Australian tracking of global vegetable marketing trends creates innovative Australian grower opportunities

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 16th March 2015
Australian tracking of global vegetable marketing trends creates innovative Australian grower opportunities
Australian tracking of global vegetable marketing trends creates innovative Australian grower opportunities

Vegetables featured in nearly 3,000 new products launched in Australia and overseas in recent months, according to findings from ongoing research Project Harvest, run by Australian vegetable and potato growers’ representative body AusVeg.

Project Harvest is a monthly tracking survey of Australian vegetable consumption which examines consumer behaviour and attitudes in relation to various vegetable commodities, as well as global product trends.

AusVeg said the findings gave Australian vegetable growers insights into the array of products containing vegetables being launched overseas, allowing them to benchmark themselves internationally.

The latest wave of Project Harvest research has revealed a staggering 2756 products containing beans, carrots, cauliflower and pumpkin have been released either overseas or within Australia in recent months.

Vegetable product innovations ‘opportunity’ for Australian producers

Tamara Ungar, AusVeg spokesperson said the information coming out of the Project Harvest study enabled the Australian vegetable industry to “keep abreast of international developments in the competitive world of vegetable product innovations”.

“Not only does the data give growers insight into global trends, it can act as a tool for the industry to compare and develop within the Australian context and for export,” Ms Ungar said.

“Typically vegetables are associated with tasting great and the health benefits that they bring to diets, but the research also shows some companies are examining uses beyond just consumption.”

Unusual offerings noted

Ms Ungar said that while the bulk of new product launches were food items, a range of more unusual offerings, including carrot-based face cream, were noted in the study results.

Seasonality and Halal were popular claims on packaging of new products containing French and Runner beans in the Asia Pacific, which AusVeg said may provide some ideas for growers looking to export to that region.

Carrots popular ingredient globally

The Project Harvest findings showed that globally there were 1,845 products launched that contained carrots as an ingredient in the three months to January 2015.

“In Australia we saw 35 products launched that contained carrots, including new lines of vegetable stock, sauces, baby food and ready-to-go meals,” Ms Ungar said. “This is an encouraging number and we would love to see further product launches in the future to meet the wants and needs of Australian consumers,” she said.

Pumpkin also popular

The study showed that a total of 608 products containing pumpkin as an ingredient were launched globally in the 3 months leading up to the January 2015 report, with 21 product launches in Australia.

“The large number of pumpkin product launches could perhaps be attributed to Halloween in the most common launch country, the United States,” Ms Ungar said.

The research has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.