stores nationwide in July 2014.
Gourmet Garden CEO, Nick White, said he was delighted with the response to the launch and hoped the new click-n-stack range would lead to even greater consumer demand.
“We’re delighted with the response we’ve had to the new products so far, which has exceeded all expectations,” Mr White said.
“We believe that busy cooks have welcomed the range because Lightly Dried has filled a gap in the market between fresh herbs that don’t last and dried herbs with diminished flavour,” Mr White said. “The feedback from our customers has been excellent and we’re excited to see how they respond to the new click-n-stack offering,” he said.
The new Gourmet Garden Lightly Dried click-n-stack range will be stocked alongside the existing stir-in pastes in tubes in the fresh produce section of Coles this month. Ginger, Coriander, Parsley and Basil have an RRP of $3.99 each and Chilli is $4.99.