Growers gain insights into international product innovations

AUSTRALIAN vegetable growers are being given 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 both overseas and within Australia in recent months.

"The information coming out of this study enables the Australian vegetable industry to keep abreast of international developments in the competitive world of vegetable product innovations," AUSVEG spokesperson Tamara Ungar said.

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia's 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.

"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."

"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."

"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 may provide some ideas for growers looking to export to that region.

Globally, there were 1,845 products launched that contained carrots as an ingredient in the three months preceding the release of the latest report.

"In Australia we saw 35 products launched that contained carrots, including new lines of vegetable stock, sauces, baby food and ready-to-go meals. 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," Ms Ungar said.

A total of 608 products containing pumpkin as an ingredient were launched globally in the three months leading up to the Wave 17 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.

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.

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

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