FreshIncite August 2019

NPDs in Snacking tomatoes and Impact of Brexit & Aus-EU Free Trade Agreement on Hort

Is Brexit a fresh food horror story?Top

Brexit and Halloween are set to arrive together in the UK on October 31st and seems poised to deliver sharp impacts on fresh food supplies.  

Food supply chains are preparing by reserving warehouse spaces, setting up alternative distributors and planning to deal with lost orders in congested ports. Others have taken more direct actions which include; Rolls Royce investing £100 in inventory systems to ensure they can maintain operations, Pharmaceutical suppliers booking air cargo space as a back-up and food-service suppliers locking in plans to increase food inventories in the days leading up to the date of Brexit.

With 60% of the food Britain consumes is imported at this time of the year, some challenges are highly anticipated as the terms of the exit remains unclear. While car parts and pharmaceuticals can manage this challenge by building more inventory but the only way UK is going to find more fresh food is to pay more for what has been produced to go elsewhere.

Whatever shape the Brexit transition takes, it appears set to confirm that when unplanned demand and logistical disruptions impact the fresh food market, it will respond with a rise in price.

Snacking tomatoes continue to enjoy more NPDTop

New varieties, branding and packaging initiatives are the new product attributes for retail snacking tomatoes. These include variations on fruit size, including berry size but also medium size with more distinctive shapes. Many are also now offering new packaging options as they respond to concerns about waste.

Australian consumers have continued to buy more snacking tomatoes and demand has been fuelled by ease of purchase, taste consistency and a home shelf life that minimises waste. It is also clear that these products, which the industry refers to as “snacking”, enjoy a full range of uses and are a staple for smaller households. Tomato retail sales in Australia have recovered with more value from both truss and outdoor, where the supply pressure has eased and prices have firmed. The flow on impact has returned the category to growth with snacking tomatoes still contributing a significant 40% of the total retail tomato category sales value.  

Snacking tomatoes have been a driver of tomato category value growth for some time and a series of new product attributes are now poised to attempt to take that growth further.

Do we need Prosecco, Feta & Gorgonzola?Top

As Australia engages to secure trade arrangements with the EU, several food naming issues have been raised and are set to be included. The EU is seeking Champagne-style protection for 172 foods and 236 spirits in return for a free trade agreement with Australia.

Feta, Gruyere and Gorgonzola top the list of names that Europe wants to prevent Australian cheesemakers from using. Amongst the beverages, protection for Prosecco is sought with claims stating both the raw ingredients and production comes from north-east Italy. The products listed have protections within the EU under the Geographical Indications (GI) program, which allows farmers and producers to protect names that are based on location.

Australian tourism research shows clear evidence that when inbound tourists are exposed to our food culture, they leave with vastly improved ratings of our food quality relative to other countries. This acknowledgment invites investments to create our own regional food branding identities. We are some way there with locations like Barossa, Hunter Valley, King Island, Yarra Valley, Margaret River and Tasmania established and supported by complementary Tourism marketing.

Perhaps this move by the EU is the nudge we need to get out of the aspirational spiral of seeking to convince our markets that we can produce food as good as others. Is it the time to set our own standards, take credit for what we do and design the naming conventions we use?

There's more!

Email us to receive regular FreshIncites