AMERICAN stonefruit is expected to enter Australia in large volumes this winter with the Australian industry welcoming the imports.
Fresh produce marketing monitor Freshlogic predicts higher volumes than ever of new season US stonefruit entering the Australian market for 2014.
The prediction is based on the success of the product in its first year (2013) and indications from key importers.
But that’s good news according to John Moore, CEO, Summerfruit Australia, who said the industry welcomes US stonefruit into the marketplace.
“It induces more regular consumption of stonefruit into the Australian diet. It’s filling the void for that all-year-round fruit,” he said.
“Whilst we don’t want to see it impact too much on our early season fruit, the industry certainly welcomes US stonefrut.”
From an international trade perspective, he said if Australia expected to send fruit to the US then it was only logical their fruit be allowed in.
According to Freshlogic, increased imports of Northern Hemisphere fruit into Australia are being reflected in retail promotional activity over the winter and spring months, with clear implications for other staple fruits.
Martin Kneebone, managing director, Freshlogic said growth in the imported volumes of grapes, cherries, kiwifruit and more recently stonefruit has drawn these products into retailer promotional activity.
“Staple fruits such as apples and bananas, which have traditionally dominated fruit sales in the winter months, are now faced with a different competitive set,” he said.
Indications are that consumers have welcomed these products and the colour they bring to the winter fruit bowl, and the retailers are now meeting that demand.
The imported fruit is expected to become available to Australian importers in less than a month.
Freshlogic’s Adwatch service reported that a 26 per cent increase in grape retail promotion numbers over the August-October US import window between 2012 and 2013 illustrates the increased pressure.
“Increased competition will require a response from the staple fruits in order to maintain sales over the winter and spring period,” Mr Kneebone said.
Adwatch tracks more than 6500 retail promotions per week, covering all food and grocery categories.