Aloe vera drinks, truffles and matsutake mushrooms are some of the products South Australia could soon be exporting as global demand for luxury and functional foods continues to grow.
The outcomes of A Study into Functional and Luxury Food Value Chains in Asia and Australia, commissioned by PIRSA in 2015, have identified where South Australia’s food value chains, including beverages, can be switched to higher value-adding functional or luxury foods using locally available raw materials.
Luxury foods and beverages such as abalone and red wine, have established a reputation for their unsurpassed quality, exclusivity and reputation.
Functional foods, such as gluten-free bread and Omega enriched eggs, have had ingredients added or removed to produce a product that contributes to health and wellbeing.
As part of the research, six pathways for growth for South Australia’s food and beverage industry were identified that could enable businesses to capitalise on opportunities in this lucrative market, which is globally worth an estimated $290 billion.
The pathways suggested for the South Australian food industry are food technology upgrading, functional food products, ingredients for functional foods, smart packaging, luxury food business strategies and luxury wine-driven culinary tourism.
PIRSA has made the research reports, which cover consumer trends, market investment opportunities and export potential, available at www.pir.sa.gov.au/food. Fact sheets and resources for industry are now being developed by PIRSA, SARDI and Food South Australia to assist food and beverage businesses to evaluate and develop opportunities for their products and businesses in these sectors.
PIRSA have also supported a recent pilot project to demonstrate South Australia’s capacity to deliver functional foods efficiently and cost effectively. The Functional Foods Demonstration Project enabled key stakeholders PIRSA, SARDI and Food South Australia to engage and partner with South Australian food and beverage companies and has successfully demonstrated the value of the partnerships operating under the new South Australian Food Innovation Centre initiative.
This project has developed commercially ready functional foods and provided the partners and participating companies with valuable experience and PIRSA, SARDI and Food South Australia are now liaising to develop resources and further activities in the functional food space.