May 8, 2014
The latest Project Harvest consumer reports released by AUSVEG have shown that Australia lags behind the rest of the world in the race to meet global consumer demand for novel vegetable products. On average, less than 2 per cent of products containing vegetables launched globally are released in Australia.
“The relatively low number of new vegetable product launches in Australia indicates that there is an opportunity for vegetable growers to find new ways of getting their vegetables to consumers,” said Mr Tim Shue, AUSVEG Spokesperson.
AUSVEG is Australia’s leading horticulture body representing 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
“New product types may help relieve pressures placed on growers by retailers. Vegetables that don’t make the grade could be transformed into brand-new products rather than going to waste,” said Mr Shue.
Green bean ice-cream, instant pumpkin desserts, yoghurts and chips containing vegetable products and vegetable garden cream cheeses are just a handful of the thousands of new products recently launched overseas.
“Creativity, lateral thinking and an active engagement with global experts in produce innovation could help industry access new domestic and international markets,” said Mr Shue.
To start the discussion, all vegetable levy payers around the country have been invited to attend a Produce Innovation Seminar at the Cairns Convention Centre on 19 June 2014, the first major forum in Australia dedicated to vegetable product innovation.
“By exposing the Australian industry to research and development being conducted globally, we hope to excite businesses with innovative ideas about how Australian vegetables could be transformed and consumed,” said Mr Shue.
“While the fresh market may remain the focus for Australia, other countries throughout Asia, Europe and the US have been investing in novel vegetable products, and this indicates that there are definitely markets out there,” said Mr Shue.
The Produce Innovation Seminar will hear from global leaders from the US and Europe in product innovation and sensory science, including David Lundahl, Ph.D, founder and CEO of InsightsNow Inc. and Rob Baan, CEO of Koppert Cress.
This project was funded by HAL using the National Vegetable Levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.