Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Fresh produce to experience annual surge

Hort Innovation is expecting a 20% increase in the purchase of fruit, vegetables and nuts during December.

The organisation’s CEO Brett Fifield says the festive season traditionally sees an increase in fresh produce purchased and this year is sticking with the Christmas tradition.

“In December each year, Aussies typically spend just over $1 billion on the fresh produce category, compared to an average of $882 million each month for the rest of the year” he says.

“Australian growers work 365 days a year to feed the nation with healthy, clean produce.

“This year has seen extreme weather conditions. More than ever, it’s important to support Australian horticulture and stock up with Australian fresh to celebrate the festive season in style.”

Hort Innovation data provides insight into purchasing behaviour over summer:

  • Most popular fruits in the lead-up to the festive season include strawberries, mangos and blueberries, bananas, apples and avocados followed by. Most popular vegetables include potatoes, fresh salad, carrots and cucumber.
  • Consumption of cherries, lychees, raspberries, passionfruit, lemon and lime increases during December, as well as for potatoes, fresh salad, onions, herbs, pumpkin and lettuce.
  • December marks the beginning of the sweetcorn, summer fruit and table grape seasons and with warmer weather, watermelons are also popular choice.
  • Dried fruits and nuts feature “strongly” in Aussies’ groceries in the lead up to Christmas. All nuts show an uplift in purchasing including almonds and macadamias.

On home soil and across international markets, the horticulture sector is highlighting its quality produce through a host of industry-funded initiatives. A snapshot of grower campaigns currently underway include:

  • Australian Mangoes partnering with Harrison Reid from Bondi Rescue and farmer David Groves to deliver fresh mangoes to Aussies and help consumers ‘taste the sunshine’.
  • Australian Cherries promoting the festive fruit in overseas markets including Vietnam and China.
  • Australian Macadamias launching the ‘Make it Special’ campaign featuring brand ambassador Giaan Rooney to show how macadamias can instantly make an occasion special.
  • Australian Avocados going global across Japan, Thailand and the Middle East through a range of food service promotions, in-store displays, sampling sessions and promotional deals.

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