Capsicums in the innovation spotlight

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 23rd July 2014
Capsicums in the innovation spotlight
Capsicums in the innovation spotlight

Capsicums are increasingly being used in some of the world’s most innovative food products launched in Australia, according to recent market research commissioned by the Australian vegetable industry.

Following a recent domestic lull in new product launches, 37 innovative products containing capsicum were launched in Australia during the last three months. Over 150 products containing capsicum were launched globally, which Australian vegetable and potato growers’ representative body AusVeg said opened up opportunities for Australian producers.

“This recent increase in products launched in Australia demonstrates the opportunities available if we can encourage world leaders in product innovation to invest in the Australian market,” said Andrew White. AusVeg Manager of Industry Development and Communications. “There is a real opportunity for Australian capsicum growers to take advantage of this strong demand for capsicum-containing products,” he said.

While Australians were proving to be innovators in the product development stakes, AusVeg said Australian manufacturers could still learn some lessons from their international competitors. It said products like capsicum-infused massage oil from Japan had appeared on the global market, along with other “out-there” products.

In Australia, AusVeg said snacks dominated as the main launch category, representing 20 per cent of new products launched containing capsicum between March and May 2014. This was followed by sauces such as chutneys, and pre-prepared meals, including tuna and rice packs.

“While Australian vegetable growers are among some of the world’s most productive, an oversupply of produce can lead to financial losses,” Mr White said. “New uses for excess or second-grade vegetables, such as in innovative food and pharmaceutical products, can help to make Australian producers more profitable,” he said.

Packaging also played an important role in new product launches, with 30 per cent of new products featuring a flexible pack format, followed by jars with 12 per cent.

“In addition to the product itself, consumer choices can also be swayed by the type of packaging used to contain food,” Mr White said. “Producers and processors need to ensure that product packaging appeals to consumers in terms of convenience, visual appeal and reduced waste,” he said.

The research has been funded by Horticulture Australia Limited using the National Vegetable Levy with matched funds from the Australian Government.