Sweet ideas for marketing Australian honey

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 16th September 2010

Spoon with syrupA new report analysing Australia’s honey industry has been released by the RIRDC, designed to identify possible improvements to marketing of the sticky breakfast treat in the face of Australia’s taste for pre-packaged meal options.

RIRDC Senior Research Manger, Dr Dave Alden, said the report is designed to help Australia’s honey industry understand some of the dynamics driving supply chain pressures in the industry.

“This report identifies 26 separate issues and pressures affecting the honey industry, and looks at the implications that they have on honey marketing,” Alden said.

“For example, the study finds that honey, a traditional breakfast spread, is now competing with ‘mobile breakfast products’ which are targeted at people who enjoy breakfast on the go.  Additionally, honey competes with breakfast spreads which enjoy stronger marketing support.

“This growing competition raises new challenges for the honey industry, with the report predicting its growth is more likely to come from other honey uses, such as its role as a sweetener in other foods and beverages.”

Alden said the report also looks at how honey could potentially capitalise on honey’s health benefits, such as its low Glycaemic Index or GI.

“The lower a food’s GI rating, the slower people absorb and digest it, which means a more gradual and healthier infusion of sugars into their bloodstream.  GI is also acknowledged as a natural dietary aid which helps keep ‘hunger pains’ away for longer,” he said.

With 7,800 tonnes of Australian honey being exported in 2009, the report also examines the factors influencing the global honey market, and potential new export opportunities for Australian producers.

“The study identifies a number of market opportunities the Australian honey industry could potentially capitalise upon,” Alden said.

“At the top of the list is Europe, particularly Ireland and the UK, where there is known demand for honey harvested from native Australian flora.”

The report, A study of existing and prospective markets and marketing activities for Australian honey, is available from the RIRDC website.