The creamy texture of Tasmanian walnuts has been an instant hit with Japanese consumers, according to ABC Rural.
A 6 tonne trial shipment of the nut grown at Walnuts Australia’s Swansea orchard in eastern Tasmania entered the Asian nation earlier this year, with close to one quarter of the consignment sold by early February.
Richard Haire, executive chair of Walnuts Australia, said the appearance and flavour of the Tasmanian offering appealed to affluent and discerning Japanese consumers.
“It's early days as is the case with any foodstuffs. There are a number of factors that make it appealing to individual taste," Haire told ABC Rural.
"The Tasmanian nuts get a bit of a premium because of the factors such as colour and taste, which is popular with the Japanese.”
The Tasmanian walnuts are shipped to Walnuts Australia’s processing facility in southern New South Wales where they are cracked, packaged and distributed. For the Japanese programme nuts are being sold in 500g packets through the Aeon supermarket chain.
Haire said the vertically integrated supply chain gives confidence to the company’s customers and end consumers alike.
“I think it helps particularly with a discerning market like Japan who are chasing a premium product," Haire explained. "I think it is advantageous to be able to provide them with that supply chain traceability."