Marketing Matters Joseph Ebbage Market Development Program Manager
Above: Stand at Asia Fruit Logistica.
Above: Damien Houlahan speaking with delegates at Food Week Korea.
D uring the last quarter, the Australian almond industry participated in four export market development trade exhibitions and missions: Asia Fruit Logistica in September, Sial Paris in October, Food Week Korea and a Jakarta research visit in November. Asia Fruit Logistica The Australian almond exhibition at Asia Fruit Logistica was our first promotion at a fruit and vegetable expo. It was held in Hong Kong and ran from September 3 to 5. We exhibited with the “Australian Fresh” pavilion organised by HAL’s “Australia Fresh” program. The ‘fresh produce’ categories for supermarkets in Asia represents a major growth opportunity for nuts in general and almonds in particular. There was an industry seminar held the day before the exhibition opened. One of the key themes repeated on numerous occasions was the role of health and nutrition in driving consumption of fresh produce. Nuts however, are not included in the ‘fresh produce’ categories in most Asian supermarkets. They are merchandised almost exclusively within the ‘salty snack’ category. Developing a new range of nut products featuring almonds specifically for fresh produce would allow the retailers to leverage the health and nutrition benefits of the nut segment.
This was the key message communicated at our Australian almond exhibition and found some resonance with a number of fresh produce distributors and supermarket retailers. We hope to exhibit again in 2015 and aim to include a specific presentation on the growth opportunity of almonds in next year’s seminar program. Sial Paris Each year, Australian Almonds runs an exhibition at a major food fair in Europe, alternating between Anuga in Cologne and Sial in Paris. Both these exhibitions take place in October. This year the Sial exhibition ran from October 19 to 23.
The Australian almond delegation to Sial Paris 2014 comprised of Damien Houlahan from Olam Orchards Australia Pty Ltd, Laurence Van Driel from Select Harvests Ltd and Tim Jackson from Almondco Australia. Europe remains a very important region for Australian almonds. In the last marketing year, it accounted for 42% of all Australian almond exports. The focus of the Australian almond exhibition was the promotion of the 2015 new season crop. Concerns about the drought in California and price uncertainty dominated discussions. Food Week Korea ‘Food Week Korea’ was the first trade exhibition for Australian almonds in the Korean market. Held in Seoul, ‘Food Week Korea’ ran from November 12 to 15. The anticipated ‘Entry into Force’ of the Korean-Australian Free Trade Agreement, in which the 8% tariff on Australian almonds is removed entirely, means that we will be in a strong competitive situation with California. The key element of our trade promotion was an Australian Almond Seminar held on the afternoon of the first day of the Trade Show. We contracted Austrade to organise this event which was very successful. Forty-five people attended our seminar, representing the key players in the Korean nut industry.