Australia looks poised to import a greater volume of Northern Hemisphere fruit over the coming months as the frequency of retail promotions in the country continues to show an upward trend in the winter period.
That's according to -based company Freshlogic, whose Adwatch service tracks food and grocery retail promotions. Managing director Martin Kneebone said that all indications from key importers suggested higher volumes of fruit – including US stonefruit set to becoe available in just over a month – would be brought into Australia over 2014.
“Growth in the imported volumes of grapes, cherries, kiwifruit and more recently stonefruit has drawn these products into retailer promotional activity,” said Kneebone. “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.”
Indications were that consumers had welcomed such products and the colour they brought to the fruit bowl in winter, Kneebone added, with retailers now seeking to meet that demand.
According to Adwatch, there was a 26 per cent increase in grape retail promotion numbers over the August-October US import window between 2012 and 2013, illustrating the increased pressure.
“Increased competition will require a response from the staple fruits in order to maintain sales over the winter and spring period,” Kneebone explained.
New-season US stonefruit is set to become available to Australian importers in just over one month.